D’Arik is looking for a critical hit as he and his group investigate the mysterious killings of local livestock. What they find not only leaves them in shock but with unanswered questions. They’ll have to band together in order to solve the village's mystery and put their worries at ease.
Every now and then you need to set out on a journey, find new things, and take a break. Sometimes your journey will turn up riches beyond your dreams and other times not so much. Comics are the same way, sometimes your journey will take you out of your comic shop to find new and exciting things. This is exactly what has happened to me. I was on a quest aka hanging out on Twitter and came across Grant Stoye, the writer for Sidequest #1.
Sidequest #1 is a high-fantasy story about a group of friends that find themselves investigating the curious deaths of local livestock. All is well until they come upon what would be the end of the main quest however it opens-up a sidequest the group was not expecting. Stoye constructed a great ending that you don’t see coming and with a message that we can all relate to. It also sets up beautifully for #2.
The main protagonist D’Arik, a human with a bard’s build but a warrior’s heart. Then there’s Tareen a female warrior in every aspect of the word. Clearly the true leader of the pack, just don’t tell D’Arik that. Ylwin a feline rogue, Grachen a dragon mage, and Uhok a turtle bard rounds out our group of heroes. As the story progresses you get a feeling, they are closer than what is perceived upon meeting them. Sure, it’s clear they have their own agenda at times, but they definitely come together when needed.
This creative team rolls a critical hit on every page of this book. Grant Stoye has penned a spectacular story. You sense the immense amount of passion from his writing as it comes through every panel with exceptional respect for the genre. The art team of Sidequest can stand toe to toe with any team, from any book, from any publisher. Alaire Racicot’s art paired with Stoye’s writing beautifully captures fantasy characters as if they are right out of a sourcebook. Alaire’s fantastic facial expressions to her gorgeous backgrounds only add to the great foundation of this story. Rounding out this marvelous team is Toben Racicot on letters and design and Martina Bonanni on colors. Bonanni’s hues are solid throughout the book, combining forces with Alaire’s art they team-up like orcs ransacking a village (I’m saying they’re a force to be reckoned with), bringing the book to life. Toben Racicot wraps up the book’s package with solid lettering and steadfast design making this book such a hidden gem that deserves to be discovered. These four souls have created something magical that deserves to be in your hands. This book is fun and exciting as comics should be.
Sidequest is absolute proof that not all good comics are found on the shelves. Everything about this book feels right in the sense that it invites you to come along and be a part of D’Arik and company and just when you get comfortable the table gets flipped and mead goes everywhere. If you’re a fan of fantasy, rpgs, or good storytelling, Sidequest is for you.
Sidequest #1: The Journey is just Beginning
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 9/109/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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