On A Quest, Part III: The Drinking Quest Comic Review
By now you’ve read my interview with Drinking Quest creator, Jason Anarchy, and you’ve read my review of the game itself. We’re on Comic Booked though, so what about some comics? Well as fortune would have it, the first issue of the Drinking Quest comic is available now via the Drinking Quest website. The six issue series comes to us from Wiseman Innovation, the creator’s self-publishing venture and looks to expand the world of the game with a more traditional narrative.
“Please Quest Responsibly – Part I” begins with a mostly unseen drinking god ruminating on the loneliness of divinity. He speaks of the “world below” where we find the hero Chuglox in the thrall of a Slave Crown, chained to the pair of thieves that nicked it from an actual wizard. Upon arriving at the Slave Town of Cubicus, Chuglox is released from his chains and enters an arena to face a fearsome Icefist Yeti. Wielding a mug of ale and a sword with a bottle-opener pommel, he shouts his might battle cry, “This round’s on me!” We jump six days earlier to see Chuglox drinking under a tree, telling Annoying Sidekick of a dream where the drinking gods bestowed upon him a great quest. The pair return to the quiet town of Tippler’s Hollow, home of the world famous Bellow Ale, to gather companions to fill out the questing party. They seek the aid of Bartlebut the Beserker, the stabby thief Malty, and the sexy elf Lady Daiquirin. Annoying Sidekick lives up to his name and whines the entire time. Next we meet the Mighty Moorfist, an evil wizard with a snow weasel companion named Yakka. It seems that Moorfist also dreamed of a hero being sent on a quest, and plans to use this foreknowledge to make sure the hero doesn’t thwart his evil plans, which involve placing a Slave Crown on a dragon. Returning to our heroes, we watch as they begin their quest, singing a rousing song along the way. When night falls they make camp for the evening and engage in an intense session of naming lemons intended for their enemies. The next day the party is attacked by a gang of angry Lolevel goblins sent by the malevolent Moorfist. The heroes make short work of the green meanies, leaving their leader alive to deliver a message to Moorfist. As the last goblin runs off, Chuglox picks up the Slave Crown that he was wearing vows to make Moorfist answer for this affront, thus ending the first issue. I feel like this issue follows a lot of fantasy tropes, adding a dash of humor throughout, but with five more issues to go, I think there’s plenty of room for surprises.
The Drinking Quest comic is full of the same irreverent humor as the game, but now comes mostly in the form of dialogue, especially one-liners. As I was reading the book, I was reminded of all the best Arnold Schwarzenegger action movies of the 80’s and 90’s. “You wouldn’t like me when I’m sober!” is a great example of the sort of things that come out of Chuglox’s mouth. Now, instead of descriptions read from random encounter cards, we get a story with plot. There isn’t much in the way of character development yet as this is only the first issue, but we definitely get a feel for who the heroes are by the end of the tale.
The art by Stuart Paterson isn’t heavily detailed but more than adequately captures the elements of this fantasy world. Chuglox appears as a chiseled, Kevin Sorbo-esque hero with massive biceps through most of the book, but when being controlled by the Slave Crown, he looks down right sinister. The other heroes looks like they stepped out of a classic fantasy novel. Moorfist the wizard looks suitably evil, and his goblins look very gobliny. Colorist Anique Zimmer adds a lot of depth to the book with a varied color palette that helps establish the mood throughout.
If you’re looking for a story of heroes on an epic quest with a lighter side to it, go no further than the Drinking Quest comic. You can check out a five page preview for free on the Drinking Quest website, or pay to get the whole thing. You can also receive a free download of the entire issue with certain reward tiers of the Drinking Quest: Trilogy Edition Kickstarter (which only has three more days to go at the time of this writing!) Jason Anarchy has said that there will be a gap between #1 and 2, without stating a definitive date for the second issue, but I will be looking forward to it.