Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Knights Of The Dinner Table #94 - A Review

This is one of my favorite comics and usually the first one I read out of all the ones on my pull list on the weeks it comes out. Sadly, it is not a book I can recommend highly to everyone. Some are put off by the black and white artwork, done by a man who freely admits to his own artistic ineptitude. Some want a book that is chock full of action and adventure on every page; not five people sitting around a table talking about action and adventure. And some people, for reasons beyond my understanding, don’t like comics that are… well, comic. For the rest of us, Knights of the Dinner Table is a wonderful treasure.

Centering about the role-playing gamers of Muncie, Indiana, KODT (as it is called for short) is one of the funniest things out there. Once dependent upon purely gamer driven humor, the comic has expanded in recent years to the humor of people being people. This has only made the comic all the better. For while some of us can find great amusement in everyone going berserk at the mention of a gazebo on the nearby hill (a reference to a now infamous legend about a gamer, who didn’t know what a gazebo was and thought it was some type of monster), this isn’t easily accessible to some audiences.

Consider the current issue, which while still firmly based in its gamer roots, is much more accessible to someone who has never played Dungeons and Dragons or some such game in their life.

After a short comic where we see gamestore employee Bob realizing that maybe, just maybe, he IS dating gamer grrrrl Shelia, this issue continues an on-going plot that has spanned the last few issues. Dave (the party fighter) has fallen under the thrall of Tremble; a magical, intelligent and very evil sword. The part of the sword is being played by Nitro Furgeson, another local Game Master who has decided to sabotage the campaign of fellow Game Master B.A. Felton, just for laughs. With the world itself in danger and the campaign about to be ruined, the rest of the party has called their friend Johnny (a semi-retired gamer) out for the weekend to play the part of “Carvin Marvin”; another intelligent evil magic sword, which may well be the only thing capable of stopping Dave’s possessed character.

While there is quite a bit of plot to work through here, Blackburn makes it easy to get into even without text boxes referring to previous issues when needed (Remember when ALL comics had those?) and the comic better serves as a “how to” guide to gaming than the horrific Dungeons and Dragons comic that was handed out on Free Comic Book Day. Indeed, the only downside to the whole issue is that after being promised a conclusion to the saga this issue, we end with yet another cliffhanger. At least we get an apology for it. And more, the laughs delivered make me want more of this story. So I can live with the broken promises. For now, at least.

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