Zine Review: Dungeons and Dragons

ZINES_Dungeonsanddragons

 

Comic, Josh Rosen, 48 pgs, joshdraws.com, $4

 

Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Scott Pilgrim series may have brought the introspective 20-something coming-of-age comic to the mainstream, but Josh Rosen’s recent work is a quirky effort to bring it back to its roots.  Dungeons and Dragons takes 48 quarter-sized pages, one panel per page, to pose an existential crisis (“Am I getting too old for kids’ games?”) and wraps it up in some honest conclusions (“I don’t ever want to be at a point where I’m too old to play make-believe.”)

Stepping beyond any connection to a reader who may or may not have experience growing up with the fantasy board game being depicted, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to posture the idea that Rosen’s characters are speaking for the artist himself. The final ten panels of Dungeons and Dragons keep it from taking itself too seriously.  An unexpected LSD trip closes the story with demonic visuals, showing that Rosen’s age will never interfere with his ability to be imaginative, and in fact he thrives on it.  Dungeons and Dragons is a reassuring little read, well worth the asking price. (Joel W. Vaughan)

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