Writer: Grant Stoye
Artist: Alaire Racicot
Colors: Martina Bonanni
Letters: Toben Racicot
Having recently started on a Dungeons and Dragons campaign for the first time in my life, I was quite excited to get a read at Scout Comics’ Sidequest. Right away I recognized a lot of what I had previously studied in the player’s book in the comic. But I believe that this small glance at the first chapter offers very little of what this title will approach.
We begin with D’Arik, the protagonist of this first chapter, and his party walking up to a notice board to look for some quests. We’re told D’Arik is acting atypically feisty as we see a strongman yank the last notice that was on the board right off his hands. This leads to him getting into a fight while his friends watch and bet on the results. We briefly cut to Tareen. An elven woman who is sort of the leader of the party. Having woken up early and accomplished a quest on her own, Tareen learns of some creature that’s been attacking livestock at night. She then reunites with the others who agree to take on the quest of capturing this mysterious creature.
Grant Stoye’s writing for this first chapter is fairly decent. We’re introduced to all the characters in the party thoroughly and we get a nice sense of their chemistry as a group. As far as plots go, however, Sidequest just seems like another fantasy story… at first. The twist at the end – along with the title of the series – made me think on which of D’Arik’s “quests” will be the titular one. I can’t be sure if that’s even on the writer’s plan but I’m hoping Stoye expands on this double meaning as the series progresses. The first issue – as a starter – wasn’t very captivating once I first finished reading it, but when the realization I mentioned above clicked I was quite impressed with the potential for this comic.
Alaire Racicot is responsible for the lineart which gets the job done. I really liked how expressive the characters are. Even though there are one or two weird faces, being able to convey emotions on the face of a turtle, a dragon, and a cat is quite impressive. The motion feels a bit stiff at times but in the main action scene of the issue, it does a lot for the excitement.
Martina Bonanni does the colors and gets to showcase a lot of lighting/shading abilities. There is a big range of ambiences for a single issue and this allows Bonanni to really explore the characters’ palettes under different lights. My personal favorite moment was at the tavern by the firelight where we see a lot of details on Uhok’s shell and skin.
Lettering by Toben Racicot is quite traditional which makes it go by mostly unnoticed by the average reader. We get sound effects for fight scenes but that’s about it. I especially missed some flare to the singing we get by the end of the chapter. The use of regular speech bubbles just makes it look like the character is reciting a poem with no music.
- Good characterization and group chemistry
- Gorgeous coloring
- Not that engaging for a first chapter
- Motion feels stiff at times