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The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins

(The Adventure Zone Graphic Novels #1)

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  7,721 ratings  ·  887 reviews
Welcome to the Adventure Zone!

SEE! The illustrated exploits of three lovable dummies set loose in a classic fantasy adventure!

READ! Their journey from small-time bodyguards to world-class artifact hunters!

MARVEL! At the sheer metafictional chutzpah of a graphic novel based on a story created in a podcast where three dudes and their dad play a tabletop role playing game in
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 17th 2018 by First Second
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Jackie Nope. If you enjoy the comic though, I'd definitely listen to the podcast afterwards as it's excellent. The two go well together, but the comic stands…moreNope. If you enjoy the comic though, I'd definitely listen to the podcast afterwards as it's excellent. The two go well together, but the comic stands alone and makes sense without background context.

There are inside jokes that you wouldn't "get" unless you are part of the fandom, but nothing that sticks out or doesn't stand on its own. (less)

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I'm a big fan of The Adventure Zone podcast. So when the McElroys asked me if I wanted to write an introduction for the upcoming comic book adaptation, I gave an enthusiastic hell yes.

I just re-read my Advance Reader Copy of the book, and rather than ramble on here, I'm going to print that introduction in its entirety, so you can see how I really feel about the book:

* * *

When it comes to the Adventure Zone, and the McElroys as a whole, I'll admit that I've been late to the game.

My friends have a
1. I cannot believe I snagged an ARC of this. Thanks, Macmillian. Honestly. I'm !!!!

It's absolutely, 100%, exactly everything you always wanted.

Carey Pietsch did an absolutely MAGNIFICENT job with the character designs. And the environment designs. And literally everything, to be honest. All of the artwork is stunning. It's hard to translate something purely auditory into a visual medium, especially something so beloved that has millions of different people imagin
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm really, really biased here, so my rating counts for nothing.

Some Background

I've been listening to a half-dozen McElroy (pronounced MAC-EL-ROY, not MIC-EHL-ROY — don't worry, it's a mistake everyone makes at first) podcasts for a couple of years now, The Adventure Zone among them. What initially started as a one-off "special" that the brothers did while Justin was on break from their first (and longest-running) series, My Brother, My Brother, and Me, after the birth of his first daughter, mor
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-2018
I feel bad about this rating.

Goodreads has two stars as meaning "it was ok" and that's really how I feel about this adaptation. It had almost none of the magic of the podcast. It tries to capture at times the goofy, playful feeling the original telling of the McElroys playing together and figuring out how to make D&D work, but these attempts, to me, fell flat and felt out of place.

As such, the shining moments of the first arc of The Adventure Zone Balance, really don't come across the same
Jay G
Oct 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Want to see more bookish things from me? Check out my youtube channel:

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review!

Video Review:

Based off of a Dungeons and Dragons podcast run by three brothers and their dad, this adventure follows three unlikely heroes... Taako the elf wizard, Merle the dwarf cleric, and Magnus the human warrior. They set off on a quest to save Merle's cousin but things ge
Full disclosure: Merle has cast Zone of Truth, so this review is unreservedly honest.

If you are anything like me, you're coming to this book with years of feverish McElroy sycophancy under the belt, many of which have been spent urgently foisting The Adventure Zone and My Brother, My Brother and Me upon poor unsuspecting friends. (The Donald Duck impressions bit is my go-to introductory bit.) But whether you're a superfan or a newcomer looking to dip your toes in, I can say with full confidence
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Doesn't quite capture the experience of listening to it, and I'm honestly not sure how clearly it would read to someone who hasn't listened, but as a supplement to the original podcast, it gave me a lot of warm fuzzy feelings of getting to hang out with a gang I love, back at the very beginning.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Apparently I'm no longer one of the cool kids, because I'd never heard of this podcast before today. This is based on an RPG podcast where three brothers record their role-playing adventures with their dad. This reads exactly like one of the Dungeons & Dragons campaigns I used to have with my friends growing up. Lots of irreverence and goofing off amidst a fantasy backdrop that we actually grew to take very seriously as time was invested in our characters. I liked the look-ins from the DM. I ...more
May 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's really quite remarkable how they've been able to translate the feel of the podcast into a comic. Really well done. I truly hope all of the campaigns are adapted.

(And, oh, the foreshadowing! The pathos!)
Shaun Hutchinson
I enjoyed this. Not as much as the podcast, but I think it'll be interesting to watch the comic find its feet in the same way the podcast did.
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'M OVERJOYED!!!! I'm so lucky that TAZ: Balance hasn't ended with the podcast and my overwhelming love for it can transfer to graphic novels now too. The story and characters translated so well from audio to visual and this was a super fun adaptation of the first arc I am SO EXCITED for more and to hopefully someday own all of Balance on my bookshelf!!
Aug 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-read, own
Thanks to the graphic novel release, I started listening to TAZ for the first time and I’m loving it so far. This book was beautiful done and the story was so lovingly crafted, I can’t wait to consume the whole story in this format. Also, Magic Brian is my favorite villain of all time.
After spending years of my life on Critical Role (my first and truest love), I have now expanded my D&D world to include the hilarious and sweet Adventure Zone graphic novel and podcast. This was just stupid great. I've only listened to three episodes of the podcast and I loved seeing it reflected in the graphic novel - they did an amazing job translating this in multiple ways: from live game to podcast to GN. Amazing.

(On a side note, I'd like to read the Critical Role graphic novel as well
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This adaptation turned out great—I’m thrilled. I’m especially appreciative of the fact that each joke felt like it deserved to be in print, and not like you were missing something by not listening to the podcast. Good job, McElboys.
Aaron Gertler
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
For now, reviewing the book as a way of reviewing the podcast, which is a five-star piece of audio storytelling just as compelling as any book I've ever read. Listen to the first episode, and you'll find yourself laughing a lot/crying a little over the next few weeks.
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018
i love it so much im genuinely considering buying a second copy
Rod Brown
Nov 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm trying to catch up on the few Goodreads Choice Awards graphic novels that I haven't read in the final round, which is why I am reading a graphic novel adaptation of a work with which I have no familiarity despite my repeated vows to myself to never do that again.

Apparently this is based on a podcast. And maybe hearing the guys talk makes all the difference, because I did not find this tribute to Dungeons & Dragons to be particularly funny, despite all the heavy-handed effort obvious on
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh you guys, I'm not sure I can really be objective when it comes to this book in particular and The Adventure Zone as a whole. The podcast itself came into my life a couple of years ago in a moment when not only was I just venturing into tabletop gaming myself, but I was struggling with severe depression and anxiety. It was exactly what I needed, and while when I started listening I was desperate for the laughs it gave me, the fact that the story deepened and grew into something really interest ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
the BEST thing to receive in the mail!!! still marvelling at how well done this is, holy cow. loving the art to bits, the expressions on each page kept giving me so much life that now I'm probably immortal
Jun 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this family, I love this show; I don't know what reading this would be like if you didn't listen to the podcast, but I L.O.V.E. it.
Anwen Hayward
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
While the podcast will always be my first love, this is an excellent adaptation and a great primer for anyone looking for a fast intro to The Zone.
I've been listening to the podcast The Adventure Zone for years now, and have been anticipating getting my hands on this graphic novel. Thanks to my sister for letting me borrow it!

I loved reading the first story in the adventure in this format. I feel like they did a great job adapting the podcast to a comic, keeping the same tone and feel of the podcast. I think that is probably very difficult to do, but they did it really well. The story was streamlined a bit, but for the most part it stayed
11811 (Eleven)
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is an authentic representation of the AD&D gaming experience. I got hit with a serious dose of nostalgia.
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 / 5 Stars

The first chapter of the epic Balance campaign brought to a new medium, making the conversion from podcast to graphic novel. As a huge fan of the podcast who listened to this story unfold in real time, it was a treat to finally have this comic come to fruition.

Half module, half original story, this chapter kicks off a truly remarkable (and loosely-rules) D&D 5e campaign than ran for over three years. There is a short but sweet intro by Patrick Rothfuss before dropping us right i
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
I've been excited about this book ever since it was announced and was delighted to get to hear Travis McElroy, Clint McElroy and Carey Pietsch talk about it's creation on a panel at SDCC. One of the early decisions they had to make was: Would they include only Taako, Merle and Magnus as the characters or would they include Taako, Justin, Merle, Clint, Magnus AND Travis as characters? Would Griffin's voice only be included in narration or would he appear as a character? I think they made the righ ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Adventure Zone: Here there be Gerblins is a graphic novel interpretation of the podcast The Adventure Zone, created by the McElroy family (three brothers and their dad). The pod cast is an edited recording of their adventures playing Dungeons and Dragons, and the graphic novel is an excellent retelling of the first arc of the story that they told together.

The story flows well, with fun character moments and big set pieces. There are gags aplenty, and direct conversation between the character
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS. TRULY. I actually got kinda weirdly emotional because I just? Really love TAZ. It encouraged me to play D&D with friends. It felt like coming home. I can’t wait for the next installment.

5/5 stars
Mary H
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was hilarious!! Quick fun read that brought back fun memories of learning to play D&D. I wanted more, but there's no info about the next installment so WHOOPS I started listening to the podcast. :D
Jessica L. Dwyer
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Oh it feels so good to be back in the world of these good good boys. Experiencing the beginning of this story in its alternate format was simultaneously full of nostalgia and an entirely new experience. I laughed outloud at my favorite one-liners, and also encountered new-found clarity in the storytelling.
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page 87 1 15 Sep 24, 2018 09:51AM  
Clint McElroy is the father of Justin, Travis, and Griffin McElroy. He does the Adventure Zone podcast with them and has also appeared on several Maximum Fun donors-only bonus episodes.

Clint is the Ultimate Dad.

Other books in the series

The Adventure Zone Graphic Novels (2 books)
  • The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited!