For a long time, The Adventure Zone felt like my little secret: this podcast that I adored, in which three brothers play a rowdy, hilarious, and ultimately kind of heartwarming game of Dungeons & Dragons with their dad. Loving it came easy to me; trying to explain to others why it was so important to me in the face of their skeptical looks was harder.
Five years after the show began, I’m forced to admit that I’m far from alone—and I probably don’t need to do quite as much explaining: Having completed a three-year run and amassed a download count in the millions, the little family podcast that could (make you care passionately about a character named “Barry Bluejeans”) is now a two-time number one New York Times’ bestselling graphic novel.
In 2020, the McElroy family—Griffin, Justin, Travis, and dad Clint—and co-writer and artist Carey Pietsch aim to go three-for-three with the release of The Adventure Zone: Petals to the Metal, based on the show’s most ambitious chapter yet. In it, our three heroes—former celebrity chef and current sticky-fingered elf Taako, Pan-loving dwarf Merle, and hard-charging axeman Magnus—carry out their latest mission for the Bureau of Balance, attempting to reclaim a dangerous magical artifact from the Raven, a thief in a creepy bird mask. Loosely inspired by a certain fast and furious film franchise, the arc culminates in a desert drag race (um, as in cars) that’s part Mad Max and part Wacky Races.
The book arrives July 14, 2020 in hardcover and paperback editions. We know that’s a long time to wait, so in the meantime (and assuming you’ve already picked up the Barnes & Noble exclusive editions of Here There Be Gerblins and Murder on the Rockport Limited!), we’re happy to share with you these four preview pages—featuring an appearance by fan-favorite sentient tree Trent and his butt (RIP)—courtesy of publisher First Second Books.