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Today we’ve got the first of two special podcast episodes we recorded live at this year’s San Diego Comic Con, amid the costumes, the new-movie hype, and the overwhelming euphoria of thousands of fans coming together to collectively geek out. And there is perhaps no one thing that represents the unlikely, hilarious and often beautiful spirit of SDCC than The Adventure Zone. The Adventure Zone, simply put, is a hit podcast which began when three brothers — Justin, Travis and Griffin McElroy — convinced their father, Clint, to join them in a freewheeling game of Dungeons & Dragons. The subsequent campaign has spun out over multiple seasons of the podcast and a hilarious epic was born. Last summer, the McElroys teamed up with comics artist Carey Piestch to release the first graphic novel adaptation of The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins. Now, they’re back with the second installment: Murder on the Rockport Limited. Yes, it’s a murder mystery set on a train. Yes, it’s still Dungeons and Dragons. How? That’s the magic of the Adventure Zone. Joel Cunningham, editor of the B&N Science Fiction and Fantasy blog, sat down with Griffin McElroy and Carey Pietsch for a conversation about how they’ve wrestled this monstrous comic saga onto the page.
In the second Adventure Zone graphic novel (adapted from the McElroy family’s wildly popular D&D podcast), we rejoin hero-adjacent sort-of-comrades-in-arms Taako, Magnus, and Merle on a wild careen through a D&D railroad murder mystery. This installment has a little of everything: a genius child detective, an axe-wielding professional wrestler, a surly wizard, cursed magical artifacts, and a pair of meat monsters.
You know, the usual things you find on a train.
Hot on the heels of “The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins”, the smash hit graphic novel that launched the series, “Murder on the Rockport Limited” picks up the saga where volume 1 left off. Both books are based on “The Adventure Zone,” a tabletop RPG comedy podcast with downloads numbering in the tens of millions and an army of passionately devoted fans. With art and co-adaptation from Carey Pietsch, the McElroys are once again turning their raucous freewheeling D&D campaign into some damn fine comics.