2014/05/12

D&D comics history part 26 - Dungeons & Dragons : Fell's Five (IDW)

And here came a neeeeew challeeeengeeeer ! XD

After the financial crash of DDP, in 2010, IDW comics is given the right to issue D&D licensed materials. Their first publication is "number 0" comic that introduce both upcoming series, one ongoing based on D&D world and a DarkSun-based 5-issues limited one.

The ongoing serie will count a total of 16 issues (#0-15) and will be named :

Dungeons & Dragons - Fell's Five

 HC covers

There's lots to say about this serie.
First of all, it's obvious that IDW has a great experience in sale management. With this issue #0, they produced an introduction to a serie, kinda like a trailer, putting in place their pre-order business, but also they developped it as a product to create exclusive collectionable items. The fact is, like other comics publisher, they offered mutiple-covers issues. With this #0, to my knowledge, we're up to a total of 7 variants ! o_O

From left to right: Cover A, B, RI (Retailer Incentive), RE (Retailer Exclusive - Hastings),
Con Exclusive (GEN CON), Con Exclusive (PAX 2010), Con Exclusive (Convention 2010 Edition)
 
After this promotional move, if we could have expected only A & B covers for issue#1, at contrary, IDW will continue and improve their concept by adding to rarity variants, RPG materials issues... o_O

From left to right : Cover A, B, RE (Hastings), RE (Larry's Limited Edition), SP-1 (Module Edition) 

The upcoming republication by IDW of late eighties DC's AD&D series, in which we could read a few pages here and there dedicated to RPG, may be an explanation to the origins of this concept. It's obvious that IDW was showing a real determination to provide its readers a new but also old-school experience.

When all variants of issue #1 contain the character sheet of the main hero, only the module edition is enriched with 6 pages of the role-playing adventure based on the story telled in the issue.


Only 3 issues of the serie have their module edition :
SP-1 Bad Day, SP-2 Hide in Plain Sight & SP-11 It goes Horribly Right
We could have expected more, in terms of module-issues but also in contents. These playing adventures include descriptions text with some basic area maps and monsters/characters stats... which is mainly raw materials dedicated to dungeon masters. But well, better that than nothing heh ! :)

In addition to these variants, a single issue containing the covers done by Wayne Reynolds will be edited.



The whole serie will be compiled in HC then in TPB (3 volumes each) and finally in a 49$ HC omnibus of 424 pages containing all the issues as well as extra such as found in module editions but also an art gallery? (I don't own this version so I suppose it could be the Wayne Reynolds arts or even every variant covers art)

The first TPB has been published in France, in august 2011, by Milady under the name : 1. Le Fleau des Ombres. It seems the rest will never be edited, sadly.



Considering the story and the art, I have just to say that it's been a delightful surprise. First of all, we're not into some (re)adaptation of a D&D best selling novel... and if DDP did some great stuff there, it was time to get some new stuff to read. IDW successed here, and that has to be said.

The main artist is Andrea Di Vito and his work is just of really good quality. His characters are well-drawn, having understandable and credible expressions. The movements as well as the choice of the shots and the pages construction are totally fitting the needs of the action.

For the story, we have writer John Rogers in charge. It's been ages since I've last laughed reading a D&D inspired comic... and his story as well as his characters just made it. We're following the adventures of a bunch of sympathic (but somehow powerful) losers... an amusing (almost) antiheroes band. I am pretty fond of Bree, the rogue... who's just the perfect definition of a lovely lil smart & sarcastic bastard. <3




Well, in conclusion, I'd say that, with this serie,  IDW did manage to successfully renew the D&D comics line. When DDP was more into "serious" fantasy, the most often illustrating stories from the official D&D novels (which are for the most written in classic fantasy style), IDW regenerated the funny D&D universe. (once more the parallel with the DC series is really tempting). If I could dare some weird references comparisons, DDP succeded in Tolkien-inspired D&D adaptation when IDW did it on Willow-inspired one. And for the oldschool D&D players that loved to spend nights around a table with friends, for whom the success of an adventure was far more into the fun they got than the XP on their character sheet, this is totally in the spirit.

VO_ov

2014/05/08

D&D comics history part 25 - Dragonlance Legends (DDP)

In 2008, DDP started to publish its final serie based on D&D universe :

Dragonlance Legends 


Following the books by Weis & Hickman, the plot takes place after the Dragonlance Chronicles. DDP was only able to produced the first 3 issues due to their financial problems. These have been compiled in a TPB version (november 2008) under the same name of the first novel : Time of the Twins.

As for the Chronicles, the apdatation is done by Andrew Dabb.
Pencils by David Cole, colors by Adam Chong & Et Cetera and lettering by Crank! & Charles Pritchett.

When the novel was kinda dark, depicting the events that will lead the Majere brothers to fight eachother to decide the future of their world, I have to say that I was somehow disappointed in the art treatment reserved to such a story. Some pages seem to be colored draft, considering the corpses & faces' proportions or their "flatness" and what to say about the facial expressions... erf... well... it's not a really good graphic novel adaptation according to my tastes...




But on other hand, it's not the worst D&D-licenced graphic novel we read... we could have just hoped that another team would have taken in charge the graphics of the following issues... anyway, that was the last TPB of the D&D adventure that DDP ever published and we can imagine the quality is as good as the time & money they were willing to give to the artists... 

-_-;

2011/05/15

D&D comics history part 24 - The Worlds of D&D (DDP)

In february 2008, Devil's Due started to release a new line of comics based on D&D license :  The Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons

 
 
The serie will ends the same year with the publishing of the 7th issue due to DDP's bad financial management. 
2 TPB will be released. The first one compiles the first 2 volumes of the serie with the single issue Eye of the Wolf and the second tome, the issues 3 to 5.
Issues 6 & 7 will never been compiled in TPB.

The serie in its whole is a melting pot of short novels based on different D&D settings as Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Ravenloft, Eberron or Dark Sun, each story being developped by its own writers and artists.



First story is entitled Dark Mirror and is set in the Forgotten Realms.
Written by famous R.A. Salvatore,  its art is done by Rafael Kayanan.
It s been published in 2 parts in the issues 1 & 2.

It s a short story of the ûber-famous drow Drizzt Do'Urden involved in the rescue of kidnapped villagers while he s on his way to Lady Alustriel's. He will then hunt a goblin named Nojheim who fled the fight. Later, he ll discover that the goblin is in fact the slave of Rico, the big guy of the village...

 

Everything in this short is just amazing. The plot, the narrating, the art, all fits perfectly Drizzt's world.

The original story was released in the 1993 anthology Realms of Valor, edited by James Lowder.

The style is dark and sharp as is the story. Artist Rafael Kayanan, helped by Lovern Kindzierski for the coloring created a masterpiece here.



In the second story entitled The Legacy and based on Dragonlance setting, published as well in 2 parts in the first 2 issues, we re following Palin Majere, son of Caramon and nephew of the greatest mage Raistlin.

The story is based on a part of the novel The Second Generation by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickmann. The events depicted take place years after the War of the Lance and start the era known as the Fifth Age.
It relates the adventure of Palin at the Palanthas' Tower of High Sorcery where he will travel through the magical portal that leads to the domain of Thakisis, the evil goddess, where his uncle, the archmage Raistlin, is held prisoner...


Besides the good narrating, I am not a great fan of the art by Javier Aranda mixed with the coloring by Chris Summers... Imo, the colors are far too bright and the chara design is a bit childish considering the story.



The third story is entitled Elminster at the Magefair and has been released in 2 parts in issues 3 & 4.
Written by Ed Greenwood and adapted by Jeff Grubb, this adventure of the most famous archmage of the Forgotten Realms has been put on paper by Juanfran Moyano (colors by Malti Verma).


Somehow closed to the spirit of the TSR Limited Editions, we have here a funny adventure of Elminster and his "bodyguard" Storm Silverhand at the magefair (kind of wizardry convention).

As "Dark Mirror", it was originally compiled in the anthology Realms of Valor.

The art is pretty decent and the narrating is just hilarious, as one could expect considering the main character...



4th story is based on Ravenloft setting.
Released in issue 3, it s entitled The Rigor of the Game.

This very short story (only 20 pages... sadly !) is a real masterpiece for a bunch of reasons. It is the first comic adaptation based on Ravenloft setting.

Ravenloft, also known as the Demiplane of Dread, is not a common D&D world.
It exists in parallel with the other worlds and has no definitive frontiers. The border of the world in engulfed in a mystical mist. This mist can appear in any other D&D world to draw any evil character into the demiplane.
Ravenloft is divided into Domains that are ruled by Darklords, who were powerful damned characters in other worlds and who are now imprisoned within, where they suffer their torments for eternity. Most famous Darklords are the vampire Strahd von Zarovich, the lich Azalin and the death knight Lord Soth.

In this story, we re following a certain Arkwright (Oliver), a gambler with an extraordinary luck who will have to play dice against the doomed Lord soth...

Lord Soth, known as the Knight of the Black Rose, great villain of the Dragonlance setting was once Lord Loren Soth of Dargaard Keep. Doomed to undead curse by his last wife he murdered for a presumed infidelity while he should have been saving Krynn from the Cataclysm, he was taken by the mist of Ravenloft during the events of the Blue Lady's War as he was fighting with his servant Caradoc who betrayed him. Once in the Demiplane of Dread, after a stay in the Domain of Barovia ruled by Strahd, he got granted his own domain, Sithicus, the land of spectres.

The plot here takes place in an inn named the Iron Warden.

 

It is adapted from the story of the same name published in the novel anthology The Tales of Ravenloft. It has been written and adapted by James Lowder himself who has written most of the novels featuring Soth.
The artist is the great Tim Seeley and Lizzy John is in charge of the coloring.

The visual render is spectacular, perfectly fitting the dark gothic atmosphere of the setting.



A Stone's Throw Away, 5th story of this anthology, released in 2 parts in issues 4 & 5, depicts the incidents involving the kender Tasslehoff Burrfoot as he got in his possession (heh...) a magical ring and confronted the Magus, a poweful necromancer.

The Story, originally written for Dragon Magazine #85 (1984), set in Dragonlance, is from Roger E. Moore and adapted by Stan.

Artist is Javier Aranda, assisted by Andrew Elder for the coloring.


As anything involving a kender, and especially Tas, the narrating is hilarious as it becomes more and more Murphy-ish. It reminds me of the lost TSR Limited Edition "The Unity of Ring" as for the plot as for the humor.

About the art, I have to say that if I have been disappointed by J. Aranda on his previous D&D work, this time it s pretty ok. The only remark is about the coloring here. Apparently A. Elder opted for a dominance of red or blue, and imo, it s a bit "too-much"...

But well, in its whole it s a very nice and entertaining work we have here.



6th story, based on Eberron setting and entitled The Weight of Water, went out in issue 5. Written by Ed Bolme, adapted by Chad Rebmann. Art by Eric J. and colors by Rob Ruffolo.


This is a strange story of a conflict between 2 armies, one from Karrnath (in red), and the other from Aundair (in blue).
The troups of Karrnath, following the orders of some female necromancer, are attacking caravans under the protection of Aundair. A monk from Aundair named Teron is sent with the army to discover why the caravans are disappearing and to solve the problem.

In the end, it s more a fairy tale with some moral of the story. The whole looks like a chess game.

The story first went out in the Eberron anthology The Tales of the Last War, released in 2006.

The art is decent but the style reminds me of late 90's comics.
It s the second time Eberron is adapted into comic but the plot could have been set anywhere else imo...
Note also that this is the last Worlds of D&D story compiled in TPB.



In Raistlin and the Knight of Solamnia, 7th story that appears in issue 6, we re back in Dragonlance.
The artist Javier Aranda and colorist Alejandro Torres give us some decent work on this adaptation by Paul D. Storrie of a novel from writers Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickmann.

The original novel was released in the anthology Tales of Dragonlance II, vol. 3 The War of the Lance.
The plot takes place just after Raistlin successfully passed his test to become a mage. Seeking for a job, Raistlin and his brother Caramon are spending a moment in some inn when they got accosted by a Kender named Earwig Lockpicker who claims to be friend of Tasslehoff... Then a knight of Solmania and his family enters the inn...
This will lead the companions and the knight to some haunted ruins they have to uncurse to earn some gold...


Following the principle of having a short story that focus on a specific aspect of the D&D setting (here, the mistrust between Knights and Mages) this story do the job, no more no less. Just another short novel fairly adapted.



The 8th story is far more interesting as it is set in Dark Sun.
Entitled Hunt's End, it s the first comic adaptation ever in this setting.

Adapted by Andrew Dabb, this story, written by Rudy Thauberger, is drawn by Chris Steininger and colored by Joseph Baker.

To my knowledge, R. Thauberger originally wrote it for Dragon Magazine 220 (august 95).

Dark Sun is a setting born in 1991 featuring a post-apocalyptic world name Athas.
Long ago it was a luxuriant planet that has been stripped of its natural richness by the excessive use of the power known as defiling magic. Now, it s mostly a desertic world with oasis here and there and some major cities ruled by the Sorcerer-Kings.
The rarity of metal is so that most of weapons are made of wood, bones or obsidian. Most of the races developped psionist abilities to be able to survive in this deadly environment. Athas also counts unique playable races as the Thri-Kreen (mantis men) or Aarakocra (bird men).

Here, we re following a halfling outcast named Tanok and his two thri-kreen companions K'rt & Rr'k hunting down a caravan of Templars of the Sorcerer-King of Draj, city-state in the northeastern area of the Tyr Region. (Draj is an Aztec-inspired state btw)


Colorist Joseph Baker did a great job here, rendering the impression of dryness by using a nice panel of yellows and browns.
Steininger's "jagged" style fits nicely the raw brutality of the story.
Note that in 2011, IDW Publishing will release a 5 comics story based on Dark Sun.



9th story, The Great Hunt, that went out in nov. 08 in the7th and last issue of The Worlds of D&D is based on the Forgotten Realms setting.
It s been written and adapted by the well-known Elaine Cunningham. The art is by Jose Aviles and coloring by Kenneth Loh.


It s another story about a hunt... this time orcs, followers of Malar the Beastlord, hunting elves of Tethyr's forest during the War of Reclamation. But against all odds, the orcs have to fight a powerful enemy, the moon elf and crime lord Elaith Craulnober who s escorting the half-elf princess Arilyn Moonblade. These two will cause difficulties to the hunters...

Elaine Cunningham originally wrote this short for issue 246 of Dragon magazine (1998).

It s a nice story, with rare speach bubbles. The style and coloring are pretty ok.
There is no much to say as it s just a "slice of life" in the end...



10th and last story is entitled Definitions of Honor.
Written and adapted by Richard A. Knaak, it has been drawn by Pat Quinn and colored by Joseph Baker.


Set in Dragonlance, we re following a young solamnic knight named Torbin seeking for some glory. Arriving at Dragon's Point, a little village of fishers, he s asked to get rid of a minotaur who s terrorizing the inhabitants.
But the minotaur turns out to be not that evil threat he was described as...

The story is taken from the anthology "Kender, Gully Dwarves, and Gnomes" that went out in 1987 and that compiles 10 short stories.

The art is pretty decent. The colors are a bit drab, almost pastel and offer the reader a strange but not unpleasant atmosphere.



In 10 short stories, DDP gives us a nice insight of the different D&D settings.
The parallel with TSR Limited Editions is obvious.
Imo, the redundant feeling that comes out in all these stories is the sense of the absurd in different situations. I tend to think this was the base of reflexion of DDP staff when they had to choose what to adapt.

This anthology is a success. If some of the stories are just so-so, the quality of work in the whole worth it.

°_°

2011/05/08

D&D comics history part 23 - Eye of the Wolf (DDP)

In august 2006, DDP released a single issue based on Eberron's settings entitled :
  Eye of the Wolf


Story written by Keith Baker, art by Chris Lie (founder of Caravan Studio) and colors by Rob Ruffolo.

It s an interesting piece for many reasons.

It is the first comic ever which story takes place in Eberron (city of Sharn here).
Eberron is a setting born in 2002 from the imagination of K.Baker.
It is somehow similar to the Forgotten Realms but with a heavy laddle of steampunk. DDO (Dungeons & Dragons Online), the MMORPG that went out too in 2006 is also based on this setting.

In this single issue's short story, we re following the captain Greykell Ir'Ryc narrating the events that made her acquire the Eye of the Wolf, a powerful artifact. 

If the story is well-written, the atmosphere in the whole is pretty serious. Some could be disappointed in this lack of humor.
It's the first D&D comic that DDP released that was not a novel adaptation and they could have started some innovation in narrating...

The graphics are very good, as is the coloring. The dusty depiction could have fit a novel based on Dark Sun... but fits perfectly the needs of this story.
The only remark I could make on the art is about the rigid and static "posing" of the characters... but in the whole it s a very nice issue.


In 2008, DDP will start publishing short stories based on the different D&D settings under the comics line The Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons.
Eye of the Wolf will be part of the first TPB compilation.

o_O

2011/05/04

Last Updates

I finally received the Marvel Special Summer '87 !! I updated the post about D&D animation-linked comics with a lil review of the issue and some scans : 


Enjoy !

O_oV

--------------
I somehow mixed up the date of DDP's releases and in order to respect a certain chronology based on publication, I renamed part 20 (Legend of Drizzt) and 21 (Dragonlance chronicles) as 21 & 22.
Part 20 being now used for The Legend of Huma.
(Tho the addresses still show the old numbers heh... XD)
Therefore, order in "Definitive List" has also been updated.

2011/05/01

D&D comics history part 20 - The Legend of Huma (DDP)

Adapted from the novel by Richard A. Knaak, The Legend of Huma (based on D&D's DragonLance settings) released in 6 issues from jan. 2004 to oct. 2005 by Devil's Due Publishing (and compiled in TPB in 2007) depicts the adventures of Huma Dragonbane, young Knight of Solamnia, who will be later known as hero of the Third Dragon War.


The story takes place around 1300 years before the War of the Lance (events depicted in the famous trilogy "The Dragonlance Chronicles").
The comic is not covering the entire novel, ending in midstream and leading the reader to get the book from Knaak to know the denouement.
Interesting way of getting people to reading heh.

A bunch of artists worked on this serie, and uncommon fact (or not ? -> am not comics specialist heh XD) is that even in the same issue pages can be drawn by different pencillers.
Mike S. Miller worked on issues 1 & 2 and the 12 first pages of 3rd issue in collaboration with Rael Lyra (who will also work on the first 8 pages of 4th issue).
Mike Crowell did the pages 14-17 of 3rd issue and Joe Prado p.13 and p.18-22.
Abdul Rashid drew the pages 9 to 15 of issue 4 and Carlos Paul p.16 to 22.
Issue 5 was done entirely by Andrea Di Vito.
6th and last issue by Steve Kurth. (Who will work on the 2 first volumes of the Dragonlance Chronicles).

 Pages from issues 1 & 2 by Miller & Lyra
 
 Issue 3 - by Prado                              Issue 4 - by Paul

Even if the styles of the artists is obviously different from one to another, the reader doesn t suffer a really brutal visual change from a chapter to another, excepting, imo, the last issue which inking is very pastel compared to the rest of the work.

Issue 6 - by Kurth

I believe that the quality of the serie will convince Hasbro to grant DDP the full D&D license who will allow the publisher to start working on other settings as Forgotten Realms, Eberron or even Ravenloft.

Now, I can t stop wondering on the choice of DDP to adapt this D&D novel amongts the hundreds released.
It s an interesting story, no doubt, and very epic in the end... but having read dozens of D&D novels, I would not consider it as a must-to-read compared to the rest. More, only DragonLance fans would have heard of Huma, which is, in term of sales, a risky adventure DDP decided to undertake... The ways of Devil's due are unpredictable heh...

Anyway, the comic itself is a great realization and marks the evolution of D&D comics line.

o_O

2011/04/30

D&D comics history part 22 - Dragonlance Chronicles (DDP)

In parallel of the publication of The Legend of Drizzt, DPP started to release in late 2005 the Dragonlance Chronicles. The story, based on the trilogy of the same name by famous writers Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman is adapted here by Andrew Dabb.


An adaptation of the story in comics has been already done in late 80's under the title "The Dragonlance Saga". But when the DC graphic novels covered the 2 first volumes of the trilogy, DDP fully released the whole story in a total of 24 issues. (that went out with 2 different covers according to DDP policy)
DDP will later release 4 TPB for the whole serie :
Dragons of Autumn Twilight (combining 8 issues), Dragons of Winter Night (4 issues), Dragons of Spring Dawning part 1 (6 issues) and part 2 (6 issues also). 

Note that this serie also will be translated into french and published under TPB by Milady.

First volume is mainly done by Steve Kurth (except the 6th issue by Stefano Raffaele), as well as second one. The visual changes in art from a chapter to another come mainly from the inkers' styles imo. 

 by S.Kurth                                             by S.Raffaele

Then S.Kurth abandoned DDP for Marvel and a bunch of artists were recruited to draw the 2 parts-3rd volume of the serie.
Julius M.Gopez will work on issues 1, 2, 5 & 9, Mariano de la Torre on 3rd one, Pere Perez on issues 4, 6, 8, 10, 11 & 12 and Oscar Jimenez on 7th one.

The styles are very different from an issue to another in the last 2 volumes and
the reader could easily get disappointed jumping from a chapter to the next...
This is obviously the result of DDP's catastrophic money management... Kurth was doing a really great job but noone can t bear a grudge against him to have migrated to better horizons...

by M.De La Torre                       by J.M Gopez                       by P.Perez     

But even, imo, the serie in its whole is still a must-to-have.

I personaly just regret that artists Pere Perez and Mariano De La Torre worked on the serie as their styles, bit too simplistic and far too "clean" compared to other ones do not fit the rest of the work... but well... what has been done s been done heh...
At least DDP managed to finish this trilogy and started the following one : Dragonlance Legends.

O_o

Dungeons & Dragons vintage treasures - part 6

In 1983, Marvel published 2 little storybooks under the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons trademark.
These are entitled The Forest of Enchantment and The Treasure of Time.

In The Forest of Enchantment, a young elven bard named Caruso survives an encounter with evil lizard men who are invading his forest while he was just having peaceful time...
With the help of his friend, the elven druid Filaree, they get information from Figgen of the Thieves' Guild that the army of lizard men is under the orders of Warduke who is planning to rob the Ruby of the Seven Suns which is carried by a certain Princess Mirra, whose caravan will cross through the forest the next day.
They also learn that the evil wizard Kelek has joined Warduke.
Back in the forest, stupid Caruso is made prisoner by the villains and guarded by evil thief Foxfingers. But with some luck, he manages to free himself in the morning while the Princess' party, composed of an escort of 6 horsemen, Mirra herself and her hand-maiden Bess, arrived in the forest.
At the moment of the assault, the villains got disturbed by the druid (who was hiding under a tree form all night...) and our stupid bard. Swift, the druid cast a Plant Growth spell and the bad guys got entangled.
And everything ends fine... heh.

Click image to download (.pdf)


In The Treasure of Time, Kelek the bad bad wizard is spying the good magic-user Charmay who is helding a scroll leading to "The Treasure of Time"... Kelek manages to fool her and get the scroll.
On his way back, Kelek avoids the attack of the good dwarf fighter Elkhorn with the unexpected help of Charmay who still under his charm.
Elkhorn will then seek the help of the good paladin Strongheart and they will start to investigate at Charmay's. With a magic mirror they discover that Kelek was willing to use the powerful spell. But Kelek was also watching the good party with a crystal ball... and he orders the bad bad orc assassin Zarak to stop them.
On the way to Kelek's, Elkhorn got attacked by poisonous snakes and Zarak engages a fight with Strongheart. After the defeat of the villains, they finally reach a ruined castle in which they manages to find the chest containing the Treasure of Time. But Kelek was waiting for the companions and traps them with some spells. That time, Charmay, free of Kelek's charm, arrives at the castle and order Kelek to not open the chest... but well... villains being villains, Kelek opens it and absorbs the power which makes him become young again.
In a try to attack the party Kelek discovers that if he has lost his old age he also lost his knowledge and powers ! Charmay then takes back the scroll and let the crying wizard alone. End of story.

Click image to download (.pdf)

I scanned and compiled the entire books in 2 pdf documents. Just click on pics to download. Enjoy !!
O_oV

2011/03/19

Last Updates

Added 4 pics as well as an exhaustive list of the titles of the AD&D serie. 
(with dates of publication, main authors, notes, trivia...)
Enjoy !

2011/03/13

D&D comics history special - D&DC (animated serie) related

Before the first comics related to D&D RPG were issued by american publishers, european ones did published some based on the D&D animated serie.

The first serie ever published (according to my actual knowledge), adapting all the 27 episodes of the cartoon, is spanish, entitled :

"Dungeons & Dragons - Dragones y Mazmorras

(DyM means D&D in spanish). It has been issued by Comics Forum, division of Editorial Planeta De Agostini from 1985 to 1986.


 The serie is not following the episodes order of the cartoon.
For instance, the first issue "El Ojo del Vigilante" is the adaptation of the second episode "The Eye of the Beholder", as well as the second title, "El Valle de los Unicornios", is the version of the episode 4 of the serie 'Valley of the Unicorns", and so on and so forth. (weird when you know that the spanish dubbed version of the serie - broadcast on tve channel - respected the original episodes order...)

Considering these have been printed in mid-80's, the graphics are pretty good.
Based on a weekly release, when a certain Efepé is in charge of the script, the artist is different from an issue to the next. (and so is the quality)

Here is the list of artists who worked on the serie :
Pascual Ferry (All covers, 1, 10, 14, 16, 20, 27)
Francisco Javier Montes (2, 7, 15, 18, 22)
Juan Bernet Toledano (3, 9, 13, 23)
Eloy Garijo Casajuana (4, 8, 11, 17, 24)
Bernardo Serrat Garcia (5)
Ramon Gonzales (12, 19, 21, 25)

 
     by P.Ferry                        by B.S.Garcia                    by E.G.Casajuana


   by F.J.Montes                    by R.Gonzales                      by J.B.Toledano

In my opinion, the whole serie is a success. First of all, the quality is here, then the complete serie was published, which is not so common considering D&D comics history. Now (as far as I know) it is in spanish only, no adaptation of the whole serie being done in another language. We can still hope for some reissue someday... (IDW is actually republishing the TPB version of DC Forgotten Realms... who knows heh)


Tho, next year, Marvel published :

Dungeons & Dragons Annual 1987

Here is an interesting use of copyrights. The annual is a hardcover book including a comic divided in 3 parts between which are short novels and puzzle games, all related to D&D cartoon show. (FYI, D&D annual 1986 was a children's book containing 7 short novels and 1 labyrinth game)


Now the amazing fact about this 1987 annual, despite the fact there is no mention anywhere in the book, is that the comic is the translated version of "El Ojo del Vigilante", first issue of the spanish serie. 
Strangely, here the story is entitled "The Eye of the Watchman".
I believe this is due to the translation process.
As well, the entire story suffers from a poor english. 
Printed in Italy, I do believe the translators were not native english speakers...


You can find the entire scanned version of this book (as well as 1986 one) on Dungeons & Dragons cartoon encyclopedia, the blog by Rogull72.


In the same vein, the same year, Marvel released :
 
Dungeons & Dragons Summer Special

This Marvel Summer Special 1987 is the translated version of "Prisión Sin Paredes", issue 4 of Dragones y Mazmorras (that went out in 1985).

    
Contrary to the Marvel Annual, this issue contains only the comic.
If there is no title on cover, it appears on the first page (which follows 2 pages of introduction, kind of summary of the animation's opening). As expected it takes up the title of the corresponding TV episode "A prison Without Walls".


I have to disagree with Zakiyah on the quality of the art. Especially when she said on her page (which no longer exists actually) that Annual's one was so awful and that this Summer Special's is decent... I tend to think the exact opposite. The adaptation of the spanish comic in this US format is a real shame for a bunch of reasons. The printing is of a very poor quality, the inking badly done. (Have a look at Dungeon Master in both pics and compare...)
The framing is just a joke... I let the margins on both scans for a comparing.
And translation... just as bad as it was in the Annual...
None of the onomatopoeia has been remade... just wondering since when "í" (inversed "!") is used in english XD... And icing on the cake... XD XD XD... they forgot to clean up some bubbles before putting translated text in...

yes si master amo !                             who...what ¿?¿

But well, even considering all these fails... this issue is still a must-to-have for any D&D comics collector.... pretty rare and so... vintage heh XD
A priori, no other translated version of Dragones y Mazmorras were published.
But here, in France, a strange adaptation of the episode "The Valley of the Unicorns" was issued. It is from 1987 (feb/mar release), by Editions de la page blanche and is simply entitled :

Le Sourire du Dragon - Donjons & Dragons

Le Sourire du Dragon being the title of the animated serie in France when broadcast on Antenne 2 channel.
(The license Donjons & Dragons was already existing in France that period... so I am wondering why the serie got entiltled differently... copyrights issue ? Desire to avoid any controversy ?)
Now on first page we have the title of the story : La vallée des Licornes
(No need I translate that heh...)


It is not really a copy of the spanish version. Just something else. 
The artist seems to be a certain Eugster according to the signature on first page and last frame. The graphics are on the whole awful but some pages denote a certain artistic sense (at least a very colorful one heh). Now my interrogation is to know if this comic got inspired by the spanish version or if both their layouts result from the cartoon sketchbook/celluloids.
(I ll watch the episode in near future to get an idea)
As a pic is worth a thousand words, here are the 2 first pages of the comic followed by the 2 first pages of the DyM issue for an insight :



As written on the cover, this is issue n°1. I have searched for other ones but found nothing yet. I so can t assure it is the only existing issue in this serie but it is highly probable.

Heh, here ya are, Nostalgia ! :P

PS : If you, oh reader, have any info about a non listed D&D animated serie-related comic, please feel free to contact me !

O_oV