Hail, adventurers! Today we will delve into the many journeys in Kyle Fewell‘s series RPG Friends. For those who don’t know, the series is a collection of art and stories based on the idea of fantasy and RPGs (that’S not very hard to discern), more specifically with a video game bend to them. Both volumes are absolutely stunning, and after checking out The Hamburger Prince I knew this purchase wasn’t going to be far behind. Plus, you know your boy loves that risoprint.
Immediately opening the book you find yourself in the midst of a quest featuring a young man who finds himself in over his head with a very high leveled… bird? The story sets the tone for what’s to come next so perfectly. Each of these stories are chock full of whimsy and monsters and grand imagery, but also a humorous/extreme cautionary tale, botched spell, or untimely end. The thing I love about Fewell’s style is that even though many of these stories end in some darkly comedic ways, he doesn’t hold back for beats. He goes full force with every concept he draws whether it’s a character introduction, battle scene, or wise crack and the results speak for themselves.
I love fantasy as a genre, and for some reason the subgenre of humorous fantasy is what really grabs me (and is hardest to find). RPG Friends takes that idea and brings it to a different level with some badass action scenes and some subtle (and hilarious) video game references. There’s something about Kyle’s fantasy designs that provides very specific textures for his creatures and environments that are really stunning. These textures along with Kyle’s mastery of shading create some incredible scenes and palpable movement in the panels.
As the two minicomics go on we see continuous examples of Kyle’s appreciation for the RPG genre, and while nostalgia is clearly a partial fuel for some of these, the originality flows with quests that have gone on for far too long, transformation spells at inopportune times, misused magic, and gods adorned with ABXY buttons.
This is my second experience with Kyle Fewell’s work, and I can honestly say that I am already hungry for more. If you’re a fantasy buff, a video game buff, or a combination the two (guilty) then these are for you. You can find links to physical and digital copies for issue 1 here and for issue 2 here!