If you read this blog, chances are you already know about Guilded Age, the World of Warcraft-inspired webcomic created by T. Campbell, Phil Kahn (a recent Geek of the Week), and Erica Henderson. Begun as a way to put a spin on common fantasy stereotypes, the comic chronicled the exploits of an unlikely group of adventurers as they made their way through various tasks.
Those early tales are available now in book form in Guilded Age: Volume 1, which brings together the first comics as well as cast biographies and a bonus chapter about Byron Hackenslasher, more commonly known as Byron the Berserker.
Volume 1 details how the adventurers met – there’s Bandit Keynes, a gnome who makes off with more than she bargained for when she steals Syr’Nj’s hat. There’s Byron the Berserker, who is more rational than you would imagine. My favorite is foul-mouthed Frigg Akerfeldt, who taunts enemies, curses everyone out, and kills everything in her path.
Gravedust Deserthammer, a Savasi mystic, is a dwarf with the most badass name ever. Payet Best is an elven bard, singing and impregnating his way through towns. And let’s not forget the wood elf Syr’Nj – it rhymes with “orange” – who can “always do science to it.”
Campbell and Kahn have created distinct, lovable characters in Guilded Age, and this compilation of their first adventures together is one that should grace your shelf – be you a World of Warcraft nerd or just a lover of webcomics. Their off-the-wall humor is balanced with a solid storyline, giving the characters depth while not succumbing to common stereotypes. Fantasy can be funny, it can have a plot, and it can do all this while looking good.
Guilded Age is a comic that’s worth your time and your money – unless, of course, you’ve already spent all of your ralds on booze and wenches.