Writing this review was a tricky proposition to me, I have to say. On the one hand, if you’ve already read Dungeon Fun: Book One, then I can’t think of a single reason why you wouldn’t be guaranteed to pick up the second book, regardless of what I say here. It was just that good. And if for some reason you’ve been living in a moat for the last year and somehow missed the Dungeon Fun freight train of awesome, then you’re unlikely to be reading a review of the second issue to figure out if it’s your cup of tea or not (spoiler: it is).
So yeah, basically the only question I need to answer here is a fairly simple one – does Book Two manage to live up to the almost impossibly high expectations of Book One?
Yes, yes it does.
And then some.
Dungeon Fun is about as perfect an example of an ‘all-ages’ comic as you could ever hope to read. Firstly, it’s just flat-out beautiful to look at. If you’re familiar with the previous work of artist Neil Slorance, then you know exactly what to expect. It’s safe to say however that his simplistic yet charming style has never looked better than it does here with his joyously vibrant colours and instantly iconic characters (Frank Baxter in particular is a truly inspired creation, even if his grammatically shaky dialogue does grate ever so slightly).
However, while there’s undeniably a lot of cool stuff going on for the younger readers – monsters, giant spiders, even a foray into toilet humour – writer Colin Bell has crammed this book to the brim with intelligent meta-gags and geeky references. We have nods to Mario, Dungeons & Dragons, television show Knightmare, even a brilliant little reference to one of Neil’s previous titles. The combination of these two creators doing what they do best means that, regardless of your age, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find something to love about Dungeon Fun.
I feel that, in the interests of impartiality, I should at least try to find something to be critical about, but to be honest, the only minor niggle I could find is that – for all its great moments – Book Two lacked the one standout scene that reduced me to air-punching whoops of joy like the “Be… a… Knight!” sequence in Book One. And if that’s the worst thing I can find to say about a title, you pretty much know you’re in safe hands.
Bell and Slorance have created something truly magical here, and the success and acclaim they have received thus far for this title is wholly deserved. It’s an incredibly difficult proposition to land a comic right in the sweet spot between goofy and intelligent, but they’ve once again managed it almost flawlessly, putting together a world that’s jam-packed with fantastically memorable characters, humour, wit, and – most importantly – FUN.
I’m also somewhat proud that I’ve managed to earn myself some bonus points in the ‘Dungeon Fun review drinking game’ by making it the entire way through my review without mentioning Adventure Time.
So yeah, if you’ve already read Dungeon Fun: Book One, you know what to do. And if not? Well, there’s an easy way to fill that void in your life you may not have realised you had until now. Get yourself along to Glasgow Comic Con next weekend, and let Neil and Colin make it all better.
You can thank me later.
Check out some preview artwork of the first six pages of Book Two (click the images to enlarge)
Dungeon Fun: Book Two will make its debut at Glasgow Comic Con 2014 on the 5th and 6th of July
You can also keep up to date on the latest news regarding this title via the DoGooder Comics Website.
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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