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Forgotten Realms: Sojourn #3

Posted: Friday, August 25, 2006
By: Geoff Collins

Writers: RA Salvatore, Andrew Dabb (Script)
Aritists: Tim Seeley (p), John Lowe and Robert Q Atkins (i), Blond (colors)

Publisher: Devils' Due

Not being a fantasy fan, I was surprised that I really like DDP’s adaptation of R.A. Salvatore’s book Forgotten Realms: Sojourn. In this third issue, the conclusion of the Sojourn story, Drizzt continues to find a home. He stays in one place for a bit, but because of death plaguing him, he has to keep moving. Eventually he settles down, befriends a little girl and faces and defeats the racist bastard that kept noodling his life apart. Having never read the original book, I do not know how the story lines up with the original.

This really was made great by everyone involved, particularly R.A. Salvatore obviously for having written the original story. What I like about the story most are the characters. Salvatore takes the common archetypes found in fantasy and kills them…literally. One of his influences is Shakespeare, which is made apparent with his quickling characters that he keeps killing off quickly and brutally. The quicklings are similar to Puck and the pixies in Midsummer Night’s Dream. In this issue, one of them lies to protect his master, the racist chasing Drizzt. When the racist finds out the truth, he stuffs the quickling in a bag and clubs it against a wall, leaving it in a puddle of blood. There is also a modernized aspect to the story. Rather than everyone being stuck in a Stone Age mindset, only those typical characters, like the racist, are ignorant. Another way of making it more relevant is that Drizzt is the only of his kind, and also black in the literal sense. As he searches for a place to stay, everyone assumes he’s evil because of his species, chasing him away in fear. It is a clear allegory for minorities, or any sub culture, for that matter.

Andrew Dabb scripted a fast paced issue. Most of it is told through captions, presumably taken straight from the book. Each issue has been 48 pages long, but it seems they each could be split down the middle to make two issues. Dabb broke down the story well to make it translate well to shorter installments.

Tim Seeley’s penciling seems idyllic for a fantasy story. There is clear anime influence as Drizzt resembles Sepheroth from Final Fantasy, but there are times where he sets his work apart and goes nuts with the details he adds to each character, many of the bad guys being covered in wrinkles. Open up the book and look at the first panel, a close up of an Orc, to see what I am talking about. Granted, anyone can just throw in wrinkles, but the lines used on each face truly add to the emotion of each character. Though there are some awkward panels and not all of them are detailed, Seeley provides a lot of depth so the artwork doesn’t look two dimensional.

John Lowe and Robert Q Atkins did the inks, which are very prevalent in those highly detailed panels. With the colors added by Blond, it makes for very dimensional artwork. When Drizzt is wandering across the tundra, you feel cold and alone. When there is a tavern lit by fire, the room you’re in feels dim. Fire comes off the page with the art DDP has put together.

Since the dominant narrative carries the story so much, I could not give it . I wish the story could have been stretched out more properly. But since the art was great, and I did like the story as a whole, I have to give it “mad props” with a high . I can’t wait for the next Forgotten Realsm adaptation, and I plan on picking up the original novels.

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