If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.
Comics

The Adventure Zone Vol. 4 is Coming: How to Get on the Battle Wagon Now

Whether you are an Adventure Zone fan or looking to get into the series, I welcome you heartily and cannot wait to begin this journey.

If you’re here, you’re probably already a fan of The Adventure Zone, and may I say “Hail and Well Met” to you all. For anyone who opened this thinking, “Maybe I should get into this New York Times triple best-selling graphic novel,” I welcome you heartily and cannot wait for you to begin this journey.

A quick recap: The Adventure Zone (TAZ for short) began as a podcast including three brothers and their Dad exploring comedy and storytelling through a loosely played version of Dungeons and Dragons. Your DM and best friend Griffin McElroy is the storyteller that brings to life a world for Justin, Travis, and Clint to play in. In this story you’ll meet a sassy and egotistical flip Wizard named Taako, and a headstrong quick to rush in Fighter/Rogue named Magnus Burnsides, and a truthful yet forgetful Cleric named Merle Highchurch. Fans everywhere attached themselves to these characters, including the eventual graphic novel co-adaptor Carey Pietsch. The story evolved and Griffin’s weaving of narrative with his band of unforgettable NPCs, the 69 episode long campaign swept thousands of podcast listeners away.

So of course, it had to be brought to life visually.

Carey Pietsch has now illustrated for Here There Be Gerblins (Vol. 1), Murder on the Rockport Limited (Vol. 2), and Petals to the Metal (Vol. 3), each of which has hit New York Times best seller status. The love and care that Carey and her evolving team of creatives put into adapting this series is unmatched. Comic creation truly takes a village. The third book had some great talents working on it, including lettering from Tess Stone, flatting from Megan Brennan, Ensley Chau, Leigh Davis, Suzanne Geary, Luke Healy, Hien Pham, and Cassandra Tassoni.

If you’re interested in the process of how to bring an audio medium into a printed book, watch their panel including book editor Alison Wilgus, Carey and the McElroys (they come in at 33:10). You’ll get some great behind the scenes insight on how the team chooses what pieces of the podcast to keep without losing too much of the flavor/humor of the story, and the challenges of working within a page count. Bonus, you’ll get to see some preliminary sketches from Carey that may only be legible to her.

One of the joys of being a fan of the McElroy podcasts is you can catch Carey sliding in goofs from their other podcast “My Brother, My Brother and Me.” She can truly capture the essence of the McElroys in every page and it is appreciated by fans everywhere.

So Let’s Talk Book Three: Petals to the Metal

Unless-Unless-the-adventure-zone.jpg
Peepums-the-adventure-zone.jpg

This book has the privilege of not needing a ton of exposition in the front end, so we get to jump right into Taako, Magnus, and Merle's next adventure. In this case, it's finding the Gaia Sash for The Director of the Bureau of Balance, before it and its user destroys the town of Goldcliff.

I found this arc to be one of the more challenging ones to follow on the podcast because it needed to describe so many different battle wagons and the actions of flying/jumping/drowning during the high octane race that ensued. Imagine high-fantasy Mad Max. Translating this to a visual medium solved that for me. I was able to see each of the wagons and their eventual demise and also see the introduction of none other than extra cool Garyl the Binicorn. This was also the first book to make me cry from how touching the end was to take in visually, but I won’t spoil that for you. It’s a romance you need to experience.

The amount of jokes from this arc are endless, with Merle flirting with massive vines overtaking a building to the dismay of his real-life sons, the unfortunate pantsing of Magnus in the fantasy elevator, and the return of fan favorite character G’nash from Book 1. However, we do get one of Taako’s greatest and more serious lines in this chapter, which has since become a fan favorite.

What We Have to Look Forward to in Book 4: Crystal Kingdom

The-Hunger-the-adventure-zone.jpg

There are a lot of important characters being introduced in this arc, including Lucas Miller, a genius scientist who has a relationship to the Bureau of Balance that is somewhat unclear and is in desperate need of saving during this chapter, NO-3113 (pronounced Noelle), a helpful robot that accompanies Taako, Magnus, and Merle through Lucas’ Lab, and Upsy, one of Lucas’ early creations that in descriptions is a nightmarishly friendly talking elevator. (Griffin has a thing for fantasy elevators.) Not to be outdone, we’ll also meet Kravitz who plays a very important role in Taako’s journey through the rest of the Balance storyline.

What we did get a very small taste of in Petals to the Metal was the “phenomenon” with all the eyeballs, and the first introduction of the “red robes.” We’ll begin to see more and more of these in future books, and I am so excited to see how each of these entities evolve. Emotions will continue to run high, and equally so, Tres Horny Boys will continue to stumble their way through Griffin’s puzzles.

Have I hooked you? If so, you can pick up the first set of graphic novels from Bookshop here. The Adventure Zone: Crystal Kingdom comes out next summer. If you can’t wait until then, you can listen to the podcast version of it at McElroy.family or wherever you find podcasts. To get even more McElroys make sure to tune in to the NYCC x MCM Metaverse panel, The Adventure Zone Graphic Novel - The Crystal Kingdom.

Unlock the entire Metaverse with a Membership

Become a member and get first access to tickets and badges to our events, photo ops, exclusive video content, and more.

Read about memberships Activate a membership

About the Author

Rhiannon Gupta

Staff Writer

Rhiannon is a podcast and video game junkie, working in marketing for the PAX shows at ReedPop. When she’s not working, you can find her in the kitchen using her baking proficiency to feed everyone in her radius. You can follow her on twitter @bakerhi.

Comics articles

  • Image for NYCC 2021 | Putting Butts in Seats: From Wrestling to Comics with Tony Schiavone!
    Premium access

    NYCC 2021 | Putting Butts in Seats: From Wrestling to Comics with Tony Schiavone!

    Join legendary professional wrestling announcer Tony Schiavone as he discusses the evolution of his new Source Point Press graphic novel BUTTS IN SEATS: THE TONY SCHIAVONE STORY with team members including comic writer Dirk Manning editor Drena Jo and head of talent relations Mike Dockins. Tony Schiavone will also be participating in a special Team BUTTS IN SEATS signing engagement at the Source Point Press booth on the convention floor, check their schedule for details!

    Comics

    1

  • Image for NYCC 2021 | @Superhero IRL: The Hero is YOU
    Premium access

    NYCC 2021 | @Superhero IRL: The Hero is YOU

    Join @SuperheroIRL to celebrate the epicenter of heroism: YOU! This annual, fan favorite panel features ways you can build resilience & impact the planet for good, like the stories we crave. End bullying, become heroes of #Inclusion for #women #LGBTQIA+ #BIPOC — and rule your own Heroic Journey. “Pop Culture Hero Coalition is turning fantasy into the real world with justice and heroism.” CBS NEWS

    Comics
  • Image for NYCC 2021 | Wellness for Geeks Who Sit
    Premium access

    NYCC 2021 | Wellness for Geeks Who Sit

    Are you a gamer, writer, cosplayer, artist, or simply someone who spends a lot of time sitting at a desk? This workshop is designed to help you with those aches and pains that we develop from being hunched over the latest armor build or beating the final boss. You will leave with new skills in your health arsenal including mobility stretches, strength movements, and even a few nutritional tips. Note: This is a seated movement workshop tailored with various body types in mind.

    Comics
  • Image for NYCC 2021 | Z2 Comics Presents: Bring the Noise- Chuck D and Anthrax

    NYCC 2021 | Z2 Comics Presents: Bring the Noise- Chuck D and Anthrax

    30 years after this landmark collaboration brought together the worlds of rock and rap music, Chuck D of Public Enemy and the classic Anthrax lineup find themselves reunited in an all-new medium, determined to make history again with the releases of their respective graphic novel debuts. Join hip hop and comics historian Patrick Reed, Z2’s Josh Bernstein, Chuck D, and members of Anthrax for what will surely be the can’t miss panel of the convention, with a look back at their musical collaboration, as well as insight into the creative process behind the Apocalypse 91 and Among the Living graphic novels.

    Comics

Latest articles

  • Image for NYCC 2021 | Cospositivity: Fitness & Body Love in the Cosplay Community
    Premium access

    NYCC 2021 | Cospositivity: Fitness & Body Love in the Cosplay Community

    Hosted by Heather Boddy. The cosplay community should be a safe space for people of all shapes and sizes. Unfortunately that is not always the case. Of course we want to feel amazing strong and empowered in our cosplays but that doesn’t mean we have to beat ourselves up at the gym to look like the character we are cosplaying. In this panel we will discuss how to fall in love with fitness and channel your inner superhero as well as what it means to love yourself throughout the process. Cosplay and fitness should both feel empowering. Let’s have a conversation about how to feel better in our bodies in and out of cosplay.

    Cosplay
  • Image for NYCC 2021 | What a Drag! A Panel on drag and cosplay!
    Premium access

    NYCC 2021 | What a Drag! A Panel on drag and cosplay!

    From Video Games to Comics Anime and more come explore a world where Drag meets Cosplay! This inclusive panel of queens kings and everything in between will be having an open discussion about cosplaying their favorite characters through the queer lens as well as challenges we face melding the two artforms together within the industry of drag.
 We'll touch on a range of topics including our favorite cosplays how we create our performances and creating art that honors source materials while also being culturally responsible and avoiding cultural appropriation. We believe that drag and cosplay are for everyone and that there is so much both communities can teach each other about their respective art forms in order to help everyone grow as transformation artists. So come with your questions (even those filled with tea or shade!) and let’s talk about nerdy drag! Moderated by Crimson Kitty (Mx. Nerd NY 2018) and special guest Erika Klash

    Cosplay

    1

  • Image for NYCC 2021 | SHEPROP! HAS YOUR BACK: Supporting women trans and non-binary cosplayers in a creative world
    Premium access

    NYCC 2021 | SHEPROP! HAS YOUR BACK: Supporting women trans and non-binary cosplayers in a creative world

    Women, trans, and nonbinary cosplayers can face unique challenges when looking for help. Body shaming self-esteem ability shaming slut-shaming and misogyny can be barriers to getting the help and support we need. The SheProp! Community is here to help including Raisin Cosplay, Maweezy, Tin Lizzy, ThouArtAnuli, SewSilly, and Rebecca Noel. Our panelists of experienced cosplayers are ready to answer your questions whether they are about creating a costume or surviving and thriving in the cosplay community. Come and join the discussion about why SheProp! has quickly become a vital presence for women trans and non-binary makers providing a space for accessible support & encouragement for costume designers SFX artists cosplayers and more at all skill levels.

    Cosplay
  • Image for NYCC 2021 | Nailed It: Project Cosplay!
    Premium access

    NYCC 2021 | Nailed It: Project Cosplay!

    Nailed It: Project Cosplay is back again after a highly successful run in 2018 to bring you an hour of fun and creative competition! Think you have what it takes to cobble together a standout cosplay in an hour? Compete with your friends and family to create the cosplay of your dreams with unexpected items! But don't worry our judges (fashion industry designers & cosplayers) will be there to coach you & cheer you on! So gather your squad & come to show off your skills. Trust us this will be the most fun you have at NYCC!

    Cosplay

Official merch