D&D Young Adventurer’s Guide: Monsters & Creatures Samples

Last week we announced the D&D Young Adventurer’s Guide series coming from Ten Speed Press. This week I’m happy to show you some of the interiors and new artwork being produced for Monsters & Creatures, the first book in the series.

Here’s the book’s introduction giving you an overview of what you’ll find inside:

Monster profiles for the Beholder, Black Dragon, and Demogorgon.

As you can see, there aren’t any creature stats or game rules, just lore and information presented in an easy to understand way for people coming into D&D for the first time.

Here’s an example of a creature encounter, where we have a short fiction piece with a decision for our young readers to think about, similar to the kind of decision-making they might make at the gaming table:

The first two D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides arrive in stores on July 16th.

You can find out more details here:

Avengers: No Road Home #3 Reviews

Adventures In Poor Taste: 8/10 “An enjoyable third issue continues to probe the characters well while offering new wonderments for the characters to interact with. The theme of gods fighting men is a good one and it’ll be fun to see how it plays out and how it might change the Marvel universe going forward.”

Caped-Joel: 8.5/10 “I continue to be really impressed with where this series goes. They’re doing some great continuity deep cuts and Nyx and her children are shown to be creative and outside-the-box thinking villains, which I always appreciate in big stories like these.”

Comic Book University: “This is a comic book that shouldn’t be giving you feels, it should just be giving you stories, and yet somehow they find time and it works.”

Comic Book.com: 8/10 “This remains a largely fun, unpredictable comic that serves as a wildly different adventure than what’s being delivered in the standard Avengers series. It’s got a solid roster and good villains, but Hawkeye and Rocket are the ones that really elevate it to new heights.”

Comics: The Gathering: 8/10 “The art team continues to do outstanding character work; the first team’s story is ennobled by the presence of the best-looking Rocket Raccoon in all Marveldom. And the colors continue to draw high-intensity shades from all across the spectrum.”

Detail Comics: “Avengers: No Road Home continues to be a stand-out part of the Marvel line-up even though it’s a maxi-series and doesn’t really deal with a lot of current continuity. It’s one I continue to recommend for all kinds of different comic readers.”

Embrace Your Geekness: “Avengers: No Road Home is a must read. It has been fantastic so far and I cannot wait to see where it goes from here.”

Fortress of Solitude: 9/10 “I just love how well this story flows. It all feels so natural and information is being given to us in equal doses.”

Newsarama: 8/10 “the writers are using fun character moments and terse narration to keep the story on track and give it some stakes. Paco Medina’s artwork is a great fit, imbuing the work with the right mix of emotion and action.”

Sci-Fi Pulse: “The team is split with three dealing with a classic villain and the others carrying an unsuspecting traitor. I was thrilled to see who the big bad was and he’s fantastic. The cosmic locale is interesting and I’m hoping to see more of it and the character encountered there.”

You Don’t Read Comics: “The action in Omnipotence City at the end of the issue glides across the page beautifully thanks in no small part to the luminous coloring of Jesus Aburtov. His star-scape behind Omnipotence City in the big 2-page reveal is as gorgeous the radiant light radiating from it. “

Rick and Morty VS Dungeons & Dragons TPB Arrives March 12th!

Rick and Morty VS Dungeons & Dragons
(issues #1-4)

Two pop-culture juggernauts are teaming up and neither multiverse is prepared for what comes next! #1 New York Times-bestselling fantasy author Patrick Rothfuss (The Name of the Wind), acclaimed comics writer Jim Zub (Dungeons & Dragons: Evil at Baldur’s Gate, Skullkickers), and Eisner-nominated artist Troy Little (Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) bring you the comics crossover of the year! It’s an irreverent, unexpected adventure sure to please fans of both franchises.
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Book Depository

D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides FAQ

I received a ton of excited messages about the D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides announced yesterday from Ten Speed Press and Wizards of the Coast.

I’ll answer some of the most common questions I received about them here in this post…

Q: Are these Basic RPG rule books for young readers?

A: No. These books do not replace the D&D Player’s Handbook. They’re rules-free illustrated guides to the core concepts of D&D, built so the reader can discover the lore without being overwhelmed by the rules.

As experienced DMs/players, it’s easy to forget how intimidating tabletop RPGs can be for people who haven’t played before. These guides lay out the major concepts (class, race, equipment, creatures) in a way anyone can understand and encourage them to create their own stories. Readers can use the material in these books to brainstorm a character and imagine their role in an adventuring party. Get them excited about the possibilities, and then bring them to the gaming table to show them how those initial ideas can really flourish with a roll of the dice.

Q: Do these books just repurpose content from the Player’s Handbook?

A: No. The writing and artwork are all new and they’re organized so readers can either absorb it from start to finish or skip around and focus on the material they think looks most interesting.

For example, the Monsters & Creatures book isn’t organized alphabetically. It starts thematically with underground creatures, moves to the surface (bodies of water, fields, graveyards, forests, mountains) and then soars into the sky to finish with airborne monsters.

Q: New artwork? How much new art are we talking about?

A: Almost every single illustration in the Young Adventurer’s Guides was made specifically for this series, so even if you have the D&D core rules you’ll get 60+ images per book you can use for inspiration or visual reference.

Q: I already own the D&D core books. Should I get these?

A: If you’re already an avid D&D player, they’re not necessary. There’s no new info here you don’t already have, but you might enjoy the new creature art and weapons/armor illustrations to help visualize aspects of D&D lore.

In addition, there are new “legendary” characters developed specifically for this series you might enjoy adding to your game. As we get closer to launch, I’ll reveal some of them and talk about their development.

Q: What’s the intended age for the Young Adventurer’s Guides?

A: They’re for middle-grade readers (ages 8-12) by design (book trim size, font size, etc.). Older readers can certainly get something out of them, but the core of it was built to inspire young players.

Q: What’s the release date?

A: Monsters & Creatures and Warriors & Weapons both arrive in stores on July 16th, 2019, but they’re available for pre-order now from your favorite book outlet. There are two more books in development that will be released in the Fall and, if they’re popular enough, there may be more beyond that in the future.

Q: Do Minsc and Boo make an appearance?

A: Absolutely! Minsc is our legendary Ranger example in the Warriors & Weapons guide and his particular brand of chaotic courage is a fun way to show new players the possibilities in D&D.

The D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides Launch July 16, 2019!

When I was at the Wizards of the Coast office in late 2017 consulting on a new Dungeons & Dragons adventure (a wonderful book that will be announced later this year), we talked a lot about 8-year old Zub and the elements of D&D and role-playing that ignited my imagination at that crucial age. That discussion would come up again a few months later when they introduced me to Aaron Wehner, an editor from Ten Speed Press (an imprint at Random House), and plans started to slowly develop around the kind of book that could engage new players without overwhelming them with game terminologies or rules.

That “D&D Guide” concept struck a chord with all of us who helped brainstorm material on it. We wanted to focus the key elements of what D&D is and show young readers (or new players of any age) the amazing ingredients they could use to create their own characters and heroic stories.

It’s just over a year later and I’m thrilled to announce the first two D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides, MONSTERS & CREATURES and WARRIORS & WEAPONS, arriving from Ten Speed Press! They’re available for pre-order now and will be in bookstores everywhere starting July 16th, 2019!

I’m the architect of the D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides, building the overall structure, writing core sections, and helping art direct the hundreds of brand-new D&D illustrations inside these potent little hardcovers. Working with me to make this series a reality is Stacy King (Manga Classics) and Andrew Wheeler (Freelance, Another Castle), both of whom have been burning the midnight oil researching, writing, and editing the text and art descriptions to make sure each volume is as exciting and engaging as possible. The teams at Ten Speed and Wizards of the Coast have been incredibly supportive, giving us fantastic feedback and advice along the way, and I can’t wait for you to see all this hard work we’ve brought to the page!

I’ve started a Frequently Asked Questions section posted up HERE to give you more information on how the series works and our intended audience.

Expect a lot more details and art teasers as we get closer to launch. Until then, help us spread the word and earmark these books as gifts for friends or family members you’ve been thinking about bringing into the hobby!

D&D Young Adventurer’s Guide 1
Monsters & Creatures

In this illustrated guide, you’re transported to the legendary and magical worlds of Dungeons & Dragons and presented with one-of-a-kind entries for some of its most sinister, foul, and memorable monsters. Featuring amazing illustrations and expert insights on some of D&D’s most dangerous monsters, the guide shines a spotlight on the beasts that scare, excite, and cause trouble for adventurers, from creatures that live underground, to those that dwell in the wilderness and boneyards or soar in the sky.
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Hudson Books

D&D Young Adventurer’s Guide 2
Warriors & Weapons

In this illustrated guide, you’re transported to the legendary and magical worlds of Dungeons & Dragons, where you are presented with one-of-a-kind entries for different types of warriors, as well as the weaponry these fighters need for D&D adventuring. This guide includes detailed illustrations of the weapons, armor, clothing, and other equipment that fighters use, and offers the tools young, aspiring adventurers need for learning how to build their own characters.
Barnes & Noble
Hudson Books

Avengers: No Road Home #2 Reviews

Caped-Joel: 8.5/10 “I think the thing I’m most impressed about this series so far is just how seamless the three writers can work together.”

ComicBook.com: 8/10 “With a team of gods, androids, and immortal beings, Hawkeye shouldn’t be the most interesting character on this Avengers roster, providing the inner monologue that narrates the entire book. But, here we are, and it seriously works.”

Comic Book Resources: “It’s rare that comics like this don’t suffer from a case of ‘Too Many Cooks.’ Combine that with a punishing weekly schedule and the fact that this is not only good but great is a genuine delight.”

Comic Book University: “This is an awesome comic book and an awesome series so far. I’m looking forward to more and more out of this.”

Comic Frontline: 9/10 “I cannot wait until next week. The art by Medina is a great fit for this as he and Aburtov balance the light of the Avengers and the dark of Nyx and her children.”

Comic-Watch: 10/10 “This Avengers series is what everyone should be talking about. Avengers No Road Home is writing at its best. The three writers that work on this event appear to work perfectly together.”

Comics: The Gathering: 8/10 “This issue’s script lays a lot of challenges on the art team, and they pass with flying colors. It takes considerable “under the hood” skill to organize big battles with lots of participants and push a complicated narrative thread through them. This is done magnificently, while also making space to introduce Nyx’s children without slowing down the breakneck pace.”

Detail Comics: “Overall, Avengers: No Road Home is a relatively isolated event but I’m excited to see where this goes because it continues to be non-stop stylish action. It’s just got its foot to the floor and, without taking its foot off the gas, it continues to world build and give readers a lot to anticipate in each issue.”

DVS Gaming: “You would think that three writers balancing so many characters would be a mess, however, the flow of this comic is extremely strong.”

Embrace Your Geekness: “I have been fully engaged so far after only two issues. I love the grouping of Avengers involved in this series.”

Fortress Of Solitude: 9/10 “Another awesome entry in the weekly series which, as of this issue, is now in full swing.”

Sci-Fi Pulse: “The visuals are great in this chapter, with every blow massive and every tear in flesh felt by the reader. This is exactly how the Avengers should be shown! Marvel is making magic with this book.”

Talking Comic Books: “Paco Medina’s artwork is a great choice for this series. His classic style and storytelling abilities lend themselves perfectly to this tale. All in all, Avengers: No Road Home #2 is an issue jammed full of incredible talent, which makes for a highly enjoyable story.”

Uncanny Nerdverse: 9/10 “Solid writing, solid art, great story. What more could you ask for?”

Arriving in May: WAYWARD Deluxe Book 3!

ARTIST / COVER: Steven Cummings, Tamra Bonvillain
MAY 22 / 320 pages / FC/ M / $39.99

Image Comics’s supernatural sensation concludes in this oversized hardcover collection that includes every stunning cover illustration, design sketches, extensive essay material on culture and mythology by monster scholar ZACK DAVISSON, plus a special poster of the 5-part WAYWARD connected cover illustration from issues #26-30!

The wayward are reunited at last, but is it too late? The Yokai have prepared a sacrifice that could change everything. This is war, and Tokyo is the final battleground. Fate burns as the past and present clash in this exciting finale!

Collects WAYWARD #21-30

Wayward Deluxe Book 3
(issues #21-30 plus extras)

The wayward are reunited at last, but is it too late? The Yokai have prepared a sacrifice that could change everything. This is war and Tokyo is the final battleground. Fate burns as the past and present clash in this exciting finale! This oversized hardcover collection includes every stunning cover illustration, design sketche, and extensive essay material on culture and mythology, as well as a special poster of the 5-part WAYWARD connected cover illustration from issues #26-30!
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Newsarama Interview About Cyclops in Champions #5

I spoke to George Marston at Newsarama about Cyclops guest-starring in Champions #5, arriving in May. Read on to find out a bit more about the emotional reunion between Scott and the Champs!

CHAMPIONS #5 Advance Solicits

Arriving in May…

story JIM ZUB
– The War of the Realms rages across Midgard, bringing together heroes from across the globe to fight for our world against mythic evil.
– In the midst of this chaos, the Champions need…Scott Summers?
– Cyclops reunites with the Champions, all grown up!

Avengers: No Road Home #1 Reviews!

Adventures In Poor Taste: 8.5/10 “It’s hard to read this issue and not marvel and how good of a handle these three writers have on the characters. Hercules is the perfect amount of pompous yet endearing. Rocket Raccoon is the perfect amount of sassy and grumpy. And so on and so forth. Every character that appears sounds like themselves, which should mean a lot to longtime readers.”

All-Comic: 10/10 “Avengers: No Road Home was a pleasure to read. Everything about this book screams epic. The writing team has a formula that continues to knock it out of the park and make this a winning series. The art is simply stunning. This is a must read book!”

Beta Ray Greg: 9/10 “Holy hell. That was vicious. This is going to be an amazing run. The team has come together only to lose a member right off the bat. These writers pull no punches.”

Caped-Joel: 9/10 “This was a really solid premiere issue…Everything that works well in No Surrender works well here, and then some. This book gives the spotlight to some Avengers who rarely ever get it as well as a ton of fan favorites.”

Comic Book Resources: “Avengers: No Road Home #1 is an excellent, accessible debut that promises an epic story driven by more offbeat characters. A streamlined experience in comparison to No Surrender, the issue trims the cast and scope without compromising the stakes.”

Comic Book.com: “These characters come from such contrasting styles in their own franchises that blending them together could be a challenge, but the three writers do a splendid job of balancing their needs and stories. Everyone gets their own moment and not one character really feels wasted.”

Comic Book University: “This is a great book! You want to start off a limited series right? This is how you do it.”

Comic Hunter: “This is a definite for fans of The Avengers, Marvel, or those who just enjoy a good end of the universe scenario.”

Comic Relief: “All the characters are written great and I’m curious where the story will go.”

Comic-Watch: 8.6/10 “The writing team takes great care in this first issue to ensure that each character stands on their own, with distinct voices and personalities…Avengers: No Road Home #1 is a fascinating start to what could be the surprise hit of the year.”

Comics: The Gathering: 10/10 “This story roars out of the gate with passionate characters, a clear antagonist, and simply gorgeous storytelling in words and art. Time will have to tell how the story ends, but it absolutely could not be off to a better start.”

Comicsverse: 9.8/10 “Avengers: No Road Home #1 is a wonderful book. It proves that the original weekly series wasn’t a fluke. Zub, Ewing, and Waid are a true dream team.”

Detail Comics: “I’m really excited about where Avengers: No Road Home is going to go.”

Do You Even Comic Book?: 9/10 “The pencils of Paco Medina, the inks of Juan Vlasco, and colors of Jesus Aburtov come together to create this modern comic book style which I love so much. The level of details in the pencils mixed with heavy inks made the characters stand out in every scene. “

DVS Gaming: “this comic is over-sized, but fast paced and easy to read. You will not spend any time bogged down in set-up because it picks up speed directly into the central story before the end of the comic.”

Embrace Your Geekness: “The art of Paco Medina is top notch here and the combination of writers on this book are wonderful.”

Fortress Of Solitude: 9/10 “A fantastic start to an action-packed weekly story with all of the hallmarks of a great Avengers book.”

iFanboy: “The choice of Paco Medina really helped with the tone on this. His art feels like a foot in the modern world and a foot in the older history of Marvel Comics. It’s evocative of both and fills the gap nicely.”

Inside Pulse: 8/10 “Solid art and a great line-up through an interesting yarn.”

Joe Ryan Comics: “It’s a great #1. It’s a great set-up…With really classic Marvel storytelling.”

Major Spoilers: 9/10 “Paco Medina really makes the issue work, delivering on quiet moments of conversation in diners as well as massive battle sequences and Voyager’s dramatic teleportation effects.”

Monkeys Fighting Robots: 8/10 “Artist Paco Medina is the glue that holds these three mighty writers together. Medina does a fantastic job making this read as a coherent story, rather than a mess with too many cooks in the kitchen.”

Nerdy Legion: 8/10 “The team is very cool and they’re not a typical Avengers line-up, which is why it works very well. Hercules is hilarious!”

Newsarama: 9/10 “No Road Home certainly has the talent, the cast, and the potential to succeed, topped off with a high fantasy hook that is tailor made for serialization. Eyes front, True Believer, because Avengers: No Road Home #1 is Marvel Comics in their purest form.”

Sequential Planet: 7.8/10 “If you’re an Avengers fan, you should read this. Even if you’re not, you should still read this.”

Talking Comic Books: “an incredible creative team and an engaging first issue that draws the reader in and makes you anticipate next week’s issue”

The Beat: “Medina also does a good job keeping the action fluid and smooth when the different heroes start to coalesce and bleed into each other’s storylines. We also get a chance to see the gods of Olympus depicted by Medina, who does an excellent job designing and crafting the visual direction for the characters.”

This Week In Comics: “That’s what’s so fun about the book, we get a chance to read about characters that don’t have a huge spotlight, and explore their development. The writers know what they are doing, and the combination of these characters are being put together for a reason.”

Uncanny Nerdverse: 8.5/10 “The pacing is perfect. If you read every issue in a row you’d never know if a different writer is writing the different characters. It just reads like it’s one writer all the way through. It’s a great combination.”