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Munchkin: Deck the Dungeons #1 [Review]


munchkin_deck_the_dungeons_001Written by: Katie Cook
Illustrated by: Mike Luckas
Colors by: Fred Stressing, Katy Farina
Letters by: Jim Campbell
Cover by: Ian McGinty
Designer: Kara Leopard
Associate Editor: Jasmine Amiri
Editor: Shannon Watters
Published by: Boom! Box (Boom! Studios)
Cover Date: December 2015
Cover Price: $4.99

I’ve never actually READ a Munchkin comic before, though I have a couple issues I’d picked up recently that I’ve been meaning to get to. I have the game, an expansion, and several of the spin-off games (Star Munchkin, Super Munchkin, Munchkin Zombies). And at a whopping $4.99, I should have been totally opposed to this issue. But…it was a light week, the issue is extra-thick, AND it contains a card for the game…plus…’tis the season and all. I’m not buying Marvel or DC, and I was in the mood for something randomish and light, I can’t imagine there’s any serious “continuity” to the Munchkin universe, and banked on this being a standalone issue that I could read even without having read the other comics published thus far.

The issue opens in a tavern, with our hero Spyke and his friend Flower. Spyke realizes that with other adventurers and monsters alike out of the dungeon preparing for Christmas, there’s tons of loot that’ll be easy pickings, and he convinces Flower to join him. We learn that spyke hates Christmas–hence “avoiding” Christmassy stuff in favor of a dungeon crawl–and quickly find the two swept up into a Munchkin-y riff on DickensA Christmas Carol…with an unexpected ending.

I was surprised at the conclusion of the story with so many pages left…after a couple of well-placed ads I appreciated, I found we have some pages from Munchkin vol. 1…so a “preview” or such, which to me is nothing but “filler” here: if I want to read something else, I will–don’t give me a huge chunk of it “free” here and make the “new content” that much more expensive by comparison! (To say nothing of my annoyance at finding “filler” pages to begin with!)

Other than that…I enjoyed this issue. It felt a lot like a longform comic strip to me, which was not surprising. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect going in, but should have expected pretty much what I got. The story was rather cheesey–I’m not a fan of constant riffs on A Christmas Carol (Public Domain or not!)–and there’s really not much “substance” to the story. But then, frankly, that’s the fun of it, and the point, as it is with the game these characters are from. I have some questions about the characters’ ability to die/come back, but I’m not too concerned there…it’s just a nitpick with me.

The art on the issue was fitting…I’m not familiar with Luckas by name or prior work (perhaps on the Munchkin series, or otherwise) so no preconceived notions. The issue looked like Munchkin, or at least it didn’t NOT look like it, and the style helped really convey that sense of this being a longform comic strip…it seems nicely cartooney and what I’d expect of a strip.

I recognize Katie Cook‘s name from other comics work, though I’m not certain if I’ve read any of it. Taking a game and managing to give the characters a bit of life and stuff to do from the game’s concept is a bit of a feat, and came off well here.

All in all, I enjoyed the issue, it wasn’t nearly as quick a read as I expected, I like the fact it includes a card for the game, and I didn’t feel like I’m missing anything not having read any other Munchkin comic(s) ever.

The price IS a bit much for any comic, and this is not some groundbreaking “key” thing or by any means some “must-read” or such. You’re not missing out on anything by not reading it. That said…if you’re a fan of Munchkin (the game) and/or want a card you can only get from this comic and/or just want a one-off “Christmas Special” to cleanse the palate from other stuff, this is worthwhile if you have the $5 you’re willing to toss at a comic.

This is part of the Boom! Box imprint–I believe aimed at a younger audience–and it fits well in that. As with anything, I’d suggest a parent confirm for themselves that they want their kid(s) reading something like this…but it’s fun for me to read as an adult, and I imagine kids would enjoy it a bit more if they’re into this sorta thing.

Having read this, I definitely want to read the couple issues I already have, and possibly seek out other subsequent issues…which I suppose is the main goal of a comic, at least on the business side of things.

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One Response

  1. […] with a randomish-ly purchased Munchkin issue (reviewed the other day) and the latest Constantine: The Hellblazer issue, I got a couple other X-Men volumes at cover […]

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