MODERN FANTASY TP BY RAFER ROBERTS AND KRISTEN GUDSNUK
Art
Character
Plot
Summary
MODERN FANTASY TP is a fun, humorous take on role-playing game characters who happen to have day jobs. Fans of DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS and SCALES AND SCOUNDRELS will find plenty to love about this series.
90 %
A FUN FANTASY SERIES
User Rating 0 Be the first one !

When city life becomes boring for a group of adventurers, the call of adventure beckons. MODERN FANTASY TP combines DUNGEONS AND DRAGONS, THE OFFICE, and BROAD CITY. The result is a hilarious romp of millennial woes such as underemployment and student loan debts. In short, Rafer Roberts and Kristen Gudsnuk craft a world full of pop culture references and fun characters. That alone is enough to easily recommend this series.

A Fantasy Based on Reality

MODERN FANTASY TP follows an eclectic, diverse range of characters. The characters are: Sage of the Riverlands, a Ranger who works a desk job; Lizard Wizard, Sage’s reptilian drug dealer roommate; and Gondra, Sage’s dwarf best friend. In addition, we’re quickly introduced to other characters such as Darquin Silvermane, an elf who freelances as an actor; Spenser Vanderfield, Gondra’s cleric boyfriend; Bock-Darr, Sage’s berserker co-worker; and Fentax, the thief who is Lizard Wizard’s boyfriend. Although it seems like too many characters to follow, Roberts balances them well.

The main plot involves an amulet that falls into the wrong hands. Then the city of God’s Helm faces an apocalypse of monstrous proportions. Thus, it’s up to Sage and her friends to spring into action and save the city. How does that happen? When Fentax steals the amulet from a mob boss, he gets into deep trouble and calls Sage for help. As a result, Sage gathers Lizard Wizard, Gondra, and Darquin to rescue Fentax. But the plot grows more sinister as a religious cult summons a demon to destroy the city. Ultimately, Sage manages to save the city with her friends — and gets a new job.

RPG Classes Reimagined in MODERN FANTASY TP

Arguably, MODERN FANTASY TP’s best strength is how Roberts plays with RPG classes. As I mentioned before, RPG characters have day jobs such as Lizard Wizard who’s a drug dealer. Then there’s other minor characters such as pig-men cops, a grim reaper mafioso, and a skeleton nurse. There’s something hilarious about seeing all these monsters in real world jobs that adds charm to the world. Thus, it makes the city of God’s Helm feel lived in, as if I know of characters in real life.

MODERN FANTASY TP
Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics

Speaking of characters, the main cast is well written thanks to Roberts’ sense of wit. Indeed, Roberts crafts believable chemistry between Sage and her friends. Initially, when we meet Sage, it’s after Spenser and Gondra have sex. Roberts immediately pulls us into Sage’s world because she gets annoyed that Spenser eats her cereal. As the story progresses, Sage puts aside her differences and accepts her friends for who they are.

Gudsnuk’s Art Feels Familiar

With MODERN FANTASY TP, Kristin Gudsnuk knows how to craft intimate fantastical worlds. Notably, Gudsnuk loves to pepper in all kinds of references into the series, including BRIGHT, SUPER MARIO BROS, and THE LORD OF THE RINGS to name a few. As a result, this makes the world feel richer as it becomes quite fun to spot all the gags. In addition, little touches such as the iScroll, a play on the iPhone, reinforce the humorous, fantasy theme.

As for the characters, Gudsnuk nails down comedic timing. There’s several moments that come to mind that made me laugh out loud. In order to get back his magic abilities, Lizard Wizard visits a church. There, Lizard Wizard confesses that he casts a spell that makes people in a club poop themselves. As a result, this leads Lizard Wizard to getting banned from there.

But I have a few issues with the art. Sometimes I feel like Gudsnuk makes the art look rough at times. While I know it’s an intentional decision to make serious moments with tight lines and light moments with loose lines, it leaves something to be desired. All things considered, though, the art is quite solid overall.

MODERN FANTASY TP
Courtesy of Dark Horse Comics

I like how Gudsnuk handles the colors in MODERN FANTASY TP. In the office panels, Gudsnuk makes the company feel oppressive with use of neutral colors such as grey, navy blue, and brown. To counter the oppressiveness, Gudsnuk adds silly things such as one sign that says “YOU WILL NEVER RETIRE.” Overall, the colors are often bright pastel which gives the series an Adult Swim cartoon look.

Closing Thoughts on MODERN FANTASY TP

Ultimately, MODERN FANTASY TP is a fun and entertaining series. I think it balances the fantasy and realism elements quite well. In addition, Sage of the Riverlands’ plight is something that everyone can relate to. Plus, the diverse cast of characters deserves recognition. Hopefully Roberts and Gudsnuk have more adventures in store for Sage and company.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *