View Full Version : Dragonlance: Chronicles #1 (17 Aug 2005)

Jason Sanborn
02-26-2006, 07:26 PM
Review by Jason Sanborn

Story: Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman
Adaptation: Andrew Dabb
Pencils: Steve Kurth
Colors: Djoko Santiko
Letters: Steve Seeley

Dragons of Autumn Twilight, the first book of the Dragonlance Chronicles Trilogy, by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, was originally released in April 1984. Now, 21 years and 4 months later, Devil's Due Press released the first part of the 8-part comic book adaption of Dragonlance Chronicles. When it was first announced, I was excited to see my favorite characters in full color. Today, I made a special trip to my comic store, just to pick up this comic. Did the comic live up to the high expectations I had for it? What does it hold for other fans of the popular Dragonlance series?

Sitting down to read the issue, the first thing I noticed was the color. The preview image showed Raistlin in black robes, instead of the appropriate red robes he wore at this point in the story. It would be a strike against Devil's Due if they left it that way. As you can tell, though, when the issue made it to the shelves, Raistlin is shown wearing the red robes of neutrality.

Upon opening the comic and beginning to read, I noticed how much more like a painting the artwork was. It seemed to have a more subtle quality as opposed to other comics I have read in the past. I wondered, though, if it would do the characters justice. I'm used to seeing the Elmore and the Caldwell artwork, and, for good or for bad, that is what my mind would be measuring the artwork to.

I have to say, I was very impressed with the art. It was beautifully done, and the characters, with one exception, were superb. That one exception was Tasslehoff Burrfoot, the irrepresable Kender. Kender are supposed to be childlike in appearance and personality. The artist, though, seemed to choose a more adult look for the face, with a pointed chin and high cheekbones, very elvish in quality. Looking at Tasslehoff, I don't see what I believe was intended for a kender appearance.

Ok, I've talked about the art, but what about the story? If you've read the series, you have a pretty good idea about what the story is about. Obviously, much of the story has to be cut out, as this is only the first of an eight part adaption. The trick is knowing what to cut and what not to cut. I have to say, Andrew Dabb was able to pick out the good points, so far. The meeting of the three friends on the road back to Solace was done quite well, and their reunion at the Inn of Last Home was complete with the letter of apology from Kitiara. Even the insuing flight from Solace, urged on by a mysterious face was captured well.

Part of me was dismayed at how quickly they had to move through the scenes, but I have to remember that this is an abridged comic book adaption. If I want the whole story, I can always pick up the books and get the full picture, complete with my mental images of my favorite characters.

So, what's my final vote for the first issue? Is it worth continuing? If you haven't bought it yet, should you consider picking it up? My answer is: Pick it up right away, read it, get the rest of the series as they are released, and recommend it to your friends. In my opinion, this is one of the best things to happen to comics in a very long time.

9 out of 10