From Publishers Weekly
This comedy manga takes on the world of tabletop gaming by way of the shonen sports genre. Hardcore computer gamer Shesh Maccabee arrives for his freshman year of college banned by court order from the virtual universe he so loves. Despite his friend Mike's efforts to protect him from the Internet's siren song, Shesh finds the university gaming club, only to discover that Mages & Monsters is an analogue game, requiring dice, cards... and imagination. The two boys reluctantly join a game run by Theodore Dudek, a game master who goes to superhuman lengths to bring verisimilitude to the interactive stories he creates. As Shesh becomes more deeply immersed, Theodore realizes Shesh has the potential to become the greatest role player of all time. Thompson's enthusiasm for the subject matter is explosive and one can sometimes feel Hao's artwork rushing to keep up. With so much going on (sometimes on multiple, simultaneous, interrelated abstract levels of action), the narrative fights to stay coherent. None of this takes away from the best moments, always in the depths of a game, when the plot turns smartly on a hinge, and the intended audience for this manga is reminded why they first became gamers. (Jan.)
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