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Dungeon Quest: Book One (Dungeon Quest) Paperback – June 15, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Dungeon Quest Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Frustrated by homework, Millennium Boy, whose head is shaped like an enormous lightbulb, dons swim trunks and wellies, loads a “hobo stick,” and takes off on an adventure. He rounds up thirtyish slacker Steve, bodybuilder Lash Penis, and Japanese archer Nerdgirl. Each gears up before joining in, and all get upgraded after each dangerous exploit. If it seems no fair that MB and Steve start upgrading earlier because they fight crowbar- and chain-wielding thugs and furry Molelocs before they get to Lash's and Nerdgirl's houses, well, Lash and Nerdgirl are better equipped to begin with. Finally, they're off through a graveyard where pirate skeletons attack, a healing pool in which Lash's near-severed arm is made whole, and a shamanic encounter with Redman, to the edge of Fireburg Forest. Daly's parody of the trek adventure—the template for ripping yarns from King Solomon's Mines to King Kong to Indy Jones to scads of video games—is a kind of slackers' SpongeBob Squarepants, earthier (of course) but as ingenuously absurd, slightly boring but magnetically amusing. --Ray Olson

Review

Daly’s parody of the trek adventure ― the template for ripping yarns from King Solomon’s Mines to King Kong to Indy Jones to scads of video games ― is a kind of slackers’ SpongeBob Squarepants, earthier (of course) but as ingenuously absurd... [and] magnetically amusing. (Ray Olson - Booklist)

Dungeon Quest succeeds on so many levels: the art and character design are superb, the dialogue is acerbic yet measured, the page construction has a flow to it that verges on perfection, the meter of the storytelling is spot-on, and, most importantly, it’s actually really funny. (Martin Steenton - Avoid the Future)
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Product Details

  • Series: Dungeon Quest (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 136 pages
  • Publisher: Fantagraphics (June 15, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160699347X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606993477
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,370,398 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Swan VINE VOICE on February 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me address what you’re getting into with this book. The F-bomb is dropped seven times in the first seven panels and doesn’t go down tremendously for the rest of the book. Early in the book a guy is hit in the head so hard his skull cracks open and his brain, still attached by the stem, is left lying on the pavement. He’s then dispatched with a final blow with a crowbar to his exposed brain. This is not a book for everyone. My sister is a decades long D&D fan but with the level of profanity, violence, drug use and male genitals I know this would not be her cup of tea. If the subject matter of the book doesn’t scare you off please read on.

Dungeon Quest is an awesome idea for a book. If you’ve ever played Dungeon’s and Dragon’s or an RPG video game you’ll be able to relate. There is also a generous mix of Lord of the Rings. It’s debatable whether this book is an homage or a mocking of a Live action role-playing game (LARP). Why is the main character named Millennium Boy and why does he have an enlarged cranium like a 1950’s future boy? No idea. Joe Daly is just having fun and making sense isn’t important. Our main character, Millennium Boy, gathers up a group of friends and mild acquaintances in order to embark on an adventure around his home city of Glendale and then on into the forest of Fireburg Forest. After engaging in battles the group will loot the corpses of their defeated opponents acquiring weapons, armor and magic items. Item’s like ‘Woolen Beanie of Insulation’ and ‘Crowbar of the Scorpion’. Following a successful encounter the characters stats rise and it’s all done tongue in cheek as they somehow seem aware of their own stats. They even choose character types with Millennium Boy endeavoring to become a Grand Mage and his friend Steve working towards Master Thief.
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Format: Paperback
Writing this, I've already read the volumes Joe Daly has completed so far, the most recent of which, Book 3, is longer than Book 1 & 2 combined -- 290 pages, compared to the 136 pages each of Book 1 and 2. I take it as a sign that an artist is having fun doing what he does, and that usually translates into excellent comics. I first read his hilarious and imaginative work in 'The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book', collecting two graphic novellas starring the red-haired, monkey-footed protagonist as he and an assortment of interesting friends stumble into the mysteries of Cape Town, South Africa, like a very stoned version of Tintin and Milou. The talent displayed in that album sold me immediately on anything he might publish, and 'Dungeon Quest' is his latest and perhaps greatest creation. The switch from full-color to black-and-white revealed Daly as a master of European clean-line and chiaroscuro ink work, moving from a Herge/Joost Swarte style to an E.P. Jacobs/Mezzo/Charles Burns mode of draughtsmanship. His use of spot blacks gets more impressive as the series goes on, to a point where he has established himself as one of the most talented artists of his generation.

This wonderfully bizarre homage/parody of old school AD&D and newer-school World of Warcraft MMORPG's begins in the Cape Town suburbs once again, as the apparently Hydrocephalic Millennium Boy rounds up his good pal Steve, the monstrously muscular Lash Penis, and the silent, enigmatic Nerd Girl, as they embark on a quest to... well go on a quest. The point of every quest always turns out to be in the journey, not the destination, right? So f*** it! Strap on some boiled leather and chain mail, sheath your broadsword, and brush up on your basic cantrips and necromancy. Then buy these books.
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Format: Paperback
Joe Daly tells stories about slackers with an obvious love and a clear eye; he's attuned to the oddball notions and unlikely turns that their lives take, and crafts stories about quirky people that don't turn into catalogs of quirks themselves. (Which is nowhere near as easy as it sounds.) He's also notable among newer cartoonists for not committing memoir; his stories might have some inspiration in his life (or not), but they're real stories, that live and breathe and go off in their own directions.

Daly is South African; he first came to the attention of a North American audience with The Red Monkey Double Happiness Book, which collected two related stories about two South African slackers and the weird events they got caught up in. (I reviewed it here about a year and a half ago, well after it was published in the US.) Since then, he's jumped into a big series in "Dungeon Quest," but, in what I'm hoping will continue to be typical Joe Daly fashion, his big series is funny and goofy and takes itself seriously only in the way that a very late-night conversation about the nature of the universe, fueled by various not-entirely-legal substances, can be serious.

In fact, I reviewed the second book of "Dungeon Quest" recently for the magazine Realms of Fantasy (the June 2011 issue, available right now from better purveyors of ink-on-paper entertainment), and liked it so much that I had to go back and find the first book, to see how Millennium Boy and his adventuring party got started.
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