a review by Nalini Haynes
Published: Blind Ferret Entertainment
The title, Looking for Group, identifies this comic as a spoof of World of Warcraft where people ‘look for group’ (LFG) to undertake group quests or do dungeons that require a group of people to complete successfully. However, LFG takes inspiration from a number of sources including Tolkein, Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth, Dungeons and Dragons, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire.
Cale is a blood elf hunter, delusional in that newborn state of being where he thinks he’s the good guy. Sooba is Cale’s pet panther. Richard is an undead warlock who relishes being evil, eating babies and randomly killing innocent bystanders. Gid aka Benn’Joon or Benny is a troll priestess and Krunch Bloodrage is a tauren warrior who raised Benny.
Brandon Sanderson, author of Way of Kings, wrote the foreword to the paper version of volume 1 for LFG. This alone is worth a read as he assures people that it is not necessary to be into MMO RPGs (Massively Multi-player Online Role Playing Games: games like World of Warcraft) to enjoy the humour in this comic. The paper version is also printed beautifully on glossy paper, which captures the rich tones of Lar’s artwork. I read the comic online because it enlarges well, but that is a personal choice. The online version is available free.
LFG was written episodically, with a page appearing at a time on the internet, rather than the whole book being written then released. This means that the story developed as it went with no opportunity to go back and revise previous pages. So far I haven’t seen a problem with this aspect, but I have noticed that sometimes there is some discontinuity between pages as if the writer forgot where he left off. On at least one occasion I got half way down the page and then the characters started asking themselves how they got there (to the place where that page began). It seemed like there was an ‘oops!’ moment.
One criticism of the website is that it doesn’t offer an option to skip to the correct page, but this can be resolved by either saving the URL as a bookmark or going to the correct volume, and putting the correct page number in the URL. Another beef I had with the website is that text on the extreme right hand side of the page gets covered, but I can usually interpret what is missing.
LFG is a comic book with good artwork and comic-book style writing. This means there is lots of fast paced action and the characters are two dimensional. I personally enjoy LFG as a fun bit of escapism and contrast to my other reading. One page is too little to read at a time for me, so I like to read several pages at a time. I can’t sit down and read the whole volume like I would a book because comics don’t keep my attention for long enough at a time. I haven’t finished the first volume of LFG yet, but I’m enjoying reading it a few times a week and stretching it out.
Looking for Group is recommended for anyone who enjoys black comedy, but especially recommended for fantasy fans, who will get the spoofs. Buy the paper versions to support these guys so they can keep on entertaining us in the future.
The paper version of LFG will be a collector’s item one day.
This article was previously published in Dark Matter issue 3, April 2011, and predated on this website to reflect the original publication date.