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Just as we theorized over the weekend, Wizards of the Coast and IDW Publishing have announced plans to release a new comic book series called "Legends of Baldur's Gate" this October that will feature the return of BioWare's iconic character Minsc and his pet hamster Boo. It'll also tie into the whole Tyranny of Dragons storyline, but I'll let this interview on ICv2 with Jim Zub do the explaining:
When dealing with such a large trans-media property, how much freedom does a comic writer have, given the constraints that are in this larger storyline that's part of a huge universe that's being expressed across multiple platforms?
That was one of my concerns early on, when we were talking about it. I wanted to make sure that we could tell a story about these characters rather than getting bogged down in a lot of other lore or material. It's actually one of the reasons they suggested me working in the city of Baldur's Gate, because after the initial Tyranny of Dragons, after that Organized Play adventure, the city is left to its own devices. It won't be the battleground for the bigger Tyranny of Dragons storyline. We were talking back and forth about ways that we could nod to the greater story without taking anything away from my ability to bring a new group of characters into play and have them on an adventure that means something to them, that doesn't position them as pawns moving on a bigger chess board.
One of the fun things that we were able to pull into it was a fan-favorite character from the video game who has not been followed up on since those games. His name is Minsc, and he's not always quick on the uptake. He's this slightly foolish ranger who is very heroic and very courageous and dives into trouble before considering the ramifications. He's a character that has built a cult following over the years since the video game, until we came up with an ingenious way to be able to bring him into the present, 100 years forward from the events of the video game, and have him join our group. In this case, if you've played the video games, you'll get something really cool out of it, you'll be really thrilled to see this old fan-favorite, but if you've never read the stories or played the video games before, you can just jump in and this character is quite appealing and straightforward and you'll understand what he's about right from the get-go.
Anything else that our readers should know about what this series will be like?
I really wanted to try and channel the feeling of a great Dungeons & Dragons adventure. It will have a lot of action. Right from the first page, it really digs in, so that there is a real sense of energy to it. It doesn't get bogged down in lots of conversation, or characters talking at length about lore or history, it's really about the adventure and the exploration, the seat of your pants excitement of great fantasy storytelling. That's really the kind of stuff that I love, and when I discussed it with the Wizards of the Coast team, that was really what I wanted and they were really enthusiastic about me bringing that to the comic page.
When you've got something like a fantasy novel, where you can have lots and lots of exposition, and tons of background material, it works very well for that medium. But here, in comics, this is a visual medium; let's make big, visual action.
One other point. They did multiple sequels of the Baldur's Gate video game, so it was played by literally millions of players around the world. It's a really, really well known iteration of Forgotten Realms and the D&D world as a whole, so we think using that legacy and bringing it forward could bring in a whole new audience of comic readers.
And then we'll move into the official press release:
JIM ZUB GOES FOR THE EYES WITH DUNGEONS & DRAGONS VENTURE ON A BRAND NEW JOURNEY THIS FALL!
Dungeons & Dragons takes adventuring to the next level this year with a brand new comic from IDW Publishing, Legends of Baldur's Gate. The series which ties in to Wizards of the Coast's massive Tyranny of Dragons event comes smashing into stores this fall with a tried-and-true team of questers.
With a battle-proven track record on series like Skullkickers and IDW's own Samurai Jack, Jim Zub leads this all-new comic series into battle with variant cover and interior artist Max Dunbar (Red Sonja: Atlantis Rises) and breakout The TRANSFORMERS: Windblade artist Sarah Stone who provides the standard-order covers for the series.
(I didn't know it at the time, but playing Dungeons & Dragons as a kid was the foundation of my creative career,) said Zub. (It ignited a desire in me to build memorable characters and weave entertaining tales of high adventure. Getting a chance to tell new Forgotten Realms stories as part of the D&D 40th anniversary is an absolute dream come true.)
The legends of the past still resonate with the modern heroes of Baldur's Gate, and when a new threat rises, an unlikely trio takes upon themselves the mantle of heroes! Launching alongside Wizards of the Coast's next edition of the Dungeons & Dragons tabletop RPG, the new series will feature both familiar and new characters including the return of the fan-favorite ranger, Minsc and his hamster, Boo!
(We wanted to tell the Tyranny of Dragons story in lots of ways, and Jim Zub and IDW have done a great job bringing our story to life for comics fans. They've brought fan favorites Minsc and Boo back into action, and this story is a great way to help us celebrate an amazing year for Dungeons & Dragons,) said Nathan Stewart, Brand Director at Wizards of the Coast.
Legends of Baldur's Gate sets off for adventure this October with a Tyranny of Dragons story don't miss out on the most epic quest of the year!