The Travelers #8
[Kenzer & Company $2.95 US $4.50 CAN B&W]
Written by Tony DiGerolamo / Illustrated by Brendon & Brian Fraim
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They’ve battled dragons, ninjas, demons and now vampires. In this installment of The Travelers, our heroes are pressed into service to slay Vlad Dracula, King of the vampires. “Springtime for Vlad Tepes in Romania” begins fifty years ago when Vlad turned an unsuspecting troupe of circus performers into his own circus of the damned. Skip ahead to present day Beastleyville and the diminutive ringmaster, Angustus, sends his minions after the gang who are promptly turned into the walking dead. It turns out that his beloved Briana became one of Vlad’s concubines and the only way she can escape is through Vlad’s death. And to give our group incentive beyond reuniting the lovelorn, the only way they can become real, live human beings again is to defeat Vlad.
The Fraim brothers, who normally provide the inking for this series, handle the penciling chores as well this issue and do a stellar job. Their layouts don’t have the same frantic energy as Brian Dawson’s but their clean lines and concise layouts are just as effective in telling the story.
The only weak spot this issue is in the story. Even with the slapstick nature of this series, some stories should be lengthened to span at least a couple of issues. This story, while funny, suffered from being rushed in places. The trip from Beastleyville to Vlad’s lair was by boat and took several weeks. But the only member of the group to suffer vampiric hunger pangs was Cubby. The trip and the gang dealing with the drawbacks of being undead could have played out longer for even more laughs.
However, even a below par issue of The Travelers is an entertaining read. Tony DiGerolamo has a talent for writing comedy and anyone who has played in a less than serious fantasy role-playing campaign will like this series.
You should see this on your local comic shop’s shelves in February, 2001 but if you don’t, write to Kenzer & Company, Mail Order Fulfillments, 830 West Main Street, PMB114, Lake Zurich, IL 60047 or visit The Travelers web site at www.thefixsite.com. You can visit the Kenzer & Company web site at www.kenzerco.com/periodicals/travelers/.
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