Sunday, July 21, 2024

Mavis, Mookie, And Merle Face Off With A Mysterious Threat In New Preview Pages From ‘The Adventure Zone: The Suffering Game’

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The hit-podcast-turned-#1 New York Times bestselling The Adventure Zone graphic novel series is back with its highly anticipated penultimate volume, The Suffering Game, by Griffin McElroy, Clint McElroy, Justin McElroy, and Travis McElroy, co-adapted and illustrated by Carey Pietsch (on-sale July 16, 2024). The Suffering Game is the sixth installment of the graphic novel series and directly follows 2023’s The Eleventh Hour. It adapts episodes 51-57 of the original Balance arc.

The Adventure Zone : The Suffering Game cover

In this newest installment, our heroes are finally nearing the end of their quest to collect the seven Grand Relics, dangerous magical artifacts which threaten the world as they know it. The penultimate item on their adventuring to-do list is the Animus Bell, which The Director tells them is hidden at the heart of Wonderland, a carnival of torment. Once inside, the boys will have their shot at winning the Bell…but each step forward comes at a horrible cost. And the deeper they go ― the closer they get ― the higher a price they’ll pay.

And if they can secure the Bell, surely then the worst will be over, right? Surely they’ll go back up to their Moonbase in the sky, and hand the Bell over to The Director, and Bureau life will return to normal while they begin their hunt for the final relic, right? They’re so close to the end, after all, and they’ve gone through so much to get this far. There can’t possibly be any further surprises in store…

The Adventure Zone : The Suffering Game interior

“It was such a delight to get to draw Mavis & Mookie interacting,” said The Suffering Game artist Carey Pietsch “both with Merle and with each other! I think we get to learn a lot about their relationships in this short sequence, and I love how much it reveals about Merle’s character and how he’s changed over time. I’m really a fan of quieter moments for how much room they give us to show how characters are feeling through their body language, expressions, and interactions, and there’s a lot of that here. And also some action! Sorry to the ‘SNAX!’ stand, you were taken from us too soon. Bonus points if you can spot Cupsy, the Miller Labs tie-in product that nobody seems to be as excited about as I am. I wonder why?!?!

The Adventure Zone : The Suffering Game interior

“To quote Brian Mills “I have a very particular set of skills,” added Clint, who played Merle in the original Balance arc. “I have no automotive knowledge (If my car breaks down on the side of the road, I walk away, leaving a note under the wiper that says ‘Take it, it’s yours’

I don’t know how to fold fitted sheets (I go with the ‘Ball Up and Cram In the Bottom of the Closet Where Carol Can’t See It’ method. But apparently, I’m pretty decent at making kids (with the right collaborator).

The Adventure Zone : The Suffering Game interior

“My first three joint projects are named Justin, Travis and Griffin and they came out pretty good. And I’m pretty proud of the other kids I created: Mavis and Mookie. Merle being a dad was something that surprised a lot of folks. The fact that he was a DEADBEAT Dad was not that big a surprise. But it was a major turning point in Mr. Highchurch’s character arc, when he started to do better as a dad. That wouldn’t have happened without Mavis and Mookie. I had the right ‘collaborator’ on this project too, because Carey Pietsch brought Mavis to life, full of courage and boundless heart, embodying her Dad’s “Choose Joy” mantra. And Mookie, full of piss and vinegar, embodying the spirit of the TAZmanian Devil (See what I did there?) As I tell everybody: I got great kids!”

The Adventure Zone: The Suffering Game is available for pre-order now as a trade paperback or hardcover through the Macmillan store, Barnes & Noble, or your favorite local bookstore at an MRSP of $19.99. Fans can get a signed bookplate if they pre-order through one of the McElroys partner stores.

Images via Macmillan

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