Fantasy Comic With a Twist

Good day, indeed, party prince of mystery.
Image: Kendra Wells/Iron Circus Comics

We’ve all known an eclectic tabletop RPG party or six—and maybe even been a part of them at some point in our dice-rolling lives, too. While there’s plenty of tales of heroic, stern, ideal, and noble heroes going out on fantasy adventures, Kendra Wells’ next graphic novel wants to focus on those more unlikely groups.

io9 has a look inside Iron Circus Comics’ next graphic novel project, Real Hero Shit, which launched on Kickstarter this week. Penned by Wells—whose work has been published on the Nib, and previously tackled Tell No Tales: Pirates of the Southern Seas—the 120-page OGN follows a ragtag group of fantasy adventurers. When the villagers of a small mountain town go missing, Michel and his friends Ani and Hocus are hired to go on a mission to uncover just what’s going on. The problem, however, is that they’re down a Fighter, and recruitment drives for secret missions, let alone adventurers looking for someone who can dole out all the hard hitters of combat, don’t exactly go well. As you’ll see in our preview below though, a surprising face reveals themselves to Michel and his friends as… well, let’s say an interesting addition to the group in the form of party prince (and actual prince) Eugene.

Image for article titled An Unlikely Adventuring Group Forms in a Look Inside Iron Circus' Next Comic

Image: Kendra Wells/Iron Circus Comics

Real Hero Shit was inspired by the kind of media I love: fantasy featuring funny, raw characters that remind me of my friends and loved ones,” Wells said in a statement provided to io9 over email. “The four main characters in particular feel like I’ve known them my whole life: Eugene is a well-meaning but ostentatious and arrogant brat, Ani is wickedly smart but abrasive and needs to work on knowing when to drop something (even when you’re right about it), Michel is incredibly hardworking and focused at the expense of his emotional health, and Hocus is kind and big-hearted but sometimes loses sight of the bigger picture while supporting loved ones. Writing and creating this book felt like therapy, but with considerably more dick jokes.”

“Kendra is just amazing at writing and drawing characters. They are so full of life! They have both great comedic timing and can show subtler emotions during their heavier scenes. I loved getting to know them,” Iron Circus Editor Kel McDonald added.

“Iron Circus’ purpose, its mission statement, is ‘Strange and Amazing.’ We look for underrepresented creators and subject matter, because we know the audience for them exists; heck, we ARE the audience for it,” Iron Circus’ publisher, Spike Trotman, concluded. “And time and again, whether it’s with the Lackadaisy animated short, or the Cautionary Fables and Fairy Tales collection of Indigenous folk stories, or even anthologies of sex-positive smut, we’ve been proven right in our instincts. We expect the same experience with Real Hero Shit.” Check out Eugene’s unorthodox job application in our exclusive preview below!

Real Hero Shit is set to release in February 2022—but if you want in, you can check out the already-funded Kickstarter campaign here, ahead of its conclusion on October 29, to secure a copy.

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