There are many rumors about role-players: that they’re unattractive, dumb nerds; that they watch Anime just for the fanservice; or that they are afraid of real women. These have mostly been proven false, thanks to the popularity of RPGs these days. Still, us geeks are pretty self-aware and tend to criticize ourselves a lot.
This is basically what Roleplayers, a new comic book by writer/artist Ernie Chua, is about. It’s been done before, but there are a couple of nice things here. First, despite the main starting players being all male, they are all playing female characters! And ridiculously endowed ones too. Well yeah that’s obviously fanservice, but in-story it is explained by the fact they are playing a game called “Damsels & Dungeons” so presumably everyone is required to be female. Hey, at least no one seems to be bothered by it.
Second, the twist of the story comes when a couple of real girls join their college’s RPG Club. Here, the artist shows he can draw realistic -but still pretty- women when he needs to. The first girl, Cassie, is nice and gets along fine with the boys; the second one, Sally- not so much. Contrary to what you might expect, at least in the first two issues, the role-playing goes pretty smoothly, and there’s only one incident due to Sally and one of the male players being mad at each other.
Which brings me to my favorite aspect of the comic: it’s very true to the tabletop role-playing experience, right down to explaining the game’s rules and having the players role dice. Stereotypes asides, this comic could serve as a good introduction to RPGs.
The art, too, is VERY good, and not just the fanservice part. I really liked how well the backgrounds, monsters etc. looked. Heck even the real world looked nice!
I hope feminist readers don’t go “Ugh! How sexist!” because the (real) female characters are good- if a bit shallow (but then, so is everyone else- but the comic is starting, and hopefully there will be character growth, especially about Sally getting to like the male players.)
You can read these issues for FREE at: https://irrationalcomics.wordpress.com/ Be sure to leave them some comments!