Looking For Books
Wednesday blogs are usually where I try to sell you stuff (and for fans of being sold to, don’t fret, it’s coming!), but for today I thought I’d tell you what sold me on LFG.
In 2008, I was in Komico Inc, a friendly local comic book store I occasionally visited. It was still in the era comic shops had a wall lined with new releases, bins of back issues were prominently positioning in the middle of the main area. A few curious merchandise items here and there. A rack of trade paperbacks was off to the side.
I was there with disposable income and no shopping agenda, so I took my time looking at everything they offered. Characters and creators I was familiar with and a fan of. New series I had heard about and considered trying out. And then, towards the back, on the TPB rack, there was this curious hardcover I’d never heard of.
I didn’t even understand the title, not having played MMOs, but I was a longtime D&D player and a fan of the fantasy genre. I’d read a bunch of fantasy novels but the only fantasy comic I’d read was Battle Chasers, which I liked everything about except the spotty release schedule that turned into a hiatus and eventually cancellation. I was hungry for another bombastic fantasy comic, and the Alex Ross Kingdom Come satire cover told me this could be what I was looking for.
I flip through the pages and… I had questions. Why was there a title and credits on every page? It was always the same title, the same credits, so it wasn’t like an Archie Digest collecting unconnected stories. Except it sort of was, since every page told a micro story that was part of something larger, each page building on the last. New characters were introduced periodically. The designs and art drew me in, the humour was a combination of funny and fascinating, and the pace kept me turning the pages. The production quality, like the thickness of the pages and the silk bookmark added to the experience.
I still wasn’t sure what a Looking For Group was, but I knew it was for me. I couldn’t leave Komico without it. I read it cover to cover several times. Even though the book featured the url prominently in several locations, for whatever reason I never thought to go to the website. I certainly didn’t expect to find the next installments of the comic there. Even though I was familiar with online comics, having been a reader of Order of the Stick and Shortpacked, but I had never known a webcomic to be anything like LFG. For the first three years I read LFG exclusively in trades I purchased at local comic shops. It wasn’t until I was preparing to pitch the LFG RPG boxed set to them did I read the issues online, and only because I felt I should be caught up before pitching. At some point I switched to reading on the site regularly, but I still have a complete collection of the books on my shelf.
Believe it or not, there’s a huge sale in the Blind Ferret Shop. You can get LFG books for as low as $5. If you already have the main LFG books, I suggest you check out NPC. And if you have that, Tiny Dick and Good Night Sooba are great alternate takes on the LFG characters we know and love. Take this opportunity to complete your LFG bookshelf and try something familiar in an unfamiliar way.