The Last Session #1
Story by Jasmine Walls
Art by Dozerdraws
Lettering by Micah Myers
Editing by Michael Moccio
Review by KrisK
You can’t escape Dungeons and Dragons. After decades hiding from the sun in basements across the world, the tabletop roleplaying game thrusts itself into the spotlight. Between podcasts, upcoming movies, comics, video games, and fandom crossovers, D&D permeates nerd culture. With this intense focus and exposure, D&D stories were bound to evolve, moving past the game to the people who play it. This next evolution, dealt with in the modern classic, Die, moves to the front and center with The Last Session.
While comics like Die focus on the game world and let the outside influence it, Last Session focuses on a slice of life real world story, where Dungeons and Dragons moves to being a smaller piece of a much larger puzzle.
Last Session opens with a high school Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA, formerly known as Gay Straight Alliance). The Club President absent, the aspiring club members start a game of “Dice and Deathtraps.” Flash forward four years and the campaign never ended. The members, graduating college and/or holding day jobs, decide to finish the game once and for all. (Special shout out to the character Drew (he/him), who works as a barista and aspiring writer. “I just need a good lunch and I’ll stop wanting to murder people” is my mantra for every job.)
The dungeon master, Jay (They/Them), invites them all to finish the series, adding their partner, Cassandra (she/her) as a new player. The campaign is a seasoned team though, and they do not appreciate a novice entering the game. Tension grows between the members, especially with Lana (she/her), who feels like Cassandra creates trouble. The story bounces between the fantasy realm, and their real lives, both sides of the story feeding each other.
Walls’ writing excels at creating lifelike characters with their own struggles and motives. Each of the 6 characters possess their own agency. They make their own decisions and exist as more than just plot devices. Some comics have characters who seem like they go into a closet and power down when not on panel. Not Last Session.
With the explosion of non-superhero comics, readers experience more slice of life stores than ever before. This allows for intimate stories like Last Session, where yes, there is some adventure, but the relationships create the drama.
The art by Dozerdraws feels reminiscent to YA graphic novels, which works perfectly, because the players are trying to recapture their youth just a bit more. The shapes are rounder. Even personal trainer, Jay, lacks the sculpted bod you envy in other comics. Bright colors liven up the panels, with an emphasis on the complimentary colors, blue and orange.
Verdict: Buy! This comic, like D&D itself, transports you to another world, full of joy. Watch this comic, coming out on December 22nd.