As a fan of the web series, and also of other Dark Horse titles, I had to get this comic book. I could call it a graphic novel, but ever since I found out that Sandman's Neil Gaiman prefers the term "comic book" and why, I now happily accept the term. I'm a big fan of Felicia Day, and she has written the script herself, so I expected it to be good. Well, it's better than good; it's the funniest, sharpest and most satisfying prequel story I've read in ages, of any kind.
This is the story of how Cyd Sherman discovered "the game" (if you've never seen The Guild, you're probably thinking it's a very different type of comic book right now), and how it became so important in her life. It's the story of how she broke up with her boyfriend and ended up setting fire to his cello. It's the story of how the Knights of Good came together as a guild, with a few twists and turns you probably weren't expecting along the way. Most of all, it's a story about the perception of self worth and the ways we come to terms with our value as individuals both despite and through interacting with others.
This is a thin book, but deceptively so as it almost seems to have more pages than is possible, probably because there is a lot of story and it will take you over an hour to read. There are extras too, but I'll leave those as a surprise. The graphics are clearly drawn with love and care, and offer an insight into what actually goes on in the game itself. There are several jokes and in-references that I picked up as a gamer, and I'm sure there are probably more I never noticed.
The last line of the story, onto which you can almost see the irony condensing, is basically both the set up and premise for the start of Series 1.
If you are a fan of the web series, you have to read this. It's a bit like reading through the script for what you might imagine the first third of a film version of The Guild would be like. It's funny, insightful, and completely true to the characters. Put quite simply: it's something that every serious Guild fan has to get. I can't emphasis that enough to you.