A Comic by Valente Ochoa based on the podcast by various AEW Wrestlers
I recently reviewed a short fan-made comic of the popular AEW affiliated Dungeons & Dragons campaign – Critical Botch. It was put together by a California-based author/illustrator named Valente Ochoa with the blessing of the AEW crew, and packed into a recent Pro Wrestling Crate. I enjoyed it quite a bit because of the absurdity of the D&D campaign the comic as well as the way the was able to capitalize on the goofier moments in the story. Today, I have the opportunity to review the next few comics in this series, which on a day when I’ve spent like 90% of my time watching war footage, (I’m writing this as Russia has invaded Ukraine) this little bit of levity helps a lot.
“The “Murderhobos” are on the loose! The gang decides to split up after they kill an orc at the All Inn, and guards are called in to arrest Orc and Rick. Doc and JTT decide to open a B&B unfortunately it’s already owned by somebody else at the time they decide to take over. While Copper and Lorelai try to break their friends out of jail.”
As I mentioned in my previous review, Critical botch stars “the likes of AEW wrestlers Brandon Cutler, Orange Cassidy, Leva Bates, and Colt Cabana […] This comic retells the very beginning of the first episode, wherein the party first meets in a bar. I’m sure the Dungeon Master (Brandon Cutler) had a full campaign all set up, only to have everyone cause utter chaos and start a murderous bar fight right from the get-go.” Volume two takes place in the immediate aftermath of this bar fight that resulted in an entire bar of villagers spilling into the streets and a few dead warriors of some nature. We see the party diverge here a bit, with one half attempting a jail break, and the other trying to become bed and breakfast tycoons for some reason.
Truthfully this part of the podcast was my least favorite part of the first few episodes because it seemed like a few of the players were deliberately trying to “break” the game, but the events have been edited down and certain parts have been played up for laughs to a hilarious degree. Ochoa has a solid comic timing when it comes to his adaptation, and knows exactly when to include something. a prime example are the scenes with Orc Halfington (Colt cabana) almost innocently lamenting about uneaten chicken wings, or randomly talking about his new found appreciation for a waterskin, which Colt had confusingly assumed was a magic spell for some reason. The whole comic gives a good chuckle, and the artwork has considerably improved over volume one, with far more dynamic backgrounds and better composition.
Perhaps one of the funnier little moments are some cameos from none other than AEW’s Vickie Guerrero and most of the refs, such as Rick Knox and Aubrey Edwards.
Overall, solid comic and a solid representation of how ridiculous a real Dungeons and Dragons game can go. Sure, you have stuff out there like Critical Role, which is all actors, playing a dramatic game that is worthy of becoming a cartoon series, and you have real D&D games where everyone acts exactly like this comic. In that way, I respect the hell out of it – it reminds me of the early 2010s when I fell in love with a podcast called Nerd Poker and how absurd that was. Valente Ochoa has done a great job here, and I can’t wait to read more!
You can find this comic on Lulu, it’s a bit pricey, but the author doesn’t get a ton from a printer like that, so any little bit helps him out! Support indie comics y’all!