Brandon Boyer

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Writer Tevis Thompson’s “Saving Zelda” essay — published earlier in the year, shortly after the release of the Wii’s latest Zelda installment, Skyward Sword — seemed to solidify that everyone else was also thinking the same thing: with rare exception, there’s been something missing in the franchise, a sense of diminishing returns, a growing and distinctive lack of the mystery and magic that made the series beloved in the first place.

And so, partnering with David Hellman, most notably the artist behind Jon Blow’s Braid, the two took to Kickstarter to help restore that sense of wonder as best they could with Second Quest, an upcoming, hard-bound graphic novella “for those who love videogames but want more compelling worlds and a sense of real discovery” and “anyone who’s felt the pull of distant landscapes and longed to explore a world full of mystery.”

While the project has already exceeded its Kickstarter goal, with just two days remaining, the pair have prepared a new bonus for backers with ‘Side Quest’, a six-page digital mini-comic companion story to the main Second Quest that they’ll be sending to everyone who’s supported the campaign.

And so, presented below is the first two pages of Side Quest — which you can dive further into by supporting their Kickstarter campaign at any level here — and a short note from Hellman as the project draws to a close.

Says Hellman:

Hi all,

Tevis and I started a Kickstarter to make a comic book about what we love most in video games – the playfulness, mystery and wonder of exploring strange landscapes. We’re calling it Second Quest. Partly because that phrase suggests to us that there might be an entirely new adventure around the corner.

We’re just a couple days from the end of the Kickstarter. It’s been an amazing, humbling experience. So many friends and family have offered their support, both financially and through the generosity of their time and talents. And people we didn’t know before have gotten in touch to say that they are excited about what we’re making, that they expect it will summon back for them their fondest video game-playing experiences.

With the end of the Kickstarter drawing near (it ends Thursday night). we’ve been training our thoughts gradually away from running a campaign, towards the art. It’s a mental shift that we wanted to start as soon as possible.

To warm up for the “main event” of drawing Second Quest, and to thank everybody who is making it possible, we’re producing a 6-page mini-comic that we’re calling Side Quest. It will be done in December, and we’ll send it in PDF (digital) format to all our backers. But the first two pages are finished now, and we’re proud to share them first on Venus Patrol.

As I put pen to paper, my mind swimming with possibilities of layout, necessities of blocking, and principles of characterization, I want so badly for it to be really good. I can identify with the boy on page 1, sitting down with his recorder, just trying to sound a pleasant note.

Even better than sounding a pleasant note would be to unexpectedly find oneself at the edge of a new mystery.

Thanks for reading, and thank you for your support.

– David