Four years ago, artist James Stowe began creating an online comic project called Sidekick Quests. The comic combined his experience with role-playing games with his love of illustration in a project he could share with his kids and that other “geeky” parents could share with their kids.
The illustrator, who has created over 200 comics for the project, recently decided to produce a physical graphic novel collection his of very first storyline. Titled Sidekick Quests; The Secret of the Sewer Wizard, the soft cover book will be comprised of a selection of comics originally published online, but it has also been developed into a role-playing game adventure so readers can play the events that take place in the comic. Stowe launched his first Kickstarter for Sidekick Quests in May of 2016, and by July the venture was fully funded. About 250 backers pledged over $9,000 to help bring the project to life. The comic is brilliantly drawn and features characters like Ghost Pirates and a “Vacuum Monster”, among many other wacky heroes and villains.
Stowe, who lives in Tacoma, Washington with his wife and two children, has been a fantasy illustrator in the role-playing game industry for 20 years. He owns his own freelance illustration company, James Stowe Illustration. Primarily a digital vector artist, nearly all the artist’s cartooning and illustration work is done in the Adobe Illustrator software program.
Stowe says he has always been drawn to the artwork in comics and role-playing games. “I grew up in a town of only nine hundred people, so I didn’t have much exposure to the arts,” he says. “Instead I read comic strips, comic books and the works of Boris Vallejo and the TSR [The Sims Resource] painters from the 1980s.”
Stowe says he loves hearing from parents who read and play Sidekick Quests with their kids. He remarks, “I just heard from a mom today who told me her son reads along with the comic every week. His favorite characters are the scouts.”
With its eye-catching images and hilarious characters, Sidekick Quests; The Secret of the Sewer Wizard is sure to be a hit with imaginative kids and parents everywhere. Get a sneak preview of images from the graphic novel in our gallery below. Read the comics and get updates on the release of the role-playing game at www.sidekickquests.com.