I am, as I'm sure anyone bothering to read this already knows, a big geek. RPGs, fantasy, SF, and comics are my primary poisons. I am one of those few who was lucky enough to marry someone who is in all major respects a kindred spirit. While her passions are for music and dance, she loves comics and RPGs.
Well, most RPGs. You see, she absolutely, positively, and without reservation, HATES Dungeons & Dragons and virtually any RPG that takes place in an era with an abundance of magic swords and a commensurate lack of flush toilets. Her tastes in fiction mirror this: she'll happily read fantasy, just as long as the word "urban" precedes it (and I don't mean "Ill-Met In Lankhmar."
Of course, I seem to play a lot of D&D or D&D-ish stuff. More than I think I did even when it was the only game in town. I'm certainly enjoying it more. And because I enjoy it, and because hope never dies in my optimistic little heart, I still occasionally push D&D-ish stuff her way, hoping to -- I don't really know -- I guess maybe show her it doesn't completely suck. She dutifully looks it over, then turns her nose up and we go about our business.
Today, I put something more than D&D-ish in front of her. It was very much a D&D thing, namely the new Dungeons & Dragons comic from IDW. I picked it up at lunch, largely due to the fact that it's written by "Leverage" creator John Rogers, an admitted gamer himself, who wrote some stuff for 4e during the Hollywood writers' strike a few years ago. It is, in my opinion, just about as perfect a specimen of an RPG tie-in product that you could ask for. Such a product, in my opinion, needs to give the reader (whether a gamer or an interested bystander) a glimpse of the ideal sort of stories you can tell with the game. But the reader shouldn't hear the figurative dice clattering offstage. In this respect Rogers' gifts for pacing and dialog shine through beautifully. The comic is full of action and wit, two things that make an easy sell to new readers.
So, having enjoyed it thoroughly over lunch, I decided to put it to the real test, plopping it down in front of The Missus, who was waiting for me to cook dinner. As I busied myself heating up the creamy tomato bisque and making grilled pimiento cheese on rye sandwiches, I heard a giggle. Then more. Then full on laughter. At the end, she pronounced it "Delightful," and instructed me to make sure she gets to see the next issue.
Now, if I can just figure out a way to sell her on trying the game out again.