Good Deeds Gone Unpunished

August 21, 2018 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

deedsGood Deeds Gone Unpunished by Rich Burlew

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As I was reading this book, I realized that the reasons I like Usagi Yojimbo so much are the reasons I like The Order of the Stick so much. Aside from the honorable characters and the deep-seeded evil of both stories, there’s a general positivity to their works that you don’t see much in modern fantasy. Sure, people die, and sometimes they’re our favorite characters, but Burlew appears to write toward a general feel-good, heroes-win kind of fantasy. It still has an epic feel, and I know it hasn’t been concluded yet, but it feels like that’s where Burlew is going with his story.

Good Deeds Gone Unpunished is a collection of five short-stories, told in reverse chronological order, about the citizens of Azure City, featured in the collection War and XPs. We get glimpses into the lives of some of the major characters there, some seemingly innocuous, others profound and life-changing. There’s a good balance of exposition and revelation here, which is about all most of the stories have. The first four are very short, and hardly have time to get anything going, but the final story takes up about half of the book and feels like a novel of its own.

Burlew is a talented writer. This isn’t news to anyone who follows the online comic, but he’s a writer who deserves more attention. His stories are geared more toward readers who have a familiarity with Dungeons and Dragons (the early strips more so), but anyone who enjoys epic stories with complex plots and a strong sense of humor would find a lot to like in this series. One of these days I’ll get around to re-reading the story in the collected trade paperback.

Started: August 6, 2018
Finished: August 10, 2018

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