That said, let's end on a bang and go out with this exciting print ad:
DUNGEONS & DRAGONSYeah, that'll do. In panel 1 it looks almost as though they're waiting in a desert wasteland, staging a fantasy production of Waiting for Godot, but then in panel 2 the lights of the city are very nearby. I guess they're just standing on the beach at low tide right next to the boardwalk, the "camera" looking out from the town. (Also curious: in all the other upper panels, the sky is clear and a daytime blue, but in the central "flying boat reveal" panel, it's a dusky orange. Perhaps the town supports some early industrial activity that generates very localized air pollution?) The interjections in the boat reveal panel suggest a patter of word bubble give and take, but their placement indicates the dull thud of a wall of text followed by extraneous JRPG-style obligatory dialogue response.
"Quest Through The Savage Country"
RORY GALLAN, THE RANGER AND SHADRAK, THE GNOME THIEF HAVE BEEN HIRED TO HELP A BEAUTIFUL SORCERESS CROSS THE SAVAGE COUNTRY!
R: WELL WE'RE ON TIME BUT WHERE IS THE GIRL, AND THE HORSES SHE PROMISED US?!
S: SHE'LL BE HERE PATHFINDER. YOU'VE GOT TO LEARN TO TRUST PEOPLE!
R: WHAT'S THAT SHADOW CROSSIN' OVERHEA...?
BEAUTIFUL SORCERESS: GOOD MORNING MSSR GALLAN, MSSR SHADRAK. ARE YOU READY TO GO? INCIDENTALLY MY DEAR GENTLEMEN, I NEVER PROMISED TO PROVIDE YOU WITH HORSES; SIMPLY THAT I WOULD PROVIDE THE MEANS OF TRANSPORT. THIS ENCHANTED BOAT OF MY MASTER'S IS THAT TRANSPORT!
R: A F, FLYING BOAT!!?
S: M'LADY... WITH ALL RESPECT, THERE IS NO WAY I'M GOING UP IN THAT THING!!
A RELUCTANT GNOME IS PERSUADED TO BOARD AND THE MAGIC BOAT LIFTS OFF, SAILING THE SKY MORE GRACEFULLY THAN ANY SHIP HAS EVER SAILED THE SEA!
THE PEACEFUL FLIGHT TURNS ROUGH HOWEVER, AS THE WIND BLOWS STRONGER AND STORM CLOUDS GATHER!
S: ( IF GNOMES WERE MEANT TO FLY... )
R: Oh my... LOOK! WHAT IS THAT?!
S: IT'S A STORM GIANT!!
When you are flying a flag on top of a sailboat, in which direction does the flag fly? Behind, trailing the boat, or before, indicating the same breeze pushing the vessel? I remember hearing that in a hot-air balloon, one never feels breezes because one moves in them; if the wind picks up it doesn't blow past you, it just blows you along with it!
Final panel observations: I think those may be the only lower-case letters penned in this whole series. (Also: shades of Takei... the appropriate response to the giant's magnificent physique? "Oh myyy...") That is a real Monster Manual calibre spot illustration, and the Storm Giant's lightning-gripping gesture is totally metal. \m/
Unanswerable closing thoughts (category: "a boring mystery"): "Quest Through the Savage Country" -- if you pass over a territory completely, does it really count as travelling through it? Flyover states: does one quest through them in an airplane? These considerations digress from the unvisited plot being telegraphed, that being that the trip will not continue being an airborne one following the cloud giant encounter. (What is the equivalent of a "drydock" in which a flying boat is repaired? No, don't answer that.)
OK, and that's a wrap! Composing these dopey response statements remains a lot of fun, but there's a lot of higher-priority business going on in my life than when I started this blog. Perhaps I'll return to it once my kids are embarrassed to be seen in public with me. (A self fulfilling prophecy? Does he blog game ads because his kids are ashamed or are his kids ashamed because he blogs game ads?) Until such a time... Excelsior!