Your Guide to Critical Role and Dark Horse’s Comic and Art Books
Written by Christina on June 15, 2020
This article was originally published June 15, 2020. It has since been updated to bring this guide up to date with the most recent information on all things Dark Horse. An update log can be found at the bottom of the article.
Last week, the long-awaited final issue of our latest comic book series, Vox Machina Origins Series II AND The Chronicles of Exandria–The Mighty Nein (our art book which tells the early stories of our second campaign through amazing art created by our community) released into the wild.
And, if that wasn’t enough awesomeness, we’re also announcing two very special books: the Vox Machina Origins Volume 2 Limited Edition hardcover AND Vox Machina Origins Series I & II Library Edition hardcover.
Each of these projects are collaborations with our good friends at Dark Horse Comics, and now seems like the perfect time to take a moment to deep dive into all of the comic book and art book magic that we’ve been working so hard on together!
It has been a hard time for the comics industry and especially comics retailers. Consider supporting your local comic shop with your purchase, if you’re able to. To find a shop near you, check out IndieBound’s independent bookstore locator, here or comicshoplocator.com.
We hope that you find this guide helpful, as we wanted to provide as much news and information as possible about each of these very special projects.
VOX MACHINA ORIGINS
Vox Machina Origins is our comic book series that tells the story of how our favorite heroes in Tal’Dorei, Vox Machina, met. It shares their adventures from before Critical Role became a streamed web series. So far, Vox Machina Origins consists of two series of six issues each, for a total of twelve issues: Vox Machina Origins Series I issues #1–#6 and Vox Machina Origins Series II issues #1–#6. We recently announced the continuation of Vox Machina Origins with Vox Machina Origins Series III! Issue #1 scheduled to release December 9, 2020. For more information on the Series III, check out our article here.
VOX MACHINA ORIGINS SERIES I
About the Series
The band of adventurers known as Vox Machina will save the world. Eventually. But even they have to start somewhere.
Six would-be heroes on seemingly different jobs find their paths intertwined as they investigate shady business in the swamp town of Stilben. They’ll need to put their heads—and weapons—together to figure out what’s going on…and keep from being killed in the process.
Vox Machina Origins Series I #1–#6 was written by Matthew Mercer and Matthew Colville, and features interior art by Olivia Samson and coloring and lettering by Chris Northrop.
Vox Machina Origins Series I #1–#6 single issues are available digitally via Dark Horse Digital and comiXology at a discount price $0.99 USD per issue (typically priced at $3.99). This means that you can buy our first six-issue run for less than $6!
Vox Machina Origins Volume 1 collects Vox Machina Origins Series I #1–#6 into one tome containing the entire story of the first series. This volume contains bonus content including annotated cover process pieces, preliminary character sketches, and character descriptions and stats. You can pick up Vox Machina Origins Volume 1 in the following formats:
- Digital: Dark Horse Digital & comiXology (on sale right now for $6 but usually priced at $16.99)
- Physical: Available at $19.99 USD through local retailers, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, Indigo, and IndieBound
Standard Edition Hardcover
- Physical only: Available exclusively through the Critical Role US ($44.99 USD) and UK Stores (£44.99 GBP).
The Limited Edition came bound in foil-stamped and burnished faux leather, along with a lithograph and cloth portfolio, housed in a faux leather, foil-stamped, and burnished slipcase. Bonus content included annotated cover process pieces, preliminary character sketches, and special character descriptions and stats (the same as is included with the hardcover version)
The Limited Edition is no longer available.
VOX MACHINA ORIGINS SERIES II
About the Series
Vox Machina Origins Series II #1–#6 continues the adventures of Vox Machina. When Grog goes missing in the night, tracking him down will see the party lose one member, gain two more, and reveal parts of Grog’s secret past. But first, his friends have to actually find him.
Series II was written by Matthew Mercer and Jody Houser, and features interior art by Olivia Samson, coloring by MSASSYK, lettering by Ariana Maher, and design by Cindy Cacerez-Sprague.
Check out the panels below for a little teaser of issue #6:
Vox Machina Origins Volume 2, a collection of Vox Machina Origins Series II #1–#6 is available now in the following formats:
- Digital: Available now through Dark Horse Digital and comiXology ($11.99 USD)
- Physical: Available now through local retailers or at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, Indigo, and IndieBound. ($19.99 USD)
We’re excited to announce our next addition to the limited edition hardcover family! This beautiful book contains Vox Machina Origins Series II #1–#6, plus a red faux-leather, foil stamped cover and slipcase designed by Cindy Cacerez-Sprague AND a 6.5″ x 10″ lithograph with art by Hunter Severn Bonyun and Stephan McGowan.
- Physical: Available now exclusively through the Critical Role Stores ($99.99 USD US Store, £99.99 GBP UK Store, $165.00 AUD AU Store).
VOX MACHINA ORIGINS SERIES I & II LIBRARY EDITION HARDCOVER
And, another BIG announcement: Vox Machina Origins Series I & II Library Edition hardcover, a hardcover collection of both Vox Machina Origins Volumes 1 and 2 (that’s Vox Machina Origins Series I #1–#6 and Vox Machina Origins Series II #1–#6) will be available this fall AND is available for pre-order right now.
Get the full story thus far of the group that will one day be known as Vox Machina, from their first team-up to facing down cults and curses in the revelation of their origins and the path that will lead them to glory…eventually.
This edition features sweet bonuses including sketch art from Volumes 1 and 2 and full images of the Vox Machina Origins Series I #1–#6 cover art, which has never been seen in print until now!
- Digital: Available for pre-order now through Amazon Kindle and NOOK Book ($23.99)
- Physical: Pre-orders available now through your local comic shop, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers ($39.99 USD) OR you can order through the Critical Role Stores when Vox Machina Origins Series I & II Library Edition hardcover is released November 24, 2020.
FREE COMIC BOOK DAY
In addition to our main series, we also created a special issue of Vox Machina Origins for Free Comic Book Day!
Tales of Vox Machina have traveled far and wide… But which tales are just colorful flights of fancy, and which are actually true? Gather ’round as several of these tall tales are told, each more far-fetched than the last.
The issue was written by Jody Houser and features interior art by Hunter Severn Bonyun and color by Stephan McGowan.
The issue also features an introduction to the world of Neil Gaiman’s new adapted comic series Norse Mythology.
Free Comic Book Day is being rescheduled and more information will be announced when possible. To stay up to date, check out freecomicbookday.com.
THE CHRONICLES OF EXANDRIA — THE MIGHTY NEIN
Encompassing the first chapters of our second campaign, The Chronicles of Exandria—The Mighty Nein illustrates the adventures of our unlikely heroes as they meet in Trostenwald, struggle through a heartbreaking encounter with the Iron Shepherds, and more. The tome contains 264 pages of art created by the Critical Role community and text written by Liam O’Brien, Taliesin Jaffe, Dani Carr, and the cast of Critical Role, and was lovingly curated by Liam O’Brien, Taliesin Jaffe, and Lauryn Ipsum.
The Chronicles of Exandria—The Mighty Nein is a beautiful way to revisit the origin of the Mighty Nein through the perspective of expositor Beauregard Lionett and the archivists of the Cobalt Soul.
- Digital: Available now through Amazon Kindle, comiXology, Dark Horse Digital, and NOOK Book.
- Physical: Available now. You can set up a safe pickup or delivery for the physical version from a local comic shop or order online through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Booksamillion, Indigo, or IndieBound ($44.99).
The Deluxe Edition features all of the same incredible art as the Standard Edition, plus some sweet bonuses:
- A faux-leather, foil-stamped cover and decorative clamshell box featuring art by Lauryn Ipsum and designed by Cindy Cacerez-Sprague
- An annotated cloth map of the Dwendalian Empire by Deven Rue
- A triptych-style lithograph featuring exclusive art by Sam Hogg
- Character sketches of each of the Mighty Nein by Nick Robles
- A flyer for the Fletching & Moondrop Traveling Carnival of Curiosities by Will Kirkby
- A sumptuous invitation to the Lavish Chateau by Helen Mask
- Blueprints for the Tinkertop Bolt Blaster 1000 by Fernando Furukawa
- A pamphlet on the Traveler by Ceri Giddens
- Flower sketches by Lauryn Ipsum
- A letter from the law firm of Nott & Brave
The Deluxe Edition is available now in the Critical Role US ($124.99 USD) and UK Stores (£124.99 GBP). We also expect to have the Deluxe Edition stocked in our AU Store ($190.00 AUD) around the same time. The Deluxe Edition of our art book is also available in retail stores so be sure to check out your local bookstore.
There you have it! We’d like to thank the good folks at Dark Horse Comics for being the best partners to tell our stories with, AND you, the Critter community, for allowing us the opportunity to dive into such amazing projects.
- September 17, 2020
- Vox Machina Origins Series III announcement added.
- September 16, 2020
- Vox Machina Origins Volume 2 information updated from pre-order
- Chronicles of Exandria – The Mighty Nein Deluxe Edition availability updated.