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The Legend of Zelda fans turn Skyward Sword frustrations into Zelda-inspired graphic novel

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Two longtime fans of Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda series, both of them frustrated by Wii game The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, have turned their dissatisfaction into a work of art: a Zelda-inspired graphic novel titled Second Quest.

The two creators behind Second Quest are Tevis Thompson, author of the essay "Saving Zelda," and David Hellman, perhaps best known for his artwork for Braid. The duo, who "love the adventure, the challenge, the constant sense of discovery" of past Zelda games, Thompson says, connected through their shared disappointment with Skyward Sword.

"With all the handholding, there was little to discover on our own," Thompson writes. "We didn't have to pay attention — the adventure just kind of happened. We couldn't really get lost in Hyrule, even if we wanted to.

"As we talked, an original story of our own emerged," Thompson explains, "one that took these Zelda problems (common to many other modern games as well!) and explored them in comic form. The idea was for a short comic at first, but it quickly grew much bigger over the summer as we developed the story, characters, and world. By the end, we found ourselves with the script and concept art for a complete graphic novella."

Thompson and Hellman are now trying to fund the publication of Second Quest through Kickstarter, where they describe the book as a "a comic for those who love videogames but want more compelling worlds and a sense of real discovery."

Second Quest tells a story of a young woman from a small town in the sky who also has special powers; she can draw out memories from objects by touching them. Thompson says the book is more than just a fantasy novella.

"Second Quest also engages many conversations that are happening in the videogame community right now — about the representations of women in games, the failures of triple-A titles, the role of achievements and trophies, and why we even play games at all," he writes.

The Second Quest Kickstarter drive is seeking $50,000 to publish the hardcover 50-page book, which is expected to ship in Nov. 2013. With three weeks to go, Second Quest has already passed the halfway mark. Details on the book, backer rewards and funding tiers are available at Kickstarter.

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