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The Opening of Critical Role Has Been Gloriously Manga-Fied

The Opening of Critical Role Has Been Gloriously Manga-Fied

You’ve probably watched the Critical Role opening credits 100 times (or more), but you’ve never seen it like this. In celebration of 100 episodes of the show, talented artist Elaine Tipping re-created the opening credits in manga. Each panel is packed with so much detail and personality that you can practically hear the theme music.

She started watching Critical Role one year ago. “It’s actually all thanks to my other love, Dragon Age,” Elaine says. “I was still really into the DA series last year, but everyone was moving on to other things, and a lot of my favorite Dragon Age artists were posting about Critical Role.” Already familiar with D&D, she decided to give the series a chance.

“I gave it a shot and I’m so glad I did. I got a lot of art done that month, too. It was great for my productivity! I got caught up around episode 60 and started doing live doodles on Twitter about then,” Elaine says.

Elaine often finds the adventures of Vox Machina inspiring.  “The storytelling, the group’s dynamic and friendship, the amazing acting, the humor, so many amazing parts that make up the show and really make me want to get out there and do some of those things again,” she says. “There’s just something about the show, that I can’t quite put my finger on, that hits the right note. I actually listen to it when I draw, and I’m never as productive as when I’m watching an episode.”

Critical Role Manga

Her remarkable talent for drawing manga got its start when she was young. “I’ve been drawing in the style since middle school and high school, when I first started reading manga,” Elaine says. “I started my first webcomic with a friend in 2005 and I’ve just kept going and picking up more projects ever since.”

Her project to draw the opening credits has taken about half a year to complete. Each page can take from 3-5 hours for a “simple” page, and 7-8 hours for a page with a lot of detail. “I tend to work in stages/batches: roughs, pencils, inks, tones,” Elaine says.

One of the most remarkable details in Elaine’s manga version of Vox Machina are the unmistakable sound effects that fill the pages. (You’ll immediately recognize the “Rahhhh!” rumbling from Grog as the manga begins.) “Some of them I base on what I’m used to hearing in manga, but tweaked a bit to fit English,” she says.

If Elaine could pick a specific story arc to draw as a dream project, it would be the Briarwoods. “Such a good balance of humor and drama, and action, it would make a really exciting comic to draw,” she says. “But, if I chose something shorter, I’d for sure go for the attack on Emon (something I may or may not have penciled out thumbnails last time I listened to it), because talk about a gut-punch of a scene! Between those two for sure.”

Take a look through the image gallery below to see the opening of Critical Role in its manga-fied glory, completely drawn and lettered by Elaine Tipping. What scene would you love to see in manga format? Tell us in the comments.

All Images: Elaine Tipping

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Critical Role Fan Art Gallery – Forged in Fire

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