Second Quest began when Tevis wrote an essay called “Saving Zelda” in February 2012 and David drew a landscape in response. From there, they began to discuss ideas for a story that would offer an alternate take on a familiar legend. They imagined a comic that would express some of their frustrations with videogames and the insular culture surrounding them but also resonate with similar dynamics in the wider world.
They launched a Kickstarter campaign in October of that year, and more than 1,500 people generously supported their project. Over the next two years, they collaborated on every aspect of Second Quest. Scripts and concept art led to expansions and refinements which led to more organic layouts which led to further story revisions which led, eventually, to 102 hand-inked, computer-colored pages. The result is a tale of enchanting surfaces and not-so-secret darkness, one that questions the common legends we tell about our kingdoms, our people, ourselves.
Prior to Second Quest, David worked in both videogames and comics. He brought a lush, painterly style to the landmark videogame Braid and has remained active in the indie gaming community ever since. In his webcomic, A Lesson Is Learned But The Damage Is Irreversible, he constantly experimented with layouts to achieve effects both whimsical and poignant, and this strongly influenced his approach to Second Quest. You can see more of his work at davidhellman.net.
Tevis has written a series of challenging videogame essays and reviews over the past few years, including a monthly column for Grantland. Though he's also written short stories and experimental fiction, Second Quest is his first comic, and it is deeply informed by his experiences living in both China and the United States. You can read more of his work at tevisthompson.com.