Ok, brief sidebar: When I was in 6th grade, my family moved to California, which sucked. I didn’t know anyone, I was completely out of place, people kept saying I was from Idaho, it was just a lot, you know. During that time, however, I fell in love with fantasy as a genre. I read it all: Harry Potter, the Hobbit, itriedtoreadlordoftheringsbuttwotowersboredme, Redwall, Narnia, tons of Tamora Pierce, whatever I could get my hands on at the school library, just stacks and stacks of books, each teeming with life and worlds fantastical and magical. It didn’t make the isolation and anxiety of finding my feet in a city unknown to me go away, but it was a precious comfort: for a small amount of time, I could be a part of these worlds that were fun and dramatic and silly and breathtaking.

My worries nowadays are more broad scope than elementary school squabbles, especially considering the year it’s been, but it makes the things I can find that kind of comfort in even more special. I’ve only been listening to Hello from the Magic Tavern for maybe two months now, but it brings me that same kind of joy and serenity that curling up by the bookshelf reading The Hobbit for the first time did back then. It’s funny, the audio production is incredible (I’m a sucker for that environmental tavern backdrop), and it sometimes absolutely blindsides you with tenderness and family and friendship.

Some people might say that, with everything going on, these sorts of things aren’t important. I don’t want to sound like I’m advocating for escapism, but you need to find the things that allow you to recharge, that inspire you to keep creating and keep moving. Magic Tavern is one of those for me.

(also before anyone asks, i was halfway through the comic before i finished season one so i didn’t know about otok, ok. i miss him so much.)