Hey gang!

We're Elaine Lee (writer and co-creator of the Starstruck comic series), Michael Kaluta (artist and co-creator of the Starstruck comic series), and Brennan Lee Mulligan (GM for Dimension 20, a TTRPG actualplay show on CollegeHumor's Dropout.tv, and also Elaine's son)! Back in the 80s, Elaine and Michael created the critically-acclaimed comic series Starstruck), which is getting a deluxe edition reprint from IDW Publishing in February! Also in the 80s, Elaine created Brennan, who went on to create the anthology actualplay show Dimension 20, which you might know of from campaigns like Fantasy High, A Crown of Candy, Misfits and Magic, and now A Starstruck Odyssey, set in the same multiversal world as the Starstruck comics!

Yes, the Starstruck saga is now not only a multimedia one, but a multigenerational one! The first two episodes of Dimension 20: A Starstruck Odyssey are out now (although you CAN watch episode 1 for free on the Dimension 20 Youtube channel right here), and new episodes air on Dropout.tv on Wednesdays (trailer here)

We're here to answer your questions - about Dimension 20: A Starstruck Odyssey, about the Starstruck comic series, and about everything in-between!

PROOF: https://i.redd.it/6h1eyqf26wd81.jpg

EDIT We have to get back to work now! Thanks so much for all of your questions and comments! Really meant a lot to all of us. See you in the stars!!

Comments: 653 • Responses: 36  • Date: 

SimJWill137 karma

Question for Mr. Kaluta, how do you feel about the talespire and design team's translation of your work to an actual play?

dimension20brennan114 karma

Incredibly Impressed!! It Makes me a fan!!!

It is like a dream.. feels very familiar but is entirely new


geekofthings127 karma

Elaine- what is your favorite part of watching Brennan DM a campaign in the world you’ve built?

Alternatively to Brennan, what are some of the best storytelling skills you have learned and crafted from Elaine’s?

All the best!

dimension20brennan162 karma

Everything I know about stories I learned from my Mom. If I have any storytelling skills at all, there wouldn’t be a single one I could point to without telling you the way my Mom was ultimately responsible for it. The importance of learning and curiosity about our actual world as the foundation of good world-building, the need for emphasis as a tool of both writing and performance to direct an audience or reader’s focus, dynamism, timing, setting up and delivering an unexpected twist or plot hook - and as a meta-note not about storytelling itself but about being a storyteller, work ethic: All of this and vastly more I learned from her!


dimension20brennan161 karma

Oh, my gosh! I love everything about it! Brennan and the cast really got the whole tone of Starstruck. The episodes I’ve seen are just great.

I also really loved Brennan doing the CEO of Handy Andi.


jkspfx96 karma

Hey Brennan,

Where are you from?

dimension20brennan172 karma

You're thinking of Sam Reich. HEY u/samreich SOMEONE'S GOT A QUESTION FOR YA!

Delicious_Syllabub_190 karma

Did the players have to make backup characters for this season?

dimension20brennan173 karma

Do you mean backup as in “before filming started,” or backup as in “partway through the season”? 😈


laccertilia83 karma

Brennan, how does it feel to run a game in a world that has had such a large role in your life? is it exciting? intimidating?

dimension20brennan106 karma

Deeply exciting AND intimidating in the best way possible! The depth of lore, the delightful absurdity and poetic logic of Starstruck, made it beyond thrilling and a pure joy to play in, and additionally I wanted to make sure I did justice to the themes and philosophy of the original!


ImPrettyHighrn77 karma

How has the SW5E conversion worked for designing Starstruck content? Have you just changed the names of certain things over from the SW lore to Starstruck lore or did you have to completely rework some mechanics to make them fit?

dimension20brennan114 karma

I would say 90 /10 split on off-the-shelf to homebrew, which is INCREDIBLY impressive: SW5E was beyond brilliant, and huge shoutouts to Dungeon Jedi Masters Tegan Jenkins & Todd Moonbounce for their invaluable help! Ship Combat is one of the most beautiful pieces of design I’ve seen, impossibly fun. Biggest homebrews: Sid and Barry use the stats for Ryn and Shistavanen to simulate the abilities they wanted for an Android and a Super Soldier Clone, and Riva used Kalashtar from regular 5E. We modded up the Sentinel, normally a Force-Caster, to be a Tech-Caster instead, which gave Sid the feeling of a combat-focused build with plenty of android tech powers, and reskinned all references to the Force to instead be Psychic, Telepathic and Empathic abilities!


hydrogenandtonic71 karma

For Elaine and Michael: what bits or moments from the first two episodes have best reflected your own interpretations of the Starstruck Universe?

dimension20brennan121 karma

Love the brain-slugged captain, the uninsured cyborg, the Empath involved in the Pleasure Putty biz, The Swiss Army Wife droid, the UFTP Exec, and Barry! Barry! Barry! All the corporate stuff and brand names are really Starstruck.

Not getting the insurance and immediately getting into an accident is very Starstruck.


melmn200269 karma

Brennan: two years ago, you gave me advice during your last ama about how to make NPCs not be suspicious, and that was soo helpful :)

Using your help, among others, I entered WotC's DMing competition last summer, and ended up coming in 4th!

My question for you this time is in regards to competence: I'm a week away from DMing a livestream based on the materials I made for the competition, and am SOOOOOOO nervous I'm going to be terrible, or a bad DM. Do you ever have imposter syndrome, and if so, how do you deal with it?

Thanks for all the content you provide, and may your dice roll exactly as you want them to :)

dimension20brennan183 karma

OH MY GOD!!! THIS ABSOLUTELY MAKES MY DAY!!! Congratulations to you, what an amazing achievement!! Woohooo!!

In my opinion, Impostor Syndrome is a dragon guarding a door, and the trick is to realize there’s nothing you actually need on the other side of the door, so you don’t actually need to confront the dragon. If you DM, and are terrified the entire time? You still DM’d! You still did it!!! Sit with yourself and ask: Is my uncertainty going to prevent me from doing this thing I love? Are my nerves going to make me put my dream on the ground and walk away? If they’re not, you have PERMISSION to be NERVOUS, because you’re still going to do the damn thing, and doing the damn thing is the only thing that counts!! Whether you were nervous or not!! And after enough times doing the damn thing, the Dragon will still pop up and say “You cannot defeat me and pass through the door into the Chamber of Self-Confidence!” and you will just go “My goal is not to find the Chamber of Self-Confidence. My goal is to find the Chamber of Running a Fun D&D Session, and that’s in a totally different direction, and actually I have to be going,” and you will walk away and the dragon will have its feelings super hurt, and will dwindle and diminish, and then one day you’ll find out the arched chamber at the back of the Chamber of Running a Fun D&D Session actually has a secret doorway that leads to a tunnel that opens into the Chamber of Self-Confidence without having to go through the Dragon Door, and you ended up finding it totally by accident. Does this make sense? What a wild analogy!

You’re going to do great!! Break so many legs, it’s going to be amazing!! Keep those PCs on their toes, wishing you all the best!


ArtThenMusic60 karma

For Brennan: how in-depth we’re the characters backstories before the campaign began? Did the players know roughly what to expect in their flashbacks?

For Michael: how long do you typically spend per panel to get to a finished state you’re happy with?

For Elaine: I don’t have a question, but I’m thoroughly enjoying everything Starstruck so far! Such a crushing, yet vibrant world that is so fun to explore!

dimension20brennan85 karma

Players had total control over their backstories! The dialog and some specifics in the flashbacks were improvised, but the events and outcomes were all created by the PCs. That said, the Players didn’t know there would be flashbacks in Episode One, so even though I was throwing their own writing at them, I don’t know that they anticipated it to be interspersed with so much present moment chaos and mayhem!


dimension20brennan84 karma

Aww… shuck! Thank you! Michael and I really enjoyed making it. Now we’re really enjoying seeing Brennan take it into the future. You might even call it Starstruck: The Next Generation.


dimension20brennan68 karma

There never was a typical drawing time: sometimes it took days


mjh_755 karma

hi brennan, elaine and michael!! is there any chance we see more elaine/brennan interaction on dropout in the future?

dimension20brennan140 karma

Family One-Shot, anybody???


dimension20brennan118 karma

I’m always up for it anytime I get to do something with Brennan. I miss the old LARPing days when he needed me to drive him places!


(note from the person helping run the AMA - there is an additional interview series episode between Brennan and Elaine that will drop after the season is complete, as it involves a very spoilery discussion of the campaign!)

Ambiguously_Odd52 karma

So glad you guys are doing this! Question for Elaine and Michael, but feel free to chime in Brennan: Have either of you felt any hesitance to give creative control of the universe you created to another, or establish boundaries about what is/isn't allowed?

dimension20brennan84 karma

Speaking for both of us, I don’t think either of us felt any hesitation giving this over to Brennan. He’s lived with Starstruck his whole life. Michael is Uncle Michael. Brennan knew what the boundaries were, so no problem there. We both loved the first two episodes!


dimension20brennan45 karma

What Elaine Said!!!


RoboticCop51 karma

How does one remain moral in a world, like Starstruck, in which there are no truly moral choices? Asking for real life.

dimension20brennan158 karma

There are plenty of moral choices. You just need to be ready to not be rewarded for making them. Kinda like life. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t. It’s kinda random. So, take care of your crew, be nice to your pals.


dimension20brennan113 karma

First and foremost, let me simply say: blerrrrggghhh. I feel you.

Secondly: In Starstruck, there is no Light Side of the Force, no Gandalf the Grey moving behind the scenes to oppose the forces of Evil. The “good guys,” whoever they are, don’t have the big guns on their side. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t moral choices. Just that characters in those settings need to add a lot of skepticism and pragmatism to those choices, and if they are unwilling to compromise on their morals, then they need to limit the scope of their moral ambitions. If it would kill you to save everybody, who can you save? If it would hurt you to tell the truth, how can you say the truth carefully? If you would risk something to be heroic, how can you limit that risk? Starstruck doesn’t get rid of morality, it makes morality sit down at the table with a harsh reality and enter a hostile negotiation.


Shanimalx50 karma

Hey all! I'm Shanimal, and I'm an admin for the unofficial Dimension 20 fan wikia! I'm looking for something fun to put on Starstruck's campaign wiki page, so what's the craziest, nerdiest, most obscure and ridiculous piece of Starstruck trivia you can give us? Thanks!!!

dimension20brennan68 karma

The character Malcolm “Specs” Trueheart, one of the three survivors of Neutral Zone Incident of AnarchEra 134, was inspired by comic book critic, historian, instructor, lecturer and one and only Marvel Archivist, Peter Sanderson. You asked for nerdy!


dimension20brennan60 karma

off the top of my head, it was when Elaine and I on the Starstruck Comic Tour of bookstores, had to remind the dyed-in-the-wool comics fans to not worry if a character dies... Every Comic Book Character has died multiple times: just wait a few issues!!


pilotTUP46 karma


dimension20brennan72 karma



.. yes, the Intrepid Heroes knew all along!


rouge272445 karma

Gonna just throw all my questions for each person in one!

Elaine, if I ever were to teach part of Starstruck as part of a graphic novel unit in my high school classroom, which arc/issue would you recommend the most as being one that would be important for teenagers to read? And any advice for teaching it?

Also, as a side note, thank you for all your work, your attitudes towards story telling and parenting both are inspiring!

Michael, which art from the Starstruck series are you most proud of? Is there any designs you would ever go back and change if given the chance?

Brennan, is your fluency in the universe of Starstruck a result of years of knowing the story, or did you have to go back and research and make a lot of reference sheets for A Starstruck Odyssey? Also, what’s the best part about telling a story in your mom’s universe?

Also, as a side note to you, thank you for being an inspiration and a light. I know you get overwhelming positivity, but I will simply say that I am happier with the person I’ve become after watching and loving Dimension 20. Truly life-changing stories.

Sorry this is a lot! Even if you don’t answer/get a chance to answer, I hope you all know how fantastic of an influence you’ve all had!

dimension20brennan50 karma

Hard question! Maybe the story with Brucilla and the Amercadian Space Brigade. Not because it’s important, but because it’s fun. And it might spark some conversation about the nature of war, about life in any military. Also about believing in something that might not be in your best interest. (Also, there are no sex scenes to upset parents.)


dimension20brennan40 karma

Would I ever go back and change some designs if given the chance? yes, of course, but only in the later pages now...

None of the physical designed things, but I always add more details when given the chance.. whatever I want to refine has to fit in with the story.


louiseknowskungfu39 karma

The representation in Dimension 20 is beyond refreshing - it's better than any other series I've ever seen and has absolutely saved lives. There are countless incredible queer, disabled, trans, and non-binary characters & characters of color that are given truly remarkable stories on your platform. (I wasn't surprised to find out that Starstruck was also groundbreaking in this way!) Is that a deliberate priority for you guys?

dimension20brennan65 karma

Absolutely: My Mom talked to me about the importance and necessity of reflecting our world and the vast array of people in it, especially in genre fiction, even when I was truly still a child: I remember being around 10 years old, just as I was starting to write and DM seriously, and my Mom explaining the significance of this kind of representation. One of many incredibly significant lessons!


dimension20brennan46 karma

I had a friend who asked me to make sure I had some black characters in my comics. And I took that seriously and always tried to do that. I was a theatre kid, so I always hung around LGBT folks. One of the main characters is asexual. There are characters whose (alien) race has only one gender, though they are culturally male. Things like that.


ff248834 karma

Elaine & Michael:. When did you first know that you "clicked" creatively?

Brennan:. How does it feel being able to create in a world you grew up reading about?

dimension20brennan53 karma

We clicked right away. I saw his art and loved it. He saw a play I had written and acted in. He loved that. We have a similar (dark) sense of humor.


Seitss_24 karma

Elaine and Micheal, what’s been you guys’ favorite parts about creating the world and story of Starstruck together? How have things evolved as you continue working together?

Brennan, what have some highlights and favorite things been about DMing in the first D20 sci-fi setting? What about DMing for D20 as a whole?

I’m loving the series so far and I’m so looking forward to the next episodes!


dimension20brennan41 karma

Laughing and crying. Laughing and crying a lot.

When we started, we worked sitting in the same room together. Mainly because I’d never written for comics before. Later on, I’d write and send the pages. But we always talked about the world a lot. We sort of lived on that world. It was sometimes hard to talk to anyone who didn’t know how many ribecs were in a martron.


dimension20brennan39 karma

The favorite part about working together with Elaine was her Ideas sparked new directions for my art.

The Starstruck Universe developed to the point that Elaine and I could only make sense when talking to each other... I'd feel like an alien visiting earth when trying to talk with "jus' Folks". Total Starstruck Immersion

The worst part was when the story demanded a complete change: sometimes an entire part of the universe had to be discarded in preference to a new Idea


dimension20brennan32 karma

My favorite thing about Michael’s art was that he always surprised me. He would always go way beyond what I described in the scripts.


dimension20brennan32 karma

Sci-Fi is fun! It’s fun to DM for scoundrels, which Sci-Fi really supports as a genre!


Thepy23 karma

Any plans to do a revival of the stage play? I would love to be able to watch it.

dimension20brennan42 karma

We won’t do it, as its gotten too expensive to stage a large cast play like Starstruck. If someone else wants to do it, they can contact Broadway Play Publishing. https://www.broadwayplaypub.com/the-plays/starstruck/


4percentage22 karma

Elaine and Michael, do you have a favorite PC from Starstruck Odyssey yet? If so, who is it and why?

dimension20brennan42 karma

Not yet: astounded by all and every one... what incredibly liquid minds this gang exhibits


dimension20brennan42 karma

I love all of them! You could drop any of the PCs right into our comics and they would be at home there. Uncomfortable, but at home!


menotu79918 karma

Hello! I recently learned about Starstruck via Dimension 20 (I don't read much, forgive me) I was interested in purchasing some of the work from Elaine and Michael to pick through between episodes. Is there a place any of you guys recommend me picking it up from? Amazon carries just about everything but thats the easy and maybe not best answer. Regardless, carry on and be well everybody! Much love.

dimension20brennan40 karma

You can get it direct from the publisher at https://www.idwpublishing.com/ip/64

Start with the big collection. The reprint will be out in February (in both digital and physical).


Delicious_Syllabub_117 karma

How many episodes are planned for Starstruck?

dimension20brennan40 karma

18 episodes! (plus some extra stuff like Adventuring Party talkbacks!) -Brennan

Khosan16 karma

For Elaine:

What are some of your favorite story lines from the comic?

Were there any kind of arcs you wanted to explore but maybe never had the chance to?

dimension20brennan31 karma

I’d like to finish the story we have. We kind of never got to an official end. But that may happen.

In the last Marvel book, the story of Brucilla’s trial is sort of truncated. The series was cancelled and we ended up cramming a lot of story into a small amount of space. I’d like to go back in and expand the trial. Give it some breathing room. Get rid of some exposition.