Tagline: Possibly the funniest gamer-related cartoon of all time, Knights of the Dinner Table has well-deserved its position as a cult classic. All true gamers should be reading this. Hoody hoo!
I would now give the title of “funniest gamer-related cartoon of all time” to the early strips of Order of the Stick. I have long since let my subscription to Knights of the Dinner Table lapse, but these early strips are still hilarious good fun.
Although this review purports to focus primarily on the reprint volume Bundle of Trouble it’s really going to be a general assessment of the Knights of the Dinner Table (KODT) strip as a whole.
KODT debuted in the pages of Shadis several years ago when its creator, Jolly Blackburn, was still serving as the editor of the magazine he had created. Jolly would eventually leave Shadis and KODT would make the transition to the back of Dragon Magazine. More recently KODT has become its own stand-alone comic/magazine and is now well over the twenty issue mark. The first few issues have become scarce and impossible to track down, which brings us to Bundle of Trouble — a reprint volume of the first three issues.
Although gamer-oriented comics have had a place in the hobby for years, KODT was the first strip to truly take the humor of those strips out of the game settings and place it on the gamers themselves. It focuses on the escapades of B.A. Felton, the GM, and his players: Bob Herzog, Dave Bozwell, Brian Van Hoose, and (more recently) Sara Felton (B.A.’s cousin). In addition, a large supporting cast has been established, including Gary Jackson (the creator of the HackMaster(TM) game); Nitro Ferguson (infamous for his LARP involving steam tunnels and college students); and Weird Pete (everyone’s favorite game store owner and Keeper of the Lore).
It has become clear over the years of KODT’s growing popularity and success that Jolly Blackburn has successfully tapped into the gamer’s consciousness. His strips repeatedly strike far too close to home not to elicit peals of laughter while raising the question, “Where has he hidden the camera he’s filming my gaming group with?” Again and again Jolly succeeds at pinioning the classic stereotypes and realities of gamers in a hilarious fashion. His quirky, amateur style – which he constantly pokes fun at himself – only serves to heighten the effect. It has well-deserved its reputation as a cult classic and is quite possibly the funniest gaming-related comic every produced. All true gamers should be reading this strip, and Bundle of Trouble would be an excellent place to start.
Author: Jolly Blackburn
Company/Publisher: Kenzer & Company
Page count: 96
Originally Posted: 1998/12/14
No offense to my former self, but this is a terrible review: It summarizes content without explaining why the summary is significant, and it spends far too much time saying “it’s really funny!” without explaining why I think it’s funny. It starts to pull itself together in the last paragraph, but then abruptly stops instead.
Ah, well. Can’t win ’em all.
On the other hand, I am going to go pull my collections down off the shelf.
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