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Paperback $16.99
Rise of the Dungeon Master
Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D
By David Kushner, Illustrated by Koren Shadmi

Summary

Rise of the Dungeon Master tells, in graphic form, the story of Gary Gygax, co-creator of Dungeons & Dragons, one of the most influential games ever made. Like the game itself, the narrative casts the reader into the adventure from a first person point of view, taking on the roles of the different characters in the story.

Gygax was the son of immigrants who grew up in Lake Geneva, WI, in the 1950s. An imaginative misfit, he escaped into a virtual world based on science fiction novels, military history and strategic games like chess. In the mid-1970s, he co-created the wildly popular Dungeons & Dragons game. Starting out in the basement of his home, he was soon struggling to keep up with the demand. Gygax was a purist, in the sense that he was adamant that players use their imaginations and that the rules of the game remain flexible. A creative mind with no real knowledge of business, he made some strategic errors and had a falling out with the game's co-creator, his close friend and partner, David Arneson.

By the late 1970s the game had become so popular among kids that parents started to worry -- so much so that a mom's group was formed to alert parents to the dangers of role play and fantasy. The backlash only fueled the fires of the young fans who continued to play the game, escaping into imaginary worlds. Before long, D&D conventions were set up around the country and the game inspired everything from movies to the first video games. With D&D, Gygax created the kind of role playing fantasy that would fuel the multibillion dollar video game industry, and become a foundation of contemporary geek culture.

about David Kushner

  • David Kushner is an award-winning journalist and author of many books, including three on gaming: Masters of Doom, Jonny Magic and the Card Shark Kids, and Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto. A contributing editor of Rolling Stone and the 2016 Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton University, Kushner has written for GQ, the New Yorker, the New York Times, and elsewhere. This book is based on his 2008 Wired profile of Gary Gygax and extensive interviews with both Gygax and Dave Arneson-Dungeons & Dragons' co-creators-before they died.

    Koren Shadmi is an American Israeli cartoonist and illustrator. His graphic novels have been published internationally, and include In the Flesh, The Abaddon, Mike's Place, and Love Addict: Confessions of a Serial Dater. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Mother Jones, Village Voice, Playboy, Washington Post, Wired, and elsewhere. Koren's work has won several awards at the Society of Illustrators. He teaches illustration at the School of Visual Arts in New York.

reviews

"The remarkable story of one of the most influential games in the world comes to life in this graphic novel. D&D had a huge impact not only on my life, but also how I thought about engaging people and building community."—Alexis Ohanian, cofounder of Reddit

"The funny, touching, and altogether incredible origin story of one of the most important figures in twentieth-century fantasy. Gary Gygax opened a portal that will never close."—Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians Trilogy

"Role-playing its way to the truth, shrinking the history of gaming to the tabletop, [this book] is a perfectly unclassifiable tribute to Gary Gygax, D&D, and the countless adventurers they inspired."—Hilary Chute, author of Disaster Drawn

"Rise of the Dungeon Master, beautifully illustrated by Koren Shadmi, is both a moving portrait of two creative outsiders and a chronicle of how a new kind of storytelling changed pop culture forever."—Ars Technica

"A fitting tribute to those behind the early pen-and-paper games."—Wired

"Rise of the Dungeon Master is a charming retelling of an origin story that is now practically a legend."—National Post

"Although the story of Gygax and D&D's tumultuous beginnings have already become the stuff of legend, Rise of the Dungeon Master recounts that history in a way that's authentic to the spirit of the game beloved by millions of people."—The Columbus Dispatch

other editions

  • Paperback | ISBN 9781568585598
    Pub date: 05/09/2017 | Price: $16.99 / 22.49 Canada
    Publisher: Nation Books
    6.750 x 9.000 | 144 Pages

    GAMES / Role Playing & Fantasy
  • eBook | ISBN 9781568585604
    Pub date: 05/09/2017 | Price: $11.99 / 14.99 Canada
    Publisher: Nation Books
    144 Pages

    GAMES / Role Playing & Fantasy
  • eBook | ISBN 9781568587899
    Pub date: 05/09/2017 | Price: $11.99 / 14.99 Canada
    Publisher: Nation Books
    144 Pages

    GAMES / Role Playing & Fantasy
  • eBook | ISBN 9781568587905
    Pub date: 05/09/2017 | Price: $11.99 / 14.99 Canada
    Publisher: Nation Books
    144 Pages

    GAMES / Role Playing & Fantasy