I’m Writing Back-Up Stories for the New Munchkin Comic!

BOOMBOX_Munchkin_001_ABOOMBOX_Munchkin_001_BBOOMBOX_Munchkin_001_D

I’ve joked about becoming an RPG comic kaiju eating all in my path but, with this announcement it feels like that joke is becoming the reality.

I’ll be writing 6 page back-up stories for the new MUNCHKIN comic series starting in January from BOOM!

Here’s the solicit info:

MUNCHKIN #1
Retail Price: $3.99
Authors: Tom Siddell, Jim Zub & John Kovalic
Artists: Mike Holmes, Ryan Sygh, & John Kovalic
Cover Artists: A: Ian McGinty 99% B: Evan Palmer 1% C. Shelli Paroline & Braden Lamb (10 Years Cover) INCENTIVE D. John Kovalic INCENTIVE

WHY WE LOVE IT: As long-time fans of the game, we’re jazzed to weave stories out of the world of Munchkin, whether it’s from the perspective of one Munchkin, a gang of them, or even one of the monsters that live behind the doors!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE IT: Kick open the door. Kill the monster. Steal the treasure. Screw over everybody you come in contact with. Welcome to the world of Munchkin, a gathering of stories based on the popular game series. It’s a laugh a minute, pal. Plus, every first printing of every issue will ship with an exclusive card for the game.

WHAT IT’S ABOUT: Based on the immensely popular card game, Munchkin comes to comics! Munchkin takes place in a very flexible mashup of genres. Originally a satire of fantasy roleplaying, it has since then taken on non-fantasy and non-gaming elements. Characters in Munchkin change constantly but never permanently. What do Munchkins do? They play for the win. They are rules lawyers. They backstab. They gloat. They whine when someone else backstabs or gloats. Munchkins are emotional. Munchkins may be clever, but they are never wise. Munchkins have short attention spans. Munchkins may be brave in the face of awful odds, but they are even braver when beating up crippled goblins for their lunch money. If a Munchkin seems to show mercy, it’s because he was bored or distracted. After all, even stomping an ant helps you level up.

Video Interview From New York Comic Con

The gang from Enchanted Tiki Talk ask me about the Figment series, future comic projects, and Wayward. Check it out.

Welcome To Baldur’s Gate: Thoughts On Writing and RPGs

Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate #1 arrives in comic shops (and digitally via comiXology) today! Here’s a preview of the issue.

D&DLBG01

IDW allowed me to wax gaming nostalgic with a little essay in the back of the issue, reprinted here:

WELCOME TO BALDUR’S GATE

Without Dungeons & Dragons, I wouldn’t be here.

I guess that sounds fairly obvious on the surface. If there was no Dungeons & Dragons roleplaying game, then obviously there’d be no Forgotten Realms, no best-selling Baldur’s Gate video game series, and no Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate comic book 40 years later…but that’s not what I’m talking about.

I mean me, the writer.

Jim Zub the storyteller exists because of Dungeons & Dragons, the game.

When I was 8 years old, my older brother Joe and cousins Kevin and Mark introduced me to D&D. Even though the Dungeons & Dragons Basic red box set was clearly labeled “ages 10 and up”, I convinced them I was mature enough to be a part of their adventuring group (and, by that, I mean I whimpered and whined until they let me join).

Right from the start, I could tell this wasn’t like any other game I’d ever played before. No cards, no board, no limits. No matter how young or small I was in real life I could create a character just as capable as the adults I was playing with. The Dungeon Master asked us what we were doing and my decisions, along with nerve-wracking rolls of the dice, had as much value as anyone else’s at the table.

After that first taste of adventure, I was absolutely hooked.

Our party delved into strange lairs, slew horrifying creatures, and gathered fabulous treasures. Every choice we made had unforeseen ramifications and not even the DM knew how it would all turn out.

Each turn I’d get a chance to make my mark on our exciting collaborative story. If I did something memorable, the group would laugh and I got to feel like one of the grown-ups. Unexpected banter, battle cries, one-liners – I wanted to entertain everyone and make sure my character left an impression.

As the years went by, I grew up and roleplaying games grew with me. I moved behind the DM screen and started building grand adventures for my friends to quest through. Drama, plot, dialogue, pacing – All those core creative skills were honed by sitting around the gaming table using my imagination.

My writing career is, in many ways, my most ambitious ‘RPG campaign’ yet. It’s new and exciting but, at the same time, I’m still playing the game – Creating characters, coming up with scenarios…doing everything I can to engage an audience. In my head I’m playing through the character interactions and figuring out what comes next.

Roleplaying games are the best entertainment money can buy. They create lifelong bonds between friends and spark our creativity with a framework that encourages the unexpected.

Getting the chance to tell a Dungeons & Dragons story as part of the game’s 40th anniversary, carving out a new chapter in the fabled city of Baldur’s Gate…It’s wonderful, ridiculous, and surreal all at the same time. Somewhere inside of me there’s an 8 year old Li’l Zub screaming with joy as he runs around the house pretending he’s kicking skeletons in the face.

My thanks to Ted Adams, John Barber, Mike Mearls, Greg Bilsland, and the rest of the crew at IDW and Wizards of the Coast for giving me this incredible opportunity. Max Dunbar is a stellar collaborator and I’m honored to see my words brought to life by his appealing designs and confident page art.

As I write the Legends of Baldur’s Gate comic, I try to channel the joyous adventuring spirit ignited in me many years ago by my favorite game. I hope you read our story and feel that excitement coming through.

Roll initiative…Let’s do this!

Jim Zub
September 1, 2014

Zub-IDW Triple Play This Week!

I’ve got three IDW-published comics coming out this week!

D&DLBG01

First up is the launch of Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate! This new D&D comic series, celebrating 40 years of gaming greatness and the launch of D&D 5th edition, is a perfect jumping on point for new readers.
Click HERE for a preview.

CowandChicken

Second is Super Secret Crisis War: Cow and Chicken! This one-shot special ties into IDW’s big Cartoon Network crossover and it’s filled with zany weirdness just like the original show was.
Click HERE for a preview.

SamuraiJack13

Third is Samurai Jack #13, continuing the intensity of our epic “Quest of the Broken Blade” story arc, pushing Jack into uncharted territory.
Click HERE for a preview.

Tiki Talk Follow-Up Interview on Figment

TikiTalkLogo

The gang from the Enchanted Tiki Talk Podcast met me in person at NYCC and we did a follow-up interview all about the Figment comic mini-series.

Give it a listen here. The interview section starts at 10:09.

FENG SHUI is Pure Action Overload and You Need It

FengShui2

I’ve gone on at length about my love of tabletop role-playing games and how I feel they’re the best entertainment money can buy. Sitting down to create a new interactive tale with a group of friends is a joyous experience that few other things can match. Playing RPGs strengthened my storytelling skills and lead me down the creative path to becoming a comic writer.

I want to talk about one game in particular that stands out among the dozens and dozens I’ve played over the years: FENG SHUI.

Feng Shui is an Action Movie Role-Playing Game written by Robin Laws. It takes the heightened intensity of Hong Kong-style action films and, in a simple and cohesive way, creates a storytelling framework that encourages everyone playing to have a great time. It changed the way I played games and, for many designers and players alike, it was a milestone in the way that it injected storytelling ideas into the mechanical components of gaming.

Here’s the thing: In practically every tabletop RPG that came before Feng Shui, there was a distinct divide between narration and action. You could “role play” all you wanted as the story progressed but, once the action kicked into gear, it was time to break out the dice and hope for the best. No matter what you envisioned in your mind as weapons clashed, the rules alone would dictate who hits, how much damage they take, and the end result therein. The narrative component was completely pushed out in favor of cold numbers and probabilities.

What Robin did with Feng Shui was to weave the narrative back into the heart of the action and make it integral to how the game is played. Describing what you’re doing during combat, how you’re doing it, and making it as entertaining as possible grants you bonuses to achieve the very thing you’re describing. Instead of the rules working against your wildest imagination, it propels it forward and makes action scenes a bombastic rollicking part of the story instead of a number crunching speed bump. It’s no longer about min-maxing the stats and hoping the dice play your way, it’s about entertaining the whole table as the Game Master rewards your inventiveness and creativity.

That critical shift in focus made a massive difference in how our group played RPGs. It pushed Feng Shui to the top of the pile whenever we wanted to pull together a game or teach new players what RPGs were all about. It made the mechanical part of the game fun and encouraged everyone at the table to contribute in a way I’d never experienced before.

Feng Shui effortlessly codifies the ridiculous entertainment of action movies and empowers everyone playing to throw down in an over-the-top thrill ride with an infinite production budget. It rewards involvement, energizes storytelling, and never fails to surprise.

Our college gaming group ran a Mission Impossible-style episodic campaign called Agents of Intrigue. It started off as a simple throw-together format to run games when we weren’t sure who would be available from week to week and, over dozens of wild sessions and years of play, it evolved into a sprawling cast of colorful characters and weaving plot lines punctuated with wry humor and bone-crunching action. To this day that campaign is one of my favorite gaming memories.

The Feng Shui 2nd Edition Kickstarter is currently running down its last day of fundraising and I heartily encourage everyone I know who loves games to contribute. Beyond the PDF or physical book of rules, you’re helping support one of the best RPG games of all time while receiving a toolkit for creating new heart-pounding stories of ultimate ass-kickery.

DO IT and tell ‘em I sent ya. :)

I’m Writing Spidey Stories!

Spider-ManWebWarriors01Spider-ManWebWarriors02

Announced over the weekend, I’m part of the creative team launching a tie-in comic for the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series featured on the Disney Channel.

You can read all about it in our new Comic Book Resources interview.

Amazing Spider-Man was the first super hero comic I ever collected, so getting the chance to write stories for everyone’s favorite web-slinger is a pure delight.

Dungeons & Dragons Interview on CBR

CBRD&DInterview

Comic Book Resources has just posted up a new interview with me along with a new preview of Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate. Click on through to read about how the series came about and my plans for the new series that launches next week!

Sequential Tart Interview

sequential-tart

Over on Sequential Tart, Suzette Chan interviews Steve and I all about Wayward, including our influences, research, Japanese culture, and the trials our characters are going through. Give it a read!

Zub at NYCC 2014

NYCC-Logo

Another incredible convention season wraps up with the annual New York Comic Con. I’ll be there from Thursday through Saturday (I’m heading home Sunday before the show opens to spend Canadian Thanksgiving with my family) and, if you’re there, I hope you get a chance to come by and visit!


ARTIST ALLEY TABLE W-16

Wayward, Skullkickers, Samurai Jack, Pathfinder, Figment… lots of different books you can bring by to get signed.

In addition, IDW will have special advance copies of Dungeons & Dragons: Legends of Baldur’s Gate, with a space hamster-tastic convention-only cover, there for Max Dunbar and I to sign.

Wayward01A-585x900-webSkullkickersVol5-COVERD&D01-ConCover

Beyond the table set up, here’s where you’ll be able to find me for signings/panels:

THURSDAY
06:15-07:00pm Hasbro/IDW Panel – Room 1A14

FRIDAY
11:00-12:00pm IDW Signing – Booth 1844
01:00-01:50pm Dark Horse Signing – Booth 1636
04:15-05:00pm IDW Panel – Room 1A14

SATURDAY
02:00-03:00pm Image Comics Signing – Booth 1544

NYCC2014

NYCC-Edwin+Jim