Cullen Bunn will channel those one-page advertisements for the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game that used to run in 1980s comics with Deepest Catacombs, a new webcomic he’s launching via his Patreon. He’ll work with different artists for each one-page installment, which together will form a 24-page comic.
“When I was a kid, I absolutely loved the D&D ads that ran in my favorite comics,” Bunn said. “These were one-page comic strips that introduced a band of heroes—Grimslade, Valerius, Saren and Indel—who were adventuring into a dungeon in search of treasure. They met up with werewolves and goblins and green slime and dragons. The story continued from strip to strip, and I was always eager to see what would come next. Sometimes, I was more excited about the ads than the actual comics!”
(I’m pretty sure I may have named some NPCs in one of the adventures I DM’ed after these guys).
Bunn said that the one-page installments will serve as advertisements for “Deepest Catacombs,” a fictional role-playing game. The first two installments will be drawn by A.C. Zamudio and Nick Zamudio. Designer Anton Kromoff is helping Bunn with logos, lettering and more.
While the comic pages will be posted publicly on his Patreon, subscribers will be able to see behind-the-scenes information, designs and scripts. The heroes of Deepest Catacombs will include Randall, the would-be knight; Kezira, the mage; Annalynn, the far-ranger; Fingerbones, the goblin thief; and Chops, Kezira’s pig familiar.
”I want everyone to be able to read these stories,” said Bunn. “I also know that a lot of process junkies will enjoy seeing the background materials. If you’re a gamer, you’ll have the chance to play these characters, to use these monsters in your campaigns, to walk the halls of the dastardly dungeons you see in the comics!”
If you aren’t familiar with the advertisements Bunn is referencing, they were exactly what he describes — one-page ads in a comic format, drawn by Jeff Dee, Bill Willingham and other artists associated with D&D. While each one served its purpose as an ad, they were telling a longer story of four adventurers. Like this one:
The first installment of Deepest Catacombs will go live Aug. 9.