Farewell, King of RPGs
Dear Fans & Readers,
The fact that this blog hasn’t been updated in so long says more than this post ever could, but it is with regrets and fond memories that I must announce that the King of RPGs webcomics and graphic novels will not continue. With the ending of “King of RPGs Volume 2”, we must close the curtain on the adventures of Theo, Shesh, Mike, Jen and the world’s other most fanatical roleplayers.
“King of RPGs” was my attempt to combine my love of tabletop role-playing (and, incidentally, other kinds of role-playing) with my love of manga and graphic novels, specifically battle manga of the “Shonen Jump” ilk. Although there were small things I might have done differently if I could do it over (such as the 30 pages I had to cut out of volume 2), I’m extremely proud of the work that I, and my collaborator Victor Hao, did on the 2 volumes. Random House gave me incredible freedom to write pretty much anything I wanted. I was happy to run with that freedom and produce, frankly, an extremely weird comic, inspired by things like “Knights of the Dinner Table,” “Yu-Gi-Oh!”, “The I.T. Crowd” and “Hetalia.” I don’t regret a thing.
As for the reason the series is over, frankly, like most “OEL” (Original English-Language) manga-influenced comics, it just never sold well. Whenever I showed “King of RPGs” to people face to face at anime & gaming conventions, people loved it and I sold lots of copies, but in the bookstore and comic store market it performed dismally. I would have loved to have written 10+ volumes of “King of RPGs” and gone deep into crazier and crazier story arcs, but it just didn’t work out. Doubtless I’ll recycle some of that material into other forms in the future, and you can always ask me about it at a convention if you meet me in person! ;)
I’m incredibly grateful for all the people who supported, liked and helped out with King of RPGs. For every name I remember I’m sure I’ve forgotten five, but my biggest thank-yous go out to my editors Dallas Middaugh, Kaitlin Heller and Mike Braff; Alexis Kirsch for inspiring big changes that made the series better; Shaenon Garrity and Pancha Diaz, my first proofreaders; Deb Aoki, Brigid Alverson, Melinda Beasi, Kai-Ming Cha, Christian Lindke, Jake Forbes, Annalee Newitz and the folks at The Tome Show for reviews and support; Joe Iglesias, who wrote my favorite description of King of RPGs, “Mazes & Monsters by way of ‘Bastard!!'”; Jumana Al Hashal; Eric Adams for designing the logo; Alistair Hamilton, the original Shesh Maccabee model; the guy in the Shesh Maccabee hat who I hung out with at Kumoricon and Sakuracon and whose name I can’t believe I’ve forgotten (hey man!); and everyone who supported and picked up the series! If I met you at a convention and I promised you a King of RPGs minicomic or something, but you never got it, please email me and let me know! And especially, thanks to Victor Hao, the greatest artist ever, my amazing collaborator who drew 500 pages of King of RPGs, always met his deadlines, got better and better with every page, and was– and is– the coolest person anyone could ever hope to work with.
And now, the heroes (well, technically they’re the heroes, at least) of King of RPGs must drive off into the sunset and into untold adventures. I love tabletop RPGs and I love manga, and I’ll definitely be doing more things in those two fandoms, as well as things that combine them! If you liked King of RPGs and want to follow what else I’m doing, please check out my other work at mockman.com. And if you haven’t read King of RPGs, it’s basically complete in two volumes and still totally available on Nook, iBooks and alibris! >_> The King of RPGs domain will remain up for a few months until it expires.
Thank you all for your support, and never forget the Fundamentals of Gaming!
Jason Bradley Thompson