Dork Tower

Dork Tower

Cover of Dork Tower #5
Author(s) John Kovalic
Launch date January 1997
Genre(s) Fantasy

Dork Tower is an online comic created, written and drawn by John Kovalic. It chronicles the lives of a group of geeks living in the fictional town of Mud Bay, Wisconsin. Mud Bay's design is strongly influenced by the author's home town of Madison, Wisconsin. Topics have included role-playing games (RPGs), comic books, video games, and fandom in general. The comic strip began in January 1997[1] and has made appearances in publications like Dragon magazine, Shadis, and Comic Shop News. Starting in 2000, the strip began web publication roughly three times a week and is featured in Pyramid. The bimonthly comic book made its first appearance in 1998 and features continuing storylines. It has recently gone to full color with issue #32, and it is collected in trade paperback.

During its first year in Dragon, Dork Tower was called Shop Keep, making the comics focusing on Bill Blyden and Pegasaurus Games a separate series from the comics focusing on Matt and his group that were published elsewhere (although the Dork Tower cast, especially Igor, also appeared in Shop Keep as customers). This was later discontinued, and subsequent Pegasaurus-based strips were also titled Dork Tower.[1] The name is a cacographic of the Judges Guild Advanced Dungeons & Dragons module Dark Tower.[1]


Dork Tower won the 2002 Origins Awards for Best Game-Related Periodical and Best Game-Related Fiction, Graphic Form (Dork Tower #18),[2] and the 2001 award for Best Professional Game Periodical.[3]

John Kovalic also won the 2001 Origins Award for Best Illustration for the cover of Dork Shadows.[3] The story "Matt and Gilly's Big Date" won the 2000 Origins Award for Best Game-Related Short Work,[4] and the story "Everybody Loves Gilly" won the 2003 award for Graphic Fiction.[5]

Cast of characters

Dork Tower's central characters are a group of people who play games as a hobby, including role-playing games and miniatures games, and some also participate in live action role-playing games. The comic primarily chronicles the ins-and-outs of the gaming world (typically exaggerating stereotypes of gamers for comic effect).


Title Issues ISBN Comments
Dork Covenant 1-6 1-930964-40-4
Dork Shadows 7-12 1-930964-41-2
Heart of Dorkness 13-17 1-930964-43-9
Livin' La Vida Dorka - 1-930964-42-0 Strips collected from Interactive Week,, Pyramid Online, and Scrye magazine
Understanding Gamers 18 1-930964-44-7 Includes LOTR Special; strips from, Dragon, Scrye, and Games magazines
1d6 Degrees of Separation 19-24 1-930964-74-9
Dork Side of the Goon 25-29 1-930964-85-4
Go, Dork, Go! - 1-930964-70-6 Dork Tower Clicky Special; strips collected from, Dragon, Comics Buyer's Guide, and Scrye
Dork Decade - 1-933288-52-3 Collection of the best of Dork Tower from the last ten years
The Tao of Igor 30-35? Not yet released


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Kovalic, John. "Dork Tower FAQs". Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  2. "Origins Award Winners (2002)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2007-11-14. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  3. 1 2 "Origins Award Winners (2001)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  4. "Origins Award Winners (2000)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Archived from the original on 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  5. "Origins Award Winners (2003)". Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design. Retrieved 2007-10-16.
  6. Kovalic, John (6 January 2005). "Archived Comic #635". Dork Tower.
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