Great Pages: DRAGON MAGAZINE #226

Dragon Magazine #226 (1996)

From Dragon Magazine #226 (1996)

In 1996, I was way into Dungeons & Dragons. My older brother and his friends allowed me to play in their games. We played most of the major campaigns but Dark Sun was the one we played most often. One of the cornerstones of D&D in those days was Dragon Magazine. Published by TSR, the company that owned Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon was a monthly magazine full of articles about campaign settings, new rules, new monsters, ads for upcoming modules, and the occasional comic. In issue 226, they featured the first Knights of the Dinner Table comic I ever read.

Knights of the Dinner Table, or KoDT as it’s known, first launched in Shadis Magazine, a small press gaming magazine created by Jolly R. Blackburn. Originally intended to be filler, the strip’s popularity exploded and Dragon won a bidding war to include it in its pages. The strips’ appeal was simple. Readers were a fly on the wall watching a group of role players playing the then-fictional game Hackmaster. Jolly was a gamer himself and wrote the strip realistically with constant cross talk and fun little side conversations. The art was rudimentary at best but serviceable. It worked well enough to convey who was speaking but that was about it. The real star of the strip was the relationship between the players. Letters were written marveling at how Jolly captured the essence of the gaming table with these one page strips.

Eventually, Knights of the Dinner Table left Dragon during TSR’s financial troubles and Jolly launched an indie comic for the strip. It’s been going strong ever since. Last month, it reached issue #200, a mighty feat for any comic book, let alone an indie title likeĀ Knights. Every time I read it, I’m transported back to those high school years where the best part of my week was slinging dice and spending time with some good friends.


  1. Thanks for posting. I was introduced to KODT through Dragon back in middle school. I don’t read KODT regularly these days, but I bought a bunch of old issues recently at a big sale at my local comic shop and it was a great trip down memory lane for me.

  2. Oh man. Very happy to see a callback to those old Dragon strips. In 1996 I was in high school, running a Planescape campaign for a group of friends I’d been playing with ever since the Marvel RPG hooked me in junior high. Half the fun was of course the banter and bickering at the table, but when trying to execute elaborately planned adventures, and at the same time dodging cheetos, and looking up what the to hit bonus would be for a magic sword forged on Pandemonium, while the characters were adventuring in Mechanus, I would always picture myself as the Knights’ harried DM.

  3. These strips always bring back great memories. Loved Dragon magazine back in the day and these strips were always a ton of fun.

  4. It’s a shame that these aren’t available through Comixology or some other digital store front. I’d love to spend some time reading them again. Great memories.

  5. Actually, I don’t think 200 is out yet, is it? I thought 198 was the last issue to come out. In any case, I’m glad to see this title get some attention on the site since 200 issues of any series (especially a non-superhero one) is a rare achievement.