In 2018, IDW and Oni Press teamed up for one of the most unlikely crossover comics ever attempted: Rick and Morty vs. Dungeons & Dragons. The project was co-written by longtime D&D fan and comic writer Jim Zub. At ECCC, Zub and his frequent D&D comic collaborator, Max Dunbar, were guests on the Live Stage. While there, Zub told SYFY WIRE's Whitney Moore how Rick and Morty entered the world of D&D. According to Zub, the initial idea came up during a post-convention dinner between the two publishers' employees and then made it back to him.
"The next morning, Sarah [Gaydos] comes to me and says 'you're doing the D&D comics, is this even vaguely of interest to you?’ I said 'sure, but it'll never happen... Wizards of the Coast and Adult Swim are never gonna let us run rampant all over these two properties."
Much to everyone's surprise, both Adult Swim and Wizards of the Coast signed off on the crossover. Fantasy novelist Patrick Rothfuss was recruited to co-write the project with Zub and it was illustrated by Troy Little.
None of this would have happened if Zub and Dunbar hadn't carved out their own corner of the D&D world with their Baldur's Gate series of miniseries. During the panel, Zub spoke about the immense influence D&D had on him and the way it helped him develop into a writer.
"D&D is, in some ways, classic sword and sorcery. But it's also got its own kind of feel to it. Part of what makes it special is the spontaneity that the players bring to the table. No matter how much a Dungeon Master plans, and no matter how much you have a pre-written module, and no matter how much you think you know where this will go, something ridiculous or unexpected is going to happen. One roll of a die, one decision of a player, can throw an entire story into an amazing and unexpected direction."
For more D&D insights from Zub and Dunbar, check out the video!