Dungeon Parade 1: A Dungeon Too Many
by Joann Sfar, Lewis Trondheim & Manu Larcenet
Review by Paul Haggerty
Nantier Beall Minoustchine Publishing Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781561634958
Date: April 2007 List Price $9.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Dungeon, Parade I: A Dungeon Too Many is part of a long running fantasy-comedy graphic series and takes place between the two previously published Dungeon, Zenith volumes. The entire series revolves around a fantasy dungeon which caters to adventurers. After all, you didn't think monster infested, treasure filled dungeons functioned as some sort of natural ecosystem, did you? Front and center in this graphic novel are Marvin the Vegetarian Dragon and Herbert the Duck, employees of the Keeper, master of the dungeon, and strangely enough, generally nice guy.
In the first of the two story lines, Lilsnaught, fresh out of management school shows up at the door of the dungeon seeking the Keepers help. The dungeon is famous and Lilsnaught wants to learn its secrets so he can open one too. Little does the boss know that Lilsnaught plans to open his right next door. Next thing, the customers are frequenting the competition and the employees are taking better offers. Something needs to be done about it at once. Unfortunately, Marvin and Herbert are the best the Keeper has, at least until Lilsnaught offers to double there salary. Poking fun at amusement parks, management theory, and fantasy role playing games in general, a lethal time is had by all.
The second storyline details the Keeper's quest, with the reluctant help of Marvin and Herbert, to find a sage to give him advice on making a wish. He's got his hands on a magic lamp, but it only has one wish left, and the Keeper wants to make it a good one. Sound reasoning, except for the rain of disaster naturally invoked by having Herbert within a hundred miles. The dogs of the ghetto of Dawgvern have been oppressing the native birds for a very long time, and the slow cooker is picking up steam. Did I mention Herbert the Duck? Revolution, wishes, sages, and gross incompetence are all mixed together to form one farcical meatloaf.
Not deep thinking material, but certainly worth the chuckles, especially if you have a bit of fantasy role playing experience under your belt to pick up on the in-joke undercurrents.