Image Comics has announced a brand-new “pitch-black” fantasy series about a tabletop role-playing game and disappearing teenagers. Appropriately titled DIE (for both death & dice), the ongoing comic series is written by Kieron Gillen with illustrations by artist Stephanie Hans. The first issue will feature cover art by Hans with a variant covert art by Jamie McKelvie:
Gillen told The Hollywood Reporter: “It’s worryingly zeitgeisty. Role-playing games are part of the cultural conversation in a way they haven’t been since the 1980s. I suspect DIE is going to sit a little apart from most of it, especially the comics. Most of the D&D comics either are straight satires or leaning into the fun and games of those memories. We’re a lot bleaker. It’s me, so it’s still playful, but I take fantasy games as seriously as I take pop music and this is a product of that.”
Hans added: “I always think that working as a team is like a dance. You have to trust your partner while he does the same. Funny enough, I see panels as music notes. But in this one, Kieron is a lot like the gamemaster, I trust him to build a beautiful narrative while I do the gesticulation. Worth mentioning: when I was still role-playing, I used to describe an RPG as a beautiful story that you create as a group. In a way, we have come full circle.”
The oversized debut issue of DIE will be available on Wednesday, December 5th.
DIE is a pitch-black fantasy where a group of adults have to deal with the returning unearthly horror they barely survived as teenage role-players. DIE can best be described as Jumanji with goth sensibilities.