Dungeon (French title: Donjon) is a series of comic fantasy comic books created by Joann Sfar and Lewis Trondheim, with contributions from numerous other artists. It was originally published in France by Delcourt as a series of graphic albums; English translations of the first several stories have been released by NBM Publishing, first in a black-and-white periodical version and now as several color graphic novels.
|Created by||Joann Sfar|
|Formats||Original material for the series has been published as a set of graphic novels.|
|Publication date||1998 – Present|
|The series has been reprinted, at least in part, in English.|
The series is a parody of sword and sorcery conventions in general, and specifically of the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons. All of the characters are either anthropomorphic animals or other strange creatures. The "dungeon" of the title is, in the original series, a business establishment run by a mild-mannered chicken, where heroes come in search of adventure and treasure and invariably die. The timeline in the main continuity is described as the stages of day; the series that lead up to the dungeon's creation are described in the Potron-Minet (Dawn) segment, the castle's glory days are described as its Zénith, and its inevitable decay is described in the Crépuscule (Twilight) stories.
Now mostly available in English, the French Donjon is an extremely ambitious work consisting of three sub-series and various side projects.
- 1 Sub-series
- 2 Main characters
- 3 Bibliography
- 4 Chronology
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Dungeon The Early Years (Donjon Potron-Minet)Edit
With art by Christophe Blain and Christophe Gaultier, the five volumes of this series take place in an earlier era, describing events leading up to the creation of the titular dungeon. In English translation, the Dawn series is called Early Years.
Dungeon Zenith (Donjon Zénith)Edit
DZ portrays the "golden age" of the world of Terra Amata . Albums 1 to 4 are drawn by Trondheim, and from 5 onwards by Boulet.
Dungeon Twilight (Donjon Crépuscule)Edit
In this darker series, of 8 volumes, Herbert the Duck has become the dark overlord of the Dungeon, known as The Great Khan. Marvin the dragon, old and blind, teams with Marvin the Red, a brash rabbit warrior. The first three volumes are drawn by Sfar, the others by various artists.
Dungeon Parade (Donjon Parade)Edit
The five volumes of Dungeon Parade take place between volumes 1 and 2 of Dungeon Zenith, starring its protagonists Marvin and Herbert. The artist is Manu Larcenet.
Dungeon Monstres (Donjon Monsters)Edit
Donjon Monstres features secondary characters from throughout the story. "Monstres" stories can be set anywhere in the timeline, and feature occasional appearances by the major characters. There is a wide variety of artists in the 12 volumes.
The Zenith books begin at number 1, while Potron-Minet begins at -99 and Crepuscule at 101, implying that the authors intended to produce an unprecedented number of books. Trondheim originally stated in interviews that the authors "weren't crazy" and wouldn't release 300 books, trusting the reader to fill in the blanks of the missing numbers. However, in later interviews, he hinted that he had changed his mind and was seduced by the idea of creating a long-running and complex series of 300 books, which seemed possible with the collaboration of several different authors.
A third sub-series called Donjon Bonus exists of different editions (black and white or smaller format omnibuses) and work outside the comics, like the role-playing game Clefs en Mains.
With the 2014 issuance of the last two volumes of Dungeon Twilight, Trondheim and Sfar emphasized in an interview that the main story was "completely done". Trondheim said that new stories were "very improbable" due to Sfar's schedule; Sfar left the door open for more stories to be told.
In 2019, Trondheim and Sfar announced on Instagram that they would return to Dungeon : https://www.instagram.com/p/BtHM0tngrN2/
Two new series (Donjon Antipodes - 10000 and (Donjon Antipodes + 10000) should see the light of day in 2020 alongside a new Zenith album.
- Herbert the Duck is the "hero" of the story, and appears in at least Donjon Zenith and Crepuscule series. As his name suggests, he is a duck, although he has a humanoid body, and is covered in feathers. He is the possessor of the Sword of Destiny (a parody of other mystical weapons in adventure books). This sword is unique in that it can talk, and that has many mystical powers, such as being able to glow in the dark, being able to summon former bearers when someone other than its legitimate user tries to hold it, and not allowing the use of any other weapon by its owner. Also, one side of its blade has the enigmatic property of being able to cut -and even behead- living beings without killing them.
- Marvin the Dragon serves as the reluctant instructor and protector of Herbert the Duck. Marvin is a fierce warrior who loves a good fight, but at the same time he is bound by the principles of his religion. He is a strict vegetarian, refuses to eat "human" or animal flesh and will not attack anyone who has insulted him. Like other dragons, he can breathe fire, but will do so only when strictly necessary. Initially caused by indigestion due to eating little blue mushrooms, Marvin is capable of producing a "Tong Deum", a large blast of fire-breath. He looks vaguely humanoid, with huge muscles and scarlet skin. Marvin is loyal to his boss, the Keeper - though not entirely averse to keeping him in the dark about certain matters.
- Hyacinthe de Cavallere (aka the Dungeon Master or "the Keeper") is a greedy, yet lovable, capitalist who only cares about enriching himself by attracting adventurers and treasure-seekers to his Dungeon, where they will leave their corpses and possessions. In his youth, Hyacinthe was actually quite idealistic, and disguised himself as the nocturnal crime fighter "the Night Shirt". The Dungeon's core is the ancestral keep of the de Cavellere family, though greatly enlarged during Hyacinthe's lifetime.
- Marvin the Red, the hero of the Crepuscule/Twilight series. He is a tall, thin rabbit, colored bright red. He is a young warrior and very impetuous.
The following tables show all French paperback collections released so far, with information about English releases. Please note that in the Main Series table the Volume also corresponds to the level of the book. 
|Series||Volume||Title||Available in English as:||Writer/s||Art|
|Potron-Minet||-99||La chemise de la nuit||Early Years vol. 1: The Night Shirt||Sfar, Trondheim||Christophe Blain|
|Potron-Minet||-98||Un justicier dans l'ennui||Sfar, Trondheim||Christophe Blain|
|Potron-Minet||-97||Une jeunesse qui s'enfuit||Early Years vol. 2: Innocence lost||Sfar, Trondheim||Christophe Blain|
|Potron-Minet||-84||Après la pluie||Sfar, Trondheim||Christophe Blain|
|Potron-Minet||-83||Sans un bruit||N/A||Sfar, Trondheim||Christophe Gaultier|
|Zénith||1||Coeur de canard||Zenith vol. 1: Duck Heart||Sfar, Trondheim||Trondheim|
|Zénith||2||Le Roi de la bagarre||Sfar, Trondheim||Trondheim|
|Zénith||3||La Princesse des barbares||Zenith vol. 2: The Barbarian Princess||Sfar, Trondheim||Trondheim|
|Zénith||4||Sortilèges et avatars||Sfar, Trondheim||Trondheim|
|Zénith||5||Un mariage à part||Zenith vol. 3: Back in Style||Sfar, Trondheim||Boulet|
|Zénith||6||Retour en fanfare||Sfar, Trondheim||Boulet|
|Crépuscule||101||Le Cimetière des dragons||Twilight, vol. 1: Dragon Cemetery||Sfar, Trondheim||Sfar|
|Crépuscule||102||Le Volcan des Vaucanson||Sfar, Trondheim||Sfar|
|Crépuscule||103||Armaggedon||Twilight, vol. 2: Armageddon||Sfar, Trondheim||Sfar|
|Crépuscule||104||Le Dojo du lagon||Sfar, Trondheim||Kerascoët|
|Crépuscule||105||Les Nouveaux Centurions||Twilight, vol. 3: The New Centurions||Sfar, Trondheim||Kerascoët|
|Crépuscule||110||Haut Septentrion||Twilight, vol. 4: The End of Dungeon||Sfar, Trondheim||Alfred|
|Crépuscule||111||La Fin du Donjon||Sfar, Trondheim||Mazan|
|Series||Volume||Level||Title||Available in English as:||Writer/s||Art|
|Bonus||N/A||N/A||Clefs en main — Jeu de rôles||N/A||Arnaud Moragues||Sfar, Trondheim|
|Parade||1||1.5||Un donjon de trop||Parade vol. 1: A dungeon too many||Sfar, Trondheim||Manu Larcenet|
|Parade||2||1.5||Le Sage du ghetto||Sfar, Trondheim||Manu Larcenet|
|Parade||3||1.5||Le Jour des crapauds||Parade vol. 2: Day of the Toads||Sfar, Trondheim||Manu Larcenet|
|Parade||4||1.5||Des fleurs et des marmots||Sfar, Trondheim||Manu Larcenet|
|Parade||5||1.5||Technique Grogro||N/A||Sfar, Trondheim||Manu Larcenet|
|Monsters||1||-4||Jean-Jean la Terreur||Monstres vol. 1: The Crying Giant||Sfar, Trondheim||Mazan|
|Monsters||2||3.5||Le Géant qui pleure||Sfar, Trondheim||Jean-Christophe Menu|
|Monsters||3||103||La Carte majeure||Monstres vol. 2: The Dark Lord||Sfar, Trondheim||Andreas|
|Monsters||4||103||Le Noir Seigneur||Sfar, Trondheim||Stéphane Blanquet|
|Monsters||5||-97||La Nuit du tombeur||Monstres vol. 4: Night of the Ladykiller||Sfar, Trondheim||Jean-Emmanuel Vermont-Desroches|
|Monsters||6||40||Du ramdam chez les brasseurs||Sfar, Trondheim||Yoann|
|Monsters||7||-90||Mon fils le tueur||Monstres vol. 5: My Son the Killer||Sfar, Trondheim||Blutch|
|Monsters||8||-85||Crève-coeur||Monstres vol. 3: Heartbreaker||Sfar, Trondheim||Carlos Nine|
|Monsters||9||75||Les Profondeurs||Sfar, Trondheim||Patrice Killoffer|
|Monsters||10||95||Des soldats d'honneur||Monstres vol. 5: My Son the Killer||Sfar, Trondheim||Bézian|
|Monsters||11||-400||Le Grand Animateur||Monstres vol. 6: The Great Animator||Sfar, Trondheim||Stanislas|
|Monsters||12||5||Le Grimoire de l'inventeur||Monstres vol. 6: The Great Animator||Sfar, Trondheim||Nicolas Keramidas|
- In 2005 now defunct publisher Dragon Rouge Kft. released volume 1 (Coeur de canard) in Hungarian.
- In 2006 swedish publisher Komika released volumes 1 (Coeur de canard) and 2 (Le Roi de la bagarre) in Swedish.
Since the series start, it has grown into quite a large collection of volumes. The place of each book in an orderly timeline is worked out using levels (French: Niveau). The volume number of books in the main series (Dawn, Zenith and Twilight) is also their level. The Monsters and Parade level numbers are written down in the original books on the first page below the page number.
- Interview with 20 minutes, http://www.20minutes.fr/culture/1322254-20140313-fin-donjon-lewis-trondheim-joann-sfar-expliquent, accessed 30 Dec. 2014.