Dungeon (comics)

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Created byJoann Sfar
Lewis Trondheim
Publication information
FormatsOriginal material for the series has been published as a set of graphic novels.
Original languageFrench
Publication date1998 – Present
Creative team
Writer(s)Joann Sfar
Lewis Trondheim
The series has been reprinted, at least in part, in English.

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.

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.


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.

Main characters[edit]

  • 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. [1]

Main Series[edit]

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 106 Révolutions Sfar, Trondheim Obion
Crépuscule 110 Haut Septentrion Twilight, vol. 4: The End of Dungeon Sfar, Trondheim Alfred
Crépuscule 111 La Fin du Donjon Sfar, Trondheim Mazan

Secondary Series[edit]

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 2.5 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

Other languages[edit]

  • 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.



External links[edit]