Zak Smith

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Zak Smith
Zak Smith.jpg
Born (1976-07-16) July 16, 1976 (age 45)
EducationCooper Union, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Yale University
Known for
  • Art
  • RPG development
Notable work
Girls in the Naked Girl Business

Zak Smith (born July 16, 1976), also known as Zak Sabbath, is an American artist, role-playing game author, and adult actor.

Early life and education[edit]

Smith was born in Syracuse, New York and grew up in Washington, D.C. After receiving a BFA from Cooper Union in 1998, he studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine and went on to receive an MFA from Yale University in 2001.[1]


Apart from his work as role-playing game author and artist Smith is also known as a hardcore porn actor.[2][3]

Public collections containing Smith's art include the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Walker Art Center and Saatchi Gallery.[4][5][6][7] Some of his works are shown on Artsy.[8] Zak Smith is represented by Fredericks & Freiser Gallery in New York City.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Smith lived and worked in Brooklyn, New York until October 2007, when he moved to Los Angeles. He was formerly in a long-term relationship with adult industry performer Mandy Morbid.[10] Smith describes himself as an anarchist.[11][12][13]

Sexual assault allegations[edit]

Due to allegations of abuse and rape by several women including Morbid, Wizards of the Coast announced in February 2019 they would be removing all references to Smith from the print and digital editions of Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition.[14][15][16][17][18][19] Kenneth Hite, a former RPG collaborator, apologized to the women and said he would donate the proceeds from their upcoming book to a non-profit addressing domestic violence. OneBookShelf announced it would no longer work with Smith and would donate revenue generated from existing titles with Smith to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. Smith was also banned from attending Gen Con.[14] Smith denied the accusations and filed a defamation lawsuit against Morbid.[20][21][22]



  • Zak Smith: Pictures of Girls (New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 2005). ISBN 978-1-933045-22-1
  • Pictures Showing What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel Gravity's Rainbow (graphic representation of novel/illustration) (Portland, Oregon: Tin House Books, 2006). ISBN 0-9773127-9-8
  • We Did Porn: Memoir and Drawings. (Portland, Oregon: Tin House Books, 2009). ISBN 978-0-9802436-8-0
  • The Worst Breakfast (illustrator, with writer China Miéville, Akashic Books, 2016). ISBN 978-1-6177548-6-9



Year Award Category Work
2011 ENnie Awards Honorable Mention in "Best Aid/Accessory"[1] Vornheim: The Complete City Kit
Diehard GameFAN Tabletop Gaming Award for "Best Campaign Setting"[23]
2012 IndieCade "Best Technology of the Year"[24]
2014 Indie RPG Awards "Best Production"[25] A Red and Pleasant Land
2015 ENnie awards Silver for "Best Adventure" + "Product of the Year"[26][27]
Gold for "Best Setting" + "Best Writing"[26][27]
2016 ENnie awards Silver for "Best Cartography" + "Best Writing"[28] Maze of the Blue Medusa
Gold for "Best Electronic Book"[28]
2018 ENnie Awards Silver for best "Art - Interior" + "Setting" + "Writing"[29] Frostbitten & Mutilated
Gold for "Best Monster/Adversary"[29]


  1. ^ a b "2011 Noms and Winners". ENnie Awards. Archived from the original on February 13, 2019. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  2. ^ Baumann, Ken (July 24, 2014). "Basement Magic: Notes From a New D&D Player & An Interview With Zak Smith". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  3. ^ Veselka, Vanessa (October 6, 2014). "The Best Monster". Retrieved May 28, 2019.
  4. ^ "The Collection | Zak Smith (American, born 1976)". MoMA. 2004. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  5. ^ Smith, Zak (2005). "Girls in the Naked Girl Business: Sawa". Whitney Museum of American Art. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  6. ^ Smith, Zak (2004). "Pictures of What Happens on Each Page of Thomas Pynchon's Novel, Gravity's Rainbow". Walker Art Center. Retrieved July 25, 2019.
  7. ^ Smith, Zak (2007). "Girls in the Naked Girl Business: Sasha Grey". Saatchi Gallery. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  8. ^ Miranda, Carolina A. (July 4, 2014). "Moment of Friday: Zak Smith picks the metal-est song in the world". LA Times. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  9. ^ Featured Works Fredericks & Freiser Gallery Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  10. ^ Kane, Kimberly (October 16, 2012). "Zak Loves Mandy". VICE. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  11. ^ Trice, Emilie (October 15, 2007). "Anarchy in the U.K." Retrieved January 5, 2015. This month, the 31-year-old artist, anarchist and porn star has a solo show at Fred in London.
  12. ^ Tsjeng, Zing (July 28, 2014). "Stoya selects Zak Smith". Dazed Digital. Retrieved January 5, 2015. The self-described anarchist landed his monumental page-for-page artistic interpretation of Gravity's Rainbow in the Whitney Biennal at 28, then landed his first adult film role in Barbed Wire Kiss.
  13. ^ Hellings, David Paul (September 13, 2015). "An Interview with Zak S". SFF World. Archived from the original on March 2, 2019. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  14. ^ a b Hall, Charlie (February 20, 2019). "Dungeons & Dragons publisher scrubs contributor from handbook amid abuse allegations". Polygon. Archived from the original on February 28, 2019. Retrieved March 6, 2019.
  15. ^ Arndt, Dan (February 15, 2019). "New Allegations Against Zak Smith Spotlight Rampant Harassment In The RPG Industry". The Fandomentals. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  16. ^ H, Brook (February 15, 2019). "Tabletop RPG Community Boycotts Zak Smith". Pop Culture Uncovered.
  17. ^ "411MANIA". Wizards of the Coast Issues Statement About D&D 5E Contributor Zak Smith Following Abuse Allegations. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  18. ^ Sheehan, Gavin (February 19, 2019). "Dungeons & Dragons Issues a Statement on the Zak Smith Situation". Bleeding Cool News And Rumors. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  19. ^ Hoffer, Christian. "'Dungeons & Dragons' Releases Statement on Zak Smith". Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  20. ^ Smith, Zak (February 13, 2019). "The Statement". Official Z Announcements.
  21. ^ Smith, Zak (June 12, 2019). "Im Suing". Official Z Announcements.
  22. ^ Girdwood, Andrew (November 29, 2019). "Backlisted RPG designer's defamation case forces ex-girlfriend into crowdfunding". Geek Native. Retrieved July 4, 2020.
  23. ^ Lucard, Alex (December 26, 2011). "Diehard GameFAN's 2011 Tabletop Gaming Awards". Diehard GameFan. Archived from the original on February 13, 2019. Retrieved March 16, 2019. With Vornheim you are really getting two products in one: a dark urban fantasy setting where the skin on snakes used as books and a simple but effective city generation system. When you combine the two, you end up with a book that transcends game editions and provides a memorable backdrop for any gaming session.
  24. ^ "IndieCade 2012 Indie Game Award Winners - The Complete List". Indie Game Review. October 5, 2012. Archived from the original on March 1, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  25. ^ "Best Production, 2014". The Indie RPG Awards. 2014. Archived from the original on April 6, 2016. Retrieved March 16, 2019.
  26. ^ a b "2015 ENnie Award Winners". ENnie Awards. 2015. Archived from the original on May 3, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  27. ^ a b Helton, Christopher (August 1, 2015). "Bleeding Gen Con: Two Of The Best Four Days In Gaming". Bleeding Cool. Archived from the original on December 15, 2015. Retrieved March 12, 2019. The shocker of the awards was Zak Smith’s A Red & Pleasant Land, published by Finnish small press publisher Lamentations of the Flame Princess, winning 2 gold and 2 silver ENnies, including Best Writing and Best Setting.
  28. ^ a b "2016 ENnie Award Winners". ENnie Awards. Archived from the original on May 3, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.
  29. ^ a b "2018 ENnie Noms and Winners". ENnie Awards. 2018. Archived from the original on April 13, 2019. Retrieved February 28, 2019.

External links[edit]