Order of the Stick allies with Paizo, Dragon Magazine

The spectacularly popular online comic strip and its parent company, Giant in the Playground Games, is now relying on Paizo Publishing to handle distribution of the company’s print products. And as long as OOTS creator Rich Burlew is getting involved with Paizo, it seems only natural that Dragon will benefit from the arrangement. Starting with issue 338 in late November, Dragon will contain new, stand-alone “mini-stories featuring the characters from the online comic.” Also of note is the reminder (in the press release, below) that Burlew was runner-up in WotC’s setting search contest (you know, the one that resulted in Keith Baker’s Eberron), and the coy mention of plans in the works for other gaming products from his company.

Paizo Publishing press release text follows:


Paizo Publishing to become the exclusive sales agent for The Order of the Stick

September 30, 2005 (BELLEVUE, WA) – Paizo Publishing, LLC, publisher of the officially licensed Dungeons & Dragons gaming magazines Dragon and Dungeon, and the premiere e-commerce site for all things gaming, is pleased to announce today that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Rich Burlew, creator and owner of the wildly popular roleplaying comic strip The Order of the Stick (OOTS) and his company Giant in the Playground Games.

“The office has been buzzing about The Order of the Stick ever since Rich started to put his strips up on the Internet,” says Lisa Stevens, Chief Executive Officer of Paizo Publishing, LLC. “We all love his work so much that we approached Rich at Gen Con this year about forming a strategic alliance to sell and promote The Order of the Stick. It is quite a thrill for all of us to help bring this witty comic to an even larger audience.”

Paizo Publishing will be soliciting The Order of the Stick graphic novels through distribution channels for release early next year. Fans of the comic will be able to buy OOTS graphic novels and merchandise on paizo.com.

“I’m ecstatic to be working with… Pizo? Pozo? Whatever,” says Burlew. “The point is, these suckers are going to do all the hard work while I sit back and rake in the sweet, sweet cash.” Burlew went on to explain how the proceeds from the new deal would be used to finance a 117-room Caribbean mansion and a giant moon-based laser beam. “I’m going to call it the ‘Lunar Lazer 4700™’, with a ‘z’,” he gushed.

The Order of the Stick was started by Burlew as a web-only comic on www.GiantITP.com in summer 2003. Since then, the strip has been growing in popularity by leaps and bounds, leading him to release The Order of the Stick in print format. The first OOTS book, The Order of the Stick: Dungeon Crawlin’ Fools, went on sale in January 2005 and has been a huge success. The Order of the Stick: On the Origin of PCs was released at Gen Con Indy in August and will be available for sale outside of conventions this coming November. Fans will be able to place preorders on paizo.com immediately. A third OOTS compilation will be available in early 2006. Burlew, the runner-up in the Wizards of the Coast Fantasy Setting Search, is also chewing on some ideas for gaming products to be released through Giant in the Playground Games and distributed through Paizo, but the author shrieked and hid in a janitorial closet when pressed for details.

Burlew will also be contributing new The Order of the Stick cartoons to Dragon magazine beginning with Dragon 338, which hits newsstands on November 22. These strips will be brand new mini-stories featuring the characters from the online comic, though the strips in Dragon will stand on their own.

“Three times a week, the boys in our editorial department cackle like Halloween witches and point at their computer screens,” says Dragon Editor-in-Chief Erik Mona. “Naively, I always ask what’s so funny, and their answer is always the same: ‘Rich Burlew posted a new The Order of the Stick,’ they say, and then they look at me with the kind of sad eyes and mini-pouts usually reserved for run-over animals. I couldn’t be happier about the cartoon coming to Dragon magazine.”

For more information, please visit paizo.com or contact Lisa Stevens at lisa@paizo.com.

Paizo Publishing, LLC®, publishes special interest magazines and gaming products in the field of hobby gaming. It is Paizo’s goal for every magazine and every product to be an event that encourages new and experienced hobbyists and fans to become more excited about their interests. Dragon is the official source of new rules, spells, artifacts, and ideas for players of Dungeons & Dragons. Dungeon is the official source of D&D adventures. Our new line of official Dungeons and Dragons products includes The Shackled City Adventure Path and the upcoming Dragon Compendium. Paizo also operates a full-line Internet game retail store at paizo.com.

Giant in the Playground™ Games produces fine entertainment for the discriminating roleplaying game enthusiast. Best known for Rich Burlew’s The Order of the Stick™ gaming comic, GITP Games seeks to bring a delicate blend of comedy, drama, and the inherently unique roleplaying experience to players worldwide with a variety of game-related products. And if, while pursuing this goal, they happen to crush the world political order with their legion of nigh-unstoppable zombie troopers, then so be it. Visit them at your own risk at www.GiantITP.com.

Paizo Publishing LLC and the Paizo logo are registered trademarks of Paizo Publishing, LLC. Giant in the Playground, The Order of the Stick, OOTS, and Lunar Lazer 4700 are trademarks of Giant in the Playground Games. Dragon, Dungeon, and Dungeons and Dragons are trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., and are published by Paizo Publishing under license.