Steve Jackson Games, publishers of RPGs and other games has announced that its hugely successful Munchkin card game will be getting a book, published by Smart Pop this Fall as, simply, The Munchkin Book.
Why make a book based on a humorous card game that parodies roleplaying games? Andrew Hackard, the Munchkin Czar for Steve Jackson Games, said, in typical Munchkin snark, "Raw greed. Or a desire to celebrate over a decade of Munchkin's place in the pantheon of tabletop games. Your choice."
The Munchkin Book will be a series of essays from various contributors around different aspects of the card game. Besides Hackard, essayists include Munchkin artist John Kovalic and company founder Steve Jackson. "John Kovalic writes about his favorite cards. Steve Jackson breaks down 12 years of Munchkin into facts and figures," said Hackard. "Matt Forbeck talks about the history of the term 'munchkin' in games and how it relates to Munchkin specifically. And there are lots of other essays, all examining the phenomenon that is the Munchkin card game."
Hackard admitted they had a simple process for collecting the essays, "Find authors. Reveal incriminating photos. Accept their essays graciously." In all seriousness, book publisher Smart Pop is known for books featuring writers examining pop culture, from Spider-Man to Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Hackard believes that the audience for the book is fans of the game, but not just such gamers. "Smart Pop's essay books also discuss the place of their subjects in the wider world, and we get into some heavy philosophizing in The Munchkin Book," said Hackard. "That's a lie. Nothing is heavy in that book. But we do expect that it will appeal to some people who aren't yet Munchkin fans, and may even convert a few."
The Munchkin Book is only the first of many moves for Steve Jackson Games to enlarge the world of Munchkin. Beyond the initial card game, a humorous take on fantasy RPGs, there are dozens of Munchkin expansions, supporting genres like Superheros, Horror, Scifi, Western, Spies, Zombies, Martial Arts, Pirates, etc. There are also Munchkin Quest board games, an actual Munchkin tabletop RPG, and the Munchkin card game will be released as a video game for Xbox Live later this year.
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