Kovalic, John 1962-

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KOVALIC, John 1962-


Born 1962, in England;married. Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison, B.A. (economics).


Home—Madison, WI. Office—Shetland Productions, P.O. Box 45063, Madison, WI 53744-5063. E-mail—[email protected].


Syndicated comic strip writer; editorial cartoonist.


Wild Life: The Cardinal Collection, self-published 1985, reprinted, Dork Storm (Madison, WI), 2000.

Dork Covenant (part of "Dork Tower" series), Dork Storm (Madison, WI), 2000.

Dork Shadows (part of "Dork Tower" series), Dork Storm (Madison, WI), 2002.

Heart of Dorkness: The Collected Dork Tower, Volume 3, Dork Storm (Madison, WI), 2002.

Author of numerous comic strips, including "Wild Life," "Beached," "Newbies," and "Murphy's Rules." Comic strips have appeared in newspapers and magazines, including Games, Dragon, and Scrye. Kovalic's editorial cartoons have appeared regularly in Wisconsin State Journal, as well as in New York Times, USA Today, and Washington Post.

Kovalic's "Dork Tower" series has been translated into German and Italian.


John Kovalic grew up around comic strips. His mother wrote a comic strip for My Weekly Reader, and he, in an interview for the Sequential Tart Web site, revealed that he learned to read from comic strips such as "Richie Rich" and "Casper," but was especially hooked on "Peanuts." Since high school he has always been working on something comics-related. He started the strip "Wild Life" while at school in England, and had enough of them to self-publish a compilation, Wild Life: The Cardinal Collection, when he finished his undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin. "Wild Life" ran daily in syndication for ten years. In the mid 1980s Kovalic also began freelancing as an editorial cartoonist for Capital Times, the local Madison, Wisconsin newspaper.

Kovalic's "Dork Tower" comic book series was launched in June 1998. A comical though sympathetic series about a group of role-playing gamers, it has made Kovalic very popular in the comic book world. The comic strips first appeared in various published and online gaming magazines and gained a following. When the first comic book issue was released it sold out in eight weeks. Because of high reader demand, the comic book was published on a bimonthly schedule and doubled its circulation within the first year. "Dork Tower" has been so popular that it runs in German and Italian. In his review of Heart of Dorkness: The Collected Dork Tower, Volume 3 for Library Journal, Steve Raiteri explained that aside from including the jokes about role-playing, "the book spoofs Renaissance fairs, Macintosh computer lovers, the cable TV hit Iron Chef, comic-book crossovers [and] Star Wars fans." Raiteri noted that with Heart of Dorkness, Kovalic offers a "comical yet sympathtic take on the gaming life."



Library Journal, November 1, 2002, Steve Raiteri, review of Heart of Dorkness: The Collected Dork Tower, Volume 3, p. 67.


Brothers Grinn Web site,http://www.brothersgrinn.com/ (May 15, 2003), interview with John Kovalic.

Dork Tower Web site,http://www.gamespy.com/ (May 15, 2003).

Sequential Tart Web site,http://www.sequentialtart.com/ (May 15, 2003), interview with John Kovalic.*

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