“The Order of the Stick (OOTS) is a comedic webcomic that celebrates and satirizes tabletop role-playing games and medieval fantasy through the ongoing tale of the eponymous fellowship of adventuring heroes. The comic is written and illustrated by Rich Burlew, who creates the comic in a colorful stick figure style.
Taking place in a magical world that loosely operates by the rules of the 3.5 edition Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), the comic follows the sometimes farcical exploits of six adventurers as they strive to save the world from an evil lich. Much of the comic’s humor stems from these characters either being aware of the game rules that affect their lives or having anachronistic knowledge of modern culture, which in turn is often used by the author to parody various aspects of role-playing games and fantasy fiction. While primarily comedic in nature, The Order of the Stick features a continuing storyline serialized in one- to four-page episodes, with over 800 such episodes released so far.
Although it is principally distributed online at the website Giant in the Playground, seven book collections have been published, including several print-only stories (On the Origin of PCs, Start of Darkness, and Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales). An alternate version of the strip appeared monthly in Dragon magazine for 22 issues; these strips, among others, are collected in Snips, Snails and Dragon Tales.”
The original set-up of the comic revolved around the nightly dreams of a little boy named Nemo. The purpose of his early dreams was to reach ‘Slumberland’, the realm of King Morpheus, who wanted him as a playmate for his daughter, the Princess. The last panel in each strip was always one of Nemo waking up, usually in or near his bed, and often being scolded (or comforted) by one of the grownups of the household after crying out in his sleep and waking them. In the earliest strips, the dream event that woke him up would always be some mishap or disaster that seemed about to lead to serious injury or death, such as being crushed by giant mushrooms, being turned into a monkey, falling from a bridge being held up by “slaves”, or gaining 90 years in age. Later on, when Nemo finally did reach Slumberland, he was constantly being woken up by Flip, a character who originally wore a hat that had 'Wake Up’ written on it. Flip would go on to be one of the comic’s seminal characters. Other notable recurring characters included: Dr. Pill, The Imp, the Candy Kid and Santa Claus as well as the Princess and King Morpheus.
110 of the most famous strips have been reprinted in their original size and colors in the 2005 collection Little Nemo in Slumberland, So Many Splendid Sundays, a 16x21 inch hardcover book from Sunday Press Books and its sequel the 2008 collection Little Nemo in Slumberland, Many More Splendid Sundays, Volume 2 with 110 more images.
“Three modern cartoon cousins get lost in a pre-technological valley, spending a year there making new friends and out-running dangerous enemies. Their many adventures include crossing the local people in The Great Cow Race, and meeting a giant mountain lion called RockJaw: Master of the Eastern Border. They learn about sacrifice and hardship in The Ghost Circles and finally discover their own true natures in the climatic journey to The Crown of Horns.”