I’ll admit, when Jim Zub and I were first approached by the team at Insight Edition about contributing to a Dungeons & Dragons pop-up book, we weren’t sure quite what to think. We were imaging those simple flipbooks from our childhood, with a few moving tabs that flipped images or lifted a section of the page. We were not prepared for what pop-up books have become since then.

A page from Matthew Reinhart’s Game of Thrones pop-up book

The book that Insight Editions had in mind would be a paper engineering marvel, featuring intricate spreads, multiple points of articulation, three-dimensional displays and incredible amounts of detail. It was such an exciting concept that we were thrilled to jump aboard.

Writing for a book like this was a very different process from working on prose or comics, although our experience collaborating with artists from both comics and art notes on the D&D Young Adventurer’s Guides was a big help. The space allotted for text is very much guided by the page layout and design, which often couldn’t be established until after the story had been written, leading to lots of back-and-forth rewriting as the book developed.

On the plus side, that process meant we got to communicate frequently with the paper engineer, Matthew Reinhart, who is something of a legend among pop-up book fans for his amazing creations. Getting to see his process as the book developed was a real treat, and I can’t say enough about his creativity, innovation and passion for making fantastic creations that readers will cherish for years to come.

Dungeons & Dragons: The Ultimate Pop-Up Book is expected in stores on May 30, 2023 and pre-orders are now available from your favorite stores. For more information, check out the book’s page on the Simon & Shuster website.