The massive success of the Cult of the Lamb’s comic book Kickstarter campaign instantly put the project among the most anticipated of the year. A lot is owed to the game’s popularity, in which you play as a lamb that’s tasked with creating a cult to free a dark being held in chains. It’s a rogue-lite game with base-building features that, it’s easy to argue, stuck around with players due to the cuddly nature of its design. The art style is adorable, and the process of amassing a following composed of raccoons, fish, dogs, and spiders is easy to get lost in.


Artist Troy Little is tasked with translating this unique experience into a comic book along with writer Alex Paknadel for Oni PressCult of the Lamb: The First Verse. I want stress the word unique because the game’s art direction alone has already corralled many players into a more cohesive fanbase. The game has a robust community that produces a steady stream of fan art that highlights the cutesy vibes of its world and the animals that the Lamb recruits. There’s a lot of love for this game.

Thankfully, the Troy Little art Oni Press has revealed via interlocking covers and promotional images for the Kickstarter campaign are enough to make gamers feel right at home with the upcoming comic. The endearing malice that graces gaming screens is instantly recognizable, both from its cartoony feel to the sense things can get bloody and disturbing at a moment’s notice should Lamb need to sacrifice a follower two.

The Beat corresponded with Little to talk brainwashed animals, turning games into comics, and whether it’s better to be a caring or a gleefully cruel cult leader in the game.

RICARDO SERRANO: Cult of the Lamb is one of the most genuinely addictive games to come out in a while. How do you capture that need to keep growing your cult as a player into comics?

TROY LITTLE: No kidding the game is addictive. It’s just a constant “just this one more thing, then I’m going to bed” for hours. In the comic we get to meet the very first cult member, an adorable bunny named Nana. Things start out so good for the Lamb, but cults have a way of getting out of control pretty fast. Just like the game, managing a diverse group of characters and tending to their needs while exacting revenge on those who killed you is a full-time job!

Interlocking covers for Cult of the Lamb: The First Verse, by Troy Little

SERRANO: The game has a very distinctive art style, down to the color palette. Did you feel like you needed to stay as faithful as possible to the game’s look or was there room for interpretation?

LITTLE: The game is darkly charming with its cast of cute animals and hordes of black oozing monsters. There’s a lot of space to bring the characters to life and yet retain their chibi cuteness. Being able to have them act and express themselves is all part of adapting to the comics medium and it really adds a lot to the dark world they exist in. We want to keep the vibe of the game, but expand on it. Having worked on both The Powerpuff Girls and Rick & Morty, I’m in a very good place to walk the razor’s edge of cute and iconic mashed with deeply depraved.

SERRANO: What was something you certainly didn’t want to lose in the transition from game to comic?

LITTLE: I like how gloomy the environments are, so the comic will have a lot of heavy shadows and an overall ominous tone. Even in the peaceful moments you’ll find a skull or two hidden in the weeds.

The writer, Alex Paknadel, is playing the story deadly serious. It’s just the best because it makes the contrast of the visuals and the narrative all the more interesting. All these cute creatures behaving so sinister is baked right in and the Lamb’s obsession with collecting worship power in the game takes on a whole new level of gravity.

SERRANO: How did you conduct yourself as The Lamb in the game? Were you a benevolent cult leader? Dictatorial? Greedy? I made sure my followers were comfortable with death so I could sacrifice them for more faith points. But I blessed each one of them every chance I got, especially after I built the confessional. I had zero tolerance for dissention.

LITTLE: I was a kind and benevolent leader (save for the occasional blood sacrifice). It’s interesting to me how different people play games where you can behave as good or awful, and there are no real-life consequences. I still want to play their hero, but I have friends who revel in the chaos of going full rogue. There’s an interesting ethical / philosophical debate to be had there! My son tried to speed run the game and things ended poorly for his flock, so he’s on round two and being more mindful about his actions this time. The Cult of the Lamb is not only a rogue-lite video game it’s… educational?

troy little
cover by Troy Little

SERRANO: Anything you want to see in a future sequel or DLC that you might’ve already worked into the comic?

LITTLE: The first arc is subtitled “The First Verse”, so there’s a lot more to delve into! The comic isn’t going to be a basic walkthrough of the game, it’s got so much more going on. As a companion to the game, it expands on and adds to the lore and motivations of the characters, but it also stands alone as a great tragic story. And just like playing the game, I’m not ready to quit anytime soon.