is a subgenre of fantasy
that is primarily humorous in intent and tone. Usually set in imaginary worlds, comic fantasy often includes puns on and parodies of other works of fantasy. It is sometimes known as Low fantasy
in contrast to High fantasy
, which is primarily serious in intent and tone. The term "Low Fantasy" is used to represent other types of fantasy, however, so while comic fantasies may also correctly be classified as low fantasy, many examples of low fantasy are not comic in nature.
The subgenre rose in the latter half of the twentieth century
. T.H. White
's works exemplify it, L. Sprague de Camp
and Fletcher Pratt
's Complete Enchanter
stories are early exemplars. The overwhelming bulk of de Camp's fantasy was comic.
In more modern times, Piers Anthony's Xanth books, Robert Asprin's MythAdventures of Skeeve and Aahz books, Terry Pratchett's Discworld, and Tom Holt's books provide good examples. Not surprisingly there are also comic-strips/graphic novels in the humorous fantasy genre, including Chuck Whelon's Pewfell series and the webcomics 8-Bit Theater and The Order of the Stick.
The subgenre has also been represented in television and film, such as in the comic fantasy television serial I Dream of Jeannie and the 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. A rare example on radio is the BBC's Hordes of the Things.