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Posts with tag manga

Cryptozoic's Digital Manga releases for July

A couple of months ago, it was announced that Cryptozoic Entertainment, publisher of the WoW Trading Card Game, would be publishing the Warcraft and Starcraft manga exclusively through its comics reader app. The initial release included Warcraft Legends Vol. 1 and 2, World of Warcraft: Death Knight, and The Sunwell Trilogy Vol. 1: Dragon Hunt. It was also announced that other manga titles would be released over time via the app. Apparently, the time for more manga is now, as two new Warcraft titles have just been released to the comics app.

Warcraft Legends Vol. III is a collection of short tales, including the continuing story of Trag Highmountain, first seen in the Sunwell trilogy. Also included is the story I Got What Yule Need, written by New York Times bestselling author Christie Golden, and The Thrill of the Hunt, a story involving Hemet Nesingwary, one of the better known NPCs in game. The Legends series is one of the better ones out there, and at $5.99 for 160 pages worth of manga, it's a good deal.

Also released this month is the second book in the class series, World of Warcraft: Mage. This stand-alone story tells the tale of Aodhan, an apprentice mage whose dreams of making it big as a spellcaster are suddenly and violently interrupted. This volume delves into the story of Aodhan, but it also sheds a little light on the conflict between the Blue Dragonflight and the Kirin Tor highlighted back in Wrath of the Lich King. Like the other manga available on the app, Warcraft: Mage is also a steal at $5.99.

All titles are available for purchase through the Cryptozoic Comics App, and the app itself is free for download via iTunes. If you missed any of the manga releases, this is an excellent way to pick them up.

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore, Comics

Cryptozoic Entertainment now carrying all Blizzard manga

Cryptozoic Entertainment, publisher of the WoW Trading Card Game, is taking a step into the world of digital comics -- publishing and snapping up the Warcraft and Starcraft manga series along the way -- by offering the manga exclusively for its comics reader app, available for the iPad, iPhone and iPhone touch. But that's not all! To celebrate the exclusive release of the manga on the Cryptozoic Comics reader, for a limited time, you can download Warcraft: Legends Vol. 1 through Cryptozoic's website.

Legends Vol. 1 is the start of the popular anthology series. Each issue features short stories that highlight uncommon moments in lore and the adventures of everyday characters like the ones we play. Along with Legends Vol. 1, Cryptozoic is carrying World of Warcraft: Death Knight, Warcraft: Legends Vol. 2, and Dragon Hunt, the first book in the Sunwell trilogy. If you're looking for background into Thassarian and Koltira Deathweaver, Warcraft: Death Knight is absolutely worth picking up, and if you're looking for more information about Kalecgos, Anveena and the Sunwell, the Sunwell trilogy is definitely for you.

Though selection is limited to a few titles at this time, Cryptozoic will be carrying all Blizzard manga titles in the future, so keep an eye on its website and the app for future releases. The Cryptozoic comics app is available at no charge through the Apple store, and manga titles are priced at $5.99 per 150-page book. Check after the break for the full press release, and go pick up your free manga while you can -- the offer ends June 2!

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Filed under: News items, Lore

Are Blizzard and Tokyopop going their separate ways?

The folks over at Lorehound are reporting that Blizzard and Tokyopop are, after six years, ending their licensing agreement. This would be the agreement that has given us a great deal of lore development over the years with licensed products such as Dragons of Outland, the various class manga such as Shaman, and the Warcraft Legends series.

With no official announcement from either Blizzard or Tokyopop as of this writing, the Lorehound piece and its sources indicate that Blizzard may have pulled out of the deal due to a lack of ability to properly oversee the projects. Meanwhile, Lorehound is also reporting that the recent difficulties of the Borders bookstore chain may have caused problems for Tokyopop, with several people including Troy Lewter being downsized from the company. Troy Lewter, who was the editor of the Warcraft Legends series, was definitely important in the production of the various Blizzard licensed manga.

What this means for the average lore junkie is still up in the air, but I know if it's true, I'll definitely miss the Legends series.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Lore

Byron the Tauren Rogue: The cow, the legend, the gnome

When I approached the editors of WoW.com to ask them if they'd be interested in letting me do some work, I was thrilled when they agreed and took me on. The creative freedom I got was incredible: "Write us an idea, and if it's all right, you can do it."

Thus, Byron the Tauren Rogue was born.

Now, the legend of the tauren rogue is just one of many jokes within the WoW universe, like the cow level, or skilled ret paladins. Even though I was told that this idea was "done to death," I really wanted to try out the lovable oaf sort of character. What I didn't expect is what it would turn into.

The general synopsis of Byron is as such:
Byron is a young, male tauren who dreams of becoming the first rogue of his kind. His friends -- skilled rogues themselves -- dare Byron to sneak into Stormwind and steal the Shield of Fordragon. If he can acquire it and safely escape the city, then he has more than proven himself.

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Filed under: WoW Insider's Weekly Comic

Breakfast Topic: What constitutes canon in WoW lore?

This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW.com.

Can-on
Function: noun
[Middle English, from Late Latin, from Latin, standard] a : an authoritative list of books accepted as Holy Scripture b : the authentic works of a writer c : a sanctioned or accepted group or body of related works

Lore is an incredibly huge part of the Warcraft universe. It tells us where the world has been and can give us clues about where it will be going. Unfortunately, it can become very muddied as more and more people contribute. When I was in high school, I can remember reading many of the Star Wars novels, which took place in the "expanded universe." The names and places were often the same, but there were often glaring inconsistencies from author to author. When you grow up with a universe, as I did with Star Wars, or when it grows up with you, those inconsistencies can drive you nuts.

The difference that you find in the much of the licensed material that comes out about the Warcraft universe is that Blizzard has a much stricter control over what can be created. Blizzard works with the authors and artists and will often give them advance knowledge of where the property is going, story-wise, in order to make the work fit with unreleased game content. The first time I noticed a character from a licensed product in game was when I stumbled upon Dar'Khan Drathir in Deatholme while leveling my first blood elf. The first book of the Sunwell Trilogy was published almost two years before The Burning Crusade went live. As we progressed into and through The Burning Crusade and Wrath of the Lich King, more characters from the books, manga and comic worked their way into the game.

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Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Lore, Guest Posts

Manga Review: Shadow Wing Vol. I -- Dragons of Outland

The Dragons of Outland is the first volume of the Shadow Wing series, a sequel of sorts to the tremendously popular Sunwell Trilogy. Written by Richard Knaak and illustrated by Jae-Hwan Kim, it follows the further adventures of the paladin Jorad Mace, and the blue dragon Tyrygosa, or "Tyri" in her elven form, as they travel through the Dark Portal and into Outland.

Jorad and Tyri were last seen at the end of the Sunwell Trilogy, saying goodbye to Anveena and Kalecgos as they parted and went their separate ways. Jorad was being given a ride back to confront Arthas by Tyrygosa, who intended to drop him off and then report back to Malygos with the events surrounding Anveena and the Sunwell. The beginning of Dragons of Outland tells a different story however; apparently Jorad was unable to defeat Arthas (no small surprise), and rejoined the paladins of the Silver Hand in an effort to redeem himself from previous transgressions. Tyrygosa ... well it's never really stated whether or not she made it back to Malygos. Instead, she joined the high elf contingent of the army and traveled through the Dark Portal with everyone else, intent on something strange she sensed on the other side.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

Blizzard manga giveaway from Lorehound

Lorehound.com once again continues to offer up all things good and manga-related by putting up a fun little contest. Look at your bookshelf. Is it barren of any Blizzard/Tokyopop manga titles? Does it weep silently in the night, wishing it could be graced by the volumes of Warcraft Legends and the Starcraft titles? Hope no more, dear bookshelf, for if you enter Lorehound's Incredibly Short Story contest, you have the potential to win every single Blizzard manga title in existance.

Put on your robe and thinking cap and write a 150- to 300-word story on why you think you deserve the book collection. It can be anything: sob story, comedy, thoughtful introspective, a shopping list or whatever. Submit your story, and Lorehound will narrow down the runner-ups. From there, the community will vote on which one is the best.

Considering this is nearly $70+ worth of manga, I'd say that's not a bad deal. Best of luck to all who enter!

Filed under: Contests, Lore

World of Warcraft: Shaman manga preview

Do you like World of Warcraft? Do you like comics and/or manga? If you answered yes to either question, then I highly recommend you check out the newest upcoming WoW manga by Tokyopop titled World of Warcraft: Shaman. Written by Paul Benjamin (Starcraft: Frontline) and drawn/inked by the ever-talented Roccio Zucchi (World of Warcraft: Death Knight), this will be the next installment of the WoW class-themed comics.

World of Warcraft: Shaman follows the epic tale of one Muln Earthfury, leader of the shamanistic group known as the Earthen Ring. Muln and his fellow shaman become concerned over time, as the elements they worked so closely with start becoming unresponsive and exceedingly violent. Just when it looks like all hope is lost, in comes Shotoa -- a mysterious tauren shaman who doesn't just work with the elements, but brutally forces them to do his bidding. Shotoa promises power and grandeur for the ancient organization, claiming that Muln has lost his power. He vows to lead his followers into a grand new era of shamanism, but Muln and his people must decide if Shotoa is honoring their traditions, or desecrating them.

I like the way this manga has a nice tie-in to the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. If Deathwing's arrival is going to force open several elemental planes, it makes a lot of sense that the resident spirits of Azeroth are going to be in upheaval. There is also very little known about Muln himself. All we know is that he leads the Earthen Ring. Other than that, he's kept a pretty low profile. We'll also get to meet Kettara Bloodthirst, his spunky-looking orc apprentice. Once again, Blizzard is using the idea of trans-media to their advantage and exploring major lore characters that otherwise would be overlooked in-game.

World of Warcraft: Shaman will be available in October 2010.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Comics

Upcoming WoW manga releases

Two new releases are coming from Tokyopop's Warcraft manga line. Both will be written by Richard A. Knaak, touching upon subject matter he's dealt with before in licenses Warcraft releases. The first is Warcraft: Mage, another class-specific WoW book (following on the heels of the successful Death Knight manga). It certainly looks like Rhonin's on the cover there, although the story purports to be about "a young mage who faces his greatest challenge when he is forced to confront a foe only he can stop." Presumably Rhonin gets to be the Yoda this time.

Also coming out is Shadow Wing, volume 1, titled The Dragons of Outland. It's about the dragons of Outland. It's also about Tyragosa and Jorad Mace following the events of the Sunwell Trilogy, how they ended up in Outland giving folks quests in Netherstorm, and how Malygos got his groove back.

Filed under: News items, Comics

WoW.com's gift guide for 2009

It's that time of year again -- if you (like me) haven't gotten gifts for everyone on your list, it's time to start scrambling to find something nice to get under the tree this year. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about finding something good for the World of Warcraft fan in your life: we've got you covered there. In the gallery below, we've got a nice bunch of gift ideas for everything Warcraft, from the cheap to the expensive, from the silly to the practical, from in-game presents you can wrap with shiny paper, to out-of-game classics that you can... also wrap with shiny paper. If you need to give a gift to a WoW player this year, you'll find it below for sure.

And if you happen to be a Warcraft player, faced with the annual awkward question of "What do you want me to give you this year?", just feel free to drop this link surreptitiously as a reply, maybe even with a hint or two towards a specific item. We've included links to everything and kept it easy to understand even for someone who hasn't visited Azeroth before. That's our gift to you. Happy holidays, and good gift hunting!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Guides, Galleries, Fan art

Sneak peek at Tokyopop's Death Knight manga


Not long after Tokyopop announced its 2010 schedule, which actually includes a late 2009 release, BlizzPlanet unveiled scans from the first chapter of Dan Jolley and Rocio Zucchi's World of Warcraft: Death Knight. The story features Thassarian, an NPC first encountered in Ebon Hold and later in the Alliance airship flying above Icecrown. Jolley delves deeper into Thassarian's past, telling his history as a human Alliance soldier with dreams of rising through the ranks but who eventually becomes ensnared under the Lich King's employ.

Intended to give insight into the different World of Warcraft classes, the Death Knight manga is the first of a series of class-focused full-length stories. Rocio Zucchi is a 22-year old Argentinian female manga artist, and her work on this book is simply sensational, if the first pages are any indication. Jolley employs a lot of flashbacks in the preview, and Zucci handles the storytelling transitions deftly. The book hits the shelves on December 1, 2009, and if you enjoyed Tokyopop's take on the World of Warcraft universe, Death Knight looks to be an equally entertaining read.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Death Knight, Comics

Tokyopop announces 2010 schedule for Warcraft manga


If you're a fan of Tokyopop's take on the World of Warcraft -- I know I certainly am -- then you should be excited to know that the line-up for 2010 has been announced. The first series from Tokyopop was the Sunwell trilogy, written by Richard Knaak and drawn expertly by Kim Jae-Hwan. It dealt with the events of the Sunwell and featured characters prominent in the game such as Kalecgos and Anveena Teague. The second series was called World of Warcraft: Legends, a recently concluded five-volume affair that uniquely told various stories of Azeroth's lesser-known folks.

For 2010, Tokyopop plans to kick off class-based stories starting with the popular Death Knight, featuring Thassarian, the first Death Knight to rejoin the Alliance. According to BlizzPlanet, this full-volume comic written by Dan Jolley and drawn by Rocio Zucchi is slated for December 2010 although they probably mean this coming December, 2009. This will be followed by World of Warcraft: Mage, written by Richard Knaak and drawn by an as-yet-unrevealed artist, which will be available on June 7, 2010. Would Knaak + Mage mean more Rhonin? I certainly hope not -- I think we've just about had enough of the super-heroic, time-traveling, ultra-powerful Mage who actually taught Illidan Stormrage how to use magic (don't ask). Rhonin is kind of like the Chuck Norris of Mages.

The most curious of the three volumes is World of Warcraft: Shaman, which is due for a "late 2010" release. Blizzard works closely with Tokyopop for all its manga, and all the stories are considered canon (Trag Highmountain even made it into the game). The Shaman book is rumored to be Cataclysm-related, although it's a good bet that the game's third expansion will be out by late 2010. There is no official word yet on who will write or draw the comic, but I personally enjoyed Tokyopop Warcraft editor Troy Lewter's stories in Legends so much that I look forward to him writing a full-volume comic. How about Carlos Olivares for the art? I appreciated his unique, almost whimsical style in Legends. He also draws wonderful Goblins, whom as we all know can roll Shamans in the next expansion. As always, stay tuned to WoW.com as we bring you the latest on Tokyopop's Warcraft manga.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore, Comics

WoW Rookie: Reading about Warcraft

New around here? WoW Rookie points WoW's newest players to the basics of a good start in the World of Warcraft. Send us a note to suggest a WoW Rookie topic, and be sure to visit the WoW.com WoW Rookie Guide for links to all our tips, tricks and how-to's.

Even if you're not a roleplayer, it's almost impossible not to find yourself swept up by some aspect of the hundreds of compelling stories tucked into the World of Warcraft. The question is, how can you dig deeper? Where do you find more? The answer: Books ... Manga ... Comics ... RPGs .... Page after page after page of glorious lore. Blizzard approves the storylines and lore included in the Warcraft and World of Warcraft line of novels, although you won't find a straight and clear progression across the whole line. Not every story and character crosses over from books to game (and vice versa).

Besides the Warcraft novels, WoW-starved readers can chew through enough manga, roleplaying game books and gaming guides to sate any lore feeding frenzy. The best part? You enjoy +Lore bonuses to your online play experience. Even the RPG books add color to the overall picture. Follow us beyond the break for a basic reading outline to escort you down Warcraft's path of lore.

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Filed under: Features, The Burning Crusade, Lore, WoW Rookie, Wrath of the Lich King, Cataclysm

BlizzCon 2009: Tokyopop creates stories about the little guys

While wandering about the floor at BlizzCon, I stopped over at the TokyoPop Manga booth and spoke a bit with editor Troy Lewter, who we've talked to before.. Currently, the big series they write for the world of Azeroth is the Warcraft Legends series, which is on its 4th volume with a 5th due out next month.

Talking with Troy and other members of the Tokyopop team at the booth, what I was most struck with was the passion for the work and the universes of Blizzard's games that they display, and, perhaps more importantly, to the art and stories they tell.

Troy laid out three important concepts that they follow in creating the mangas: Telling a solid story, focusing on a few characters, and cross-pollinating with other forms of media.

In telling a solid story, the aim is to create the story such that you don't need to rely on the Warcraft world and characters, per se. In short, even if the story wasn't about Thrall or Varian or the Scarlet Crusade or anything else, you could still connect with the characters themselves.

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Filed under: Lore, RP, Interviews, Comics

BlizzCon 2009: The treasure-fishing quest


Just in case there weren't enough to do at BlizzCon this year, our goody bags included a quest:
Marcia Chase seeks your help. She has left instructions with a local merchant -- Brady Mercantile. She needs heroes to collect a set of 5 mysterious treasure-fishing lures. Brady Mercantile can be found in the Merchant's Quarter.
Brady Games provided a "Lure Bag" and a map of the locations of the lures, which were other vendors located in all of the halls. Obtaining the lures involved standing in line with your map and bag at the various vendor booths and then being handed a slimy lure. The sliminess did lend an authenticity to the procedure, while being mildly unpleasant.

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Filed under: Fan stuff, Quests, BlizzCon

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