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Posts with tag warcraft-manga

Chronological novel, short story and comic guide updates

Chronological novel, short story and comic guide updates
If you've wanted to get caught up on the Warcraft print material, but didn't know where to start, we have a guide for you -- and it's been caught up to date. WoW Insider's Chronological Guide covers all novels, comics, manga and short stories, but presents them not in publication order, but in the order they appear in the Warcraft timeline -- which means you can start from the beginning of Azeroth's history and read your way through the years.

For reference purposes, the print material has been grouped with the game and expansion in which it takes place, making it even easier to get caught up. All works that take place over multiple points in the timeline have been listed with multiple entries and notated with mention of where they appear. At the moment, we're all caught up through Vol'jin: Shadows of the Horde and the latest WoW short story, The Blank Scroll. Whether you're wondering when that book you just read actually took place, or you're just wanting to get a start on Azeroth's lore, the chronological guide will help you out.

Filed under: Blizzard, Lore, Comics

Know Your Lore: The dark mysteries of the Darkmoon Faire

The World of Warcraft is an expansive universe. You're playing the game, you're fighting the bosses, you know the how -- but do you know the why? Each week, Matthew Rossi and Anne Stickney make sure you Know Your Lore by covering the history of the story behind World of Warcraft.

Doubtless you've been there by now. You've seen the brightly colored banners, heard the cheerful greeting of the Darkmoon Faire Mystic Mages in all major cities, offering to teleport you to the portal that takes you to the new and improved Darkmoon Faire. You've wandered the dusty paths, drunk in the sights, played the games and watched the shows, and maybe even participated in a death match or two for fun. For a once-a-month event, the Darkmoon Faire certainly wasn't anything special to look at until now.

In their new home, the residents of the Darkmoon Faire have a permanent residence to open to the public once a month like clockwork. Presiding over it all is Silas Darkmoon, who runs the Faire and takes in those who wish to join, with one major rule -- no violence on the Fairgrounds. Travelers both Horde and Alliance alike are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the fun and games by the pleasant vendors as long as they keep any fights to the arena, and nobody is excluded.

The people of the Darkmoon Faire are certainly the most cheerful, amiable group of ruthless murderers you'll ever meet.

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

WoW Insider's chronological guide to Warcraft novels, manga, comics, and short stories

Lore can be tricky; timelines are even trickier. One of the most frequently asked questions we get here at WoW Insider pertains to Warcraft in print. With dozens of novels, manga, comics, and other print material out there, how exactly do you know what order to read it in? Where exactly do you start, if you want to begin at the beginning?

If you're looking to read everything in order, we've got you covered. This guide presents all novels, manga, comics, and short stories that are considered canon in Warcraft lore, in chronological order. For reference purposes, I've included the game releases and expansions in the list, so you know which novels cover which games.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Lore, Comics

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 interviews Micky Neilson, James Waugh

Cryptozoic Entertainment recently began digital distribution of Blizzard's manga titles, as announced last month. This month, the company interviewed two of the big names behind the manga and its development. Micky Neilson, publishing team lead for Blizzard, and James Waugh, senior story developer for Blizzard, should be familiar to those that have read the manga, comics, and various Warcraft stories available. Most recently, they teamed up to write the five-issue comic series Curse of the Worgen, a look into the background and origins of the worgen in Warcraft.

The Q&A itself delves into the behind-the-scenes of manga development; how stories are created and who develops those stories, the purpose of the manga series and how it incorporates into the overall canon lore of World of Warcraft. And for those wondering, the question of whether or not the manga series is official canon is addressed as well.

The only minor disappointment with the interview is that the future of the Blizzard manga titles isn't really addressed. Whether or not any brand new titles will be published in the future wasn't touched upon, leaving the fate of the manga as a solid question mark. Regardless, the sheer enthusiasm of Neilson and Waugh during the interview is a nice reminder that those behind the story really do cherish the properties they're working with. Check out the full interview on Cryptozoic's website.

Filed under: News items, Lore, Interviews

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

Manga Review: World of Warcraft: Shaman

I have to say I was a little leery, to say the very least, about picking up the latest in the Warcraft class manga series from TOKYOPOP, largely because their last offering was a pretty lackluster affair. However, I am really, really glad I picked this one up, because Warcraft: Shaman is an excellent piece of work. The book marks the return of artist Rocio Zucchi, whose artwork graced the Warcraft: Death Knight manga. Penning the story for this volume is Paul Benjamin, whose other works include the StarCraft: Frontline series as well as work on Marvel Adventures. So right away, we've got an artist whose work I like and an author who knows the ins and outs of writing comics. Good combination from the start!

The story follows the shaman group the Earthen Ring as they try to come to terms with the elements' sudden refusal to cooperate and the appearance of a shaman thought lost to them over 250 years before who has some surprising things to say -- and new shamanistic techniques that border on heresy to the ages-old organization. Warcraft: Shaman covers what exactly it is to be a shaman, what it's like to work with the elements, and what happens when one is torn between the old ways and the new.

Please note: This review may contain some small spoilers for The Shattering as well as the upcoming Cataclysm expansion. If you'd like to remain unspoiled, turn back now!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

BlizzCon 2010: WoW Insider interviews author Richard A. Knaak

Not only did we get an interview with Christie Golden here at BlizzCon 2010, we also met up with Richard A. Knaak, author of the World of Warcraft novel Stormrage. Richard sat down with us for a few questions about his work on Stormrage, his work with Blizzard, and his views on the often vocal fan reactions, both positive and negative.

WoW Insider: Richard, thank you for joining us, it's great to meet you! Obviously you did Stormrage earlier this year -- how closely did you work with Blizzard on the book?

Richard A. Knaak
: Everything was back and forth with them. I've been very fortunate from the beginning to work with a group of really fantastic people and I've been able to immerse myself in the game. Mick Neilson, who's the publishing lead right now and Evelyn the lore mistress, between those two especially every one of my questions would be answered quickly and efficiently, with a lot of graphics in case there was something that wasn't visible for me to see on the game.

They sent you screenshots?


I get lots of screenshots -- I see lots of things you won't be able to see for awhile! There's other people like James who works with Mick, he's one of the top publishing people too. And of course Chris [Metzen] has been there from the beginning -- he basically grew up reading my Dragonlance work, that's fantastic to me. Everyone's been great at Blizzard.

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Filed under: Interviews, BlizzCon

Manga Review: World of Warcraft: Mage

I'm going to take a moment here, before I start, and talk about Warcraft: Death Knight. Death Knight was the precursor to the book pictured above, part of the "class" series of manga that TOYKYOPOP is releasing for Warcraft fans. Death Knight made a really, really good first impression of the series, outlining the lore behind the death knight Thassarian, who has been featured heavily both in the death knight starting area and later in Icecrown as a member of the Valiance Expedition. That's right, the Alliance forces -- and the book goes into his past and how he came to be, as well as expanding a little on the lore behind Koltira Deathweaver. That said, I was incredibly excited when I heard there was going to be a new "class" book coming out, and even more so when I heard it was going to be the mage class. I was hoping to see a book about Jaina, or maybe even something about Antonidas and his history.

What I got was Warcraft: Mage, a book written by Richard A. Knaak, illustrated by Ryo Kawakami. The book tells the story of a young mage in training named Aodhan, who we've never seen in game before, and an assault by the blue dragonflight on Dalaran that nearly led to the city's destruction, which we've also never seen referenced in game. This already had me questioning the book, but the premise seemed interesting enough given that the blue dragonflight did have their own story going on in Wrath, so I picked up the book and gave it a read.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Lore

New Warcraft manga previews available

Warcraft: Shadow Wing, Vol. 1: Dragons of Outland, the new Warcraft manga written by Richard A. Knaak and illustrated by Jae-Hwan Kim, now has a preview available online at BlizzPlanet.com. Shadow Wing follows the continuing story of Jorad Mace and the blue dragon Tyrygosa, who parted ways with Kalecgos and Anveena at the end of the Sunwell Trilogy. Jorad and Tyri meet up in Outland -- and hopefully the manga explains what the two have been doing out on Celestial Ridge all this time, and how Tyri's research eventually ties in to Malygos' efforts up in Northrend.

In addition, there is also a preview available for Warcraft: Mage, the second in the series of class-based books that began with Warcraft: Death Knight. Unlike Death Knight, which detailed the untold story of Thassarian, Warcraft: Mage seems to be taking a different route and telling the story of a character as yet unseen in World of Warcraft. Aodhan is a young man who comes from a lineage of paladins and warriors, but finds himself drawn to an entirely different path. While training to become a mage in Dalaran, Aodhan and the rest of the city abruptly find themselves under siege by Malygos and the Blue Dragonflight. Warcraft: Mage is also written by Richard A. Knaak and illustrated by Ryo Kawakami, who has also done work for the Warcraft: Legends series.

While the manga novels still aren't available for pre-order, it looks like both novels will be released on June 1, 2010, from TOKYOPOP, and will be available at bookstores across the country.

Filed under: News items, Comics

Breakfast Topic: Reading rainbow


While World of Warcraft has one heck of an audience, the story involving it doesn't limit itself to just playing the game. There's a ton of books, comics, manga and RPG source guides out there with yet another ton of information. Some of this we see reflected in game, some of it is merely implied, and some of it we just don't see at all. I'm currently working my way through Stormrage, but I've read pretty much everything out there in the Warcraft universe -- and trust me, it's a lot of material.

It got me thinking, though, particularly with what's contained in Stormrage and in other books as well: Just how many people actually read the books and other assorted reading material? Do you go out and buy a novel when it's released? Or do you prefer to just wait for the story to show up in game? So it's time for a Breakfast Topic poll!

Do you read the World of Warcraft novels/comics/manga/etc?
Sure! I read anything I can get my hands on.3011 (36.0%)
Just give me the game to play, thanks.2466 (29.5%)
There are books? 988 (11.8%)
Knaaaaaaak...1895 (22.7%)

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Know Your Lore: Lore 101, part 1


One of the most frequent questions I'm asked as someone that's entirely too interested in Warcraft story and lore, is where to go to get story information. How, exactly, do you find all of these story elements when they are literally scattered across several different games, comics, manga and novels? How do you know what should be taken as official lore, and what to throw away as mere speculation? Where, exactly, does someone just starting out with World of Warcraft find story information when they've got no idea where that story actually starts?

It's a difficult question to answer, and you'll see why later in the article. The Warcraft storyline is made up of several different parts, spanning several different games, and the time line is continually changing and developing as these games are released. Here's a brief list of places you can go to get started:

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Filed under: Lore, Know your Lore

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

BlizzCon 2009: Wow.com interviews Richard Knaak

On the second day of BlizzCon 2009, I got the chance to sit down with Richard Knaak, best selling author of countless novels, including many in the Warcraft universe, such as the War of the Ancients Trilogy, Day of the Dragon, and Night of Dragon. His upcoming projects include the Stormrage novel, as well as the Dragons of Outland manga trilogy. We talked about all this and more, and you can read our conversation below.

So of course, the big thing on everyone's mind is the new Stormrage book. How's it coming along? Is it near completion?


It's near completion, we're in the editing process, getting the OKs from Blizzard. You can find an excerpt in the latest volume of the Legends Manga, along with a story I wrote, sort of a Prologue that ties in with the book.

Can you give us a sneak preview of what to expect lore-wise?

You know Blizzard likes to keep these secret, so I am going to be very limited in what I can talk about. It is Malfurion. It is about the Nightmare. And it is very current. That's the three biggest things I can say about it right off the bat. You'll see characters you know from the game and obviously from other books, and places you know from the game, and it's very current, very relevant. Of course, that's about all I can say. You know Blizzard, they love their secrets!

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, WoW Social Conventions, News items, Lore, RP, NPCs, Interviews, BlizzCon

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

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