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Posts with tag wildstorm

Cryptozoic takes over WoW TCG license

According to this press release and Blizzard Licensing Manager Kat Hunter, the World of Warcraft TCG is now in the hands of Cryptozoic. They will be handling all the aspects of the game, from releasing new sets to scheduling tournaments and events surrounding the card game.

We don't know a lot about Cryptozoic, and we were initially skeptical until Kat Hunter's tweet.

Kat Hunter
WoW TCG Moves to Cryptozoic Entertainment. New company started by Blizzard's Cory Jones and Wildstorm's John Nee. http://cryptozoic.com/

--

Follow the new Cryptozoic Entertainment @cryptozoic

Blizzard and UpperDeck recently split ways, which left the TCG's future full of many unanswered questions. And while there are still several today, the game at least has a home and some real potential for success.

Update: Nethaera hit the forums to formally announce Cryptozoic carrying the TCG. We'll be seeing the Wrathgate booster in May, and class decks will begin their run in June.

Filed under: News items, WoW TCG

Breakfast Topic: Warcraft the Animated Series


No, I haven't actually heard of one happening. That doesn't mean I don't think one could be very cool, especially after seeing this video of all the voices Chris Metzen has done for the various Blizzard franchises over the years. The idea that one man is the voice behind Thrall, Varian, Ragnaros, and other luminaries got me to thinking that maybe a film isn't the right way to go with the franchise. Now, of course I know about as much about making movies and managing beloved franchises as I do about installing thermonuclear reactors in submarines, but I'm not going to let that stop me from speculating about how awesome a Warcraft animated movie or series could be. (I also admit I've been watching a lot of DC Animated Movies lately, and the tenuous Blizzard - Wildstorm - DC connection has me all aflutter.)

If done right, a Warcraft cartoon has a lot of potential. I think quite a few fans of animation could point at various styles that would work for the franchise... I would personally stay away from the overtly computer animation of a Clone Wars (unless we could somehow get Pixar to do it. I mean, while I'm dreaming) and would try to go with something more like the actual game, with deliberately exaggerated and unrealistic lines. But I'll leave it up to you: who should star? Who would you choose to do their voices? What art style, what kind of direction would you take it? The sky's the limit for the Warcraft animated series, because as far as we know it's not going to happen.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Breakfast Topics, Comics

World of Warcraft comic moves to graphic novels

According to a post on IGN Comics, Blizzard's Warcraft and Starcraft series of comic books, published by Wildstorm (which in turn is owned by DC comics, owned by Time Warner) are from now on to be published as stand alone graphic novels. The current World of Warcraft comic will end, according to the article, with a special issue arriving in stores while Starcraft will end on issue 7.

I have mixed feelings about this. The World of Warcraft comic has gotten, shall we say, mixed reviews. As a long time comics geek, I had high hopes for it, since it was written by Walt Simonson (one of my personal heroes), justly famous in comics circles for his runs on Thor, Manhunter and Orion. The comic didn't always work for me (fanboy though I am, even I couldn't digest a 'diet of steel' so to speak) but I'm still sad to see the monthly title end before splitting into the Horde and Alliance versions we were expecting. Hopefully we'll still get to see those stories as stand alone graphic novels yet.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items, Lore, Wrath of the Lich King, Comics

Sneak peek at World of Warcraft comic No. 24

BlizzPlanet reports that Wildstorm has released a preview of the latest World of Warcraft comic which will set the stage for the finale of the current story arc.

The summary of the issue is kind of spoiler-ish for those who haven't read everything yet, so we've posted the full review after the break.

And if you don't want to know such things, don't read! Interesting stuff though...

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Comics

World of Warcraft comic splits into Horde and Alliance

Just like the Primal Ooze from Un'goro Crater -- except less slimy and without bones sticking out of it -- the World of Warcraft comic has split into two distinct books. Just as promised, the series from Wildstorm will now also feature Horde characters in addition to an Alliance story. BlizzPlanet reports that the two titles, dubbed World of Warcraft: Horde and World of Warcraft: Alliance, will kick off on January 6 and 20, respectively. While the Horde comic starts off at Issue No. 1, the Alliance comic is starts at No. 26, seemingly picking up where the original series, which showcased Alliance faction leader Varian Wrynn, left off.

This should be great news for all comic fans, particularly Horde players, who haven't had representation in Wildstorm's take on the game world. World of Warcraft: Horde follows the story of an orc hunter named Malgar and his tauren ally -- presumably an enhancement Shaman from the cover art -- Ironhoof, which probably means they'll fight over the same loot. Written by Doug Wagner and drawn by Batgirl artist Pop Mahn, the story focuses on "the harsher side of Kalimdor". We presume that means Barrens chat.

On the other side of the spectrum, World of Warcraft: Alliance follows the father and son tandem of Karlain and Mardigan, a Mage and Warrior who don't quite get along. I mean, if you were some scholarly ectomorph, you probably would be disappointed in your doofus, jock son. Written by Hawksmoor's Mike Costa and drawn by brit Neil Googe, the series promises "murder, a mysterious quest for a powerful artifact, and some fist-pounding action!" It's just what the doctor ordered. And by doctor I mean your mom. The one who wears army boots.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Comics

Horde-centric comic launching in 2010


So much for fears of audiences not relating to "non-human" heroes. After a successful run featuring the travails of tailored-for-badassness Alliance leader Varian Wrynn, Wildstorm studios announced during the San Diego Comic Con 2009 that the World of Warcraft comic will be splitting into two titles after Issue #25. The issue will conclude the current story arc and will trigger events that will lead to the spinoff of a Horde-centric World of Warcraft comic slated to launch in January, 2010.

Although BlizzPlanet reports that there were little details beyond that - they point to an earlier interview they did with Walt Simonson who dodged the question about such a title - there'll likely be more information in the coming weeks. In particular, players and comic fans alike should prepare for significant announcements regarding this and other projects during BlizzCon. A title featuring the Horde should quell one of the biggest criticisms levied against the comic, and should be a refreshing change of pace.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Comics

Details of Blizzard presence at Comic Con

The schedule for the 2009 San Diego Comic Con is finally starting to emerge, and Blizzard has now confirmed details of its presence there.

It looks like Blizzard is going to be running a panel on Thursday, July 23rd (the first officlal day of the con, which this year is July 23rd to 26th) with Chris Metzen and a host of people associated with Blizzard products from Upper Deck, Wildstorm, Tokyopop, and J!nx. Interestingly, Nick Carpenter, the creative director for Blizzard cinematics, is also going to be there, so it looks like this might be a particularly good opportunity to get information about Blizzard's lore and art direction, on top of the Warcraft comics, minis, and cards. I've included the full list of panel attendees behind the cut, and as of now the panel looks to be scheduled in Room 6BCF.

If anyone's interested in what the Blizzard Comic Con panel was like last year and the nature of the questions answered, here's our 2008 write-up. Do we have any readers who are going to Comic Con this year?

Read more →

Filed under: Events, Blizzard, News items

Breakfast Topic: What would you like to see in a WoW comic?


I've been getting back into comics lately, thanks largely to the World of Warcraft. My most recent purchases were the trade paperbacks of Wildstorm's World of Warcraft series and Ashbringer, as well as Tokyopop's Warcraft Legends manga. Since I couldn't get my fix of Hong Kong manhua without actually going to Hong Kong (which makes it kind of hard to keep up with weekly titles like Amazing Weapons 4...), it was a bit easier to head over to our local shops and get some Western comics. What better subject than my favorite game, right?

While I enjoyed Ashbringer, I take a great liking to Warcraft Legends because it explores the other aspects or characters of Azeroth. The ongoing series can focus on well-known guys like Varian Wrynn, but Warcraft Legends are cool side-stories of the unknown guys. That opens up a world of potential. We could see stories about those NPCs we always see all over the place. Maybe we can get a comic about Cro Threadstrong and find out why he hates the fruit vendor so much. How about stories about the wandering "named" NPCs in Dalaran? Minigob Manabonk, maybe?

On the flip side, how about when the characters in the comic stories suddenly make their way into the game? We know Broll Bearmantle and Valeera Sanguinar have their roots in toys and comics, and players can now meet them in WoW. This whole idea of comics as an extension of the game's story is really cool, and I hope Wildstorm and Tokyopop keep putting out great comics and characters. Is there anything in particular about the World of Warcraft that you'd like to see in comic form? A favorite character? A particular period or special event? Share your thoughts!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Lore, Comics

Ashbringer TPB is pretty legendary


It was with a mix of anticipation and apprehension that I wrote about the Ashbringer Trade Paperback by Wildstorm which collects all four issues of the limited series. After all, I wasn't entirely impressed with the regular series featuring Varian Wrynn but thoroughly enjoyed Tokyopop's Warcraft Legends manga, so while I was decided upon getting Ashbringer, I had moderately low expectations.

The good thing about having low expectations is that it's hard to get disappointed. It turns out, however, that I didn't have to set my expectations so low... the Ashbringer comics are a very good read from start to finish, particularly for readers who play World of Warcraft. In fact, that might be its one caveat -- the Ashbringer limited series is a decent read for the average reader but truly shines for players, who are familiar with the story and recognize the characters.

Read more →

Filed under: Fan stuff, Lore, Comics

Ashbringer TPB out now

I haven't been a big fan of the whole Alliance-centric direction of the Wildstorm World of Warcraft comics, and I picked up the whole Varian Wrynn saga mostly out of a completist impulse rather than actual concern for the story or its characters. I also thought Ludo Lullabi had better samples of art on his personal site than what he showed in the comic, so when I found out the next story arc was going to be pencilled by Jon Buran, I wasn't too concerned. Buran is doing tremendous work so far. Of course, we all soon learned why Lullabi left the book -- he was tasked with illustrating the Ashbringer story.

The good news is that the Ashbringer comics which follow the story of the legendary blade showcase some of Lullabi's best work yet (with assists from Tony Washington). This owes largely to the spectacular coloring, done Painter-style by either Lullabi himself or an uncredited colorist. The painted covers by Chris Robinson add a sense of awe and wonder to the series, and each issue of the four-parter is rich with lore because it was written by Blizzard's own Micky Neilson. Even better news is that DC Comics has collected the mini-series in a hardcover edition available at your friendly neighborhood comic shop for $19.99. So soon after picking up Warcraft Legends, I think I'll need to make a little more space on my shelves...

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Lore, Comics

Warcraft Legends are a fun ride for all


Although Free Comic Book Day is supposed to be on the first Saturday of May each year, our local book store chain Fully Booked held it last May 23 with a 20% discount off graphic novels and select manga. I thought it was a good opportunity to pick up Tokyopop's Warcraft Legends series, a manga-style take on the Warcraft universe. I'd had my eye on these books for a while, so last weekend was a good opportunity to get them.

Each book contains three self-contained stories and one ongoing tale featuring the Tauren Trag Highmountain from the Sunwell Trilogy manga written by Richard Knaak and drawn by Kim Jae-Hwan. Trag's story in Warcraft Legends picks up where the Sunwell Trilogy left off, and although the story is rather interesting, the best thing about the manga are the short stories which breathe a little more life into the Warcraft world. These stories are what make the books truly shine. My take on the first three books in the series after the jump.

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Comics

Ashbringer Wednesday

If you love comic books, play World of Warcraft, and are interested in the lore of the Ashbringer -- all of which I actually apply to myself -- then you might want to set aside $3.99 and check out DC Comics' limited series about the legendary sword coming out this Wednesday, September 10. The first issue of a four-part limited series, the comic deals with the story of Alexandros Mograine, the Ashbringer himself.

Produced by Wildstorm Studios, the guys behind the World of Warcraft comic featuring the badass Varian Wrynn, the comic will be written by Blizzard Creative Director Micky Neilson and drawn by original WoW comic artist Ludo Lullabi with help from Tony Washington. The covers will be drawn by Blizzard Art Director Chris Robinson (not to be confused with the singer of The Black Crowes...), with variant covers from Lullabi and Washington.

Filed under: Lore, Comics

Blizzard releases preview of World of Warcraft comic #9

If you're a Lore Nerd like Alex and I are, you've probably at least been following the storyline of the World of Warcraft Comic, and you know it's likely going to have a pretty big impact on WoTLK lore, as King Varian Wrynn returns and we finally get an end to the Missing Diplomat Storyline.

Issue #9 continues the journey of Lo'gosh and his companions as they travel toward Ironforge and brings a familiar old villain into the light as well. Blizzard has posted the first few pages of the issue on the official WoW site.

I have to admit, I have one major reservation about the story.

Read more →

Filed under: Alliance, Odds and ends, News items, Lore, Comics

Walt Simonson comics to be published in book form

Walt Simonson's World of Warcraft comics will be published as a graphic novel by Titan Books who has obtained the rights from DC comics. The rights include publication in the UK and Ireland and is set for release on September 26. The book will be a collectible priced at £16.99 (about $33.82 USD). This volume of the book will include the first seven comics, which was drawn by Ludo Lullabi. The story follows a human who washes up on the shores of Kalimdor with no memory and is subsequently enslaved by Orc shaman Rehgar Earthfury.

The book form of the comic will become available for purchase by North America's readers on July 30 for $19.99 USD. World of Warcraft Issue #9 of the comic will go on sale for $2.99 USD on July 16. The comics are written by Walter Simonson; Art by Jon Buran and Jerome K. Moore; Covers by Samwise Didier and Ludo Lullabi.

Filed under: News items, Comics

New DC Comic series to reveal Ashbringer's backstory

One of the most endearing new stories to be introduced into the Warcraft mythos by WoW is that of the Ashbringer, the blade of the Scarlet Highlord Mograine, which slew the Scourge by the hundreds and might have singlehandedly redeemed Azeroth, were it not for the treachery of his son, Renault. Unfortunately, beyond that and a little scene in Old Hillsbrad where we see the first steps of its creation, we don't really know much else of the story behind the fabled blade.

In September 2008, we'll learn a little bit more of it. On September 10th, DC Comics' Wildstorm division will release the first of a 4 issue miniseries that covers the history of the Ashbringer, both the sword and the wielder, Alexandros Mograine. The series is being written by Blizzard Creative Director Mickey Nielson, with art by Ludo Lullabi and Tony Washington. The first book will feature cover art by Chris Robinson, with a variant cover by Lullabi and Washington.

I know I'm excited. In fact, I think I'll call my local comics store now and make sure they'll carry it. Then again, I'm also a bit concerned. If this comic book gives us Ashbringer backstory that's important to WoTLK, does that mean they aren't releasing it until the series is done? I don't want to wait til 2009 to play a Death Knight, that's for sure!

Filed under: News items, Lore, Death Knight, Wrath of the Lich King, Comics

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