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Posts with tag wow-manga

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

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

Blizzard introduces new official story forum

A lot of us lore nerds have been wanting it for a long time, and now we have it: An official place to discuss the lore of the Warcraft universe. Of course, it's technically called the Story Forum, and one of the blue stickies on the forum suggests that this forum is meant to focus on "the publishing division" of Blizzard's creative development (i.e., the novels and manga). Then again, the forum's main welcome sticky states that the forum is for discussing the stories of Warcraft "as told in-game and through the novels, manga, comics, and short stories that Blizzard publishes." So in theory the exact nature of the forum could be considered a bit iffy.

Still, I'm going to go ahead and go by the welcome message and declare it a lore forum. No longer will we have to go searching through pages and pages of flames, rants, and class balance whines to find the lore-based flames, rants, and Garrosh vs. Varian debate threads. Nethaera also revealed that the publishing division plans to look at the Forum discussions to get an idea of what people like and don't like about Warcraft's stories, so if you've been writing an epic rant about Med'an or Rhonin, you may finally have the outlet you've always wanted. You can find the forum here.

If you need extra ammunition before jumping into the discussion yourself, be sure to check out our lore guide, as well as past entries of our Know Your Lore column.

After the jump, you can check out the forum welcome message, as well as some additional words from Nethaera on Blizzard's Creative Development Team and lore resources.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Lore

Death Knight manga is as good as it gets

The first of Tokyopop's class-themed manga hit the shelves early in December. World of Warcraft: Death Knight written by Dan Jolley and illustrated by Rocio Zucchi, the manga is a self-contained 166-page story detailing the life of a notable Death Knight, Thassarian, the first of the Lich King's rune-wielding champions to join the Alliance. I'm a huge fan of Tokyopop's comics made for the Warcraft universe and think that the Warcraft Legends series contain some of the best stories told about the Blizzard franchise.

The Death Knight manga kicks off a new direction in Tokyopop's Warcraft manga series, taking a break from short story compilations and focusing on a lore character representative of a specific class. The story of Thassarian, as previewed in October last year, explores the World of Warcraft in-depth through a biographical story that follows the hero's origins as a soldier of Lordaeron who falls and is raised as one of Arthas' minions. To make things simple, I'll give my thoughts on the book right before the break and explain it afterward -- it's a wonderful, well-written and beautifully illustrated comic that I highly recommend to any fan of Warcraft comics. It's good. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's dive into the meat of the manga after the break.

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

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

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

Dan Jolley talks about TOKYOPOP's Death Knight manga

Things have been a little bit quiet on the manga front, but not for long. Warcraft Legends editor Troy Lewter has pinned down Dan Jolley, writer for the forthcoming Thassarian-centric volume Warcraft: Death Knight, and posted the interview with him on the official TOKYOPOP site.

To be fair, the interview is not as focused on the manga as the one we did with Jolley a couple of months ago but it does look at how writing for the anthology volumes of the series compare with a longer story. Lewter also quizzes Jolley about how he got into the business and the last question about sharks and bears is also worth the read alone.

For those waiting on the release of Warcraft: Death Knight, it might give some new insight into how manga happens. Don't forget, you can also check out our interviews with both Dan Jolley and Troy Lewter.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Interviews, Death Knight, Comics

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