As reported a few weeks ago, after World of Warcraft Special # 1 (Dec 9, 2009) DC comics and Wildstorm were launching a new spin off title, World of Warcraft: Horde # 1 and World of Warcraft: Alliance # 26. The issue # 25 even had advertisement announcing this. However, things have changed drastically overnight. Fans had noticed about two weeks ago that both titles had been removed from DC Comics’s January Solicitations and now we partially know why. Don’t expect them at all on January.
DC Comics has sent us heads up to read the following IGN article, which states a radical change in the format of the World of Warcraft and Starcraft comic books. The ongoing monthly series has been cancelled, and the company will develop them as graphic novels.
December 16, 2009 – Blizzard’s fantasy and futuristic universes are about to get shaken up, courtesy of a comic book revamp by DC’s Wildstorm Comics. Today the publisher announced it intends to refocus its efforts on a series of original graphic novels, cancelling its current ongoing series endeavors for both franchises.
“While WildStorm and Blizzard loved the stories being told in the regular monthly comic-book series, we decided that the graphic novel would be a more suitable medium for the tales we wanted to tell next,” said Hank Kanalz, VP & General Manager of Wildstorm. “The larger format will give our artists and storytellers more room to explore Blizzard’s rich, varied worlds and flesh out the characters that inhabit these places.”
I have been an x-men fan for decades, and while I no longer collect them, I get my daily fix by reading previews, interviews and articles at Newsarama. Thus, I can bring another angle to this surprising announcement concerning the WoW and Starcraft comic books going the Graphic Novel route.
Yes, now we won’t have our ongoing monthly fix, but it means the graphic novel format will offer more freedom to writers to tell big stories, rather than small stories that tie-in through cliffhangers at the end of each issue-number. DC comics already sells World of Warcraft Hardcovers reprinting the monthly issues — so there’s not much of a difference between that and a Graphic Novel. Except, the artists change from issue to issue, and maybe we can have the same artist and writer throughout the whole graphic novel. You can see dozens of graphic novels currently developed by DC Comics ranging Wildcats, Astro City, The Authority, Danger Girl, Gen13, Stormwatch, World of Warcraft and many others. There was already a World of Warcraft Graphic Novel titled World of Warcraft: Ashbringer.
On another note, I have already heard feedback on forums that this format change was announced because the WoW and Starcraft comic book were not selling well. I think it’s a right to assume and speculate when there is no other immediate explanation, but this assumption might be wrong.
A few months ago, DC Comics surprised everyone in the industry announcing it would be known as DC Entertainment. A change like that usually means restructuring isn’t far behind. Back on September 9, 2009, Paul Levitz announced he would step down as President and Publisher of DC Comics to serve as the Contributing Editor and Overall Consultant for the newly-formed DC Entertainment. Warner Bros acquired DC Comics back on 2007. Now Warner Bros and Time Warner are restructuring DC Entertainment to integrate the intellectual properties, heroes and stories more efficiently with what Warner Bros/Time Warner can offer in the TV and Hollywood field. Let’s not forget Legendary Pictures is co-producing and co-financing the Warcraft Film with Warner Bros.
You can read Paul Levitz’s announcement here. (circa September 9, 2009)