There is some Warcraft and some Starcraft stuff I wish to share with you, but first I want to tell my experience. Just arrived [Saturday 10pm] from New York Comic Con with a make-believe bag full of great experiences deep in my heart, and a few setbacks. Though my body aches walking most of the day in the huge place that is the Jacob K. Javits Center, the experiences outweight the setbacks.
This was the first Con I ever visit. I sincerely have no many words to describe it. It fills you with awe. Thousands and thousands of people, huge location with unending open space. Hundreds of booths of comic book, manga, graphic novel, and book publishers. Lots of action figures and statues: DC Unlimited, Sideshow Collectibles, NecaOnline, and others that escape my mind.
I was able to see the DC Unlimited World of Warcraft Action Figures up close at New York Comic Con. Dude! This is the most amazing thing I have ever seen. This is not your regular-joe action figure. These are masterpieces. The detail, textures, metalic colors. These things got life of its own. And that Tauren scheduled for December 2008 is massive. It is much bigger than any of the other action figures. Bulky.
The disguises were so really cool: I saw someone dressed as Mr. T, Superman, Batman, Joker, Two-Faces, Star Wars Troopers, Chewbacca, Star Wars Bounty Hunter, a Ghostbuster with his backpack/gun combo, and a very nice DC Comics Mr. Freeze walked past me with some crazy circular red glasses closed on the sides, and a huge bubble around his head. That was seriously the best. My heart pounded after seeing the beautiful gravity-challenging Corset Emma Frost (X-Men). And the southern Rogue was pretty. Too much Cleavage around the place. It was hard—[to concentrate, that is] to keep browsing through so much collectible stuff.
Once I entered the New York Comic Con, I couldn’t but marvel at the massive size of the place and it has like four floors of open space. How that place doesn’t crumble down with so many people is beyond me. I was lost in that place. After speaking to the very kind Information booth guy he sent me to the back area a floor below. Naturally, I got lost among so many people moving slowly through the paths among hundreds of booths. Suddenly, a familiar face registered in my mind: Richard A. Knaak. There he was. At the Tokyopop Booth. I am impressed I recognized him from so far away without even noticing the Tokyopop displays.
I can’t describe the joy of shaking hands with Richard A. Knaak, and telling him: “Hey, I am Medievaldragon, from Blizzplanet. His eyes opened wide. And he called me not by Medievaldragon, but by my real name. Well, at least my pen-name. [I give writers a shortened version of my real name. Short and easy to remember].
I went there to say hi, shake hands and tell him how much I enjoy all of his Warcraft and Diablo novels. Personally, in real life out there I am a very, very shy person. I barely crossed words with him, not for apathy, but because I am short of words. My online inner-self is much more talkative. Well, I was wrong. As soon as I told him who I was, he was as excited as me if not more than me. He stopped the presses so to speak and brought me to the attention of three Tokyopop Editors: Tim Beedle (the man: Tokyopop Starcraft and Warcraft Manga Editor, he is who talks with Blizzard Entertainment), Luis Reyes (Tokyopop Senior Editor), and Jeremy Ross (Director of New Product Development).
I really wasn’t expecting such a privileged treatment, as soon as Knaak told them I was his, so to speak, most devoted cheerleader [or something along those lines], they were on top of me. I really freaked out—and I know they will chuckle once they read this. Shook hands, they immediately handled their presentation cards. I felt very welcomed among them. They didn’t even need to know I am utterly shy. They just exploded talking about the Starcraft and Warcraft Manga for like 20 minutes or more. It felt like forever. I was awed.
It didn’t stop there. For people who are busy right in the middle of a New York Comic Con, they stopped everything to put themselves at my reach. Anytime I need details of the mangas, or media. They will be there the extra mile. It really felt great to talk with these folks.
Richard A. Knaak then took me a few booths away to Pocket Books (Simons & Schuster). There I met Marco Palmieri who just recently shipped to me review copies of World of Warcraft: Tides of Darkness, Diablo: The Sin War trilogy, The Veiled Prophet and Starcraft: The Dark Templar trilogy, Shadow Hunters. Many thanks Marco! Really glad to meet you to say thanks in person and with a hand shake. Marco Palmieri will be informing me soon when I can interview Graham McNeil [a pending Q&A]. Once the scripts have been approved by Blizzard Entertainment I will be given green light by Marco. So keep checking a few times in the next weeks of April, or early May for any updates. I will take question submissions from fans very soon.
Richard A. Knaak took a lot of his time to give me a tour through the New York Comic Con, which I so much appreciate. I couldn’t stop saying thanks to him throughout the day journey. He brought me to the Upper Deck booth and there I met very nice people, too. Anna Maria Mannino gave me her email and cell phone number [erase that silly smile, I am not that handsome]. She gave me a USB-Flash Disk collar with some Upper Deck World of Warcraft stuff—which contains high-quality photos of booster packs and starter packs of each Wow TCG expansions, and some display artworks. Make sure to check out updates once I am able to work with the images. She will put me up to date with everything about the WoW TCG, and mentioned they are open for interviews too. So basically, Richard A. Knaak is someone I must deeply thank for expanding my contact list and for marketing me so well with each of the companies as one of the good Blizzard fansites out there covering, supporting and spreading around news about their products.
Around 3pm, I went to the Pocket Books booth where I had the pleasure to also meet Keith R.A. DeCandido. He recognized me on the fly when I said Blizzplanet. So glad to shake his hand. He book signed my Starcraft Ghost: Nova and World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred novels. He wanted to talk with me at the end of the panel later on, but I totally forgot. I was spent for the day and dehydrated. I was carrying around a fedex box full of Starcraft, Diablo and Warcraft books. I don’t even want to calculate the weight.
Around 3:30pm, the Fantasy Worlds and Manga panel started at the Tokyopop booth. Lot of fans were sitting around the booth on the nice and comfy rug. There was Richard A. Knaak (Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy Ultimate Edition, Warcraft Legends & Starcraft: Frontlines Manga), Barbara Randall Kesel (Legends of the Dark Crystal), Jeff Nodelman (Project D.O.A.), Melissa De Jesus (Sokora Refugees) and Marty LeGrow (Bizenghast) [LeGrow was freaking me out in a cute kinda way, nice gal]. I think the link to their work does them better justice. So check out their manga work.
I was finally able to meet Susan Hale (Tokyopop, Director of Public Relations). It was nice to meet her, and personally thank her for the support in the past months. She sent me a copy of the Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy Ultimate Edition not long ago, which I reviewed. Many thanks again, Susan.
I missed most of the Starcraft & Warcraft Panel due to miscommunication on my part. I thought the panel would take place at the same spot Knaak and the other manga panelists were. I asked the booth lady and she pointed me to the lower floor. I arrived 45 minutes late, boo me.
Of what little I could get Keith R.A. Decandido is writing a Tokyopop Manga titled Starcraft Ghost: Academy coming out on Summer 2009. Nova and a key character from Starcraft 2 will be among other Marine cadets and Ghosts. Keith R.A. DeCandido hinted there would be some privacy issues there among the crew.
Keith emailed me while I was writing this review to say it was nice to meet each other after two years, and he will fill me in more details of the Starcraft: Academy over the next few days. So be alert.
From what little I saw of the powerpoint presentation, I saw a very nice manga artwork of Kerrigan with a massive Hydra behind, and two preview pages of the Starcraft Manga. The Zerg look really good. I heard Jeremy Ross (Tokyopop Director, Manga Development) comment that they would like to make a manga from the point of view of the Zerg. A very hard and challenging thing to do as he said. Let’s see what happens down the line.
At the end of the panel, or at least 15 minutes of it [hits head on the keyboard a few times], I walked along the hallway with Richard A. Knaak to tell him I missed most of the panel. I was about to ask if he would ever write a Tauren novel, since he has experience with Minotaur Wars and other fantasy novels. He surprised me before even asking him. He gave a quick glance of what I missed during most of the panel. Remember that Tauren from Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy? Trag Highmountain. Well, it seems Warcraft Legends: Fallen is a story about this Tauren. The story will be split among the next three Warcraft Legend Volumes with the first book coming out on August 2008.
The few Powerpoint slides I got to see in those 15 minutes, I grabbed the release schedule:
Warcraft Legends – August 2008
Starcraft: Frontline – August 2008
Starcraft: Ghost Academy – Summer 2009
Warcraft: Dragons of Outland – Fall 2009
On the Diablo front, It was hard to get details from Knaak. It is still in early-stages of talk, so it is not final. I am not sure if I am able to talk about the tidbits he gave me. There is a new Diablo pocket book set many years after The Sin War Trilogy. Zayl the Necromancer is returning. If you read my review of the Veiled Prophet recently, or read the book—the necromancers are the champions that safeguard the balance in Sanctuary. Sorta like the Warcraft Druids watch over Kalimdor and their world. Kalan was the only human who rememebered what happened at the end of the Sin War … he was who taught the neophytes the art of the necromancers, keeping watch over Sanctuary and the pact between the Angiris Council and Mephisto.