Update: Micky Neilson debunked the rumor: “As of right now there are no plans to pursue new manga, but that doesn’t mean it might not happen in the future.” It was said at SDCC 2011 Comic Con. Check out the Gamespot video at minute 43:00.**
Blizzard Entertainment has umm re-announced the availability of the Manga in digital format through the free Cryptozoic Entertainment’s iTunes app. This was announced already on May 26, 2011 following the shutdown of TOKYOPOP California offices.
However, there are two new things here to consider: Warcraft Legends # 3 is a new Cryptozoic app release not included in the May launch. The second one makes me gasp: “Be sure to check the Cryptozoic Comics App regularly as you’ll find new books and specials each month.” — wait, whoa? each month? Can it be? Do we want to? Heck yea! But can it be? This announcement is made barely 3 days before the San Diego Comic Con 2011.
Cory Jones of Cryptozoic Entertainment is part of the Blizzard panel at SDCC. Is Cory making a special announcement that fits with this “Be sure to check the Cryptozoic Comics App regularly as you’ll find new books and specials each month” announcement? Is Blizzard gearing up new manga stories to be released in a monthly basis?
There could be a debate whether Cryptozoic can or not make a monthly manga. Is it feasible? While I am no expert, Tokyopop had a lot of manga titles coming at a time. Editors likely had to work on several of those on a queue which might explain why the Blizzard mangas came out every 3-6 months.
Example of release date timeline:
- Warcraft: Legends Volume 1 (Aug 12, 2008)
- Warcraft: Legends Volume 2 (Nov 11, 2008) 3 months later
- Warcraft: Legends Volume 3 (Mar 17, 2009) 4 months later
- Warcraft: Legends Volume 4 (Jun 16, 2009) 3 months later
- Warcraft: Legends Volume 5 (Sep 1, 2009) 3 months later
- StarCraft: Frontline Volume 1 (Aug 12, 2008)
- StarCraft: Frontline Volume 2 (Dec 30, 2008) 4 months later
- StarCraft: Frontline Volume 3 (Jul 14, 2009) 6 months later
- StarCraft: Frontline Volume 4 (Sep 29, 2009) 2 months later
World of Warcraft Classes
- Warcraft: Death Knight (Dec 1, 2009) 3 months after Warcraft Legends Vol. 5
- Warcraft: Mage (Jun 1, 2010) 6 months later
- Warcraft: Shaman (Sep 28, 2010) 3 months later
Here are some good reasons Cryptozoic could make feasible to have a monthly manga release:
1. Cryptozoic is not TOKYOPOP in terms of amount of publication and titles, and might focus on very few Blizzard titles, and likely other non-Blizzard stuff at some point.
2. Cryptozoic has a helluva amount of artists at its disposal from the WoW TCG, and many of those are Blizzard artists.
3. Cryptozoic’s office is barely about 3 minutes away from Blizzard’s campus in Irvine (Orange County), CA. In contrast, Tokyopop had artists all over the world, which sometimes slows down things.
4. Printing and Distribution versus Digital — that takes away a big amount of time off Cryptozoic’s shoulders to quicken release dates.
5. They still have several Warcraft and Starcraft mangas yet to release in digital format before they start releasing brand-new mangas, which gives them time to develop ahead of time before they run out of monthly content. These mangas are still missing from the Cryptozoic library and not yet made available in digital format: StarCraft: Ghost Academy Vol. 2-3, World of Warcraft class mangas: Death Knight and Shaman, Warcraft Legend 4-5, StarCraft: Frontline Vol. 2-4. That’s 10 months worth of content if each is released on a monthly basis. Even less (5 months) if they release one manga per title.
Personally, if this was true (and we will find out on Thursday at SDCC 2011) I’d keep loving Blizzard long time! Must have monthly lore fix! You can get ahold of the Cryptozoic app and browse through the Warcraft and StarCraft manga previews here.
Check out the latest Digital Manga releases available from Blizzard Entertainment through the Cryptozoic Comics App. The Cryptozoic Comics App is available as a free download from the iTunes store.
Weighing in at over 160 pages each, you’ll find plenty of reading material to entertain you through the entire month of July:
World of Warcraft: Mage
On the heels of “Warcraft: Death Knight”, this class-based manga follows a young mage who faces his greatest challenge when he is forced to confront a foe only he can stop.
Warcraft Legends Vol. 3
Featuring anthology stories “Fiend,” “Crusader’s Blood,” “I Got What Yule Need,” and “The Thrill of the Hunt.”
StarCraft Frontline Vol. 1
Featuring anthology stories “Why We Fight,” “Thundergod,” “Weapon of War,” and “Heavy Armor pt. 1.”
Be sure to check the Cryptozoic Comics App regularly as you’ll find new books and specials each month.