DC Wildstorm Comics have provided us with solicitations for World of Warcraft # 17 (March 2009) where King Varian and Thrall will meet for the first time in Theramore. This will fill up the gap of what happened during The Battle for the Undercity questline. It seems Garona Halforcen has returned to make things worse for the Horde when a pact of peace is about to crumble, climaxing later on at the Wrathgate.
On another note, Wildstorm has also announced the World of Warcraft: Ashbringer # 1-4 comic book limited series will be reprinted as a hardcover on May 27, compiling all four issues within. Good news for those who missed the standalone issues. A reminder that the Ashbringer comic book was written by Blizzard Enrtertainment’s Creative Design team member: Micky Neilson, who also wrote The Road of Damnation (Kel’Thuzad), The Unbroken (Akama) and Starcraft: Uprising (Kerrigan).
WORLD OF WARCRAFT #17
Jeff Grubb is a legend among fantasy authors for his decades of experience in the field. He has worked for Wizards of the Coast Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), Magic the Gathering, Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Spelljammer, Al-Qadim, Marvel Universe, Pokemon, Thieves’ World, Wizkids, DC Heroclix and the Star Wars Miniatures: Rebel Storm.
In the Blizzard Entertainment worlds, Jeff Grubb will always be remembered along with Richard A. Knaak as the pioneers of the Warcraft novels. Jeff Grubb wrote Warcraft: The Last Guardian (2001) – the story about Medivih, Khadgar, Garona and Lord Lothar. The story was based in the First War, inspired by Warcraft: Orcs and Humans (RTS game, 1994).
As reported a few days ago, I interviewed Dick Hill thanks to Richard A. Knaak. Dick Hill is the professional narrator and actor that worked on the Warcraft: Day of the Dragon audiobook (Dec 2008). The Warcraft: Lord of the Clans audiobook (Feb 2009) and Warcraft: The Last Guardian audiobook (Aprill 2009).
As a follow up to the audiobooks interview, I contacted Jeff Grubb to get his feedback concerning the reprint of his Warcraft: The Last Guardian in the audiobook format. Read the interview below.
Medievaldragon: Hi Jeff. What are your feelings now Warcraft: The Last Guardian is getting published as an audiobook, narrated by Dick Hill?
Jeff Grubb: I am delighted to hear that Last Guardian is becoming an audiobook and that Richard “Dick” Hill is going to read it. I’ve been listening to more and more audiobooks on my commute – wrapped up the Patrick O’Brian Aubrey/Maturin books and just finished “The Yiddish Policeman’s Union”. I’ve become a fan of the format, and pleased to see how well my story has held up over the years.
Medievaldragon: Are you ever writing a new Warcraft or Starcraft book? The fans, and myself, miss you badly. It was a great work.
Jeff Grubb: I enjoyed my experiences writing for Warcraft and Starcraft, and should the opportunity present itself, would be glad to do so again. At the moment, however, my day job is building exciting worlds, characters, and situations for Guild Wars at ArenaNet, and while they have been very understanding about me continuing my freelance writing, they have given me the hairy eyeball when the subject of working with their biggest competitors come up. So for the moment, I must demure.
Medievaldragon: I have some random thoughts for you that I would want you to share with fans. You quit WoW some months ago, and I am not sure if I read you returned to play with some friends afterwards. How do you feel about Khadgar in Shattrath City? Garona Halforcen is making its return in the DC Comics World of Warcraft # 15-16 too. Both follow-ups bring so many great memories from your book. Dan Liberty might show up in the Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty video game. I was a sad panda after finding out a few years ago you worked at that Pokemon gig, and later you joined the Guild Wars development team at some point. You would have done so much for the Warcraft universe at Blizzard Entertainment in my opinion. Hope to see you soon back in the Warcraft / Starcraft franchises.
Jeff Grubb: I played WoW heavily for a while, then quit, then came back earlier this year with a group of friends, then quit again. My big problem is that I play with Real World friends, who would then either outlevel me or quit to get their lives back, either option leaving my character an orphan. I had characters scattered around a half-dozen servers. As a result, I never got to end-game content – and never got to Shattrath. I’m glad to see that Khadgar survived and is pulling the races together, and wondered what happened to Garona. If Daniel Michael Liberty makes it to Starcraft II (Originally I named him Danny, but he turned into a better character when everyone called him Mike), that would be great as well. My general attitude to my characters is to do my best by them, and not to feel bad when others continue their stories.
I also never say never, so I may yet come back to Azeroth.
Medievaldragon: Really hope you do. Thanks a bunch for responding to a community that loves and misses your work and legacy for the Warcraft franchise. Karazhan, Moroes, Khadgar, Medivh, Aegwynn, Garona, Black Morass. Great memories.
Keith R.A. DeCandido is hard at work as I speak on the Starcraft Ghost: Spectre (Pocket Star Book) and the Starcraft Ghost: Academy (Tokyopop).
He already pitched the Starcraft Ghost: Academy plot to Tokyopop and Blizzard. The manga will be a trilogy, and volume one was approved. He just needs to start writing the full script.
On to Starcraft Ghost: Spectre, he just finished writing the first chapter where Nova has a big battle against the Zerg. Keith has been through a detailed research for that scene.
Keith R.A. DeCandido hoped at the New York Comic Con 2008 to see both projects go on sale on Summer 2009, but sadly both have been pushed. Pocket Star Books informed me last week that Starcraft Ghost: Spectre is aiming to release on December 2009. Tokyopop informed me the Starcraft Ghost: Academy trilogy will be out throughout 2010.
If we start a speculation ball rolling, it looks like Starcraft: Ghost development is no longer postponed. And that 2010 is the year we might see this game reborn from the ashes on the PC, where it belongs. Wouldn’t it be interesting if the next-gen MMO turned out to be a revamped Starcraft: Ghost?
Dick Hill provided us with a 4-minutes Mp3 sample of the upcoming Warcraft: Day of the Dragon audiobook slated to be on sale near the end of December 2008 at the Tantor Media Audiobooks store. Pre-orders are already available. The audio sample provided to us is from the scene where Elven Ranger Vereesa, dwarf warrior Falstad, and Kryll (the goblin) discuss going to Grim Batol. You can listen to the sample at our recent interview with Dick Hill.
Let us know if you liked his voice performance and if you look forward for Warcraft: Lord of the Clans (Feb 2009) and Warcraft: The Last Guardian (April 2009) Audiobooks too.
The sensational 9 inches tall Talking Murloc Plush Toy that was sold by J!NX at this year’s Blizzcon is now available on sale at the official J!NX Store for the price of $39.99. This new product has arrived just in time for the upcoming Christmas season. A perfect gift for yourself or a family member.
Stalking through your nightmares, the fearsome Murloc unleashes its bone-chilling battle cry: RWLRWLRWLRWL! Fortunately for you, the intrepid J!NX Crew has hunted across Azeroth and pacified the once-feral creatures. They are now plush and fuzzy, and will coo you off to sleep with an oddly familiar lullaby. Cuddle up with your very own Murloc today!
Sideshow Collectibles Sneak-Peek
Next in our line of Blizzard Entertainment collectibles is the Overthrown Diorama from the Diablo III game, which features an enraged warrior from the Barbarian class wielding dual weapons and caught in the heat of battle. The early unprimed, unpainted sculpt was recently unveiled at the San Diego Comic-Con, revealing some of the intricacies in the piece. We were able to catch up with Pablo Viggiano, the sculptor of this dynamic piece, to hear what he had to say about the project:
As a fan of all the Blizzard games out there, I found myself working this time on an exciting Diablo 3 project, thanks to Sideshow once again. The project was really tough. I had been provided with exhaustive reference drawings and had to be very accurate with all the detailing and forms of the parts, such as the 2 massive axes on his hands, the 3 elaborated swords on his back, the extremely detailed armor, the 2 heads, the huge skull Demon portrait as base, etc. As sculptor, I learn a lot working on projects like this. You know, it requires a high amount of “let’s think what to do first” before starting to move forward at different stages so, it was a very welcome project, as usual.
In order to get started, the first thing that came to my mind was working on a rough anatomy of both the Demon skull and the Barbarian. This way I could get things proportioned and in pose, approved for the next stage. From there, I will end up working each and every part of the figure in Apoxy by modeling, cutting, sanding, carving and devastating pieces with Dremmel, the usual steps. Since the making of this figure was very complex, it makes it hard to explain a step by step in words, however, the following images below explain it a bit better. Now, I can’t wait for the painted version!
I want to thank specially to Tom Gilliland, Brock Otterbacher and Jason Bischoff from Blizzard, for being so patient.
While you wait for images of the final painted diorama, take a gander at the in-progress photos below, courtesy of Mr. Viggiano himself, to see some of the fine detail before heading over to the Pre-Order page for more information on this barbaric new diorama!