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Warcraft Audiobooks: Dick Hill Interview

Tantor Media Audiobooks, Pocket Star Books and Blizzard Entertainment partnered to launch three Warcraft novels in audiobook format: Warcraft: Day of the Dragon will be available on December 2008, boasting 11 hours of audio—available as Audio CD or MP3.  The Lord of the Clans is slated for February 2009, while the Last Guardian is expected on April 2009. For this special project, many World of Warcraft fans will no doubt check out, Tantor Media Audiobooks hired Dick Hil, winner of three coveted Audie Awards and many times nominee of various awards.

Thanks to Richard A. Knaak, we were able to reach Richard Dick Hill for an interview to find out more details of the Warcraft Audiobook series.

Starcraft Comic Book Sketches

Starcraft Comic Book artist Shawn Moll released two of the sketches found in the Blizzcon 2008 comic preview. The first image is one of the characters named Cole Hickson. The second image is the pencil sketch of the Blizzcon 2008 preview front cover. The female sniper is named Nuura Joss. DC Comics Wildstorm has not officially announced the Starcraft Comic Book. It is expected to hit stores anytime on 2009 as an ongoing series based in the Starcraft universe. The planning of this comic has been going on since March 2008.

World of Warcraft Wolfrider Statue At Child’s Play 2008 Charity Auction

The Child’s Play 2008 Charity Dinner Auction ticket sales will close on December 5th. Attendees will have the opportunity to bid on the World of Warcraft Wolfrider bronze statue at the auction. This is the same bronze statue I saw at the Blizzard Entertainment main office’s entrance. A huge replica of this statue will be brought from Asia to be placed at the center of the Blizzard Campus.

Those smaller bronze statues are limited editions that only Blizzard employees have, so if you want a chance at bidding on this one and be helpful to the charity feel free to get your tickets while they last. Let us know your impressions of the event and share your photos. Child’s Play takes place on Tuesday, December 9 at 6:30pm, on the 4th Floor of the Washington Convention Center (Skybridge). Dinner and the live auction will commence at 7:30pm.

SEATTLE – Dec. 1, 2008 – Hurry before it’s too late! Tickets are selling faster than the proverbial MMO on launch day for the 2008 Child’s Play Charity dinner auction to be held on Dec. 9 in the Washington State Convention and Trade Center’s skybridge; ticket sales will close this Friday, Dec. 5 (unless sold out prior). The event annually hosts over 400 videogame industry professionals and community members for an evening of drinks and silent bidding, followed by a plated banquet and live auction to benefit sick children in over 50 hospitals around the world. Contributions to the charity already exceed $450,000, passing the halfway mark for this year’s goal of $750,000.

Notable silent and live auction items will include:
- A microwave from Harmonix
- A Halo 3 Master Chief helmet signed by Bungie, Roosterteeth and Penny Arcade staff
- A bronze-cast World of Warcraft statue of an orc and wolf mount, given exclusively to Blizzard Entertainment employees
- A mint-condition, limited edition Black Dreamcast autographed by former Sega President Peter Moore

Dinner auction tickets may be purchased at http://www.childsplaycharity.org/cpdinner.php for $125 per person, $60 of which is tax deductible. Corporate table sponsorships (seats 10) are still available. Contact klindsay@penny-arcade.com for further information.

New Wave of World of Warcraft Steins Coming on December Holidays

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 2, 2008 – Following their successful October release in North America, 3 Point Entertainment today announced the availability in the European territories of the World of Warcraft(R) Epic Collection, a series of high-quality old world-style steins based on Blizzard
Entertainment(R)‘s massively multiplayer online role-playing game.

“The response to the steins in North America has been exceptional and we have sold out of our first and second shipments of the production run
scheduled for October and November.  The third and final shipment is scheduled to arrive in December for the holiday season.  We have had high interest from
players in Europe and are pleased to now be able to offer these steins to our ever-growing European community,” said 3 Point Entertainment president Jerry
Bennington.

The first two Epic Collection steins, Blood of the Horde and Alliance United, depict panoramic full-color bas-reliefs of night elves, tauren, orcs,
and more, illustrated by Blizzard Entertainment artists Samwise Didier and Glenn Rane. Each 11”, .94 liter authentic fine grain stoneware stein is
hand-crafted by world-renowned Brazilian manufacturer Ceramarte and topped with a sculpted pewter lid.  Each of the subsequent Epic Collection steins
will also commemorate World of Warcraft’s iconic characters and memorable moments with the same level of artistry and quality.

“We know from our strong sales that World of Warcraft enthusiasts are eager to get their hands on these extraordinary limited-edition steins. We
have seen increased demand during Oktoberfest, which is celebrated worldwide, and Brewfest (its in-game counterpart in World of Warcraft).  Several steins
have also been purchased as extremely unique wedding or groomsmen gifts,” noted Bennington.

The World of Warcraft Epic Collection steins are currently available only at http://www.wowsteins.com for a retail price of $79.99.

Diablo Archive – Diablo: Demonsbane Review

After receiving the Diablo Archive, boasting 752 pages, just recently, I decided to read through it backwards starting with Diablo: Demonsbane by Robert B. Marks (of Garwulf’s Corner fame).

I am sure the Diablo Archive will be a jewel among my Blizzard novels collection. Better to have four Diablo novels on a single tome, than have invididual books all around the place unable to find them at times. There is one thing I disapprove from the Diablo Archive however.  For such a big tome, and quiet heavy in weight, the cover designer Richard Yoo or whoever chose the cover material should have gone for thick cardboard material. This huge archive is no pocket book. It is about two inches thick. The cover material is made of the same material as any other pocket book with the same thin thickness. The result is a jellyfish-effect when you handle the heavy book around. I usually read on my bed. At times when I am uncomfortable, I usually lie on my back and rise the book above me in the air. The weight is almost unbearable after 20 minutes, but the material doesn’t help. Enough with the material rant.

What can be found inside is worth the nuisance. For years, I have heard of Diablo: Demonsbane. A lecture painted in myth. Something I knew existed, but couldn’t reach. It was a few years ago, when I first heard of its existence. It was released on 2000 in ebook format. I have a lot of Warcraft RPG books in ebook format, and even purchased Warcraft: Of Blood and Honor as an ebook.  But for some odd reason I never got around reading Diablo: Demonsbane, even when I craved it more than any other book. Curiosity compels one’s craving. I have never read a review of Demonsbane, or heard what it was about. I just knew it was the first of the Diablo stories ever released.

I reported about the first printing of Diablo: Demonsbane on paper two years ago on July 2, 2006. It was titled Blizzard Legends Vol. 1.  It contained a printed version of three ebooks from each game franchise: Warcraft: Of Blood and Honor (by Chris Metzen), Starcraft: Uprising (by Micky Neilson), and Diablo: Demonsbane (by Robert B. Marks).

However, it is now with the release of Diablo Archive that fans have the opportunity to get this craved story more broadly as it comes bundled along with Diablo: Kingdom of Shadow, Diablo: The Black Road, and Diablo: Legacy of Blood.

Personally, I was expecting something different in Diablo: Demonsbane. More of a dark fantasy meets Lord of the Rings with some fancy Shakesperian old-english language accent. Part of the myth I envisioned for lack of any knowledge of a Demonsbane’s summary.

I started reading on Sunday evening and couldn’t stop reading. It caught my attention. It is a short novella spanning through page 685-738. According to the epilogue, these events take place on year 302 and seem to happen during the Sin War.  Right at the end when I read the epilogue, it made me wonder.  Did Diablo: The Sin War somehow retconned Demonsbane? I have no idea. What I do know is that none of the events of the Sin War trilogy seem to be mentioned in it. Nor did the main character in Demonsbane show up in the Sin War trilogy.

Which book comes first in the timeline is also a mystery to me. One thing does gets mentioned that might help those who have better knowledge of the timeline than me.  Sarnakyle the Kejistan mage of the Spirit Mage Clan mentioned he was among the party of mages that killed Bartuc the Warlord of Blood at Viz-jun two years earlier.

The story is centered around Siggard, a warrior who fought at Blackmarch with the Entsteig’s army. They had fought demons there led by the favored archdemon of the Lord of Terror: Lord Assur. This archdemon has a peculiar glyph of invincibility that makes him feared by the Vizjerei Mage clans. There is however one thing that may kill him, and that would be spoiling it. I did see it coming when I read what could kill him, but was unsure as the requirements for it to happen were not clear at sight, specially with the interaction of Siggard with the other characters.

Ever since the Night of Souls through the events in Brennor, it kept bouncing around my mind why Siggard can’t remember anything about Blackmarch until certain point as if he had magically forgotten. As I was reaching the last pages of the story, it was more evident my suspicions were right, but the idea resulted contradictory. Making me doubt.  Robert B. Marks wrote here a very nice story, and wrapped up with a surprise few could have seen coming. It keeps a fast pace, while adding elements of suspense. I enjoyed the read and don’t regret it. One well-known character appears a couple of times, but heavily weights on the outcome of the story: Tyrael.

I will be reading through the Diablo Archive in upcoming days. One thing I am glad of doing, however, is to have started backwards, reading Diablo: Demonsbane first. It is a pity this story was brought as an ebook and as a short novella. As an ebook, it didn’t get the attention it deserved in 2000. And as a novella, it was too short. The story was worth an entire book of 378 pages. I hope the author writes a continuation of Siggard’s adventures.  Otherwise, I would like to read a new story from him again. Take note Blizzard. Cheers, Robert B. Marks.

Go grab your copy of the Diablo Archive.

Blizzplanet - 2008 New York Comic Con - Blizzard Licensed Products

DESCRIPTION

Medievaldragon attended 2008 New York Comic Con at the Jacobs K. Javits Center in Manhattan to bring coverage of the event to Blizzplanet.  There I met Richard A. Knaak and Keith R.A. DeCandido who are writing material for various volumes of the upcoming Starcraft and Warcraft mangas to be published by Tokyopop.  Other Blizzard Entertainment licensed products were showcased at the New York Comic Con by Upper Deck Entertainment, DC Comics & DC Unlimited, and Pocket Books. Below are articles covering information provided at the event, and lots of product photos and images.

 

EPIC Weapon’s Frostmourne Replica Auction Closure

A couple of nights ago, the Frostmourne Replica Auction run by Weapon Masters was closed, and you won’t believe how high the bids went.  Holy macaroonie!

Highest Bid:  $20700.00
Registered Users: 1012

The winner of the auction was Xeophonix from Italy.

A strong message to those who didn’t think this sword replica would be appealing to hardcore World of Warcraft fans, indeed. Well, at least hardcore players who have a 6-digit salary. After all there are Hollywood celebrities and professionals who play this game and have the strong cash to spend on their favorite fantasy setting.

Among known celebrities playing World of Warcraft are Felicia Day (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, TheGuild Webisode), Brandon Routh (Superman Returns), Dave Chapelle (Comedy Central), and many others.

Keep an eye on Blizzplanet’s interview with EPIC Weapons in upcoming days.

Below is the list of the 99-bidders that clashed to be the royal owner of the
Frostmourne Replica # 1.  All the 99 participants automatically became members of the Arthas’s Army of Disciples Club. Below is a list of the auction winners. The image to the right will take you to the Frostmourne gallery.

Post a comment at the official Wow Forums.

World of Warcraft# 8 - OFFICIAL King of Stormwind

If you haven’t put your paws on the World of Warcraft Comic Book published by DC Comics and Wildstorm you have been missing a lot.  No pun intended.  Remember the Missing Diplomat questline?  It revealed that the missing diplomat was really the King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn.  After patch 1.9 the King was removed from Alcaz Island.  And Patch 2.3 introduced new Missing Diplomat quests where a special cargo had been lost during a Defias Shipwreck at the coasts of Dustwallow Marsh.  The special cargo was a human.  The name of the human was never told, but … ta-da! … World of Warcraft the comic book issue# 1 was launched a week or two after the patch 2.3 introduced these new quests, and the comic book showed an amnesic human unconscious at the shores of Durotar, apparently surviving a shipwreck.

For months fans have speculated … nay … been certain this was the King of Stormwind Varian Wrynn. Today it is OFFICIAL!  Issue# 8 starts the second story arc of this comic book series.

With this revelation, speculations may start abound on what Blizzard Entertainment’s plans are for Varian Wrynn in the World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Lich King expansion and the Warcraft Film by Legendary Pictures.  Is the mysterious Human (Anti-Thrall) Hero of the Warcraft Film … Varian Wrynn? Will the Varian Wrynn NPC be relocated to Stormwind? What will happen to Lady Prestor and all those quests?  Will Fordragon be moved to Northrend as a leading hero of the Northrend incursion against the Lich King? Will there be new quests in Wrath of the Lich King as a follow up to the Missing Diplomat quests? Will the Comic Book finally reveal the fate and whereabouts of Varian’s wife? You gotta have to hook up and keep track of the comic book’s upcoming issues as Varian continues his journey through Wetlands toward Stormwind in search of the family he saw in his memory flashback.

If anything the story of World of Warcraft the comic book is going to become very interesting post issue# 8 as he makes his way slowly toward Stormwind.

DESCRIPTION

“The Return” begins a new story arc set in the WORLD OF WARCRAFT. Upon learning he is in fact the missing king of Stormwind, Lo’Gosh returns to reclaim his throne with his comrades-in-arms Valeera, and Broll. But all is not as it seems in the eastern kingdom, especially if one informed dwarf has anything to say about it. Enter Thargas Anvilmar!

Written by Walter Simonson; Art by Jon Landry and Jerome K. Moore; Covers by Samwise Didier and Ludo Lullabi
Wildstorm |  32pg.  |  Color |  $2.99 US

On Sale June 18, 2008

  • Check out our World of Warcraft Comic Book section here

  • If you have missed the first story arc’s back issues, don’t sweat. DC Comics is releasing the
    World of Warcraft Vol. 1 compiling all 7-issues of the first story arc. Pre-order it here.
  • Read our recent interview with Ludo Lullabi (DC Comics Wildstorm – WoW Comic Artist)

with 4-exclusive-preview-images from issue# 6.

Diablo III—- Diablo 3 Overthrown Polystone Diorama

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!

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