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SDCC 2011 – Diablo III: Book of Cain Details Surface

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During the SDCC 2011 World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel held by Blizzard Entertainment and its licensed partners, Blizzard license product manager Kat Hunter and Blizzard SVP of Creative Design Chris Metzen revealed a few details of the upcoming Diablo III: Book of Cain.

The publisher of The Cinematic Art of World of Warcraft: The Wrath of the Lich King … Insight Editions is collaborating with Blizzard Entertainment to develop this canon product.

Stay tuned to Blizzplanet. I have been in contact with Insight Editions since early July and waited until the SDCC panel for the official roundup of details to surface. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, I will request some preview scans. This might take a while because the Book of Cain book will be on sale around the Diablo III launch date.

Transcript

Chris Metzen: 13:04 – “Another really cool project we are working on with a brother named Flint Dille is a source book for the Diablo universe. It’s been many years since we published a Diablo game. There’s a lot of weird stuff floating out there in the internet and wikis and things like that, so we wanted the opportunity to really create a product — it’s essentially Deckard Cain’s journal … I think we are calling it the Book of Cain … where over the course of his adventures, his archaeology, and studying of the manuscripts over the years he’s put together a compendium of what makes the Diablo universe the Diablo universe.”

13:34 – “We are highlighting Heaven and Hell, the people that lives there, the realms of Heaven and Hell, the history of Sanctuary, the lands of Sanctuary, highlighting maybe the classes that have been playable in the games up to this point, notable people in history and pretty much trying to create a fairly tight compendium of all Diablo lore and you know one nice edition. So with any luck, that book will pop around whenever the game comes out and will be a very useful tool in getting back up on what’s up with the Diablo universe. So that’s something we are very very excited about and working on rapidly and intensely right now.

Read about more upcoming licensed products in our SDCC 2011 Blizzard World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show Panel Round-Up page.

SDCC 2011 – DC Comics on World of Warcraft: Dark Riders and World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn Graphic Novels

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During the SDCC 2011 World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel, DC Comics Hank Kanalz revealed details of their Blizzard licensed graphic novels.

There will be two World of Warcraft graphic novels telling the stories of a Alliance team and a Horde team. These won’t be your usual mega heroes like Varian or Thrall. Each team is composed of characters like any other player, more down to earth. Teams that come unwillingly together to handle specific threats.

The characters are the same shown in World of Warcraft Special # 1 (Dec 2009) who were going to star in the now cancelled ongoing comic book series … World of Warcraft: Alliance # 26 and the World of Warcraft: Horde # 1. As everyone knows, the ongoing comic books were cancelled, and shortly after Wildstorm was shutdown after 18 years in the business (read Jim Lee’s Farewell). DC Comics inherited the rights to develop the World of Warcraft and StarCraft Graphic Novels.

During the SDCC 2011 panel, DC Comics Hank Kanalz unveiled three OMG-Awesome-sauce covers of the World of Warcraft: Dark Riders, World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn and StarCraft Graphic Novels. I think we have never seen artwork like this before in DC Comics Warcraft and StarCraft comic books. They look WoW TCG / Blizzard top-notch quality.

World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn

Hank Kanalz revealed at SDCC 2011 the World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn graphic novel is written by Doug Wagner with artwork by Samwise Didier, Jheremy Rapaak and Alex Horley Orlandelli. The Horde characters are: Malgar (orc hunter), Shagara (female orc shaman), Ironhoof (tauren warrior), Felgrim (undead warlock) and Ashra (blood elf paladin).

This Horde militia team is put together to address a new threat to the Horde from a new power behind the Centaur.

World of Warcraft: Dark Riders

The World of Warcraft: Dark Riders Graphic Novel shows four characters on the front cover. These fit the class and race profile shown in World of Warcraft Special # 1 for the characters that were to debut in the cancelled ongoing series: World of Warcraft: Alliance # 26. These characters in the front cover of the World of Warcraft: Dark Riders graphic novel are: Brink (gnome rogue), Karlain (human mage), Mardigan (Worgen warrior), and Revil (human priest). Loreli Fallglade (female night elf) is missing in the front cover, but she was shown in the 2009 Special # 1.

World of Warcraft: Dark Riders is written by Mike Costa, with artwork by Samwise Didier, Neil Googe, and Alex Horley Orlandelli. The Alliance story delves into the history of the Worgen, the Scythe of Elune, and the Dark Riders. After reading through this graphic novel fans will learn where the Dark Riders came from.

 

StarCraft Graphic Novel

The StarCraft Graphic Novel (Untitled yet) will debut in 2012 by writer Simon Furman and artwork by Wei Wang. It is a 120-pages hardcover graphic novel featuring Kerrigan vs Nova.

Transcript

Hank Kanalz: Hank Kanalz: 25:34 – We are moving to do exclusive graphic novels for the World of Warcraft property. We got a couple in the workshift, the first one is a World of Warcraft Alliance graphic novel. It is written by Mike Costa and illustrated by Neil Googe. Mike Costa is better known for his work in The Transformers and G.I. Joe). Terrific writer, but also extremely into the Warcraft mythos here.

26:05 – It’s very interesting because while working on the script he’s like “I’m doing research, I’m doing research”. We know what he means. He works very closely with Micky Neilson and the lore team to really put together a lot of information in this expansive epic graphic novel that really focuses on the Alliance and the history of the Worgen. So, Micky do you want to talk about how’s it been so far?”

Micky Neilson: 26:35 – “How many people actually played the Scythe of Elune questline? This features the Scythe of Elune. It features Worgen. Some of you who played that questline must remember the Dark Riders. You never actually got to see the Dark Riders in the game. So this is a really cool opportunity to see them, to get into their history, where they came from.

27:02 – And also featuring characters who are not marquee characters. It’s not King Varian. They are more like the characters that you play everyday in the game.”

Hank Kanalz: 27:18 – “It’s been terrific too, because working with these guys very directly we are able to live a lot of the storylines together, a lot of the stuff you see in-game, or couple bits and pieces in Christie’s novels and the other novels all relate to each other. So you would be very pleased with how this is tied into everything else.

27:38 – Art by the fantastic Neil Googe. He’s terrific. He is been in Thailand for several months now, but he’s moved back to UK and he’s on homestretch finishing up the OGN. It should be up in the fourth quarter of this year.

27:52 – Next up is the Horde OGN (Ongoing Graphic Novel). This one is fantastic as well obviously. Working with Jheremy Rapaak on art, and Doug Wagner on the script. Doug is no newcomer. He’s probably most recently known for the work he did on RED which became a motion picture. He did some of the adaptatin work for comics. Rapaak is known for his work in Xmen vs Hulk. So who better to draw the orcs than a artists with his caliber. Again, terrific work. Hardcore player. He’s going really deep on details on the armor sets. Doug going very deep on story detail with Garrosh putting together an elite team of Horde warriors, and through this Micky has been working closely with Doug.”

Micky Neilson: 28:50 – “There’s a militia team, and there is a member of each race on this team, and they are kinda forced into this situation where they have to confront this new threat which is tied into the Centaur, and a new power behind the Centaur. So it’s really a representation of the Horde itself and the Horde is comprised of races who had to come together, and they are kinda forced to work together.”

Hank Kanalz: Expect the Horde OGN in the fourth quarter of this year.

31:28 – Next we have the StarCraft graphic novel. It’s a 120-pages hardcover that’s coming on 2012. It’s written by Simon Furman who is probably best known for his The Transformers work, past and present. He also worked in the ongoing StarCraft comic book that we used to ship in a monthly basis.

This one is an epic battle between Nova and Sarah Kerrigan. We were talking about the novel earlier there.

Read about more upcoming licensed products in our SDCC 2011 Blizzard World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show Panel Round-Up page.

UPDATE: Jheremy Rapaak posted two hi-res images of his artwork from the World of Warcraft: Bloodsworn graphic novel — the same shown during the SDCC 2011 panel.

SDCC 2011 – Mega Bloks Exciting Plans for Warcraft and StarCraft Products

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During the SDCC 2011 World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel, Blizzard licensing product manager Kat Hunter reported they are excited about their new partnership with Mega Bloks. A product line-up will be revealed more in-depth at BlizzCon 2011 between October 21-22.

The first wave of products will come out in 2012. Kat Hunter displayed onscreen a work-in-progress of the StarCraft II Viking Mega Blok. It actually transforms back and forth between flying or land vehicle modes. Could this be a hint of what some of these products are capable of? This product was shown to Blizzard recently by Mega Bloks representatives. Blizzard fell in love with the prototype and the house of ideas started jamming right away with the guys at Mega Bloks the possible line-up of StarCraft II and World of Warcraft units that might be attractive to fans. They decided which products will come out first, and last.

More information will come afloat at BlizzCon, and Kat Hunter revealed there will be a BlizzCon exclusive Mega Blok set of 2000 pieces. I’m not certain if it will be in the Swag Bag or on sale. We will find out as BlizzCon nears and the Swag Bag content is revealed.

Read about more upcoming licensed products in our SDCC 2011 Blizzard World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show Panel Round-Up page.

 

SDCC 2011 – Cryptozoic to Launch WoW TCG: Throne of the Tides, Monster Faction and Dungeon Decks

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During the SDCC 2011 World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel, Cryptozoic CEO Cory Jones revealed a new World of Warcraft TCG expansion titled Throne of the Tides which introduces a third faction which includes new monster heroes and races: Naga, Murlocs, Ogres; and monster allies for your card deck. Cryptozoic is very excited about this new feature.

In addition, Cryptozoic plans to introduce a new Product known as “Dungeon Decks”, a new gameplay dynamic for small amount of players 3-5 or such.

  • Automated Dungeon Decks! – Introducing a brand new raid style product!
  • Level Up! – Fight your way through the dungeon, and add powerful new cards to your deck as you level up!
  • Popular Dungeons! – Featuring The Deadmines, Scarlet Monastery, and Shadowfang Keep.

Cryptozoic CEO Cory Jones and Micky Neilson debunked the rumor I started (bonks-self) that there are plans to launch brand-new mangas. However, Micky Neilson and Chris Metzen acknowledged they loved to develop all these mangas with TOKYOPOP, and the door is not close for new Warcraft and StarCraft manga some time in the future when the time is right and ripe. That’s certainly a relief. Want Moar Manga.

Transcript

Cory Jones: “14:28 – One of the things that we hope to do with the TCG is the idea that we need to continually innovate and create something that remains fresh and fun for our consumers. We are coming into five and a half to six years now. We’re now on our sixteenth set of the TCG. I think that’s a remarkable accomplishment. Most TCGs don’t last that long.

15:00 – But for that to be something that is a benefit, we need to continue to innovate. When Blizzard helped create Cryptozoic that was one of the big things that came out of that was they want a partner that you know do whatever it takes to make sure that part of quality is there.

15:14 – So the next set coming up is THRONE OF THE TIDES, and it’s going to be very interesting because for the first time we’ve created sort of a third faction. Not an official faction, that is monster specific. The first set will allow you to play a monster hero and you will have the nagas, the murlocs, the ogres — and the handhold that goes along with playing these monster races are incredibly fun with splashy effects, and the set will also have monster allies that you can put on your deck.

15:48 – So the way it’s going to work is you can be Horde or Alliance and throw a monster in, or be a Monster Hero and if you are a Monster Hero then you can only play with Monster Allies which is going to be a ton of fun. We are very excited about it.

16:01 – So the next thing, we’ve been lucky enough to be right next door to Blizzard and work very closely with them, and so for this very next set coming up — the Aftermath block — we are gonna actually include sort of [one on one ties (sp?)] back into the lore and the story as it’s happening.

16:16 – That has always been a challenge for the trading card game because the lead times are so long that you have to actually catch up with what’s happening in the MMO is incredibly difficult. We’ve finally after five years now been able to accomplish that with the last set of the Worldbreaker block actually included things around Cataclysm and as you can see in the last set we have actually gotten Deathwing as a Master Hero, so that was a splashy exciting card that we were able to include. That was awesome, and as we move forward, we are actually working with the lore team and with Chris Metzen to make sure that characters, in advance, that are going to be coming up in the MMO are reflected in the trading card game so that it’s a very natu ral extension of your experience with the IP in terms of learning about that lore, and for me that’s what I feel is great about all of this license because it allows you to have a much deeper connection to this property we are very very passionate about, and we want to make sure that we are one of those companies that advocates that experience, that’s a big priority.

17:15 – So one of the core elements for Cryptozoic is our model which is “Fans first”, and nothing really speaks to our “Fans first” ideal as much as all of the events we put on. We spend millions of dollars a year putting on events all around the world. We attend all of the major shows, and we make sure that they are very active; and large communities centered around the trading card game have this incredibly robust organized play program.

17:34 – Coming up for 2011, we actually have our World Championships, it’s going to be in Amsterdam. We are a global property. It’s just like the World of Warcraft MMO. We have offices in China, we have offices in Europe. We service an actual global community. One of the things we did recently was a World Cup, and we had 26 different countries represented with their own teams, it was very successful event. Everyone had a great time.

18:10 – Coming up shortly is the World of Warcraft World Championships, that’s gonna be in Amsterdam, and it has $250,000 as a cash prize pool, which is by far the biggest cash prize pool for any TCG out there. People gets very excited about that. It’s a very serious competition, and we are looking forward to see how it turns out in that event.

18:34 – Some of the things we are trying to do is to support the Brick and Mortar Hobby industry without finding someone to play a physical trading card game. So having some of those shops supported and doing great, having a place where you can go to meet up with your friends, and play some WoW TCG is incredibly important for us. We are doing all kinds of programs. One of the ones coming up are the Goblins of Anarchy Promotion. So we put out a series of four different cards and the only way to get these cards is to actually go down to a local Hobby Store and they give it to you free as a participation prize, and when you are actually going to run events when you can play with these cards on your deck, and they are not legal typically because they are wildly overpowered but it’s going to be something you can play with in these tournaments, and they are incredibly fun. The goblin cards are Power, Time, Cunning and Money. Those are the riders of the Apocalypse for the goblins.

19:35 – The WoW TCG innovated the idea of a raid deck where it was sort of a “one versus many” idea where someone would be the raid boss, you would invite friends over and you could have this sort of very interesting single experience with your friends trying to build this series of decks that could [be you as a massive raid boss], and playing all those overpowered cards and trying to beat other people is quitely enjoyable, and you would team up with other players to try to take your friend down.

20:08 – We had an incredible response to that over the course of the WoW TCG’s life. As always we try to think through how we can innovate and come up with something a little different and unique play experience. What we are doing moving forward is we are doing Dungeon Decks. So the idea of a dungeon deck is that it is a smaller experience than the Raid, but it is an automated dungeon deck. Sometimes it is hard to find a group of four people to play a trading card game with. The way that this works is that you can actually play between two and four people against the dungeon deck.

Or we could play three people with the Class Starter Deck, one of the gr eat features of it is there are rules inside the dungeon deck to level your deck up, so you’ll actually be able to get experience and then have access to new cards to add to your deck based on your deck leveling up. So you can continue on with the same deck and face all of the different dungeons: The Deadmines, Scarlet Monastery, and Shadowfang Keep. We have tons of quests for those locations, because people have such a strong emotional connections to those original dungeon experiences in WoW.

21:30 – Very excited about dungeon decks. The idea of leveing up my deck, and it is something I keep and I bring with me and I add new cards and I think about what kinda cards I want add as I level. That to me is very compelling as a huge fan of Warcraft and also as a huge fan of the TCG.

Read about more upcoming licensed products in our SDCC 2011 Blizzard World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show Panel Round-Up page.

 

SDCC 2011 – Gallery Books Reveals Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Books Line-Up

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During the SDCC 2011 World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel, Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson and Christie Golden revealed details of the upcoming novels line-up from Gallery Books — a division of CBS and Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Christie Golden is writing a brand-new World of Warcraft novel based on the Alliance. Chris Metzen says that’s two Alliance books counting World of Warcraft: Wolfheart by Richard A. Knaak.

This new book by Christie Golden doesn’t have a title yet, but Metzen described it is focused on Jaina Proudmoore. The post-Cataclysm tensions are ramping up a few notches up between the Alliance and the Horde again.

We should expect life-changing events coming for Jaina Proudmoore (Metzen and Christie Golden grin enigmatically as this was said).

There are plans to create a World of Warcraft: Wolfheart Audiobook. Blizzard is playing with the idea of innovating with audiobooks by introducing audio dramas: music, special effect sounds, voices from the game — something new they are excited about.

Transcript

Chris Metzen: “Just to give you an overview of some of the things we are doing, we just released World of Warcraft: Thrall: Twilight of the Aspects — which for the record takes place before patch 4.2. That kinda ties a lot of Thrall’s weird daddy issues and such.

We did World of Warcraft: Wolfheart with Richard A. Knaak and we have been developing that for a while. Now for all of you Alliance fans who feel we have been riffing on the Horde and/or Thrall for too long — Wolfheart definitely doubles down on the Alliance. We are pretty much getting into King Varian’s nature kinda been possessed by the spirit of the wolf god Lo’Gosh, who’s also the source of the Worgen transformation.

So his nature is potentially the high King of the Alliance, what kind of man he is, how’s the inclusion of the Worgen and all that history playing with the current vibe of the Alliance, and how this guy is doing as King.

I can tell you we want to see Varian become a character that is highly beloved.

The StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres book it’s been a long time in the making. For those of you who remember, we were developing a console game many years ago called GHOST, featuring a character named Nova.

Many years ago, we put out a book named StarCraft Ghost: Nova, which was essentially that character’s origin and at long last the Spectres novel is essentially the novelization of what the game StarCraft: Ghost would have been.

That game plot, Nova’s kinda champion level adventures. Spectres has a lot to do with that. In the novel, Gabriel Tosh — in the front cover — is a character we have jammed for Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty. All of these characters have a pretty deep background, and we are very excited about that book.

A couple of other things, the title is sketchy but we are doing a Diablo book that’s coming up umm that essentially — ugh how do I say this without getting in trouble, uh — very significant amount of time has passed between the last Diablo expansion (Diablo II: Lord of Destruction) and the game that we are currently working on (Diablo III), so the book that is coming out which features Deckard Cain is going to bridge the gap between Diablo games past and what we are currently developing and it’s coming really-really cool, pretty dark.

It gets into the lore of the Horadrim, kinda the group that originally put Diablo down.

We are also working on Christie by the way. She is working on a new Warcraft book. This will make Alliance in the room very happy, and you get two Alliance books in a row, and as it turns out, but the new book — it still doesn’t have a title yet attached to it currently, but it’s going to — tensions post-Cataclysm between the Alliance and the Horde are ramping up again. This book is going to focus on Jaina Proudmoore, a character we haven’t really been able to do a whole lot over the years, but she’s definitely got some life changes coming, and her story is going to literally kick ass and really begin to take the tension between the Alliance and the Horde up a few notches going forward.

To wrap up those are the novels we are cooking in the oven as we speak.”

Read about more upcoming licensed products in our SDCC 2011 Blizzard World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show Panel Round-Up page.

 

SDCC 2011 – JINX World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Products Line-Up

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During the SDCC 2011 World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel held by Blizzard Entertainment and its licensed partners, J!NX Creative Overlord Sean Gailey revealed plans to launch several Blizzard licensed products including the following:

  • T-shirts
  • Mistress of Pain Socks
  • Diablo-skull-buckle Belt
  • Tyrael Hoodie
  • Demon Hunter Hoodie
  • StarCraft II Wallet

Read about more upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products in our SDCC 2011 Blizzard World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show Panel Round-Up page.

 

SDCC 2011 – Diablo: Sword of Justice 5-issues Comic Book Mini-Series On Sale 2012

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The SDCC 2011 was bombastic with information about upcoming Blizzard licensed products. DC Comics Hank Kanalz dropped the bomb with a very exciting new product many have been expecting for a long time. DC Comics will launch a 5-issues mini-series based on Diablo III.

The Diablo: Sword of Justice is coming soon by writer Aaron Williams and artwork Joseph Lacroix. It is an original 5-issues comic book mini-series. It features a kid named Jacob who has visions of a prophecy. Very interesting plot.

Everyone knows that Tyrael threw his sword toward the corrupted Worldstone to destroy it at the end of Diablo II: Lord of Destruction. Tyrael disappeared and he was never seen after this point. The plot features Tyrael’s sword will be calling to a human kid to serve as the avatar of Justice on Sanctuary. It has the ingredients of a great Diablo story. The story has Barbarians and elements of demonic corruption.

Transcript

Hank Kanalz: 29:40 – “Diablo: Sword of Justice is an original 5-issue mini-series and it is written by Aaron Williams who is best known for his work on North40 and PS238. On the covers is Joseph Lacroix. He’s a great new find that the folks at Blizzard actually stumbled across and work with.

This is his first american comics work and he’s fantastic. Really nice fine line there. This one is a story about Jacob and he is led by visions of an ancient prophecy that leads him to the Diablo world and the archangel.”

Micky Neilson: 30:24 – This story features Tyrael’s sword. For those of you who know the Diablo lore, at the end of Diablo II expansion, Tyrale destroyed the Worldstone. Tyrael disappeared after that. So this is a story about his sword basically calling to a human to serve as the avatar of justice on Sanctuary. So it’s got all the ingredients of a great Diablo story. It’s got Tyrael’s sword. It got a mortal hero. It’s got Barbarians. It’s got demonic corruption and it’s got a sexy wizard. Everything you could want.

Hank Kanalz: He really brings the European flare. He’s a french artist. You can see the pages upon the screen have a terrific look and approach. We are also please to announce Dave Stewart (Ultimate X-Men, Ultimate Fantastic Four) will be coloring the story as well.

Read about more upcoming licensed products in our SDCC 2011 Blizzard World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show Panel Round-Up page.

SDCC 2011 Blizzard World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show Panel Round Up

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Blizzplanet has gathered a round up of Blizzard Entertainment products unveiled by Chris Metzen, Micky Neilson, and licensed partners: Mega Bloks, Cryptozoic Entertainment, J!NX, Gallery Books, Insight Editions, and DC Comics.

The following links will take you to each of the product details that surfaced during the SDCC 2011 World of Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo Swag Show panel. Video embed of the panel can be found in each of the links (courtesy of Gamespot):

Samwise Didier @ San Diego Comic Con 2011 Schedule

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Blizzard Entertainment’s Legendary Samwise Didier (Senior Art Director) will be signing at the Artist Alley table AA-09 at the San Diego Comic Con 2011 all four days through July 21-24.

This is a perfect opportunity to meet the man that has inspired and shaped the visuals of StarCraft, Diablo and Warcraft universes.

You can see some of Samwise’s artwork at the SONS OF THE STORM Website.

“If you are at Comic-Con this year, make sure you swing by Artists Alley for I will be commanding booth # AA-09. If you have art you want signed, bring it! If you do not, fret not. I will have cards, prints, and posters for sale. So stop by, bring ale, swords or other worthy offerings to the Panda King and we will revel in the Comic-Con majesty! For the bloody Horde!

Love,
-Samwise”

Samwise Didier will bring 8.5″ x 11″ prints of his favorite World of Warcraft Horde and Alliance cards, World of Warcraft artist proof cards, and two non blizzard artwork posters (11″ X 17″ and 28″ X 36″). You can’t miss grabbing any of these limited and rare gifts.

Bring along your copies of:

Artist Alley Location

SDCC Address and Map

SAN DIEGO Convention Center
111 W. Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101


View Larger Map

Incoming Lore-plosion: Blizzard’s Chris Metzen Coming to San Diego Comic Con

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YES, YES, yEs, yES, Yes, YeS, Y-E-S (cools off) … Chris Metzen is coming to San Diego Comic Con. You have heard here in Blizzplanet details of the World of Warcraft Graphic Novels might be revealed at this upcoming event to be held on July 21-24. Stay tuned on Blizzplanet for any new information. I’ll be contacting some of my past liaisons.

Here are the details for all our Blizzard Entertainment fans. It seems Blizzard and their licensed product partners are unveiling a few surprises for DIABLO, World of Warcraft and StarCraft fans!!! … clears throat — DIABLO products !!!!!

THURSDAY, JULY 21
1:00pm -2:00pm (Room 6BCF)

World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft Swag Show: Blizzard Entertainment creative and licensed partners unveil and discuss World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft-inspired products. In attendance:

  • Chris Metzen (Blizzard Entertainment SVP of creative development)
  • Nick Carpenter (Blizzard Entertainment executive art director)
  • Christie Golden (New York Times bestselling author)
  • Hank Kanalz (SVP Digital, DC Comics and World of Warcraft comics editor)
  • Sean Gailey (creative overlord, J!nx Clothing)
  • Cory Jones (Cryptozoic Entertainment president and chief creative officer)
  • Kat Hunter (BlizzCon coverage moderator on DIRECTV).

Things this panel might unveil … details of the World of Warcraft: Alliance, World of Warcraft: Horde and StarCraft Graphic Novels seem imminent with the presence of DC Comics Hank Kanalz in this panel alongside Chris Metzen.

Cryptozoic Entertainment’s Cory Jones might unveil upcoming World of Warcraft Trading Card Game products. Jinx might announce the Fall 2011 line-up of World of Warcraft, StarCraft II and Diablo III T-shirts. There’s no word from Sideshow Collectibles, but I asked Sideshow’s president in a public Q&A about two or three years ago about upcoming Blizzard products and he admitted there were some ideas on the table. Could this be the year? I bet many owners of the Barbarian diorama would be happy to get ahold of the other four classes to make it company.

There are a few companies known to have licensed product ties with Blizzard Entertainment to be attending San Diego Comic Con. While my radars are silent on any incoming new product announcements, it’d be good that you check out their booths and ask questions. Feel free to inform us, or to share video/photos:

  • Simon & Schuster booth # 1128
  • DC Comics booth # 1915
  • Sideshow Collectibles booth # 1929 — update: Sideshow confirmed no Blizzard licensed products to be announced at SDCC.
  • Diamond Comic Distributors booth # 2401 (for those wondering: DC Direct action figures)

Artist’s Alley

  • Sam (Samwise) Didier – table AA-09
  • Walter & Louise Simonson – IDW booth # 2643
  • Italian painter Lucio Parrillo will be at a non-Blizzard panel at Room 28DE on Thursday, July 21 from 2:30pm to 5:00pm. If you are a WoW TCG fan, bring your cards for signing.

Check out the map below by holding the right-button and choosing “Open Link in New Tab”. The green square marks will help you find the booth numbers listed above.

Christie Golden will participate in the Blizzard Entertainment World of Warcraft, Starcraft and Diablo Swag Show Panel on Thursday, July 21 between 1:00pm -2:00pm (Room 6BCF).

After the panel, you will have the chance to get your books signed. Christie Golden informed me that she will be at the Mysterious Galaxy Booth # 1119 on Thursday, July 21 from 2:30 – 3:20 PM signing copies of World of Warcraft: Thrall, Twilight of the Aspects, and other stuff. There are some rules to follow as per Mysterious Galaxy. There are only 75 tickets to join the signing row. You must print out the newsletter and bring it with you during the Exhibit Hall opening to redeem your ticket. Again, a ticket is required to gain access to this signing. More details here (PDF).

Blizzard Entertainment’s Legendary Samwise Didier (Senior Art Director) will be signing at the Artist Alley table AA-09 at the San Diego Comic Con 2011 all four days through July 21-24.

This is a perfect opportunity to meet the man that has inspired and shaped the visuals of StarCraft, Diablo and Warcraft universes.

You can see some of Samwise’s artwork at the SONS OF THE STORM Website.

“If you are at Comic-Con this year, make sure you swing by Artists Alley for I will be commanding booth # AA-09. If you have art you want signed, bring it! If you do not, fret not. I will have cards, prints, and posters for sale. So stop by, bring ale, swords or other worthy offerings to the Panda King and we will revel in the Comic-Con majesty! For the bloody Horde!

Love,
-Samwise”

Samwise Didier will bring 8.5″ x 11″ prints of his favorite World of Warcraft Horde and Alliance cards, World of Warcraft artist proof cards, and two non blizzard artwork posters (11″ X 17″ and 28″ X 36″). You can’t miss grabbing any of these limited and rare gifts.

Bring along your copies of:

Artist Alley Location

SDCC Address and Map

SAN DIEGO Convention Center
111 W. Harbor Dr.
San Diego, CA 92101


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