THE ART OF BLIZZARD is a new product slated for September 2012 which collects over 300 pieces of art from Blizzard Entertainment’s different art style teams: concept artists, cinematics, 3D modelers, etc.
This 304-page book appears listed in the Insight Editions Complete Catalog given to me at their 2011 New York Comic Con booth. Check out our video at the bottom of the page. I browse the pages of the catalog to show the ART OF BLIZZARD entry and its illustration samples — video available in 1080p HD and lower resolutions.
Keep an eye on Blizzplanet for new details. Follow us on Facebook or Twitter for any breaking news.
No company has impacted videogames and global pop culture quite like Blizzard Entertainment. From its humble beginnings as a console game publisher in 1991 to breakout franchises such as Warcraft, Diablo, StarCraft, and World of Warcraft, Blizzard has created stunning worlds of science fiction and fantasy. The company’s distinctive gameplay and storytelling styles have captivated an international fan base in the tens of millions whose passion cannot be quelled.
Twenty years after opening its doors Blizzard boasts the largest massively multiplayer online gaming universe, and is the standout leader in creatively driven game development. An epic volume of art and behind-the-scenes insights, The Art of Blizzard celebrates the studio’s genesis by examining the astonishing talents behind these games and showcasing more than three hundred pieces of concept art, paintings, and sketches.
Packed with illustrations that cover everything from creature design to the breathtaking work of the Blizzard Cinematics Team, The Art of Blizzard is the ultimate gift to gamers worldwide.
The 2011 New York Comic Con was celebrated at the Jacobs & Javits Center through October 13-16. Gear on hand, I landed at the event on Saturday and visited the Insight Editions booth in search of details of the upcoming Diablo III: Book of Cain.
From there I headed to the Simon & Schuster, Inc. / Premiere Collectible booths to find out if there were any upcoming novels in the horizon. There was no exhibition or posters of upcoming products, but they stock up their tables with all the latest World of Warcraft, StarCraft II and Diablo III tie-in novels, and continuously played all Blizzard Entertainment cinematics on a screen monitor to catch the attention of bystanders.
Nate Kenyon signed copies of StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres at the Premiere Collectibles booth.
The Legendary Pictures booth exhibited the prop items used in their films. No details of the Warcraft film surfaced when I asked a representative, nor will there be updates at BlizzCon.
The DC Comics and Diamond Distributors booths were mostly focused on The New 52 and the Batman: Arkham City video game this year. The booths were crowded, but unless I missed checking every corner of the booth space for the first time I didn’t see any World of Warcraft or StarCraft comic books and action figures.
Finally, the ESL Intel Extreme Masters tournament took place at the New York Comic Con with StarCraft II matches.
Check out the photos and videos taken at each booth.
While exploring the Artist Alley, I heard the word “StarCraft II” and headed toward the huge screen at the Intel section. The ESL Intel Extreme Masters 2011/12 Season Global Challenge New York was in da house. I couldn’t believe how many people were there watching the event.
I got there on Saturday around 3:00pm to witness a match between GosuGatored and reis. Before their match, the host interviewed them. Check out the video I captured below — available in 1080p HD, and lower resolutions.
The second bootleg video shows the match between GosuGatored vs reis after the interview shown above. It lasts around 16 minutes and a half. Video available in 720p HD, and lower resolutions.
The Legendary Pictures booth had some props used in the film displayed inside a crystal box including the eyeglasses of Clark Kent, the Kryptonite, and Man of Steel newspaper shown in Superman Returns, the Batsuit costume and the Batmobile used in The Dark Knight, the monkey animatronic, Teddy’s finger and Baby Carlos used in The Hangover II film, the Spartan sword and the Immortal mask from “300”, and the Nite Owl mask used in The Watchmen.
I talked to the gentleman explaining in the video that these props were used in the Legendary Pictures films. He wasn’t able to spill the beans on anything about the upcoming World of Warcraft film, and confirmed there won’t be any announcements made at BlizzCon 2011 to his knowledge.
The DC Comics booth didn’t have any World of Warcraft or StarCraft II action figure, nor the graphic novels, neither the Diamond Distributor booth. Hopefully, we’ll see some of these at BlizzCon 2011.
First thing I did when I entered the New York Comic Con with my Press badge was to visit the Insight Editions booth # 1939. The Diablo III: Book of Cain poster was hanging on the booth’s wall for everyone to see.
There the booth staff provided me the Insight Editions Complete Catalog to take home. The catalog offered me some of the artists who contributed exclusive art for Diablo III: Book of Cain.
Brom (Blizzard Entertainment Artist)
Mark Gibbons (aka Red Knuckle, Blizzard Entertainment Artist)
Gerald Brom (Brom) is a commercial artist who has done illustrations for Diablo III and World of Warcraft. In the film scene he’s provided art for Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, Galaxy Quest, Ghosts of Mars, Scooby Doo, Van Helsing.
Mark Gibbons (Red Knuckle) is a veteran artist who worked for Welsh kid’s TV, Games Workshop, Eidos Interactive, Lead Artist at Sony’s Cambridge Studio, and currently a Senior Artist at Blizzard Entertainment.
ScorchHellfire, in the comments section, pointed out a mind-blowing detail about two of the artists behind the artwork of Diablo III: Book of Cain.
Jim Gurney is the artist and author of Dinotopia, and a recurring illustrator for the National Geographic Magazine. His bios says: “He specializes in painting realistic images of scenes that can’t be photographed, from dinosaurs to ancient civilizations. He is also a dedicated plein air (outdoor) painter and sketcher, believing that making studies directly from observation fuels his imagination. His most recent book, Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter (2010) was Amazon’s #1 bestselling book on painting for over 52 weeks.”
Iain McCaig is an internationally recognized and award winning artist and one of the motion picture industry’s leading conceptual designers. His exceptional command of human anatomy, character, emotional expression and visual narrative make him on of the most sought after artists working in the entertainment industry today. He has worked for Lucasfilm as one of the principal designers on Star Wars Episode One—The Phantom Menace, Star Wars Episode Two—Attack of the Clones, and: Star Wars Episode Three—Revenge of the Sith (He designed Queen Amidala and Darth Maul), and he shares credits for Terminator II and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Jean-Baptiste Monge is a French fantasy author and illustrator who won the 10th edition of the International Science-Fiction Festival’s 2009 Art & fact Award. The award was given to him by … Jim Gurney (Dinotopia). Hello there!
Adrian Smith is a well-known British artist among video gamers. He is credited for his illustrations for Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40k, Wizards of the Coast, Fantasy Forge, Kryomek Games, The Black Library, and Magic: The Gathering cards.
Petar Meseldzija is a Serbian fantasy and comic book artist and illustrator who began his career in 1981, publishing the comic strip “Krampi” in the Stripoteka, one of the best known comic magazines in the country. He worked in the European version of the Tarzan comic book, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table (Grimm Press), Children of the Lamp series, and worked for Scholastic Corporation.
Looks like Blizzard Entertainment and Insight Editions hired the top guns of the industry to develop the best-quality product possible for the very demanding Diablo III fans.
Another interesting bit I found out in this catalog will be welcomed by international Diablo III fans. An eBook version of Diablo III: Book of Cain seems to be in plans for $9.99 — the ISBN for the eBook version is: 978-1-60887-082-0 … doesn’t show up yet on search engines.
There are two small images from interior pages which show the Diablo character entry and the Angiris Council. The image on the Angiris Council seems to show a massive temple with the front having the sculpted face of an unknown angel. The Temple is located in The Silver City.
The images are very high resolution, but without an amplifying lens, it’s very difficult to read. The text is so tiny. I managed to zoom in with my HD video camera and Photoshop CS4.
Deckard Cain: DIABLO, THE LORD OF TERROR, is the most powerful of the three Prime Evils, despite being the youngest of the brothers. The other two being Mephisto and Baal.
In his previous incarnations on Sanctuary, Diablo has possessed a human vessel and transformed the host body. These humanoid forms have a number of features in common: a pointed chin, sharp teeth that protrude from bony gums, and a pair of horns that curve upward.
His true form could be vastly different. In the lore of the ages, it is said that Diablo takes the form of his viewer’s greatest fear. According to one source, he once terrified himself with his own reflection.
Some sources make reference to an almost insectoid or reptilian true form for Diablo, with overlapping plates or scales of skin and a deadly tail or tentacle.
More contemporary reports theorize that the lord has been affected permanently by the time he has spent in Sanctuary, his forehead scarred by an enduring gash where the Soulstone was embedded.
Diablo III: Book of Cain – Description
In Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo and Diablo II, the recurring character of Deckard Cain delivered quests, accompanied the brave adventurer, and, as the last of the Horadrim, provided a link to the greater history of the world of Sanctuary. Ever mysterious during these appearances, Cain hinted at a larger story, providing snippets of it in his notebook.
Diablo III: Book of Cain is Cain’s formal record of this greater tale — a dissertation on the lore of the Diablo universe, told by one who has witnessed and participated in some of the epic events that make up the eternal conflict between the High Heavens and the Burning Hells.
Designed as an “in-world” artifact from the Diablo universe, Diablo III: Book of Cain includes Cain’s revealing meditations, as well as dozens of sketches and color artworks by Brom, Mark Gibbons, Jim Gurney, John Howe, Alan Lee, Iain McCaig, Jean-Baptist Monge, and Adrian Smith depicting the angelic and demonic beings who wage constant war with one another.
Known for blockbuster hits including world of Warcraft and the Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo franchises, Blizzard Entertainment, Inc. is a premier developer and publisher of entertainment software renowned for creating some of the industry’s most critically acclaimed games. Blizzard Entertainment’s track record includes thirteen #1-selling games and numerous Game of the Year awards.
If you loved the preview, “Like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest flash updates on Diablo III: Book of Cain. I requested preview images to Insight Editions back on July, and a week ago again to a Blizzard Entertainment representative.
NYCC – Insight Editions Booth
This short video shows the Diablo III: Book of Cain displayed at the Insight Editions Booth # 1939 in New York Comic Con — October 13-16, 2011. Remember to pick the video resolution — available in 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p HD.
Insight Editions Complete Catalog – Diablo III: Book of Cain
This video shows me browsing the Insight Editions Complete Catalog at page 8 where the publisher describes the book, two illustrations, and plans for a eBook version. Remember to pick the video resolution — available in 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p HD and 1080p HD.
I attended the New York Comic Con 2011 today, Saturday around noon, to check out what new books might be in the horizon from Simon & Schuster, Inc. (Gallery Books and Pocket Books).
I found displayed on their booth table all the latest StarCraft, World of Warcraft and Diablo books for sale, and the posters hanging on the walls. I love how the publisher supports Blizzard Entertainment. Oh, and how forget the big screen playing StarCraft II, Diablo III and World of Warcraft: Cataclysm cinematics on a loop. As soon as anyone walks through the alley anyone hears and recognizes it — they have to stop and check out the booth and all it has to offer.
I recommend going to the Simon & Schuster booth # 2612 tomorrow Sunday to grab your copy in person, and to talk with the staff.
I was planning to stick around for a couple of hours, but a head honcho at Simon & Schuster’s booth told me Nate Kenyon would be there Saturday at 5:30pm EDT. I was surprised he recognized me on the fly. I didn’t even have to introduce myself — “You are from Blizzplanet”. I hadn’t been in contact with him, so he didn’t know I was coming. He remembers me from two years ago when I interviewed Chris Metzen and Micky Neilson at 2009 New York Comic Con.
Eldorian interviewed by phone the Stoker Award Finalist and Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers member Nate Kenyon a few weeks ago to talk about his latest book inspired in a Blizzard Entertainment video game … StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres. I provided the questions — some gathered from the lore community, and some of mine after I read the copy provided by Simon & Schuster a few weeks prior to its launch.
You can read my review of StarCraft: Ghost Spectres here.
Knowing Nate Kenyon would be there at New York Comic Con, I decided to stay to meet Nate Kenyon in person, and to take some screenshots at the Premiere Collectibles booth (# 2617) — in front of Simon & Schuster, Inc.’s booth (# 2612).
This guy is short of awesome in person. We spoke for a while about his StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres work. It took him about three months of deep research of the StarCraft universe. He had a lot of communication with the Blizzard Creative Team to flesh out their guideline for this story Blizzard wanted to share with StarCraft fans.
Nate Kenyon read previous StarCraft novels — including those by Aaron Rosenberg and Christie Golden, and the StarCraft mangas (StarCraft: Frontline and StarCraft: Ghost Academy). He confessed he also read some of the StarCraft Wiki out there, but he’s aware not everything in the wiki is accurate, so whenever he found something of interest in his research he would contact Blizzard Entertainment to double-check for accuracy and to get some extra details on that.
After I was done talking about StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres, I was starting a question — and before I could even say three words he filled in what I was going to ask. He’s a mind-reader too: Diablo.
Nate Kenyon is writing a new Diablo book for Blizzard Entertainment. This is the first Diablo book to be in development since 2007 when Richard A. Knaak finished the Diablo: The Sin War Trilogy with book 3: The Veiled Prophet. It’s been four years of hiatus with no new novels except for the Diablo Archive which collects several previous books in a single tome of 752 pages.
Nate Kenyon told me his upcoming Diablo novel’s timeline is somewhere between Diablo II: Lord of Destruction and Diablo III. Due to his contract terms — think of a NDA — he’s not able to talk in-depth about it yet, but he managed to provide that bit of info — and that we should expect his novel somewhere within Q1 2012 — sorta in between March and I’d add and speculate possibly up to the Summer because it’s hard to predict when Diablo III will ship, if there might be delays, or if the novel will hit bookstores a month or longer before or after Diablo III ships.
For now the plan is somewhere around March 2012. The new Diablo novel is still Untitled, but you can Pre-Order it already in the following formats: Hardcover, Kindle device, or the Kindle PC app — you know you can’t refuse to pre-order it. It’s a Diablo novel, and it is a Diablo III tie-in. /ends hypnotic suggestion
I have to thank Simon & Schuster for their continuous cooperation and support over the past years to help us inform our visitors. The Premiere Collectibles staff, including Josh Smallbone (Premiere Collectibles Vice President), were very polite too. I also have to thank the Producer and the Host of the ESL’s Intel Extreme Masters — 2011 / 2012 Season Global Challenge New York. The ESL organizers were very supportive with Blizzard Entertainment and their partner Premiere Collectibles by allowing Nate Kenyon to tell the StarCraft II audience at New York Comic Con to walk by the Premiere Collectibles booth to attend Nate Kenyon’s book signing session. Visit, Watch and Read the ESL Intel Extreme Masters website for the Season Global Challenge New York Tournament results.
Nate Kenyon (Left) and Blizzplanet’s Medievaldragon (Right) at New York Comic Con 2011
Check out below the photos, and videos of my visit to the Simon & Schuster, In.c Booth # 2612. You might find some interesting stuff.
Simon & Schuster Booth Photos
In this photos you can see Nate Kenyon signing copies of StarCraft: Ghost–Spectres, and a quick view at the Premiere Collectibles and Simon & Schuster, Inc. Booths. Remember you can pick different resolutions depending your internet connection speed: 240p, 360p, 480p, 720p HD.
Nate Kenyon (Left) and Blizzplanet’s Medievaldragon (Right) at New York Comic Con 2011
Simon & Schuster Booth Videos
The videos show the Premiere Collectibles and Simon & Schuster, Inc. Booths. The latter was displaying the Blizzard Entertainment cinematics on an LG Monitor.