The San Diego Comic Con 2009 runs through Thursday, July 22 to Sunday, July 26.  You will find Sideshow Collectibles at Booth # 1929.  I am somewhat close with the Sideshow Collectibles representatives and keep in contact a few times throughout the year.  During a mini-Q&A I had with Sideshow Collectibles CEO Greg Anzalone and the Production Manager Brant Bridges, the latter said:

Brant: Yes, we are hoping to do more Blizzard products.  Nothing in the immediate future, but we do have some ambitions.

A few weeks ago, when I asked Sideshow Collectibles if they were to unveil a new Diorama this year at the San Diego Comic Con, I got a very interesting response that might or not mean something is brewing in the house of ideas. (expensive ideas by the way, lol)

The answer was: “We can

Trag Highmountain has been finally introduced into the World of Warcraft MMO.  He is one of the characters from WarCraft: The Sunwell Trilogy by Richard A. Knaak.  Among the characters from that book that already joined the MMO are Kalecgos, Dar’Khan Drathir, Anveena, Jorad Mace, Tyrigosa (Tyri) and now Trag Highmountain.  If you had any doubt the Tokyopop WarCraft mangas held any canon, you have been proved wrong.  They are worth a read.  I have read the latest three Warcraft Legends volumes so far, and have the Sunwell Trilogy Ultimate Edition book to back it.

In the second volume of the trilogy, Trag Highmountain died to save Anveena by crushing his master’s orb of Ner’zhul.  What he did never realize was that this action would grant him immortality by turning him into an Undead Tauren.  Trag Highmountain returned in Warcraft Legends by Tokyopop with a good story that sets him into a personal mission to avenge his new state.  With the help of Thrall, he reached Borean Tundra to start his journey toward Icecrown.  Little is known about the true nature of his undeath, but we get to see what looks like Ner’zhul’s spirit behind him at one point.  This might not make much sense, but telling more would be World of Warcraft: Arthas spoilers.

Trag Highmountain can now be found as an NPC in patch 3.2 by the Argent Tournament Grounds along with the Taunka, keeping a massive Magnataur at bay.  This is the same Magnataur Boss that is to be fought in the new Argent Tournament Coliseum dungeon.  In Warcraft Legends, Trag did reach the Icecrown Citadel, just to fall victim to Arthas the Lich King who turns him into a an unwilling Death Knight servant.  Time later, Trag regains his freedom and joins the Taunka.  It is strongly believed that Trag might have some quests for us at some point to enter Icecrown Citadel.  Who knows, he might even join us in the battle against the Lich King. We gotta have to wait and see.

You can view some of the Warcraft Legends preview scans about Trag Highmountain here and here.

Wildstorm / DC Comics hired a new artist to pencil World of Warcraft # 20.  His name is Pop Mhan who has worked for various companies such as Marvel Comics, DC Comics, Top Cow, Titan Books, Tokyopop, Dark Horse, and Hasbro—to name a few.  Among his past work are Marvel Adventures Spider-man 8: Forces of Nature Digest, Batgirl: Destruction’s Daughter, Marvel Knights 2099, Outsiders 5: The Good Fight, Planet of the Apes, Robin: Unmasked!, and Spyboy.

Not many know, but I’m a frustrated artist graduate who never got to work on the field.  However, I got a good eye to see awesome work by others.  I don’t usually like to bash artists in public and prefer to keep my opinion to myself—but I have read some feedback on the recent World of Warcraft comic book art, and I have to agree it didn’t capture the WarCraft feeling.  Close but no cigar.  In short, fans criticized how Garrosh Hellscream looked like the Hulk on steroids—in issue # 18 (If I recall correctly).  The WarCraft art shows characters with broad hands, but come on—The Hulk’s kind-of-hands is too exaggerated for an orc. And the bloated chest and shoulders in proportion with the head is definitely a turn off.  That fits alright with an ogre, but not an orc.

Enter Pop Mhan, starting with issue # 20.  The artist has provided to the public a sneak peek sketch from World of WarCraft # 20—and I can sincerely say it is awesome, and if he stays around long enough it will capture interest in veteran comic book readers, and new-coming WoW-players to this media.

Mhan’s sketch shows his maturity as an artist, the ability with depth and perspective.  This sketch shows huge hands like The Hulk but it is proportionate and stylized.  The inker has done an amazing job with his sketch with great detail and balance of light and shadow to complement Mhan’s artwork.  Strangely, he is not credited on the solicitations.  I would definitely want to see more of his work in the World of Warcraft ongoing series.

So far Mike Bowden and Ludo Lullabi have done a great work with the series. It would be hard for me to decide for one or the other. I enjoyed both runs.

I haven’t yet seen World of WarCraft # 20, so it is hard to review something blindly. Nevertheless, if a single image sample is worth a thousand words, Mahn has left me speechless and anxious to see more.

PTR 3.2 introduces a new Ravasaur Mount aimed specifically for players who are leveling up alt characters.  Its level requirement is lvl 40 to obtain.  You can find the Ravasaur Mount Trainer Mor’vek a bit north of the waterfall located at the southeastern entrance to Un’Goro Crater.

He will give you a quest titled Toxic Tolerance which requests you to get poisoned 20 times by a Venomhide Ravasaur.  This takes approximately 5-10 minutes to accomplish.  The idea is not to kill it, but to get hit by it until you complete the quest.  Thereafter, you have a few more quests to do and you will be given a Ravasaur Hatchling pet that you can summon.

Remember those awful days of grind to obtain the Frostsaber mount?  That’s a thing of the past.  Blizzard has ingeniously made this Ravasaur Mount grind much in accord to Wrath of the Lich King’s way to handle it—a daily quest.  Basically, you have to feed this Ravasaur Hatchling for 20 days for it to grow up.  Once you have completed the 20 daily quests, you will be given a grown up Ravasaur Mount (Very Fast Mount).

We have a special Ravasaur Mount guide for you as a sneak peek to find out how to get your hands on this mount for your low level character. However, even if you don’t need it at level 80—this mount counts toward your 100/100 Mount Achievement. Special thanks to Mizunie @ Skullcrusher for tips on how to get poisoned more efficiently.

Wrath of the Lich King PTR 3.2 is now live.  If you aren’t able to download the PTR, fret not.  We have a video of the new Druid forms to give you a glimpse of the variety of models your druid might look like.

Back on March, Rob Pardo commented at the GDC 2009 luminaries lunch that Blizzard and Microsoft were talking about the Xbox 360 successor.  It looked like Blizzard wanted a keyboard and mouse peripheral for the Xbox 360 to bring World of Warcraft to the consoles.  Blizzard has denied over and over that WoW would be in consoles, but that’s just a matter of time and a matter of when the technology and peripherals become available to introduce WoW on consoles.

Rob Pardo was interviewed by IndustryGamers, and he brought up once more details behind their meetings with Microsoft.  Microsoft must be actively working on new technology for the Xbox 360 successor besides the Project Natal product, because they sought Blizzard’s feedback to determine how to develop a console that suits their games.  Ain’t that exciting?  I can envision Wow, Diablo III and StarCraft II might embrace consoles someday.—read more

Just a few days ago, Kotick had threatened Sony to drop Activision support and game development if they didn’t drop console and royalty prices on the PS3.  It wouldn’t surprise me if Activision Blizzard is looking for ways to bring Blizzard games to consoles.

Blizzard Quote:
IG: We’ve yet to see a blockbuster MMO take off in the console space. Sony Online Entertainment is going to be bringing its MMOs to the PS3. What about Blizzard? You said you talked with Microsoft?

RP: Microsoft has shown us some stuff they have in development and they asked us our opinion about it

The Summer Festival kicks off on Sunday, check out our info page for a full list of bonfire locations:

Blizzard Quote:
Each summer, the arrival of the Midsummer Fire Festival signals a time of merriment and a chance to revel in the hottest season of the year by lighting celebratory bonfires across the land and sharing in what the elemental spirits have to offer. This year (beginning Saturday, June 21st and continuing until July 5), the festival features achievements.

Learn more about the Midsummer Fire Festival content in our recently updated page, which also includes a screenshot gallery. Once the event begins, submit your screenshots of Festival fun here.

With over 12 million subscribers worldwide, World of Warcraft is the biggest MMO community with global reach.  And Blizzard doesn’t stop its locomotion to reach every computer in the world.  WildTangent and Blizzard Entertainment have partnered to bring the World of Warcraft 14-day trial to every single Dell, HP, Acer, Toshiba and Lenovo PC and Laptop—say whoa?  Now that’s the stuff.  That means the WoW Trial will reach 75 million computers sold in the past three years. Amazing !!!

Millions of PC gamers can now try Blizzard Entertainment

Keith R.A. DeCandido is attending the Heroes Con in Charlotte, North Carolina this upcoming weekend (Father’s Day weekend) through June 19-21.  You will find him at the BOOM! Studios booth (# 514 and # 613).  Certainly, he is not there representing any of Blizzard’s pocket books, but he is very friendly and will welcome Blizzard fans. I met thim twice at the last two New York Comic Con events.  Feel free to bring copies of World of WarCraft: Cycle and StarCraft: Ghost Nova to get those signed.

You can find the booth locations in the Charlotte Convention Center Hall blueprint (PDF).
Locations of interest around the Charlotte Convention Center here.

Charlotte Convention Center (Google Map)
501 S College St
Charlotte, NC 28202‎


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