Tag Archives: david gaider

NYCC 2012 – Gaider Delivers New Dragon Age Series for Dark Horse

Dark Horse announced the third installment of the wildly popular Dragon Age series! David Gaider—the lead writer of the Dragon Age games—takes three of the games’ most beloved characters on a quest into the realm of nightmares, demons, and magic.

King Alistair, allied with the world’s most feared warrior race—the Qunari—the pirate Isabela, and the rogue Varric, brings a battle royal to the evil mage responsible for his father’s disappearance!

With scripts by Alexander Freed and art by Chad Hardin, Dragon Age: Until We Sleep is an essential addition to the Dragon Age canon.

Heart-stopping action in jaw-dropping settings—Until We Sleep is everything you love about fantasy! Whether you’re a longtime Dragon Age fan or a newcomer, this is the beginning of an epic drama you cannot miss!

Dragon Age: Until We Sleep is on sale March 27, 2013!

Review – Dragon Age: The Silent Grove

The plot of Dragon Age: The Silent Grove follows Alistair, an erstwhile mage-hunter (who you may have slept with if you played Dragon Age: Origins), Varric, a beardless dwarf rogue and raconteur, and Isabella, a pirate captain whose main distinction is that she will sleep with anyone (including you, if you played Dragon Age 2) on their quest to find someone whom everyone else thought was dead. Obstacles in their path include an elite group of assassins known as the Antivan Crows, a powerful sorceress and, of course, a really big dragon.

I was a little worried when I heard that David Gaider would doing the writing for this book. Gaider, the head writer for Bioware‘s Dragon Age video games, does a great job writing games, but his novel, The Stolen Throne was just god awful. Fortunately he is only credited with the story and script writer Alexander Freed  does a fine job of giving the artist the proper cues and capturing the voices of the various characters, so much so that I could almost hear voice actors reading the dialog. Each of the six chapters, which are digital exclusives you can download for 99 cents through the Dark Horse app, feel like fifteen minute episodes of a well made web series, and provide a satisfying experience while making you want to read more. There are revelations and surprises galore and the story feels essential to the Dragon Age canon, a nice change of pace in an age of superfluous tie-ins.

Chad Hardin‘s art feels a little bit rushed at the beginning of the story, but by the end  it really becomes quite good. Even at his roughest, Hardin never fails to capture the Dragon Age aesthetic. The main characters are all on model, and the locations feel like places you might explore in-game. The Antivans (Dragon Age‘s analog for Renaissance Italians) are not a group we’ve seen much of before but their design  fits so well that you have to wonder what the people at Bioware are planning for their next installment.

For all it’s good points, The Silent Grove does have some flaws. The first issue is weak in both art and story, so much so that if it weren’t for the introduction of a single major character I would recommend skipping it and starting with issue 2. Major plot threads are also left unresolved at the end of issue 6. You’re left with the impression that you’ve just read a prelude to something else,  be it the next game in the franchise or another comic book series.

While Dark Horse‘s first effort does feel more like Dragon Age than Orson Scott Card‘s failed IDW title (which the folks at Bioware seem as eager to forget  as I am),  some of the more distinctive elements of the setting are still missing.  There is no discussion of any of the hot button issues that made the original game feel so unique. Race, class, religion, gender and sexuality are all pretty  much ignored. Only two female characters appear and both could have walked right out of the pages of a Robert E. Howard story. It’s not as though Dark Horse is pandering to the morons  that make up the lowest common denominator of the Bioware fan base, but Silent Grove is a very safe book that seems calculated not to offend them. The book really feels like a game of Dungeons and Dragons, that was heavily inspired by the Dragon Age setting. If that’s what you’re after, and you don’t already have a connection to this particular game world, than you’re better off investing in IDW’s superior Dungeons and Dragons series.

Another problem is the way in which the book is laid out. This is a digital exclusive and presumably was designed to be read on an ipad or a comparable tablet, so why are there two page spreads that will only look really good when the book is printed for trade? Mostly it was just annoying but at one point in issue 6, I read the balloons in the wrong order because of the way the panels were laid out. Dark Horse provides reviewers promotional copies in PDF that Dark Horse so I didn’t  have the benefit of a guided view, but I seldom choose to use that feature when it’s available. My preference is to read page by page with my device oriented horizontally to imitate a physical book and it feels a little like I’m being penalized for this. If Dark Horse is serious about these digital exclusives they need to make more of an effort to think about the different ways in which readers like to experience digital entertainment.

In the end what you think of Dragon Age: The Silent Spring will largely depend on whether or not you enjoyed  Dragon Age: Origins and/or Dragon Age 2. For fans of the games it’s a fun book  that raise some intriguing questions to keep the wheels turning during what promises to be a long development cycle of Dragon Age 3 so this is a definite buy. If you didn’t like Dragon Age, than nothing here is going to change your mind.  Those who have never ventured into this universe at all may find themselves adrift  since The Silent Grove largely relies upon a reader’s previous connections to the character’s and the setting, and provides only the barest glimpse of what made the games so much fun. If you’re one of these people I’d recommend buying the first two issues to see how much you like the series, or waiting for one of Dark Horse Digital’s bundle sales.

Writers: David Gaider and Alexander Freed; Art: Chad Hardin

Story: 8   Art: 8   Overall: 8

A free copy of this product was provided to Graphic Policy for review.

Dark Horse and BioWare Unveil Dragon Age Digital Comics!

Official Press Release

DARK HORSE COMICS TEAMS UP WITH BIOWARE

TO UNVEIL A NEW DRAGON AGE DIGITAL COMIC SERIES

Dark Horse Comics announced an all-new digital comic series based on BioWare’s dark, fantasy RPG series, Dragon Age™. Written by Dragon Age Lead Writer, David Gaider, and featuring original art by Chad Hardin (Stan Lee’s The Traveler, Web of Spider-Man, The Spirit), the deep and fascinating lore surrounding the Dragon Age universe will unfold, as new adventures will come to light in the comic series.

The thrilling, six-part series will feature a riveting story that takes fans of the critically-acclaimed Dragon Age franchise deeper into the RPG’s mythology. Readers will follow Alistair, Isabela, and Varric, three important heroes from Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II, as they travel to Antiva, a nation ruled by deadly assassins. The comic series’ heroes will embark on an epic journey to uncover one of the greatest secrets in the history of Thedas while encountering a dangerous prison break and the mysterious and feared Witch of the Wilds.

Dark Horse Comics will release the six-part comic series exclusively at www.digital.darkhorse.com for $0.99 each starting February 22, 2012.

Dark Horse Unveils Signing Schedule for New York Comic Con 2011!

Official Press Release

DARK HORSE UNVEILS SIGNING SCHEDULE FOR NEW YORK COMIC CON 2011!

SEPTEMBER 30, MILWAUKIE, OR—What do a rock star, the lead writer of Mass Effect, and the ever-charming and talented Ms. Becky Cloonan all have in common? They’re all signing at the Dark Horse booth!

Following up on Wednesday’s announcement of Dark Horse’s 2011 New York Comic Con programming, it’s the moment you’ve been waiting for: the 2011 Dark Horse New York Comic Con schedule!

The full schedule of Dark Horse’s in-booth signings and activities can be found below:

ALL DAY, EVERY DAY:

Spin the Dark Horse prize wheel for a chance to win free digital comics, including Mass Effect and Star Wars: Crimson Empire bundles!

Thursday, October 13

6:00 p.m. FREE T-SHIRTS, COMICS! Come to the Dark Horse booth for a chance to win a Hellboy T-shirt and free digital comics!

Friday, October 14

10:30 a.m. The Occultist—Tim Seeley (Hack/Slash) and Jenny Frison (Criminal Macabre)

11:00 a.m. Bunny in the Moon—Tara McPherson

11:00 a.m. FREE T-SHIRTS, COMICS! Come to the Dark Horse booth for a chance to win a Hellboy T-shirt and free digital comics!

11:30 a.m. Orchid—Tom Morello (Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave, The Nightwatchman) and Scott Hepburn (Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic)

FREE Orchid poster featuring art by Massimo Carnevale. Ticketed event. Please talk to a Dark Horse staff member at the show.

12:30 p.m. Dethklok—Jon Schnepp, Jeremy Barlow, and Nate Piekos

1:30 p.m. The Immortal—Ian Edginton

FREE poster revealing never-before-seen art from the upcoming comic The Immortal, adapted from an acclaimed Japanese novel and written by Ian Edginton (Scarlet Traces, Star Trek: Early Voyages, Warhammer 40,000)

2:00 p.m. FREE T-SHIRTS, COMICS! Come to the Dark Horse booth for a chance to win a The Thing movie T-shirt and free digital comics! Read the FREE digital prequel comic of The Thing now!

2:30 p.m. Star Wars—Andrea Mutti

Find out what Star Wars series Andrea Mutti (Rage) will be working on at Friday’s Dark Horse panel (1:30–2:30 p.m., Room 1A15).

3:30 p.m. The Massive—Brian Wood and Kristian Donaldson (DMZ)

4:30 p.m. Star Wars: Jedi—The Dark Side—Scott Allie and Mahmud Asrar

6:30 p.m. Dr. McNinja—Christopher Hastings

Saturday, October 15

10:30 a.m. Mass Effect—Mac Walters

11:00 a.m. FREE T-SHIRTS, COMICS! Come to the Dark Horse booth for a chance to win a Hellboy T-shirt and free digital comics!

11:30 a.m. The Last Dragon—Jane Yolen and Rebecca Guay

FREE face painting inspired by The Last Dragon! FREE miniprint to the first one hundred people in line for the signing.

12:30 p.m. House of Night—Jenny Frison

Get Marked! FREE House of Night face painting during the signing with cover artist Jenny Frison! FREE House of Night poster. And the first twenty-five people in line for the signing will receive a copy of The Fledgling Handbook 101 by P. C. Cast with Kim Doner from St. Martin’s Press!

1:30 p.m. Beasts of Burden—Evan Dorkin

1:30 p.m. Avatar: The Last Airbender—FREE face-painting event

2:30 p.m. Dragon Age—David Gaider and Mike Laidlaw

FREE print to the first one hundred people in line to meet the lead writer and lead designer of Dragon Age!

3:30 p.m. Angel & Faith—Christos Gage and Rebekah Isaacs

4:00 p.m. FREE T-SHIRTS, COMICS! Come to the Dark Horse booth for a chance to win a Hellboy T-shirt and free digital comics!

4:30 p.m. Comic TBA—Brian Wood (DMZ, Demo, Northlanders) and Becky Cloonan (Demo, Pixu)

Find out what Dark Horse comic Brian Wood and Becky Cloonan are going to be working on together at Friday’s Dark Horse panel (1:30–2:30 p.m., Room 1A15)!

5:30 p.m. Evelyn, Evelyn—Cynthia von Buhler

Sunday, October 16

10:00 a.m. Beanworld—Larry Marder

10:30 a.m. FREE T-SHIRTS, COMICS! Come to the Dark Horse booth for a chance to win a Hellboy T-shirt and free digital comics!

11:00 a.m. Mignolaverse—Mike Mignola and John Arcudi

Ticketed event. Please talk to a Dark Horse staff member at the show.

12:00 p.m. Creepy—Dan Braun

It’s trick-or-treat time, but not for the kiddos! FREE Creepy comics to the first one hundred people in line, plus an array of crazy Creepy prizes just in time for All Hallow’s Eve!

1:00 p.m. Behind the Scenes of Mass Effect—Mac Walters

Mac Walters discusses the process of writing Mass Effect comics and walks through a digital preview of Mass Effect: Invasion #1.

2:00 p.m. FREE T-SHIRTS, COMICS! Come to the Dark Horse booth for a chance to win a Hellboy T-shirt and free digital comics!

2:30 p.m. Kult—Jeremy Barlow

3:00 p.m. Robert E. Howard’s Savage Sword—Jeremy Barlow, Paul Tobin, and Joshua Williamson

4:00 p.m. Falling Skies—Paul Tobin and Juan Ferreyra

Are you missing Falling Skies? Talk to the creators of the preview comic and get a Falling Skies pin from TNT, while supplies last!

Keep your eyes on the Dark Horse blog for further announcements on signings, in-booth events, green-screen photo ops, and so much more!