Speaking on Games x Comics at PAX Online today

PAX West and PAX Aus are combining for the global PAX Online Experience |  PowerUp!Today’s the day! I’ll be joining a host of other talented folks to speak about writing for games and comics in the virtual experience of PAX Online! Watch the stream, then join us on Discord for a Q&A to get the last ounce of value from our lovely and fearless panelists!

Games x Comics – Complimentary Mediums?

When: Today! September 17, 2020, 1pm PST
Where: PAX Online

Games and Comics have an overlapping audience in spite of their differences. Interactive vs. passive consumption, moving vs. static images – but what are the traits they share that draw people to both? What are some of the similarities and differences in how they can be used to tell their stories, and how can the two be used to boost each other within a franchise?

Cade Peterson [CEO, MidBoss], JJSignal [Creative Director, MidBoss], Sina Grace [Comics Writer (formerly MARVEL, currently IDW, Archie Comics, BOOM! Comics, PT), freelance], John Barber [Editor-In-Chief, IDW Publishing], Mary Kenney [Writer, Insomniac Games (Video games: MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES and THE WALKING DEAD: THE FINAL SEASON)  (Comics: READ-ONLY MEMORIES and MY LITTLE PONY)], Anne Toole [Writer, HORIZON ZERO DAWN (game and comic), CURSE OF THE PHARAOHS (ASSASSIN’S CREED ORIGINS), and HALO: LONE WOLF (comic), freelance], Sam Maggs [Writer, video games and comics (Comics: MARVEL ACTION: CAPTAIN MARVEL; TRANSFORMERS: GALAXIES. Video games: SPIDER-MAN: THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS; RATCHET & CLANK: RIFT APART)]

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Horizon Zero Dawn #1 out today!

The official first issue for the Horizon Zero Dawn comic book series I wrote is available now in comic book stores! It’s always been a dream of mine to see my comics sitting on the shelf alongside other great creators. It was a privilege to work with such a great artist in Ann Maulina, and I’m only slightly biased because we share the sam(e) nam(e). I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed making it.

The Free Comic Book Day (Summer) issue is still available in some stores, too, so you can go and pick up today’s Horizon Zero Dawn #1 while you’re getting your free comic! You can also find a digital copy of Horizon Zero Dawn #1 on Comixology.

The comic has 6 variant covers, as well as 3 virgin covers — Titan really went all out.

Horizon Zero Dawn #1 (virgin variant)

Publisher: Titan Comics
Written by Me!
Art: Ann Maulina
Colors: Bryan Valenza
Letters: Jim Campbell

Following the events of the game and issue 0, Horizon Zero Dawn #1 follows Talanah as she pursues a contract for a machine and stumbles across a new breed… and a mysterious man in the woods. Explore a world dominated by awe-inspiring machines, as humanity fights for survival on this new earth.


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Speaking on narrative in games at SDCC Comic-Con@Home

Today as part of Comic-Con@Home, I’ll be speaking on a virtual panel on Narrative Design for Computer Games. I spoke earlier this week on a panel for Horizon Zero Dawn Comes to Comics, which has reached nearly 2,000 views, all of them me 😉 .

Narrative Design for Computer Games
When: July 25, 2020 at 10am PST
Where: Online
Industry vets Neal Hallford (Betrayal at Krondor), Haris Orkin (Call of Juarez), Anne Toole (Horizon Zero Dawn), and Xalavier Nelson Jr. (We Are the Caretakers) break down how narratives are crafted and executed in the gaming industry. Moderated by Jana Hallford (Swords & Circuitry: A Designer’s Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games).

Join us!

Later, I’ll be heading over to Golden Apple Comics for some Free Comic Book Day/Summer comics, including the free Horizon Zero Dawn comic I wrote! For more details, check it here.

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Free Horizon Zero Dawn comic & SDCC Panel today!

HORIZON ZERO DAWN continues with a comic I wrote, and its first 0 issue is free at your local comic book store for Free Comic Book Day! If that’s not enough, as part of #ComicConAtHome and #SDCC2020, you can join 842 (!) other attendees today at 2pm PST at our panel to learn more about how Horizon Zero Dawn Comes To Comics. What are you getting yourself in for? Read on…


Issue 0 launches the HORIZON ZERO DAWN comic mini-series and continues the story of the popular game. Sunhawk of the Hunters Lodge, Talanah finds herself stuck in Meridian until a battle with a Ravager at the very gates sets her on a new adventure. You can get her comic for free today at a participating comic book store near you! Find a store with your zip code here: https://www.freecomicbookday.com/

The San Diego Comic-con/ Comic-con @home panel today unites the creatives from all over the world who brought this comic to life. Comic-con @home is free for everyone, so hop on for some streaming fun!

Horizon Zero Dawn Comes To Comics
When: Today, July 23, @2pm PST
Where: Online
This August, Titan Comics and Guerrilla will embark on an exciting adventure together, as the first original comic book series set in the world of the global smash-hit PS4 game Horizon Zero Dawn comes to comics. In this panel, Titan Entertainment’s Andrew Sumner Duncan Baizley talk to the creative team behind this hotly-anticipated comic book launch! Writer Anne Toole, artist Ann Maulina, Guerrilla narrative director Ben McCaw, principal artist Gilbert Sanders and Guerrilla studio director/art director Jan-Bart van Beek discuss bringing the critically-acclaimed Horizon world to this illustrated medium.
Social media and buy links: https://linktr.ee/TitanPanels

“See” you then!

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Scribe Awards nomination for Pet Noir!

SCRIBE-v3-medPet Noir, the graphic novel for which I wrote two issues, was nominated for a Scribe Award! Pet Noir follows the tale (or tail?) of a genetically engineered cat who solves crimes on an international space station. Awarded by the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, the Scribe Awards acknowledge and celebrate excellence in licensed tie-in novels based on TV shows, movies, and games.

While the 2019 nominations covered audio dramas as well as an array of novels, I am honored to join this illustrious list of nominees for graphic novel:

Blade Runner 2019: Los Angeles by Michael Green and Mike Johnson
Doctor who—the Thirteenth Doctor: Old Friends by Jody Houser
Pet Noir by Anne Toole, Christie Yant, and Pati Nagle
Star Trek—Year Five: Valentine’s Day Special by Paul Cornell
The Wrath of Fantomas by Olivier Bouquet

Congrats to all the nominees, and here’s to making more cool comics in 2020!

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LockDownCon tonight! Speaking on Narrative Design for Games

What are you doing tonight? Hopefully you’ll be “attending” the first, hopefully not annual LockDownCon! I’ll be speaking on a panel about game writing in just a few short hours, so you’ll have your opportunity to learn from a bunch of fine writers and narrative designers. Here are the details:

Narrative Design For Computer Games


When: Friday, June 26th, 2020, 7pm PST
Where: Online
Who: Neal Hallford, Anne Toole, Haris Orkin, Xalavier Nelson Jr., Whitney Beltrán, Jana Hallford (M)

If you’re a fan of games, comics, cosplay and more, check out the rest of the agenda for LockDownCon, which will continue all weekend! It’s completely free!

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Game Writing Interview from the Level Up Conference

If you want to learn more about my game writing process, check out this interview that was just posted from the Level Up Conference in 2019. Over the course of two minutes, I solve all of game writing and also discuss the IGDA Women in Games SIG. It’s amazing. Check it out.

It may be some time before I’ll be speaking in person at a conference, but videos live forever! For better or worse.

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Writing for Beyond Blue, now available!

Beyond Blue, a game I wrote for, has recently launched on Apple Arcade. Subscribers can now explore the game exclusively through First Look, diving deep into the scientific mysteries of the deep ocean. Developed in partnership with BBC Studios (Blue Planet II), OceanX Media, and E-Line Media (Never Alone), Beyond Blue will also come to consoles later in the year. Eurogamer has already had a chance to enjoy it.

Beyond Blue is a single-player narrative adventure that takes you deep into our planet’s beating blue heart. Set in the near future, Beyond Blue explores the mysteries of our ocean through the eyes of Mirai, a deep sea explorer and scientist.

I contributed to the story and dialog while collaborating with subject matter experts to create a fun, meditative, and ultimately hopeful experience about the future of our oceans. Now we just have to make it happen in real life.

[an image of a diver swimming over the ocean floor with dolphins]


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For Women’s Day, speaking twice on writing!

Sherocon 2020, a comic book convention, and Digital LA’s Digital Women’s Day Retreat, will be hosting me as well as a bunch of other fine women to discuss writing for games, comics, digital, and more. If you’re in LA this weekend, armed with hand sanitizer, and interested in learning more about writing cross platform or game narrative, come on down!


First up is the second annual Sherocon! In honor of Women’s History Month, SheroCon 2020 offers a bunch of comics exhibitors and speakers, as well as a costume contest. This free, family-friendly event runs from noon-6pm. I’ll be joining a panel of women writers to discuss writing across multiple media.

Women in Film panel
Where: Main Stage at Sherocon 2020, Westfield Culver City Mall
When: Saturday, March 7, 2pm
Kay Oyegun (This is Us)
Mairghread Scott (Guardians of the Galaxy)
Anne Toole (me!) (Horizon Zero Dawn)

If you want to learn more about writing, or want to hear about some of the awesome projects the panelists have worked on, you know where to find us!

But wait, there’s more! On Sunday, I’ll be speaking at Digital LA’s Digital Women International Women’s Day Retreat. See more below.


This afternoon event features entrepreneurs and content creators as well as bands, an optional game of basketball, and networking. I’ll likely be joining the panel at 12:15pm, then hosting a breakout session on writing at 1-2pm. Don’t forget the LA marathon and Daylight Savings on Sunday. Plan accordingly!

Digital Women Panel
Where: Main Stage at PodShare Venice, 522 Venice Blvd., Los Angeles
When: Saturday, March 7, 12:15pm
– Alexis Schomer (Expy Health, Co-Founder)
– Olga Kay (Moosh Walks, Founder)
– Elvina Beck (PodShare, Founder)
– Arielle Nissenblatt (EarBuds Podcast Collective, Founder)
– Eraina Ferguson (Founder of My Good Life)
– Anne Toole, (me!) WGA-Award winning Writer
– Moderator: Kevin Winston (Digital LA, CEO/Founder)

Writing Breakout Session
Where: PodShare Venice
When: Saturday, March 8, 1-2pm
Who: Anne Toole, (me!) WGA-Award winning Writer

I’ll be hosting an intimate group of people interested in learning more about writing, working in games, and more. Bring your questions, get some answers!

Hope you celebrate International Women’s Day, whether at these fine events, or from the safety of your home!

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Congrats on THE WITCHER’s 76 million viewers – but not of the game

Image result for witcherNetflix’s THE WITCHER apparently reached 76 million viewers in its first month of release, making it Netflix’s biggest premiere ever. Congrats to everyone involved! And, in an abundance of clarity, I was not one of them 😆 I was one of several credited writers on the first WITCHER video game along with my then writing partner Sande Chen.

Why do I feel the need to clarify? Because this week a friend reached out to me and asked, “Aren’t you rich yet?😁


Alas, no. The games and series are both based on best-selling novels from Polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. To him go the glory and the spoils. You can see bits of Eastern European mythology seeping in that make the Witcher’s world stand out. While the games offer more of a sequel to the books, the Netflix series adapts the books themselves.

The popularity of the Netflix series has been a boon to the games, however. WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT (also no affiliation), just recorded its highest number of players ever, despite being released in 2015. I guess to CJ Projekt Red and Steam go some of those spoils.


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