Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #1 out today!

The next Horizon Zero Dawn comic book arc begins today with Horizon Zero Dawn Liberation #1! Join Aloy and Erend as they hunt down a criminal with ties to Erend’s sister, Ersa. If you’ve played the Horizon Zero Dawn video game, you’ll hear new tales only previously hinted at. If you haven’t played yet, you’ll get a chance to learn about the world so many players have enjoyed. What have you got to lose? With five awesome covers, you’re sure to find one you like. Or all. I’m thinking all.

I enjoyed this opportunity to write and develop the story with Ben McCaw and the Guerrilla team. Our new artist, Elmer Damaso (Robotech), brought it all to life, with a host of other amazing artists adding their magic to the covers.

Artist: Elmer Damaso
Cover Artists: Peach Momoko (CVR A), Game Art (CVR B), Harvey Tolibao (CVR C), Ann Maulina (CVR D), Adrian Wilkins (CVR E), Blank Sketch (CVR F), Momoko Virgin Cover (CVR G)

A cover for Horizon Zero Dawn Liberation #1

Hunt down your copy of Horizon Zero Dawn: Liberation #1 at your local comic book shop, or on your digital device.

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Talking video games at Comic-con 2021!

Comic-Con@HomeEvery year, we make the pilgrimage down to San Diego. Okay, every year, we gather in spirit if not in flesh to celebrate the popular arts for Comic-con International. This year is no different. The Narrative Design for the Computer Gaming Industry panel kicks off tomorrow for Comic-con@Home with an awesome line-up of game writers, plus me. Come one, come all — no lines to get in and no camping out required!

Narrative Design for the Computer Gaming Industry

When: July 25, 2021, 11am PST
Where: Online!

Computer games have become the dominant narrative art form of the 21st century, and studies show that this trend will likely accelerate in the decades to come. With games like The Witcher and The Last of Us increasingly being adapted into other mediums, the writers behind these worlds are paving the way for the future universes of pop culture. Learn what it takes to become a narrative designer from Anne Toole (Horizon Zero Dawn), John Zuur Platten (Jurassic World Evolution 2), Leanne TaylorGiles (Broken Roads), Lauren Stone (Tom Clancy’s The Division), and Neal Hallford (Dungeon Siege) in a panel moderated by Jana Hallford (Swords & Circuitry: A Designer’s Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games).

Look forward to “seeing” you!

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ICYMI: Writing comics and transmedia

Curious about comics navigating the wild world of other media? If you missed our conversation about comics and transmedia at LockDownCon II — like I nearly did! — It’s not too late! You can still watch it online. This past Sunday, I joined a fine assemblage of creators in comics and other media to discuss the state of comics and carrying IP and storytelling across platforms. Feel free to take a gander!

Across the Line Comics in a Transmedia World panel details

“Across the Line: Comics In a Transmedia World”
Sunday, June 27th, first panel

Comics are everywhere these days, and they are increasingly the source material from which movies and television are drawing inspiration. The writers and artists behind some of the hottest mainstream and indie comics chime in with their thoughts about the pervasive influence of sequential storytelling and how it may, or may not, have altered the way they create their works.
Geoffrey Thorne (Green Lantern), Anne Toole (Horizon Zero Dawn), Nancy Holder (Mary Shelley Presents Tales of the Supernatural), Kayden Phoenix (A La Brava, Universe of Latina Superheroes)​, John Zuur Platten (St. Mercy)

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Speaking on Writing & Narrative Design Panel tomorrow!

The show must go on, virtually! I will be speaking on writing and narrative design for games tomorrow as part of the SGDA Summit 2021. The event runs today and tomorrow and features a lot of other great workshops and panels on art, design, production, and more. I will be speaking on a panel along with two other fantastic writers and narrative designers.

Writing & Narrative Design Panel
Where: Twitch
When: Sunday, May 30, 2021, 10am PDT
Who:
Tori Schafer, Senior Narrative & Content Designer at Proletariat Inc. (she/her)
Jay Turner, Senior Narrative Designer at Obsidian Entertainment (he/him)
Anne Toole, yup, that’s me!

Feel free to join us, or check out the other events going on this weekend!

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Out today! Women of Marvel #1

Women of Marvel #1 Peach Momoko coverWOMEN OF MARVEL #1 is out today, including a short story I wrote featuring Misty Knight! Artist Kei Zama and I followed Misty as she stumbled upon a mystery on an average Saturday morning in Harlem. In this 52-page extravaganza, we join a host of other creators to deliver 13 stories featuring some of the best characters Marvel has to offer. Here’s the blurb:

WHO RUN THE WORLD? YOU ALREADY KNOW. CELEBRATE THE WOMEN OF MARVEL WITH AN EXTRAVAGANZA OF EXTRAORDINARY TALENT! The future is female! Get in on the ground floor with this amazing assembly of writers and artists from all over entertainment. Comics legend Louise Simonson kicks things off with a must-read introduction! Nadia Shammas punches the glass ceiling with the Jade Giantess! Elsa Sjunneson grits her way to the front line with Captain Peggy Carter! Sophie Campbell goes feral with a bone-grinding Marrow story! Video game-and-comics writer Anne Toole (dat me!) makes her Marvel debut in a blaze of glory! Natasha Alterici of Heathen fame charges sword-first into the Marvel Universe! With astonishing art from new and established artists Kei Zama (TransformersDEATH’S HEAD), Eleonora Carlini (Go Go Power RangersBatgirl), Skylar Patridge (ResonantRelics of Youth), Joanna Estep (FANTASTIC FOURFraggle Rock) and more, you’re sure to come away powered up and ready to slay—in high heels and boots alike.

The comic boasts a number of alternate covers, including one from Peach Momoko (see above), who also did alternates for HORIZON ZERO DAWN. If you’re curious about WOMEN OF MARVEL #1, check out the motion comic trailer! Plus, get a preview of our story on the jump.

And here’s an art preview for Misty Knight in “A Saturday Morning in Harlem”

Misty Knight walks along Harlem streets and notices police outside a deli.

So hop on over to your LCBS (local comic book shop), pick up WOMEN OF MARVEL #1 today, and make yours Marvel!

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Writing for the Dishonored TRPG

Arkane’s DISHONORED the video game has become DISHONORED the tabletop roleplay game, published by Modiphius. The games, set in a steampunk-esque fictional world, follow outlaws who walk the line between noble hero and a type of sorcerer drawing dark powers from one known as the Outsider.

The DISHONORED Core Rulebook came out last year and features rules, setting information, and more for your roleplaying game pleasure. While many fantabulous writers and designers contributed to the 300-page book, I wrote the “Jewel of the South” chapter. In it, I described the history and challenges of Serkonos, the southernmost island of the Empire of the Isles. The eponymous “Jewel of the South,” the city of Karnaca, was the setting of DISHONORED 2. 

The tabletop game uses the 2d20 System. You can buy the DISHONORED Core Rulebook on Amazon or the DISHONORED pdf on DriveThruRPG. Even if you haven’t played the game, the core rulebook has plenty of information to not only get you started, but provide a deep into the world of DISHONORED. 

 

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Vencedor, Best Narrative and HORIZON ZERO DAWN: The Sunhawk out now!

Two good newses for the price of one! HORIZON ZERO DAWN: THE SUNHAWK, the graphic novel collecting the first arc of the HORIZON ZERO DAWN comic book series, came out last week. In addition, HOLOCRIMES, a mobile AR game to which I contributed my writing skillz, won Best Narrative at the Brazilian SB Games Festival.

Horizon Zero Dawn Sunhawk cover with Talanah and AloyTitan Comics published HORIZON ZERO DAWN: THE SUNHAWK to collect the best-selling comic series into a graphic novel. The original Issue #1, which came out in August, was the top selling non-Marvel comic, outselling Batman! It’s also Titan’s best-selling comic ever! Featuring Talanah, the Sunhawk of the Hunters Lodge, the complete tale recounts what happens to Aloy’s friend Talanah after the events of the first game. The collection is barely a week old, so you’re not too late to pick up a copy. With art from Ann Maulina, and colors from Bryan Valenza, it’s definitely worth a peep!

Not to be outdone, HOLOCRIMES: AR INVESTIGATION took home the trophy for Best Narrative at SBGames Recife 2020, the Festival Virtual de Jogos. The game, developed by Brazilian developer Black River Studios, puts the player at the scene of a crime, in a grounded science fiction world where murders might hint at a greater conspiracy.

🏆 Vencedor Melhor Narrativa

HOLOCRIMES also earned nominations in Best Design, Best Tech, and Best Mobile Game. Congrats to the whole team!

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Story published in STAR WARS anthology

From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars) by Anne Toole, Seth Dickinson, Hank Green, R. F. Kuang, Martha Wells and Kiersten White

Would you like to read a Star War? How about 40? You’re in luck! I wrote a short story for FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, which comes out today! This anthology features 40 stories from 40 authors celebrating the 40th anniversary of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Authors include Hank Green, Martha Wells, and Gary Whitta.

It’s my very first Star War, so you can imagine I’m very excited! I never thought when I watched the original trilogy as a kid that I would one day be writing a story set in that world — alongside a host of excellent writers, to boot!

The stories take place during, in, and around the events of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. They include beloved characters as well as originals new to the STAR WARS universe. My story centers on the latter and takes place on Bespin after Lando saves Luke and Leia. If you ever wondered what happened to Cloud City after Lando leaves it to the Imperials, this is the story for you.

Image

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the premiere of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, the proceeds of the anthology will be donated to First Book—a leading nonprofit that provides new books, learning materials, and other essentials to educators and organizations serving children in need.

So what are you waiting for? Celebrate, give back, and read good stuff all at the same time! You can order the anthology here or at your local book shop.

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Original series and game narrative earn nods at two festivals

Too Hollywood a headline? Nah. Two projects of mine earned their way to some laurels this month. First up, THE ICE & TIMES OF RACHEL W. was selected as an Official Selection for Stareable Fest, celebrating web series and indie TV talent. Second, HOLOCRIMES has advanced to finalist in narrative at the Festival de Jogos do SBGames Recife 2020, a festival for the Brazilian games industry. I contributed to the narrative, but I promise I didn’t commit any of the crimes!

Stareable Official SelectionICE & TIMES is a hybrid fictional/documentary short-form series intended to inspire women to pursue STEM fields. If picked up, the series would follow a young woman going on the adventure of a lifetime as she participates in research expeditions in Antarctica.

HOLOCRIMES: AR INVESTIGATION allows the player to participate in a remote investigation of crimes as a new investigator. Solving these crimes may unveil a plot that menaces more than just the victims. Available for any detective using an Android. In addition to its nomination for Best Narrative, HOLOCRIMES is also a finalist in the Best Mobile Game, Best Design, and Best Technology categories. Maybe crime does pay.

If you’ve had a chance to play the game, I’d definitely love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment below.

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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?

PANELISTS
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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