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Skylanders Launch Into Comics With New IDW Graphic Novel

Skylanders: The Kaos TrapSkylanders, the mega-hit toy/videogame line branches into a new format – graphic novels – with Skylanders: The Kaos Trap ($9.99, 978-1-63140-141-1). Published by IDW Publishing, the graphic novel features a script by game writer Ron Marz and art by Mike Bowden (DC Comics' World of Warcraft) and David Baldeón (Marvel Comics' Nomad: Girl Without a World).

Based on the Activision game, The Kaos Trap features fan-favorite characters Spyro, Stealth Elf, Trigger Happy, and more in all-new, original stories that tie directly into the video game, offering fans a deeper look at their onscreen heroes. The graphic novel will also reveal new characters not yet seen in the game.

Skylanders has proven to be a major force in the video game scene and has been a consistent bestseller globally since its debut in 2011. Instead of the usual cartridges, players enter the game by placing figures on game "portals" which allow them to play that character in the game. Along with allowing access to the game, the figure also doubles as a physical toy kids (and older players) can play with in real life.

BookShelf spoke with IDW Managing Editor and Skylanders Editor David Hedgecock to get some background on the new graphic novel.

Diamond BookShelf: Can you introduce us to the comic? How does it tie into the game?

David Hedgecock: These are the brand-new, official adventures of all your favorite Skylanders characters from the hit Activision video game. If you are a fan of Skylanders, this comic book series is going to fill you in on the lives and stories of all the different characters you know and love. Secret Origin of Trigger Happy? Check!
In Skylanders vol. 1: The Kaos Trap, we are treated to a story that bridges the gap from the last video game, Swap Force, and the new video game launching in October, Trap Team. If you want to know what the villainous Kaos has been up to in between games, this book is the only place to find out!

How did you get the creative team together for the book? What made you decide to go with these creators (Ron, Mike, and David)?

David Rodriguez is one of the chief writers and architects for the Skylanders video game franchise and a full time comic geek. When it came time to decide who would write the comic book, David suggested Ron Marz join the team as he had already done writing for the video game and was very familiar with the property. Ron might not be best known for his all-ages comic book writing, but he should be! Ron & David are producing some great stories that are fun and are considered "in-canon."

As for the art teams, we've managed to put together an amazing list of artistic talent. Mike Bowden, David Baldeón, and Fico Ossio comprise our rotating team of artists, and they are partnered with some equally talented colorists, including David's long time colorist David Garcia Cruz (there are a LOT of David's working on this book).

Were/are there any unique challenges in bringing Skylanders to comics?

The whole thing came together pretty seamlessly. Activision has been incredibly supportive, and the writers and artists have all been laboring to produce the best work they can. There were some fairly aggressive deadlines for us to bring this first hardcover to the world in time for the game launch but nothing that the team couldn't handle. I'm proud of the job everyone did and thankful they made my part in all of it so easy!

For you, what's the best/coolest thing about Skylanders?

I heard an anecdote from one of the nice folks at Activision that there were almost fights for the last few copies of the Skylanders #0 comic that was only available at San Diego Comic Con this past July. The fact that the people working on this property every day were that excited about our little comic makes me think we've done something right (and we sent more #0 issues to Activision after that, so everybody is happy).

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Skylanders: The Kaos Trap is scheduled for September release, and is suggested for Kids (6+) readers who enjoy fantasy adventures or are fans of the game.