8:43am PT by Graeme McMillan
Dark Horse Unveils New Line of Original 'How to Train Your Dragon' Graphic Novels (Exclusive)
Announced at New York Comic Con on Friday, Dark Horse Comics and DreamWorks Animation are teaming up for a new series of graphic novels based on the How to Train Your Dragon franchise, starting with next year's How to Train Your Dragon: The Serpent's Heir.
The new series will be co-written by Dean DeBlois, writer and director on the HTTYD movies, and Richard Hamilton, writer of Dragons: Race to the Edge, with cover artwork by Pierre-Olivier Vincent, production designer on How to Train Your Dragon 2. The interior artist for the project has yet to be named.
"These graphic novels mark an exciting expansion for the riders of Berk, offering the first glimpse into what happens to Hiccup, Toothless and the other Vikings following the conclusion of the second film," DeBlois told THR about the series. "These stories open up for the riders to discover new lands, meet new heroes and villains, and encounter never-before-seen dragons on new adventures. Most excitingly, these novels are moving into a time we haven’t yet explored across any format."
"The great thing about Dragons is that it's uniquely built for comics, which is a testament to Dean's work in the films and Cressida Cowell's phenomenal book series," Hamilton added. "It has such compelling characters, tons of action, and a deep, rich lore that's ideal for serialized storytelling. And the reason why comics are great for Dragons is that they really free us up to tell different kinds of stories. We have the best artists and animators in the business working on the films and TV episodes, but they have to be mindful of budgets and runtimes. And certain things, like snow and water interaction, are incredibly expensive to animate. Not so with comics, so look for some intense arctic and underwater adventures very, very soon in the books."
The first book in the series, The Serpent's Heir, "picks up in the hours following the conclusion of How to Train Your Dragon 2," DeBlois teased. "Berk’s Dragon Riders must answer an earthquake-plagued island’s distress call. Along the way, they meet new dragons and a disturbing enemy, all while Hiccup and Toothless are growing into their roles of Chief and Alpha."
But that doesn't mean that the greater mythology of the franchise won't be explored in the comics, Hamilton revealed. "We will absolutely be diving into the backstories of a lot of our characters, both human and dragon, good and evil," he said. "Enriching the characters' backstories lets us provide new context and meaning to their adventures in the films and TV. And if we do our jobs right, it'll also plant the seeds for their brand-new adventures in the graphic novels, too."
How to Train Your Dragon: The Serpent's Heir will be released in 2016.
New York Comic Con continues at the Javits Center through Oct. 11.