Official Press Release
NEW YORK – Bungie Studios, part of Microsoft Game Studios, has joined forces with Marvel Comics to release a highly anticipated graphic novel inspired by one of the most popular franchises in the history of the video game industry. The universe of the Xbox phenomenon Halo will be brought to life for the first time in comic form via the Halo Graphic Novel (HGN), a 128 page full-color jacketed hardcover book with an anticipated July 2006 release.
The HGN is independently produced by Bungie Studios, while Marvel has signed on as the exclusive publisher obtaining print and distribution rights. The HGN is the first exciting result of this new partnership and additional Halo comic projects are in the works.
"We are thrilled to be working with the Halo property, as it's proven to be an international sensation since its very inception," said Ruwan Jayatilleke, Director of Development, Publishing. "And being that I am an avid Halo fan, this creative synergy in the graphic fiction medium makes it all the more thrilling."
The Halo Graphic Novel is an anthology of original stories set in the Halo universe representing an unprecedented display of visual storytelling. Building on the success of the critically acclaimed Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2 video games, the graphic novel will feature the series' iconic characters, weapons and scenarios and the epic struggle against the alien threats known as the Covenant and the Flood.
The HGN's main storyline and three additional stories are the work of some of the comic industry's most brilliant artists and writers including Moebius, Phil Hale, Ed Lee, Tsutomo Nihei, Jay Faerber, Andrew Robinson, Simon Bisley and Lee Hammock. The novel will also include a substantial collection of gallery pages showcasing original, never-before seen Halo inspired artwork from all-star comic book artists as well as Bungie's own art team.
"The chance to give our faithful fans something this special was a chance we had to jump at," said Harold Ryan, Studio Manager of Bungie Studios. "Re-exploring the Halo universe with some of our favorite comic book artists and writers – indeed, some of the greatest of all time – was a true labor of love and we couldn't have picked a better partner than Marvel to help us achieve our vision."
"With Marvel and Halo's similar loyal fan bases, we are confident that Halo's transition into the comic book arena will further bolster the characters, storylines and huge popularity of the property with not only the longtime, dedicated Halo fans but among comic book fans as well," said Dan Buckley, President and Publisher of Marvel Entertainment, Publishing.
Halo was first introduced to the world in November of 2001 with the release of the critically acclaimed "Halo: Combat Evolved" for the Xbox game console. Now, three years later, that game has sold over 5.5 million copies sold world wide. Beyond the game itself, the Halo universe has resonated with fans of science fiction, spawning three best selling novels published by Del Rey, popular action figures produced by Joyride and a host of other licensed products. In November of 2004, Halo 2 was released to overwhelmingly positive reviews and record breaking sales figures. The game earned the highest amount of pre-orders in gaming history, generated over $125 million during the first 24 hours of sales and has already gone on to surpass 7.3 million units sold.
About Bungie Studios:
Bungie was founded in 1991 with two goals: to develop games that combine brilliant technology, beautiful art, intelligent stories and deep gameplay, and then sell enough of those games to achieve the real goal of total world domination. Over the past 10 years it produced games like the "Marathon Trilogy" and the first two "Myth" games, hailed as classics by critics and gamers around the world. "Halo: Combat Evolved" and "Halo 2" have achieved phenomenal success on the Microsoft Xbox video game system. More information on Bungie can be found at http://www.bungie.net/.
Marvel Comics is a division of Marvel Entertainment, Inc., a leading global character-based entertainment company that has developed and owns a library of more than 5,000 characters, which have entertained generations around the world for over 60 years. Marvel's operations are focused in entertainment and consumer product licensing and comic book publishing. Marvel Studios supports the development of feature films, DVD/video products and TV series. Marvel's creative team also supports the creation of video games and toy lines based on its characters as well as for a broad and growing range of consumer products and services including apparel, collectibles, foods and promotions. Marvel's comic book division is a leading publisher in the global marketplace while also serving as an invaluable source of intellectual property. Marvel's Toy Biz division is a recognized creative force and leader in toy design, sales and marketing, developing and overseeing both licensee and in-house toy lines. For additional information visit http://www.marvel.com.
CBR's coverage of Wizard World Los Angeles is Sponsored by Comics Unlimited.