As fans of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise quietly await the back episodes of Race to the Edge on Netflix and the 2018 release of How to Train Your Dragon 3, a recent announcement from a certain comic convention in New York may give them something extra to look forward to in the coming months.
As reported by Comic Book Resources and The Hollywood Reporter, Dark Horse Comics made the announcement at this year’s New York Comic Con that it will team up with DreamWorks Animation for a series of graphic novels that take place in the How to Train Your Dragon universe!
The graphic novels will begin publication next year, with the first volume titled How to Train Your Dragon: The Serpent’s Heir. Better yet, the graphic novels will be written by none other than writer/director Dean DeBlois and Race to the Edge writer Richard Hamilton. The cover art (below) is by Pierre-Olivier Vincent, production designer on the films.
An interior artist for the books is yet to be named.
Plot-wise, the graphic novels will take place “mere hours” after the events of How to Train Your Dragon 2. The plot (as teased by DeBlois) will unfold as follows: “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.”
“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.”
Also speaking to THR, Richard Hamilton further explained why the Dragons universe is perfect for the comic 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.”
Hamilton also touched on how the graphic novel format will free them up to tell their stories in a way that couldn’t be done under the time and budget constraints of animation: “The reason why comics are great for Dragons is that they really free us up to tell different kinds of stories,” Hamilton said. “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.”
Hamilton also explained how the graphic novels will go more in-depth into the characters and overall mythology of the franchise: “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.”
Besides being one of the most awesome things to come out of NYCC, this news is even more exciting due to the fact that the graphic novels will serve as an essential piece of the puzzle regarding what may happen in How to Train Your Dragon 3, in addition to possibly laying the groundwork for future How to Train Your Dragon media.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Serpent’s Heir arrives in bookstores and comic book shops on April 26, 2016. DreamWorks Dragons: Race to the Edge is now streaming on Netflix. How to Train Your Dragon 3 arrives in theaters on June 28, 2018.
What do you think? If you are a Dragons fan, will you read the graphic novels?
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes