Troy Hickman Takes Over Writing Chores on "City of Heroes"

Official Press Release

Troy Hickman (Common Grounds) has been selected by Top Cow Productions to write the next story arc of City of Heroes, the comic book co-venture with NCsoft and Cryptic Studios based on the massive online multi-player computer game. Hickman's run starts with City of Heroes #4 in August, following Mark Waid's three part story arc.

"Troy's Common Grounds stories took the superhero genre into new directions. His City of Heroes pitch was amazing, and added incredible humanity and depth to our characters," says Jack Emmert, creative director of Cryptic Studios and lead designer on City of Heroes.

"I've been playing the City of Heroes online game for a while now," said Hickman. "And it's absolutely addictive! It allows me to do one of the things I enjoy in comics: finding a new way to bring out the nuances of a character and really delve into their humanity. I think that's what is at the heart of my Common Grounds stuff, and hopefully I'll be bringing the same sensibilities to City of Heroes."

Hickman and Common Grounds were also nominated for two 2005 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, and the acknowledgment for Hickman's story-telling gives Top Cow, NCsoft and Cryptic great confidence for the future of City of Heroes in the comic book form.

Common Grounds was collected in trade paperback form in December 2004 by Top Cow Productions. Common Grounds is written by Hickman and boasts artistic talents of industry greats including: Chris Bachalo, Dan Jurgens, George Perez, and Ethan Van Sciver, to name a few. "It's really gratifying to see the kind of life these stories have had, going from my obscure photocopied mini-comics to being drawn by the biggest names in comicdom, to being nominated for a couple of Eisners," says Hickman.

Cryptic Studios, Inc., located in Los Gatos, California, was established in July of 2000 and is an independent developer of massively multiplayer online games for the PC and next generation consoles. Its first game, City of Heroes, launched in April 2004. The game takes place in a virtual world where thousands of people play simultaneously, take on the role of super-powered heroes, fight villains and help create a dynamic story in a visually-stunning, 3-D graphical world.

NCsoft - North America (NC-NA) is headquartered in Austin, Texas and is part of Korea-based NCsoft Corporation. NC-NA, with development and administrative offices in Texas and California, launched two ground-breaking titles in the first half of 2004, Lineage® II and City of Heroes. The company also works with NCsoft subsidiaries and third party developers throughout North America to develop and publish innovative online entertainment software products. More information about NCsoft – North America can be found at http://www.PlayNC.com.

NCsoft, the interlocking NC logo and all associated NCsoft logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCsoft Corporation. City of Heroes is a trademark of Cryptic Studios, Inc. and NCsoft Corporation. Cryptic Studios is a trademark of Cryptic Studios, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Top Cow was founded in December of 1992 and currently publishes its line of comic books in 21 languages in over 55 different countries. The company has launched 20 franchises (18 original and 2 licensed) in the industry's Top 10, seven at #1, a feat accomplished by no other publisher in the last two decades. Its flagship franchise Witchblade was TNT's #1 original film of 2000. Virtually all of Top Cow's other properties are in development as feature films, live action television, animation or video games. Top Cow has also successfully licensed and merchandised its franchises into toys, statues, clothing, lithographs, puppets, posters, magnets, shot glasses, lighters, lunch pails, wall scrolls, mouse pads, die cast cars, calendars, Christmas ornaments, Halloween masks, trading cards, standees, video games and role playing games. For more information, please visit www.topcow.com.

For more information on 2005 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, please visit http://www.comicon.com/thebeat/archives/2005/04/2005_eisner_nom.html .

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