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Nordguard was an unfinished graphic novel series by Blotch. The first volume is titled Across Thin Ice. A canon card game also exists, with an expansion released in 2015.


  • Across Thin Ice: Set in an alternate-universe version of the Arctic North in late autumn 1903, a professional rescue organization known as Nordguard, responsible for rescuing and delivering first aid to travellers caught in the extremes of the White North, receives a dispatch from the mines of Tartok. Nordguard sends a team to the mines, but the team becomes caught in the middle of a world-changing intrigue over a substance unearthed at Tartok.
  • Under Dark Skies: The second volume, to continue from the previous novel. It was to be released in 2013,[1] but this date was missed,[2] and as of 2014 Blotch's collaboration was on hiatus.[3]

Card game[edit]

  • Nordguard: The Card Game: A game based on the first Nordguard graphic novel. Limited-run editions, a standard and an expanded deluxe edition, were released at Anthrocon 2012.[4] A 2nd printing of the card game was released 2012 November.[5]
  • Nordguard: Tribes of the White Land: A second edition of the game was revealed in June, 2015, including improved gameplay and an expansion pack, Tribes of the White Land, which features new canon characters and new art from Blotch.[6]

Original art created by Blotch, game designer was Tempe O'Kun, mechanics lead was Nic Wald, playtest lead was Jeremia Heupel of ThinkTank Games and graphic artist was John O'Brien Schroeder.[7]


Core Nordguard team[edit]

  • Pi: female leader of the Nordguard team. Ambitious and head-strong daughter of a Midwestern lawman.
  • London: Point-dog for the team, several years older than Pi. Born and raised in the wilderness, but cautious to a fault. Trained Pi when she joined Nordguard, but never offered a team leadership of his own.
  • Nickel: Happy-go-lucky yet caring Scout for the group. Born to a well-off family, but left the high life for the northern wilderness.
  • Geri: Brutish Wheel-Dog for the group. The twin brother to Freki, both hail from Thule and were welcomed by Pi into the group.
  • Freki: Shy, soft-spoken wheel-dog for the group. Twin sister to Geri.

Military corpspersons in team[edit]

  • Lt. James McKay: Medic for the team.
  • Oleg Kutakov: Ranking Corps member, included on the mission to Tartok.


Jim DeVries of IGN rated Across Thin Ice 8.0 out of 10, signifying "Great". He calls it "exciting, funny and one of the best-drawn indie books I've ever seen.[8]" At Flayrah, Fred Patten called it "very satisfactory first installment of a tense thriller which is bound to enhance Garman’s & Gavet’s already-stellar reputation.[9]" Shaun Noordin, columnist for Malaysian tabloid The Star, praised the book for its artwork and story.[10]

Awards and nominations[edit]

In 2012 Across Thin Ice got the most votes in Comics category of the 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards.[11]

In 2012, BlackTeagan was named as one of five nominees for the 2012 Russ Manning Award, in recognition of her penciling of Across Thin Ice[12][13]. The award, targeted toward newcomer comic book artists whose professional works have appeared within the previous two years, is to be awarded to its winner at the Eisner Award ceremony during Comic-Con International. This is her first personal nomination for an award.

Nordguard: The Card Game was nominated for the 2012 Ursa Major Award for Game of the Year.


  1. Nordguard FAQ
  2. Under Dark Skies, Nordguard website (20 June 2013)
  3. Room Party Preorders! & Hiatus - Blotch, Fur Affinity (3 February 2014)
  4. Anthrocon Is Coming! Part #2 — Stuff To Buy 2012 June 7 post to Sofawolf Press LiveJournal. Retrieved 2013 January 7.
  5. Nordguard Card Game: New and Improved! 2012 November 6 post to Sofawolf Press LiveJournal. Retrieved 2013 January 7.
  6. Nordguard: Tribes of the White Land Tempo321, Fur Affinity (2015 June 28)
  8. Jim DeVries. "Nordguard Book One: Across Thin Ice Review". July 27, 2011. IGN.
  9. Fred Patten. "Review: 'Nordguard: Across Thin Ice', by Tess Garman & Teagan Gavet". 28 Jul 2011 - 16:38. Flayrah.
  10. Shaun A. Noordin. "An adventure story starring talking animals". July 20, 2012. The Star.
  11. Announcing the Winners of the 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards posted Feb 20, 2012 to website. Retrieved November 19, 2017.
  12. "Comic-Con International Announces 2012 Manning Award Nominees". June 21, 2012. Comic-Con International.
  13. Rakuen Growlithe. "Blotch penciller BlackTeagan up for Russ Manning Award". Thu 21 Jun 2012 - 11:55. Flayrah.

External links[edit]

Works authored
Works illustrated