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BOOM! Studios Acquires Archaia Entertainment

ComicsAlliance has learned that comic book publisher BOOM! Studios has acquired fellow Los Angeles comics company Archaia Entertainment from its parent Kunoichi. Archaia, home to such acclaimed titles as David Petersen’s Mouse Guard and Jim Henson’s A Tale of Sand by Ramón K. Pérez and known for very high book production values, had been suffering financial setbacks recently as a consequence of a problems with a book trade distribution partner, prompting the publisher to sign a deal with Diamond the next year, the leading distribution agent for direct market comic book stores. BOOM! has a much stronger infrastructure in the comics market, which the company hopes to leverage to expand Archaia’s readership with the company operating as a separate imprint within BOOM! Studios.

Archaia’s President and Chief Operating Officer Jack Cummins will continue in his role, and Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy will also remain with the company. Full press release:

June 24th, 2013 – Los Angeles, CA – BOOM! Studios, the Eisner and Harvey Award-winning comic book and graphic novel publisher and two-time winner of Diamond Comics Distributors’ prestigious “Best Publisher” Gem Award, has merged with Eisner and Harvey Award-winning Archaia Entertainment, the publisher of graphic novels including Mouse Guard, A Tale of Sand, Rust, Spera, Cowboy, and Gunnerkrigg Court. BOOM! Studios will be the surviving company and the Archaia brand shall be maintained as a distinct imprint of BOOM!.

The addition of Archaia positions BOOM!’s catalog of intellectual property as the largest independent company-controlled comic book and graphic novel library, behind only industry titans DC Entertainment (Warner Bros.) and Marvel Entertainment (Disney). BOOM!’s comic books and graphic novels pioneer a new business model, sharing intellectual property ownership between the company and the creators who generate the content. BOOM!’s Chief Executive Officer and founder, Ross Richie, noted, “Our creator-friendly model ensures that creatives are rewarded financially as they generate the franchises of tomorrow. Archaia operates with the same philosophy and objectives, which is one of the many reasons this combination is such a great fit.”

“We are thrilled and excited to join with BOOM!,” Archaia President and Chief Operating Officer Jack Cummins, who will continue in the same role, said. “BOOM! is very committed to maintaining the brand we’ve worked so hard to build and preserving our relationship with our creators, fans, and retailers. They’re fans of Archaia first and foremost, and are avidly working behind the scenes to expand our market penetration and carry our catalog deeper into retail channels. Archaia readers can expect the same editorial approach that has garnered industry-wide awards but we will have a much stronger platform to deliver our content in all forms and channels. I am personally looking forward to bringing our team together with the fantastic team Ross has built.”

Richie added, “Archaia has a terrific track record for creating award-winning, beautiful books with high production values. Jack Cummins, Stephen Christy, Mark Smylie, and the entire Archaia team have built an amazing publisher. With BOOM!’s resources, Archaia fans will see more of the books they love, while retailers will enjoy better business through stronger trade terms.” The companies also plan to put key items from the Archaia catalog back into print.

BOOM! Executive Chairman Scott Lenet of the venture capital firm DFJ Frontier noted, “We are excited to be investors in a profitable, growing company with a fantastic early track record of creating, curating, and marketing properties that audiences genuinely love. We have ambitious plans to continue to fund the company’s expansion in comics, graphic novels, and other media.”

August 2nd sees the release of the first BOOM! Studios feature film, the Universal Pictures-distributed 2 Guns starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, based on the Steven Grant comic book published by BOOM!. The company is currently preparing its second feature film for production: Jeremiah Harm, based on the comic book by Keith Giffen, Alan Grant, and John Mueller, will be directed by Timo Vuourensola of Iron Sky (jeremiahharm.com).

Archaia has optioned Royden Lepp’s graphic novel Rust to Twentieth Century Fox. Among Archaia’s other announced deals are the development of Lucid (Warner Bros.),Bolivar (Warner Bros.), and Feeding Ground (Pressman Films).

Recently, legendary creators including writer Paul Jenkins (Wolverine: Origin, Inhumans) and artist Brian Stelfreeze (Batman: Shadow of the Bat, WednesdayComics) have announced to the industry that BOOM! is their new publishing home. This summer BOOM! also launched the first original comic book Clive Barker has ever created and written, Clive Barker’s Next Testament.

July sees the blockbuster release of Archaia’s Mouse Guard: The Black Axe, created by Eisner Award winner David Petersen, Cyborg 009 in partnership with acclaimed Japanese publisher Ishimori, and The Thrilling Adventure Hour based on the long-running stage play of the same name.

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