On sale next week from Archaia is Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard #1 (V2), beginning an all-new anthology series that invites some of comics' most talented creators to tell stories set throughout the endlessly charming, frequently funny and always harrowing mediaval world of mice created by David Petersen. This first issue contains framing sequences by Petersen himself that introduce the mechanism by which new stories by Stan Sakai (Usagi Yojimbo), Ben Caldwell (Wednesday Comics' "Wonder Woman") and Nick Tapalansky and Alex-Eckman Lawn (Awakening) will unfold: a storytelling contesthosted in old Madame June's mouse tavern. The prize for the best tale? A zeroed out bar tab.

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Written and lavishly illustrated by Petersen, Mouse Guard follows the adventures of an elite association of mice sworn to protect a kind of mouse kingdom from threats both foreign -- like weasels, snakes, and other predators -- and domestic... like traitors. Petersen's main story, which is published in the form of miniseries later collected in hardcovers, has won numerous awards. To sate readers' appetites between volumes, Petersen and Archaia created Legends of the Guard, the first series of which won the Eisner Award for Best Anthology in 2011.

Launching in May, the second volume sounds just as good. "It's been amazing to have people I admire write and draw stories for Mouse Guard," said David Petersen in a press release. "Getting the behind-the-scenes view of their process is a treat for me. These contributors are putting together some great stories and I'm anxious for the fans to get to see what I've been watching come together!"

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Mouse Guard: Legend of the Guard #1 (Volume 2) is already available digitally and goes on sale next Wednesday, June 26, in finer comics shops. Petersen's latest storyline, The Black Axe, will be released in hardcover next month.

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