BOOM! Studios and Archaia Comics are now one company, according to a report by Deadline. BOOM! comes out as the owner, and will continue to run Archaia as an imprint with its own branding. Archaia President and COO Jack Cummins will remain in his roles within the imprinte, a press release revealed.
"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," Cummins said. "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."
BOOM! has a film launching this summer with 2 Guns, and Archaia recently entered the multimedia fray, being part of the multi-headed Hawken franchise that launched as a graphic novel and video game together. While Archaia's focus has been on original graphic novels as well as the serialized Mouse Guard and several licensed titles with Jim Henson Company, BOOM! has had a steady mix of original, creator-owned properties and licenses from the likes of Cartoon Network's Adventure Time to Planet of the Apes.
Archaia's direct market (comic book shops) presence has been light, with less than a .25% market share in 2012, but their book store presence was heavy, and they have multiple properties in various stages of Hollywood development. BOOM! meanwhile has remained a strong #7, behind the "big two" of Marvel and DC, Image, IDW, Dark Horse, and Dynamite. While their direct market position isn't likely to change, Archaia's respected stance amongst book stores, Hollywood, and creators should help the company in those areas.
Archaia confirmed the purchase with a press release, seen in full below.
Official Press Release
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,Wednesday Comics) 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.
About BOOM! Studios
Founded by Ross Richie in 2005, Diamond Gem Award-winning "Best Publisher" BOOM! Studios (boom-studios.com) generates a constellation of best-selling Eisner and Harvey Award-winning original and licensed comic books and graphic novels with the industry's top talent. BOOM! Studios is the home of Mike Carey's SUICIDE RISK, Clive Barker’s NEXT TESTAMENT and HELLRAISER, Paul Jenkins and Humberto Ramos' FAIRY QUEST, PLANET OF THE APES, Max Bemis' POLARITY and Mark Waid’s IRREDEEMABLE. Steven Grant's graphic novel 2 GUNS will be released as a feature film from Universal Pictures August 2nd, starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. BOOM!'s all-ages imprint KaBOOM! publishes Charles Schulz' PEANUTS, Jim Davis’ GARFIELD, Cartoon Network's ADVENTURE TIME and REGULAR SHOW, Mike Kunkel's HEROBEAR AND THE KID and Roger Langridge’s Eisner Award-winning SNARKED.
Founded as a niche publisher in 2002, Archaia Entertainment, LLC has become the world renowned Eisner and Harvey Award-winning graphic novel publisher of Mouse Guard, Cowboy, Gunnerkrigg Court, Rust, Spera, Mr. Murder is Dead, Lucid, Artesia, and An Elegy for Amelia Johnson. At the core, Archaia is known for its great content. From its unparalleled reputation for publishing innovative, imaginative, and indelible stories, to its numerous industry awards and nominations, Archaia has proven time-and-time again that it has built one of the industry’s most visually stunning and eclectic slates of graphic novels. This sentiment has also been shared by countless industry news sources, including Ain’t it Cool News, Graphic Policy, and Comic Related, which all honored Archaia as “Best Publisher” of 2010. Additionally, Archaia has built unmatched co-development relationships with some of the most recognizable brands in
Hollywood, including The Jim Henson Company where Archaia has built an entire graphic novel product line, including the multiple award-winning Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand and such beloved tales as The Dark Crystal, The Storyteller, and Fraggle Rock. (archaia.com).