Official Press Release
Fort Lee, NJ -- July 18, 2005 -- As previewed at this year's Comic-Con International, Archaia Studios Press (ASP) has announced an expansion to its offerings that will complement its award-winning title, Artesia. ASP will publish work by both up-and-coming and established creators in the world of comics. Included in the lineup are: Christopher Moeller, Peter Bergting, Alex Sheikman, A. David Lewis and Marvin Perry Mann. Titles will include: Robotika, The Lone and Level Sands, Iron Empires: Blood und Iron, plus several to-be-named-later titles.
"Well, I never wanted to be just a publisher of Artesia," said ASP founder Mark Smylie, "though my heart still belongs first and foremost to writing and drawing that book, and I'm eager to get back to it. But my business partner, Aki Liao, and I have been looking for some creators that could bring something special to ASP. These artists and writers all have what we've been looking for and we're excited to begin publishing their work."
The Lone and Level Sands (December 2005, ISBN: 1-932386-12-2, $17.95, 160 pages, full color, digest-sized) and Robotika (December 2005, 4-issue series, $3.95, 32-page comic book, full color, mature readers) are the first two books to be released under the ASP banner beginning at the end of this year.
The Lone and Level Sands, written by A. David Lewis (Mortal Coils) and illustrated by Marvin Perry Mann (Arcana Jayne), draws on the Bible, the Qur'an, and historical sources to present a retelling of the Book of Exodus through the eyes of the man who is either its greatest leader or its worst villain: a man trying to rule wisely, love his family well, and deal justly in the face of a divine wrath. It was originally released to critical acclaim in a black-and-white edition through Caption Box; Tom McLean of Variety said of the original edition: "Those who are intimately familiar with the Bible and those who aren't will both find something to like in this book." ASP's new edition will be in full color, with coloring by Jennifer Rodgers.
Robotika, with story and art by Alex Sheikman (Moonstruck), is a steampunk sushi samurai western about loyalty, honor and revenge. In a world populated by silent samurai, fast-talking geisha, deadly mecha-betsushikime, digital djihits, morphing butterflies, and corporate corruption, Niko, a member of the elite bodyguard corps dedicated to protecting the queen, is sent on a mission to recover a stolen invention that in the wrong hands could trigger a bloody civil war. The ever-present violence and chaos that exist on the fringes of this "civilized" society couldn't care less about Niko and his mission. The first issue will feature a cover by Ryan Sook (Arkham Asylum, Hawkman).
ASP also announced a new Iron Empires mini-series called Blood und Iron on the schedule for 2006; Christopher Moeller (JLA: A League of One) returns to his science fiction universe to write the new story, with art by Peter Bergting (Hellboy Sourcebook). Early 2006 will also see the fourth Artesia mini-series, Artesia Besieged.
Also at the show was a special showing of writer/director Hidetoshi Oneda's award-winning short film, "La Belle Dame Sans Merci". Oneda and his company celophaine, inc. are tapped to turn Artesia into a feature film and this short gave a taste of what we can expect. For more on the short film, visit http://www.celophaine.com/lbdsm/lbdsm_top.html.
ABOUT ARCHAIA STUDIOS PRESS
Mark Smylie founded Archaia Studios Press (ASP) in 2002 as the home for his epic fantasy comic book, Artesia. Artesia ($24.95, ISBN: 1-932386-00-9), winner of ForeWord Magazine's Best Graphic Novel of 2003, and its sequels -- Artesia Afield ($24.95, ISBN: 1-932386-02-5) and Artesia Afire ($24.95, ISBN: 1-932386-08-4), winner of the Silver in ForeWord's Best Graphic Novel of 2004 -- are available at finer bookstores and comic book shops everywhere. A roleplaying game called Artesia: Adventures in The Known World (fall 2005, ISBN: 1-932386-10-6, $34.95, full-color) will be out soon. The next installment in the Artesia series, Artesia Besieged, is slated for a spring 2006 release. More information can be found at http://www.aspcomics.com