Digital Webbing Press is the new home for the fantasy comic book ARCHEON, originally published by co-creators Ed Lavallee and Jon Hook. The August 2002 issue of Diamond Comics Distributor's Previews magazine officially announces the move to the Digital Webbing Press imprint.
"Ed [Lavallee] found Digital Webbing when he was looking for our first artist," said Hook. "While creating ARCHEON, we built a strong friendship with Ed Dukeshire of Digital Webbing. It was only natural that we join them in their publishing venture."
"I'm very excited that Ed and Jon decided to climb aboard," said Dukeshire. "Their first issue just blew me away and I knew I could help get their books seen by a wider audience. Diamond has been very helpful with ARCHEON by giving it a "Spotlight" listing and mentioning it in their retailer magazine, Diamond Dialogue. Retailers should beef up their orders, because if the buzz behind this book is any indication, readers will be looking for ARCHEON in October."
In order to accommodate new readers while furthering the story, the initial Digital Webbing Press issue of ARCHEON will actually contain two issues. The first, a bonus reprint of ARCHEON's debut, will be on one side – while the all-new second issue appears when the comic is flipped over.
ARCHEON #1 introduces swords-for-hire Sabrik d'Elden and Darkmere, who seek passage aboard The Anvil, a massive, dragon-skulled vehicle. During the journey, a mysterious stranger opens Darkmere's eyes to the mercenary's potential destiny.
Just a quick flip away, ARCHEON #2 escalates the action when Rai-kon, the Magnarian elf lord with a grudge against Darkmere, rallies his troops to assault The Anvil. Sabrik and Darkmere flex muscle and steel as they defend The Anvil and their very lives.
The world of ARCHEON was born several years ago, Hook explains. "Ed [Lavallee] and I went to college together in Texas. We got the bug to create a comic, and used our role-playing gaming background as inspiration. Before we knew it, we had created a planet full of races, monsters, history, magic, and a pantheon of gods."
In addition to men, elves, dwarves and dragons, ARCHEON is also populated by elkin. What, you've never heard of elkin? Hook clues us in on the new race: "The elkin are a race of lycanthropic hoofed animals. An elkin could be an antelope, elk, deer, ox, cow, gazelle... you get the idea. Although an elkin's natural state is the animal, elkin are very comfortable as demi-humans, so they often live their lives as half-man/half-beast people."
Traditional fantasy elements are given a new twist in the world of ARCHEON – a deliberate move by its creators. "The fantasy genre is a well worn-out pair of socks," admits Hook. "Ed [Lavallee] and I want to put on a new pair of socks, and tell an interesting fantasy story that doesn't look like every other fantasy story already out there."
Reviewer Matthew J. Phillion feels that Hook and Lavallee have succeeded. "It's a well-traveled genre, fantasy. Fortunately for ARCHEON, the book's creators have been willing to mess with genre standards a bit. And that, folks, is what makes ARCHEON stand out."
Readers new to ARCHEON's vast world shouldn't feel daunted, however. "One of the cool things in this book is 'Aegir's Almanac,' which gives the reader details of ARCHEON's characters, key elements, and an impressive map of their surroundings," Dukeshire points out. "It's obvious a lot of care and effort has gone into creating a rich mythos for these characters to interact with," agrees Phillion.
Hook is proud of the world he and Lavallee have created. "For us, ARCHEON is a grand stage where we can tell a multitude of stories. Sabrik d'Elden and Darkmere could die, but we could still explore the world with other heroes. Anything could happen in ARCHEON!"
ARCHEON #1/#2 is written by Jon Hook and Ed Lavallee.
Issue #1 is illustrated by Wayne Nichols, with almanac art by Jason Gustafsson. The dynamic cover is penciled by Dario Carrasco (Dark Horse's Star Wars), inked by James Taylor, and colored by Sebastien Lamirand.
Issue #2 is drawn by Erfan Fajar, with almanac illustrations by Hook. Fajar also creates the dazzling cover, colored by Julie Hadden.
Look for the ARCHEON #1/#2 flipbook in October from Digital Webbing Press; $3.99 cover price. Several pages of previews are available on www.digitalwebbing.net.