CBR News has learned that BOOM! Studios has acquired Archaia Entertainment. BOOM! confirmed that Archaia's library of titles will be added to the publisher and maintained as a distinct imprint with plans to reprint "key items from the Archaia catalog."
"We are thrilled and excited to join with BOOM!," Archaia President and Chief Operating Officer Jack Cummins, said in a press release. "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 [Richie] has built."
Archaia had a rough year in 2012 following the Eisner Awards where its "Tale of Sand" original graphic novel took home an award. The publisher barely shipped any titles in the next four months, and following a return to Diamond Book Distributors from book market distributor PGW, Cummins outlined the publisher's difficulties in an interview with CBR.
"There's no question that the company was in a really tough spot for about six months," Cummins said in October 2012. "Last year, we changed out book market distribution from Diamond to PGW. PGW is a great company, and they're known for working in the book market worldwide. They're a large company, and we got into the relationship with both us and PGW expecting great things of it, but unfortunately for a variety of reasons, that relationship didn't work out. That contributed, in part, to us having a lot of challenges because our revenue decreased in the book market even as it was increasing in literally every other segment of the business. In the book market, we ended up having a very difficult time with it. It really ended up effecting our business, and in June, we ended up having some discussions with PGW about whether it would be good for us both to move on."
Check out the full press release 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 includingÂ Mouse Guard, A Tale of Sand, Rust, Spera, Cowboy,Â andÂ Gunnerkrigg Court.Â 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-distributedÂ 2 GunsÂ 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:Â Jeremiah Harm,Â based on the comic book by Keith Giffen, Alan Grant, and John Mueller, will be directed by Timo Vuourensola ofÂ Iron SkyÂ (jeremiahharm.com).
Archaia has optioned Royden Lepp's graphic novelÂ RustÂ to Twentieth Century Fox. Among Archaia's other announced deals are the development ofÂ LucidÂ (Warner Bros.),Â BolivarÂ (Warner Bros.),Â andÂ Feeding GroundÂ (Pressman Films).
Recently, legendary creators including writer Paul Jenkins (Wolverine:Â Origin, Inhumans)Â and artist Brian Stelfreeze (Batman:Â Shadow of the Bat,Wednesday Comics)Â 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,Â Clive Barker's Next Testament.
July sees the blockbuster release of Archaia'sÂ Mouse Guard: The Black Axe,Â created by Eisner Award winner David Petersen,Â Cyborg 009Â in partnership with acclaimed Japanese publisher Ishimori, andÂ The Thrilling Adventure HourÂ 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 ofÂ Mouse Guard, Cowboy, Gunnerkrigg Court, Rust, Spera, Mr. Murder is Dead, Lucid, Artesia,Â andÂ An Elegy for Amelia Johnson.Â 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 inHollywood, including The Jim Henson Company where Archaia has built an entire graphic novel product line, including the multiple award-winningÂ Jim Henson's Tale of SandÂ and such beloved tales asÂ The Dark Crystal, The Storyteller,Â andÂ Fraggle Rock.Â (archaia.com).