After a several-month delay, "Mouse Guard" is returning to comics shops with a new issue this week.
Archaia Studios Press editor Mark Smylie said the fourth issue of "Mouse Guard: Winter 1152" is already shipping from Diamond and will be on sale Wednesday. The issue was originally slated to come out much earlier this year, but was delayed as creator David Petersen worked on the "Mouse Guard" role-playing game. Archaia's subsequent acquisition by Kunoichi further delayed the book. The RPG, Smylie added, is planned to be on sale Dec. 17, or the following week if it is "hung up in customs."
David Petersen spoke with CBR News about "Mouse Guard: Winter 1152" #4, and previewed exclusive pages from the issue.
When we last saw the Mouse Guard, a shortage of supplies sent the heroes off into the harsh icy snow. But trouble didn't start until they found their party split in two, tangled with bats and an owl, and were caught in both an ice storm and the abandoned weasel kingdom known as Darkheather. "Issue #4 picks up with Celanawe and Lieam (the oldest and youngest of the Guard respectively) on their mission is to return a single bottle of medicine back to Lockhaven while being hunted by the one eyed owl," Petersen told CBR News.
Meanwhile, below ground, Kenzie and Sadie have lost track of Saxon, as he's flown away on a bat into the darkness of Darkheather. "And alone, Saxon faces a life-or-death struggle as he is forced to confront the horrors from the past," Petersen revealed.
"Issue #4 was one of my favorite to draw and write," he continued. "There are several aspects to the story that I had been wanting to include for a while, but needed to wait for those points to fit into a story well. The cover is one that I am keeping. My wife insisted on keeping the fourth cover of the fall series because she liked it so much. I insisted this time on 'Winter' #4."
"Mouse Guard: Winter 1152" #4 also features a ballad written by Petersen. "Before I started on it, I asked a friend, who is musically inclined, to write a piece of music that I could listen to when I wrote the ballad's lyrics, so that the timing and phrasing felt honest to a real ballad," Petersen explained. "Not only did he oblige, he also recorded a version that he performed once I finished the lyrics. I will make the MP3 of it available on mouseguard.net and on my blog once the issue hits on the 26th."