Achewood, the long-running webcomic from Chris Onstad, is coming back to print for the first time since 2010. Oni Press will collect the entirety of Achewood, including a host of rarities and previously unreleased content, across an as-yet-unknown number of omnibus editions.
With the world of Achewood spread across everything from the main comic strip to recipe books and zines, Oni Press aims to bring Ray, Roast Beef and the rest of Chris Onstad's wildly creative universe together in the most comprehensive collection to date.
“I am incredibly proud to add Chris Onstad and Achewood to the Oni Press library,” publisher James Lucas Jones said. “Onstad’s daily strips paved the way for many webcomics creators, and showed that you could build a sustainable audience for serialized comics outside of the traditional periodical publishing model. These strips remain every bit as irreverent and insightful today as they were nearly 20 years ago, and these meticulously assembled books promise to expose a whole new generation of readers to Onstad’s dark and witty brand of humor while giving existing fans the classy archival treatment they already know this work deserves.”
The omnibus series will be edited by Christopher Butcher (founder of the Toronto Comic Art Festival), who is enthusiastic about the project. "I've been a fan of Achewood since the first year, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't miss heading to the site to look for new strips every day or two” Butcher commented. “One of the best surprises for me in editing this book is just how much new Achewood there is for me to enjoy, as the strip was joined by Ray's advice column Ray's Place, by the blogs, by the zines, the prose work, the recipes, the rare strips for other websites, and so much more. It's an absolute trip to get to read all of Achewood chronologically as I help to put this volume together, and I think fans old and new are going to love it just as much as I do when it arrives in print next summer.”
The first volume of the collection will span approximately the first 600 strips of the comic, presented in chronological order. It will also include "a wealth of rare additional material including recipes, short-fiction, maps, posters, never-before reprinted comics" and a new Achewood short story written by Onstad himself, according to the official press release. All volumes will be hardcover, and the price has not yet been announced. The release date is currently set as June 2020, and announcements regarding future volumes and special editions are expected in the coming months.
With the Achewood webcomic currently on hiatus since 2016, the announcement of the Oni Press omnibus collection is welcome news for fans of the long-running series. While a number of details are still unknown, it is clear that Christopher Butcher and the rest of the team behind the collection are aiming to present a product that not even Ray would want to sell for alcohol.
The Achewood omnibus arrives in June 2020.