You’ve probably noticed that Archaia, the little independent publisher who could, likes being on the bleeding edge of things. They’ve managed to tap into a comic market that’s ever so slightly ahead of its time and bring it to the mainstream with works like Mouse Guard, and with upcoming projects like Labyrinth and A Tale of Sand. So what’s next? They’ve decided to step up the Free Comic Book Day game by releasing a 48 page compilation of their most popular books, including old favorites Mouse Guard and Dapper Men, and upcoming and new favorites like Rust.
Oh, and it’s a hardcover.
Now, as someone with a large number of Archaia hardcovers on my bookshelf, let me tell you, they all look gorgeous, so you’re in for a real treat. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the included stories are all equally gorgeous and entertaining. If your store is a Gold sponsored comic shop, definitely pick this one up. If it isn’t, definitely find a shop that is and pick it up.
An annual event, Free Comic Book Day takes place on the first Saturday in May (the next event is May 5th, 2012), and serves as a day for publishers to draw in new readers and shops to attract new customers by offering up choice selections for free. For more information, as well as an up to date listing of the books available at the next event, visit the official website at http://www.freecomicbookday.com/ or speak with your local comic shop.
Official press release follows.
ARCHAIA ANNOUNCES AN ORIGINAL GRAPHIC NOVEL HARDCOVER FOR FREE COMIC BOOK DAY IN 2012
48-PAGE, FULL-COLOR BOOK CONTAINING ORIGINAL MATERIAL FROM ‘MOUSE GUARD,’ ‘JIM HENSON’S LABYRINTH,’ ‘CURSED PIRATE GIRL, ‘RUST,’ ‘COW BOY’ AND ‘DAPPER MEN’ TO BE OFFERED COMPLETELY FOR FREE
Los Angeles, CA (December 2, 2011) – On May 5, 2012, Free Comic Book Day Gold Sponsor Archaia Entertainment will make history when it offers an all-ages, original graphic novel hardcover completely for free to fans who flock to their local comic book stores. The 6” x 9”, 48-page, full-color book will contain all-original stories—not reprints or excerpts from upcoming releases—from Mouse Guard, Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, Cursed Pirate Girl, Rust, Cow Boy and Dapper Men, announced Archaia President and CEO PJ Bickett.
Officially titled Mouse Guard, Labyrinth and Other Stories, the offering will be a shining example of Archaia’s commitment to produce high-quality graphic novels, despite its free price tag.
“We’ve offered single issues for past Free Comic Book Days but Archaia’s specialty is producing beautiful, hardbound collections,” said Bickett. “Offering a hardcover book for Free Comic Book Day is our way of helping to drive more potential customers to comic book stores on what has historically been their busiest sales day of the year. But it’s also a way to educate readers on what Archaia is all about: high-quality graphic novel collections of stories they can’t get anywhere else.
“On Free Comic Book Day, be sure to get to your local comic book shop early because this special book is guaranteed to run out fast and become an instant collector’s item!” said Archaia Marketing Manager Mel Caylo.
Below is the complete solicitation for Archaia’s 2012 Free Comic Book Day offering:
MOUSE GUARD, LABYRINTH AND OTHER STORIES
Original Graphic Novel Hardcover
2012 Free Comic Book Day
Retail Price: Free
Page Count: 48 pages
Format: Hardcover with no dust jacket (paper over board), 6” x 9”, full color
UPC: 811514010689 00311
Written by Jeremy Bastian, Nate Cosby, Royden Lepp, Jim McCann, Ted Naifeh and David Petersen
Illustrated by Jeremy Bastian, Chris Eliopoulos, Cory Godbey, Janet Lee, Royden Lepp and David Petersen
Cover by David Petersen
This Free Comic Book Day, Archaia offers readers the chance to experience history in the making with a FREE, gorgeous, 48-page, 6” x 9” full color hardcover original graphic novel featuring all-new material! David Petersen returns with an all-new Mouse Guard tale that’s guaranteed to tug at your heartstrings! Lose yourself once again in Jim Henson’s amazing world of Labyrinth, featuring a fantastical story from Eisner Award nominee Ted Naifeh (Courtney Crumrin) and Cory Godbey (Fraggle Rock). Get a new perspective on Jet Jones in Royden Lepp’s critically acclaimed Rust, with a short story seen through the eyes of younger brother Oswald Taylor. Jeremy Bastian’s acclaimed Cursed Pirate Girl hits the high seas in this whimsical, swashbuckling tale of wonderland journeys and unimaginable dangers. Nate Cosby (Pigs) and Chris Eliopoulos (Franklin Richards) present Cow Boy, a comedy/western that tells the tale of a young bounty hunter determined to send his entire outlaw family to jail. And Jim McCann and Janet Lee follow up their Eisner Award-winning Return of the Dapper Men with an all-new short story that leads into the upcoming sequel, Time of the Dapper Men. Witness the origin of a new, major character! And…the return of 41?!
About Archaia Entertainment
Archaia Entertainment is a multi-award-winning graphic novel publisher with more than 50 renowned publishing brands, including such domestic and international hits as Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, Gunnerkrigg Court, Awakening, The Killer, Days Missing, Tumor, Syndrome, Artesia, The Engineer, and an entire line of The Jim Henson Company graphic novels, including Tale of Sand, which is based on an unproduced screenplay discovered in the Henson Archives. Archaia has built an unparalleled reputation for producing meaningful content that perpetually transforms minds, building one of the industry’s most visually stunning and eclectic slates of graphic novels. Archaia was named Graphic Novel Publisher of the Year according to Ain’t it Cool News, Graphic Policy, and Comic Related, and was honored with nine 2011 Eisner Awards nominations. Archaia has also successfully emerged as a prolific storyteller in all facets of the entertainment industry, extending their popular brands into film, television, gaming, and branded digital media.