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Interview: Mike Kennedy and Wes Harris Talk Magnetic Press!

In early December, we broke the news that comic book industry vets Mike Kennedy and Wes Harris had teamed-up and formed the comic book publishing company Magnetic Press. The publisher’s focus is “premium graphic novels by talent from around the world.”

MagneticPress-bannerPublisher Mike Kennedy previously served as Publisher of Archaia Entertainment, Creative Director and Senior Producer in the video game industry, and an avid writer. CEO Wes Harris is the former VP of Publishing for BOOM! Studios, and has held senior roles at top entertainment companies such as Viz Media, White Wolf Publishing, and Meteor Entertainment.

Magnetic’s two founders came together around a shared desire to create a compassionate home for innovative creators and projects that have been underrepresented in the current comic and graphic novel marketplace, including new talent deserving a debut and established talent looking to establish a solid presence in the North American and English language audience.

We got to chat with the two about how the company came about and what we can expect!

Graphic Policy: So how’d Magnetic Press come about?

Mike Kennedy, Publisher: We share a life-long love of the medium.  I started writing comics back in the 90s, on the side from a day-job in the video game industry, and over the decades came to see how much of the publishing industry works, how it has evolved over time. While at Archaia, we got to see a lot of new ideas and channels sprout up in the field, a lot of core principles started changing, and a lot of unique opportunities became available to creators and companies looking to share creative ownership of original brands. Wes and I met while working on Hawken, and through many conversations it seemed we shared not only similar interests title-wise, but similar aspirations to build something personal and service-oriented, a place where creators are celebrated as much as the titles themselves. When the opportunity to build something new from the ground up presented itself, the prospect and challenge seemed achievable.

Wes Harris, CEO: As with most recently formed comics companies, our origin story also includes San Diego. Mike and I started sharing notes – “what would YOU do if you were starting a publishing company…?” It quickly became obvious that we had shared goals, and even wanted to publish many of the same titles and creators. Luckily, the venn diagram of Mike and Wes is very complementary and a team-up began.

MK: There were numerous French titles that captured our interest over the years, as well as original projects by talented friends that we really wanted to help out, and after so many years of servicing other people’s corporate agenda, it felt like the right time to start developing one of our own, one focused on helping talented creators we believe in achieve their potential. Between the two of us, we had the business knowledge and creative network to put a plan together, so here we are, a few months later, ready for take-off!

GP: You’ve both worked for and with other publishers like Viz Media, Archaia and BOOM! among others, what lessons have you taken with you about how to create a successful publisher? And what lessons have you learned of things to avoid?

MK: It’s astonishing how much the industry has changed in just the past few years alone.  When I started at Archaia, digital comics were little more than a gimmicky blip on the radar. Tablets hadn’t yet hit the marketplace. The term “crowdfunding” didn’t even exist, and a creator’s best avenue for selling a book online was through eBay. All of those elements have now come together to form a perfect storm of opportunity for independent creators. And we think that, because of it, the concept of “publisher” needs to be re-defined.

It used to be that creators fed the publisher, handing over their hard work to the only machine capable of turning it into something tangible and marketable. They would toil the fields, then give half of everything sown to The Baron, because that was the only option. Nowadays, however, the tables are turning – the modern publisher needs to feed the creator, offering services as an enticing bundle to bring the creator to the table. Printing, distribution, marketing, representation – those are all independently-accessible services that a creator can pursue on their own these days, so a publisher needs to offer them at a palatable price, one the creator can not only afford to live on but, ultimately, profit from. We’ve seen too many amazingly talented individuals – with considerable fanbases, no less — living hand-to-mouth because their work is treated as disposable media, and purchased wholesale by their publishing partners. Not that there is large revenue on the publishing side either, but the overall retail pyramid is upside down, with the creator getting the smallest slice of a book’s cover price.Often times barely 15%, and only after production costs are recovered. That just feels wrong. Treating talent fairly, and with priority, so that they receive the most equity possible for their sweat and effort — that’s lesson number one. A publisher needs to earn their cut, in our opinion, as much as they need to earn the creator’s trust. Transparency and compassion should be mandatory. It should be an understanding and supportive partnership in both directions.  We’re all in this adventure together.

WH: Mike touches on the important elements. I would add that it’s key to feed the fan experience as much as possible. I had the great fortune at SDCC many years ago to drop into a panel featuring both Masamune Shirow and Frank Miller. They were discussing each other’s work and their approach to the creative process. Shirow had the mic and that’s the first time most of us in the room heard the term Fan Service. Of course, that has a lot of connotations, but to me it’s the literal form of “give the fans what they want.” As a publisher, this means giving readers a closer connection to the creators. Magnetic Press wants to be known as a home for top creators as much as recognized titles. Give as much spotlight to the creator as the book we’re trying to sell.  Dark Horse and Viz do a great job of this. If you’re a fan of Mike Mignola or Tite Kubo, you know who publishes their works.

We also have to deliver to fans on the book side. We’ve seen print sales decline steeply over the last few years. To me, this means we have to step up our game with higher, not lower, book production values. We’re publishing high quality graphic novels with attention to cover treatment, paper feel, binding, with a goal of enhancing the reading experience. Books that people will be proud to display on their coffee table or bookshelf.

MK: Another important lesson would be not to out-pace your cashflow. That can be frighteningly easy to do, but we aim to be fiscally responsible from the get-go, offering creators the best payment terms possible. If we can pay royalties monthly instead of quarterly, we will. If we can process a contractor’s invoice within the week, we will. That might be an aggressive promise, but we want to pace ourselves accordingly so that we can be that aggressive.

GP: Digital has become a vital component in the comic publishing world, what are your plans for that?

MK: Digital is not only a ubiquitous element of any modern publishing plan, but we think it’s an exciting opportunity to do some new things with visual narrative. My time producing video games had been primarily centered on IP development and narrative game design, and I loved building non-linear, branching plot-paths with interchangeable characters and dynamic elements. These new and emerging platforms for digital comics offer an exciting opportunity to continue that exploration and experimentation. I’d love to dive into that uncharted territory between “comic book” and “video game”, make something that is aesthetically familiar and engaging to comic readers while making the reading experience interactive, thought provoking, and immersive. I’m a huge fan of Telltale Games, and would love to develop episodic comics with that degree of flexible narrative destiny for the reader to explore.

WH: We’ve also seen a lot of evidence that digital sales increase physical sales. This is especially important to us, as we are primarily a publisher of graphic novels rather than single issues. Combine this with the high-quality print production values we aim for on the graphic novels, and we think we have a great formula. Try Naja on Comixology, then make sure to pre-order the graphic novel. We also intend to offer first edition enhancements and collector material to many of our print runs, to further encourage fans to buy the book.

GP: Speaking of technology, social media is a key component as well. Thoughts as to how that’ll fit in your promotions?

MK: There is a mysterious science to effectively using social media, that’s for sure. It’s more than just having a Facebook page and Twitter account (and Tumblr, and LinkedIn, and Google+, and Pinterest, Flickr, Deviantart, etc, etc, etc). The trick seems to be turning that presence into a popular destination – bringing people to each of those social sites in the first place — and that can be a full-time job. That said, however, social media will be the lion’s share of our focus and strategy in the first year – we do want to become an online destination. Ideally, our plans will include interactive forums for fans and creators to exchange information and ideas, activities and contests to encourage return participation, and to whatever extent makes sense, a degree of “gamification” built into the site to reward fan loyalty. We’re just getting off the ground, however, so some of those things might take time to implement.

WH: Social, as with most marketing, should be about content. We’re looking to add value through social media through previews, creator Q&As, exclusive offers, that sort of thing. We want to create content that fans want, not just to re-post press releases.

GP: You have an impressive line-up announced for 2014 so far. How’d you come about these series to start with?

MK: The currently-announced titles are projects we were already a fan of or, in a few cases, already involved in developing.  Several of the original projects were created for debut on Sequentialink.com, a website I curate that features new pages of various ongoing series posted every weekday. It began as an outlet for what some fun projects by talented friends and creators who just wanted an audience. It continues to run daily, and just celebrated its first year of uninterrupted new material, with some new stories and creators getting ready to debut there in the months ahead. And though it will remain independent of Magnetic Press as a free webcomic forum, it is a wonderful “farm” for submission. Aside from those original titles, we’re also discussing a number of new titles with some great established talent that we’re hoping to announce soon.  That network, plus our existing relationships with several European publishers, has afforded us access to some great material deserving of a wider worldwide audience.

GP: Was there something important to you as to why you’re starting with such an international line-up of creators instead of maybe focusing on one country’s style or some niche not being catered to?

WH: There really isn’t a set strategy to it — it’s more about having an affinity with the creators we’re working with, not the regional styles or the countries they’re from. With Naja and Meka, for example, JD Morvan and Bengal have a creative voice that’s a great mix of eastern and western. Mike and I have always been surprised that a publisher didn’t step up to bring these guys to an English audience sooner. And there are many other overseas creators we’re eager to share with the US as well, all folks we’re just personal fans of.  We have announcements coming up that will balance out the international approach. More news soon!

MagneticPress_ContactSheet001GP: When it comes to comics you’re looking to publish, how would you sum them up?

MK: As we are quite small and independent, it will be mandatory that we absolutely love every book we do.  Not just like and can appreciate, but absolutely love enough to invest ourselves into the development, production, and personalized marketing of each title. Quality over quantity. It takes lot of time and effort to produce, promote, and distribute a book with minimal overhead costs, so we need to be huge fans of every book we take on, be it sci-fi, noire, comedy, drama, mature, or all-ages. If a book excites either one of us personally enough to champion, we’ll publish it. That’s not to say that if we pass on a project or submission it isn’t good or commercially excellent; we just need to keep ourselves in check so that we can apply the proper passion to everything we put the Magnetic Press logo on.

WH: Mainly, we’re looking at books with a strong creator voice, with a look and feel that’s recognizable when you know the creative team. We want to deliver comics that work well as books first, without really considering whether they’d make a good movie or TV pitch.

GP: Some of the series have been seen on Kickstarter. How does the crowd-funding platform factor in to the company? How do you think it’s changed the publishing landscape?

MK: Kickstarter is the 800lb gorilla in the room eating everyone’s lunch. And it is AWESOME.  We’re excited that there is a means to help motivated creators complete their projects. It takes a ton of passion to produce something out of interest alone, and getting a publisher to pay an advance for something unseen can be pretty close to impossible for most of the hopeful creators out there. But that’s where Kickstarter is magical: it gives the creator the means of achieving that dream with confidence and support. To that end, it is a Godsend for publishers – they don’t have to front a risky investment on projects they’re uncertain will succeed. On the other hand, however, it is also a creator’s first steps into the larger world of independent self-publishing. It is really going to make the dynamic of publisher-creator relations much more cut-and-dry.

We will definitely support Kickstarted projects, such as Super-Ego, and may in some cases even sponsor campaigns with the promise of publication or distribution if they are successful. If a project that needs funding to complete excites us, we might even get involved with the campaign itself. We will certainly encourage a creator to look into it, if we can’t help directly, and assist if we can. And if we do participate in any capacity, we will be sure that everything is handled above-board and to the satisfaction of those individuals who were generous enough to back the project.

GP: You mention “premium graphic novels” in your release, any thoughts on monthly comics either in print or digital?

WH: We would like to get to monthly comics, and other publishing formats, eventually. The main thing is that we look at the content of the work and choose the best format for that work. Some books just don’t work when they’re broken into monthly chapters.

MK: We are currently planning to offer monthly digital releases to support a number of our printed collections. The digital chapters can act as a preview, and help build excellent awareness of an upcoming title, with the printed collection offering that satisfying, high-quality physical artifact of the story experience. While we don’t have any immediate plans for monthly floppies in the first year, they aren’t out of the question down the road. We would like to focus on high-quality hard-cover and soft-cover volumes first, and get our pistons firing at a good clip before we shift into the next gear.

GP: Here’s a chance to pitch why folks should check out Magnetic Press in 2014.

WH: Unique creator voices, diversity of titles, and high attention to production values. If you’re a comic fan, we’re going to publish something you’ll want in 2014. Follow us so you don’t miss it!

MK: Magnetic Press books are never not awesome!

Preview: Hawken: Melee #3

Hawken: Melee #3

Writer(s): Mike Kennedy
Artist(s): Michael O’Hare

When a raging mech battle smashes through an outskirt colony tavern, two clueless fanatics get caught in the crossfire. Featuring a story by Mike Kennedy (Star Wars, Lone Wolf 2100), art by Michael O’Hare (Birds of Prey, Army of Darkness), and a cover by Bagus Hutomo!

HawkenMelee_03_rev_Page_1

Breaking: Comic Industry Vets form Magnetic Press

MagneticPress-bannerComic industry veterans Mike Kennedy and Wes Harris announced today the formation of Magnetic Press, a new publishing label with a focus on premium graphic novels by talent from around the world. Magnetic’s two founders came together around a shared desire to create a compassionate home for innovative creators and projects that have been underrepresented in the current comic and graphic novel marketplace, including new talent deserving a debut and established talent looking to establish a solid presence in the North American and English language audience.

Publisher Mike Kennedy previously served as Publisher of Archaia Entertainment during the two years the company received back-to-back Eisner Awards for Best Original Graphic Album, as well as numerous other Eisner and industry awards and nominations. Prior to entering the publishing industry, Mike held roles as both Creative Director and Senior Producer in the video game industry, creating original IP and narrative game design for publishers such as Electronic Arts, Namco, and Microsoft.  He has also been an avid writer, with numerous published titles to his name, including well-known properties such as Star Wars, Superman, and Alien Vs Predator.

Kennedy said in a release:

The most exciting aspect of any creative field is the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from amazing talent. There’s an electrifying amount of talent out there, from around the world, all deserving wider attention, and we are thrilled to create a publishing program that’s built from the ground up to support them in their effort to pursue what they are so passionate about doing.

CEO Wes Harris is the former VP of Publishing for BOOM! Studios, and has held senior roles at top entertainment companies such as Viz Media, White Wolf Publishing, and Meteor Entertainment.

I love the idea of books as an expression of who you are – what you choose to read, to display on your coffee table, and what that says about you. From the very start, from the talent we work with to the titles we select to the way the book feels in your hands, our top priority is creating a memorable reading experience and a book that you’re proud to have on your shelf.

Magnetic Press’s debut catalog launches in Spring of 2014 and features works from Award-winning creators from the US, UK, France, Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico.  Debut titles include Eisner Award-winner Dave Dorman’s Wasted Lands, JD Morvan and Bengal’s Naja and Meka, F. Ruiz Velasco’s Culebra and Legion of Blood, Caio Oliveira’s Super-Ego, Prophet Hill, and Vivid, Francisco Paronzini’s Hugo Broyler, and Lucas Marangon’s Thinking Out Loud.  Additional titles are also in the works, and details on each title, with previews, will be released soon.

MagneticPress_ContactSheet001

Archaia Announces Hawken: Melee

Archaia Entertainment and Meteor Entertainment, have teamed up with comiXology to debut the Digital First title Hawken: Melee, a five-part miniseries based on the online, free-to-play mech combat video game, Hawken. Featuring original stories from some of the top names in comics, the first digital issue is now live on comiXology.

The five Digital First issues will be released four weeks apart, and will be followed by the bi-weekly release of single-issue print editions starting in December. The print issues will contain additional backmatter that will appeal to gameplayers, such as mech and map schematics, combat strategies, and a peek behind the development curtain to enhance the gameplaying experience.

Following the success of Hawken: Genesis, the previously released hardcover graphic novel that established the world history for the game, Hawken: Melee focuses on high-stakes action and fast-paced combat in five standalone stories, each presented by a different creative team. The premiere issue features work by Tim Bradstreet, Dan Abnett, Federico Dallocchio, and Chris Northrop, while subsequent issues will feature work by Jim Mahfood, Jock, Nathan Fox, Mike Kennedy, Andrew Gaska, Dan Dussault, Michael O’Hare, Bagus Hutomo, Francisco Ruiz Velasco, and Bengal.

The first two print issues of Hawken: Melee will ship in December and will be available for pre-order through comic book shops starting Sept. 25.

Hawken is a free-to-play, online, multiplayer, mech combat shooter developed by Adhesive Games and published by Meteor Entertainment. It creates an intense and immersive battle experience that captures the feeling of piloting a heavy war machine while keeping the action fast-paced and strategic.

Hawken_v2_Melee_001_Cover

NYCC 2012 – Archaia and Hawken

Archaia Entertainment and Meteor Entertainment announced their plans to promote the upcoming Hawken video game and prequel graphic novel at New York Comic Con.

At the Archaia booth, #1520, Meteor Entertainment and Adhesive Games will set up a playable, multiplayer demo of Hawken, a first-person mech shooter that is catching a lot of buzz as one of the most anticipated, free-to-play titles coming to PC. Attendees will get to pilot their mech to collect energy, protect their base, and take out their enemies in this fast-paced game.

Fans can also meet Adhesive Co-founder and Creative Director Khang Le as he signs free, limited-edition Hawken autograph cards, the fourth in a series of four. You can check at the Archaia booth for a signing schedule.

Le will also be demoing in the Wacom/Epson booth #1765 on Thursday and Friday from 5-6pm.

In addition, famed rock poster artist Justin Hampton will have an exclusive silk-screen Hawken poster for sale in Artists Alley at booth DD6 for $40 each. Hampton’s poster is the first piece of art available to the public as part of the transmedia approach for Hawken.

Two, separate panels at New York Comic Con will further the Hawken experience. “Meteor Entertainment Presents Hawken” panel will take place on Friday, Oct. 12 from 6:45-7:45pm in room 1A07. Attendees will receive closed beta access for Hawken and get to take a walk through the game and hear about the various transmedia components for the game from Khang Le and other panel participants. And at the “Archaia Presents: Transmedia in Graphic Novel Publishing” panel—taking place Saturday, October 13 from 6:30-7:30pm in Room 1A06— attendees will hear from Khang Le and Archaia Publisher Mike Kennedy the latest developments on the Hawken: Genesis graphic novel, an original story Archaia will publish in March 2013 that will delve into the world of the game and enhance the user’s experience. Never-before seen pages from the book will be presented for the first time for fans, so this is your opportunity to get a glimpse of the work in progress!

Archaia Blows Into the Windy City for C2E2 2012

ARCHAIA BLOWS INTO THE WINDY CITY FOR C2E2 2012

Over Two Dozen Creators, Two Panels and a Large Booth Highlight the Publisher’s Presence at the Midwest’s Largest Comic Book and Pop Culture Event

Chicago, IL (April 12, 2012) – Award-winning graphic novel publisher Archaia Entertainment announced its plans for the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo (C2E2) (www.c2e2.com), which includes a 20’ x 30’ display with a huge selection of product for sale on the show floor; hosting over two dozen creators for free autograph signings, including Chad Michael Murray (Everlast), David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Jim McCann and Janet Lee (Return of the Dapper Men), Nate Cosby (Cow Boy), Ramón K. Pérez (Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand), and Royden Lepp (Rust: Visitor in the Field); presenting two panels, one making several exclusive announcements and one to advise aspiring storytellers on proper world-building; and distributing thousands of free giveaways, including single issue comics, mini-posters, and bookmarks. C2E2 will take place April 13-15, 2012 in the North Hall of McCormick Place in downtown Chicago.

In addition, C2E2 will mark the debut of exclusive, limited signed editions of the highly anticipated, all-ages graphic novel hardcover, Cow Boy: A Boy and His Horse, by Nate Cosby and Chris Eliopoulos. Attendees can also obtain the first of four, limited-edition Hawken posters featuring art by Eisner Award-nominated writer/artist Khang Le. Hawken is an upcoming, free-to-play mech FPS developed by Adhesive Games and published by Meteor Entertainment (12-12-12), and Archaia is producing an original graphic novel prequel (March 2013). The other three posters will be distributed at other key conventions later this year, and together, all four posters will join to form a QR code that will lead fans to a special feature when the game’s closed beta release debuts in October 2012.

Creators scheduled to appear at the Archaia booth (#529) throughout the weekend include:

–Andrew E.C. Gaska, writer, Conspiracy of the Planet of the Apes, Critical Millennium, Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe
–Andrew Rostan, writer, An Elegy for Amelia Johnson
–Ben Templesmith, artist, Bleedout, Immortals: Gods and Heroes
–Brandon Thomas, writer, The Many Adventures of Miranda Mercury
–Brent Schoonover, artist, Mr. Murder Is Dead
–Chad Michael Murray, writer, Everlast
–Chandra Free, writer/artist, The God Machine, Fraggle Rock
–Charles Soule, writer, Strange Attractors
–Dave Rodriguez, writer, Starkweather: Immortal
–David Petersen, writer/artist, Mouse Guard
–Dennis Calero, artist, Immortals: Gods and Heroes, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller
–Gene Ha, artist, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard
–Janet Lee, artist, Return of the Dapper Men, The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABC’s and What She Found There
–Jeremy Bastian, writer/artist, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard, Cursed Pirate Girl
–Jim McCann, writer, Return of the Dapper Men
–J.K. Woodward, artist, Everlast
–Joanna Estep, artist, Fraggle Rock
–Joe LeFavi, writer, Fraggle Rock
–Katie Cook, writer/artist, Fraggle Rock, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard
–Mike Kennedy, writer, Bleedout
–Nate Cosby, writer, Cow Boy, Jim Henson’s The Storyteller
–Phil Hester, writer, Days Missing; artist, Immortals: Gods and Heroes
–Ramón K. Pérez, artist, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand
–Royden Lepp, writer/artist, Rust
–Sam Humphries, writer, Fraggle Rock
–Sean Rubin, artist, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard; writer/artist, Bolivar
–Tom Pinchuk, writer, Hybrid Bastards!
–Yehudi Mercado, writer/artist, Pantalones, TX

Visit this link for a complete schedule of signing times: http://www.archaia.com/2012-c2e2-signing-schedule/. (Times and appearances are subject to change.)

Here are the descriptions of the two panels Archaia will present at C2E2:

Friday, April 13
Archaia Presents:  Coming Soon from Archaia Entertainment…
Room:
S401abc
Time:
Friday, 2:45-3:45 p.m.
The publisher behind Mouse Guard, The Killer, Return of the Dapper Men, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, and other great titles is gearing up for another spectacular year, and here’s where you get to hear all about it! Get the inside scoop on upcoming titles, new projects, and exclusive announcements as Archaia sets its sights on the rest of 2012 and beyond. Join Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen Christy, Nate Cosby (Cow Boy), Andrew E. C. Gaska (Space: 1999: Aftershock and Awe), Joe LeFavi (Hawken), Janet Lee (The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABC’s and What She Found There, Time of the Dapper Men), Royden Lepp (Rust Vol. 2: Secrets of the Cell), Jim McCann (Time of the Dapper Men), David Petersen (Mouse Guard Vol. 3: The Black Axe, Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard Vol. 2), and Charles Soule (Strange Attractors) as they give you a sneak peek of what’s to come!

Sunday, April 15
Archaia Presents: How to Tell a Better Story Through World-Building
Room:
N427bc
Time: 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.
Are you an aspiring storyteller? Want to know the keys to world-building and telling a good story? David Petersen (Mouse Guard), Jeremy Bastian (Cursed Pirate Girl), and Sean Rubin (Redwall, the upcoming Bolivar), three accomplished storytellers that have published or are publishing books through Archaia, present an informative, entertaining panel to see how world-building can help you write and/or draw a better story.

“For the third year in a row, we are excited to return to C2E2 in Chicago with a strong presence to show our Midwest-area fans how much we appreciate their support,” said Archaia Marketing Manager Mel Caylo. “We look forward to a fantastic weekend, and hope you can join us!”

About Archaia

Archaia 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. 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.

Super Summer

Official Press Release

SUPER SUMMER

It’s going to be a super summer with a double dose of the Super Teens! First, in ARCHIE AND FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #7, the Super Teens spring into super heroic action as they face the villainous Ice Cube and the evil Witch Doctor to save Mr. Lodge. And then in BETTY #193, Archie returns as “Pureheart the Powerful” when Betty fantasizes what it would be like to be the girlfriend of the world’s greatest super hero.
Don’t miss all the heroic adventure. Reserve your copies today!

afdd7.600.jpgARCHIE AND FRIENDS DOUBLE DIGEST #7

“Cold Cash”

It may be summer, but it’s getting cold! When the Ice Cube and The Witch Doctor to rob Lodge Industries it’s up to Riverdale’s greatest superhero, Pureheart to stop them in their tracks! Can Pureheart save Mr. Lodge’s millions and bring the heat to Ice Cube’s plans?

SCRIPT: FRANK DOYLE

ARTIST: BOB WHITE, MARIO ACQUAVIVA

COVER: FERNANDO RUIZ, BOB SMITH

Shipping Date: 7/6/2011

On Sale at Comic Shops: 7/20/2011

Newsstands: 7/26/2011

Digest, 160 pgs, 30 lb newsprint, Full-Color

$3.99 US

b193.600.jpg

BETTY #193

“Fantasy Flair”, “Just Relax”, “Shell Belle”
and “Love the One You’re With”

In “Fantasy Flair”, Betty dreams of Archie being a superhero and sweeping her off her feet literally! Next, In “Just Relax”, Betty and Midge take a vacation with Betty’s parents and find out there is more than one way to relax! Then, in “Shell Belle” Betty takes her brownie troop to the beach to collect shells to make some fun crafts. Finally in “Love the One You’re With” Betty and Dilton find themselves with the same situation.

SCRIPT: GEORGE GLADIR, MIKE PELLOWSKI, JOHN ROSE

ARTIST: KENNEDY BROS., JACK MORELLI

COVER: FERNANDO RUIZ, BOB SMITH

Shipping Date: 7/20/2011

On Sale at Comic Shops: 8/3/2011

Newsstands: 8/9/2011

Comic, 32 pages, 40 lb. glossy stock, Full-Color

$2.99 US

Around the Tubes


Bookmark and Share

It was #comicmarket Tuesday yesterday on Twitter and lots of great discussion of the comic industry occurred.  The big question is always what can be done to help and promote comic books?  The easiest answer is to go out to your local shop and get this week’s new releases!  So, what are you picking up today?

Around the Blogs:

Bleeding Cool – The Dark Knight Rises Plot Thickens: Batman’s First Encounter With John Blake RevealedJoseph Gorden-Levitt’s role is revealed, and everyone is now really confused.

Bleeding Cool – After The Avengers? Kevin Feige Spills On Marvel’s PlansCan we first see if this summer’s movies are any good?

Etsy – Marvel USB DrivesSo cute, sadly I don’t need a new USB drive.

An Improvised Blog – 2011 is Year of the NerdLets face it, the Nerds won and took over the world.  Sorry Alpha Betas, you lost.

Newsarama – New Publisher Mike Kennedy Talks ARCHAIA’s Digital FutureThis site named Arachaia the Top Publisher of 2010, so can’t wait to see what the digital future holds for them

Con Coverage:

The Beat – MoCCA thoughts: the indie evolution

Archaia Names Mike Kennedy as Publisher

Official Press Release

Archaia Entertainment Names Mike Kennedy As Publisher
Leading Graphic Novel Publisher Appoints Respected Comic Book Writer And Videogame Veteran To Top Post

Chicago (April 14, 2011) – Leading graphic novel publisher Archaia Entertainment, LLC has named distinguished videogame veteran and comic book writer Mike Kennedy as Publisher, as recently announced by PJ Bickett, CEO. Kennedy’s appointment comes at a time of dramatic growth for Archaia, as the company has successfully grown into an award winning house of original content, which includes such breakout hits as Mouse Guard, Return of the Dapper Men, and Tumor. Kennedy’s experience will play a key role in Archaia’s expanded focus on device- and app-based publishing, as well as digital and interactive development.

Kennedy joins Archaia with a distinguished 20-year career in the comic book and videogame industries, including high-profile writing assignments with such leading comic book publishers as Dark Horse and DC. His writing credits encompass numerous notable and high-profile titles such as Star Wars (Dark Horse); Superman (DC); Aliens Vs. Predator (20th Century Fox/Dark Horse) and Aeon Flux (Dark Horse/MTV). Kennedy has also earned industry-wide recognition for his innovative work developing original videogame IP’s for such major players as Electronic Arts, Namco, Activision and 3DO.

“Since day one, our focus has been on recruiting the best talent for all facets of our business. Mike fits well within that core objective, which includes a proven track record of leadership that he now brings to Archaia. We are pleased to welcome Mike aboard as Archaia’s publisher,” said Bickett.

As publisher, Kennedy will oversee and manage all aspects of Archaia’s production schedule, marketing initiatives and distribution process, including significant digital outreach, reporting back to Bickett.

About Archaia Entertainment
Archaia Entertainment, LLC 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, Engineer, and an entire line of The Jim Henson Company graphic novels. 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. As a result of its publishing prowess, Archaia is the reigning 2010 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.

Mike Kennedy

Preview – Carbon Grey #2

Official Press Release

CARBON GREY #2

story HOANG NGUYEN, KHARI EVANS, PAUL GARDNER & MIKE KENNEDY, art & cover HOANG NGUYEN, KHARI EVANS & KINSUN LOH

32 PAGES, FC, $2.99

The General moves to arrest the sisters, as the twins turn to their mentors. The Baron has a hand in Pepper and Dina’s escape, and Howard is convinced he is blessed. As the Greys search for Giselle, Eva becomes concerned about her sister’s allegiances. Who is manipulating the Kaiser’s legacy?

RETAILER WARNING: MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AGES

Carbon Grey #2 cover Read More…

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