Nowadays, in a market glutted by sequels and long-running franchises, new IP can be a difficult commodity to come by, which is why today’s news that BOOM! Studios has acquired Archaia is so exciting. Today’s acquisition makes BOOM! the largest owner of independent, company-controlled graphic novels outside of the Big Two, and it seems like the two Eisner and Harvey Award-winning publishers share a similar ethos when it comes to putting out offbeat, independent comics.
Of the merger, BOOM!’s CEO and founder, Ross Richie, said, “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.”
In the press release, Archaia President and Chief Operating Officer Jack Cummins said, “We are thrilled and excited to join with BOOM! 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.”
This merger comes at a good time for Archaia, which had a rough year in 2012. After its Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand took home four Eisner Awards, the publisher seemed to have a difficult time shipping titles in the following four months. In an interview with Comic Book Resources, Cummins explained:
“There’s no question that the company was in a really tough spot for about six months. 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.”
Archaia will continue to function as an imprint of BOOM!, which seems like a smart move given the goodwill many in the industry and the reading public feel towards the indie publisher. But, most importantly, what do you think about this merger? Let us know in the comments below!