Dark Horse and Archaia FCBD Previews

FCBD (that’s Free Comic Book Day) occurs on the first Saturday of May each year. It’s a great initiative to get newbies to sample the awesomeness of today’s sequential art. Hopefully your LCS is participating. The first 2 publishers to promote their offerings for this year are Dark Horse and Archaia.

First up, the Horse, and this note from editor Scott Allie.

I really pushed to get our horror books in front of people for Free Comic Book Day. While there’s epic changes afoot in Hellboy, we also have big upcoming plans for Mignola’s Baltimore, and the FCBD story is a great intro to that. Niles and Criminal Macabre were away for a while, so we wanted to make this a strong comeback year. Steve’s showing you everything fun about the series in eight pages—monsters, mayhem, humor, and drug abuse. We’ll follow it up with the crossover with Eric Powell’s The Goon, and then another Cal oneshot this summer. We’re taking the character down a few pegs and starting his story fresh, so FCBD is really a perfect place to start. Free. All the new stuff is drawn by Chris Mitten, with amazing painted covers by Fiona Staples. We wanted to give the character a clean start with a really solid new team, so readers don’t have to have read everything that came before. But if you want to … there’s two omnibuses coming later this year, collecting everything that came before.

You can see an extra page from both both Criminal Macabre and Baltimore at Dark Horses’s blog.

And now – Archaia. With writer Brian Holguin (Spawn) and artist Alex Sheikman (Robotika) on the ’80s film based The Dark Crystal story and a peek at the just announced sequel to Return of the Dapper Men, this will be another one to pick up. Covers for the flipbook below.


Retail Price: Free

Page Count: 32 pages

Format: saddle bound, 8” x 8”, full color

Release Date: May 7, 2011

(W) David Petersen and Brian Holguin

(A) David Petersen and Alex Sheikman

(Cov) The Dark Crystal – Brian Froud; Mouse Guard – David Petersen

Archaia presents two, amazing, all-new stories in one fantastic flipbook—David Petersen’s Eisner Award-winning MOUSE GUARD and Jim Henson’s beloved THE DARK CRYSTAL share the spotlight on Free Comic Book day! On one side of the book, a brand-new tale of the fan-favorite MOUSE GUARD, elite warrior mice tasked with protecting common mice from predators, the elements and other dangers. It’s the perfect introduction to MOUSE GUARD for new fans, and a rewarding treat for existing ones! On the other side of the book, Archaia Entertainment is proud to present an exclusive prelude to its forthcoming series of THE DARK CRYSTAL graphic novels, featuring covers, art direction and concepts by Brian Froud, conceptual designer of the original film! This prelude begins the epic creation story of the world of Thra, and explores the origins of the world of THE DARK CRYSTAL!

As a bonus, the issue will also contain a sneak peek of Jim McCann and Janet Lee’s TIME OF THE DAPPER MEN, a sequel to the critically acclaimed RETURN OF THE DAPPER MEN, coming this fall. Additionally, fans of Jim Henson will also get an advance look at TALE OF SAND, an original graphic novel coming in September based on a never-before-seen screenplay written by Henson and Jerry Juhl!

Booming Peanuts

With two simple images released today, rising indie publishers BOOM! Studios have announced that their BOOM! Kids line is now called Kaboom!, and that the first series under that banner is a biggie – Charlie Brown and co. Whether Peanuts will be reprints or what, we don’t know as yet. Great scoop though.