By Hei­di Mac­Don­ald | Jun 24, 2013 | Pub­lish­er’s Week­ly | Sub­scribe

In the first sign of con­sol­i­da­tion in the graph­ic nov­el mar­ket, Boom! Stu­dios announced on Mon­day that they were acquir­ing Archa­ia Enter­tain­ment. Terms were not dis­closed. Both com­pa­nies are locat­ed in Los Ange­les, and Archa­ia will func­tion as an imprint of Boom!, with all Archa­ia per­son­nel stay­ing on, includ­ing edi­tor-in-chief Stephen Christy, mar­ket­ing man­ag­er Mel Cay­lo and pres­i­dent and CEO Jack Cum­mins, who will remain in the same role for the Archa­ia imprint.

The deal was announced by Boom CEO and founder Ross Richie and gives Boom! a sig­nif­i­cant back­list of well-regard­ed cre­ator owned titles includ­ing such award win­ning books as David Petersen’s Mouse Guard and Josh Tierney’s Spera.

Our cre­ator-friend­ly mod­el ensures that cre­atives are reward­ed finan­cial­ly as they gen­er­ate the fran­chis­es ofto­mor­row,” said Richie in a state­ment. “Archa­ia oper­ates with the same phi­los­o­phy and objec­tives, which is one of the many rea­sons this com­bi­na­tion is such a great fit.” He also praised Archaia’s high pro­duc­tion val­ues and high lev­el of quality—it was announced that sev­er­al key back list titles will be brought back to print.

We are thrilled and excit­ed to join with BOOM!,” said Cum­mins in his state­ment, prais­ing Boom! for “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.”

Accord­ing to BOOM! exec­u­tive chair­man Scott Lenet of the ven­ture cap­i­tal firm DFJ Fron­tier, they are look­ing to con­tin­ue expand­ing Archa­ia prop­er­ties in mul­ti­ple chan­nels and media.

The acqui­si­tion marks the lat­est chap­ter of a long jour­ney for Archa­ia which has weath­ered many ups and down along with the growth of the graph­ic nov­el busi­ness. The com­pa­ny was found­ed in 2002 by New Jer­sey-based Mark Smylie—a self pub­lish­er and artist him­self on the well-regard­ed fan­ta­sy strip Arte­sia—along with a busi­ness part­ner, Aki Liao. Liao depart­ed in 2008, and many won­dered at the time if Archa­ia would pull through, but it emerged with an even bet­ter pro­file after being acquired by Chica­go-based PJ Bick­ett and Kunoichi Inc. Archa­ia bounced back with an ambi­tious slate of hand­some hard­cov­er graph­ic nov­els. How­ev­er, a switch in dis­trib­u­tors at the book­store lev­el left Acha­ia with a pun­ish­ing num­ber of returns, and recent­ly they had been read­just­ing their busi­ness plan after Bickett’s depar­ture.

The move unites two com­pa­nies with strong licens­ing tie-ins. Boom! has had incred­i­ble suc­cess of late with its Adven­ture Time, Reg­u­lar Show and Bravest War­rior comics. Archa­ia has hit with comics based on var­i­ous Jim Hen­son prop­er­ties, includ­ing Frag­gle Rock comics and the Eis­ner Award-win­ning A Tale of Sand, based on an unpro­duced Hen­son screen­play.

Mean­while, both com­pa­nies are also hav­ing suc­cess in the Hol­ly­wood are­na. For Boom!, 2 Guns, star­ring Den­zel Wash­ing­ton, based on the com­ic of the same name by Steven Grant comes out in August. Jere­mi­ah Harm, a fea­ture based on the com­ic book by Kei­th Gif­f­en, Alan Grant, and John Mueller, is slat­ed to be direct­ed by Timo Vuouren­so­la ofIron Sky(jeremiahharm.com).

Archa­ia also has sev­er­al prop­er­ties in devel­op­ment includ­ing Roy­den Lepp’s Rust, which is at Twen­ti­eth Cen­tu­ry Fox, Lucid(Warn­er Bros.),Boli­var(Warn­er Bros.),andFeed­ing Ground(Press­man Films).

Boom! has also been solid­i­fy­ing its posi­tion in the indus­try of late by announc­ing exclu­sives with well known cre­ators such as Paul Jenk­ins and Bri­an Stel­freeze.