Want to know more about the recent merger between BOOM! Studios and Archaia Entertainment? CBR News recently interviewed CEO and founder Ross Richie and new President Jack Cummins. The pair explains how the two companies came together, how the merger will impact Archaia’s lineup of titles, how the Archaia staff adjusts to the change in location, and how the pair feel about creative processes.
CBR News: Congrats on the merger, gentlemen. I think this is a move that will be turning a lot of heads, if for no other reason than the fact that up to this point, BOOM! and Archaia have had very different mission statements and approaches to comics publishing. Can you each tell me a bit about what advantage you saw in this relationship for your respective company?
Ross Richie: There are actually two different parts to this question so let’s start with the first.
I would actually disagree with you regarding a difference in the mission statements between the two companies. I think the similarities in our philosophy are what drew us together. Archaia participates with their creators in new original creations, which is a core tenet shared with BOOM!. The comic book industry has been polarized far too long by publishers who own their properties and don’t share their success with creators. We don’t believe that a relationship with creators has to be adversarial and I think that’s something we’ve proven with the massive success Steven Grant has had with “2 Guns.”
Keith Giffen was the one who pioneered this deal with me back in 2005 when I was launching the company. He told me that he wanted BOOM! to have a stake in the projects that he published with us so that we would be as committed as he was. It’s that equal partnership with creators and alignment that have driven our success thus far. We’ve had an exciting line of creators embrace that philosophy in 2013 with the arrival of Mike Carey, Paul Jenkins, new original Clive Barker work in comics, Si Spurrier, Max Bemis, and Brian Stelfreeze, just to name a few.
Meanwhile, on Archaia’s side, Royden Lepp’s massive success with “Rust” has proven out this kind of reciprocal relationship between publisher and creator.
Sure, we work with different creators to create different kinds of projects. Archaia publishes a lot of original graphic novels, BOOM! publishes a lot of individual comics. But at our core, we share a philosophy that creators can have a positive, productive collaboration with their publisher.
Jack Cummins: I agree with Ross. We have very similar values and missions. We both believe in a relationship-driven approach, internally and externally, that has long-lasting partnerships. We both have passion for moving the industry forward and want to stand for doing great things well.
But we also both believe the business needs to change. We have to fix flaws in the distribution model that provides for better analysis and information. The digital and print distribution part of the industry needs to be more aligned with publishers and creators. All industry participants need to “get” that it is about growing the market and building a broader industry-wide readership, regardless of creator, publisher, or channel. Stay tuned for how Ross and I keep this moving.
You can read the rest of the interview on the CBR website here!