By Davey Nieves
In 2015, BOOM! Studios celebrates 10 years of publishing comics, and to commemorate this milestone, the publisher has assembled what it considers to be its top 10 moments of the past decade—all highlights that contributed significantly to the company’s founding, rise, and continued growth. Straight from the mouth of BOOM! it reads as a chronological time line of the publishers history.
December 2004: Comics writer Keith Giffen, in Los Angeles for a comic book convention, has a beer on a Saturday night with Ross Richie and pushes Richie to start his own comic book publishing company.
June 2005: The first BOOM! Studios book, Zombie Tales #1, ships (6/29/2005), showcasing work from Mark Waid (Daredevil), Keith Giffen (Future’s End), and Dave Johnson (100 Bullets). BOOM!’s focus on original content over the next decade spawns bestsellers like Irredeemable, The Woods, and Lumberjanes as it launches the careers of next-generation talent like Rafael Albuquerque (The Savage Brothers, American Vampire), Emma Rios (Hexed, Pretty Deadly), Aaron Kuder (Key of Z, Green Lantern: New Guardians), Jordie Bellaire (Malignant Man, Captain Marvel), and Russell Dauterman (Supurbia, Thor), among many others.
December 2006: BOOM! Studios publishes its first licensed comic book, Warhammer: Damnation Crusade #1. BOOM! goes on to work with some of the biggest brands in the world, including 20th Century Fox, Disney, Cartoon Network, MGM, Peanuts Worldwide, Paws, and The Jim Henson Company.
July 2007: Mark Waid is named Editor-in-Chief and goes on to become the company’s Chief Creative Officer, contributing numerous original titles to the company’s lineup before returning to freelance writing in December 2010.
March 2009: The first KaBOOM! (previously BOOM! Kids) comics, Incredibles: Family Matters #1 and The Muppet Show Comic Book #1, ship (3/25/2009). BOOM! Studios is the first Disney licensee to be granted the ability to generate new canon material for any Pixar property.
January 2010: Voted on by comic shop retailers, BOOM! Studios wins its first “Best Publisher Under 4%” Diamond Gem Award for 2009. It is awarded this honor four more times since, earning the award five out of the last six years. The publisher wins its first Harvey Award for Roger Langridge’s work on The Muppet Show Comic Book (8/28/10) that same year and its first Eisner Award for Shannon Wheeler’s I Thought You Would Be Funnier a year later (7/22/11).
June 2013: BOOM! Studios announces its acquisition of Archaia (6/24/13) (publisher of titles like Mouse Guard, Jim Henson’s Tale of Sand, and The Killer), adding the company as a wholly-owned imprint alongside its other imprints, KaBOOM! and BOOM! Box, and expands the range of diverse content Archaia publishes.
August 2013: “2 Guns” opens in theaters (8/2/13) starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg. The film is based on the BOOM! Studios five-issue series created by Steven Grant and illustrated by Mateus Santoluoco.
October 2013: BOOM! enters into a first-look deal with 20th Century Fox for feature films (10/2/2013) and then signs a first-look deal with Fox for television the following year (8/20/2014).
February 2014: Former DC Comics President & Publisher Paul Levitz joins BOOM! as a consultant and a member of the Board of Directors. Levitz categorized his role as the voice of experience that says, “Well, we tried to attack that problem this way [at DC Comics]; it didn’t work that way. Maybe times have changed, but let’s think about what the issues were and try to find a way around what the dilemmas were.”
As for the future, Boom! Studios has an entire year full of announcements lined up and are already off to a great start with their new book Burning Fields. It looks like the next ten years could be even bigger for the little publisher that could.