By Michele Brittany
I come into this panel with a severe bias: I think Mouse Guard is a beautiful series and yes, I'm a fan girl. I've followed and collected Mouse Guard: Fall 1152 from the first single issues published in February 2006. While I got to meet David Petersen at the San Diego International Comic Con in 2008, I hadn't seen him since then. So, it was a wonderful opportunity to attend "The World of Mouse Guard" panel.
Hosting the panel was Rebecca "Tay" Taylor, editor at Archaia and BOOM! Studios as well as the man himself, writer and artist David Petersen. Taylor and Petersen announced that Mouse Guard is turning 10 next year – Petersen chuckled saying, "it doesn't seem like 10 years" – and to honor of the occasion, Archaia has several products planned.
First, Baldwin the Brave and Other Tales will collect the Mouse Guard stories that have been released in limited numbers from Free Comic Book Day the past four years. In addition, the book will include two new stories.
The second edition of the Mouse Guard role playing game will have revised rules and improved graphics. However, there's a new game planned called Swords and Strongholds and right now, there's a kickstarter going on. The game costs $30 in the US. The game features new card art and tokens made from his molds.
Volume 3 of Legends of the Guard will collect short stories from several talents in the industry today. Dustin Nguyen, Skottie Young, Nicole Gustafsson, Mark Buckingham, Hannah Christensen, and others that Peterson could not publicly confirm yet. Petersen reminded the audience that the Legends series is based on Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. Although the stories will not written by Petersen, he did say that he will draw the tavern where the stories will be judged – the best story told will clear their bar tab for the evening.
Art of David Petersen's Mouse Guard 2005 – 2015 is a collection of Petersen's early drawings, models, a documentation of his artistic process as well as art and pin-ups from the Legends series.
In addition, The Weasel War of 1149 will be a brand new series that Petersen states will be a big story. In fact, it will be an eight-issue story arc that includes the first meeting with Liam.
If that wasn't enough to make any Mouse Guard fan squeal with anticipation, Petersen announced he is working with Skelton Crew Studio, yeah the same one that has worked on Locke & Key, to create replica Mouse Guard weapons. Petersen was initially skeptical that fans would want to hang a 5-foot broadsword above the fireplace mantle; however, he was assured the replicas would be more mouse size appropriate. The first replica will be Lieam's sword and sheath, available for pre-order in about two weeks.
Need something a little softer? Well, the Saxon and Kenzie plushies are coming in two weeks as well. No, too soft? How about the Baldwin marionette, which Petersen explained would be around 7 inches in height. There is also the possibility that there will be customization options, so you can order your own marionette. The marionette will be available around November 7. And that concluded the anniversary plans.
There was one more special announcement: a special reading from Hal Lublin (The Thrilling Adventure Hour), Meredith Salenger (Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Hollywood Heights) and comic book artist Mark Buckingham (Marvelman, Hellblazer and Fables). Each read from the forthcoming Baldwin the Brave. The readings were a wonderful surprise and it was a moving experience to see and hear each story read.
There are exciting times ahead for Mouse Guard fans! I, for one, look forward to the months ahead.
All panel photographs by Michele Brittany.
Michele Brittany is an independent popular culture scholar and semi-professional photographer and editor of the forthcoming title James Bond and Popular Culture: Essays on the Influence of the Fictional Superspy (McFarland & Company). She regularly posts reviews and analysis on the spy/espionage genre on her blog, Spyfi & Superspies.