From the looks of it, 2014 will certainly be the "Year of Mouse Guard." Creator David Petersen blew away fans during Archaia's "Mouse Guard" panel at this year's New York Comic Con with a plethora of behind-the-scenes images and hints about the acclaimed series' future, including news the next miniseries, "Mouse Guard: The Weasel War of 1149."
Stemming from Petersen's Dungeons & Dragons phase during college, "Mouse Guard" is a classic fantasy story told from the point of view of mice. "'Mouse Guard' is a silly premise," Petersen told the crowd. "It's mice standing on two legs, talking and beating animals that they'd never be able to beat in the wild."
Petersen then revealed his complicated conceptual process, explaining how he personally crafts cardboard dioramas of every individual set piece in the book, which allows him to illustrate faster and more efficiently.
"I find that if I just start building a model, I can design the whole thing in three dimensions and not make any mistakes," Petersen said. "It doesn't bother me that you figured [my mistakes] out, it bothers me that I got it wrong."
While Petersen crafts the main "Mouse Guard" stories entirely on his own, he also created the Eisner Award-winning "Mouse Guard: Legends of the Guard" anthology series and invited contributors Jeremy Bastian and Corey Godbey to join him on stage. Petersen mentioned some of the other creators who worked on "Legends of the Guard" including Stan Sakai, Bill Willingham, and Mark Smylie, who initially green lit the project at Archaia Entertainment.
"Mouse Guard" has seen plenty of success as a book, but more recently the world has expanded into ours with various merchandise. Petersen detailed Israel Skelton's hand-crafted mouse-scale replica weapons; the first of which includes the Black Axe (from "Mouse Guard: The Black Axe") and Rand's shield.
Skelton Crew plans on releasing mouse-scale replicas of the hammer and tongs that forged the Black Axe, Lieam's Sword and Scabbard, Gwendolyn's Pike-Axe, and Louka's Sword, complete with a fully functioning acorn sword handle.
In addition to these replica weapons, Skelton will be working on Mouse Marionettes based on the character Baldwin the Brave from the "Mouse Guard" Free Comic Book Day issue limited to 100 pieces.
Much to the crowd's dismay, Petersen announced he will take a "Mouse" break for a little while. However, he did promise the next "Mouse Guard" story, "The Weasel War of 1149," will be longer and more epic than any of its "Mouse Guard" predecessors.
"Archaia doesn't know this," revealed Petersen. "But instead of 'Weasel War' being the normal 6-issue arc, I'm aiming for 8." The "Mouse Guard" creator mentioned "Weasel War" is actually the first "Mouse Guard" story he ever wrote, dating back to his initial creation of the concept during his college years. It's an epic that has been alluded to many times throughout the series, and only now is it being seen in full.
When the panel was turned over to the audience for questions, one fan asked about about the possibility of a "Mouse Guard" movie, and Petersen was quick to point out how difficult it would be to nail the tone of his work.
"Ultimately, the big test for whether or not we do a movie is whether or not they get it right," Petersen teased. "I'm talking to a producer right now and I've also got a VP of another studio who is very interested and is looking to start talking early next year."
While it may be some time before fans get another "Mouse Guard" book, perhaps they can expect some "Mouse Guard" movie news to tide them over in the meantime.
Stay tuned to CBR News for more on the future of "Mouse Guard."