Writer Jim McCann and artist Janet K. Lee have acquired the rights to their book "Return of the Dapper Men" and its planned follow-ups from Archaia Entertainment and parent publisher BOOM! Studios, CBR News has confirmed with the creative team.
"We felt that, along with Archaia, we put out a beautiful book that exceeded everyone's expectations -- especially our own," McCann told CBR. "However, after much discussion between Archaia, BOOM, and Janet and I, at this point in our careers and in the best interest of all parties, the proper home for 'Dapper Men' is back with us, the creators, moving forward."
The news was preceded by McCann, BOOM! and Archaia announcing earlier this week via Twitter that Dec. 31, 2013, would be the final day "Dapper Men" would be in print and available for order in its original form.
"Janet and I have the full rights reverted back to us and it's now a completely creator-owned title/series/property," McCann said. "The Archaia edition is no longer produced or available. This does mean that for now the book will be out of print and unable for back order or reorders, so any stock available will be whatever is currently in the [direct market] and bookstore market, or whatever Janet and I have for sale at cons."
McCann and Lee are currently exploring the next move for "Dapper Men," both the original book and its planned sequels. "Dapper Men" is intended as a trilogy, with the next book, "Time of the Dapper Men," previewed in Archaia's 2012 Free Comic Book Day offering.
"Janet and I are looking at what is best for us, maintaining the high standards and quality of 'Return of the Dapper Men,' the 'Dapper Men' future books and all avenues going forward," McCann said. "What was produced was a beautiful book and we want to maintain that, while achieving certain goals for ourselves and the franchise. 'Dapper' is an intense labor of love with a loyal and much appreciated fan base -- we don't want to let them, or ourselves, down at all."
Released in 2010 to widespread critical acclaim, "Return of the Dapper Men" shared the 2011 Eisner Award for "Best Graphic Album: New" with "Wilson" by Daniel Clowes. McCann and Lee also teamed in 2013 for the four-issue Image Comics miniseries "Lost Vegas."
UPDATE 1/2/2014 6:44 PM PT: BOOM! Studios has provided CBR News with a statement from Filip Sablik, the company's VP of publishing and marketing:
"Archaia had come to an agreement with Jim and Janet to return the rights for 'Return of the Dapper Men' to them prior to BOOM! acquiring the publisher. This had been in process for some time and the recent announcement was simply to give our retailer partners a final opportunity to stock up on the current printing before it became unavailable. We would have loved to continue publishing the 'Dapper Men,' while honoring all of the beautiful production values and high standards the first edition had set, but felt it was only right to honor Jim and Janet's wishes. We wish them the absolute best in charting the future of the 'Dapper Men' series."