Could Oni Press’ showing at Emerald City Comic Con be any more impressive this year? Hot on the heels of the announcement of a new, full color Scott Pilgrim collection, the publisher revealed that they are the new publisher of the hugely popular video game webcomic, Penny Arcade. Anyone who is a frequent visitor to our sites knows that we are big fans of webcomics, as can be seen by our long running feature, Webcomics Wednesday, so this news really strikes home with us.
Penny Arcade is the brainchild of Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik and tells the tale of two video-game enthusiasts, Gabe and Tycho, that have a tendency to be slightly social awkward and/or sociopathic. The comic began in 1998 and has since exploded, boasting a readership of more than 3.5 million. Penny Arcade has become proof that even any endeavor can become a major success if given the right heart, smarts, and direction. In addition to the webcomic, Holkins and Krahulik have started PAX , the Penny Arcade Expo, an annual video game exposition. But they’ve also used their success to give back to the community through Child’s Play, a charitable organization aimed at raising money and funds for children in hospitals.
For Oni Press to take control of the publishing of Penny Arcade is huge news. Though this isn’t the first time Penny Arcade has seen print, with Dark Horse Comics previously holding control, this is a big step for Oni. But, according to George Rohac, operations director for Oni, the partnership was a logical one. “We always read their comics in the office,” states Rohac, “and for several years, our company has been exhibiting at PAX, the gaming festival the Jerry and Mike organize with their business partners. I’ve always felt the two endeavors were simpatico.”
The first collection of Penny Arcade from Oni Press will be titled Magical Kids in Danger and will hit stores August 19, retailing for $14.99.