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The Jungle Book.  The Hobbit.  Winnie the Pooh.  The Last Unicorn.  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.  The Dark Crystal.  Mouse Guard.

There is an exclusive royalty of fantasy tales featuring non-humans in fantastical realms.  These books and movies should be on the bookshelves of everyone with an imagination.  Strange worlds familiar and yet unfamiliar.  Steeped in tradition, filled with myths and legends and populated by extraordinary creatures.  These are fantasy masterpieces that make us look beyond our humanity.

Based on a world of characters he created in college in 1996, in May 2005 artist and writer David Petersen self-published the first of several stories of his micro-universe called Mouse Guard.  In 2006 Archaia started publishing Mouse Guard issues  books.  Petersen earned the 2007 Russ Manning Award for Most Promising Newcomer, and in 2008 he earned Eisner Awards for Best Publication for Kids (Mouse Guard Fall 1152 & Winter 1152) and Best Graphic Album – Reprint (Mouse Guard Fall 1152 Hardcover).  We at borg.com have been bragging up Petersen’s Mouse Guard series from the beginning.

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This month Archaia is releasing the first Mouse Guard Coloring Book, and we have previews of the book below.  It is a fantastic book to go crazy with crayons or pencils.  But it’s even more.  The more than fifty black and white illustrations in a format larger than what is printed in the Mouse Guard series shows the intricate detail of the environments, cities, and characters from across the Mouse Territories.  Although some images are printed smaller than the original artwork behind these previously published works, this is the closest you may come to getting your hands on an affordable gallery of Petersen’s original pencil and ink drawings.  At a convention commissioned inked 7×7 works from David Petersen go for $500.  Original Mouse Guard pages sold for that amount a decade ago but would sell for at least triple that today.  So this coloring book serves also as a look at what Petersen sees with his original art pages, as well as a great convention sketchbook.  And costs less than $15.

In Mouse Guard, you’ll witness noble mice struggling to live safely and prosper under the harsh life of nature and mouse hiding places from a host of predators.  These mice are on their own quest, like that of Frodo, or Mowgli, or Pooh, the Rats of NIMH, or the Gelfling Jen.  A highlight of The Mouse Guard Coloring Book is a two-page spread of Petersen’s stunningly glorious “Feather Knighting,” plus his “Moonflower,” “Sadie Bee,” “Juniper,” and “Saxon Lantern,” all available for purchase as enlarged, full-color prints on Petersen’s website.  Check out these preview images:

mg-preview-archaea-1 mg-preview-archaea-2 mg-preview-archaea-3 mg-preview-archaea-4 mg-preview-archaea-5  mg-preview-archaea-6What’s next for Petersen?  Next month we’ll be reviewing his illustrated edition of The Wind in the Willows, available now for pre-order at Amazon.com here.  Expect that book to be another classic.

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In July 2016 Twentieth Century Fox announced it had purchased the rights to produce a live action motion capture film of Mouse Guard with Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes, Conviction, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Cloverfield, Felicity, Homicide) as a producer and Gary Whitta (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars Rebels, The Walking Dead) as screenwriter.  Get in on Mouse Guard now to see what it’s all about.  Pick up your copy of The Mouse Guard Coloring Book at a discount off cover price now here at Amazon.com.  See our prior discussions, and learn more about Mouse Guard at borg.com here.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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