Abrams continues to add to its adult-skewing publishing program tied to Cartoon Network’s Adventure Time. It published Adventure Time: A Totally Math Poster Collection at the end of March and will release Adventure Time: The Art of Ooo this fall. The two titles are follow-ups to The Adventure Time Encyclopædia, which came out in time for Comic-Con in July 2013.
The poster book, which retails for $19.95, came about as a bridge between the cornerstone Encyclopædia and Art of Ooo titles. “We were looking for a spring title to fill a gap in our overall program,” explained editor Eric Klopfer. “We wanted something at an attractive price point for impulse purchases, and something that could draw upon the growing archive of preexisting Adventure Time artwork.”
The 42-page, 11” × 16” poster book features 20 removable, framable prints, each by a different artist, including seven of rare variant covers from Boom Studios’ Adventure Time comic book series, four from the Encyclopædia, five previously available only as limited-edition prints from apparel licensee Mondo Tees, and four original commissions.
Klopfer noted that the book differs from other licensed poster books, thanks to features such as uncoated stock and the inclusion of only 20 images so that none are printed back-to-back. “Book buyers seem to appreciate the value and the thoughtfulness in the design and production,” he said.
The show’s creator, Pendleton Ward, is closely involved in all the Adventure Time books, “from the formats to who we should hire,” Klopfer reported. Ward’s involvement in the Encyclopædiaand the upcoming Art of Ooo extended to selecting the authors, Martin Olson and Chris McDonnell, respectively. “Pen is incredibly tapped into the online and print cartoon, comic, outsider art, and comedy communities,” Klopfer said. “He often has an exact idea of who should be doing these specific books.”
The Adventure Time publishing program, which includes Penguin for children’s books as well as Abrams and Boom, is highly collaborative, involving all of the publishers, the creative staff of the Adventure Time TV series, and Cartoon Network, according to Klopfer.
“Licensed publishing is about respectfully playing in someone else’s sandbox,” Klopfer said. “In this case, the level of the play and of the players involved has been exceptionally rewarding. Everyone we work with on it is a fan, and that’s mirrored in the books. And the intelligence and humor and sincerity of the show really translate to print.”