Penguin Random House continues its renewed emphasis of making strategic acquisitions with a new agreement to acquire comic book and graphic novel publisher Boom! Studios. The agreement, between the Random House Publishing Group and Boom! founder and chairman Ross Richie, is expected to close later this summer, at which point Boom! will become part of Random House Worlds.

Boom! was founded by Richie in 2005 and comprises Boom! Studios, Boom! Box, KaBoom!, and Archaia, which it purchased in 2013. According to the announcement by RHPG, Boom! will remained based in its Los Angeles offices and retain editorial and publishing independence. Upon completion of the deal, Richie will leave Boom! and the Los Angeles office will be overseen by Boom! director of strategy Jen Harned, who will report to Random House Worlds president Scott Shannon.

Random House Worlds is currently home to storied science fiction and fantasy imprint Del Rey, new comics imprint Inklore, and the RH Worlds licensing program. Shannon called the acquisition of BOOM! Studios “a major step in Penguin Random House’s expansion of support to the direct comics market and a key part of our commitment to being the best publisher for creators across all categories.”

Shannon will oversee the integration of Boom! alongside Keith Clayton, VP and publisher of RH Worlds, and Bill Takes, EVP of business strategy for RHPG, and the Boom! team. Boom!’s current distribution agreements will remain in effect, with Diamond Comic Distributors handling distribution to the direct market and Simon & Schuster distributing to trade bookstores.

Under Richie, Boom! has developed an ambitious licensing program, signing publishing deals with such brands as The Dark Crystal, Dune, The Expanse, Firefly, Garfield, Labyrinth, and Power Rangers while creating its own original bestselling series, including Keanu Reeves’s BRZRKR series and Lumberjanes. In 2017, Boom! sold a stake in the company to 20th Century Fox, which was assumed by the Walt Disney Company following its acquisition of Fox. The PRH purchase includes the acquisition of the Disney stake.

The Boom! acquisition is the latest in a string of deals made by PRH after its purchase of Simon & Schuster was blocked by the Department of Justice. Last year, PRH upped its stake in Sourcebooks to a majority interest, bought the bankrupt Callisto Media and folded it into Sourcebooks, and acquired self-help and wellness publisher Hay House.