Tuesday, September 30, 2014


On the Mouse Guard site: mouseguard.net there has long been a FAQ page that says 'coming soon'. Well...I finally got around to getting it all typed up. Here's the most Frequently Asked Questions & their Answers:

In what order should the Mouse Guard books be read?

In the main Mouse Guard series, the first book is Fall 1152, and is followed by Winter 1152, and then the prequel book The Black Axe 3rd. The Legends of the Guard volumes are spinoff anthologies where David asked guest artists to tell the tall tales and legends of the Mouse Guard world. The anthologies can be read at any point and in any order, but the Mouse Guard books are meant to be read in order (though fans have said they happened to start with a later book and went back to find it worked for them without ruining the story.)

What age range is Mouse Guard intended?

Mouse Guard is a true all-ages book. There are just as many children fans of the series as there are adult fans. For sake of labeling, the publisher has classified it as “8 and up”, though there are fans of Mouse Guard younger than that. While Mouse Guard deals with serious ideas of loyalty, danger, love, and death, David doesn’t do gore-for-gore’s sake illustration, and focuses more on the weight of those events rather than the spectacle of them. Some vocabulary may be over the heads of younger readers, but none of it is inappropriate for them and David likes to think children will rise to the occasion of being challenged and either learn new words and meanings through context or by asking an adult for help.

How long has Mouse Guard been around?

In May of 2005 David self-published the first issue of Mouse Guard at the Motor City Comic Con (This was a black and white version of what became the first chapter in Fall). In 2006 Archaia started publishing and releasing color Mouse Guard issues & books. The idea for the Mouse Guard goes back to David’s early college days in 1996 when he first drew Saxon, Kenzie, and Rand.

Where can I purchase Mouse Guard books?

Mouse Guard books are available at your local comic shop or bookseller, Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or the BOOM! online store. Mouse Guard books can also be purchased through BOOM!/Archaia or David at conventions.

Why mice?

David loves animal stories and set out to make one that was as epic as the Dungeons and Dragons adventures he played when younger. For David, mice became a perfect representation of being an underdog, having the world stacked against you, and having enemies with all the advantages of size and might.

Why don’t the other animals in Mouse Guard speak or wear clothes?

Just because the other animals don’t wear clothing, or aren’t shown to have castles or swords, don’t think they don’t have a language, history and culture all their own. When Europeans first encountered Native Americans, they thought them primitive savages. But nothing could be further from the truth…and the same is true of the foxes, snakes, crabs, and wolves of Mouse Guard…the mice are just to mouse-centric to learn the subtleties of their culture and language (Though a few mice have taught themselves to speak to beasts).

How do you pronounce the names “Lieam” and “Celanawe”?

“Lieam" is pronounced just like “Liam”. David misspelled the name in his ealiest notes for Mouse Guard and liked how it looked after he discovered the mistake and decided to keep it.

“Celanawe” is pronounced “Khel-eN-awe”

Is there a Mouse Guard movie in the works?

David has spoken to several producers, agents, and studios over the years, and while there has been talk. no movie deal has been made. David wants a Mouse Guard movie to be done correctly, adding more depth and detail to his world, keeping the all-ages weight of the stories, and not losing sight of the source material. This would be a CG mouse movie, so that the detail of fur and lighting, and cloth, etc could be exploited to go beyond what David already does in the comics and make the story all the more believable.

Recently David has been talking to a studio who wants to do all those things. When/if something happens, an announcement will be made.

How do I purchase original art from Mouse Guard?

The day an issue or collection of Mouse Guard goes on sale, the artwork for it goes up for sale in the Mouse Guard online store: http://mouseguard.bigcartel.com

This is on a first-come-first-served basis and work can not be reserved or held in advance.

How do I get my Mouse Guard books signed?

David signs books at conventions or other appearance. He does not have a limit to the number of books he will sign for you, but if he’s signed one of every book and there is a line, he will ask you to step to the back of the line and let other people get a chance before he signs multiples.

Does David charge for signatures?

No. There is never any charge for signatures.

Can I mail you my book to be signed?

No. Unfortunately, we had nothing but bad luck with mail-in books and we will no longer accept them. Please do not ship us any books, issues, or memorabilia you wish to have returned.

Does David do commissions?

David takes a limited number of commissions before most conventions he attends. He offers them up as pre-order items in his online store: http://mouseguard.bigcartel.com about a week before he’s attending a show where he’ll offer commissions. The pieces MUST be picked up at the show. The pieces are inked 7” x 7” pieces on 12” x 12” bristol with the detail level of a finished Mouse Guard page and cost $500. Subject matter requests are honored at David’s discretion. 

However, David will always do a quick doodle or head sketch for you at a convention for free in your sketchbook.

Will David design a tattoo for me?

No. David is honored by the request, but the pressure of drawing something he knows will be tattooed on you forever is too daunting for him. He encourages you to use your favorite previously published Mouse Guard image to use for your tattoo. 
How do I book David for my convention/event?

David’s schedule is booked pretty far in advance at any given time, and he has several must-attend events throughout the year. To ask about booking for your event email ericebon (at) hotmail (dot) com attn: Julia:Convention

Will David look at my work/portfolio?

If you catch David at a convention or appearance where there is not too long of a line, he will review and advise you on your portfolio. He has done a blogpost about reviews here: http://davidpetersen.blogspot.com/2014/01/critiques-portfolio-reviews.html 

What paper, pencil, pens, etc. does David use for Mouse Guard?

Paper: copy paper for roughs, Strathmore 300 series bristol for pages & covers
Pencil: Y&C Grip500 0.5mm mechanical pencil with HB lead
Eraser: Kneaded earaser for large work, Papermate Tuff Stuff eraser stick for small work
Pens: Copic Multi Liner pens, the 0.3 & 0.7 nibs mainly.
Color: Mouse Guard is colored & lettered in Photoshop CS5 on an iMac

For more on David’s process, follow David’s weekly blog: http://davidpetersen.blogspot.com

Can I make & sell/distribute fan made Mouse Guard work/items?

Fan Art and one-of-a-kind pieces (commissions, gifts, etc) are perfectly ok and David is flattered by seeing your passion for making them. David does not give permission for anything that is produced in a quantity of more than one (prints, printed sketchbook content, models, figures, game aides, etc) even if offered for free.

Can I get a story into a Legends of the Guard volume?

David handpicks the creators for his Legends anthology books. He chooses folks he knows the work of and trusts in his Mouse Guard sandbox. Please do not ask to you can be included, it places David a a position to perhaps have to say “no”. If David is interested, he will contact you.

2014 Appearances:
NY Comic Con: Oct. 9-12
Lucca Comics & Games (Italy): Oct. 31-Nov. 2

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