Action Lab Comics

Action Lab Entertainment / Action Lab Comics
Industry Publishing
Founder Shawn Pryor, Dave Dwonch, Shawn Gabborin
Headquarters Pittsburgh, PA, United States
Key people
Shawn Pryor, Dave Dwonch, Shawn Gabborin, Chad Cicconi
Products Comic Books
Website Official website

Action Lab Entertainment (also known as Action Lab Comics or ALE), is an American publisher of comic books, known primarily for the publication of the all-ages fantasy title Princeless, as well as a wide range of titles from all genres. The company is also known for embracing digital comics[1] and is recognized as one of the first publishers to release a digital-only Free Comic Book Day title.[2]


Action Lab Entertainment was founded in October, 2010[3] by Shawn Pryor, Dave Dwonch and Shawn Gabborin. All three of the founding members had prior experience in self-publishing[4] and had worked together to publish small press comic books under Pryor's PKD Media imprint.

Action Lab's first release was Back In The Day, an original graphic novel written by Dave Dwonch, with art by Daniel J. Logan (an artist who had also previously worked with PKD Media), and released in February, 2011.[5] This inaugural publication was available for pre-order through Discount Comic Book Service and marked the company's first foray into nationwide distribution.[6]

During the same time period as Back In The Day's launch, Pryor ran a Kickstarter fundraiser to both promote and gather funds for the company's second title, Fracture, described as a "superhero dark comedy";[7] Fracture was written by Shawn Gabborin, with art by Chad Cicconi and Dave Dwonch. Pryor's campaign surpassed its funding goal by nearly 10%, allowing Action Lab to schedule the book's first issue for a July, 2011 release; the release would also mark Action Lab's entrance into the direct market.[8]

In October 2011, the company released two books: the horror-suspense one-shot Snowed In, written by Shawn Gabborin with art by Rick Lundeen, and the first issue of the all-ages fantasy title Princeless, written by Jeremy Whitley, with art by Mia Goodwin.[9] Princeless, featuring the teenage Princess Adrienne (a princess who decides that she does not need a prince to rescue her and becomes a hero in her own right), became a major hit for the company, garnering five nominations in the 2012 Glyph Comics Awards[10] ("Story of the Year", "Best Writer", "Best Artist", "Best Female Character" and "Best Cover") and two nominations at the 2012 Eisner Awards ("Best Single Issue" and "Best Publication for Kids"),[11] giving the company both industry and worldwide recognition.

Also in October, 2011, Action Lab launched Globworld, its first digital-only title,[12] based on the MMORPG specifically designed for children. This release also marked the company's first use of licensed characters and was also its first cross-company tie in.

February, 2012, marked Action Lab's largest single-month expansion since the publisher's inception, in which they released two graphic novels and a trade paperback: the graphic novels Exo-1 and the Rock-Solid Steelbots, with story and art by Daniel J. Logan, and script by Shawn Pryor, and Monsters Are Just Like Us, with story and art by SuperUgly, and Space-Time Condominum, a trade paperback collecting the first "season" of Dave Dwonch's webcomic of the same name. All three were released as part of the "Signature Series" line, which includes individual numbering and hand-signatures for each copy.[13] Action Lab also announced at this time that it had taken over the publication of the series Jack Hammer, written by Brandon Barrows with art by Ionic, from the small-press publisher Reasonably Priced Comics, and that it would be part of the "Signature Series".[14][15]

Action Lab recently partnered with the NFL to release NFL Rush Zone , a line of comic books based on the TV show. The first issue was released digitally during Super Bowl XLVII [16]



  1.[] Action Lab Comics blog post regarding digital distribution, Accessed 4/8/12
  2. Comic Book Resources interview with publisher Shawn Pryor, accessed 4/8/12
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2012-04-08. "welcome" post on Action Lab blog, Accessed 4/8/12
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-09. Retrieved 2012-04-08. Action Lab "About" page, Accessed 4/8/12
  5.[] Dave Dwonch's blog regarding current projects, Accessed 4/8/12
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-03-01. Retrieved 2012-04-08. Pre-Order announcement for Back In The Day, posted 2/6/11 on Action Lab's website. Accessed 4/8/12.
  7.[] Daily Athenaeum Newspaper article May 25, 2011. Accessed 4/8/12
  8. Fracture Kickstarter page, Accessed 4/8/12
  9. Major Spoilers, Sneak Peek at Action Lab's October titles. Accessed 4/8/12
  10. Comic Book Resources 2012 Glyph Awards Nominations Accessed 4/8/12
  11. San Diego Comic Con official website, Eisner Awards 2012. Accessed 4/8/12
  12.'s official press release, accessed 4/8/12
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-02-08. Retrieved 2012-04-08. Action Lab announces the "Signature Series", Accessed 4/8/12
  14. Action Lab's Jack Hammer teaser posted on Comic Related, accessed 4/8/12
  15. "Well, then...2012 News". Brandon Barrows Comics blog. 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2012-04-08. As of late 2011, Jack Hammer has moved to Action Lab Comics.
  16. "Action Lab Launches First NFL Rush Zone Comic Book at Super Bowl XLVII". Comic Book Resources. 2013-01-31.

External links

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