Kaded Expressions

Arcana Studio, the brainchild of Sean O’Reilly, was launched in 2004 and is already one of the leading independent publishers in the comic book market today. It’s publishing line-up includes its flagship title Kade, Ant, 100 Girls, Paradox, Dead Men Tell No Tales, El Arsenal, and more. In addition to publishing, the studio has done toy designs for Full Metal Alchemist and Fruits Basket, and design work for HBO’s hit comedy series Entourage.

Arcana has published at least seven books, expect to release a slew of titles in the coming year, opened a second studio in Brazil, achieved record sales, have been nominated for a Harvey award, and won the Shusters award for Outstanding Publisher. All in the short span of eighteen months. After the amount of success accomplished in this short time, what more can possibly be achieved in the next eighteen months? Sean took the time out of his publishing and writing schedule to speak with JXM about the future of Arcana, publishing, and the upcoming release Kade: Sun of Perdition.

Make sure to check out the Exclusive Preview of Kade: Sun of Perdition below!

Arcana Studio

Continuing our success with comics comes first and foremost. Paradox by Law & Order’s Chris Gage is a project we’ve been working hard on, as well as Jova’s Harvest. Koni Waves is our newest title to come out in 2006 and of course we are continuing with our two oldest Arcana characters, Kade and Ezra. Kade: Sun of Perdition will advance the ageless warriors fight 1,200 years as he’s fighting during the Dark Ages against the Beast from the Abyss. Ezra will be still kicking medieval butt with her newest adventure, Evoked Emotions. As for movies and tv, we are still working on developing these projects with numerous studios and production companies and this can take a long time. Finding the right showrunner that the studio wants to work with is critical. As well, the Studio is currently working on developing our first video game. We have a solid team in place and are working towards a demo…it’s a crazy world and the learning curve has been very steep. We are hoping to move this forward as quickly as possible but again it’s a process of baby steps.JXM: With 2005 almost coming to a close what can we expect from Arcana in 2006?

Sean, you’ve mentioned that your plans for Arcana significantly involve the film and video game industries. In what capacity of development and production in these industries do you see or hope to see Arcana?

Sean: I know that Arcana can be a source of incredible ideas and concepts that could be transferred to various mediums. Having our stories transferred to the big screen is definitely one dream, and the other is actually being able to create these worlds ourselves. The video game demo will be the first step in showcasing what we can do and will give us a good gauge of what we want to accomplish and what we can accomplish.

JXM: Where do you see Arcana Studio in five years?

Sean: Hopefully a complete library of titles that we’ve published, knee deep in our first CG movie, and the completion of our first video game and feature film. It’s ambitious but we’ve made it this far doing alright.


JXM: What inspired or influenced the idea of Kade? Anything specific?

Sean: Kade was created to be the reluctant hero who is incredible physically, but emotionally he’s drained and hurt. As an ageless warrior, this gothic demon hunter must find the resolve and will to continue to bring light to the darkness, while watching the people he loves, age and die. This emotional torment culminates until he practically gives up. He begins to doubt himself and has a hard time understanding why he keeps fighting the relentless Evil.

JXM: In contrast to Kade: Identity, what can we expect from the upcoming Kade: Sun of Perdition series in terms of both art and story?

Sean: In terms of art people will be blown away as it’s completely different from the first series. Darker, more realistic and completely painted this art should evoke all the emotional notes that we are trying to hit. As for the story, it’s quite a bit different as we now see that Kade is so much more than the simple sword wielding boy that we once knew. He is this gothic demon hunter who has spent the last 1,200 years ridding the globe of the Fallen Angels, banishing them back to Hell. Due to his insensitivity to touch, compounded by the centuries of fighting, he has become cold, and even a little bit reckless. But during SoP he’ll face the Beast and he’ll have to also face his worst nightmare. I think people will be shocked what happens in the conclusion of the fourth issue.

JXM: With Ezra, having spun off from Kade, are there any plans for other supporting characters to debut with their own books (i.e. Kamric or Cadoc Ayrshire)?

Sean: We’re actually trying out a Nieves book and it’s moving forward so we’ll see where it ends up. As for Ezra, she’s back in her second series Evoked Emotions and people are going to be amazed at this artwork as well. As a studio, we’ve worked hard at our skills and I really believe that people will see the fruits of our labour in 2006.


JXM: Can you briefly go over what the comic book publishing process entails?

Sean: Wow…alrighty…here’s the Reader’s Digest version and this makes it sound so easy. Here’s a quick idea of how a project generally is put together for me. Idea. Script. Artist attached. Pencils. Lots of FTP’ing. Colors. 60% of a Series is completed. Solicitation in Diamond. Begin Marketing. Last minute touches. Book to printer. Continue Marketing. Distributed to your Local Comic Shop. Continue Marketing.

JXM: Before the inception of Arcana in 2004 did you have any experience in publishing or the comic book field?

Sean: None. And I’m crazy to have gone on doing it for this long. I’m a comic book geek and a computer nerd. I’m also a pretty hard working guy and those three have allowed me to carry Arcana for a year and a half. I think we’re almost at a spot where it’s beginning to take a life of its own, but it’s definitely not there yet by any means.

JXM: What is the most important piece of advice you would give to an aspiring publisher?

Sean: Learn from others’ mistakes. Give me an email and I’ll help you out the best that I can by telling you the mistakes that I’ve done and the ones I’ve seen others do. Finally, make sure you’re in it for the right reason. Do you WANT to be a publisher? Or are you publishing because no one else will take your comic?

I really do appreciate this and I hope that people will check out our website and Kade: Sun of Perdition.

Si vales, gaudeo!