[article for Toon Zone News:01-26-2004]
Fans of swords and sorcery are about to be introduced to a new hero, as Arcana Studios launches Kade. Toon Zone spoke with creator and editor Sean O’Reilly.
Toon Zone: Kade is the new title from Arcana Studios. Ccould you give us a little background to the project and your involvement?
Sean O’Reilly: Kade is a young warrior who doesn’t feel pain, but always hurts. The waves of agony he has endured from the slaughter of his people are ebbing. Now, he is drowning in rage and thoughts of vengeance. Kade is in pursuit of the demon known as Apollyon and his own prophesized destiny.
From steel separating flesh to a warm embrace, Kade is unable to feel any physical touch. A reluctant hero, Kade does not want to accept his prophesized title as Lord of the Order of the Black Sun. But when Apollyon destroys the only family he has ever known, Kade is forced to battle Apollyon, the demon who controls the Order with an iron fist.
Apollyon does not want any individual challenging his position, especially a prophesized Lord. Apollyon will not let his people believe this 'pretender', so the demon set out to kill and humiliate Kade, making sure that he would not create a martyr. He attacked Kade's monastery and village, destroying everything, leaving Kade to die...but this young gothic warrior survived. Kade now seeks Apollyon and revenge.
I created Kade about five years ago, but it wasn’t until I met Ramses Melendez and Eduardo Garcia in San Diego that he started to live. Eduardo Garcia breathes the life into Kade with his glorious pencils, and Nancy M. Parrazales enhances it with her amazing inks. Finally Grupo EsComic! completes the lush digital colors.
TZ: Do you intend to stick with the same creative team so far as visuals are concerned or can we expect several guest artists?
O’Reilly: Right now we are on an amazing ride that is going faster and faster, and we hope that we can keep the same creative team on this project for as long as we can. Eduardo’s style is fun, but definitely has an edge to it, which is in line with our genre. But at the same time we have guest artists in every book! Our online contest winners can be seen in the back of the book, and we also feature a backup story featuring various artists and different creative teams. The first backup story featured Ramses and Favian Palacios working on "Abduction." Our second backup story (in Kade #2 – on sale in the beginning of May) is by Ferffice Galicialace and colored by Grupo EsComc! We are continuing the concept of a backup story in every issue!
TZ: What do you see as being the main appeal of Kade as a character and the universe he inhabits?
O’Reilly: I believe the essence of altruism. Kade is the story about a boy who needs to take on the responsibilities of a man by owning up to his potential and doing the right thing. He cannot feel anything and this proves to be quite the asset in battle, but the story shows how this creates complications in daily actions that we take for granted. We’ve also been told that Kade is very original and has a great gothic look. We like it...
TZ: What are the benefits of being both editor and creator of Kade?
O’Reilly: The process. I have to admit I am having a great time as I am the first and last person to touch the issues. I write the script and the team does an amazing job breathing life into this project. Then I do the layout as well and put on the final touches to ready it for press. It’s very rewarding.
Freedom is another thing. I’ve talked with quite a few people and they’ve mentioned how handcuffed they are with restrictions and procedures. We pretty much get full reign on what we want to do. A great example is Ant #2 (in stores May), which will have an extremely limited J .Scott Campbell pencil cover that will only be sold to retailers who order x amount. That might be quite the idea to get processed through a larger company, but with us… it happens in one step.
TZ: Arcana Studios and the Kade project utilize the internet extensively for both communication and readership interaction. How successful has the net been in developing Arcana and Kade, and do you think the net has yet more potential in bringing comics to the people?
O’Reilly: The internet has been absolutely integral in our vision of promoting Kade and Arcana. Truthfully, it's been our biggest ally and we have no intentions of letting our online profile slide. As a matter of fact, we are continuing to put our resources into the digital world with the addition of up-to-the-minute updates, movies, games and interactive websites that will allow for a much more satisfying experience of our world. Our forums have allowed us to see potential artists (which we have since hired) and have allowed us to communicate with our audience. We believe it is this strong communication between publisher and reader that sets us apart from other companies.
TZ: Fantasy has always been a firm favourite in both written and visual media. What is it about the genre which excites you?
O’Reilly: It's been a favorite of mine, too. I love the epic feel of good vs. evil. The axiom "You live and die by the sword" is another great reason. Sometimes in our world we watch others succeed through political scheming, nepotism and/or luck, but back then characters succeed based on their own abilities and attributes.
TZ: Finally, can you tell us a bit about the animated Kade?
O’Reilly: Here are some quick links to our projects:
The Kade cartoon is produced by Ramses Melendez, and we will be releasing clips and describing the development process on our website. We are still very early on in development, but we have finished the script, storyboard and have done some initial animation/3D rendering tests. We already been sought out by some big, BIG studios (and they came to us--we have yet to solicit anything) but nothing is signed yet. Other studios, we will be coming so why not cut to the chase and email us...
Kade #1 is scheduled for release in early May.
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