Archive for September, 2011

Graphic Novel Reporter Covers Clockwork Girl

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

The Clockwork Girl coverGraphic Novel Reporter recently pinned down Sean Patrick O’Reilly for an interview on his project, The Clockwork Girl, which will be released VERY SOON as a 3D Animated Motion Picture, but had its debut as a comic book published through Arcana Comics. You can see some preview pages HERE, and the book is available as a hardcover released by Harper Collins (ISBN: 0-9809204-1-8) and can be found at most fine book stores (or you can ask them to order or even pick it up through Amazon HERE). Below is an excerpt from the Graphic Novel Reporter interview, but be sure to head to their site to read the entire interview by clicking here.
Sean O’Reilly’s world is full of comic books. He reads comic books, writes comic books, and even edits and publishes comic books. His publishing company, Arcana Studios, is the largest comic book publisher in Canada, and it releases both his and other people’s works. His graphic novel Clockwork Girl, which he made with Kevin Hanna and Grant Bond, was published by HarperCollins this year, and an animated movie version of it will soon be released, starring the voice talents of Alexa Vega, Jesse McCartney, Ann Moss, Jeffrey Tambor, and Brad Garrett. O’Reilly talked to GraphicNovelReporter about his history in comic books, the steps of creating Clockwork Girl, and what we can expect from Arcana Studios in the future.
How did Clockwork Girl get started?

With degrees in biology and technology, this was a story I’ve lived and gone through as my studies in tissue gave way to studies on tablets…from mice to, well…mice. Kevin and I put this together as early as 2006 and each day we live with this project…it’s been quite the journey.

What do you want readers to take away from Clockwork Girl?

To enjoy a coming-of-age story in a pleasant, faraway land. Something fantastical and imaginative yet relatable.

What was the process of making it?

The book was crafted by myself and Kevin Hanna and drawn by Grant Bond. The movie has been an entirely different production and a steep learning curve for all. CG animation is growing in leaps and bounds and even during our production we’ve seen a huge change in the industry with regard to animated productions. Overall, the preproduction process of a movie is quite similar to a graphic novel, and because we are in the middle of the production as well, we’ve been able to keep the characters and storylines.

Do you picture this book being for any age group, or do you have a specific audience in mind?
Overall, I truly believe it’s a “four quadrant” book appealing to the young, old, male, and female. Its reading level is targeted toward a reader starting at eight years of age, though.

Comics Buyer’s Guide features Pixies!

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Sean Patrick O’Reilly’s Pixies, which is available for purchase through our web site (CLICK HERE), had its preview book reviewed in a recent issue of the Comics Buyer’s Guide. Below is what they had to say!

pixies-cbg.jpg

Special thanks to Timothy J Wood for the kind words and be sure to read the entire graphic novel!

Shadowflame’s & Ripperman’s JOE MARTINO: Comic Book Creator, Cancer Conqueror and Caring Dad

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

776-arcana_promo-ripperman02.jpgParcbench.com recently sat down with Joe Martino to discuss comics, cancer, and family, which you can read in its entirety HERE, but here’s an excerpt from it:

Comic books are famous for some hero staring down a certain death and being able to defy the odds, but when it happens in real life, it is heartbreaking. No one wants to hear the “C” word, especially if you are a young father and a comic book creator in the prime of your life, but Joe Martino, a Bergen County, New Jersey resident, had to.800-arcana_promo-shadowflame02.jpg

Thanks to the support of his family, several medical professionals and the desire to breathe life into his characters “Shadowflame” and “Ripperman,” Martino has a new lease on life and he spoke with Parcbench.com about his experience.

Also, check out his graphic novels “Shadowflame” and “Ripperman” which I encourage any comic fan to pick up.

DON SMITH: How did you get into comic books?

JOE MARTINO: I got into comic books because my cousin and uncle would read comic books. I remember they got me into Superman and then when I was 10 years-old, my mother got me subscriptions to Spider-Man and Hulk comics. I remember they were on television when I was growing up.

DS: Do you remember when you started creating comic books?

JM: Yeah [LAUGHS]. I was in fifth grade and I draw these diamond shaped Marvel Comic characters trying to do away with my fifth grade teachers. As a kid, it was just harmless fun, but if it happened today, I would be sent to a special skill. [LAUGHS].

DS: How has being an independent creator helped you?

JM: I don’t consider myself a professional comic book creator, but I knew I wanted to write and draw my own comic book without someone looking over my shoulder. In 1996, I came out with “Shadowflame” which was published by CFD Publishing. It did not sell well, but I wanted to complete the four issue series for the two people who bought “Shadowflame” and wanted to see the story play out.

Again, please head over to Parcbench.com to read the entire interview!

Pre-Orders, Devil’s Island, & Mighty Mighty Monsters

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

VANCOUVER (Sept 23, 2011)Arcana Comics is back again with another month of exciting releases, a behind the scenes look at Devil’s Island, and Mighty Mighty Monsters. All Pre-Orders are Diamond and we’re in the final days of ordering from the September Previews, so if there are any books that look like your brand of entertainment, be sure to ask your local stores to carry them. If you are a store, of course, order copies of all of them to expose your readers to the best in indie comics!

If you weren’t aware, Arcana Comics has its own iPad / iPhone App, too! It’s a free download in the iStore and gives you access to the Arcana catalog and exclusive downloads! There are plenty of free books to download as well as new releases added all the time. If you don’t have an iPad or iPhone, don’t worry, there are also Arcana books available through the ComiXology app for Android. DOWNLOAD THE APP FROM THE ISTORE HERE.

PRE-ORDERS
DEVIL’S ISLAND
MIGHTY MIGHTY MONSTERS
PREVIEWS
ABOUT ARCANA
PRE- ORDERS

Below are books being solicited for pre-order in the latest Diamond Previews Magazine. Take the information below to your stores and ask them to carry Arcana!

CREEPSVILLE GN – SEP110743
(W) Chris “Doc” Wyatt (W/A) Bill Rude From the producers of Napoleon Dynamite and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart! A group of high school outcasts, each alienated for a different reason, are thrown together as the staff of the school paper. But these kids just happen to live in Creepsville: a small retro-American town where monsters, humans, aliens, superheroes, robots, and mad scientists all live and work together. SC, 80pgs, FC $14.95

DADDYS LITTLE GIRL GN – SEP110744
(W) Mark Poulton (A) Stephen Sistilli Daddy’s Little Girl tells the story of rich party girl, Bryn Tilton, who suddently finds out the father she never knew just passed away. She travels to Atlantic City to learn more about this man, only to discover a dark secret and a new profession… Atlantic City is infested with monsters and she’s inherited her father’s old job at the city’s monster morgue. It’s like C.S.I. meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer. SC, 80pgs, FC $14.95

DEVIL’S ISLAND – SEP110745
(W) Nikola Jajic (A) Josef Cage A historical fiction thriller, Devil’s Island follows the trials and tribulations of a few fictitious prisoners, who are used as hunters by the prison guards. Their job is to re-capture prisoners who attempt to escape the jungle island, bringing them back at any cost… dead or alive! SC, 148pgs, FC $19.95

MY BEST FRIENDS A BOOGER GN – SEP110746 – KIDS
(W/A) Tyler Kirkham (W) Rian Kirkham Who would have ever thought you could have a booger as your best friend? Well, if your imagination is anything like Skyler Grayson’s, the possibilities are endless! At a time when Skyler is feeling really down and all alone, he finds his greatest friend in — you guessed it — a sneeze! SC, 34pgs, FC $6.95

SCROOGE & SANTA GN – SEP110747
(W) Matthew Wilson (A) Josh Kenfield (CA) Dan Smith (W) Matthew Wilson (A) Josh Kenfield On Christmas Eve, a modern day Scrooge is on the run after the FBI learns he kidnapped Santa Claus. His assistant, Bonnie Cratchit, agrees to help him escape, but only if he first helps Santa Claus get back to the North Pole. Now Scrooge, with some help from the Ghosts of Past, Present, and Future, must go on an adventure to bring Santa home in time to save Christmas! RES. from Previews Vol. XX #10 (OCT100763) SC, 110pgs, FC $14.95

SHADOWLAW GN – SEP110748
(W) Brandon M. Easton (A) Scott Kester, Ryo Kawakami In a future world of giant mechanized warriors, a rebellious soldier is sentenced to life in a distant prison colony. Once there, he finds himself the only man who can stop an advanced race of Vampire lords from taking over the world after they break their restricted feeding treaty with the human race. As he battles on, he must also cope with the growing realization that his very presence in the colony may be a part of their dark designs… SC, 80pgs, FC $14.95

DEVIL’S ISLAND

One of our releases this month is Nik Jajic’s Devil’s Island, which was very well received at San Diego Comic Con this year, where it made its debut. It’s no surprise given the reception to Nik’s first book with Arcana, Loosely Based (read more about that book HERE). We sat Nik down for a few to ask him a few questions and here’s what he had to say.

About the book itself and the original idea, Nik says, “the seed was first planted as I watched an old documentary about the prison colony. In it, they quickly glossed over the fact that the guards would sometimes use prisoners to go into the jungle and re-capture escapees. I was looking to do something different, and those couple of minutes in an otherwise forgettable doc set the ball in motion, so to speak.”

The prison in the book “was the most infamous prison colony in recent history. Add in an exotic and at time horrifying jungle backdrop, and I couldn’t see setting this story anywhere else.” Of the history, which roots the story, Nik explains, “Napoleon III and 19th century France play a central role to the story for the simple fact that all of the characters are from this time period. Plus, their backstories in the book reflect on what led to their eventual imprisonment, and touch mildly on the socio-political elements of this period in time. Plus, I really liked the idea of doing a book that had an old west feel to it, but was international as well.”

The book follows “Pierre, Jean, Rat, and Henri, [who] have been chosen by the prison’s Commandant to work as hunters (prisoners who are used by the guards to re-capture escapees). They bond through their experiences and shared histories. Ultimately, they have to make some touch decisions.”

If this book sounds intriguing, you should definitely pre-order a copy now! Besides Devil’s Island, Nik also has Loosely Based, which was reelased last year through Arcana Comics. “It’s sort of Misery meets Stranger Than Fiction… If that analogy makes any sense.” He also wrote The Big Bad Book for Alterna Comics, which is “a dirty comedy… sort of Office Space meets the OLD Clash of the Titans.”

Nik himself has been “writing for about the last seven years in different capacities. A bit of journalism, prose, screenwriting, and comics.” He’s an avid reader, comic fan, and lover of film. “At the end of the day,” he says, “I’m inspired by a lot of what I read and see. I guess I’m just using that inspiration to try and find my own voice. Comics feel like a good fit at the moment, due to the fact that it combines the best elements of prose and screenwriting, yet is a completely original and amazing medium in its own right.

MIGHTY MIGHTY MONSTERS

If you didn’t know, Arcana Studios also partners with other publishers to release books. One popular example of this is Sean Patrick O’Reilly’s Mighty Mighty Monsters, a set of children’s books, which follow the exploits of young creatures who, later in life, will become the monsters we all know as Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman, and others. These are published through Stone Arch Books.

Here’s a synopsis of the series of books (there are twelve of them right now):

In a strange corner of the world is the haunted country of Transylmania, the birthplace of heroes and legendary creatures, such as Frankenstein, Dracula, and the Wolfman. That’s where you will find a team of young friends, who are learning to face danger and adventure with bravery and friendship. But before these young creatures take on their more famous names, they are first known as… the Mighty Mighty Monsters.

You can read more about the series at their official web site over at CapstoneKids.com and you can also pick up a copy at the CapstonePub.com web site.

PREVIEW PAGES – CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGES

NOTE: All images below are safe to post anywhere online.

DADDY’S LITTLE GIRL

DEVIL’S ISLAND

MY BEST FRIEND’S A BOOGER

SCROOGE AND SANTA

SHADOWLAW

ABOUT ARCANA STUDIOS

Arcana Studios, Inc. is a transmedia company that has aggressively pursued establishing brands through engaging storytelling and compelling art. With a strong foothold in the print publishing world, Arcana continues to be a premier content provider. Arcana owns one of the world’s largest libraries of graphic novels and comics, and has adapted this library into live action feature films, stereoscopic 3D animated features, episodic television series and toys.

Arcana Studios, Inc . remains independent of major entertainment studio affiliation. Arcana Studios is currently in production of the stereoscopic 3D animated feature, The Clockwork Girl. Arcana is also partnered with Gale Ann Hurd (“Terminator”, “Aliens”) on Gearhead, Alexandra Milchan (Sylvestor Stallone’s “Head Shot”) on Blade of Kumori, Hans Rodinoff and Hollywood Media Bridge (“Lost Boys: The Tribe”) on Raise Kane, Scott Milam (“Mother’s Day”) on Gauze, Ben Magid (“Hack/Slash”) on Trout, Jar Productions (“Hidden Howie”) on Philosopher Rex, Terry Dougas (“The Invention of Lying”) on The Tower, Doc Wyatt (“Napoleon Dynamite”) on 100 Girls, JC Spink (“The Hangover”) on Continuum, Adrian Askarieh (“The Hitman”) on Amnesia and also is producing a three slate at Codeblack/Universal for Light’s Out, Ant and Blam!

Moms with Apps looks at the Gwaii for iPad

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

The GwaiiThe Gwaii App, which is available through the iStore (CLICK HERE FOR A LINK) was recently reviewed by Moms with Apps. Here’s what they had to say:

The first 3D comic book for iPad & iPhone 4, The Gwaii is a three part, 84-page graphic novel following the adventures of Tanu, a young sasquatch lost in the wilderness who must face the Fearsome Creatures in order to find his mother. Experience comics like never before with 3D depth and movement that does not require visual aids of any kind – just tilt the screen and the images jump off the “page”.

Thank you to Moms with Apps and you can CLICK HERE for the site.

Awakenings’ Eric Hobbs on PodOmatic It’s all up to you

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Eric Hobbs, running through the press circuit, recently appeared on the “It’s All Up To You” podcast over at PodOMatic. You can LISTEN BY CLICKING HERE.

Awakenings’ Eric Hobbs on the Bizarre Comicast

Friday, September 23rd, 2011

Awakenings CoverHead over to the Bizarre Comicast and listen to Episode 20, where Eric Hobbs, the creator of Awakenings appears to discuss his new Arcana book and other topics. It’s a grand ol’ time and CAN BE LISTENED TO BY CLICKING HERE!

Book Dragon reviews The Clockwork Girl

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

The Clockwork Girl coverBookDragon.com recently reviewed The Clockwork Girl. See what they had to say below and read the entire review on their web site BY CLICKING HERE.

When I handed this striking volume to my son (as I often do with most graphic titles, as they seem to be the best way to get him to read), he instantly replied with “oh, I read that already.” I insisted that couldn’t be possible as the pub date is so new. But indeed, he started to rattle off the story in surprising detail: “Don’t you remember, Mom? You took us to that museum in New Mexico long time ago that had the comic book exhibit and we got them all there!” So much for my addled memory, but what did I tell you about encouraging literacy in youth …? If nothing else, I can say with definitive authority that The Clockwork Girl is absolutely memorable.

The son, of course, turned out to be right. Before it became this full-color, all-in-one glossy volume, Clockwork was released in five parts, selling over 340,000 copies worldwide. The book is a stopover on its media metamorphosis: Clockwork is coming in 3-D animation to a theater near you, featuring the voices of Carrie Ann Moss, Jeffrey Tambor, Alexa Vega, and Jesse McCartney. The son is pretty hyped about that, too …

“In a land far, far away …,” commences the tale of two “very different and very important” scientists: Dendrus the Grafter is all about the beauty and power of nature; Wilhelm the Tinkerer is obsessed with all things technical. With the annual Haraway Fair coming up, both scientists have something to prove, but their respective creations – Huxley the mutant boy and Tesla the eponymous Clockwork Girl – have much more to teach their overdriven progenitors about what it means to be truly human. Go, kids, go!

Again, please be sure to CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL REVIEW.

Cheap Thrills reviews Kade

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Kade Rising Sun coverCheap Thrills, a part of the ComicsBulletin site, which handles picks from the dollar bin recently uncovered a copy of Kade Rising Sun #3 and reviewed it. You can READ THE ENTIRE REVIEW HERE, but below are some highlights.

According to Kade, “Battle is not part of man’s soul; it is a man’s soul.” While this may be an oversimplification of a very complex concept, it is pithy enough to cause me to pause, it is concise enough to send me into a momentary reverie on the nature of man. Is this true? Are we, as men, fundamentally predisposed to violence? Is our veneer of civilization a hindrance to our self-actualization?

These are core questions that I unavoidably had to confront from reading the very first page of this comic (and, unfortunately, remain answerless). That’s a good sign, right?

The question remains, though, will the comic be able to keep up this pace? Or will it burn out after igniting so brightly?

The next couple of pages are filled with a battle between a Mongol horde and Kade and his group of samurai. I quickly surmise that this comic is taking place in feudal Japan. I appreciate that the writers of this comic showed me enough respect by giving me just enough information for me to be able to figure this out on my own. I appreciate that they didn’t place some garish yellow text box in a corner of the page spelling this out.

Things are looking good for this book.

The action continues and Kade waxes philosophically on the nature of the samurai, the political organization of the Mongols, the rules of warfare, and his own army’s chances against the Mongols. It’s all done in voice-over text boxes, but it never comes off heavy handed or smacks me in the face as being overly didactic. A matter of fact, it’s interesting, it’s conversational, it helps to characterize Kade, and it further affirms the fact that the authors of this book trust their readers.

This comic is seeming more and more like a warm tub in which I can recline, cocktail in hand, as some sweet saucy jazz simmers on the speakers. I am comfortable in Kade. I like what I am reading.

In the comic, the Mongols retreat to regroup and wait out the night. Kade tells his samurai that they must tell their lord what they have encountered and what he thinks they should do next.

Well, you get the idea… Again, you can read the entire review HERE at the COMICSBULLETIN web site.

If you haven’t seen them, here are some pages from Kade: Rising Sun, which is still available through the Arcana web site. CLICK HERE TO CHECK IT OUT!

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ComicBookResources’ Robot 6 Interviews Awakenings’ Eric Hobbs

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

Awakenings CoverRobot 6, one of the informed bloggers over at CBR recently interviewed our own Eric Hobbs, writer of Awakenings. Here’s an excerpt of what he had to say, but please CLICK HERE to read the interview in full.

Writer Eric Hobbs made his bones last year with The Broadcast, a graphic novel about neighbors gripped by the panic caused by Orson Welles’ War of the Worlds broadcast. This week sees the release of a new graphic novel, Awakenings, penciled by Gabe Pena. Awakenings is a supernatural cop story set in a future version of New York City and featuring a cop who is accused of murdering his own son. Hobbs self-published Awakenings as a black-and-white comic before it was picked up by Arcana, so I asked him to tell me a bit about his experience with self-publishing and the evolution of the story.

Brigid: The Broadcast was my introduction to your work, but I know you actually wrote Awakenings first, and actually self-published it with black-and-white art. Can you tell me the story of how that happened and how it worked?

Eric: Awakenings has been a long, long time coming. I think I wrote Awakenings about a year before Broadcast so it’s kind of crazy to see it hitting stands a year after Broadcast was released.

Basically, Awakenings came into existence because a friend introduced me to comics and I quickly decided I wanted to get involved as a creator. Most people are shocked to hear this, but I started writing Awakenings about a month after picking up my first comic. I fell in love with the medium that quickly and wanted to do something right away.

Anyway my friend and I were going to do it together but that fell through so I started looking online for an artist to bring on board. I eventually found an incredibly talented penciller in Gabe Pena, and the thing just kind of took off from there. I brought on an inker and a letterer and just slowly started to teach myself the business of comics publishing.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm for the project wasn’t nearly enough to make up for the fact that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing as a publisher. Even though we had a book that was getting great reviews and moving a good number of units each month—I was barely making enough to pay the print bill let alone everyone I had promised page rates to. We put out four great issues, but I put myself in so much debt I had to shut down production. I had to move back in with my parents. It was … it was kind of a crazy time.

Brigid: What brought it to Arcana’s attention?

Eric: So at that point I was sitting on a story that was half finished. I couldn’t stand it. Everyone who read the book was really responding to the work, but I just didn’t have the means to keep putting it out. I put it on the back burner for a while to make sure everyone involved was getting what was owed to them, but I knew I was going to finish it eventually. Once my financial situation got a little stronger, I got everybody together again and we started publishing it on the web. It slowly developed this small yet really loyal following. Those guys would come by the site everyday and post positive comments about the series that really helped keep me motivated to see it through to the end. Anyway, Sean O’Reilly became a fan of the comic online and approached me about bringing it to Arcana and it just went from there.

Thank you to Robot 6 for the great interview, and, again, please CLICK HERE to read the entire interview. Below you can see some sample pages from Awakenings, available now!

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON THE TITLE!

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