O'Reilly: Striking Platinum With Arcana
conventions provide a golden opportunity to check out smaller
publishers and find books you might not have ordinarily picked
up at your local comics shop.
of Arcana Studios' output...
WonderCon this year, we stumbled back over Arcana
Studios, which has launched a variety of titles over
the years, and just announced a deal for an animated film
based on publisher Sean O'Reilly's creation The
between then and now, Arcana Studios teamed with Catastrophic
Comics to produce the first ever comic book based on The
Greatest American Hero. The news leaked out over the weekend.
On Thursday, July 24 at Comic-Con, O'Reilly joins William
Katt, Robert Culp, Connie Sellecca and the Catastrophic
Crew (including me, Fanboy Planet Editor-in-Chief Derek
McCaw) to answer questions about the upcoming book.
month, O'Reilly took some time out of his schedule to talk
about all his comics-related dayjobs...
Derek McCaw: What got you into comics in the first place?
O'Reilly: I started doing websites with a guy named
Ramses Melendez, a long time ago. At Comic-Con in 2003,
we hung out. I did this website, he did some pages of the
Kade comic. Six pages turned into an issue, one issue
turned into many more years later.
Derek McCaw: You've had three mini-series with
O'Reilly: Yeah, three, and we're doing a fourth
one right now.
Derek McCaw: But it's not just about Kade, who is billed
as a "Gothic Demon Hunter." What inspired you to create
a character with that kind of description?
O'Reilly: I created him long before I met Ramses
and the six pages were done. It had kind of a dark overtone,
influenced I guess by almost like Krull, something
along those lines. I liked the dark, I liked the character,
I liked the demon hunting, and then maybe Highlander
would be the closest thing to it.
Derek McCaw: A lot of Biblical influence, fantasy running
through it - did you play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons
as a kid?
O'Reilly: That's in there for sure. Some of my
Catholic school - I went to private school for elementary.
Derek McCaw: Again, though, Arcana isn't just about
Kade. You've expanded to publishing a wide variety of stuff.
I don't think you could even define what Arcana's attitude
is. You have a silly, cartoony vampire book, you have The
Clockwork Girl, which you co-wrote. It's very different
from Kade. What's the Arcana "mission," if there is a mission?
be Arcana's multi-media breakthrough?
O'Reilly: Well, I'll rip a line off from someone
else. It's kind of like HBO. Just make good content. B.
Clay Moore said that about Image Comics, and I like to say
the same thing about me. I don't really pigeon hole myself
into an art style or a genre. I just like good books. I've
done manga books, I've done all ages books, I've done licensed
books and I've done original IPs (Intellectual Property).
Everything in between.
If it looks
good and it reads well, then I like it.
Derek McCaw: You had done Dragon's Lair. Wasn't that
originally associated with CrossGen?
O'Reilly: That was originally MV Creations through
Image, I believe. Then it was picked up by CrossGen. And
then CrossGen, um, went through some transformations.
Derek McCaw: Right. Swallowed into the Earth. Were you
O'Reilly: No, that was Val Staples. He's been my
champion behind Dragon's Lair as well as maybe another project
Derek McCaw: Why'd you go into self-publishing? Why
didn't you go with Kade to Image in the first place?
O'Reilly: At the time, I didn't really know who
the publishers were. The two I'd seen online, and still
talk to a lot, were Josh Blaylock with Devil's Due and Val
Staples with MV Creations. I absolutely love what those
guys are doing.
But I didn't
even know anything about the submission process. So when
I went to Comic-Con, the truth is it's so crazy I don't
know if it helped me, either. I just started meeting people
who were in self-publishing, and they were the guys I admired,
so I fell into that route.
It seemed at
the time to be the easier thing to do. (laughs)
Derek McCaw: You've got the title of Editor-in-Chief
and Publisher of Arcana Studios, but we're actually doing
this interview from the shiny offices of Platinum. How did
that connection come about?
O'Reilly: I ran into the Platinum guys at the New
York Comic-Con last year. They needed a position to be filled.
So I've been consulting with Platinum as a publisher and
on the animation side as well.
Derek McCaw: You have an animation background besides
you liked Dragon's Lair?
O'Reilly: I've loved animation forever, and I've
done some work for Spike TV and Disney. The pre-production
process for a comic book is quite similar to animation.
Going through it, I'm really enjoying it a lot, and that's
where I'm focusing my new skill sets.
Derek McCaw: Where's the dividing line between Platinum
Planet Rule #1:
When you have Greg Horn art, you run it!
O'Reilly: In terms of editorially, we have a phenomenal
staff at Platinum. They really deal with the creators. My
job is more the meat processing, I guess you'd say. I deal
with the distributors, getting book deals with publishers,
things like that.
At Arcana, I
do more of the editorial part myself.
Derek McCaw: You are keeping the two imprints separate?
O'Reilly: Currently, yes.
Derek McCaw: What would be the hot Arcana book for the
O'Reilly: Oh, we've got a lot coming out. There's
The Wingman by Jay Shore, who's a phenomenal writer.
There's Penance: Trial of the Century that's coming
out, with Sean Wise and Paul Guignan. Oh, I know there's
lots of guys that are going to say "hey, you didn't mention
my book…" There's lots of hot books coming! Dwight MacPherson
might kill me if I don't mention Dead Men Tell No Tales.
Sean will tell more tales -- come back tomorrow as he talks
about his involvement with The Greatest American Hero...