Taking a step back from the book's current success, O'Reilly was happy to give a quick introduction to his character for the uninitiated. "Kade was born a Child of the Black Sun, and it wasn't until his death as an infant that his powers were expressed.
The Children of the Black Sun are the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven...and the chains to the Abyss of Hell.
"'Sun of Perdition' occurs around 1000 years after the original series and is set in Europe's Dark Ages. The first series was something that I really wanted to do and at the time it felt right. Having been in this industry for two years, I think I've improved as a storyteller and writer, and I've changed quite a bit as a person. I've matured and so has Kade and his world.
As the writer describes the character as "ageless," he is quick to explain that this doesn't mean Kade can't die. "He's definitely not immortal. Actually, we might even see that none
of the Children of the Black Sun are immortal. I'm telling his story chronologically and actually have this entire thing mapped out.
Much of O'Reilly's excitement comes from the narrative he has planned for his character. "Kade's mission is to stop the Beast from the Abyss," O'Reilly said. "The story was inspired from 'The Apocalypse of John' and there are a number of references made to Revelations. While it's not a religious story, it definitely has religious overtones.
"When you get your first comic book published; that's really exciting enough in and of itself. I've now done enough comics so that the novelty has worn off, and it takes something special and unique to challenge me and to get me excited again. 'Sun of Perdition' is that story, and Kade's journey is that tale."
Part of Kade's "struggle" (as O'Reilly put it) is that his skin lacks any sensation. He can't feel anything. So what could make this worse? How about giving him a gorgeous female counterpart? This is exactly what he has in the character of Ezra, who is along for the ride in the character's latest adventure.
As mentioned, Kade doesn't truly age and, therefore, could potentially visit many time periods throughout history. When asked if there where any plans to have Kade fight cowboys or people from a future society, the writer responded, "Fighting cowboys, not quite. Being a cowboy, definitely
. I also would love to use the line, 'Fill yer hands, ya sonuva bitch.' As far as a future society, no plans yet."
"After that, I've been writing 'Kade' a bit differently, showing a wider range of emotions and he's even using a little bit of sarcastic humor. Where I plan on taking him is to a more complex character who has idiosyncrasies (because of his agelessness) and a more dynamic range of emotions, including his own sense of humor.
"Ezra is the emotional rock for Kade. I'm just starting to explore some of the problems one would have for being alive for thousands of years; the first of which is a loss of purpose and motivation. Kade really struggles with who he is and why he's even still walking. Ezra is the yang to Kade's yin and allows him to finally start showing some emotion. Truthfully, Kade would be a wreck without Ezra and really couldn't make it on his own."
For those reading Kade's latest adventure, you will notice a different look with regards to the art. Joining O'Reilly on this series is artist Stjepan, and the writer is thrilled with what they've created.
"As for his duality, Kade struggles with being impervious to pain, but he's always hurting emotionally: he never knew his father, his mother was killed because of him, his step-father was then killed because of his actions, and everything just got worse from there. He's felt the burden of being a savior, when he hasn't saved anyone he's ever cared for. That's why Ezra is needed to ground him and keep him moving forward."
"In addition, Ben Templesmith did an incredible job leading off our 'Dark Ages' cover line-up with a great incentive cover. These Dark Ages incentive covers will be found throughout the entire four issues and can be found at better retailers everywhere. Ben Templesmith, Liam Sharp, Nat Jones and Ashley Wood are the talents on these covers. Be sure to hunt them down, please. Also, convince your retailers that the incentive covers can still be obtained now that we have a second printing. By pre-ordering, your retailer doesn't have to take as much of a chance on an 'indy publisher.'"
The sold out nature of the book's first issue is a somewhat momentous occasion for the publisher as well, since "it is only the second book to get a second printing from Arcana ('Ant' #1 being the first). With Kade's initial orders being strong, it was surprising getting some of the reorders in after we promoted it during San Diego and WW Chicago. I think retailers and readers got to see what a gem this was and they put in a whole schwack of orders right at that time.
"No feature film option yet (working on it), but we do have a toy from Shocker Toys, a statue coming from Gentle Giant, a Kade bust coming out and a Kade video game from Paradox (for handhelds - we ain't doing next-gen systems yet). As a quick aside, translating one's character into a different medium is exciting and very rewarding.
While O'Reilly has been enjoying the success of the Kade comic, he has also been fortunate enough to see interest in the character from other mediums. He happily gave CBR News an update on the various ways fans will be able to get their Kade "fix" in the future.
As well in 2007, Arcana will be starting an entire line of busts. We have recently agreed to work with a studio that will be producing a line of busts similar to the Bowen line for Marvel. Already complete is Kade and Sylvia ('100 Girls'), and on the slate is Ezra, Starkweather, Dandelion, Shadowflame, Summer/Monkey, and Torment.
On the publishing side of things, O'Reilly also wanted to let readers know that they have lots to look forward to. He added, "We're doing an entire line of digital comics (honestly, in today's market, who isn't?) and we hope these will be a great alternative (or addition) to the Arcana collection - available for your iPod Christmas 2006. From this line of comics, Arcana is also strongly pursuing the 3D medium, and we are looking for 3D modelers and animators for 2007 projects.
And literally this week, we have a very good production company and a very good show runner taking one of our properties 'out' (for pitch meetings) and I've heard that the presentations are going great. Hopefully they can bring home a winner!
PREVIEW: The Batman Who Laughs #1