What if you couldn't feel? I'm not talking about emotions here, but what if your skin couldn't experience any physical sensation? On the plus side, no pain. As for the negatives…well, just say you'd miss the touch of a number of things.
This is the predicament of Arcana Comics' Kade. And not only can he not feel anything, he's immortal, making that one heck of a way to spend a thousand years. Kade is currently finishing up his most recent adventures in the "Sun of Perdition" miniseries, which is in stores now, and in August the character will once again be put through the paces in a new series, "Shiva's Sun." This escapade will be kicked off with a special 25-cent #0 issue with a cover by Greg Horn.
"Kade" creator and Arcana founder Sean O'Reilly made himself available to talk about his creation with CBR News and to fill in fans on where the character is and where he's going.
Sean, in Kade's last outing on the stands now – "The Sun of Perdition" – it almost felt like you were telling his origin over from scratch. What made you feel like this was necessary?
I wanted to bring aboard new readers by retelling some of the origin while keeping it different enough for the people who were there from the beginning. So when I retold some of the story, I began early enough in the world back to the Dawn of Darkness and showed the origin of Kamric and Apollyon.
The numbers for "Kade: Sun of Perdition" were literally two to three times greater than "Kade: Identity," and I'm positive it's because the entire series has matured from art through to story. It was a good jumping-on point for new readers and had enough reference to at least make people curious about the original series without putting forth hurdles.
I almost have to plead the fifth on this one. At the end of "Sun Perdition" #4, I finally decided to do something that I've been mulling over for a long time…let's just say this Fallen Daughter will not be in "Shiva's Sun."
Well, she will be missed. And as long as we're talking about "Shiva's Sun," when and where does the story take place? Before or after "Sun of Perdition"?
"Shiva's Sun" is a very important one in Kade's life as there is a major event that happens in "Kade: Sun of Perdition" #4, and this story is a brand new direction for Kade and the entire series. The story occurs fifty years after "Sun of Perdition," and Kade has walked from Europe (where the Dark Ages-themed "Sun of Perdition" was set) all the way across Asia to India. The events leading up to his journey have brought his mental state of mind to an all-time low. This next series will be as much about internal battles as the external battle when he faces off against the first of seven Fallen Angels.
I'm curious, between "Clockwork Girl" and "Shiva's Sun," Arcana is running two 25-cent incentive specials. I've heard other publishers talk about mixed results from this kind of promotion. When do you feel this is the kind of promotion that works well?
I'm trying this out to see if we can get some awareness on "Clockwork Girl" as well as "Kade." I think it's a good opportunity for readers and retailers to get something that we've developed and poured our hearts into, and it can be read and bought for next to nothing. For "Clockwork Girl," I did it because this will be an all-ages book and we want this to be accessible for those buyers. We are also selling quite a few books directly to libraries and schools as there will be pedagogically sound literacy lesson plans found inside the book that teachers can use with their students to compliment their curriculum.
As for "Kade," the idea of a 25 cent issue stems from making a bit of a relaunch. He's been around for three and a half years – nine issues and a trade paperback – and there are a lot of people who simply couldn't recognize him. I'm hoping that this issue, which will take everything in a brand new direction, will be a good point for people to see what we've been doing. There's no medieval fantasy – no 'Dark Ages' – and it's going to be the first in a series of culminating adventures for the gothic warrior.
Which brings us back to "Shiva's Sun." What is Kade's "mission" in this story? Who are the main characters?
In "Sun of Perdition," Kade and Ezra actually failed their mission to banish the last of the Fallen back to the Abyss. Truthfully, they failed quite miserably. As a result, they let escape seven angels, the Fallen, who defied God to form the soldiers for the Armageddon. Kade is responsible and feels compelled to hunt the seven Fallen, but he's undergone lots of grief and his mental state of mind is questionable at best. He's going through the motions and he'll need all the help he can get from a pivotal character named Priya.
As this story takes place in another country and time period, did you need to conduct any research to tell this tale?
There definitely are some researched themes that come across explicitly as well as through symbolism and iconography in the "Kade" series. In "Sun of Perdition," there was mention of the Armageddon, locusts, a burning bush, the Abyss/the Beast and they even met Romulus Augustus.
Speaking of historical story elements, Kade and Ezra's dialogue has always intrigued me. They can speak with a weightiness indicative of the time period they are in, but then they occasionally also talk as if they are in a more modern era (particularly some of Ezra's quips). As a writer, how do you strike a balance between these two "dialects"?
For the most part, I've tried to keep the dialogue somewhat realistic for the time period…well, except for Ezra. She speaks slang, uses heavy sarcasm and 21 st century mannerisms. The reason for it is a bit of comedic relief as well as her personality seems to suit it. She's just a couple thousand years ahead of her time.
The Croatian Sensation is back in "Kade: Shiva's Sun"! I'm excited to be working with him again and the art and the story is going to be kicked up again to a new level. To ensure a great story, as well as to get even more accurate historical references (as mentioned earlier), I am now working with Alex Nikolavitch ("Spawn: Simony") to ensure that the book has a "worldly" feel. He's been great to work with and I'm sure I'm going to learn a lot from him.
As long as we have you here, can you give us an update on the Kade video game?
Apparently it's moving, albeit slowly. The company was called Paradox Games and are now called Jump Games; they have been doing lots of internal shuffling, so it's been going slower. Maybe this will help gain some momentum back.
Let's hope so. Are there any other projects you are working on that you want to let fans know about?
This fall Arcana is doing a "Frozen Wastelands" trade paperback, "Clockwork Girl," Jay Busbee's "The Network," as well as a new series with Greg Titus. It's good times.
Good times, indeed. At least, for everyone but Kade….
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