Via PR, Arcana, publisher of such titles as Banzai Girl and Gearhead, has acquired a bunch of characters from the library of Devils Due Publishing, including Mercy Sparx, Defex and Breakdown.
DDP has been floundering of late, with late payment to creators, problems with Diamond, and a reduced or nonexistent publishing schedule. The titles sold represent most of the original IP developed at the company by publisher/owner Josh Blaylock. Devils Due’s most successful original series, hack/slash, moved to Image in March; most of their other recent publications were licensed — Spartacus — or parody — Barack the Barbarian.
While Devils Due shows few signs of returning to full-time publishing, what about Arcana? A post by Kevin Melrose makes some sport of the rather optimistic claims of the PR reproduced below regarding the expanse of their library of intellectual properties. A check of the Arcana Studio website showed a very barebones attempt at being the “transmedia company” of the PR. The Arcana Comics website is full service, however, and from it we learned that they published something called Helen Killer, which needs to be a movie right this minute.
Anyway, here you go, typos and all:
Arcana Studio, Inc., a transmedia entertainment company that has over 100 graphic novels it publishes, produces, and licenses for all forms of media, has acquired select titles from the Devil’s Due library. The list of titles includes:
Kore: A blundering college slacker releases evil from an ancient tomb.
Warstone: Only a long lost half-elf, half-human can stop a dark scorcerer from ruling the Earth.
Mercy Sparx: A devil girl is contracted by Heaven to hunt down rogue angels.
Misplaced: A powerful outcast from Utopia finds her new life on Earth.
Defex: Five student scientists discover hidden powers in human DNA.
Breakdown: A superhero becomes a deadly vigilante after the murder of his family.
Blade of Kumori: is the lone daughter of an old samurai but the family has changed their purpose to for-profit security and assassination.
Acquiring the Devil’s Due titles as well as others from various creators is just one of the signs that the company has been growing in leaps and bounds. Arcana’s schedule is on pace to publish 80 original graphic novels from January 2010 through June 2011, and the company’s prime directive continues to be developing intellectual properties for branded entertainment. Although still a young company, some of these projects have been developed for numerous mediums including movies and animation. Sean Patrick O’Reilly (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2846368/) has written and/or produced numerous films based on Arcana comics including Paradox, Circle of Pain, Beatdown, and the upcoming Clockwork Girl.
Arcana’s graphic novels and intellectual properties have grown in the last two years to be as wide a library of characters as Marvel’s. Marvel was acquired by Disney for $4 Billion, and is the second major comic library to be acquired by a Hollywood studio. DC Comics, which is owned by Warner Bros., recently announced a newly-revamped business model, focusing on reaching deeper into DC’s catalog of characters.
“There are a number of Hollywood companies trying to be comic book publishers, but so few are actually publishing. We’ve continually published at least three books every single month since 2004, and it’s a track record that I’m very proud of… publishing printed books in a digital age is not easy but we’ve found through hard work and passion, it is possible to establish the necessary distribution for the project and to grow our readership. The acquisition of the Devil’s Due intellectual properties is a fantastic opportunity to continue to grow our library, our characters and to develop new branded storyworlds while helping DDP to generate revenue going to its creditors in difficult times,” said O’Reilly. “We will be working directly with Josh Blaylock, the creator of these properties, who brings a great creative style to the Aftermath line-up as well as the other properties and we know this is going to lead to amazing opportunities. We are thrilled to be working with him on this project. ”
“I’m grateful not only that Sean is keeping me involved, but that he’s also helping the company,” added Blaylock. “Furthermore, it will breathe new life into a series of characters that otherwise would have gone dormant.”
Arcana Studio Inc. remains an independent of major entertainment studio affiliation. Arcana Studio is developing Gearhead with producer Gale Anne Hurd (“The Terminator”, “The Walking Dead”) and producing The Clockwork Girl with Deboragh Gabler (“A Dangerous Man”). Also in development is Raise Kane with Hans Rodionoff (“Lost Boys: The Tribe”), Gauze with Scott Milam (“Mother’s Day”), and Trout with Ben Magid (“Hack/Slash”).
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.