Arcana Studio

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Arcana Studio
IndustryComics and animation
FounderSean O'Reilly
HeadquartersBurnaby, BC Edit this on Wikidata

Arcana Studio is a Canadian animation studio in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada. Founded as a comic book publisher by former Coquitlam, British Columbia school teacher Sean O'Reilly in 2004, in 2012 Arcana opened its animation division.


Arcana is Canada's largest publisher of comics and graphic novels, with over 300 titles in its library covering all genres and age groups. Arcana's titles have been translated into different languages, including French, Italian, Greek, Spanish and Polish. Arcana formed in 2004 when Sean O'Reilly first published and wrote the comic book series Kade starting with Kade #1.[1][2] Sean wrote the issue, with artist Eduardo Garcia drawing and coloring the series. With Diamond Comics as the distributor, Arcana's first comic went on shelves December 31, 2003.

The Joe Shuster Award was presented to Arcana for Outstanding Publisher of The Year [3] for sales during their first year, as voted by the retailers and readers. Kade: Identity followed to become Arcana's first trade paperback book on April 13, 2005. With artist Allan Otero penciling and inking the book.

Clockwork Girl #0 published with over 150,000 copies on December 5, 2007. It was written by Sean O’Reilly and Kevin Hanna, with Grant Bond as the drawing and coloring artist. A few months later, The Clockwork Girl won silver medal for The Moonbeam Award for Top Comic/Graphic Novel in 2008 [4] as well as the Graphic Novel of the Year.

Arcana bought The Devil's Due library of graphic novels, acquiring characters such as Banzai Girl, Kore, Blade of Kumori among others on October 1, 2009.[5]

Mighty Mighty Monsters was published and 15 more books follow in the series on September 1, 2010.[6] It was later turned into three 44-minute animated specials.[7]

In 2012, Arcana opened an animation division to develop and produce its content for all platforms including film, television, direct-to-home and digital media. With the opening of its animation division in 2012, Arcana Studio released their first animated feature The Clockwork Girl in 2014, based on the graphic novel with the same name. Arcana buys The Blue Water library of graphic novels with titles like 10th Muse, Legend of Isis, Leprechaun and Blackbeard Legacy on February 15th, 2012.[8]

Arcana went on to produce Kagagi: The Raven, a 13 episode TV mini-series about a First Nations superhero which aired on APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network), and made its debut in 2014.[9] Arcana's continued success led to the development of its own intellectual properties like Pixies and the Howard Lovecraft trilogy. Pixies was Arcana's first independently created feature which featured well-known actors such as Academy Award winner Christopher Plummer, Alexa PenaVega and Bill Paxton. Pixies was written and directed by Sean Patrick O'Reilly, who was nominated for a 2016 Leo Awards for best Direction in an Animation Program for his work on the film.[10]

In 2016, Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom was released, the first in the three part series. It is based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft and the graphic novel created by Bruce Brown. The film features the voices of Christopher Plummer, Jane Curtin, Ron Perlman and Doug Bradley. The film won the Official Selection and the Best in Category Sci-Fi title at the Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival 16'.[11]

Its sequel, Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom was released the next year in 2017. Mark Hamill joined the cast as Dr. Henry Armitage. Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom took home the Best of the Festival Sci-Fi title at Hot Springs International Horror Film Festival 17', as well as an Official Selection at FEARNYC and a Best Director win.[12]

The Legend of Hallowaiian had its "orange carpet" premiere in L.A. on September 22, 2018, and on DirecTV on the 18th.[13][14] The film stars Vanessa Williams, Mark Hamill and Noah Schnapp. a

Films, television series, and shorts[edit]

Animated films[edit]

Title Release Date Notes
The Clockwork Girl January 2014 In joint production with Legacy Films and Luximation, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Sean O'Reilly and Kevin Hanna. Features Alexa Vega as Tesla, Jesse McCartney as Huxley, Carrie-Anne Moss as Admiral Wells, Jeffrey Tambor as Wilhelm the Tinkerer, and Brad Garrett as T-Bolt.
Pixies June 2015 Arcana's first independently created feature, based on the graphic novel of the same name by Sean O'Reilly. Features Bill Paxton as Eddie Beck, Christopher Plummer as The Pixie King, and Alexa Vega as Michelle.
Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom October 2016 Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Bruce Brown. Features Christopher Plummer as Dr. Herbert West, and Ron Perlman as The Shoggoth.
Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom October 2017 Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Bruce Brown. Features Mark Hamill as Dr. Henry Armitage, Jeffery Combs as King Abdul, Christopher Plummer as Dr. Herbert West, and Ron Perlman as The Shoggoth.
The Steam Engines of Oz Late 2017 Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Erik Hendrix.
The Legend of Hallowaiian September 2018 In a joint production with SC Films and Fresh Baked Films. Features Noah Schnapp as Kai, Teilor Grubbs as Leilani, Vanessa Williams as Fire Goddess, Tia Carrere as Nana, Mark Dacascos as Pono, and Mark Hamill as Officer Duke.
Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness December 2018 Based on the graphic novel of the same name by Bruce Brown. Features Mark Hamill as Dr. Henry Armitage, Christopher Plummer as Dr. Jeffrey West, and Finn Wolfhard as Herbert West.
Go Fish November 2019 Go Fish is Arcana's is an animated undersea adventure, following the story of a parrotfish named 'Alex'.[15][16][17][18]
Panda vs. Aliens 2021 With original characters from Arcana and alien characters, The Unknowns licensed from Stan Lee's POW! Entertainment.[19] Features Dan Payne as Bruno, Sean O'Reilly as Pandy, Chevy Chase as King Karoth, Scott McNeil as Duke, and Ashleigh Ball as Penny,
Heroes of the Golden Masks 2021 Heroes of the Golden Masks is an upcoming action-adventure epic inspired by the ancient masks of Sanxingdui, and tells the story of a contemporary teenager who is magically transported back in time to a mysterious, lost city. The film will star Christopher Plummer as Rizzo, Ron Perlman as Kunyi, Patton Oswalt as Aesop, Byron Mann as Jiahao and Osric Chau as Zhu.

Live-action features[edit]

Title Release Date Notes
Paradox November 2010 Based on the graphic novel of the same name, Paradox is the story of homicide detective Sean Nault, set on a parallel Earth whose technology is powered exclusively by magic. Sean investigates a baffling series of murders committed by a means he's never seen before: science. Features Kevin Sorbo as Det. Sean Nault, Christopher Judge as Captain Papillo, and Steph Song as Lenore.

Animated television series[edit]

Title Years Notes
Kagagi: The Raven 2014 Aired on APTN, Kagagi is a First Nations superhero is based on the graphic novel of the same name. It was Arcana's first television series.

Short films[edit]

  • The Gwaii - Based on Haida Gwaii, and the graphic novel of the same story.
  • Memo – A series of 30-second segments aimed at children.[20]
  • Polkarella – A short about an umbrella/creature hybrid.
  • Pixies – A short film based on the comics and graphic novel of the same name.

Select titles[edit]

  • 100 Girls: The First Girl (2004–2006)
  • All Fall Down (2011)
  • American Wasteland (2007)
  • Amnesia (2011)
  • Amour - Volume 1 and 2 (2012)
  • Ant: Days Like These (2004–2005)
  • Arcana Studio Presents (2004-current, Free Comic Book Day annual)
  • Ark (2013)
  • The Art of ReBoot (2007)
  • Banzai Girl (2007)
  • Blank Slate (TBD)
  • Blood, Shells, & Roses (2011)
  • The Book (2012)
  • Burn (2008) [21]
  • Champions of the Wild Weird West
  • Chaotic Soldiers (2010)
  • Corrective Measures (2008)
  • Creepsville (2011)
  • Dark Horrors (2006)
  • Dead Men Tell No Tales (2005–2006)
  • Deadly Harvest (2012)
  • Dragon's Lair (2006–2007)
  • El Arsenal: Unknown Enemy (2005–2006)
  • Eve: Vampire Diva (2007)
  • The Evil Tree (2012)
  • Ezra:
    • Ezra: Egyptian Exchange (2004–2005)
    • Ezra: Evoked Emotions (2006–2007)
    • Ezra vs. 10th Muse (2006)
  • The Fix (2009)
  • Frozen Wasteland (2007)
  • Gearhead (2007)
  • Grunts (2006)
  • Helen Killer (2008)[22]
  • Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom[23]
  • John Henry and The Steam Age (2012)
  • Jova's Harvest (2005–2006)
  • Kade:
    • Kade: Identity (2004–2005)
    • Kade: Sun of Perdition (2006–2007)
    • Kade: Shiva's Sun (2007–2008)
    • Kade: Rising Sun (2010)
    • Kade: Red Sun (2010)
    • Kade: Prodigal Sun (2011)
    • Kade: Mourning Sun (2012)
    • Kade: Tribal Sun (2014)
    • Kade: Children of the Black Sun (2014)
  • Koni Waves (2006)
    • Koni Waves (2006)
    • Koni Waves: The Headdress of the Undead (2007)
    • Koni Waves: First Wave (2007)
    • Koni Waves/Demonslayer (2007)
    • Koni Waves: Ghouls Gone Wild! (2008)
    • Avengelyne vs. Koni Waves (2009)
  • Lethal Instinct - Volume 1 (2012)
  • Marlow (2008)
  • The Network (2008)
  • Paradox (2005–2006)
  • Penance: Trial of the Century (2008)
  • Poe & Phillips (2011)
  • Shadowflame (2007)
  • SideShows (2011)
  • Space Ace (2009)
  • Starkweather: Legacy (2004–2005)
  • Stranger Danger (2009)
  • Sundown: Arizona (2005)
  • The Truman Virus (2012)
  • Velvet Rope (2008)

All ages titles[edit]

  • The Ancient Oak (2012)
  • A Cat Named Haiku (2010)
  • A Cat Named Haiku 2: The Dust Bunny (2013)
  • Clockwork Girl (2007)[24]
  • Gordon The Giraffe (2012)
  • The Gwai (2008)
  • Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom (2009)
  • Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom (2012)
  • Howard Lovecraft and the Kingdom of Madness (2014)
  • Mwumba (2008)
  • My Best Friend's a Booger (2011)
  • Pixies (2012)
  • Ralph Filmore, Paranormal Investigator (2011)
  • Scrooge and Santa (2011)
  • Summer and Monkey
  • Turning Tiger (2012)

The Arcanaverse is the world all the Arcana characters live in. Currently over 3000 individual indexed characters and creatures call the Arcanaverse home. From the Arcanaverse stem new stories and adventures, including the comic book series The Intrinsic.

The Intrinsic[edit]

The Intrinsic was debuted on Free Comic Book Day 2012, and was the first Arcanaverse title. The series features hit Arcana characters Kade, Philosopher Rex, Kore, and Candice Crow, as well as cameos by many others. The Intrinsic also made a guest appearance in the animated TV series Kagagi (2014). Volume 2 of The Intrinsic debuted at Free Comic Book Day 2014 and was written by Sean O'Reilly and Chris 'Doc' Wyatt.

Motion comics[edit]

Arcana has turned some of its comics and graphic novels into motion comics:

  • The Steam Engines of Oz
  • The Gwaii
  • Pixies
  • The Clockwork Girl
  • Abiding Perdition
  • Kagagi


  • Arcana was named Most Promising Company at the 2013 Digi Awards, Arcana's CEO, Sean O'Reilly, was also named a finalist for Executive of the Year at the 2013 Digi Awards.[25][26]
  • CEO Sean O'Reilly received Playback's Ten to Watch award in 2013.[27]
  • Arcana was named Best Visual Features 2013 by Arlene Dickinson's YouInc.[28]

Kickstarter: The Steam Engines of Oz[edit]

In Arcana's first experience with a crowd-sourcing project, The Steam Engines of Oz was first introduced for Free Comic Book Day, 2013.[29] The idea was to release issues FCBD, 1, 2, and 3 of the collected trade, and then if the Kickstarter campaign proved to be a success, a second volume of the comic would be released.[30] The Steam Engines of Oz: The Geared Leviathan was successful and was produced, thanks to the supporters on Kickstarter.


  1. ^ "Sean O'Reilly and His Creation "Kade"". CBR. 2006-09-06. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  2. ^ "Free Comics Boost the Luck of O'Reilly". Georgia Straight Vancouver's News & Entertainment Weekly. 2004-06-30. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  3. ^ "2005 Nominees and Winners". THE JOE SHUSTER AWARDS. 2008-12-30. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  4. ^ Awards, Moonbeam. "2008 Winners". Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  5. ^ "Arcana acquires Devils Due characters". The Beat. 2010-10-06. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  6. ^ "..:: Capstone Kids :: Mighty Mighty Monsters ::." Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  7. ^ "Bron Animation Launches with "Mighty Mighty Monsters"". Cartoon Brew. 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  8. ^ "Arcana acquires part of Bluewater Productions library — Major Spoilers — Comic Book Reviews, News, Previews, and Podcasts". Major Spoilers. 2012-02-24. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  9. ^ "Kagagi | APTN". Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  10. ^ "LEO AWARDS, Celebrating Excellence in British Columbia Film & Television since 1999".
  11. ^ "HOWARD LOVECRAFT AND THE FROZEN KINGDOM North American Rights Acquired by Shout! Factory - Daily Dead". Daily Dead. 2015-10-07. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  12. ^ "Howard Lovecraft and the Undersea Kingdom: Kiefer O'Reilly to Voice Lead Role Alongside Mark Hamill, Ron Pearlman and Christopher Plummer". Fan Fest | For Fans, By Fans. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  13. ^ "The Legend of the Hallowaiian Movie Premiere Screening". Darling Tomboy. 2018-09-24. Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  14. ^ "Watch 'The Legend of Hallowaiian' Exclusively on DIRECTV CINEMA". Retrieved 2018-11-06.
  15. ^ Arcana Studio (2019-04-07), Go Fish Free Comic Book Day Promo, archived from the original on 2021-12-12, retrieved 2019-05-10
  16. ^ Arcana (2019-02-26), Go Fish Trailer, retrieved 2019-05-10
  17. ^ "FCBD19 Interview: Adventure and Intrigue in the Big City Underscores Arcana Studios' Go Fish". Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  18. ^ "Sean O'Reilly". Retrieved 2019-05-10.
  19. ^ "Stan Lee licenses The Unknowns to Arcana's 'Panda vs Aliens'". Screen. Retrieved 2018-09-17.
  20. ^ Arcana (3 January 2012). "Memo Short 2". Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2018 – via Vimeo.
  21. ^ Camilla d’Errico Feels the "Burn", Comic Book Resources, May 22, 2008
  22. ^ Review of Helen Killer Archived 2011-05-22 at the Wayback Machine, Comics Bulletin
  23. ^ Pitts, Lan (March 19, 2010). "Indie Writer Tells an H.P. LOVECRAFT Story... For Kids?". Newsarama. Archived from the original on March 23, 2010. Retrieved April 1, 2010.
  24. ^ Clockwork Girl profile, samples and interview Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine with Sean O'Reilly, Comic Book Resources, May 30, 2007
  25. ^ "NextMEDIA: Connecting You to Business Opportunities in the Digital Media Industry". Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 22 May 2022.
  26. ^ nextMEDIAEvents (3 December 2013). "Digi Awards 2013 - Most Promising Company of the Year: Arcana". Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018 – via YouTube.
  27. ^ "The 2013 10 To Watch: Sean Patrick O'Reilly". Archived from the original on 22 April 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  28. ^ "Best Visual Features 2013". Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  29. ^ "FCBD 2013 STEAM ENGINES OF OZ (JAN130018)". Archived from the original on 5 July 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  30. ^ "The Steam Engines of Oz original graphic novel". Kickstarter. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 25 April 2018.

External links[edit]