Zenescope Entertainment 2005
Written by Pat Shand
Illustrated by Andrea Meloni, Luca Claretti, Slavatore Cuffari
Mario Del Pennino and Roberta Ingranata
Coloured by Erick Arciniega, Slamet Mujiono
Valentina Cuomo and Eleonora Bruni
Lettered by Ghost Glyph Studios
The grand finale of Zenescope’s longest running title is here in this over-sized event issue. Sela, the students of Arcane Acre, and the Realm Knights enter the final battle against Bloody Bones! Wonderland, Neverland, Oz, Myst, and Earth must stand together against the greatest threat to ever threaten the realms of power.
It’s the end of an era over a decade ago Zenescope burst onto the scene with the first issue of this series. It’s been a wild ride with a variety of new talent coming to the forefront as well as establishing Zenescope as a viable company based on horror comics. While it’s evolved over the years one thing has remained and that’s their ability to find great talent and continually thrill us with these stories while creating a universe full of diversity.
I’ve been an advocate of the whole Arcane Acre’s run by Pat as he’s made this as good as if not better than any teen group/school book that’s been on the market. I hope that with the conclusion of this run that we’ll see two offshoot books, one Arcane Acre itself with a new class of students, their trials and tribulations, successes and failures and one that focuses on those students who made it through this run as they continue to be protectors of not only Earth but the all the Realms as well.
I think what Pat does here is pretty great from a story standpoint. He not only manages to make what happens in the present gripping reading but it’s not spoiled by the inserts of the future looks. While yes there are moments you think that someone isn’t going to make it but does and then there are those that don’t and you think what the heck but those future looks at their older selves really left a lot of room for how they get there. Seriously now I want to a title that focuses on the kids on how they grow up and get to those points.
This is a huge issue it’s like 60 pages long so it does take the time to really tell the ending the right way. The characterisation here never stops either during all that time. I love that while the kids win it’s a great cost and that the win is shown to have that possibility of not being permanent. The threat that Bloody Bones could always return is one of those that really has the excitement factor to it that while we celebrate the win there’s that looming future.
With all the different artists here it’s great to see so many that have contributed to the success of this book. The way the interiors look, flow and have that impact upon the reader was a smooth transition and utterly fantastic. The attention to detail was marvelous and the angles, perspective and use of page layouts really made this a joy to experience.
While this is the end of an era it isn’t the end of the story. I look forward to seeing what Zenescope brings us next as the newest chapter in the company begins stronger than ever.