Comfort and Joy
Writer: Darren Ellis, Artist: Davina Unwin
The Comfort Pool is a strange place, and its powers are stranger.
It helps those who come to it find what measure of solace they need. Its waters are gentle and soothing, and they wash away what troubles you, rejuvenating you and giving you the strength to carry on.
It's a friend and a confidante. It doesn't question or patronise and it doesn't pass judgment. It just gives you whatever you need to keep from falling apart.
Joy is an old woman who spends her time at The Pool. This is the story of why.
Irons In The Fire
Writer:Corey Brotherson, Artist:Jennie Gyllblad
Sam has spent most of his life protecting Princess Ayira. Through conflict, through slavery and through their desperate escape to freedom. All the time with a horrific past event shackling Sam's consciousness.
But when a mysterious spirit confronts Sam, what can he do when his powerful sense of responsibility is forced to battle against a painful guilt eating away at his soul?
The chains of slavery may have gone... but there are some prisons which are far more costly to escape...
Writer: Matt Gibbs, Artist: Sara Dunkerton
Set in the 1890s, aboard the Riverboat Charon as it travels down the Arcana River, Promises is a tale of young romance and of bargains struck with the Devil. It follows the fortunes of the Captain, his crew and their passengers, and poses to them the question, ‘What price is your soul?’
Among the passengers are Edwin P. Waldrip, an odious politician, and Alice Coulson-Swift, his young ward. As they travel through the swamp, it is Alice and Jackson, the youngest deckhand, who find something more amongst the cynicism and decay.
Promises is a mood piece for the anthology, introducing the personification of the Devil that haunts the swamp, and is the first in a series of stories featuring these characters.
Writer: Jimmy Pearson, Artist: Patricia Echavarri Riego
Six bullets can change the course of history. Six bullets can just as surely change the course of one man's life. From innocent boy to street hardened Black Panther Luke Powers destiny is at the mercy of six fateful gunshots...Or is it? Maybe his fate is to be found somewhere within the mystical depths of the Great Arcana?
Writer: Matthew Craig, Artist: Dani Abram
John Andrews is far from home. Raised the consumate Southern gentleman, but honour-bound to a band of vicious Confederate bounty hunters, Andrews is dragged into the bayou in pursuit of an escaped prisoner of war. But when the swamp begins to close in around them, claiming his unctuous comrades one by one, Andrews is forced to confront the resentment and spinelessness that have defined his life to date. So when an unexpected reminder of happier times inserts herself between Andrews and his quarry, will he find a path to redemption, or will the bayou claim yet another angry soul?
Swamp Pussy And The Hanged Man
Writer: Cy Dethan, Artist: Nic Wilkinson
After a century, a true Man of Destiny arrives in the swamp - an American soldier on the brink of death. Delirious and desperate, the Man of Destiny strikes a hasty bargain with the Great Arcana, surrendering his heart in exchange for his life...
Writer: Jimmy Pearson, Artist: Lynsey Hutchinson
Follow bluesman Grinder Wells on a journey that sees him reach the heights of fame to only sink into a pit of heroin-addled hell. A lost soul led into temptation by the most evil of demonic imps (the One-Eyed Raccoon) Grinder has only one hope of salvation: The Great Arcana. Listen carefully as the Grinderman plays us a song of loss and redemption.
Writer: Jimmy Pearson, Artist: Jenny Clements
The Great Arcana and its inhabitants find themselves imperilled by a very human menace...A menace that threatens to drain the very lifeblood of the magical swamp itself and destroy the universal balance it maintains.
The Tale Of Ol' Mercy
Writer: Jimmy Pearson, Artist: Valia Kapadai
1805: On a Louisiana plantation a group of slaves rise against their white masters in a bloody revolt. Pursued by lawmen and bounty hunters the renegades, lead by a young girl with mystical powers, find refuge in a sprawling magical swamp. The bayou not only becomes their home but also their guardian from the evils of the outside world.
Welcome to The Great Arcana
Writer: Steve Tanner, Artist: Alex Thompson
Deep in the Bayou sits Hope House, large, white and forgotten, surrounded by the swamp. It wasn’t always this way – it used to be surrounded by fields filled with the toiling slaves of the Plantation, way back when. But when the Bayou arrived suddenly things changed – and now the residents of Hope House are truly hopeless…
Writer: Alexi Conman, Artist:Vicky Stonebridge
Tohopka is a hard-hearted half-Hopi tracker who’s deep in the Bayou, intent on collecting the long-standing bounty on the escaped slaves. However, as he ventures deeper and deeper, the unsettling magical ambience of the Bayou impels him to reflect on his place in the world and how far his conflicted and isolated life has veered from his roots.
This is a short tale about looking for the right path, inspired by the parallels between the spirit of Freedom Town and the Native American ethos of synergy with the natural world.