Charmed (comics)

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Cover for Volume 1 of Season 9

Charmed is comic book that is an officially licensed continuation of the popular The WB television series of the same name, which ended its eight-year run in 2006. The series is published monthly by Zenescope Entertainment. The comic book serves as a continuation set eighteen months after the events of the televised show's final episode. The first issue was released on June 16, 2010.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Rumors of a comic series began long before Zenescope made the news official in March 2010.[1] Speculation had started to appear online [2] about the possibility of a comic series much earlier, however, largely due to test sketches appearing on the deviantART account of Dave Hoover which featured Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano and Rose McGowan. Speaking on his deviantART page, Hoover said:

If everything goes according to plan I'll be working on a "Charmed" comic book based on the hit TV series published by Zenescope Entertainment. To get the job I had to compete with others vying for the same gig, and our task was to do model sheets of the girls showing how we would draw them. The art would be approved by the studio. The odd thing about this was that they supplied no photo reference, so I searched the internet high and low looking for the best possible pictures. Of the three girls, I thought Alyssa Milano would be the easiest to draw, but she turned out to be the hardest. She sort of changed her look more often than the other two, Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs.

—Dave Hoover, deviantART, March 13, 2009

Months before the title had officially been announced, and before Zenescope gained acquisition of the publication rights for the comic series, the first advertisement for the series featuring the famous triquetra symbol and the tag line "The Girls are Back" written in the series font appeared in the December 16, 2009 issue of the Zenescope comic book Escape From Wonderland #3.[3] However, Zenescope did not officially announce possession of the title until the company had successfully been granted the rights from Fox Consumer Products.

Subsequently, the first press release from Zenecope Entertainment indicated that Charmed, based on the "ultra-popular" media franchise, would be a natural addition to the publisher's pre-existing "sultry and strong female characters".[4] Editor-in-Chief, Ralph Tedesco, also announced that "the key to this series success is to strike a nice balance in creating a brand new, intriguing storyline for fans of the television show while also not alienating Zenescope and comic book readers who haven't really followed it before".[4] It was further announced that while the TV series had a difficult time due to casting and budget limitations, the comic creators won't have those problems, thus fans may finally see the return of popular characters like Prue and Cole.[5]

Writing and format[edit]

Author Paul Ruditis [6] was hired as lead writer of the series with Zenescope veteran Raven Gregory joining him for the first three issues. Ruditis is familiar with the Charmed universe having already published three tie-in novels, two official episode guides which he co-authored with Diana G. Gallagher and the Charmed Book of Love Spells. Ruditis and Gregory also co-authored a special Issue 0, which acted as a prequel to the story recapping the events of the television series in a style reminiscent to the Book of Shadows as seen on the show.

Artist Dave Hoover was eventually hired to do the interior artwork while David Seidman was hired to design the covers for the comics, although various guest artists have contributed variant covers for each issue thus far including Greg Horn, Al Rio, Tony Shasteen and Mark Sparacio. Dave Hoover left the comic after completing Issue 3. Since then various artists have been hired to do the interior artwork such as Marcio Abreu (4, 5 and 7), Carlos Granda (8), Tess Fowler (6 and 11), Dean Kotz (9, 12, 14 and 15), and Reno Maniquis (10 and 13).

Although the process of writing and receiving studio clearance is much the same as for Charmed novels, Ruditis explains, "The big difference now, as you noted, is that with original episodes no longer airing, we have a lot more freedom than we did on the novels".[6] With the Charmed novels, nothing outrageous could occur to distort established continuity. Stories had to take place 'between' episodes, usually in the first half of a given season. Ruditis notes that while, "[t]he studio still has to approve the direction we take", no longer does "everything ...have to reset by the end. That alone means that nothing is entirely safe."[6] Raven and Ruditis claim they want the series to "grow and evolve" in the new medium, "expand[ing] upon what worked and what didn't work [in order to make it work]".[6] The creators believe it stands out from the Buffy, Angel and Pushing Daisies TV-to-comic adaptations because Charmed has a unique focus on the dynamics of family drama.[6]

Publication[edit]

Issues[edit]

The first issue premiered during San Diego Comic-Con International in July 2010. Initially only 12 issues were contracted by Zenescope, with around five issues comprising one story arc which would be reprinted in graphic novel form. A one-shot issue has also been announced for Issue #6, and another is followed when Issue #13 comes to start the new story arc.

Season 9 (2010–12)[edit]

Main article: Charmed: Season 9
Issue in
Series
Issue in
Season
Title Written by Penciled by Original Release Date
0 0 "The Sourcebook" Paul Ruditis & Raven Gregory Dave Hoover June 16, 2010
1 1 "Charmed Lives" Paul Ruditis & Raven Gregory Dave Hoover July 21, 2010
2 2 "No Rest for the Wicca" Paul Ruditis & Raven Gregory Dave Hoover September 1, 2010
3 3 "Innocents Lost" Paul Ruditis & Raven Gregory Dave Hoover October 6, 2010
4 4 "Mortal Enemies" Paul Ruditis Marcio Abreau December 15, 2010
5 5 "Unnatural Resources" Paul Ruditis Marcio Abreau January 19, 2011
Volume 2
6 6 "Morality Bites... Back" Paul Ruditis Tess Fowler February 16, 2011
7 7 "The Heir Up There" Paul Ruditis Marcio Abreu March 2, 2011
8 8 "Oh, Henry" Paul Ruditis Carlos Granda March 16, 2011
9 9 "All or Nothing" Paul Ruditis Dean Kotz May 25, 2011
10 10 "Three Little Wiccans" Paul Ruditis Reno Maniquis June 8, 2011
11 11 "Last Witch Effort" Paul Ruditis Tess Fowler June 22, 2011
12 12 "The Charmed Offensive" Paul Ruditis Dean Kotz July 27, 2011
Volume 3
13 13 "Piper's Place" Paul Ruditis Reno Maniquis September 7, 2011
14 14 "Cupids Harrow" Paul Ruditis Dean Kotz September 28, 2011
15 15 "Where There's Smoke There's a Firestarter" Paul Ruditis Dean Kotz October 26, 2011
16 16 "The Heavens Can Wait" Paul Ruditis Dean Kotz November 30, 2011
17 17 "Family Shatters" Paul Ruditis Dean Kotz January 4, 2012
18 18 "Four's Company" Paul Ruditis Dean Kotz January 25, 2012
19 19 "Crossed, Triple Crossed" Paul Ruditis Tess Fowler March 7, 2012
Volume 4
20 20 "The Old Witcheroo" Paul Ruditis Dean Kotz March 28, 2012
21 21 "Reversal of Misfortune" Paul Ruditis Dean Kotz May 2, 2012
22 22 "Prue Ya Gonna Call?" Paul Ruditis Rubine July 11, 2012
23 23 "The Darklight Zone" Paul Ruditis Rubine September 5, 2012
24 24 "The Power of 300" Paul Ruditis Rubine October 3, 2012

Season 10 (2014–)[edit]

It was announced in April 2014 that CBS and Zenescope had officially reached an agreement for a tenth season.[7] Paul Ruditis stepped down as lead writer and will edit the series, while Pat Shand will write the new story.[7] The first issue of Charmed: Season 10 will debut at New York Comic Con on the weekend of October 9, 2014.[7]

Collected issue[edit]

Season 9[edit]

Vol. in
Series
Vol. in
Season
Issues in Vol. Written by Penciled by Original Release Date
1 1 "0-5" Paul Ruditis & Raven Gregory Dave Hoover, Marcio Abreu & Novo Malgapo February 2, 2011
2 2 "6-12" Paul Ruditis Tess Fowler, Marcio Abreu & Carlos Granda September 7, 2011
3 3 "13-19" Paul Ruditis Reno Maniquis, Dean Kotz & Tess Fowler April 11, 2012
4 4 "20-24" Paul Ruditis Dean Kotz & Rubine November 7, 2012

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction was initially mixed for the first issue, with many reviewers complaining about the lack of story. Reviews for Issue #2 in relation to the story have been much more positive with Fandomania awarding the issue 3/5.[8] However some noted that the issue does a good job at exposing the series to newcomers.[9] The artwork however has received the most criticism both for the characters likeness' [10] and the colouring,[11] which is deemed distracting by a Newsarama reviewer. Christina Flores of ComicImpact.com goes on to say that the interior art is inconsistent with the character drawings not being as good as those of locations and backgrounds. However, she goes on to say that Ruditis and Gregory open with a strong story and says that Charmed fans will enjoy the issue.[12] Fan response however has been promising with the first issue selling out of its initial 17,000 copies in the first three weeks, which prompted Zenescope to release a second printing in time for the release of Issue #2.[13]

Cast reaction[edit]

  • Alyssa Milano has touched upon the comic series in interviews, talking about how she gave Zenescope her permission to use her likeness for her character.[14]
  • Rose McGowan and Holly Marie Combs have discussed the comics on Twitter, most notably joking about the cover for Issue #2 which pictures the Charmed Ones naked covered only in leaves.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Boom (2010-03-10). "Zenescope Brings Charmed To Comics". Broken Frontier. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  2. ^ Richard Boom (2010-03-13). "Zenescope Working on Charmed Comic?". Broken Frontier. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  3. ^ Escape From Wonderland #3, Zenescope Entertainment, December 16, 2009.
  4. ^ a b Press Release (2010-03-15). "Zenescope Brings Charmed to Comics". Newsarama. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  5. ^ Blair Marnell (2010-03-17). "'Charmed' TV Series To Continue In Comic Book Form". MTV.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  6. ^ a b c d e Alex Dueben (2010-04-09). "Gregory and Ruditis Are "Charmed". CBR. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  7. ^ a b c Koch, Jennifer (April 8, 2014). "Zenescope and CBS Bring Back Charmed". Zenescope.com. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ Kimberly Lynn Workman (2010-08-23). "Comic Review: Charmed #2". Fandomania. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  9. ^ DiRT (2010-07-21). "Zenescope Advance Reviews for 7/21/2010". The Pop Culture Network. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  10. ^ Kimberly Lynn Workman (2010-07-19). "Comic Review: Charmed #1". Fandomania. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  11. ^ by Vanessa Gabriel (2010-07-20). "Charmed #1". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  12. ^ Christina Flores (2010-07-16). "Advanced Review: Charmed #1". Comic Impact. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  13. ^ Edward Kaye (2010-08-11). "ZENESCOPE'S CHARMED ISSUE 1 SELLS OUT". Hypergeek. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  14. ^ Matt Raub (2010-04-19). "Interview: Alyssa Milano Talks ‘Romantically Challenged', ‘Charmed', ‘Ghostbusters'". The Flick Cast. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  15. ^ Holly Marie Combs (2010-04-24). "Hmm I don't recall doing that scene. Fascinating. Ha!".