Serenity Rose

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Serenity Rose is a comic created by Aaron Alexovich (credited as "Aaron A." until the second volume) and published by Slave Labor Graphics. The story is told in the first person by the title character Serenity Rose in the form of a comic-diary.

Story[edit]

Serenity Rose is the story of a young witch named Serenity Rose, or Sera as she is known throughout the story. She is one of five American witches and one of fifty-seven throughout the world, trying to make her way through everyday life while dealing with her own social phobia even with all the attention her powers attract.

The story is told in comic book form, as drawn and written by the main character. But while in the comics themselves it says this is all Serenity's doing, the book states that the author of the series (Aaron A.) was actually given these pages by her (fictionally, of course).

There are five issues out in stores, and two graphic novels. "Working Through the Negativity" collects the first five issues of the published comic. "Goodbye, Crestfallen!" was a web-comic sequel from March, 2008, through October 2009. Serenity Rose Vol. 3, "Break Your Stupid Heart" was scheduled for August 2010. (Although it was re-scheduled for October 2011.)

Characters[edit]

Serenity Rose[edit]

Serenity "Sera" Rose is one of five American witches and the most famous of them. She is very reclusive and shy and despises the attention toward herself. She (like Alexovich) is originally from Chicago. When she was four, her mother died from a mysterious illness. Heartbroken Sera froze part of Lake Michigan in the middle of July, which didn't make the locals too happy. About a month later, Sera's father receives an offer to move to a town in the Pacific Northwest called Crestfallen. The Mayor of Crestfallen offered to give the Roses a large home gratis. Mr. Rose probably didn't realize that he and his daughter had moved to "The Spookiest Lil' Town in America" which Sera later called a "prison zoo" because the mayor had turned the town into sort of a Horror Disneyland over time. Despite the many offers for Serenity to be an apprentice to other witches, Mr. Rose did not allow it. However Sera didn't mind and was pretty proud that her father had stuck up for her well-being. At fifteen, a witch named Valentine was the latest visitor to attempt to coerce the young witch to leave Crestfallen. Upon her father's advice, Sera rejected this offer too.

A year later, Sera's father was killed in a car accident while trying to avoid crashing into a goblin. Shortly, after his death, The Bus Incident occurred which propelled Sera into national infamy. Accused of hijacking the bus that she was on, the teenage girl was ordered to serve nothing more than counseling with a court-appointed psychologist because she was a witch and that the hijacking may have been caused due to the stress of losing her father. The details of the bus incident are unclear as Sera has blocked those events from her memory. Sera is not even sure that she caused the incident though she accepted the responsibility.

Sera generally dresses in gothic attire, but her make-up and blue hair are both put in place by shapeshifting. To her disgust, She is idolized by Crestfallen and refuses every year any invitation to have her join the Halloween parade. Sera has problems with her identity as a witch, her future, and is unsure of her sexuality (and is quite embarrassed by it).

Contessa Rubikov[edit]

Contessa "Tess" Rubikov is Serenity Rose's best friend/enemy. They've known each other since Sera first arrived in Crestfallen, and Contessa was the first person to actually treat Sera like a human being, which sparked a friendship. Contessa is six feet tall and has dyed red hair (real hair color is unknown) and thick eyebrows, three tattoos and six piercings. The most noticeable tattoo is that of a happy sun on her shoulder. She has two earrings on each ear and a nose stud; the sixth piercing is a hole she has in her head due to a screwdriver-related "accident". She lives with Grandpa Rubikov (real first name unknown). Sera and Tess seem to have an odd like/dislike relationship.

She enjoys anything related to violence and taunting (and claims to be the town's resident annoyance). She especially likes taunting Tiphané, a goth vampire wannabe. She once stole holy water from St. Tedius to use as fuel for her holy water cannon, which was used—ineffectively—against a real vampire. She had also once made Sera sit through the local Halloween parade, until a large goblin parade-float came to her home after she heavily denied several goblins candy (and she fought back as a large ectoplasm bunny). Tess is also quite hyperactive and silly, and is not a fan of 'spooky-cute' stuff, almost the complete opposite of her best friend. Tess is Sera's only means of vehicle transportation, since Tess has a driver's license. Her car has flames painted on it.

Vicious Whisper[edit]

Vicious Whisper is described as a Japa-Brit (half Japanese half British) witch and singer whose real name is Victoria Whisper but her friends call her V. Her songs have strong anti-business sentiments attached to them (i.e. "Napalm on Wall Street"; these songs seem quite the opposite of her personality) and she normally floats around a stadium with her on tour. Tutored by Ms. Thorpp, another famous English witch, V has had a chance to fully explore what it is like to be a witch and uses her abilities to their full potential. She has met every known witch in the world, including supposedly mythological ones such as Baba Yaga. When she is not on tour she sits and thinks at her secluded home on ectoplasm clouds while drinking peppermint tea. Her hair is a hot pink and almost always up in pigtails. She is the only witch Sera has met, and they gain a master-apprentice relationship by the end of the series.

She is very kind and quite intelligent, and is often referred to as a perkigoff. V has many philosophies and opinions on life, and hates little. She also has little desire for materialistic things. She also stars in her own webcomic/advice column Vicious Whispers when Alexovich is busy working on other projects.

Dewey Dwayne Kelton[edit]

Dewey Dwayne Kelton, or Kelton as he is referred to throughout most of the story, is a reluctant bassist for a pop punk garage band and publisher for a college zine. Kelton is one of Sera's closer friends, as well as the publisher of her anonymous comics where she uses the alias of Zero when submitting her work. Often viewed as a "worry-wart" by his acquaintances, Kelton is cautious and not very aggressive.

He often comes to Sera's side when she needs it most as a shoulder to cry on and as the worried friend. First introduced in "Working Through the Negativity", Kelton has consistently been the comforting guy friend to Sera all the way through the comic's history. It should be noted that Sera and Kelton's relationship remains platonic. When Sera and Tess are not getting along, Kelton is usually there to act as a quiet mediator.

Stiletta[edit]

Not much was known about Stiletta until the end of Goodbye Crestfallen except that she was quite aggressive and almost heartless. She can be easily distinguished by the scars/stitches on her body and the neon yellow hair that covers her right eye which is missing. It is also unclear if Stilletta is her real name as she has gone by various alias such as "The Blonde Witch" or "The Tongue Witch". Stiletta is believed to have given "the Curse" to the singer of a band, which caused the vampire incident in the Darkroom, and attacked Sera in a public bathroom at one point.

It was speculated that Stiletta was in the employ of Skarsdayle to somehow persuade Serenity into joining Rivet Hed because Skarsdayle's assistant (referred to as "Chester" when Serenity visits Rivet Hed) bore a resemblance to Stiletta, and shape shifting may be responsible for the differences. However, in Goodbye Crestfallen, Stiletta was actually Valentine's apprentice. Supposedly, her parents, Theo and Christianne Van Vedeker wanted her to be killed fearing that news that having a witch for a daughter would ruin their company. But her grandmother Willemina Van Vedeker and the reclusive matriarch of the Van Vedeker empire had different plans.

Willemina would hide Stiletta in an abandoned diamond mine in Zimbabwe along with about 8 years of supplies including five children's books, fuel, and cutlery. What happened next could probably be implied. Willemina was possibly killed then left in the cave with Stiletta, thus allowing Theo and Christianne to inherit his mother's fortune. Her presumed death occurred about 17 years before Goodbye Crestfallen. However, Theo and Christianne would not get away with their crimes of greed and abandonment as three years prior to Goodbye Crestfallen they would be found murdered, possibly by Stiletta.

Six weeks prior to Goodbye Crestfallen, SSI investigators discovered the mine along with many spellcast creatures that Stiletta may have produced. It was revealed at the end of Goodbye Crestfallen that Stiletta was the twin sister of the diamond heiress Simon Van Vedeker who looks very much like her.

Maddy[edit]

Maddy was the girl on the bus that may have triggered the legendary event simply known as "The Bus Incident". The Bus Incident in Serenity Rose has been the MacGuffin element throughout the story especially since Sera has blocked out the majority of the incident from her mind. But what Sera does know is that Maddy was there. Maddy had been taunted and bullied for her sexuality and the students at her high school were far from accepting of her difference, even more so than having a witch go to high school with them. The majority of bullying came from the boys who would call her "Mad Dog" and "dyke" and throw beer cans at her. But what set her off was when Sera gave Maddy a note explaining how Sera appreciated her. Maddy took the letter the wrong way and thought that Sera gave her the letter to be mean. By that time, Maddy got off the bus and The Bus Incident occurred.

Rivet Hed and Skarsdayle[edit]

Once a hardcore punk singer for the band Nyarlathotep, Skarsdayle is Rivet Hed's manager. She is mysterious, eloquent, manipulative and a heavy smoker. Rivet Hed is provided with Curse and girls by her, and thus she calls herself the "Candy Man". She is very interested in using Sera's creativity to improve Rivet Hed's show which she feels has become stagnant, but Sera denied the offer, leaving Skarsdayle quite disappointed.

Rivet Hed is a performer juggernaut formerly known as Marvin Garden and possibly America's most famous witch. He was discovered by Skarsdayle several years after being kicked out onto the streets by his hardcore-Christian parents due to an incident with young Marvin playing with corpses in the graveyard they owned, and fashioned by her into the giant that tours the world today. He has the most "controversial and overblown" show known that features him killing ectoplasmic monsters he created himself with chainsaws and saving ectoplasm female "dolls". He is addicted to "the Curse", a dangerous and addictive drug made from vampire blood, that is provided to him by Skarsdayle.

Sera is a former fan of Rivet Hed, she now is a fan of Vicious Whisper's music and ideas. It was also determined that having Sera work for Skarsdayle for Rivet Hed was a set-up created by Stiletta, who stole one of Sera's notebooks then assaulted Sera hoping that Sera would reconsider working for Skarsdayle after Sera rejected working for the drug-pushing musician manager.

Lois McCreedy[edit]

Lois McCreedy is the Sheriff of the Crestfallen Police Department. Lois's attitude towards witches and other spooky dealings has been quite relaxed. Lois is often seen with a toothpick in her mouth, wears a small cross around her neck, loves her two bulldogs (as her house is adorn with various bulldog memorabilia) and watching soap operas. Lois's home appears to be a safe place for Sera when terrible things occur. Lois may have been a former SSI member.

Chester Merrick[edit]

As member of the SSI, Sera was not at all interested in meeting with Chester Merrick, but Merrick was very much interested in meeting the young witch. Merrick face is covered with two "witchburns" that look like hands. It is not determine who gave them to him. Merrick wears a set of goggles which cover his eyes. It is unclear if the goggles allow him to see because he lost his eyes due to the witchburns or if he can see without the goggles. Merrick explains that he originally joined the SSI because he was an angry young man who wanted to fight witches and other supernatural entities. But over the years, he realized that his emotions were misguided. Merrick was sent from the SSI headquarters, also known as Twin Pines, to investigate an attack in the Inconsolable Woods by an ectoplasmic monster that looked like Maddy.

Valentine[edit]

Valentine goes by many aliases. Evil is probably one of them. His face is not well defined as it is always covered by shadow. His face however does have one distinguishing feature: violet swirling tattoos around his eyes. In the first volume of Serenity Rose, Valentine's name is mentioned when Sera underlines a newspaper report discussing the SSI possibly identifying him as an "unidentified Slavic warlock". When Sera was 15, Valentine approached Sera and asked her to be his apprentice, Sera's father advised her to say no, which did not please Valentine.

Zoe and Mary Ann Mirolette[edit]

Sera's family is composed of Zoe Mirolette, her stepmother, and Mary Ann, her eight-year old half-sister. Zoe Mirolette is Sera's stepmother. A few years after moving to Crestfallen, Mr. Rose remarried and had a second child (Mary Ann). Zoe is described as British, and is the proprietor of the Mended Wing Inn in Crestfallen. Mary Ann Mirolette is Sera's half sister. Mary Ann, like most younger siblings, looks up to her big half-sister. She is also not afraid to ask Sera for help. Mary Ann is the few characters that has been seen outside of printed media as she played a supporting role in Aaron Alexovich's short animation "Good Guys Wear Black" starring Serenity Rose.

Supernatural Shield Initiative[edit]

A special taskforce called the Supernatural Shield Initiative (SSI) was formed in 1933 to handle supernatural creatures and people. Human rights groups as well as witches have criticized their methods. Merrick used the word "priests" to describe members of the SSI.

Some members of the SSI include:

  • Lois McCreedy (retired, now Sheriff of Crestfallen Police Department)
  • Chester Merrick (investigator)
  • Victor Vogel (former Captain, discharged. Now news commentator.)
  • Barney the Purple Dinosaur (Current Chief of Bureau of Investigations. Former host of an obscene reality show.)

Magic creatures[edit]

Witches[edit]

Witches are rare genetic accidents of nature. They are people born with the ability to float and control energy and matter, even capable of shape-shifting. They can heal themselves or others if they are injured and fix complicated objects without any knowledge of their inner-workings. They can create ectoplasm, a malleable goo, that they use essentially to create whatever comes to their mind at the time.

The Church of Right Thinking is opposed to witches, believing them to be evil. Members of secular society such as Chuck St. Hardwell of "Bare Knuckles" argue that witches are dangerous and may not even be considered human.

Some witches include:

  • Serenity Rose (USA; university student, amateur painter and known recluse)
  • Vicious Whisper a.k.a. Victoria Whisper (UK; rock star)
  • Rivet Hed a.k.a. Marvin Garden (USA; performer)
  • Atlan Samuel (American, longtime agent of the United States government)
  • Emily Ash (American; hardcore Christian homemaker; has never used her powers)
  • Michael Fulmouth (American; went on a killing spree in the 50s; currently in a coma after being shot in the head)
  • Dame Glaurie Thorpp (UK; children's books author and former tutor of Vicious Whisper)
  • Baba Yaga (Russian)
  • Valentine (Slavic)
  • Stiletta (Unknown)
  • Dr. Fillipp Kibalchenko (Russian; political dissident and defector; currently in a self-induced coma after making an oath to not move until all nuclear energy is gone from the world)

According to Valentine, there are always exactly 57 witches. When one dies, the very next child born will be a witch.

Vampires[edit]

Blood-sucking creatures whose origins are left to speculation. One rumor is that vampires were created by the Order of Silver—a breakaway sect from the Knights of Templar—and a Slavic warlock in the 13th century. Their intent was to create a plague that only they, with their sacred armaments, could cure. Thus, they would gain fame and power as the only hope against such an epidemic. The idea backfired, and vampires persist today. Vampires have great strength and agility, and heal quickly of any wounds not inflicted by silver or flame. They can be hurt by blessed objects and are sensitive to sunlight. When deprived of blood they are reduced to a primal state, trembling with a need known to only the most pathological of drug addicts. The diluted blood of vampires- mixed with that of humans- is used to create a powerful drug called "The Curse" in order to recreate the orgasmic feel of bloodlust. Some countries in Central and South America keep vampires captive in order to produce Curse, as it sells for a high price on the black market. Undiluted Curse can turn the user into a full-blown blood-lusting monster.

Goblins[edit]

Small creatures native to Crestfallen and two other towns. They usually cluster around trolls or tourists and beg for food. They were brought to Crestfallen by the founding coven of witches to act as jesters and messengers. They appear to have no lower lip and large teeth.

Ogres[edit]

Large, dim-witted giants that were once used to move heavy stones to aid in building. Now they sit and stare, not having much use, and Crestfallen's children enjoy climbing on them.

Trolls[edit]

Aggressive creatures that guard the forest around Crestfallen and supposedly only attack non-witches. They have big hairy bodies and a mask-like face.

Spellcast[edit]

Spellcast are the name used to describe the ectoplasmic creatures created by witches. Some spellcast are sentient. Most are created to obey orders. However, in rare cases they produced by witches without them even knowing it in their sleep or by collecting residual traces of ectoplasm.

References[edit]

External links[edit]