Charmed (comics)

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Charmed (comics)
The debut issue, Charmed #1 (June 2010).
Publication information
Publisher Zenescope Entertainment
Schedule Monthly
Format Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date (Season 9)
June 2010 – November 2012
(Season 10)
October 2014 – present
Number of issues (Season 9): 25 (and 4 collected editions)
(Season 10): 24 (and 4 collected editions)
Main character(s) Piper Halliwell
Phoebe Halliwell
Paige Matthews
Prue Halliwell
other Charmed characters
Creative team
Writer(s) Paul Ruditis (0-24)
Raven Gregory (0-3)
Pat Shand (25-48)
Penciller(s)
Letterer(s) Jim Campbell (0-24)
Colorist(s) Milen Parvanov (1–4 & 7)
John Hunt (5, 6 & 8)
Michael Spicer (14–18)
Joshua Wentzell (18)

Charmed comics are officially licensed continuations of the popular television series of the same name, which ended its eight-year run in 2006. The comic books are published monthly by Zenescope Entertainment. Charmed: Season 9 serves as a continuation set eighteen months after the events of the televised show's final episode and was first released on June 16, 2010.[1] After concluding in 2012, it was succeeded by Charmed: Season 10 which debuted on October 8, 2014.[2] Each season comprises 24 issues and one story arc spans between five and seven issues which is reprinted in graphic novel form.

The comics are set in the fictional "Charmed universe" and all content is approved by CBS Consumer Products in order to adhere to the continuity of the franchise.[3][4] The series narrative follows the Charmed Ones – sisters Piper and Phoebe Halliwell and Paige Matthews – the most powerful good witches in history who use their combined "Power of Three" to protect innocent lives from demonic beings. After being reunited with their late elder sister, Prue, who was killed less than a decade earlier, the four sisters vanquish the demon Rennek in order to safeguard the existence and secrecy of magic. Writers of the comics are also involved in the publication of other Charmed literature, including Paul Ruditis, author of Season 9 and editor of Season 10, whose novel The War on Witches (2015) is set between the events of the two seasons.[5]

The comics were generally well received. One graphic novel volume made The New York Times Best Seller list in early 2011.[6] Initially, only 12 issues were contracted by Zenescope but, due to the success of the first few issues, the contract was doubled to 24 issues per season. The first issue sold 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.[7]

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 [8] 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.[9] 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 Zenescope 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".[10] 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".[10] 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.[11]

Although the comic books feature the likeness of the majority of the actors who appeared in the television series including Alyssa Milano (Phoebe Halliwell), Holly Marie Combs (Piper Halliwell), Rose McGowan (Paige Matthews), Brian Krause (Leo Wyatt) and Julian McMahon (Cole Turner), Shannen Doherty's (Prue Halliwell) likeness does not feature in the comic books. Ralph Tedesco officially released a statement that Shannen Doherty had not given her permission for the comic book creators to use her likeness in the series, saying that “Unfortunately Ms. Doherty has declined to be involved in the comic version of Charmed. This includes the use of her likeness. We had hoped that she would allow us to use her image and that we would be able to bring her into the Charmed comic book exactly as she was in the show but at this point that has become impossible. While Ms. Doherty’s likeness will not be used for the character we are still very excited about the direction we are going with Prue and we hope that fans of Charmed will feel the same way.”[12]

Shannen Doherty revealed at Oz Comic-Con in 2013 that her decision to not give permission for her likeness to be used was based on Zenoscope's unwillingness to pay her to use her likeness.[13]

CBS and Zenescope officially reached an agreement for a tenth season.[2] It was announced in April 2014 that Paul Ruditis stepped down as lead writer and would edit the series, while Pat Shand would write the new story and Elisa Féliz would be pencilling.[2] The first issue of Charmed: Season 10 debuted at New York Comic Con during the weekend of October 9, 2014.[2]

Writing and format[edit]

Author Paul Ruditis[3] was hired as lead writer of Season 9 with established Zenescope author Raven Gregory co-writing the first three issues alongside him. Ruditis was already familiar with the "Charmed universe" having previously published three tie-in novels, two official episode guides (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 series by summarising the events of the television series in a style reminiscent to the Book of Shadows depicted in the show. For Season 10, Pat Shand assumed the role of writer and Ruditis acted as editor.

Artist Dave Hoover was hired to create 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, including Greg Horn, Al Rio, Tony Shasteen and Mark Sparacio. Hoover departed the series after completing Issue 3. Since then various artists have been hired to create 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... is that with original episodes no longer airing, we have a lot more freedom than we did on the novels'.[3] 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'.[3] Ruditis and Gregory claim they wanted the series to 'grow and evolve' in the new medium, 'expand[ing] upon what worked and what didn't work'.[3] The creators believe it stands out from the Buffy, Angel and Pushing Daisies television-to-comic adaptations because Charmed has a unique focus on the dynamics of family drama.[3]

According to Shand, the comics and novels based on the franchise are part of the Charmed canon and follow the established continuity of the series.[4][14]

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
Volume 1
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]

Main article: Charmed: Season 10
Issue in
Series
Issue in
Season
Title[15] Written by Penciled by Original Release Date
Season 10: Volume 1
25 1 "No Country for Old Ones" Pat Shand Elisa Feliz October 8, 2014
26 2 "Magically Malicious" Pat Shand Elisa Feliz November 5, 2014
27 3 "The Perks of Being a Whitelighter" Pat Shand Elisa Feliz December 10, 2014
28 4 "Charmed Assault" Pat Shand Elisa Feliz January 21, 2015
29 5 "Whatever Happened to the Demon with a Soul?" Pat Shand Elisa Feliz February 18, 2015
30 6 "Will o' the Witch" Pat Shand Daniela Di Matteo March 18, 2015
Season 10: Volume 2
31 7 "Hard Knox Life" Pat Shand Daniela Di Matteo April 22, 2015
32 8 "Love is a Burning Thing" Pat Shand Elisa Feliz May 20, 2015
33 9 "Haste Makes Wasteland" Pat Shand Elisa Feliz June 10, 2015
34 10 "The Curious Case of Benjamin Turner" Pat Shand Elisa Feliz July 22, 2015
35 11 "Fear Always Comes Back" Pat Shand Elisa Feliz August 26, 2015

Collected issue[edit]

Season 9[edit]

The issues were collected together into trade paperbacks:

# Title Publisher Year ISBN Reprints
1 Charmed: Season 9: Volume 1 Zenescope Comics February 8, 2011 ISBN 0982582676
3 Charmed: Season 9: Volume 2 Zenescope Comics September 20, 2011 ISBN 0982582692
3 Charmed: Season 9: Volume 3 Zenescope Comics April 11, 2012 ISBN 193706896X
4 Charmed: Season 9: Volume 4 Zenescope Comics November 7, 2012 ISBN 1937068609

Note: The full title of all volumes listed here start with "Charmed Season 9: ".


Season 10[edit]

The issues were collected together into trade paperbacks:

# Title Publisher Year ISBN Reprints
1 Charmed: Season 10: Volume 1 Zenescope Comics April 29, 2015 ISBN 1942275021[16]
2 Charmed: Season 10: Volume 2 Zenescope Comics TBA ISBN TBA

Note: The full title of all volumes listed here start with "Charmed Season 10: ".


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.[17] However some noted that the issue does a good job at exposing the series to newcomers.[18] The artwork however has received the most criticism both for the characters likeness' [19] and the colouring,[20] 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.[21] 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.[7]

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.[22]
  • 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.[23]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Richard Boom (2010-03-10). "Zenescope Brings Charmed To Comics". Broken Frontier. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  2. ^ a b c d Koch, Jennifer (April 8, 2014). "Zenescope and CBS Bring Back Charmed". Zenescope.com. Retrieved April 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Alex Dueben (2010-04-09). "Gregory and Ruditis Are "Charmed". CBR. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  4. ^ a b Shand, Pat (20 June 2014). "The comics are canon.". Tumblr. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Ruditis, Paul. "CHARMED: THE WAR ON WITCHES takes place between seasons 9 & 10 of comic books.". Twitter. Retrieved 6 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "Best Sellers: Paperback Graphic Books". The New York Times. 2 October 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  7. ^ a b Edward Kaye (2010-08-11). "ZENESCOPE'S CHARMED ISSUE 1 SELLS OUT". Hypergeek. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  8. ^ Richard Boom (2010-03-13). "Zenescope Working on Charmed Comic?". Broken Frontier. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  9. ^ Escape From Wonderland #3, Zenescope Entertainment, December 16, 2009.
  10. ^ a b Press Release (2010-03-15). "Zenescope Brings Charmed to Comics". Newsarama. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  11. ^ Blair Marnell (2010-03-17). "'Charmed' TV Series To Continue In Comic Book Form". MTV.com. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  12. ^ http://blog.zenescope.com/2012/04/regarding-ms-dohertys-likeness/
  13. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_moIfj6y0g0
  14. ^ Shand, Pat (2 May 2015). "The new novel, like the comics, is in continuity, so nothing will be contradicted!". Tumblr. Retrieved 13 May 2015. The new novel, like the comics, is in continuity, so nothing will be contradicted! There is a bunch of room to work with between the two comic seasons... 
  15. ^ "Charmed: Season 10 Comic Guide". charmedcomicfan10.jimbo.com. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Charmed Season 10 Volume 1". Amazon.com. Retrieved February 26, 2015. 
  17. ^ Kimberly Lynn Workman (2010-08-23). "Comic Review: Charmed #2". Fandomania. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  18. ^ DiRT (2010-07-21). "Zenescope Advance Reviews for 7/21/2010". The Pop Culture Network. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  19. ^ Kimberly Lynn Workman (2010-07-19). "Comic Review: Charmed #1". Fandomania. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  20. ^ by Vanessa Gabriel (2010-07-20). "Charmed #1". Newsarama.com. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  21. ^ Christina Flores (2010-07-16). "Advanced Review: Charmed #1". Comic Impact. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  22. ^ Matt Raub (2010-04-19). "Interview: Alyssa Milano Talks ‘Romantically Challenged', ‘Charmed', ‘Ghostbusters'". The Flick Cast. Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  23. ^ Holly Marie Combs (2010-04-24). "Hmm I don't recall doing that scene. Fascinating. Ha!".