Sunday, April 4, 2010

Zenescope Gets CHARMED w/ The Power of Three

Being a witch is never easy -- but when you're one of the Halliwell sisters, let's just say that your life is anything but Charmed.

Years after the magic-bearing sisters left their mark on the hit television series, Zenescope Entertainment will be bringing "The Power of Three" to comics, with a new Charmed book written by Raven Gregory and Paul Ruditis beginning in June. The original series followed sisters Piper, Phoebe and Prue as they protect innocents in San Francisco from evil witches and warlocks. When Prue was eventually killed in the show, half-sister Paige was brought into the magic-fighting fold.

"The series starts off about a year or so after the end of the last season," Gregory said. "The sisters are each off living their lives. They have had their well-deserved happily ever. But what they don't realize is that there might have been some serious consequences for vanquishing all that evil. Something is brewing in the Underworld. Something big!"

The acquisition of this series is a bit of a coup for the indie publisher, which has previously worked on licensed comics for the Se7en and Final Destination franchises. "Anybody will be able to pick up this series and follow it whether or not they ever watched the show before," Zenescope Editor-in-Chief Ralph Tedesco said when the series was first announced.

Handling the art duties for Charmed is The Wanderers's Dave Hoover. "His storytelling is really top notch," Gregory said. "He's done some pages so far that are just amazing. He can bring a character to life like no one else."

Of course, with the sisters' continuity, the writers were a bit coy with who was their favorite of the Charmed girls. "It has to be a toss up between Prue and Phoebe," Gregory said. "The character dynamic between the two was really fun. The older, cynical, overbearing sister versus the younger, more naive and outgoing younger sibling was always cool to watch. Too bad Prue's gone, eh, Paul?" To which Ruditis replied coyly: "Is anyone ever really gone?"

With splitting their duties, Ruditis has been handling the plotting of the series, while Gregory has worked on dialogue and polishing elements such as pacing and art direction. "It's always cool to see another writer dissect a story. Seeing their method behind the madness," Gregory said. "I always try to approach each story as something brand new and fresh and with a style that while my own, is always different and striving to be unique. With Paul, he makes that seem easy and exciting which makes my job that much more fun which I think is where the best writing comes from. When you're having fun."

"And we’re having a blast," Ruditis added. "The thing about being involved with the Charmed publishing program over several years is that you start to think very specifically about what can and cannot be done in that universe. Raven brings in a fresh voice, constantly asking me why don’t we do this? Why don’t we do that? It really opens up my view of their universe in new and fresh ways."

For the writing team, Charmed is a high-profile stop on the midst of their other creative works -- Ruditis is currently in the midst of working on an as-yet-unannounced licensed novel series, while Gregory is working on a creator-owned series with Rex Mundi's Eric J called Fly, along with finishing his zombie cop series The Waking as well as a story in Dynamite Entertainment's Red Sonja #50.

Currently, there's no word as to whether or not the original cast -- Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Rose McGowan, and Shannen Doherty -- will be involved in the book aside from their likenesses appearing, but Gregory confirmed that Zenescope would be working closely with CBS in terms of final approval for all the books. But Gregory said that for him, the humanity behind the magic is what sets Charmed apart as a viable franchise. "At the center of this story you have these three strong independent women dealing with the immense responsibility of being the Charmed ones," he explained. "Seeing how they develop and grow and still find time to stay close as a family I think is something that most people can relate to and find comforting."

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