Sunday, March 3, 2013

First Graphic Novel Review: Charmed Season 9 Volume 1

Pages: 154
Genre: Graphic Novel/Comic Book, Fantasy
Release Date: 14/12/2010
Writers: Constance M. Burge, Paul Ruditus
Artists: Dave Hoover, Marcio Abreau, Novo Malgapo
Publisher: Zenescope Entertainment
Purchased Online.

"Charmed Season 9" picks up where the TV show left off! With the source of all evil defeated, The Charmed Ones, three witches destined to be the most powerful force for good our world has ever known, have embraced a new life. One of new family, friends, and a future without the constant battle between good and evil...or so they think.

I haven't really gotten into the whole comic book thing before now. I had considered it as there seems to be a growing trend with various YA series being converted into comic book format. I had even considered purchasing some 'Sailor Moon' comics as I was a huge fan when I was little, but everything was either overpriced or unavailable. After watching 8 seasons of 'Charmed' I couldn't just let it be and I decided to get myself a copy of volume 1.

So, this is my first actual comic book. Apart from a few comic excerpts in 'Total Girl Magazine' as a child and at the start/end of a 'W.I.T.C.H' book which I had read a whole three of in my primary school days. I know enough about understanding a comic or reading it in order, but I've just never fancied myself as much of a comic book reader. The only thing that I had to learn about was that there are issues and volumes. Unlike some of the YA-books-turned-graphic-novels circulating the reading scene, 'Charmed' is first and foremost a comic book. Originally it was released in issues, but the Volume consists of a number of issues.

The first thing that took me a while to understand was the who-is-who aspect of it all. Because the girls are sisters they all have similar looks. They are all brunette (or close to it) with brown eyes. So, when I first picked up this comic book I was having a little bit of difficulty telling the Halliwells apart. To top it off, the artist changes later on in the volume causing even more confusion, but once I figured out who was who I was fine. I think I prefer the work of the second artist as the pictures are more detailed and look a little less like a children's cartoon.

The volume is written in the same way as the show, so you'll have a bit about the scary demons and then the story will flick back to the girls and so on. So that was very familiar to me. The emotional and humorous aspects of the story were also great in comparison with the show. The only thing that I thought was a bit off was the action as it was displayed by phrases like "Kaboom". I found this a little cheesy at first, but then I guess I just got over it and accepted it as a part of the comic book format and its limitations.

I really liked some of the artwork in the volume. Even in the first chapters which weren't as great as the last ones,  there were some cool arty effects used to show orbing and rain which did carry on throughout the volume. At the beginning there is an excerpt from the book of shadows explaining briefly how the girls got their powers, what they have been up to for the past 8 years (for those that can't remember what happened in charmed) and some of the spells that have been used most frequently during the series. There is also a section at the back filled with the awesome cover art from the issues that make up the volume. From the perspective of someone who likes to draw and paint I found this all to be very impressive and inspiring.

The volume was a very quick read and the story lined up well with everything that has happened in the TV seasons. There was a lot going on in this volume, so I hope the girls can get it together because they have an awful lot of work ahead of them!

Overall, I am impressed. I think I may try out some more graphic novels in the future and I am definitely going to get myself some more 'Charmed' ones. While it wasn't perfect I can see myself rereading 'Charmed Season 9 Volume 1' many times in the future, just because I love the 'Charmed' world so much. I think I'll give it 4.5/5 stars. I don't know if I am really qualified to rate a graphic novel though...

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