I'm a big fan of Charmed so when I heard about the graphic novel I just had to get it.
For those of you who don't know anything about Charmed, it was a TV series that ran for 8 seasons. Charmed is about 3 sisters (Piper, Phoebe and Paige) who are witches known as the Charmed ones. They are good witches with active powers and they have to fight evil, which comes in many different forms.
The graphic novel starts off where season 8 ends. The Charmed ones are all married with kids and after years of fighting everything has finally become peaceful. Of course, nothing ever stays that way and evil is back and after the Charmed ones.
==The graphic novel:==
The book is the first 5 comics and some extras.
The first pages are written as if by the sisters, which is a nice idea but it is hard to read as it is meant to be their handwriting rather than typed. Phoebe's handwriting is the easiest to read as it is bolder and clearer than Pipers or Paiges.
Although the book will, of course, appeal to fans of the show it's fine for those who have never seen the show or don't know much about it as there is lots of information about the show at the start. It covers all the years, the main characters and explains the Charmed world. This is great for those who haven't seen the show or for fans who have forgotten anything as it is really detailed and covers all the major events from the show and some smaller ones too. As well as showing information on demons it also has some spells from the Book of Shadows, which is cool if you're a Charmed fan. Again, the writing was kind of hard to read, especially as it's a block of writing on each page and not just a few sentences.
Under a page titled Forever Charmed certain parts of the writing are faded. I worked out the first two parts said, one under Phoebe and one under Paige, as they were short, but Pipers had almost two lines and then a further line. The second part I worked out fairly easily, but the first part was more faded and longer. It could say anything at all! I don't understand why they wrote it this way. Sure, writing does fade over time but this wasn't meant to be really really old and, being a story and informing people how their lives have gone, it doesn't make sense to fade the writing, especially to the point of not being able to read it at all.
It's great that they added these pages as they really are informative and, as the show ended a number of years ago, it's a great way to get fans back into the Charmed world. It's just a shame about the writing.
After this the story starts. It started off fine. The images are colourful and fairly well drawn. Some parts are more detailed than others and the backgrounds have very little detail, but that's fine as it makes you focus on what is happening.
The text is easy to read on this part which is good and the story is easy to follow.
Near the start a woman has a green drink in glass and then you see a red drink being spilt, then it goes back to the woman who has a full glass again of a green drink. The woman looks the same in each picture at first glance and it took me a minute to realise it was a different girl who spilt her drink. The differences were only slight with her hair and dress. I was hoping that the main characters would be more obvious and it was just that they hadn't been very creative with new/unimportant characters. Sadly that wasn't the case.
None of the characters are obvious and some of the drawings are really bad. Not only was it really hard to tell the sisters apart but it was even harder to tell their husbands apart. To make it even worse, they all looked different on every page. Even when names were used it was still confusing. Sometimes it would mean I knew which sister is was, but then I'd be wondering which guy it was, or the other way around. Other times I thought I had it worked out and then the next page would make me wonder.
For example, there were a few images that looked like Leo, but one was actually Coop. To all be Leo it meant he was 2 places at once, but I'd forgotten Coop had gone elsewhere so it became confusing.
The graphics of the children weren't too bad in terms of how they were drawn, although you certainly wouldn't call the babies cute and I'm sure they change completely from when you first see them to at the end. I also assumed one was a boy and it turned out to be a girl!
Despite the bad and rather confusing graphics, the storyline was good. I don't want to give too much away, but it did follow the show and evil was defeated once more. The story is full of action and magic as you'd expect. It's not quite the same not seeing, for example, Paige orb or fire being thrown but it worked well.
At the end there is a bonus prelude story about the start of the Warren line which is a great bonus for fans of the show even if it is only short. After that there is also a gallery of all the covers from the comics, which is nice.
You can get season 9 volume one for between £7 to £11. However, many stores say that it is out of stock or should be available between 1 to 3 weeks, including on Amazon. There are sellers on ebay and Amazon selling it, but to get it new it will probably cost closer to the £11.
I don't think it's worth as much as £10, even if you're a fan of Charmed, but to buy all the comics would probably cost more and can be hard to find.
I'm slightly disappointed with this but I am glad I bought it and I will certainly be reading the next 3 volumes in the season. I do think they could have done far better graphics. Even as a massive fan of the show I got confused who was who. The text or next images sometimes gave it away, but the text wouldn't help people who have never watched Charmed.
I also think it would have been better to see more of Wyatt and Chris as they were in the show, they are the eldest and they were destined to be really powerful. They were shown (or at least, I think it was them), but they didn't have any part in the events.
Although they explain a lot I'm also a bit confused about where they all live as I'm pretty sure it wasn't mentioned. They seem to be at the manor with all the children. The manor may be quite big, but it's not big enough for all of them. That is just a small point though.
Overall, it's a decent graphic novel and worth buying if you are a fan of the show or you like supernatural graphics novels.