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ERICA SCHULTZ talks CHARMED #5, the grand finale, on sale in JULY!

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  • ERICA SCHULTZ talks CHARMED #5, the grand finale, on sale in JULY!

    ERICA SCHULTZ talks CHARMED #5, the grand finale, on sale in JULY from Dynamite!

    BYRON BREWER: Erica, I cannot believe in July we are reaching the climax of this miniseries starring The Power of Three. It seems like it just started! How has it been to work with such fan-favorite characters over five issues?

    ERICA SCHULTZ: Can you believe how time flies?! This experience has been terrific. The fans have been great, and the book has been well received by everyone. Working with Maria, Heartwork Studios, Tom, and the whole crew at Dynamite has been a wonderful experience, and I’m very lucky to have this opportunity and to work with this group.

    When I got the call from Dynamite that I would be writing Charmed, I was very nervous because I know how dear these characters are to the fans. The previous Charmed comic books had expanded the universe and took the cast and adventures outside of the realm of the TV series. That was a great way to take the story and give it a new life.

    As a fan myself, though, the goal was to go back to basics and give the readers a story that could be read in a comic as easily as played out on their TVs. And from the fan reaction, I’d say we accomplished that.

    BB: Although publication-wise, the series obviously has more months to run. But as of its grand finale issue in July, overall which character have you found yourself growing closest to? (We writers always have them, even in licensed properties.)

    ES: Prior to working on this story, my favorite Halliwell sister was Phoebe. Maybe it’s because I grew up watching Alyssa Milano on Who’s the Boss? Maybe it’s because I always had a rebellious streak in me like Phoebe. Maybe it’s because I’m the youngest of three. Either way, she was my gal.

    Before Prue’s death, Piper seemed weak to me, though I always thought she had the best power. Once Prue died, though, Piper stepped up big time! She took the reigns of the family and became mama cat. I really admired that about her, and kudos to Holly Marie Combs for rocking that. We tried to bring that motherly care but sternness into this story.

    That said, now that I’ve the ability to get my hands dirty in the Charmed Universe, I’d say that Paige is moving up in the ranks. When you break it down, this story really hinges on Paige’s love of art and her relationship with Gabe. It’s that relationship that’s exploited to bring the sisters into peril. Phoebe and Piper’s love for Paige and their want to protect her (not to mention their obligation to save the world) is what ratchets up the stakes.

    BB: Even finite stories often wander during the course of an arc or a mini. Erica, at the end of the day, did you tell the story of the Charmed Ones you set out to tell?

    ES: I believe we did. From the beginning, this story was outlined and broken down issue by issue, so we stuck to that pretty faithfully. I think that if there was any deviation it came with the character of Shaina. She was never a “throwaway” character, and we always had her playing a role in the final showdown, but I think that expanded as the story went from outline to script. I think she’s great, and people will be happy with how much of a role she plays.

    Also, we really expand on Djall’s background in issue 4. It was a fun and research heavy issue, so I hope the fans like it. In fact, I just got a sneak peek at some pages from Maria for this issue, and they’re beautiful…but what do you expect from a pro like her?

    BB: As the finale approaches in issue #5, are there any threads of story you would love, as a writer, to weave into another Charmed mini, if the opportunity presented itself? Can you say what that (those) might be?

    ES: Well, I’d love to write another Charmed series no matter what. The team Dynamite assembled is fantastic to work with, and the characters are so fun to play with.

    If I had to give my Charmed “wishlist,” I’d love to do a story about Leo before the war. Who was he before he became a whitelighter? We got that one episode where his former friends were haunting him, and there were hints here and there, but nothing truly substantial on him. I think it’d be fun to explore his background.

    I’d also love to expand on Shaina and maybe give her an adventure of her own. Maybe she goes back home for a holiday and there’s a demon attack in her hometown. How does she handle it on her own?

    I also think it would be fun to explore the Warren line more. We see these three powerful witches and have an inkling of how they got that way through the TV series, but really focusing on their ancestry for an entire mini would be a fun story. Writing a Charmed series where we just focus on Melinda, her life, her adventures would be really fun to do.

    BB: Maria Sanapo and you make a great team on Charmed! Talk a little about your collaboration.

    ES: I’m really thankful to have someone as talented and fun as Maria on Charmed. She’s really so great to work with. She adds such a wonderful aesthetic to the story, as well as still capturing the playfulness of the sisters and their dynamic. She captures the spirit of the script and brings her own flair to it. She’s fantastic.

    I’m happy to say that she and I will be doing a signing at the London Super Comic Con this August in London, so any Charmed fans there can come by and chat.

    BB: I know that all five issues of the mini are a collective whole, but if you were a TV producer making Charmed and you had to base your single episode on one of your books thus far, which issue would it be and why?

    ES: That’s tough! I can only pick one?! Okay, I like every issue for different reasons. I like issue 1 for the humor, 2 for the action, 3 for the romance, 4 for the history, and 5 for the bombast.

    I have a feeling that whatever my answer is, it’ll be some insight into the inner workings of my psychology…

    I’d say issue 5…and for one word only…Unicorn.

    BB: Erica, what projects current or near-future can you tell readers about?

    ES: I’m working on 12 Devils Dancing with Dave Acosta and Andrew Covalt. I’m also promoting Bingo Love, a book I edited for Tee Franklin. I have some pitches out to various publishers, so hopefully I’ll be able to announce something soon!