All Ages

Friday, May 06, 2005

Disney's W.I.T.C.H.

Senior Vice President of Global Children's Magazines, Disney Publishing Worldwide, Alessandro Belloni gives some background behind Disney's W.I.T.C.H. series over at the Pulse. He knows his marketing and it's very apparent especially with statements like this:

"Our core target is girls 9-13 years of age," continued Belloni. "As this is a very aspirational group, we chose a slightly higher age for our heroines. By doing so, we ensured what we’ve found to be a successful combination of identification and aspiration."

Now that's talking the talk.

I had some issues with Disney/Hyperion releasing this property as a series of chapter books with a few pages of color comics bound in. It felt like Hyperion wasn't prepared to release these as graphic novels even though that was W.I.T.C.H.'s original format. However, with the release of two volumes of pure graphic novels, one available now and another coming this summer, I'm starting to change my tune. I was pretty much prepared to hate W.I.T.C.H especially after reading that it was conceived by "a creative team consisting of scriptwriters, artists, and editors," but took it upon myself to read THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP and was quite surprised -- quality artwork, sharp dialogue and a solid story. It's definitely not the most original work and does read like a mass market property (the book just screams dolls with removable clothes and magical accessories) but the series does touch on experiences that most tweens will identify with.

I still have my ongoing gripe that we need more children's graphic novels that can form a canon of in this category instead of just taking the easy route with licensed properties and turning them into graphic novel form. There's definitely a place in the market for this stuff, like the SpongeBob Squarepants chapter books or Barbie early readers but I'm just itching for some more books with a singular creative vision.

Hyperion boasts that they've sold over a million copies of W.I.T.C.H. so far in North American in its various formats. I've personally seen ok sales but nothing to deem it super hot. Sometimes it takes a while for properties like this to really catch on and with a cartoon on its way that's sure to help raise W.I.T.C.H. popularity in the children's book market.

18 Comments:

  • I first got the 1st WITCH book about 2 years ago in a scholastic magazine that they give you at school. And I was hooked I loved the whole plot of the story as well as the art I'm 11 years old almost 12 now and I still love the books. The first book I got was the all graphic novel of the first book then I found out about the whole series and now I own all the 14 books in the series as well as 2 WITCH adventures books (Will, and Taranee's) I also have the graphic novel of the first and second book. So I just love the WITCH books.

    By Anonymous pixichik27, at 11:02 PM  

  • Just found some interesting stuff on the upcoming Chronicles of Narnia film. Narnia Resourcesand the wardrobe"

    By Blogger narniafan123, at 3:04 PM  

  • My best friend gave me a preview magazine that was handed out in her school as part of the Scholastic Reader thing they used to do (or still do?) when i was in the 6th or 7th grade because she knew i liked Anime, and she thought it seemed very anime-styled. At the time I sort of flipped through it then tossed it aside, but kept it, because I knew it would mean a lot to her, and about a year later I read it and realized how well drawn and written it really was. Some time later that same friend and I were walking through WalMart and saw what looked like it randomly laying on a counter. it took us a few seconds to recognize it, and doing a double take, had a complete freakout and got all the ones we could. Ever since then I've been a huge fan, and I'm entering my senior year of high school this fall. It IS a little embaressing to admit that I enjoy novels intended for a younger audience, but what can i say? It's fun! :D

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:07 PM  

  • I love the W.I.T.C.H. books. Graphic Novel fanatic right here. I love Irma, heehee, and all the girls. The story really shows the outlook of Wicca. Love the element concept. The story is hyptnotizing. And I love the detail and beauty of the drawings. Whatever you call them - anime, stupid, childish, art - they're great books! ;-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:14 PM  

  • Oh please... Read something else, like Harry Potter instead of this rubbish. And I'm not saying that because I like HP either, I actually don't like it.

    Maybe it's because you're all so young, and you're just reading these books as you see fit. But the series is another thing, it's actually crap. I cannot believe that Disney would make half done series instead of sticking with decent, original movies. Now they're making all these crap series and spin-offs.. Watch Sailor Moon instead of this poor excuse, the monsters are clearly put together last minute (a boar with snail eyes?), or ripped off from other texts, like HP (snake guy)? Also their transformation is boring and too plain, you'd have so much more fun watching Sailor Moon, unless you're pro-America and don't wanna watch the better Japanese stuff..

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:34 AM  

  • OMG i love the W.I.T.C.H. series novels!! i cant stop reading them! they're so exciting and i wish they never end!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:17 AM  

  • I started liking WITCH when I was 10. Which was in the year 2004. It all started when my little brother wanted a Kids Happy Meal [which came with a toy]. There was also a toys for girls. and it was WITCH. The WITCH had stylish clothes, so I decided to buy one. I ate the small cheeseburger that I bought anyway. After I became addicted to WITCH. Now I really love WITCH! I'm 12 years old now.

    By Anonymous Nancy, at 4:56 PM  

  • I love the show W.I.T.C.H. I have been watching it scince I came on. At first I didn't think I would like it but I love it. The first character that I identified with would have bee Will. I have also felt a little out of he loop the first few days at the beginning of the year. I have all the books. 1 through 21 and theadventures books except for Irma's and the Guides to stuff like Boys, Friends, and School. I am 12 years old now and I think that as long as this show is on i will watch and love it. Even though none of my friends like the show I will always love it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:21 PM  

  • W.i.t.c.h. is amazing book, anyone and everyone can and should read it, it is truly amazing.
    I started to read W.i.tc.h. when i was nine, now i'm twelve and still collecting all the W.i.t.c.h. books, dolls, magaines and everything esle that is about W.i.t.c.h..
    When i was reading the books, i felt so happy, delighted and embraced.
    I would love to thank the author who made W.i.t.c.h..
    Its is truly amazing book.
    But, read other book, too.
    Some other books are great like W.i.t.c.h., too.

    One more thing, MAY W.i.t.c.h. LIVE ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    And, to people who don't like it, can kiss my arse.
    I love everything about W.i.t.c.h.!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:46 PM  

  • W.i.tc.h. is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:50 PM  

  • W.i.t.c.h. iz da bomb and it iz soooo tight!
    And, W.i.t.c.h. doezn't need no haters.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:08 PM  

  • W.I.T.C.H. 4EVER!

    Ok now that thats out of the way... I decided to get the "real" version of this graphic novel from the Philipenes in magazine/comic format that is unedited for content. These graphic novels are edited.

    I Luv WITCH!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:52 PM  

  • when's 27 going to be published! i'm going crazy!

    By Anonymous alexa, at 4:51 AM  

  • I love WITCH! I started reading the novel at nine. I stopped 'cuz then the graphic novels came out and I liked them better. Now I read the actuall comics online. The show was okay, but the art work could have been better. Especially for Will. I mean her eyes are brown not red! And blunk was funny but I perfer We. He's soo much more cuter. Plus they also made Cedric total bad guy which isn't really true. For those of you who read the comics you'll know what I'm talking about. But all in all I still want a season 3 of the show. Raphiel Sylla's been intoduced so that means Orube and We will be too! But only if they make a season 3.

    By Anonymous Sankara, at 10:19 PM  

  • hi my name is Elizabeth Baxter and i am a big fan of disney's witch. I have all the novels 1 to 22 of witch even the two 32cm witch dolls, but still missing the last three and i've been trying to find them in the shops like argos and woolworths but not there please can you bring them back in these shops and get them to be cheaper for christmas please that will be so great thank you.

    By Blogger Elizabeth, at 9:21 AM  

  • Yeah. I love W.I.T.C.H. Tsk. But I can't wait a month for one issue! Anyone know where I can read the comic online? Cedric and Orube are the cutest couple ever. :B

    By Blogger Portia, at 11:07 PM  

  • HI!I LOVE W.I.T.C.H. COMICS TOO BUT I DON'T KNOW EXACTLY HOW MANY ISSUES HAVE EVER PUBLISHED.PLEASE,CAN ANYONE HELP ME FIND OUT?THANKS!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:28 AM  

  • W.I.T.C.H is a good one, though it has some girlie stuff just like sailor moon. But it's a long way for W.I.T.C.H to match the ranks of sailor moon. The quality that sailor moon has got is the reason why still people like to watch sailor moon episodes.

    By Anonymous jsalexandra, at 3:07 AM  

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