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Graphic Novel Reviews

The Pretender – The Centre Chronicles

All the secrets about the origin of the Centre and all things Pretender.

I have never read or even seen a GN and wasn’t sure how this would go. I don’t mind it though, the pictures are catching, striking, bold and dramatic. The storyline is very interesting, a great way to start the GN off and I am excited for its release date so I can buy a copy to read. It is exciting to see a new medium for tP and I LOVE that its showing us the Centre’s past.

Kylie

It’s looking very good. I love the character design and art direction. The writing seems top notch as well. I’m psyched for the official release now, can’t wait.

Ben

I liked it. Thanks!

Michael

This is great! I really can’t wait for the whole thing! The drawings are very good and the storyline so far is intriguing! Well done!

Anja

What a tease fellas and Jenna! I want more! Great job and great start to the story. I can’t wait to read it in its entirety. Something else Pretender-related to look forward to. Thanks for the preview! ♥

Karen

I haven’t read too many GNs, so I was a little unsure what my initial reaction to the Pretender: the Centre Chronicles would be. I was so surprised at how phenomenal it is- Jeffrey Henderson’s artwork is superb and Jenna Busch’s storyline is mysterious and historical- a wonderfully intriguing combination! I loved the multiple story lines present in the preview… it’s great to explore Little Miss Parker’s backstory (and, of course, the inclusion of the bunny is fantastic!) as well as the secrets and lies that form the foundation of the Centre. I really enjoyed how the story tied in with the tidbits of background we received in Rebirth and I am sitting on pins and needles waiting to read the rest! tP: tCC is a truly marvellous addition to the Centre Universe!

Mallory

Off to an excellent start. As a comic book / graphic novel writer myself, I know the amount of work that went into each page, and it’s very well done. It’s hard to keep a story moving, but this clips along nicely, and the idea of having Little Miss Parker bookending the various stories of The Centre’s history is certainly enjoyable. Looking forward to the rest, and more to come beyond, I’m sure.

Justin

WOW! It’s short, but it sure takes you in the story in a heartbeat. Since the title was revealed, I could’nt wait to find out more about the Centre’s origins. These few pages hooked me to the story. I love Miss P earsdropping. Nazis involved? Eva Peron? So awesome. Catherine Parker sometimes made me think of Evita : charitable woman married to a very powerful man who built orphanages and hospitals, and who was taken away too young. Seeing her all Miss Parker-like is very interesting. Secret life of a role model?

Bravo Jenna Busch and Jeffrey Henderson. You truly deserve your place among the tP team. I love the illustrations. I was worried about the passage from tv show to comic book, but it looks like it won’t be an issue. And like I said earlier, the story is very promising.

Thanks for all you great work guys!!

Rym

Ten pages are not a lot, but it’s a great beginning. And it makes me want to read the rest of the graphic novel now. So mission accomplished. ;) Little Miss Parker (who is so cute with her bunny), Eva Peron, Nazis, the Centre’s origins… This will certainly make for a great story!

Vicky

I love a good graphic novel. I’ve been looking forward to this series ever since I first heard it was going to chronicle the history of The Centre. The 10-page preview was short but I enjoyed reading it. Jenna Busch and Jeffrey Henderson have done an exemplary job of transferring The Pretender TV series into the graphic novel format. I know little of Evita Peron, other than that she really existed. She seems like an confident character and it’s fascinating that she has ties to The Centre. I am confused about one thing though – if this series covers the history of The Centre, why doesn’t it begin with the origins? Or, as I suspect, is this series going to feature non-linear storytelling? All in all, I found the preview intriguing and it piqued my interest for the rest of the story. Jenna’s writing skills are solid and Jeffrey’s artwork is well done. Great work! I can’t wait to read more!

Christian J – Tintinrulz

If this is the preview I can’t hardly imagine how the full thing is going to be – this is great. I’m hooked and I’m not usually a fan of comics. The story is intriguing and the art work is amazing. Congrats to the authors.

Vania

I love it. Great story and we only got the glimpse. I can’t wait to read the whole thing!

Mknzy

This really surprised me. As a non-GN person, I will admit to not being too excited about the prospect of a GN. After seeing this though, I might have to revise that opinion. This was very exciting and an intriguing start, cannot wait to see the entire thing! I absolutely enjoyed it. Only a single complaint: there wasn’t enough!

Jacci

I am impressed with how much detail is revealed in only 10 pages! And the fact that it ties in with historical figures fixing The Centre’s back-story even more so in real-time makes it all the more intriguing. All in all, the visuals, narrative and characters revealed so far are well-written and definitely leave a thirst for more!

JenJen

I too am not a GN reader! I too wasn’t a book reader! Is there something else that I’m not into that you’re going to pretenderize and have me do a 360 back flip and get sucked into? Totally can’t wait for more of both! Thanks for being soooo loyal to us fans!

Emily

I’ve been curious like hell. The very beginnings of the Centre. Miss Parker in the middle of all the trouble to come – so it seems. The first ten pages made me even more curious and I’ll enjoy the wait ‘til I got my own exemplar in my hands. So far, I definitely like the style and the mood of the graphic novel. Great job done. And it’s quiet cool, that as I started over again with a change of place – moving in with my long-term distance relationship, tp is again there with me. Starting something new while keeping up with the past. Love that fact a lot.

Seana

Great start! This has me anxiously anticipating more! Thank you guys for bringing Jarod back!

Jonathan Rice

I must admit that i’m not a great fan of comics, but the story seems really interesting and intriguing and i love the art work, so sure i think i will buy a copy, ’cause i’m curious. Compliments to the passionate authors

Mariangela

THE CHASE BEGINS!

The Books

Rebirth

rebirth

Saving Luke

saving luke

Writer and Artist

The Pretender: The Centre Chronicles

 

Meet the writer and the artist of the graphic novels series.

Jenna Busch

Jenna Busch is the Entertainment Editor for Fan Voice and co-hosts ‘Cocktails With Stan’ with the legendary Stan Lee. She’s covered all things geek for sites like Zap2it, After Buzz TV, Screen Crave, Inside Horror, Huffington Post, AOL, Popeater, Newsarama, JoBlo, Blastr, UGO, IGN, Moviefone, SheKnows, Coming Soon, Screen Junkies, Famous Monsters and Geek Week, Inside Horror and more. Member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) and a board member of the Broadcast Television Critics Association (BTJA). She has appeared on ‘Attack of the Show’ and the premiere episode of ‘Tabletop’ with Wil Wheaton, Grant Imahara and Sean Plott, a guest on ‘Geek DIY’ with Bonnie Burton and a winning contestant on Jace Hall’s ‘Fan Wars.’ She has two stories in the comic anthology, “Womanthology,” and is about to publish a full length graphic novel. She’s been a guest host on G4’s Fresh Ink, PODCrash, Full of Sith, GeekNation, Schmoes Know, My Geek Lady, ComiCenter, JoBlo Movie Podcast and more. A New York transplant living in Los Angeles, Jenna has been on many sides of the entertainment industry. Makeup artist (don’t stand too close, or she’ll glue something to you), actor (stopped because she felt that replacing body parts with silicone was the first step towards becoming a cylon), and finally writing, which allows her to work in her pajamas.

You can find Jenna on Twitter @jennabusch and on her blog at girlmeetslightsaber.blogspot.com. You can read her work at Voice.Fan.TV.

Jeffrey Henderson

An award winning illustrator and storyteller, Jeffrey Henderson’s career has included a wide- ranging assortment of comic book, videogame, animation, advertising and feature film projects. Some of Henderson’s major film credits include: ‘Twilight/ Eclipse’, ’30 Days of Night’ and the upcoming ‘Crossbones’ with David Slade, ‘Inception’ for Christopher Nolan and ‘After Earth’ with M. Night Shyamalan, to name just a few.

He has also worked with Sam Raimi on a number of projects, including ‘SpiderMan 3 & 4’, ‘World of Warcraft’ and most recently, ‘OZ, The Great and Powerful’.

He has taught courses on storyboarding and visual storytelling at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA, as well as The University of the Nations in Kana, Hawaii.

Mr. Henderson is also an accomplished voice actor, (SAG/ AFTRA), and a successful singer/ songwriter, (ASCAP). He has contributed vocal performances, songs and music to a number of film, TV and videogame projects.

“Good Morning Kalifornia”, the debut record from his band, The Wrongway Saints, will be released this fall on !Viva La Biscuit! Records.

He lives in Los Angeles with two little super- villains disguised as housecats and entirely too many guitars.

You can find Jeffrey on Twitter @PlanetHenderson, on Tumblr at http://planethenderson.tumblr.com and at http://www.planethenderson.com/

 

THE CHASE BEGINS!

The Books

Rebirth

rebirth

Saving Luke

saving luke

View a Sample of Jeffrey Henderson’s Portfolio

The Pretender Returns As A Comic By Jenna Busch

Posted on  by Dan Wickline

pretend3Somewhere in the late 1990s there was an odd moment in my life. I sat around visiting with my parents and my older brother. My brother and I are very different. He’s the off-roading, gun shooting, get drunk and party type. I’m more of the plus hotel, fine art, sipping whisky and conversing type. My folks are blue-collar, do-it-yourself, poker night couple. But we have two things in common, we all love football and that one weird night in the late 90s we discovered that we all liked the TV show The Pretender. It was a show about a man who could be anything trying to help people in trouble and discover who he is while he runs from a mysterious group calledThe CentreJarod, played by Michael T Weiss was a genius that could flawlessly assume the role of any job/career. He had been taken from his parents as a child and raised/mentored by Sydney played by Patrick Bauchau. Once Jarod had escaped, he became hunted by Miss Parker oddly enough played by Andrea Parker. Jarod used his abilities to try and figure out who he is and help others. It was a well written and acted show that played the mystery angle well but maybe lasted a season too long. Think Mr. Spock meets MacGyver with an Bourne Identity background.

pretend4The character of Miss Parker was an interesting one that started off as the sexy antagonist but grew into her being just as involved and manipulated by the Centre as Jarod. Her past was just as muddled in mystery as his. So it makes sense that when series creators Steven Long Mitchell and Craig W. Van Sickle decided to get back into the universe, Miss Parker’s history would be a place they’d choose to explore. Besides their announced novel The Pretender: Rebirth, there will be a 6 part graphic novel series called The Pretender: The Centre Chronicles that details the origin of the Centre and how that affected a young Miss Parker. The novel is scheduled to be released October 7th. The creative team for the project is interesting in that both the writer and the artist have acting backgrounds. Jenna Busch will write the series. Jenna has worked in comics on ArchetypesLadybird and contributed to the Womanthology, also an editor for Fan Voice Entertainment and has written for the Huffington PostIGNComic Soon,AOL and JoBlo. She is an actor, singer and former make-up artist. “To us Jenna is the Blond Miss Parker.” Says Steve Mitchell.  “Her insights into dynamic, strong female characters and her twisted sense of story telling made her the perfect person for this project.”

JB-headshotCraig Van Sickle added, “We’re thrilled and lucky to welcome Jenna into the Pretender family as we give the brand a new Rebith through Novels and Graphic Novels and hope to have her involved in both.” “I’m thrilled to be a part of The Pretender universe,” says Busch.  “I loved the show and Steve and Craig have been so wonderful during this process. I’m a lifelong fan, so it’s a huge honor to be able to contribute to the story.” The creators released the sketch of the cover to the first issue from artist Jeffrey Henderson, who will do all the covers and art direction for the series. Henderson has worked for MarvelDC and Image comics, as well as doing storyboards for films like 30 Days of Night, Twilight: Ecllipse, Spider-Man 3 and 4, and Oz the Great and Powerful. He’s also an actor , voice over artist and musician.

 

 

 

Pretender-centre-chronicles-cover

For more information on the new graphic novel series or the new novel, check out https://www.thepretenderlives.com   Original article can be found on Bleeding Cool here.

THE PRETENDER Returns in Novels and Comics, Writer Announced

THE PRETENDER Returns in Novels and Comics, Writer Announced

Date: 20 September 2013 Time: 05:30 PM ET
Pretender-centre-chronicles-cover-1
  For four seasons in the late 1990s, fans met and watched the adventures of Jarod, a master of disguise who could also master any skill on NBC. He was The Pretender, and his sci-fi thriller story gained a following, as many seem to do, even larger when it went off the air. After a pair of TV movies extended Jarod’s story, at Comic-Con International: San Diego, creators Steven Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle announced the world of The Pretender would be returning, by way of novels and graphic novels alike. While the pair decided to handle the novels themselves (the first, Rebirth will hit stores October 7, 2013), they announced yesterday during a Google hangout with fans around the world that Jenna Busch, a Newsarama alum and one of the contributors to the popularWomanthology comic book with all female creators, would be writing the story for The Pretender: The Centre Chronicles. They say this is just the beginning, as they create “the Centre world,” and plan to continue to expand that world and mythos in multiple media. The story starts with a six-issue arc (that will then be collected into a hardcover), and it features an all-new, in-continuity story that takes place before the TV show. Busch sat down to chat exclusively with Newsarama about the new story (as well as bringing the exclusive reveal of the high-res cover by Jeffrey Henderson), what she loves about The Pretender, and what fans can expect to see.JB-headshotNewsarama: Jenna, it has become quite the trend to revive TV shows (both live-action and animated) as comic book series. Many of them have been the “next season” of the show – is that how this one will be set up?
Jenna Busch: Actually, the series I’m doing will be focused on the origins of The Centre. How it came to be, what connections it has to world events and how it changed a young Miss Parker into the woman she is now. This is a story that hasn’t been told yet and I’m so excited to be the one to bring it to everyone!
Nrama: What was the interest of creators Steven Mitchell and Craig Van Sickle in reviving this concept?
BuschThe Pretender has a huge following, despite the fact that it went off the air in 2000. In fact, it’s actually never been off the air in France. Steve and Craig knew fans were passionate, but once they got on social media, they saw exactlyhow passionate. (There were so many fans on the Google hangout we did to make with them yesterday that it crashed the site!) The guys were writing a Pretender novel and when the announcement was made on my site … well, I think it’s fair to say that fans around the world lost their minds. They heard from people in Portugal, Brazil, Russia, France, Australia and a zillion other places, and everyone was over the moon about the return. The plan is books, films and an expanded universe, parts of which I can’t talk about yet. I can’t wait for fans to see what’s coming!
Nrama: Likewise, what was your interest in reviving the concept? How did you get involved, and what about The Pretender so jumped out at you?
Busch: I was actually a huge fan of the show when it was on the air. My friend Valerie Whitlock introduced me to Steve to chat about social media (since I pretty much live in the Twitterverse). We got to talking about what I do and he found my work in Womanthologyand heard about the full length graphic novel I’m doing with Rachel Pandich and Eisner award winner Janet Lee. He asked if I’d like to be involved and I jumped at the chance. I fell in love with The Pretender because of the mythology. I love a story I can spend hours speculating on and investigating. I love the idea of re-watching or re-reading  and finding out that a tiny little detail in one place was actually a clue to a huge storyline. The Pretender has so many mysterious plot twists and clues! Just chatting with Steve during that first meeting gave me insights to things I’d only guessed at. The other reason I wanted to be involved with this project was because of Steve and Craig. These guys are so passionate (there’s that word again) about their fans and letting them into the world they’ve created. They have direct contact with fan sites and they really want everyone who loves the show to be involved with the direction it’s taking. They just launched the website for the series: thepretenderlives.com. When it went live yesterday during our Google hangout, they really got a taste of how much fans of the show appreciate it. Working with guys like these two is a dream come true for me.
Nrama: The concept of someone becoming whoever he or she wants seems tailor-made for a serialized format like comics – will each issue tell its own story with a new “identity,” will there be an overarc story, or a combination of the two?
Pretender-centre-chronicles-cover

Busch: Actually, the one I’m doing is going to be a prequel of sorts, though the idea of someone being able to change their identity is actually going to be a big part of it. I can’t say exactly how at the moment, but there is a clue in the cover art. I know. I’m a tease.

Nrama: Let’s talk villains: You mentioned The Centre earlier… is Jarod involved in some way here, too?
Busch: The new book that Craig and Steve wrote, “Rebirth” definitely has the Centre harassing Jarod. They’re not going to let him get off easily and he’s not going to let them catch him! In the prequel that I’m writing, we’re going to see how it all started. We’ll meet a young Miss Parker (Steve and Craig started calling me The Blond Miss Parker, so this one is close to my heart), Grandpa Parker and a certain woman who is the key to where it all began.
Nrama: How much have you worked with Steven and Craig on making sure the tone of the comic matches that of the TV series? How involved are they in the process?
Busch: We’ve been talking story quite a bit! They’ve been wonderful, letting me take my crazy idea and run with it, but this story is going to be cannon, so the world they created is where this all comes from. I’m doing yet another re-watch of the series and loving it even more than the first time. If I have an idea, I go back to them and we hash it out. Honestly, that’s the fun part about writing something based on an existing property like The Pretender. I can watch an episode, see a detail and find a reason that it’s in there that relates to my story. Even something as seemingly insignificant as a piece of furniture could end up as a huge part of it. That might be a clue. Just saying.
Nrama: Tell us about the artists involved with the project, Jenna. The cover art being shown here, and anything you can tell us about interior art.
Busch: Yesterday during the Google hangout, we debuted a sketch of the cover for the first chapter. Artist Jeffrey Henderson did it for us. He’s doing the cover and a six-page preview piece that we’ll be showing at Comikaze Expo in Los Angeles at the beginning of November. He’s incredible! You can get his full bio here, but he’s worked for DC, Marvel and Image, he’s done art for comics, video games, advertising … they guy is incredibly talented! He’s worked on a ton of feature films including InceptionTwilight: Eclipse, and30 Days of Night. He’s worked closely with Sam Raimi on Spider-Man 3 and [concept art for the unproduced] 4The World of Warcraft film and Oz the Great and Powerful. He’s actually also an amazing actor, voice over artist and musician as well. He’s got a ton of his work up on planethenderson.tumblr.com, including some of the storyboards for Oz andSpider-Man 4. He’s crazy busy, so he’s probably not going to be able to do the interior art (we’re working on getting someone wonderful for that right now), but he’ll be art directing for us and doing the covers.
Nrama: Anything else you’d like to tell us about The Pretender? Busch: Just that I think fans are going to love this. We’re getting the answers to some questions that fans have been dying to get and I’m honored to be a part of it!
Nrama: Finally Jenna, we go way back, so who wins in a fight, Gary Busey or Nick Nolte (with…what were the weapons again?), and why?
Busch: Haha! I guess we should tell everyone where that comes from, right? I’m actually an entertainment reporter and the Entertainment Editor for Fan Voice. I used to write for a ton of sites, including Newsarama! When we met, years ago, I was working for a site called UGO and I had two company questions. One was, “Who would win in a fight: A minotaur with a trident or a centaur with a crossbow?” The other was between Nick Nolte with a box cutter and Gary Busey with a sock full of quarters. I’m going with Busey, because between the quarters and the teeth, he’s unstoppable. (For the first one, the centaur. Ranged weapons, you know.)   Original article on Newsrama can be found here.

Our Pretender Mission Statement

In the tale of the Pretender, Young Jarod was taken against his will and held away from the world by forces larger than he was. Yet during his captivity, he never gave up hope that his fate would be freedom one day – to return to the world to continue the amazing journey we call life.

The story here is very similar. A little over a decade ago, forces larger than tP and for reasons that really don’t matter, made a decision that kept the saga of tP locked away from the world – just like Jarod was.

We know loyal fans were disappointed and yes, so were we. There was so much more to tP that all of you wanted to know and that we wanted to explore.

But there is good news.

Just like Jarod who, after decades of confinement, finally escaped the Centre and ran away to be free, so too has tP itself. After being locked away for so many years, tP is finally free to return to the world and continue life’s adventure.

As fate would have it, we have regained the rights to give tP the Rebirth it deserves. We can now reinvigorate tP for as long as you want – and no one can ever lock it or Jarod away again.

After thinking long and hard about the best way to bring the tP back, we’ve come up with several different ways to reawaken our much-loved saga for both faithful fans and new fans alike.

First, tP will be reborn as a series of novels enabling us to delve much deeper into the characters’ hearts, minds, souls, and lives in a more revealing way that the limitations of a weekly TV series could never allow for.

Second, we’ll add graphic novels to the mix, fleshing out even more provocative details of the early years of Jarod, Miss P, The Centre and much more, leading to…

Third, be it cable/broadcast TV, a Netflix model series and/or a series of Pretender feature films – tP will then be taken to a whole new level with familiar faces and new characters as well.

You have always been loyal to tP and we want you to know that we’ll always be loyal to you.

The Pretender has found freedom – and an amazing journey into life is about to begin again!

The Rebirth of The Pretender will blow your mind.

Steven Long Mitchell

Craig W. Van Sickle

Los Angeles, CA

July 2013

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