Jem Comics by IDW Publishing

Comics 1986-2011 | Comics 2015-2017

John Barber had Jem as a top priority from when he started at IDW. After three years it finally happened. He saw the Jem fanart of Sophie (then Ross) Campbell (Glory, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) from a few years ago, and Sophie emailed him and asked if he and his writer friend could pitch. IDW, which previously published comics of G.I. Joe and Transformers, revealed in a tweet on October 9, 2014, with a teaser art image by Amy Mebberson that they are releasing a Jem comic in 2015. This was also announced at the 2014 New York Comic Con. In late November 2014, Sophie revealed on her blog that she is "drawing the Jem comic from IDW.". Artist Sophie Campbell (Glory, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) is doing the main covers aswell as interiors. Senior editor is John Barber and writer is Kelly Thompson (Storykiller, The Girl Who Would Be King).

Both Kelly and Sophie watched Jem when growing up. They were pretty much given the go ahead to do what they want with this new comic series. The target is a more adult audience, 12 and up.

It's been a co-creative process between the two friends, and Sophie is getting a story credit. The stories will feature fashion and action, and is set in current time to explore the changes in music and media. They're re-writing the original stories, with an updated look on music and celebrity. The core personalities of the characters are the same. The characters will have a bigger range of facial expressions and more body language. Their ages are around the same as in the cartoon, 18-24 for the members of the main groups. Also their body types are more diverse, and hairstyles, makeup and instruments are changed, aswell as sexual preferences.

Jerrica is a talented singer and songwriter of the Holograms, who creates Jem because of stage fright, by the help of Synergy whose technology is now even more modern.

Jem's main outfit was Kelly's idea. They wanted to make Jem a little more modern, less saintly, more savvy. And Jerrica looks more different from Jem.

Rio is more into Jerrica rather than Jem. The Starlight girls are included but don't live in Starlight House as orphans. The Holograms are involved in a community center. The Rockin' Roadster is gone.

The new Misfits use more modern means to destroy their rivals, like social media. Ross Campbell wanted to give the Misfits a little less futuristic look and more changes from the fanart he did some years ago, than the Holograms. They plan to develop Pizzazz and her father further, and exploring Pizzazz' motives for her career, like attention and validation. Stormer is Ross' favorite Jem character, and he gave her a more realistic hair to set her apart from the other characters and suggest that she's more reserved or doesn't quite fit with them. Jetta is now african-american and plays guitar.

Other characters that will probably make an appearance, even if not very soon, include Raya, Anthony, Video and Danse. And depending on how long the comic goes, also The Stingers will appear. Zipper and Graphix may make a quick appearance. And perhaps even Regine. Sophie and Kelly are infact even introducing their own new character in the Jem style, in issue #3, called Blaze, a character who was the original idea of Sophie.

Kelly mentioned her favorite relationships between the characters would be Kimber/Stormer, Jem/Pizzazz, Jerrica/Riot or Minx/Rio, remains to be seen what else happens in the comics though.

The price will be $3.99 a issue, but more for the special issues and boxes. Each issue will have atleast one alternative cover, and the first two issues will be released as a boxed set of several covers. Some covers will only be available via specific conventions.

Art from the upcoming comics will also be featured on the cover of the January issue of the magazine PREVIEWS, with an UV glitter finish on the Previews logo and the Jem logo, released on December 24, 2014.

Some official art and previews has been released in style of the upcoming comic Jem, and Pizzazz. And advertisment from IDW for the first set. Bios: Jem, Kimber, Aja, Shana, Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer, Jetta, Rio, Synergy, Clash, Blaze.

A few links of the people involved:

Jem comic, 2015 by IDW Publishing:

  • #1 March 2015
    "SHOWTIME, SYNERGY! Meet JERRICA BENTON--a girl with a secret. She and her sister KIMBER team with two friends to become... JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS! But what does it mean to be JEM today?".

    For release on March 25, 2015. The story itself is 20 pages long, and then there is a letter from the writer, Kelly Thompson who talks about the comic and her thoughts about it. Lastly there are four bios, one of each character, Jem (Jerrica), Kimber, Aja, and Shana. Variants covers available for this same issue, will be five holographic/rainbow foil covers in a deluxe rainbow foil and hologram collectible box: Jem, Kimber, Aja, Shana by artist Amy Mebberson, and the regular cover with the whole band by Ross/Sophie Campbell (not sure if this regular cover will have a foil cover in the box version). And a subscription cover by Sara Richard. Plus another five different covers: one for Wonder Con, an alternate cover for Wonder Con, and the rest yet unrevealed to the public, available at different conventions. Read Rock Jem's own extensive of the first issue review to find more info and hints. Rock Jem's pre-review.

    Characters: Jem/Jerrica and the Holograms, Synergy.

    Funny notes: (spoiler warning!) The characters all have different heights, bodysizes, hairstyles, makeup, probably ages, personalities, fashions, looks of instruments, compared to the 80's cartoon.

    They actually start out in outfits that resemble their original stage outfits.

    We get to see the band play before Jem is invented. And the band was even called "Holograms" before any actual holograms came into the picture.

    Jerrica starts out as wanting to do the singing here unlike in the cartoon where it would have caused a conflict of interest since she was to compete in a contest that her record company was hosting.

    Unlike in the cartoon, Jerrica has stage fright which stops her from performing.

    Raya is not introduced yet, so Shana is on drums, which say "Holograms".

    The reason for starting the band is different. This time around it seems like they are more interested in having a band.

    Kimber seems to be one of the most driven members of the band, who says she's been dreaming of having a band with her sisters since she was little.

    Shana is said to be into fashion already.

    Jerrica is a songwriter, which could be assumed already in the 80's cartoon, but here it's mentioned.

    When this comic story starts, Emmett Benton has been dead for a year. He told them to wait with the band until Kimber had graduated.

    Kimber threatens to leave the band if Jerrica doesn't sing.

    Aja thinks Kimber cares too much about herself.

    In one of the scenes it's raining, like it did in the first episode of the cartoon at the funeral and then it was dark and stormy right before Synergy reveals herself.

    Jerrica is driving a blue beetle car, which she never did in the cartoon. But Rio did actually did, it was one of his first cars.

    Starlight house, or what it's called now, has a completely new look.

    Synergy just reveals herself without a package coming in the mail. Instead the room where Jerrica is sitting in at the time, is equipped with a remote holographic projector, and the storm rebooted her systems. Still Jerrica is given a box of earrings which is a birthday present from her father, found in a safe they were never able to open before, and the code was "Synergy". On the note, it says Synergy was given to Jerrica to find her dreams and herself.

    Emmett Benton called Jerrica his star, which sounds like a good reason to make the earrings starshaped.

    The Holograms are driving a pink van, rather than a blue.

    The Holograms just happen to find Jerrica with Synergy, instead of being in the room from the beginning like in the 80's cartoon.

    Synergy says she belongs to all of them, Jerrica, Kimber, Aja and Shana.

    There is no Starlight drive-in, instead a jukebox is the entrance to where Synergy's computer form is located. The code for the jukebox is 7963749. Can anyone figure out if this code stands for something?

    Iron Man is mentioned.

    In the bio for Jem, it is revealed that Jerrica is 23 years old, 5'5" tall, and Jem 5'11", meaning she becomes taller being Jem. It says Jem plays guitar, which she does according to the Jem bible for the cartoon, but never in the actual cartoon. She loves: her sisters, writing, the smell of old books, the sound of waves and rain, peaches, chocolate, and bubble bath. She hates: public speaking, dog-eared books, cold showers, tabloids, and onions. Her most prized possession is the Jemstar earrings. She was voted most likely to do the right thing.

    In the bio for Aja it says that she is 23 years old, and 5'5" tall. Aja also plays piano and drums. She loves sports, motorcycles, vintage cars, shoes, photography, the latest tech gadgets, fish tacos, and extreme nachos. She hates whiners, incompetents, texting and rats. Her most priced possession is her limited edition caribbean blue Les Paul Supreme guitar. She was voted most likely to be the next MacGyver. Her deepest secret is that she sometimes feels like a jack of all trades but a master of nothing.

    In the bio for Shana it says she is 22 years old, and 5'2" tall. She loves fashion, New York, Paris, sci-fi movies, British period dramas, long baths, sushi, and dark chocolate bordeaux candies. She hates alarm clocks, flying, baking and snakes. Her most prized posession is a Revenge of the Jedi poster. She was voted most likely to be the next Lagerfeld. Her deepest secret is that she is not completely sure she wants to be in a world famous band.

    In the bio for Kimber it says that she is 18 years old, and 5'9" tall. She loves writing, lawyer shows, animals, swimming, surfing, pizza, coffee ice-cream, red velvet cake, and binge shoe shopping. She hates political shows, spiders, heights, and fish. Her most prized posession is an extensive pajama collection. She was voted most likely to get whatever she wants. Her deepest secret is that she loves trashy romance novels.

    Samples:

  • #2 April 2015
    "Truly outrageous! JERRICA BENTON is JEM--but does she have what it takes to lead her underdog band against the mega-popular MISFITS?".

    For release on April 8, 2015. Variants covers available for this same issue, will be five holographic/rainbow foil covers in a deluxe rainbow foil and hologram collectible box: Pizzazz, Roxy, Stormer, Jetta by artist Amy Mebberson, and the regular cover with the whole band by Ross/Sophie Campbell (not sure if this regular cover will have a foil cover in the box version). And a subscription cover by Sara Richard. Rock Jem's pre-review.

    Samples:

  • #3 May 2015
    "Hot off their video win, Jem and the Holograms perform at the Starlight Foundation's annual fundraiser—-but the Misfits, anxious the Holograms' overnight success, plan to bring them down.".

    For release in May, 2015. Variants covers available for this same issue, will be a subscription cover by Sara Richard. Cover art. Rock Jem's pre-review.

    Samples:

  • #4 June 2015
    "Jem and The Holograms do their first live show at The Starlight Foundation's annual fundraiser - but a rabid Misfits fan is determined to sabotage their performance... at any cost!".

    For release on June 24, 2015. Variants covers available for this same issue, will be a subscription cover by Sara Richard. Includes bios for Synergy and Rio. Main cover art.

  • #5 July 2015
    "A disaster at the Holograms' first live show nearly ends Jem's music career before it starts! Now Kimber learns who's behind the dangerous 'accident' and she's out for revenge".

    For release on July 29, 2015. Variants covers available for this same issue, will be a subscription cover by Sara Richard.

  • #6 August 2015
    "SHOWTIME SHOWDOWN! The Battle of the Bands is here—Jem and The Holograms will face off against The Misfits…or will they? Battle lines are drawn! Nemeses are born!".

    Variants covers available for this same issue, will be Pizzazz, and a subscription cover by Sara Richard. Assumingly cover art before reworked. Art.

  • #7 September 2015
    "VIRAL PART 1! Jerrica and her sisters face their biggest threat yet—success! Meanwhile, the Misfits aren’t taking these upstarts laying down... as they find themselves under new management... ".

    Stories drawn by Emma Vieceli. Variants covers available for this same issue, will be a subscription cover by Jen Bartel.

  • #8 October 2015
    "Viral,” Part 2! JEM AND THE HOLOGRAMS finish their new video with holographic supercomputer SYNERGY’s help and prepare for a house party celebrating the video’s world wide launch. Meanwhile, THE MISFITS bristle under the new management of… ERIC RAYMOND!".

    Stories drawn by Emma Vieceli. In this issue Eric Raymond is introduced.

  • #9 November 2015
    "VIRAL PART 3! Jem and The Holograms commemorate their new video with a huge house party… but that may have been a mistake, as more than one party crasher isn’t looking to celebrate their success!".

    Stories drawn by Emma Vieceli.

  • #10 December 2015

  • #11 January 2015

  • #12 February 2015

  • Annual
    "MOVIE NIGHT! JEM and her sisters relax with some popcorn and on-demand… but their subconscious minds have other ideas, as their favorite films… shine a spotlight on each HOLOGRAM’s fears!".

    To be released in september. Cover drawn by Agnes Garbowska. Variants covers available for this same issue, will be a subscription cover by Amy Mebberson.

  • Collected book volume 1
    No information on this so far, but probably means something to collect your comics inside, or a reprint of the first six issues into one big set.

Credits

Here all of the people involved somehow with the Jem comic by IDW Publishing will be listed.

  • Hasbro
  • IDW Publishing
  • Ted Adams - CEO / Publisher
  • Greg Goldstein - President / COO
  • Robbie Robbins - Founder of IDW Publishing / EVP / Sr. graphic artist / Letters issue #1
  • Chris Ryall - Chief creative officer / Editor-in-chief
  • Matthew Ruzicka - CPA / Chief Financial Officer
  • Alan Payne - VP of sales
  • Dirk Wood - VP of marketing
  • Lorelei Bunjes - VP of Digital services
  • Jeff Webber - VP of digital publishing / VP of business development
  • John Barber - Senior Editor
  • Sophie Campbell - Comic artist / Story / Covers / Alternative covers
  • Kelly Thompson - Writer / Story
  • María Victoria Robado - Colors
  • Amy Mebberson - Alternative covers issue #1 & #2
  • Sara Richard - Subscription covers
  • Shawn Lee - Letters issue #2 & #3
  • Stanley Lau (Artgerm) - Alternative covers issue #1
  • Agnes Garbowska - Alternative cover issue #1
  • Amanda Conner - Alternative cover issue #1
  • Paul Mounts - Colors of alternative cover issue #1
  • David Lafuente - Alternative cover issue #3
  • John Rauch - Colors of alternative cover issue #3

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