JERICHO: The Series’ Graphic (Novel) Life Post-Cancellation

jericho season 4 cvrWe all know how it feels when our favorite television show is canceled. It’s awful knowing that the time spent investing ourselves in the show’s story and characters has all been for nothing and we will never get the closure we would like. Thankfully, there are a few shows that get enough time to wrap up their main story threads so that some sense of closure can be given. One of those shows canceled before its time was Jericho – a show about a small Midwestern town that finds itself cut off from the rest of the United States after unknown forces wipe out 23 American cities.

The series follows the residents as they deal with day-to-day life and how they find themselves at the forefront of a menacing conspiracy. After a superb first season, it was axed by the production company, but thanks to a massive fan campaign, Jericho was brought back for a truncated second season. The series was canceled for good after season 2 concluded, and the story was wrapped up well enough that closure was felt – even though the ending was begging for more development into what could come next.

After its second cancellation, Jericho had many champions who fought for its return. In the past few years, Gwen, manager of the the Save Jericho! campaign, has overseen the campaign’s 20k plus Facebook fan page and website, both of which are constantly updated. She also runs the Jericho Rangers fan table at various comic conventions and has even been able to secure celebrity appearances at the table from the show’s stars.

Many thought that Jericho’s time had marched by, but then news broke that Devil’s Due Publishing would create a six issue Season 3 comic book series, which was later compiled into a graphic novel in 2011. Needless to say, the graphic novel was a major hit and according to series executive producer, Dan Shotz it was reprinted over six times. Due to the high sales, the series was then continued with a Season 4 graphic novel (now through IDW) which also saw great success. There are plans for a Season 5 graphic novel, but the book has been delayed due to negotiations over the license.

What made these graphic novels so popular? The answer is multi-faceted, but it’s certainly in part thanks to the fans of the show who are extremely passionate about the Jericho universe and its characters. Their enthusiasm has led to the series winning many online polls for “Best Show to Un-Cancel” and becoming a highly acclaimed and rated show on the streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon (where the series has a solid 5 star rating).

jericho season 3 interior

Another reason the graphic novels became so popular and gave new life to Jericho is the quality of the work. Both graphic novels were developed and written by Shotz, who truly loves this series. His writing is crisp and to the point and does not over burden the reader. The work of the art team – Andrew Currie, Erfan Fajar, Claudia Balboni, Min Wu and Lisa Jackson – is very nicely balanced with rich colors that draws the eyes in. It was also helpful that all the actors consented to having their likeness used in the books, so there was no annoying character image replacement. All around, having the story team headed by Shotz and the original actors likenesses gave a unified front to the endeavor that the fans certainly embraced.

I spoke with Gwen of the Save Jericho! campaign about the potential for the series continuing in either TV or movie form and the effect of the graphic novels. “There is great potential for a Jericho continuation,” she said, “The genre is still hot and we still getting new Jericho fans. The Save Jericho! Facebook Page has over 20,000 fans and when I took it over in 2008 there were 11,000. The Page started climbing upward AFTER the release of the first comic.

Gwen continues:

“The continuation of the Jericho story is what the fans have focused on since the continuation was announced in 2009. The slogan I used on the first promo material at the Jericho Fan Table was ‘Jericho, the story continues…’. I still tell that to the new fans and they are still buying the graphic novels! Without the graphic novels, the Jericho fandom would have dwindled away.

“There is no question about it – the comics/graphic novels became the focus of the Save Jericho movement and kept the Jericho fandom from dying. Hopefully, the sale figures have shown the studio executives that there is still a Jericho audience.”

If you have not yet watched Jericho or read the graphic novels, I would encourage you to check them out. They are filled with rich characters, thrilling plots and a nostalgic feel that most TV shows don’t have any more. If you are already a fan or a new one join the Save Jericho! movement, you can check out these links below and help bring Jericho back!

Save Jericho! Facebook Page

Saving Jericho! Website

Jericho Rangers Facebook Group

Jericho Rangers – West Coast Battalion Facebook Page

 

About Byron Lafayette

13 comments on “JERICHO: The Series’ Graphic (Novel) Life Post-Cancellation

  1. Wonderful article! Rumors are heating up about a possible Jericho continuation. My guess is that CBS will use Jericho as an original program for their streaming service – CBS All Access.

    1. Yes I love this show you have to do another season you can’t just cut something so good off, I just got done watching the 1and a half season on Netflix and was upset

  2. I will sign any petition to save this show! I love it just as much as I love The Walking Dead.

  3. Please save this show probably best show I’ve seen in a long time I just started watching it last week and I’m finished and I need answers please continue

  4. Watched all the shows in a few days. Amazing!!! Sad its cancelled. Maybe if we all pray together CBS will bring it back.

  5. Plz bring back this show I spend so much time watching this and I love it it left on such a cliff hanger

  6. Best show ever.Watching it for third time on netflix with my wife.I will pay or donate whatever it takes to redo end of season 2 and keep filming I have over 10 people in my family who love this show and are mad.

  7. My significant other and I would have a TV date night and would watch Jericho…and we at least were pleased that when the TV series was finally canceled…that there was some sort of closure.

    As The Walking Dead continues….I am getting ticked off that Negan has not had any payback brought down on his head…which it appears that Rick and Co will probably get revenge come February but gez!! If the writers and producers continue with Rick and Co getting devastated in the 2nd half of this season…not sure if I’ll continue to watch…though I probably will…maybe…???

    Point is…as was with Jericho and now with The Walking Dead….there has been a barrage of commercials and thankfully there is the DVR…but there was a serious interruption in action in Jericho due to commercials and the run time for the show became secondary to commercials. Too popular I suppose and we are sure production costs are high.

    Now I am looking forward to Jericho The Fourth Season…ordering soon since I just finished the 3rd season graphic novel which cleared up many lingering questions. Hopefully there will be a 5th season and at least finish the story.

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