Posts Tagged ‘Bluewater Productions’

Blue Boo Boo

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

BluewaterBooBoo

 

It’s been a while since we’ve reported on a Bluewater Productions comic. Since then, the company has severed its ties with Diamond Distributors and gone almost entirely digital, meaning it’s a lot harder to find that random Justin Bieber comic on the shelf at Walmart. And yet Bluewater soldiers on, making one-shot comics out of famous and semi-famous individuals alike. So yes, I am here to share the news on the aptly named, 15 Minutes: Honey Boo Boo,” which hit digital shelves across a variety of platforms on January 9th.

 

BooBooMyDigitalcomicsWhat’s actually somewhat interesting and unique about this release is the way they’re structuring it: each digital distributor (i.e. iTunes, Kindle, My Digital Comics and Wowio) gets a unique variant cover. Up until now, variant covers wee strictly a practice reserved for print books, with variants usually thrown into the digital packaging as an art gallery if the pieces were good enough (or is the publisher felt like throwing readers a bone). Will this actually usher in a new age of exclusivity for digital variants? Maybe if the numbers are good enough. Although as a fan of comics as much as I am the business, I’m hoping this doesn’t usher in an age of $8 digital variants; that would just be weird. The Good E-Reader blog approached Bluewater to comment on the practice, and it looks like they’re mainly trying this out to have some fun and to please the Boo Boo.

We heard from Honey Boo Boo that she wanted to be animated and loved the comic book we did on her (on the flip side, Hillary Clinton, Barbara Walters, Carrie Fisher, and Ellen DeGeneres did, too). Boo Boo wanted to be an animated superhero and how can you not give the kid her dream! So we did the homage ones in honor of her with Michael Troy and Jonathan Woodward. Then we thought to give them to our partners such as iTunes, Kindle, My Digital Comics and Wowio. We are digital with a lot more, but I did not want to flood the market.

So if you’re one of the people out there who bought the book and wondered why your cover was different than your pal Johnny over there with the Kindle, now you know why. I’m just glad the variants make her look less like a short Phyllis Diller than the regular cover does.

Bieber Goes Bigger at Walmart

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

I’ve got a feeling that the direct market and comic shops were never really the right audience to fully appreciate Bluewater’s unauthorized biographies of various celebrities du jour. Which is probably why their comic biography of Canadian pop star Justin Bieber got an exclusive Walmart edition, expanded to 40 pages with more story and art.

Well, “exclusive” is a loose term, as the expanded Fame: Justin Bieber by Tara Broeckel Ooten and Claudio Avella will be making its way to comic shops in late March. The book retails for $7.99.

(via ICv2)

Clinton and Palin: Part Deux

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

Bluewater Productions started their Female Force line in late 2008 with biographies of two women who were very much in the public eye at the time: Sarah Palin and Hillary Rodham Clinton. As you’re probably aware, their stars haven’t faded since then, and now Bluewater has announced a pair of follow up releases to illuminate their recent exploits.

Take 2 of these and call Palin in the morning.Hillary Second Comic

Out first is Female Force Sarah Palin: Take 2, written by Dan Rafter with art by Nathan Carson, focusing on Palin’s life post-potential VP. This will include her job with FOX News, the Tea Party speeches, her reality show Sarah Palin’s Alaska, and of course, her presidential aspirations for 2012. As you can see by the cover, Bluewater is fully embracing the discomfort both Democrats and Republicans have felt at times thanks to Palin’s actions and words.

As an example, the Bluewater comic references the speech in which Palin had jotted notes on her palm. Her critics savaged her. But Palin, much like Ronald Reagan did throughout his political career, used humor to turn a potential mistake into a victory when she showed up at a later speech with the words “Hi, Mom” written on her palm.

As for Hillary Clinton, her comic lies outside the Female Force line. Writer Jerome Maida and artist Laura Guzzo present Political Power: Hillary Clinton #1, focusing on Clinton’s time after the election, including her position as President Obama’s Secretary of State. Of course, they also hint at her running for President in 2012 as well. The Palin comic is scheduled for release in January, while Hillary Clinton gets hers in March. Both issues will be 32 pages and retail at $3.99. Will I be writing a post about Palin and Clinton’s third Bluewater comic books come 2012? Probably.

From Life to Page to Screen

Monday, November 29th, 2010

If a comic book is based on real life, and a movie is based on that comic book, is it still a comic book movie? Especially when the events depicted only took place a few years ago, and the protagonists are still very much alive and well?

These questions only come up because Bluewater Productions and Hayden 5 Media recently announced that they are preparing a film based on Bluewater’s upcoming adaptation of the life of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, titled “Mark Zuckerberg and the Found.” Which sounds more like a children’s story, a similarity compounded even further by the fact that this film will be animated, though more akin to Richard Linklater’s A Scanner Darkly than any Disney or Dreamworks film.

No release date on the film, but the comic itself has yet to be released—check your local comic shop in late December.

(via Splash Page)

The Social Comic Book

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Today The Social Network, a movie scripted by Aaron Sorkin and directed by David Fincher, hits theaters in the United States.  The movie focuses on the rise of Facebook, as well as the men who founded the company. Mark Zuckerberg is the name most people think of when they see Facebook, as the man currently in charge and one of its founders. So Mark, played by Jesse Eisenberg, is the main character and star of the movie. Zuckerberg doesn’t appear to really mind the movie much, as he stated on Oprah this past Friday. He views the whole movie thing as fun, even though his life isn’t nearly as full of partying, drinking and more partying as the movie portrays it to be.

Soon, Mark Zuckerberg will have another interpretation of his life to compare The Social Network to, courtesy of (as usual) Bluewater Productions. The comic, written by Jerome Maida with pencils by Sal Field, looks to be heading a bit closer to reality than the movie, which admittedly over-emphasized certain aspects of Zuckerberg and his companions for the sake of cinema. Maida has researched Zuckerberg’s life from various sources and is fascinated by some of the decisions he made over the years, rejecting money from some big movers and shakers in order to stay independent.

“Mark was offered loads of money at a young age and turned all his suitors down because deep down he knew he had higher goals than to work for someone else”, says Maida. “Bill Gates offered Mark a million dollars while Mark was still in high school to work for him and Mark turned it down. I mean, how many high school kids will ever be made an offer like that? Very few. And how many would have the confidence to turn it down and pursue their own path? Very few, if any. But that’s what Mark did.

Mark Zuckerberg: Creator of Facebook will be 48 pages long, and is scheduled for release in December with a retail price of $6.99. The book is the second in a line of Bluewater one-shots focusing on “not just celebrities,” following an issue focusing on Father Yod and The Source Family. If you pick it up after watching The Social Network, you can pick and choose parts of both stories and piece together the real Mark Zuckerberg for yourself.

Going Gaga in November

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

Undeterred by the threat of legal action, Bluewater Productions is going ahead with the publication of FAME: Lady Gaga #2, focusing on her career instead of her personal life. They’ve made a few colored interior pages available to peep over at MTV’s Splash Page; click through to the gallery at the bottom of the post.

Written by CW Cooke with art by Dan Glasl, the comic comes out in November and retails for $3.99.

Bluewater Lawsuit Update: There Isn’t One

Monday, September 20th, 2010

Bluewater Productions, publishers of the Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Oprah Winfrey, Bo the Dog, and many other unauthorized biography comic books, is not even remotely close to getting sued by Justin Bieber or Lady Gaga. This is according to Darren G. Davis, the company’s publisher. We previously reported that Bluewater had received a cease and desist notice from Bieber and Gaga’s attorney, which Davis assured would go nowhere. He felt the company was 100% in the right to publish the books, as they fall within the company’s First Amendment rights; also, as the comics are biographical and not simply poster pin-ups, they avoid infringing on likeness rights as well.

Today, Davis wrote a letter to retailers, detailing that the initial reports went further than the actual truth, as Bieber’s people did not even know about the cease and desist letter.

Bluewater is NOT being sued by Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga or anyone else for that matter. What is happening is that a merchandising company that negotiated the rights to make lunch boxes, and key chains and poster books and all the knick-knacks you can buy, has sent us a cease and desist letter.

That’s it. No lawsuit.

In fact, Bieber’s and Gaga’s personal management or their attorneys had no knowledge of this letter until the “news” was leaked by the merchandising company’s lawyer.

It looks like the merchandise company and their attorney, Kenneth Feinswog, were simply looking to gain some ground and reaffirm their right to Bieber and Gaga product with the cease and desist. This cease and desist is similar to that of a YouTube takedown notice, like when Viacom asked for all Daily Show and The Colbert Report clips to be removed, including parodies of Colbert done by MoveOn.org and Second Life videos that only included Colbert’s likeness.

Bluewater is determined to continue publishing these unauthorized biographies as long as they sell. As for the comics community’s support of Bluewater after the initial story broke, Davis was thrilled to see people stick up for the company’s right to publish.

It has been gratifying to see the comic community come to my defense. Regardless of whether they like the biography titles or not; whether they like me personally or not; the community recognizes this tumult for what it is: an attack on the integrity of the medium and as a thinly disguised manipulation to control revenues because of competing products.

The second issue of Fame: Lady Gaga is still on schedule to be released this November.

(via Bleeding Cool)

Bluewater in Hot Water?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Bluewater Productions, the publisher of biographical comics starring political figures like Barack Obama and pop culture icons like Oprah Winfrey, has found itself in a spot of trouble after attorney Kenneth Feinswog has issued them cease-and-desist letters on behalf of his clients Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber. The charge? That they infringe on intellectual property and likeness rights.

Back in the ’90s Feinswog sued Revolutionary Comics over their New Kids on the Block and Mötley Crüe biographical comics but lost on the grounds that like unauthorized biographies in prose form, biographical comics were protected by the first amendment. That’s the reason Feinswog has chosen to go after them on likeness rights. However, Bluewater publisher Darren G. Davis told MTV News:

“We are 100% within our First Amendment rights. [...] We knew our rights on this before we jumped into the biography world. These are 100% biographies on their lives.”

Though I am not myself a lawyer, I did attend a intellectual property panel at New York Comic Con in 2006 and I remember one of the panelists, a lawyer specializing in IP, making that part clear: as long as you create (or license) the images yourself, you can use celebrity images as part of a biography on them. Of course, that might be another issue that comes up, given that Bluewater likes to license art from outside artists, art that may or may not be original in itself, as in the case of this drawing that may have been based on another artist’s photo.

Despite the legal problems, Bluewater is not deterred from publishing more comics in their “FAME” line; they’re doing a comic about the cast of Glee, the Kirsten Stewart comic sold out in one day, and FAME: Lady Gaga is going to a third printing with a new cover, in addition to a sequel on the way.

(via Bleeding Cool)

In Honor of a Fallen Politician

Thursday, August 27th, 2009

As some of you may be aware, the world lost another Kennedy this past Tuesday night. Ted Kennedy, the longtime Democratic Senator of Massachusetts, passed away at age 77, after a battle with brain cancer. The Senator will be remembered as a champion of civil rights and equality along with his brothers, as well as for his stance on international issues, which helped broker trade deals between the United States and Southern Ireland; he also assisted in bringing peace to Northern Ireland while he was at it. Now, along with his many achievements in life, he will add something else to his belt after his passing: he will have a comic book devoted to him.

Bluewater Productions, the same folks who brought us comic books about Sarah Palin, Barack, Michelle, and even Bo Obama, will now add Ted Kennedy to that list of names. In a twist Bluewater certainly could not have seen coming, their press release promoting the issue was released the very day that news broke of his death. They immediately issued an addendum to the release to reflect the news when it broke, and to ensure to everyone they were not simply capitalizing on the situation.

When Bluewater planned out the first year of biographies, Kennedy’s name was always at the top of the list. In fact, this issue has been in production since March and was solicited to retail shops through our national distributor in June. We will, of course, pay final respects to this American icon by adding a page to the completed issue to close the last chapter of his remarkable life.

We mourn his passing with the rest of the nation.

While this may be a tricky situation, I am happy to see Bluewater going forward with the publication. As Politico reported on Wednesday, the book chooses to focus more on Kennedy’s accomplishments than his defeats in the political spectrum, while also tying in his relationship to brothers, Robert and John. This allows it to stand as a tribute to Ted Kennedy quite easily. Bluewater did get a bit lucky with their timing in other ways, as the comic is not out of the copy-editing stage yet, giving them time to add a page reflecting on his passing without having to pulp any already printed books. The comic, a part of Bluewater’s “Political Power” series, is currently solicited for release in November, although it may be delayed slightly to make whatever changes they need to make.

Democratic Forces

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

It’s been two weeks since Election Day in the United States, but the excitement hasn’t died down one bit. Bluewater Productions didn’t waste time, announcing an addition to their Female Force line—a biography of future First Lady Michelle Obama.

“Mrs. Obama is a dynamic force and one of the most influential women in the world,” said Bluewater Productions President Darren G. Davis. “Her potential influence on future policy decisions makes her a fascinating figure to feature.”

 ”In creating an image of our new first lady, Michelle Obama, it was my goal to represent her class, beauty and intelligence,” said artist Vinnie Tartamella. ”I hope I reflected these qualities and characteristics in this historical piece. I’m truly honored to have been asked to create this.”

I wonder when Mr. Tartamella was commissioned to do the cover—probably before the election, which makes me wonder if this artwork would have ever seen the light of day had Barack Obama lost. Would they even produce a comic about Michelle at all? Given that Hillary is getting one despite losing the primaries months ago, and Sarah Palin’s was announced weeks ago, it’s likely Michelle Obama still would have gotten a comic, sans White House.

In other political news, Sean Tevis lost his bid for Kansas State Representative, 48% to 52%. No wrap-up comic has been produced yet, though he did mention the possibility of a sequel.