READERS’ POLL: What shall we do with Bluewater news?

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Vote now! The fate of the world hangs in the balance!

Comments

  1. I voted “Yes they are newsworthy” but I wanted to add the caveat that publishing info from every comics publisher is “newsworthy” to some extent. I don’t think Bluewater deserves to be blacklisted because they publish garbage any more than I think you should publish every single PR piece that Marvel or DC send out just because they sell more comics than anybody else. If Bluewater is doing something you find interesting enough to share, Heidi, they by all means share it.

  2. Slippery slope, folks. Just ask Martin Niemöller. Or Vinko Bogataj.

    People actually complained about Bluewater PR? Isn’t that good?
    And what about all the complaints about the sales charts? Are those going away too?

    Well, if we’re taking a poll on what should be here, I want more cheesecake! Heck, throw in some beefcake too! Even the pork bellies of Mr. 300 lbs.!

  3. Sure but then you going to get the same people who voted for Robin to die, The people who don’t care about these books are going to vote and the people who like these books aren’t. Why is this even an issue? Shouldn’t all Press Release be given a chance? or are we turning in to fox news? Lets take a real poll and ask people to stop calling comics FLoppies!

  4. It is weird to have this question even asked… we are a publisher. We just had the top graphic novel at Diamond with the Female Force Stephenie Meyer book.

    We have an easier time getting on the VIEW, The Tonight Show, People Magazine. We are driving people into comic stores. We did a signing the last week and half the people did not know that comic stores did not exist. I have been collecting comics since I was 7 and it is sad to see that comics sold 9 million copies and now Marvel is lucky to sell 175,000. So the question should be – should there be comic books anymore? We are doing our part to gain interest for the comic book market – some think these are gimmicks but they are getting people into the stores. We are in it for the long haul…we are hunting for new readers…are you?

  5. I vote yes. I don’t think they’re any goofier or any less newsworthy than, say, Zombie Avengers or Monkey Spider-Man or Blackest Night/Brightest Day/Lantern’s Light or Mark Millar’s tweets. Be the big tent.

    And I also enjoy the month-to-month sales figures, the studio coffee run and the occasional drive-by with Salma Hayek. And I wish you had more time to write your longish essays.

  6. Speaking as a private citizen here, the idea that “comics sold 9 million copies and now Marvel is lucky to sell 175,000″ raises a lot of warning bells in my mind. Comics sold 9 million copies in a wildly inflated market, which led directly to a cataclysmic crash and the shuttering of half the comics industry. Due in no small part to the kind of much-ado-about-nothing mentality that purports that getting on The View, The Tonight Show, People Magazine (three true bastions of critical acumen) equals a quality product in any way.

    This doesn’t have much to do with whether or not to run PR as such on The Beat, although I like the PR best when it is filtered through Heidi’s idea of what is or is not newsworthy.

  7. Adam Geen says:

    No.

  8. Scott says:

    Dear Person from Bluewater,

    I appreciate the fact that you’re trying something new, and that you’re actively trying to court new readers. Getting onto The View and other mainstream outlets is good news. And your books are selling well? That’s great, too.

    But PR and sales don’t automatically mean _quality_. You can come here and defend your books all you like, but the last time I tried to open one, I didn’t get very far because the art was, to be blunt, sub-standard. I don’t know who does the work on your books, whether it’s one person or several. But in the minds of many, you’re not putting out a book of professional quality. I can’t comment on the writing, because the art just made me put the book down.

    You can choose to ignore the criticism, and some of it will probably be crass. But, you can’t come on here and say that the art meets the standards of the rest of the industry. I’m sorry, this isn’t personal, you need to re-evaluate the creative talent at Bluewater.

    You can sell 1,000,000 copies of the Sotomayor book, and I’ll applaud your success, but in the same breath, that’s a wretched shot of her face. You need better artists. Sorry.

    Heidi, I clicked “no” on this poll by mistake, so you can take one of those votes off, but I don’t think you should stop running BW news or covers. There are making news, and doing something different. But I think the sales v. quality debate that exists around them is something that’s worth continuous coverage.

    Thanks,

    Scott.

  9. Steven Taylor says:

    What he said.

  10. Maggie says:

    I can’t believe this, does this person own stock in Marvel? Until BlueWater came along, the last comic book I read was an Archie comic in 1970. They have rekindled my interest, my daughter is now a fan as are her friends. It amazes me that you would even post such nonsense. You should be grateful that they include you when sending out a release, that is how I found you and became a paying customer at Publisher’s Weekly. I am beginning to question that decision. I think the next poll should be weather or not to keep someone with such bad judgment on the payroll.

  11. crystal says:

    I love their books. I work with children everyday. I use the Bluewater Political Power comic books as an easy learning tool. The children can read and see a visual. The comics were highly recommended to me. I look forward to future issues.I consider the company highly newsworthy.

  12. Bluewater’s stuff is usually relevant to what’s going on in popular culture and is therefore surely newsworthy and therefore postworthy in my opinion. The big reason to share their information though is that someone has to poke fun at our icons so we don’t take them or ourselves too seriously. Bluewater does that really well and I hope you’ll keep sharing their info as well as any other cool items you come across.

  13. Xenos says:

    One vote for continuing the dumb goofy covers. I could use the laugh and even a bit of the horror just to keep the blood pressure going.

  14. Someone just sent me this and ? if this is bluewatercomic.com you are talking about then they are the best! I love their comic novels especially their female force ones….they have updated a tired old dying venue and are keeping it alive and new…with the comic graphics being done now in movies and tv (they are even doing one called Archer or something on FX or HBo?) They are taking the news and people of the now and allowing this generation to enjoy real people with the comic twist..Brilliant idea

    Isis Aquarian
    Source Family
    and book “Father Yod and the Source”

  15. Alan Coil says:

    Scott said:

    “I’m sorry, this isn’t personal, you need to re-evaluate the creative talent at Bluewater.”

    I’d take it one step further…need to get new management at Bluewater.

  16. Alan Coil says:

    Nice to see that Bluewater has gotten a bunch of people to send in positive comments. Employees?

  17. Alan Coil says:

    As much as I dislike Bluewater and all it stands for (including at least one of the people that is doing work for them), I vote that you continue to cover their products. Their covers? Best kept after the jump. Porn should never be before the jump.

  18. I voted “No.” These comics seized on the brief popularity of IDW’s Obama/McCain election comics, “borrowed” their basic format and cover design, and proceeded to churn out a bunch of dismal wikipedia-lite biographies with some of the ugliest art seen in mainstream comics. Expecting us to think they’re of any quality whatsoever just because they were on The View or something is ridiculous.

  19. That said, Scott’s open letter puts it much more eloquently, diplomatically, and constructively than I just did, and should seriously be considered by its intended recipient.

  20. Thank you Alan, for demonstrating just how petty people in the comics “community” can be.

  21. Wow love the people who just want to throw out stuff they apparently know nothing about.

    A few things…
    First, comic sales years ago were much higher, and this is before the glut we all remember that crashed the market. Truth is, part of that glut, with shameless sale spike covers and gimmicks was an effort to try and get sales back up into those classic sales comics used to enjoy. The lower sales have happened over a long period of time, due in large part to many other alternatives for people to spend money on, and entertainment media for kids and children especially.

    Second, saying Bluewater ripped off IDW’s success on the Presidential comic as if its a bad thing can only hold water if you want to point the same finger at all those hacks that created other super-heroes after Superman, or even take that back a notch and point at all those hacks that invented super-heroes period based on pulp heroes. This is the nature of a competitive market.

    Third, okay, yes, Bluewater’s titles don’t always have A-list talent, they are an indy company. I think some of the things they are doing for their size is pretty incredible. The fact they are getting mainstream attention to comics PERIOD is good for all of us in the industry.

    Should you run their press? Of course, it’s news. Obviously people are invested, even the naysayers are invested enough to state their point of view and vote, that says something. I remember my uncle once saying how much he hated Howard Stern, who he listened to regularly. Newsworthy means it is making an impact, means it is generating interest, means it stirs people up, either as a fan of the company or one of its dogged opponents who want to try and bad mouth it any chance they get.

    However in doing so, they only prove all the more that the company is newsworthy.

  22. Kepp them, but only if they agree to publish “Female Force – Heidi MacDonald”.

  23. PS Under comics sales dropping I forgot to add part of that too can be laid at the feet of the ill-thought out direct market that took comics out of the larger market for a long time. I love retailers and want to support them, but the fact is by moving comics 99.9% into specialty stores you cut your chances of getting new customers who’ve never bought comics. Unless of course you get some upstart yahoo publisher who plays to those larger mass markets and brings fans into the stores looking for their product.

  24. The comic books and novels serve a education value and will have a positive impact on our youth.

  25. You should be grateful that they include you when sending out a release, that is how I found you and became a paying customer at Publisher’s Weekly.

    Ha ha ha ha! This is my favorite comments thread ever!

    I’ve actually struggled with this though, as I’m not sure what the point of the coverage is. The only coverage I ever see is goofy mainstream media press essentially reading “Hey, look at this crazy thing! This famous person in the news recently is now a comic book superhero!”

    Bluewater gets all that press…I’m not sure they need comics-specific press. Especially since bio comics of whoever’s in the news with terrible art is in large part their business plan. Like, you don’t cover every Spider-Man comic Marvel puts out, is there a point in covering every bio comic Bluewater puts out? (Unless it’s some special event, like a imaginary story where Rush Limbaugh marries Stephanie Meyer, and then marries Sarah Palin, or all of the Female Force people team-up to save the world from Bo Obaman or whatever).

  26. Dereck says:

    Alan your mother must be proud!

  27. …and that would make a lot more sense if it included the quotes, like I wanted it to.

    Let me try this again.

    Mr. Sellner,

    I want to address a couple points.

    You are correct that sales in comics used to be higher, before the bust.

    However, I want to point out that there has been no one, true definitive answer as to why the comic market crashed. If I read you correctly, you lay the blame on

    “shameless sale spike covers and gimmicks ”

    .. and I think that’s definitely one of the reasons comic sales went south. A reliance on gimmicks, instead of quality story-telling, led to a rise in back-market collectibles and “hot covers”, followed by a quick fall, when people realized that Fantastic Force #1 wasn’t going to be able to be sold for $150 in 6 months

    There are numerous other factors that led to the decline of overall DM sales.: Image, via Diamond, sold numerous comics to DM retailers, that shipped horrendously late. This was -before- Diamond and Image would take back books that were late. DM retailers were stuck with unsellable product, but still had to pay the bills.

    Another factor is the whole Marvel/Heroes World debacle. Retailers abruptly had to change their business model to deal with a new distributor.

    There are numerous reasons sales went bust in the 90’s; after ten years of this debate popping up online, I haven’t seen someone convince me it was Any One Reason, yet.

    I should point out that sales flattened out at the turn of the century (2000-2002) and have shown slow, steady growth since. It was either here on The Beat (or at ICV2.com) that I read recently that Direct Market sales have grown 34%, from 2004. That’s not lower sales, that positive growth. That’s a great number. Comics are selling better than they’ve been in a long time. And I believe that they are -creatively- better, too.

    “Second, saying Bluewater ripped off IDW’s success on the Presidential comic as if its a bad thing can only hold water if you want to point the same finger at all those hacks that created other super-heroes after Superman, or even take that back a notch and point at all those hacks that invented super-heroes period based on pulp heroes.”

    I would strongly urge you NOT to use words like “hack”. Comments of such a negative nature cause other people to disregard your entire point. Yes, there have been lots of comics that were based on other people’s characters, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been creative successes because of those “rip-offs”. You can probably line-up Watchmen’s characters with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and The Question, and see the immediate resemblance, but Watchmen is a creative masterpiece; it’s been a commercial and critical success for 20 years.

    And those characters are, frankly, based on the DCU’s big three, but Alan Moore took the Charlton characters and wove a great story out of them.

    That being said, there is a fair argument to be made that Bluewater took IDW’s idea and ran with it. There’s a very big difference between any JLA story and Watchmen, but the difference between IDW’s product and Bluewater’s is minimal, at best.

    “Third, okay, yes, Bluewater’s titles don’t always have A-list talent, they are an indy company.”

    I’m going to stop you right there. When we’re talking about creative talent (which I think is the crux of the Bluewater issue), there’s noone or nothing
    that says that DC, Marvel and Image are the only companies utilizing “A-list talent”.

    “Indy” does not, nor should it, mean “D-list talent”. Joe Sacco is considered by many to be an A-list talent. Los Bros Hernandez is another.

    IDW has had great success with 30 Days of Night, and that was before many people knew who Niles or Templesmith were.

    “I think some of the things they are doing for their size is pretty incredible. The fact they are getting mainstream attention to comics PERIOD is good for all of us in the industry.”

    I agree with all of this. And everything else you said, even though I didn’t quote it.

    But, for me, my issue with Bluewater is this:

    They’re getting attention. They’re getting press. They’ve got Barbara Walters talking about it on The View. Yes, Bluewater is newsworthy.

    But for many people who are invested in the industry, when we see positive press coming for a new product, we want that product to be able to stand up on it’s own… _creatively_.

    Bluewater’s product, frankly, does not do that. There is no set list of standards published to judge art; at the end of the day, it’s subjective.

    But I wouldn’t be typing all of this, if I was the only one who thought that Bluewater’s product matched up to the hype. It just doesn’t hold up, and that’s not a personal accusation on my part.

    Best wishes to you.

    Scott.

  28. jacob lyon goddard says:

    i doubt i’ll ever buy a Bluewater comic, but i’d much rather see news stories here about them in place of wrestling/television/product placement/whoever Heidi has a crush on this month.

    this is a comic book blog, if you feel like posting about this particular comic book publisher’s stuff, i’ll give it a glance.

  29. This poll has a “foregone conclusion” vibe to it. And though I enjoy confrontation, why not be for a comic company doing well in this economy? I enjoy the work and they are better to work with than some of my prior affiliations. It’s goofy fun. Let the writing and art speak for itself after the initial hoopla around a title fades (I wish there were more actual follow up reviews of my books and others past the initial PR push, good or bad). How can you make a blanket decision to cover or not cover any company? That’s Fox News territory. Anyway, that’s that.

    Sent from my jitterbug smart phone

  30. Alan Coil says:

    C. Edward Sellner —

    Is Visionary a division of Bluewater?

  31. Alan Coil says:

    Dereck —

    My mother is dead.

  32. The question is absurd. They are newsworthy and unique. If you think poorly of a particular book of theirs then that’s what reviews are for. But to simply not report them is unwarranted censorship. It’s very simple:

    This is a news Blog about comics culture + Bluewater has become a significant part of comics culture = reporting on things coming out of Bluewater is appropriate to the nature of the site.

  33. The Beat says:

    Wow I did not expect such a donnybrook! Much to ponder.

  34. Indeed. This very thread is a testament to the fact that they are newsworthy ;)

  35. Potterchick1990 says:

    I thought the JK Rowling book was pretty good, and the art was really cute!

  36. Kate Fitzsimons says:

    Devil’s advocate here, The Beat is not a full service comic news site such as Comic Book Resources or Newsarama – it’s a (mostly) one person blog with a “brand” based on that writer’s personal taste. Heidi doesn’t run *most* of the press releases that come her way, so it would hardly be unusual or improper for her not to run Bluewater ones.

    That said, I vote yes on Bluewater because I always find their new choice of subject – whoever that subject may be – to be amusing and audacious.

  37. Kate Fitzsimons says:

    Devil’s advocate here, The Beat is not a full service comic news site such as Comic Book Resources or Newsarama – it’s a (mostly) one person blog with a “brand” based on that writer’s personal taste. Heidi doesn’t run *most* of the press releases that come her way, so it would hardly be unusual or improper for her not to run Bluewater ones.

    That said, I vote yes on Bluewater because I always find their new choice of subject – whoever that subject may be – to be amusing and audacious.

  38. majorjoe23 says:

    Inspired by the attention Bluewater and Gerard Butler posts have gotten here, I will soon be launching my new blog, “Comic Biographies and Shirtless Dudes.”

    And then the ad dollars just roll in.

  39. Joe Lawler says:

    I forgot my subtitle: Helping Women Learn to Love Comics. I think I’ll have hit the perfect storm with that.

  40. Al™ says:

    I think The Beat should keep posting the Bluewater PR material.

    Mind you, I have never actually seen a Bluewater comic, but then my local shops don’t carry most of the comics that are out there. Besides Previews catalog, this site is one of the few places where I can see new titles.

    I thought BlueWater’s Lada Gaga comic cover was their best to date. Maybe keep that artist on covers?

  41. Hmmm…. Sixty years ago, people were also complaining about shoddy art, poor storytelling, and dubious content.

  42. I voted no.

    Not out of spite but simply because it seems excessive. Too much PR from any single set irks me. I imagine that most publishers simply aren’t sending out a big press release for every single comic they do, which leads to this appearance that Bluewater does a disproportionate amount of PR.

    Coupled with the fact that they do lots of stand alone projects, each of which needs it’s own launch, it becomes cumbersome.

    But what the hey, keep running them. Maybe all other comics publishers need to step their press-packet game up.

  43. they are publishers correct? report on them. its that simple.

  44. Wow, substitute “Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics” for “Bluewater Productions,” and history seems to be repeating itself here with startling similarity!

    Indie company with entry-level talent comes out of nowhere, scoops up worldwide press over bio comics that inspire new generations of readers to checkout comics, non-comic shop sales outlets embrace the bio comics as educational and Revolutionary, but – as sales for the bios grow – the comic industry remains indifferent and/or hostile, while the public at large says “Wow, cool comics! Gimme some more, here’s my money.”

    Bluewater’s increasingly ambitious publishing schedule shows that more and more people are buying their comics each month – of course they’re worth reporting on.

    Clearly, the early issues and their entry level art hasn’t kept people from buying more current Bluewater publications (which, in my opinion, are improving each month, as the company and its contribs ride the learning curve).

  45. CBrown says:

    I don’t get the outrage. I’m not interested in these Bluewater comics. I’ve looked through a couple and found them sub-standard. I’m not particularly interested in their PR either. The way I have dealt with this issue in my life is to not read Bluewater comics or their PR. So far, it’s worked pretty well for me.

    I don’t see how the Bluewater press releases posted on the Beat are any different from the PR from DC or Marvel or any of the companies that I’ve never even heard of. Yesterday there was a post on DC’s latest Green Lantern storyline, that was then updated during the day despite the fact that the ‘update’ was only more DC-written PR. Will there be a poll on whether or not to run DC press releases everytime they have a new storyline? I’d vote no on that poll.

  46. BTW, consider that contribs at Bluewater many eventually graduate to comics stardom —

    Rock ‘N’ Roll Comics bio artists from the early 90s included creators now popular and in-demand, like Stuart Immonen, Aaron Sowd, Terry Dodson, Len Kirk, Tom Luth, April Lee, Rich Buckler, Teri Wood, SS Crompton, Dennis Worden, Rick Geary, Daerick Gross, Pat Broderick, Spain Rodriguez, and even famed lowbrow cover painter Robert Williams, many of whom did their first professional work for RnR Comics publisher Revolutionary.

  47. I completely believe you should cover them, comic books is a form of publishing which is only going to grow!!! You are Publishers Weekly, so I think it’s your job to cover all forms of publishing!!!! Thanks! Lisa

  48. If you claim your goal is to bring in new readers that have never read a comic before than you really should make every effort to put out a quality product. The bio books I’ve seen from Bluewater haven’t been good.

    I honestly would rather not have a comic getting press in the mainstream media if it is subpar. I think that does more harm than good.

    Also there is the issue of freelancers getting paid after working for Bluewater. I’ve had complaints in the past.

  49. I agree with Jimmy Palmiotti’s comment.

  50. I don’t think the issue should be about banning or blacklisting them from the site. That should absolutely not happen. I think the question is more about whether or not to post every press release they send out because there seems to have been a lot lately, maybe disproportionately to the level of newsworthiness.

  51. As a blog that specializes in small press announcements, why would you not include Bluewater? I’ve read plenty of press releases and looked at lots of previews on this blog which I thought were terrible, but I would never chime in and tell you what and what not to post. That’s just rude!

  52. too legit says:

    My main beef is based on the fact that in the past seven days, the BEAT has had two separate posts on Bluewater comics (The Lady Gaga photoshop-filters-cutout cover; and the Sotomayor/Limbaugh comics). I am really questioning how highly I hold Heidi’s govenor when I am consistently being bombarded by posts promoting, what I believe to be, some of the worst quality comic books out today.

    The BEAT has always been, in my opinion, THE source of what is hip and “going on” in the world of comics. I come on here everyday because I expect Heidi to filter thru the junk press releases and write about what she thinks is the “creme de la creme”, what are the projects or items that I should be taking notice of in the comics world. I value her OPINION. If I wanted to read a press release, I’ll go to cbr or newsarama.

    If you went to a similar movie industry blog, you would not be reading about crappy production companies who put out cheap straight-to-video movies. People would laugh you out of the industry. If there was a post about Barbara Walters holding up a comic about her on the View, I can’t argue that. But Lady Gaga, Sonia Sotomayor, and Rush Limbaugh? Come on!

  53. Too Legit – You are wrong. This was a quick search and found a ton on main stream press covering “straight to dvd” – Here are a couple from Entertainment Weekly.

    http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/07/08/michael-jackson-miss-cast-away/

    http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/05/12/mega-shark-vs-g/

    As for your stuff Tom, those in glass houses should not throw stones. I looked at your book and their is no quality there. The artwork is amature and looks like a poor man’s Justice League.

    I did the research on Bluewater’s political comics and I think the art is fine. The Barack Obama one looks painted. http://www.comicscontinuum.com/stories/0908/03/bluewaterfirsts.htm

    I do not pick up their books, but this is Publisher’s Weekly and they are a publisher. My friend told me about this post so I had to see what was going on. I think this whole conversation is a bit absurd and very FOX NEWS.