We declared a moratorium on Bluewater Comics news a while ago due to their awful back-end work for hire contract (and were taken off their PR list as a result) but whatever we think of their business model, we do have to give credit where it is due: they are absolute monsters at PR, and the recently announced Betty White Female Force comic is no exception. It’s popped up on our news feed from EW, the LA TImes, the New York Times and everywhere else; a Google search for “Betty White Bluewater” yields 74,000 results. Even the Today Show blog picked up the Reuters story about the comic. A preview is up at Radar but it’s too small to actually read, for better or worse.
Back in the day it was thought that just getting comic books mentioned in all these places was the way to get more people to know comics were being published and get more exposure, however it’s unclear if all this publicity has really paid off for Bluewater. A spot check of the last few months of ICv2 charts showed exactly ZERO Bluewater titles on the charts. With the #300 title usually hitting around 3000 copies these days, you can see that all the publicity in the world doesn’t really do much good for a book that has more fans in the media than in the readership.
The media interest in what’s a pretty simple idea after all — a comic book bio of a public figure — is an off-shoot of the Hollywoodization of comics. It helps that Betty White is a beloved cultural figure who is enjoying late life canonization. And frankly, the lurid, mesmerising Bluewater covers have a visual appeal that makes the ideas instantly graspable. And perhaps instantly grotesque. But obviously it’s working on some level.
BTW if you’re wondering if Betty White has always been so awesome, the answer is ABSOLUTELY.
Here she is back in the 50s winning one of her FIRST Emmys.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.