Having torn through politicians and teen idols, Bluewater is launching a new biographical comics series, this one focusing on great artists like Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso. The series marks a new partnership between comic-book publisher and German artist Willi Bloess (German: Willie Blöß) and Bluewater.

Starting in the fall, Bluewater will publish the Bloess-produced graphic novels which will include “homage biographies” for such luminary artists as Salvador Dali, Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Vincent Van Gogh, Keith Haring and Andy Warhol. The series is titled “The Milestones of Art.”
“What makes these truly stand out is that the artist’s life story is told in the style of that artist. Bloess has meticulously researched and painstakingly emulated the style of each artist featured. These books are gorgeous,” said Bluewater president Darren Davis.
Bloess, a renowned author and illustrator in Germany produced over 20 titles featuring influential artists of the last 125 years. He chose the first set to release in the United States.
“The field of illustrated books is still dominated by dragons, wizards and heavily-armed fighters,” Bloess noted. “Therefore I was very surprised when I learned that Bluewater were running illustrated biographies in the USA. Unbelievable, a home of pure facts in the land of fiction. Reality strikes back!”

This certainly looks like one of the more interesting Bluewater releases. Blöß has a website with more on the series here. Here’s the inside of the Picasso book:



  1. This scratches the surface.

    To discover more, visit the Goethe Institut:
    (in English)

    If your German is passable, there are Apple apps of some of his books available.

    Bluewater would be smart to issue these in library bindings for schools. $7.99 for paper, $15 for libraries.

    There’s a lot of non-fiction graphic novels out there in other languages. Libraries are eager for this sort of thing. If they’ve been proven in other markets, they’ll work here.

    And in related news, First Second will be publishing “Baby’s In Black”, Arne Bellstorf’s graphic novel about the romance between Stuart Sutcliffe and German photographer and artist Astrid Kirchherr.

    (Now if only someone would license “Haarmann” by Peer Meter und Isabel Kreitz…)

  2. This might be the best thing Bluewater has ever done.

    But they might want to tweak the logo on the Van Gogh title, for the english-speaking market. It could be mis-read, in its current form.

  3. Only read the Kahlo book (which was available through German Free Comicbook Day last year) and that was really bad. The “story” is just a string of facts you could also gather from wikipedia. It’s not even trying for any dramatic reading experience. As for the art … well, I don’t know how well he is with adapting other styles, but this one fails simply because there are styles that were absolutely not meant for comics storytelling, so Blöß ends up with something that fails as comicbook art as much as hommage to Frida Kahlo.

    I see it might kind of make sense for educational purposes. Just don’t expect great comics art.

    There are way better German biographical comics, like the ones by Reinhard Kleist (“Cash – I See Darkness”, “Castro”) or Isabel Kreitz (“Haarmann”, “Die Sache mit Sorge”).