Via PR, the start of what you know is going to be a new comics cottage industry.


To millions he was the King of Pop; one of the world’s most cherished entertainers and a celebrated international icon. With his untimely passing, Michael Jackson left an extraordinary and tragic legacy. Bluewater Productions is paying tribute in October to his memory and legacy with a special collectors edition biography comic.

The newest addition to the publisher’s critically acclaimed biography library will trace Jackson’s rise as a musical prodigy with the “Jackson 5” through last Thursdays sad end. The book will feature highlights from his storied career and cover his enigmatic private life.

“Michael Jackson’s music served as the soundtrack to countless lives…including mine,” said Bluewater president Darren G. Davis, “His influence on our culture has been profound.”

“TRIBUTE: Michael Jackson, King of Pop,” features a wraparound cover and foreword by “The Official Michael Jackson Fan Club’s” Giuseppe Mazzola. Mazzola was also Jackson’s personal friend. The issue is being written by Wey-Yuih Loh, (Political Power: Colin Powell” and “Political Power: Joe Biden) and illustrated by Giovanni Timpano (Vincent Price Presents). Noted cover artist Vinnie Tartamella will also provide an alternate wraparound cover.

“This is a celebration of his life and what he meant to a legion of fans,” Davis said. “Although the book won’t shy away from some of his personal troubles, we try to tell a balanced story that shows Jackson as a musical genius, an unparalleled superstar and as a complex person.”

Davis noted that he initially waffled at producing a tribute comic, but after receiving dozens of emails and phone calls he knew it was the proper way to show respect and give fans a lasting remembrance.

A lot of illustrators remember the King of Pop at Drawger, and you can look through his April estate auctions here. The 242 pages of arcade games, Disneyana and other pop culturey stuff might be the most interesting, but Jackson’s addiction to frou frou Victoriana antiques and furnishings is fairly astonishing as well.

BTW, apparently Jackson’s rehearsal the night before his death was recorded and taped in high def video. So there should be at least one more moneymaker in the troubled pop star’s oeuvre.

And now, to remember the most important thing, here’s Amanda Palmer singing “Billie Jean” at the Troubadour the day MJ died.


  1. “Davis noted that he initially waffled at producing a tribute comic, but after receiving dozens of emails and phone calls he knew it was the proper way to show respect and give fans a lasting remembrance.”

    Do you think if we all ask nicely they’ll produce BLUEWATER TEAM-UP #1 starring Michael Jackson’s ghost and Barack Obama’s dog?

  2. Is Bluewater donating all proceeds from the Jackson comic to a suitable charity? If not, is attempting to make money off of someone’s death *ever* a proper way to show respect?

    Joe Jackson seems to think so, based on a recent CNN interview, but at least he’s related to the dead man in question…

  3. Well, instant books have been around for decades. Bluewater’s approach is different, in that the company produces comic book versions of instant books. There will be lots of people trying to profit from Jackson’s death, whether they produce T-shirts, commemorative plates, commemorative coins, or other products bearing his likeness. At least the comic books might have some interesting information in them. It would be good, I’d think, for Bluewater to donate part of the proceeds to a foundation or charity.


  4. Shock and surpirse, Heidi has something nasty to say about Bluewater.
    Maybe the headline should be, Bluewater announces something and Heidi gets to grind her axe again.

    But more important is the issue of whether Bluewater should produce something. I think it is perfectly reasonable especially if there is an audience to buy it. The second question is should they make a profit? Whether or not Bluewater chooses to donate anything to charity is between Bluewater and its corporate conscience.
    Did BET or its advertisers donate money to charity from last night’s tribute event? Did the BIO channel or MTV donate a cent for immediately running everything they had in the vault?

    Would we feel the same way if the pages of the proposed comic calls for readers to donate to a charity?

    Now if this book turns out to be tripe; poorly written or crassly drawn or simply sensationalizes the freak show element of Jackson’s life, then fine, let the ammo fly. But until then I say let the market decide whether it is a proper way “to show respect.”

  5. There’s tons of people jumping on the profit train to capitalize from Jackson’s death.
    Seeing this sort of bottom feeding from Bluewater comes as no surprise.

    But “dozens of emails and phone calls?” Did David make them all himself? I wouldn’t be surprised, given this guy’s shady history.

    I wonder if there’s a bunker somewhere that guys like Davis, Olney, Alessi and Pulido get together to weave schemes.

  6. Guh. I too doubt the claims of dozens of calls — unless they all came from family. As for emails — the regularity with which BW claims to “lose” emails makes me assume that their spam filters are so intense that nothing is able to blast through them.

    While I get a certain amount of joy out of seeing the depths that BW will sink to make a buck, it does turn my stomach a bit. BW has a bad rep for not paying creators. I’ve been screwed by them and am not close to being alone in the “Screwed by BW” camp. Some are more vocal about it than others.

    My question would be this: if BW is in fact making money off of these, are they finally paying creators?

  7. I am happy that Bluewater is doing this. I am a fan of Michael Jackson and he was a huge comic book collector. So i am sure he would be happy about this.

    As for people making money off his death, why not mention these that were posted on Publishers Weekly:

    Random House’s Vintage/Anchor Books is reprinting and, per a rep at the house “re-promoting,” Margo Jefferson’s 2007 paperback original, On Michael Jackson. Macmillan UK has ordered a major reprint on one if its backlist Jackson bios and a Montreal publisher is rushing its Jackson book. Two books by Jackson, his 1988 autobiography Moonwalk and a 1992 poetry collection called Dancing the Dream (both published by Doubleday).

    They do biography comics, Why not MJ.

  8. re: Above comments about the myriad non-comic book profiteering projects that weren’t brought up in an article on a comic book blog, well… that right there is the answer, isn’t it? I can’t speak for everyone else who thinks this is a low move on Bluewater’s part, but trust me when I say that I view any company/person/etc. who profits off someone else’s death as scum.

    If there are similar comic book projects that weren’t mentioned in the article or following comments, please let me know so I can heap scorn upon them, too.

  9. Don’t they realize they have to have permission to use his likeness on merchandise? I highly doubt anyone from the MJ camp signed off on this, and I hope they put the clamp down on this sort of thing. Bluewater is a friggin JOKE.

  10. Oz,
    Do you feel the same way about Time Warner? Apparently People Magazine is dedicating a whole issue of their magazine to Jackson. Is that profiteering? Or is it only profiteering if you are a small business?

  11. Well, if it’s an unauthorized biography, the MJJ estate can’t really do too much about it (except perhaps sue for libel and possible trademark infringements if logos are used). If the work is properly researched and documented (and Bluewater bios seem to be quickly researched and written from other sources), then Bluewater and everyone else is safe. If they want to sell the cover as a poster, yes, they’ll have to pay a license fee.

    see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revolutionary_Comics
    for more information.

  12. zonefish — From the post to which you were replying: “trust me when I say that I view any company/person/etc. who profits off someone else’s death as scum.”

    So, yes. Don’t know how I can make that any clearer.

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