Comics Publisher Has Lousy Rep with Freelancers

The small comic book publisher Bluewater Productions keeps getting an enormous amount of mainstream media attention for publishing cheezy comics about celebrities and other public figures, like its upcoming biographical book about Facebook founder Mark Zuckerburg:

Bluewater Productions Inc. is doing a "giant-sized" 48-page bio-comic that will explore the question, "Who is the real Mark Zuckerberg?"

The company said it had good success with comics like its "Female Force" series featuring women like Hillary Rodham Clinton, Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey. The company has done other bio-comics about soccer's David Beckham and singer Lady Gaga.

So, Bluewater believes there's an audience for a $6.99 comic book about Silicon Valley's latest young billionaire, who Forbes magazine says is now worth more than Steve Jobs.

I would pay $6.99 not to get to know the real Zuckerberg.

One thing that the press doesn't report about Bluewater is that the company offers its creators an incredibly lousy contract.

The artists and writers aren't paid any advances, collecting only a royalty if the book meets the contract's definition of a profit. The company has in its short life amassed an impressive collection of disgruntled ex-freelancers. The artist Sean Gordon Murphy, now working with DC Comics on Joe the Barbarian, did his first job for the publisher. He said in an interview, "I never got paid. From what I can tell the owner has published that stuff illegally and is continuing to burn people under a new name, Bluewater."

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