Bluewater Productions Publisher Darren Davis spoke with comicbookinterviews.com and discussed the first quarter of 2012, how business is progressing, the company’s new direction, and gave a sampling what Bluewater has lined up for the rest of 2012…
JMH: Darren, thanks for taking time again out of your busy schedule for an interview. Can you talk about Bluewater and the first quarter of 2012? Are you meeting your goals and targets for the new year?
DARREN: This year is a bit odd, because of the launch of the NOOK and Kindle. The world of comics is changing everyday. It is weird to see books and comic books becoming more digital. I hated the idea of this, and then I ended up buying a book on the Kindle and I love it. I am still not buying comics on there yet. I am happy with the way things are starting this year.
JMH: What do fans have to look forward in the second quarter and into the summer?
A lot of John Saul books! These titles are just amazing from the art to the writing. Saul is still one of my favorite novelists of all time! Also we are spinning off our successful Adam West series with Julie Newmar. Working with her on this title has been fun. We are taking Newmar and tossing her back in time. You will learn the real reason why that she was not in the 1960’s “Batman” movie. The art is done by Emiliano Urdinola and written by Marc Shapiro We are also working with the Boy Wonder, Burt Ward. His comic will be the feature around FCBD. I have never met anyone more fun to work with. The art is done by Ramon Salas and written by Darren Garnick.
It is also all about “Wrath of the Titans” with the film coming out. We have a new mini series coming out this month by Chad Jones and Damian Graff. We have a Wrath Kids book by CW Cooke and Ramon Salas – and the trade paperbacks!
I will never give up on the Vincent Price series. So we started a new mini series called HOUSE OF HORRORS that will be a fun ride.
Our “Killing Geronimo” book thru Simon & Schuster will be out this summer too, written by myself, Jerome Maida and art by Stefano Cardoselli.
We also have another 40 million projects running around here, like “Sinbad Rogue of Mars” coming back!
JMH: Bluewater’s had some recent changes. You entered into an agreement with SBC distributors for your graphic novel distribution. How is that proceeding? Are sales where you would like them now?
DARREN: I am happy with the way things are going along. It was a harder transition than I thought it would be. I did not realize that we had that many titles. Also with the book market you have to work almost a year ahead. We are finally caught up!
Also working now with Arcana on some of our properties took a big load off of us. Also I did not want to flood the market. We have 10 years of product backed up and Sean does such a great job in that market.
JMH: Why SBC Distributors instead of Diamond?
DARREN: We are high patience and needed someone that can serve us more on a one on one basis. They also have a great saturation into the book market.
We also wanted to separate the fiction books from the non-fiction books that we do. People think we have never done fiction before and that always annoyed me. I have been doing mostly fiction for 10 years. But you toss Justin Bieber on the cover and that’s what the press covers not 10th Muse. With comic sales tumbling down we needed to do the biographies in order to stay doing our fiction.
JMH: A recent announcement from Bluewater is the deal with Comicfleamarket.com. Can you tell the readers why this agreement is important?
DARREN: For us, Diamond was canceling a lot of our titles due to low print numbers. I totally get this because Diamond has to make a certain amount to cover their costs. But it was really disappointing when you have a series that does not get issue #4 printed. We do have a core audience for a lot of our titles that they will be able to get the printed versions books we thought were only going to go digital. As a comic book fan myself, I have not jumped on board with the digital world – but as a businessperson, it is a big part of our business now. I still like holding physical copies of the books. Now people will have a choice.
JMH: Are there books in production that will fall under the comic flea market model?
DARREN: When I 1st heard about the comicbook flea market from one of my writers – I contacted them right away. It is a brilliant idea. I think it is going to change the face of comic books. I was worried at what the quality of their product would be, but I just got the books and they are just as good as what we print. I am a stickler for good printing.
We also have a lot biographies that have gone out of print and this is a way to do new editions with special exclusive covers for Comicfleamarket.com
JMH: Wrath of the Titans was licensed to Warner Brothers. How does Bluewater benefit from that agreement?
DARREN: We sold Warner Bros the name and we got merchandising and credit in the film.
JMH: Bluewater has also hired a licensing agent, Danny Simon, from “The Licensing Group” to help develop properties such as toys, video games. Which properties have you targeted for development?
DARREN: We have a kids version of “Wrath of the Titans” they are pushing as well as, “The Mis-Adventures of Adam West” & “Solider of Fortune”
JMH: What can fans expect to see in the future from this announcement?
DARREN: Hopefully a couple video games! We already have an action figure deal for Adam West with Go Hero.
JMH: On the comic front, can you reveal any new bio comics projects on the horizon?
DARREN: We are breaking into the fine art world. We are working with this amazing publisher inGermanyand more info is to come on that soon.
It is also the political year, so I am sure more bios will pop up. We just released one on Ron Paul and I got him to sign it for us. It is really cool when the subject acknologes them.
The Doctor Who one is doing well, so we might do a sequel to it!
JMH: How about creators. Any hot names of artists or writers to look out for with Bluewater?
DARREN: Best Selling Novelist John Saul – we are working one on one with him. Also if you have not had a chance to pick up Walter Koenig’s Things to come yet, it is a good read too. I am also working with another bestseller on a kid’s comic book series that I cannot announce yet. It is another big one for us. Marc Shapiro will be doing “Solider of Fortune” with us who also is a New York Best selling author.
We also are working on our 2ndSE Hinton graphic novel.
We have a lot of artists right now at the brink of making it to the pros.
JMH: What is the status of the “Wave” line of books?
DARREN: The Wave line will start up in the late spring as part of the deal with Comic Flea Market. All the titles will also be available on all the digital platforms too such as the Nook, Kindle and Ipad.
JMH: Will there be any expansion of the Wave line in the future?
DARREN: 100% -Gregg and Aaron are busy getting ahead of schedule. I am hoping that they will crossover with the Bluewater universe and who better to have do it than two people that worked on ISIS and Judo Girl.
JMH: Juliet is an interesting angle on the classic tale. Will there be other non-superhero books out in 2012 that you can tease the fans with?
DARREN: I have had Juliet in my head for years and finally had a chance to develop her into the series. I gave it to one of my best friends to writer who did an amazing job with Insane Jane, Zach Hunchar. He is really good at taking my vision and running with it. The art on Juliet by Ethan Wright is beautiful
I also have developed a new updated series around the classic Dorian Gray. I am co-writing it with my writing partner Scott Davis. We have done “Wrath of the Titans” together as well as “The Blackbeard Legacy”. When we work together, our best work shines. Wait till you see the artwork on Dorian. It is probably one of the best comic books we have ever produced. Our agent is already developing it into a television show.
I got my start taking classic figures and putting them into a modern day twist. “10th Muse” was my 1st and we launched it as the 6th highest selling comic at Diamond.
“Solider of Fortune” is another title I am excited about. We are doing something different and using actual guns from advertisers to give authenticness to the book. Working with the iconic magazine and the history has been really cool. Steven Black who is doing the art is so cool. He has a Travis Charest style to him. He is one of the people that after the book comes out – will be signed by Marvel.
We are still working with Adam West, Julie Newmar and our newest member Burt Ward…can you say crossover! Logan’s Run is still a mainstay and another artist that will be moving to the pros is V Kenneth Marion. He did a stint on Adam West and now onLogan’s Run. I love getting emails from him with artwork.
I have not bee this inspired with the comics we have produced in a long time. We have had some stinkers and I take the blame because I have not been motivated. I am a really good creator and when I have a co-writer I am unstoppable…lol. I have a passion for these titles. So when people slam us, it hurts because we do put so much time and energy out there for each of these. They end up being like our kids! Comics are fun again for me and you will see that in the final product.
JMH: Also, will we see creator owned properties from Bluewater this year?
DARREN: Sherlock Holmes is a creator owned series that is doing really well for us. We have a couple more in the pipeline too!
JMH: Darren, as always, CBI appreciates your time. ALL the best!
DARREN: Thank you, John.
About the interviewer –