This blog post is relatively timely because of the Michael Jackson film that was released last week. In addition to that film, there was also a comic book tribute issue which is pictured above with both covers that were used for the comic.
Before I get to my thoughts on this issue, here is some of the PR info that was used to promote the comic book:
"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 to his memory and legacy in October 2009 with a special collectors edition biography comic, which 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 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 friend.
"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."
Michael Jackson's reign as the King of Pop is celebrated in the latest biographical comic book from Bluewater Productions.
The newest addition to the publisher's critically acclaimed library features a cover and foreword by artist and friend of Jackson's Giuseppe Mazzola.
The life of the world's most popular entertainer was infused with fantasy and tragedy. His discography is legendary. His legacy is complicated and unparalleled."
Following are the credits for this issue:
By: Wey-Yuih Loh - writer, Giovanni P Timpano - interior art, Erick Marquez - colorist, Jaymes Reed -letterer, Cover 'A' - Giuseppe Mazzola, Cover 'B' -Vinnie Tartamella
Genres: Biography, Non-Fiction
Publisher: Bluewater Productions
Pub. Date: October 06, 2009 $3.99 cover priced
Availability: Released (Note: 1st Printing Sold Out! Still available at your LCBS!)
For ages: 13+
I read the above comic book this weekend. Quite honestly I'm not that big of a fan of Michael Jackson. Before I go further, I'll say this: I enjoyed the Jackson 5, and several of Michael's songs in his solo career. However I didn't go see him in concert, nor when he had to go to court.
So I read this as someone who was not going to go 'ga-ga' over the fact that this is a Tribute issue to Michael. I also read it as someone who enjoys rock bands and solo artists history being portrayed in comics / graphic novel format for reading.
The 'Splash Page' was a letter to the readers of the comic by Giuseppe Mazzola, of the Michael Jackson Official Fan Club. So that should settle any thoughts that this publication was intended to 'rip off' Michael Jackson's legacy, as was done when Elvis Presley died so many years ago now...
Upon opening the comic to the second page, I then come across a 'cartoon character' who introduces the story. I can't quite get over that. It kinda 'bugs' me, (no pun intended). Okay, I figure that the cartoon character is being used because Michael really never 'grew up'. However I don't see an explanation for the cartoon character in the story. Yeah, the cartoon character is the narrator of the story.
The story line is one that a Michael Jackson Fan would love. I made sure of this thought by asking my wife Tina to read this issue also. She was of the opinion that this issue would be a good keepsake for Michael Jackson Fans, as the storyline was pretty much what she knew about Michael. She's a bigger fan of Michael's works than I am, which is why I asked her.
However she took point with the interior artwork, which is what I was coming to next... Her thoughts about the Jackson kids not looking just 'right' artwise was something I was thinking too when reading the issue. The artwork on both of the covers were done by different artists than the interior pages artist.
The coloring was fine, and the lettering fit well with the tone of the tribute issue. Yet the interior artwork was just a little 'off' in my opinion. Looking again at the issue, I would have to agree with my wife, and point to the head shots, and the facial expressions as being what bothered me also. The rest of the panels were fine, with the bodies and scenes illustrated well. It was just the heads / faces that just didn't seem right.
However, the storyline was put together well. No sensationalism here. No out to make a quick buck capitalizing on Michael's death. Instead it is a well written comic book tribute, and well worth the time and money for a Michael Jackson fan to pick up for their collection. As this blog is being written to be published on Tusesday November 3rd, the news is out that the 1st printing of this tribute issue is 'Sold Out'. What that means is that the publisher doesn't have more copies to send to retailers. You should be able to find a copy of this issue at your Local Comic Book Shop, (LCBS). If not, then there is a 2nd printing planned, along with a different cover for the second printing.
To see more news about the second printing of this comic book, and / or other comics that are being published by Bluewater Comics, please check their web site at: http://www.bluewaterprod.com/ !