Robot 6

Bluewater breaks with Diamond, partners with Comic Flea Market

Bluewater Productions, the publisher largely known for its biographical comics about political and showbiz personalities, has announced a complete break with Diamond Comic Distributors. Bluewater comics will now be distributed, and printed, by Comic Flea Market.

Bluewater had already announced a distribution partnership with CFM for some of its titles, so the news piece here is that the publisher is making a complete break with Diamond. Bluewater comics are also available digitally through the usual channels.

Give Bluewater President Darren G. Davis credit for putting a bold front on it and saying in the press release that Diamond “abruptly” canceled several Bluewater comics because they didn’t make their sales benchmarks. In an interview with MTV Geek in March, Davis presented Bluewater’s problems with Diamond as a clash of business models.

“It’s really difficult, because according to these benchmarks your comics have to make a certain amount of money, or they won’t issue you a purchase order,” he said. “I get it  –  they’re a bigger company. And if we have a book that only sold 500 copies, there’s no reason why they should distribute it. But it just doesn’t help me as a publisher. But I don’t condemn them for it.”

Davis emphasized today that this move does not mean Bluewater is abandoning the direct market; on the contrary, he pledged to continue to offer Bluewater comics to retailers at about the same discount they were receiving from Diamond.

“My experience has shown me that if your name is not DC or Marvel, it is very difficult to get support from Diamond,” Davis said in the press release. “As an independent producer, I felt it was time to take our titles to the next level.”

Comic Book Resources reached out to Diamond and Davis for comment but has yet to receive a response.

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Comments

18 Comments

Wouldn’t someone need to “demand” these books? “Bluewater Comics: We’ll Print Them As Soon As Someone Asks”.

Here’s hoping it’s the beginning of the end for these clowns.

I believe I speak for everyone when I say “So what.”

Yes, you do, Rollo. Yes, you do.

Why do we hate Bluewater?

A lot of folks have worked for free for them over the years. That’s the main reason.

They publish dreck. The reason Diamond dropped them is because (and working in a shop I know this) nobody orders their crap.

I read some recent Bluewater. I’m never seen such amateur work in my life, and that’s including the B&W 80′s flood of crap. Horrible, horrible art that’s either photo-traced or grade school notebook level.

Good job Diamond.

My guess is that Diamond decided to stop “working for free for them.” Written off as “bad debt” and cut loose. Collections will only get you so far. Sad but true.

I don’t understand how this company has seen any success whatsoever.

Let me clarify Paul’s statements about working for free: Its actually worse than that simple statement:

Bluewater’s contracts basically have their artists (probably the writers too but not sure about that) doing the work and waiting to get paid on the back end of the sales of the books. But ONLY if they hit a specific number of orders.

Now if they don’t hit that number, the books will still get printed and go out, but the artist will never get paid for the work. And Bluewater says that’s their standard contract.

And since very few people actually buy Bluwater (and I’ll admit to being one of them that has) its always a good chance they’ll never get their money period.

But honestly, with this move, I’m pretty much done with Bluewater myself.

Evan says it all here.Basically I’ve been waiting for print copies of the rest of Quartermain and Sherlock Victorian Knights since Issues 1 of both mysteriously showed up at a local comic shop possibly sent as freebie promotionals by either Diamond or Bluewater.The nonpayment issue as well as Bluewaters inability to get their catalog to print on a timely basis have basically lead me to write them off as well.Wasn’t there also a comment here a few months back by a young illustrator who was talking at a Comic Con event to another companies rep for more work and Darren took the rep aside and claimed the the artist was exclusive to Bluewater?Personally I think Comic Cons should be dropping Bluewater as well if this story is true and provable.

Have any of you tried to get your Indy book in diamond? Seriously? And saying comic cons should drop Bluewater is a pretty asinine statement. A.) they don’t do cons in the first place, b) Darren hasn’t been to a con since about a year after wildstorm from what I hear from a very reasonable source.
I hopefully no artist in their right mind would sign an exclusivity contract that only has back end pay. That sounds like that fools fault if he actually exist in the real world.

I always find it funny that you get post like some of the ones above and they’re all based on “hear say” and not actual people who have worked for Blue Water or whatever company. Seriously, people being an independent publisher is hard work and if their contract states that it’s a back end deal it’s up to the writer/or artist to decide if they want to work for them or not. Blue Water is still has juice in the industry and their books still get coverage from major comic book sites like this and newsarama..most small publishers would kill for that! Let’s be honest if you don’t like their books don’t buy them, but if you do support them! Honestly, more publishers should make this move!

alton, not sure why you didn’t get the rest of the Quartermain series. All 4 issues of it did ship to the stores, because I did get all of mine via DCBS. Diamond even shipped out issues #2 and #3 together the same week.

As for the Sherlock Holmes mini, only 2 issues ever came out. Then Diamond cancelled it. Surprisingly, they did tell one complete story. But it obviously continued in the next two but you could feel like you didn’t miss anything.

And to Art, if Bluewater honestly had juice, they’d be getting enough orders to have stayed in Previews because they’d be hitting the requirements.

“Why do we hate Bluewater Again?”

They trick creators into working for nothing, and they have never published a decent Comic Book.

@ Evan Thanks for the update on Quartermain and Sherlock.I’ll harass my LCS I bought the #1,s at and maybe he can shake some of the other copies loose from Diamond or another out of town store that he does business with.I’m of another mind when it comes to blanket claims Bluewater has never published anything of value.The problem isn’t the creative teams paid or unpaid but how Blueater conducts it’s business.

Bluewater does, indeed, have some questionable business practices. The artists who used to do the covers for Vincent Price Presents (and intros/finales) is named Joel Robinson. I met him at a HorrorHound convention, and told him the only reason the book was buyable was because of his work. I told him I was sorry to see him quit…because the book mostly just plain sucked (except for The Raven issue. It was enjoyable).

He told me he quit because “Bluewater never paid me.” He was unhappy and didnt wish to discuss it further.

Its kinda sad that Vincent price’s daughter whored his name out to this company. But then again—I didnt see anyone else offering to print a title with her father as the host. So–lose,lose.

But #26 was an actual real life comic book with talented people doing it. The rose in the weedpatch.

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