I do. Every fucking day.
And some days I actually do it. Scream my head off. People look at me and say, “Ian, chill. You’re going to give yourself a heart attack, man.” And you know what? I scream anyway… Because I truly believe that BOTTLING UP your emotions is a DEFINITE path to heart failure.
I am a passionate guy. I love just like I dislike. STRONGLY. But I try not to HATE casually. Hate is an emotion that I attempt to reserve for only the most contemptible of persons, creative endeavors or subjects. But I do bring hate out when needed. Sadly, for some people and subjects, it is the only descriptive term that FITS.
Similarly, I know I am an ACQUIRED TASTE. I completely understand this. You either love me or hate me. There is very little gray area in-between.
And that’s just the way I like it.
When I started acting professionally (and shortly thereafter, writing professionally) I was determined to make people FEEL… To have a reaction to whatever I was doing. To stir something inside of them. Otherwise, what would be the point? Why bother to put myself out there if all I did was elicit a YAWN of indifference? What a horrible fate, rolling through life-like a lazy marsupial– clinging to a branch barely moving– literally hibernating from life and the arts I supposedly loved so dearly.
That’s why I live the way I live. I work hard and I play hard. I love hard and I dislike hard. I am as compassionate and gracious as I am intractable and brash. It is, as a certain Charlie Sheen might say, “Just the way I roll.”
That is why the following ABOMINATION (masquerading as a comic book) makes me APOPLECTIC. Makes me see RED. Makes me want to HURL INVECTIVES until I no longer have the energy to GASP for air.
I knew this man.
And while there was a rather large disparity in our ages, George and I always got along really well… And I loved and admired him. I also feel qualified enough to say that I believe he would have HATED this comic with a PASSION… The very concept being abhorrent to him.
He would’ve also hated this HORRIFYING COVER… That looks more like a crazed, aged, drug-addled, thinner version of PAUL GIAMATTI than George Carlin. The homicidal humorless look, the overly elongated, white knuckled, poorly drawn hands that look frail AND angry– as if George is about to snap and throw his mic at an unseen audience member like a WWII Sticky Bomb.
Of course, I haven’t read the inside of this comic but I doubt it gets much better. (I’ve seen others from Bluewater. I know the drill.)
This book, whether it turns out to be totally respectful (leaping over any possible negativity) or not– amounts to seemingly little more than an assault on a dead man… EXACTLY the kind of stuff that would quite possibly make George Carlin sick… And no amount of PR puffery can change that notion in my mind. It picks at the carcass of a deceased genius– simply in the name of profit. If there is a “somewhere” in the afterlife (a notion that George often boldly questioned), I am sure he is hurling many, many more than just the “Seven Dirty Words” that made him famous– and probably in several highly creative, colorful combinations that many of us have never even dreamed of.
Most of these Bio-Comics are nothing more than perfunctory, lifeless shit. Stale wiki-padding slightly dressed up with hasty, unimaginative art. I wouldn’t be anywhere near as upset with the way these publications were presented if Bluewater would just have the BALLS to brand these books by calling them what that really are: Wiki-Comics™. Instead, we have to wade through paragraph after paragraph of PR from company wags describing these whatever-they-are as Biographies and/or Loving Tributes.
I have no doubt that some (and the KEYWORD in this sentence is SOME) of the talent that work on these comics are– besides hungry to break into the biz– also admiring fans of the subjects they have been hired to chronicle. That would make sense.
But in the end, it rarely seems to matter… As the whole enterprise of publishing this drek reeks of ANYTHING for a buck.
Which makes me wonder… What were the intentions of the people behind Bluewater… What were they thinking when they started their comic book company? Certainly they had higher ambitions than to simply re-purpose old celebrity news in comic book formats. Certainly no one wakes up and thinks to enter the notoriously “iffy” comic book business with these kind of publications as their highest artistic goal.
Sales apparently aren’t the impetus for publication either. While no complete sales figures are available (besides comic shops, Bluewater sells their books directly through many different retail outlets– including Amazon.com and eBay), NONE of their books made the most recent Diamond Distribution Top 300 Best Seller list. (For the record, the 300th Best Selling comic for the month surveyed sold a whopping 3,999 copies to comic shops– hardly anything to get orgasmic about.)
So why do it? What is the ATTRACTION of vomiting up this formulaic crap? There seriously cannot be any artistic satisfaction in producing these books… Leaving only the monetary considerations– which also seem minimal. So could they really be “creating” these trollop-y pamphlets simply for the publicity some of them generate? How do you make a living doing that? I do know that the publicity DOES seem to be an awfully BIG DEAL to the company. The press release for their Carlin comic makes an extreme point of trumpeting, “Bluewater’s biography comics have been covered by such mainstream media outlets as the Washington Post, The Today Show, Wall Street Journal, New York Times and Forbes Magazine.”
I realize not everyone shares an overwhelming drive and ambition when they start a company– but there has to be more to this publisher than just wanting to read a couple of articles written about their output in the mainstream press.
So maybe they’re building toward something else… Using what little money and publicity these titles generate to create something else… Possibly several original books that would stand as a lasting legacy seemingly worth laboring over– more than this abysmal tripe.
No such luck. A thorough look through Bluewater’s website seems to reveal the EXACT OPPOSITE. The company is obviously very high on new “umbrella” titles like INFAMOUS– with one issue already in the pipeline to feature the overly rambunctious Warlock Charlie Sheen.
The cover to INFAMOUS: Lindsay Lohan shows the actress in a ridiculously LOW CUT, REVEALING orange prison jumpsuit, holding a prisoner identification board complete with ID Number, flashing a sultry look and Quasi Peace/Gang Sign for a non-existent camera. (It is truly hard to tell from the shitty drawing whether the actress is supposed to be flashing a deliberate gang sign of some sort, pointing her fingers like a gun or is partaking in an awkward celebutard version of Rock, Paper, Scissors).
I can guarantee you– despite any possible protestations that might ever emanate from the Bluewater offices now or in the future– a photo of Lohan in this milieu, in this attire, flashing a gang sign does NOT exist ANYWHERE in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s photo files.
This is all just so sad to me… Rather repugnant… And imminently forgettable. The anti-thesis of the impact I strive for in my professional pursuits. These books lack artistic merit and life… And they feed off the notoriety and misfortune of others– bringing up a VERY BIG DIFFERENCE between fictional sensationalism (think Mark Millar) and “biographical” sensationalism (think tabloid newspapers like the National Enquirer): Fiction is fiction. Life is real. Suffering, whether self-inflicted or not, is often agonizing and always unfortunate.
You should also note that almost every Bluewater “bio comic” that features a notorious public figure is also a Number One issue— and that’s it. Given the “boiler plate” assembly line nature of these titles, it makes sense that each one of these books is a “one-off” publication. But, again, bringing up the difference between reality and fiction… What happens when one of the wayward subjects of these comics unfortunately dies from their addictions or some other suspect activity?
Does Bluewater plan to publish a follow-up #2 as an “ALL NEW DEATH ISSUE”… Or will they simply start over with a flashy Number One again– under yet another “umbrella” designation like “INFAMOUS- The Grim Reaper Cometh“?
Moving forward, it won’t matter to me. I’m done. I am so upset that the company decided to use Carlin as a subject for their COMICS line of books that I will NOT continue to buy the one comic that they publish that I actually DO admire: Their original take on William Shatner’s TekWar. (The Bluewater series is titled William Shatner’s Tekwar Chronicles.)
If they will “comic-tize” Carlin– the one man who anyone with a computer, a brain and ONE OUNCE OF SENSE should instantly realize would be offended by this posthumous treatment… Then it is clear to ME (at least) that they seemingly cannot possibly care about the man, his surviving family, his fans or comic book buyers.
Given that personal feeling, they won’t get dime one of my money ever again.