Nelson Mandela – “The master of classic horror” ?

So I was checking the comic & media news-site, Comic Book Resources (CBR), and noticed something odd on the right side of the screen where they feature previews of the latest comics & graphic novels. The list is set up as small icon pictures of the covers & titles of the most recent updates. There was one title and cover that just looked a bit off – Tribute: Nelson Mandela #1.

nelson mandella- Vincent Price1

The cover featured what appeared to be Vincent Price choking Peter Lorre. Curious to see just how far the web-page error went I clicked the link. 

nelson mandella- Vincent Price2

As you can see the error continues with the incorrect title accompanying the preview and correct content description. I have seen this problem occur from time to time on this site, but not with such an absurd & ironic result. Here is the cover:

Vincent Price tribute Cv

 To be fair, if the reader clicked the link, Browse for similar previews they would find the actual preview for the Nelson Mandela Tribute comic

Nelson Mandela tribute Cv

The Bluewater Comics provides an interesting range of material. The target audience  includes the family friendly, educational, entertainment, and literacy/reluctant-reader grouping. Topics range from current celebrities to iconic political & entertainment figures.

Baby Princeling George

Meredith Vierra

Note: Bat-man costume altered to prevent copyright issues.

Note: Bat-man costume altered to prevent copyright issues.

There are attempts at broad entertainment, intended to appeal to both the tween and teen demographics of both genders. There are some strange blends of audience appeal, trying to hold to family values and not upset conservative American educational systems/boards, while courting the young audience of the 21st century. While it appears that sexual orientation is avoided initially and  there were no  celebrities or political figures strongly associated with equality issues related to this issue – see Anderson Cooper bio comic and Raven HIV hero. Religious & political issues appear to emphasize Christian and conservative values for the most part. The previews suggest a moral lesson in life stories. Katy Perry started out as a Christian singer before becoming a pop-singer – ‘she’s been married, divorced, and she’s performed in front of millions”. Sam Kinison starts with “humble roots as a preacher” before becoming a Rock and Roll Comedian and ending life in tragic death.

Katy Perry

Did she kiss the girl ?

Trying to appeal to the rebellious teen without offending the parent ?

Sam Kinison

Many of the illustrations, based on the previews do not have the same style or sophisticated quality of many of the larger superhero oriented companies, such as Marvel, DC, and Image or Dark Horse. Some seem to be a bit more edgy, if the celebrity/story-line, such as Kinison, attracts a different target audience. This brings up some other confusion/conflicts in target audience. Compare covers for style & content – it seems to be all over the place, trying to serve two masters.

Katy perry cv

For girls the Katy Perry paper doll – body image ?

or

A classic role model from Canadian literature ?

Ane Grn-Gables Cv

For boys Vertigo / EC comics inspire art & stories………. ?

Bartholomew

Fantasy horror & adventure

or

The Real adventure of America’s Armed Forces.

Navy cvTruth, Justice and the American Way ?

Al Frankin cv

Separation of Church and State.

Jesus FaithPick your hero.

Claw & Fang cv

Banished from Earth over three thousand years ago by a powerful young Celtic King, the demon Noro has had time to plot his revenge.

Mix Fantasy worlds of action, adventure & supernatural horror.

Jesus E. Lee cv

Is he Jesus? Is he Robert E. Lee? Is he both? Jesus E. Lee fights to defend Richmond, VA from the evil onslaught of Angel Eyes.

Discover classic heroes of the past from literature & cinema.

Classic Victorian hero, but what is She wearing ?

Classic Victorian hero, but what is She wearing ?

Where for art thou Juliet ?  Apparently the 21st century

Where for art thou Juliet ? Apparently the 21st century

Flyinf cv

!950’s Sci-Fi classics come back to invade young minds. Or is it invasion of nostalgia Oldies ?

Bluewater  should be commended on its effort at diversity. This is a problem faced by the comic book & graphic novel publishers. The potential target audience is very diverse, but public perception combined with marketing practices have created barriers to connecting the product with the appropriate audience. Gender and age have been the greatest problem in identify and reaching a specific demographic group. Bluewater appears to be trying to negotiate this complex market; sales through iTunes and other eBook formats may help overcome this hurdle, as may reaching out to educators and targeting reluctant readers & the tween market. Unfortunately, at times,  it feels like it is immersed in a late 1950’s world; it can not make up its mind whether it is following the EC comics tradition or trying to be Dell comics, or Illustrated Classics . Perhaps Nelson Mandela – “The master of classic horror” does accurately sum up their present situation. Their future success will tell the tale.

One thought on “Nelson Mandela – “The master of classic horror” ?

  1. Pingback: Reserved Table – Questionable Service | Dark Pines Photo

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