Bluewater Productions, which has made headlines with its biographical comics series, is bringing Revolutionary Comics' Rock 'N' Roll Comics line back into print in the form of a series of graphic novels. The first one will be out in December.
Back in the late 1980s/early 1990s, Revolutionary Comics published comic book biographies on everyone from Guns N' Roses to MC Hammer. Several of these comics resulted in lawsuits against the company, including the ones about New Kids on the Block, Bon Jovi and Motley Crue. In the NKOTB case, the judge ruled in Revolutionary's favor, saying the book was protected by the First Amendment. Other artists supported the line, and Pink Floyd even included the Pink Floyd Experience comics in their official Shine On box CD set.
The NKOTB suit and a threatened suit by Guns N' Roses brought the comics and the publisher, Todd Loren, a lot of publicity that translated into huge sales for the line. Per the press release from Bluewater, the comics regularly sold in the 50,000 range. I remember their first release, the GNR comic, having multiple printings as a result of all the attention it received.
Loren died in 1992, and in 2005 a documentary about his comics and his unsolved murder -- Unauthorized and Proud of It: Todd Loren's Rock 'n' Roll Comics -- was released.
Bluewater's graphic novels will include:
Volume 1: Hard Rock Heroes Guns N’ Roses; Metallica; AC/DC; Black Sabbath/Ozzy Osbourne; Motley Crue; Poison; Van Halen; Black Crowes; Motorhead; Pantera; Megadeth; Sammy Hagar; Anthrax; Joan Jett/Lita Ford; Skid Row (unpublished RnR Comics #8)
Volume 2: The Beatles (8 issues)
Volume 3: The Spirit of the '60sDoors; Grateful Dead; Bob Dylan; Jimi Hendrix; Spirit; Janis Joplin; 60s San Francisco Scene (Bill Graham, Jefferson Airplane, etc); British Invasion (Herman’s Hermits, the Animals, Yardbirds, Zombies, Small Faces, etc.)
Volume 4: Led Zeppelin Experience (5 issues)
Volume 5: A Rock PantheonEric Clapton; Rolling Stones; Elton John; Bruce Springsteen; Aerosmith, Alice Cooper; ZZ Top; The Jackson 5; Rod Stewart; Def Leppard
Volume 6: Pink Floyd Experience (5 issues)
Volume 7: The Art of RockThe Who; Queen; Rush; Genesis; David Bowie, Frank Zappa; Kate Bush; ELO; The Cure
Volume 8: The King: Elvis Presley (7 issues)
Volume 9: SMASH! A Punk/Alternative RetrospectiveSex Pistols; REM; Jane’s Addiction; Nirvana; Red Hot Chili Peppers; Soundgarden; Alice in Chains; Pearl Jam; Dead Kennedys; Ramones; The Runaways; Iggy Pop/Stooges; MC5; New York Dolls; U2
Volume 10: Hip-Hop and Funk HeroesPublic Enemy, 2 Live Crew, NWA. Ice Cube, Ice-T, George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic, MC Hammer, Janet Jackson
"Great ideas, like the marriage of rock 'n' roll and comics, have the half-life of uranium and will always be popular," said Jay Allen Sanford of Revolutionary Comics in a press release from Bluewater. "The folks at Bluewater clearly have their fingers on the same pop culture pulse that enabled the original Rock 'N' Roll Comics to become one of the top-selling indie comics of the '90s. Truth is often stranger than fiction...and certainly much more interesting!"
According to the press release, each graphic novel will feature new covers as well as new forewords and epilogues written by music journalists and industry insiders.
“In some cases we will add an epilogue for groups that experienced notable milestones after the issues original publishing,” Bluewater president Darren Davis said. “Like Pink Floyd’s reunion concert at Live8, or the passing of the Who’s John Entwistle or even the release of the long delayed Guns N’ Roses album ‘Chinese Democracy.’”