Richard: How was Bluewater able to get William Shatner to join with them?
Darren: We are working with Craig Nevius, who created Black Scorpion for Roger Corman's Company. We were talking about doing some different things together when he told me he was working with Shatner on some various things. I mentioned Tek War to Craig and he mentioned to me that he would ask him. After putting together a one sheet with some images, the partnership was approved. Craig also got us the Roger Corman deal as well.
Richard: What is your personal take on William Shatner?
Darren: He is an icon. I have worked on other books where the talent was not really part of the comic book. William Shatner gives us notes on all the books we are doing. He is an amazing creative talent. Sometimes I think that people do not see his creative side because of the larger than life persona he created. I have been impressed with his take on these properties, everything is well thought out.
Richard: Bluewater Productions will be publishing three series under the imprint "William Shatner Presents" what is each series about?
Darren: TEK WAR:
In the TEK WAR comic, the character of Walter Bascom will be portrayed by Mr. Shatner’s likeness. Walter is the head of the Cosmos Detective Agency, and he will be a recurring character. The storyline will loosely follow the original story set out in the original novel: a police officer wrongly convicted of a crime is suddenly released from prison in order to find an enigmatic scientist involved in the drug trade. He does this on behalf of a mysterious benefactor. This will be a classic noir detective story set in the near future. This complete story arc will take place over the first six issues of the project. However, within the pages will be elements that will serve as a key plot points for tale continuation for future volumes. The idea is to create a universe in such a way much like that of the programs. Heroes and Lost: creating compelling detail that carry over from volume to volume as major themes and plot points are peeled back like an onion. (ongoing series)
QUEST FOR TOMORROW:
This story will work as both a new interpretation of the “Quest For Tomorrow” trilogy, and as an extension. It's not going to be a radical remake such as the new Battlestar Galactica, but more of a back-to-the-basics reinvigoration. The book will feature the character of Jim, who has become a fan favorite. The fast-paced, action-oriented plot is steeped in matters of family and identity, and will focus on issues social relevance tackling the demonization of youth. (mini-series)
Man O’ WAR:
We just hired a writer for this. Based off the novels (4 issue mini)
William Shatner will be developing a brand new series for the comic books. He has a couple ideas, he asked us not to share until it is solid. (ongoing series)
Richard: Can you tell us a little about the various talent that will be working on the "William Shatner Presents" comics?
We have some great talent on these books -
Darren: Tek War
Writer: Scott Davis: Ray Harryhausen Presents: 20 Million Miles More, Orion the Hunter
Artist: Erich Owens:
Quest for Tomorrow
Writer: David McIntee: Novel writer from Dr Who and Star Trek
Artist: Alessandro Ceccarelli
Writer: Novelist CJ Henderson
Richard: Why has Bluewater been seeking famous people like Shatner, Vincent Price and Ray Harryhausen to be part of its comic lineup?
Darren: This is a two pronged answer, 1st, I am taking this from my childhood and bringing them back. I loved the films of Ray Harryhausen growing up. Vincent Price always scared me as a kid. I always remember it was not about the gore more than his demeanor. He even scared me on the Muppet show! I have loved Shatner from his Twilight Zone's to Boston Legal. It is a tough market in comic books right now. It is really hard for the books to break even unless you team up with a celebrity. Our thought is that people will pick up the Bluewater comics as a brand by seeing us teaming us with these icons. Bluewater books are good looking titles with strong storytelling. We do not want to make it all about the celebrity angles that always comes 2nd. When we did 10th Muse with Sable from the WWE, we made sure that Sable was only on the covers. We had Marv Wolfman writing a strong story with Roger Cruz on the art. We wanted to make sure that people did not only buy the book because of the celebrity angle. We do get a lot of press working with the famous people. This drives people into comic stores that maybe do not buy comic on a regular basis.
Richard: Why would you recommend someone read "William Shatner Presents"?
Darren: We want people to pick up these books because they will be great stories with polished art. We are taking Shatner's characters to the next level from where they were left off. We try not do adaptations of things. We want to more sequels telling new stories with classic characters. The fact that Shatner will be in the trenches with us makes these a stronger property. We want people that loved the books to pick up the titles, but those who never read them we want this to be a great place to jump on.
Richard: When will the "William Shatner Presents" comics be available?
Darren: We are launching the 1st title in May for Free Comic Book Day. It will have a preview of the 4 titles we are doing with him. Then will be monthly from that date.
Richard: Are you currently writing any comics?
Darren: I am writing an issue of the Vincent Price Presents. It is a story called Road Rage with Pat Broderick is drawing. I have always been a fan of his art style since he drew Firestorm for DC Comics. The story will focus on a self absorbed advertising executive that gets involved in a small fender bender. Even the smallest things can have the biggest consequences. I am also co-writing Missile to the Moon with Jason Schultz. It is a fun campy sci-fi story based off the old film. I miss writing 10th Muse but I have turned the reigns over to Ryan Burton. he has some cool things planned for that character.
Richard: What do you find most satisfying about your job?
Darren: Going to the comic book store and seeing our comics on the shelves. There is nothing cooler than going to a comic store that I do not have a relationship with to see that they are supporting us. I used to take pictures of my graphic novels at Barnes and Noble. I have a lot of pride when it comes to the books we produce.
Richard: What can comic fans expect in the future from Bluewater?
Darren: We are moving back to some of our traditional series such as 10th Muse, Judo Girl, Legend of Isis & Atlas. These are the foundation of the company and what the readers of Bluewater wants more of.
Richard: What comics besides Bluewater ones would you recommend?
Darren: I still am a traditional DC Comics reader. I pick up most of the Batman titles as well as the Titans titles. I tend to go to the characters from my childhood. I was a huge Super Friends fan, so I love picking up the titles with those characters. The best book I am really happy about is Brave and the Bold.
Richard: How can someone contact you?
Darren: They can contact us through our website www.bluewaterprod.com
Richard: What final words of wisdom do you have for your readers?
Darren: We have been doing this since 2001 and have a loyal following. We thank everyone from the readers to the retailers who have supported the independents. It is a really hard market right now, but we will always make sure you are getting your moneys worth when you get a Bluewater book. Comic sales are shrinking, so if you can pick up an independent comic from a company you have never picked up one before - the industry really needs your support right now!