Comic Book: Looking Beyond: Edward Snowden to see something new

Comic Book: Looking Beyond: Edward Snowden to see something new

Beyond: Edward Snowden, Bluewater Productions
Beyond: Edward Snowden, Bluewater Productions

WASHINGTON, May 21, 2014 – The infamous Edward Snowden has found new fame in Bluewater Productions Beyond: Edward Snowden.

Comic books are America’s true art form. The use of pictures to tell stories has been around since the beginning of man.  To use pictures to compel that story has been refined by comic book artists going back to the 1930s when Jewish ad artist employed by New York Madison Avenue ad firm turned their talents to graphic panel story telling.

Writer Valerie D’Orazio sees comics as a way to bring today’s most intriguing headlines alive to a readership seeking the headline, and beyond. D’Orazio’s first entry to the Beyond series focuses on the story beyond the oft told tale of Edward Snowden.

“Last year, after the initial story broke there was this photo of Snowden and prominent in the picture where his glasses,” D’Orazio says from her Brooklyn studio. “And I could not help but wonder what was really going on behind the glasses.”

Beyond: Edward Snowden - Valerie D’Orazio, artist Dan Lauer and letterer Gary Scott Beatty. Editor Darren G. Davis
Beyond: Edward Snowden – Valerie
D’Orazio, artist Dan Lauer and letterer Gary Scott Beatty. Editor Darren G. Davis

Media kept the story spinning and Snowden was alternatively called a whistleblower and a traitor, but the same story was told over and over.  He was seen as being a great patriot, telling American’s the truth about a really awful reality and he was seen as a destroyer of America’s trust.

“Edward Snowden presented a dichotomy of opinion; yet we did not, and do not, really know who he is,” says D’Orazio.

A page that shows persons such as Oliver Stone, Glenn Beck, Alex Jones, Jimmy Carter and Cornel West all offering words from support to encouragement to Snowden, asking “But what did such accolades mean to a man … … currently in the process of Free-Fall?

D’Orazio, artist Dan Lauer and letterer Gary Scott Beatty have presented Edward Snowden in a manner that moves from the fresh-faced anime like youth to the more grizzled, conflicted appearance of a post leak Snowden. The art is really impressive and Lauer and Beatty have proven themselves masters of the art form.

D’Orazio’s research tells us of a young man who is a high school drop out, but who somehow made it to the NSA where he worked on national security projects, collecting data. He was a young man that liked Anime and Japan, girls and food. He either worked for, or started, Rhyhana Press in 2004

And in one of the books most powerful pages, he found himself a man without a country while he sat in Russia’s Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow.

Beyond: Edward Snowden - Bluewater Productions
Beyond: Edward Snowden – Bluewater Productions

D’Orazio passion for the projects is that she can create comic books that would tell the stories behind the headlines for an audience that more and more eschews reading books for the quick read on their Nook, Kindle or smartphone.

“I was interested in the concept of doing comic books for the masses, about public figures,” D’Orazio says. “I am a fan on conspiracy theories, fringe stuff, getting to the truth behind the truth and conveying information to the reader.”

What is interesting about the story is that it provides information in a colorful, well drawn and written format that can be a quick read or a contemplative exploration of the art panels, but either way it does not push the reader to any conclusion as to the right or wrong of Snowden’s story.

“In a way it was meant to be an objective, comic, this is the story, the straight story and as I went through it , I kept up the objective,” D’Orazio says.  “But I was seduced by the drama of the story and his personality and the very at time contradictory elements, and it was hard not to feel the emotion beats, the feeling of isolation, or that his life is falling apart.

“As to where I stand on the issue, I can always see both sides of the story and I try to tell both sides  – the good, the bad, and the unresolved,  it is all there.”


Beyond Edward Snowden is available at Comic Flea Market . Beyond: The Joker, Man Who Laughs is available for pre-order now at Comic Flea Market and iTunes.

You can download this title on Kindle, iTunes, ComiXology, DriveThru Comics, Google Play, My Digital Comics, Overdrive, Iverse, Biblioboard, ComicBin, Nook, Kobo and wherever eBooks are sold.

Bluewater has focused on other political subjects in the past such as Colin Powell, The Tea Party Movement, Hillary Clinton, Bill O’Reilly, Chris Christie, Anderson Cooper, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama and more.

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