Mark Zuckerberg has been called a lot of things, but 'comic book action hero' is not one that comes to mind. However, with Facebook movies (Catfish & The Social Network) gaining a lot of buzz at theaters nationwide, "nerd" as anti-hero seems to be the latest trend. Who would have guessed that a "social media thriller" could actually become a new literary genre. But seemingly that is the case with a new comic book and graphic novel written about the world's most ubiquitous social network.
Vancouver-based Bluewater Productions just announced that it will be releasing a comic titled " Mark Zuckerberg, Creator of Facebook." Celebrity biographies are a specialty of this publisher which has also created 'biopic' comics on the likes of Betty White, Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, and has an ongoing partnership with actor William Shatner for a comic series called "William Shatner Presents."
With the recent 100 million dollar donation for Newark, NJ schools announced on Oprah, Bluewater appears to be taking Zuckerberg's lead in attempting to counter his "bad boy" image with a corporate make-over - see previous post, "Social Media's Image Make-over To Counter Facebook Movies & Books." According to a CNET report, Caroline McCarthy notes that the "team behind it says it is attempting to strike a balance between portraying Zuckerberg as a benevolent philanthropist and critical player in the hot education reform movement, and a ruthless young business genius in the league of the film "The Social Network," which premiered Friday in New York to rave reviews."
"Rightly or wrongly, Mark dealt harshly with some people on his way to where he is today," writer Jerome Maida, who collaborated with illustrator Sal Field and cover artist Michal Szyksznian on the new comic, said in a release. "As we see, he left many people feeling betrayed. I try my best to be fair here. No one is totally innocent in this story. I try to represent each of the major players' point of view."
Bluewater's comic is priced higher than most comics at $6.99 comic, but I'm sure it's hoping to feed off the popularity of "The Social Network" movie. It will go on sale at comic book stores in December.
"Facebucks & Dumb F*cks" debuting in October is written in a graphic novel format which melds novel writing with comic illustrations. As a satire, it also deals with the not-so-flattering origins of Facebook and Zuckerberg's now well-publicized period of betrayal at Harvard.
For those that are unfamiliar with origins of "dumb f*cks" - this is an unfortunate quote documented in a Mark Zuckerberg IM announcement he sent to one of his classmates. He referred to FB followers as such when asked how Facebook could attract so many, so quickly. The "Facebucks" name in the title refers to the social network developing its "Facebook Credits" into what I predict will become a multi-billionaire monetization cash-cow.
From an idea incubated in a dorm room that subsequently backstabbed its way from the ivory towers of academia to the Silicon Valley, the story takes sniper shots at Zuckerberg while lauding his brilliance as an enterprise builder. The book's humor and ability to distill what's known and suspected into visual snapshots is part of the novel's charm!
Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel
Differing from other book and movie treatments, "Facebucks & Dumb F*cks" not only details where we are today, but also makes predictions as to where Web 2.0 is heading. So from Zuckerberg banking on making our lives an OPEN BOOK - there is a surprise ending that predicts what the future of Web 3.0 holds in store for us all.
The Age of Facebook will go down in history as one of this century's major paradigm shifts in how communication shifted from private to public conversations at the turn of century. These books grapple with the topic in a way that highlights social networking's brilliant innovation, while exposing its inherent flaws.
Web 2.0 is still an evolutionary process - but nipping fast at its feet is the next wave of advancement. I'm sure in years to come, there will also be comics and graphic novels written about Semantic Technology (Web 3.0) and how that next "shiny thing" will change all of our lives ten to twenty years hence. Perhaps by that time, Zuckerberg's "anti-hero" saga will be replaced by other young upstart entrepreneurs clawing their way into the our collective zeitgeist. Until then... see you in the Funnies!
Facebucks & Dumb F*cks graphic novel