The cover for "Tribute: Marilyn Monroe." (Rob Aragon / Bluewater Productions)Link
Where haven’t you seen Marilyn Monroe, star of such classics as 1953’s “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” and 1959’s “Some Like It Hot”? Her early death at age 36 launched an entire industry of memorabilia — her image can be found on plates, T-shirts, posters, paintings and more. She was even the subject of a short-lived Broadway musical.
And the iconic sex symbol now has her own comic book.
“Tribute: Marilyn Monroe,” written by Dina Gachman with art by Nathan Girten and cover by Rob Aragon, is part of the “Tribute” comic book series from Bluewater Productions, which brings the lives of classic entertainers to graphic life.
Something of a primer in all things Marilyn, “Tribute” explores Monroe’s tumultuous life through her own words, those of her husbands, including baseball giant Joe DiMaggio and playwright Arthur Miller, and others who knew her, such as actress Shelley Winters and acting teacher Lee Strasberg. Parisian students and even a Venetian gondolier serve as a Greek chorus.
Last year, Gachman wrote “Tribute: Elizabeth Taylor,” a look at the life of the two-time Oscar-winner told by her beloved best friend, her Maltese dog Daisy.
Gachman, who writes an eponymous blog and has penned articles for Forbes and other publications, said there are many challenges in doing a biographical comic book.
“You have to tell a story succinctly and visually,” she said. “You have to find creative ways to show things. With comic books, you don’t always want to tell [a story] straight up. You want to have some kind of voice. In ‘Marilyn,’ there are the interviews and the Parisian teenagers.”
Gachman is currently working on a comic book about the pioneering silent film actress and producer Mary Pickford, who was known as America’s Sweetheart.
“Not a lot of people know who she is,” said Gachman of Pickford. “She was so revolutionary at the time, so I thought it would be interesting to tell her story to an audience who might not know her.”
She’s toying with the idea of depicting Pickford quite literally as a superhero — a veritable Wonder Woman of the 1920s.
“She really was a powerful woman at the time,” Gachman said. “Maybe I’ll have her flying through the air.”
– Susan King | More Classic Hollywood coverage
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