FAQ

What does BMP stand for?

BMP is the abbreviation of Black Mermaid Productions™, also known as Black Mermaid®.

What is the difference between BMP (Classic) and BMP (New Wave)?

BMP (Classic) had three business partners: Jozef Szekeres, Julie Ditrich and Bruce Love. BMP (New Wave) has two business partners: Julie and Jozef. These terms were invented to delineate the changes to the creative team once Bruce left at the end of 2003. The terms are used colloquially but not legally.

How and when did BMP (Classic) get together?

In 1991 Bruce, Jozef and Julie worked independently as contributors to a new Australian comic book anthology called Oblagon, which was released in Autumn 1992 and lasted one issue. In the process we discovered that we had similar ideas and interests (ie. mermaids, Disney, music, mythology), so decided to work on a project together. The opportunity to contribute to Elfquest arose, and we completed a proposal in two weeks because we were so creatively in tune. Out of that collaboration Black Mermaid Productions™ was born.

Why did Bruce Love leave BMP?

Bruce left to pursue his passion for acting and directing which is where he wanted to focus his creative energy, and then transitioned into other work choices. All of us are still great friends and supportive of each other’s goals.

Is the Black Mermaid® logo artwork available for license or for any other use?

No. The Black Mermaid® logo artwork is copyright and trade mark to BMP. She has become a strong identifiable part of our business brand since her inception and has been affectionately embraced by our readers. In many publishing circles and networking groups we are in fact known as the “black mermaids” or the “black mermaid people”. In accordance with this brand recognition we have never licensed or given permission to any individual or organisation to reproduce our logo as she appears in our corporate stationery and also in all her website incarnations for commercial or non-commercial use, including tattoos, unless it is under exceptional circumstances. We are rigorous in defending our copyright because we have come across many circumstances where our logo image has been used illegally on commercial products without our permission. In one instance we needed to hire an intellectual property rights lawyer to pursue the matter. Each image takes Jozef several days to design and it is unfair for somebody else to profit from Jozef’s hard work. What many people forget is that it has taken him over 20 years of arts training and practice to develop his artistic skills.

Do you design mermaid tattoos for people?

Time constraints do not allow Jozef to design any specific tattoos for interested people. Tattoo design is also not part of our core business. However, we do get occasional requests from readers, seeking permission to use some of the published BMP characters as tattoos. In principle, we do give permission in those circumstances, provided that the person contacts us by email and pays a small one off usage right by buying a print of the image. If you have such a request, you can email us on: permissions@blackmermaid.com. However, the tattooist must give original art and copyright credit to the artist – Jozef Szekeres and Black Mermaid Productions™ – on any digital (online / electronic) or print promotional publication where a photo of the finished tattoo appears. This does not confer any usage rights of our any BMP characters and images on any tattoo artists or companies or tattoo design websites.

Where can I purchase copies of your previously published comics works?

All BMP’s previously published comics are out of print. However, individual issues occasionally come up for auction on eBay, so stay on the alert. Our current work is available on this website through our Shop.

Do you accept work-for-hire projects or do you work specifically on creator-owned projects?

BMP (New Wave), as well as the directors, take on work-for-hire properties individually and as a team. We are currently working on several creator-owned initiatives.

Why does your creator-owned work predominantly include mermaids?

We both grew up with a love for mermaids. Both of us were drawing them from a very early age, and we each have a large collection of mermaid-oriented artwork and books.

What was it like working with Erik Larsen and Image?

Fabulous!

Who created the original WaveDancers?

Black Mermaid Productions™ created the original WaveDancers. We sent a proposal to Warp Graphics for an Elfquest “what if” story in June 1992. The story revolved around a colony of sea-dwelling elves and the package contained many character sketches and character profiles, including a number of “mer-elf” characters. The concept of “mer-elves” had never appeared in any of the previous ElfQuest work. Our tailed elves made their first published appearance in WaveDancers #1 (December, 1993).

Sea-elves had appeared previously in a role-playing game: The Sea Elves: A Complete Culture for Elfquest by Elizabeth Cerritelli (1985) in which “wavedancers” were actually dolphins. Richard Pini thought the word “wavedancers” sounded musical and suggested we call our colony “WaveDancers”.

What was it like to work for Warp Graphics?

Warp gave BMP an opportunity to break into the American market. Richard Pini was a very good editor, and Jozef and Wendy shared a mutual respect and close relationship via phone and fax. However, once the business relationship faltered over creator and ownership differences, then all personal and professional relationships ceased at that time. BMP pursued a legal case with the assistance of the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts against Warp Graphics for four years over ownership to our characters. The case was concluded in 1999 and the original WaveDancer characters reverted to BMP as per the terms of the original contract. The name “WaveDancers” remains with Warp Graphics.