At this rate, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is going to see lunchboxes with his face on it.
Maybe not, but the reality is that a movie about the founder of the world’s leading social network is debuting Oct. 1, with a comic book to follow in December.
“The Social Network,” a Hollywood film written by West Wing writer Aaron Sorkin and directed by Fight Club master David Fincher, chronicles Zuckerberg’s controversial creation of Facebook, which started in a Harvard University dorm and now has 500 million-plus users worldwide.
The film, based on Ben Mezrich’s nonfiction novel The Accidental Billionaires, portrays Zuckerberg as a conniving back-stabber who did everything he could to coopt Facebook, casting aside friends and business partners to get his way.
Now publisher Bluewater Productions is treating the Zuckerberg’s legend with a biographical comic book called Mark Zuckerberg: Creator of Facebook.
The comic, written by Jerome Maida, penciled by Sal Field, and with cover art by Michal Szyksznian, is a 48-page, large tome. It will be available in December from comic book stores and online retailers for $6.99.
“This is a fascinating story,” Maida told Bluewater Productions. “I enjoyed researching it because it’s extremely compelling. Think about it. Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest billionaire on the planet and created something that has already had a profound impact on the world. Yet hardly anyone knows much about him. It’s amazing.”
People will know something about him from The Social Network after it opens this Friday.
Or, at least they will know the allegations made in a lawsuit against him by Cameron and Tyler Winkelvoss, the twins who claimed Zuckerberg stole their idea for Facebook while they were classmates at Harvard in 2003.
Facebook paid the brothers $65 million to settle the suit, avoiding an admission of guilt but raising questions about what Zuckerberg did to warrant a hefty payout that seems small compared to the company’s estimated worth of several billion dollars.
Maida, the comic book author, will focus on that: “Rightly or wrongly, Mark dealt harshly with some people on his way to where he is today”, says Maida. “As we see, he left many people feeling betrayed.”
Maida claims he tried to be fair, representing “each of the major players’ point of view.”
Maida also focuses on Zuckerberg’s ambition to go it alone despite offers from Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
“Mark was offered loads of money at a young age and turned all his suitors down because deep down he knew he had higher goals than to work for someone else”, Maida said. “Bill Gates offered Mark a million dollars while Mark was still in high school to work for him and Mark turned it down.”
This need for independence no doubt fueled Zuckerberg’s unsavory cutting out of business associates such as Eduardo Saverin, who informed Mezrich’s book and The Social Network.
Zuckerberg stirred more controversy Sept. 24 when he announced he was donating $100 million in stock to boost public education in Newark, N.J.
He was concerned that this would be viewed as an attempt to dull the blade of criticism he would receive from The Social Network, which premiered in New York City that same day.