Z2 Comics will team up with legendary jazz label Blue Note Records for a new comic inspired by the smooth jazz melodies produced by the label: Enter the Blue. The comic will feature a fictional story written and drawn by Dave Chisholm. From the press release:
What begins as one woman's search for her own artistic courage unravels into a stunning look into what jazz music can teach us about our search for the truest versions of ourselves…
For decades, seasoned players on the scene have spoken in whispered tones about The Blue: a mysterious meeting place for jazz history – a place where ghosts from this music's storied past spring to life for those courageous enough to enter.
When Jessie Choi's mentor Jimmy Hightower collapses at a gig and loses consciousness, she finds herself reluctantly pulled back into the jazz scene she abandoned years earlier. In investigating the music and mystery behind Jimmy's comatose state, every thread leads to the same question: is Jimmy somehow trapped in this enigma known as The Blue? In her search to save her teacher, Jessie rubs shoulders with legends, uncovers the secret history of Blue Note Records, and faces her own deepest fears.
For more on this story, Bleeding Cool spoke to world-renowned jazz aficionado, Squidward Tentacles.
"I can't believe I allowed myself to be talked into this," said Squidward.
Hey, sorry, I didn't know you were so busy working the counter at a burger joint that you can't take a few minutes out of your day to talk about a cool new comic book.
"You are almost as annoying as my neighbor."
Yeah, whatever. Anyway, what are your thoughts on Z2 Comics upcoming release, Enter the Blue?
"Enter the Blue is a fitting name. I'm a very big fan of Blue Note Records. I like to put it on the record player when I'm making love–"
Whoa, hold on a second here. Are you saying… Squidward ****s?!
"Of course I ****, you ignoramus. Why, just last week, I hosted an orgy at my house, and–"
"I have ten limbs worth of love to share, Jude Terror. Eleven if you count… well, you know. You expect me to stick to vanilla, one-on-one action?"
This is blowing my mind here.
"You should have seen what I was blowing on that chair you're sitting on right now last weekend."
*stands up quickly* Can you just talk about the comic please?
"I don't read comics. You should talk to that dolt Spongebob about that. Now, if you want to see me play the clarinet…"
Are we talking literally here?
"No, we are not."
Sorry about that, folks. I really thought that interview was going to go differently. Quick! Cut to a quote from the writer!
As someone who has performed and obsessed over this music some folks call "jazz" for most of my life, I've always loved Blue Note Records. The incredible performances, the amazing sounds, the impeccable graphic design–every new Blue Note album that found its way into my life guaranteed a great listen. The history of Blue Note in so many ways follows the history of this music. From Sidney Bechet to Miles & Coltrane, to Ornette and Herbie, to present-day giants like Ambrose Akinmusire–virtually every single major figure in this history has recorded for them in some way or another.
It was a profound honor to be asked to write and draw a graphic novel for Blue Note Records. When Z2 Comics first approached me about it, I assumed that Blue Note wanted a nonfiction account of the history of the label, so that was the pitch I had prepared. I was both surprised and excited when Blue Note Records president Don Was and crew let me know that they wanted a work of fiction–something that spoke to the past and the future of this music. Immediately, in that very meeting, my imagination ignited, and the sparks of a story started–a story involving the disappearance of the wise old mentor and his student's desperate attempts to find and rescue him, along with her subsequent deep dive into the secret history of Blue Note Records–and some kind of mysterious phenomenon kindled by this music–something whispered at jam sessions called 'The Blue'.
Enter the Blue came together in the best, most organic way possible, and is from the deepest place in my heart. Having written, drawn, lettered and colored this work, I put everything I had into it. Enter the Blue is the best work I've ever done and I can't wait to share it with the world.
Enter the Blue is set to hit stores in January. You can learn more here.