How far would you go to achieve greatness? This question takes a young jazz musician on a horrific journey in the upcoming Image Comics graphic novel, Blue In Green, from writer Ram V, artist Anand RK, and letterer Aditya Bidikar. This creative team previously collaborated on the urban teen drama Grafity’s Wall, which has a new expanded edition coming out from Dark Horse Comics on March 25, and Blue In Green gives them the opportunity to explore a new genre landscape with an unsettling story about artistic ambition and frustration.
“Music, particularly jazz, and the imagery and history that it evokes has always been a subject of fascination for me,” says Ram V. “When Anand and I began discussing Blue In Green, we realized immediately that we had an opportunity to take that love of music and art and use it as a canvas to tell a character-focused, grounded and yet disturbing horror story. Something that was mature and nuanced and used music and fiction as a lens to investigate the horrors that we as artists inflict upon ourselves in the pursuit of that intangible ephemeral spark of creative genius.”
“If you’ve ever inflicted some manner of struggle upon yourself in the hopes that it may elevate your artistic ability, you’ll see a part of yourself reflected in this story,” says Ram V. “Whether that reflection is beautiful or horrific is the question. Blue In Green is unlike anything we’ve done before. The fact that Anand and I are expanding our boundaries as creators, I think is evident in the way this book looks and reads. I am excited for both fans and new readers to experience this book.”
This exclusive first look at Blue In Green, on sale in October, spotlights this artistic growth as it introduces the book’s main character and reveals the book’s stunning visual aesthetic. Anand RK’s art evokes the work of surrealist comics pioneer Bill Sienkiewicz, starting with crisp realism for the opening pages before shifting to more figurative visuals when the protagonist leaves for his grandmother’s funeral. Anand RK is doing some truly outstanding work with line, color, and texture here, enriching the emotional content of the script with multidimensional visuals. The artwork is extremely expressive, and the creative team’s personal attachment to the material shines through in the specificity and feeling of these pages.
“Blue In Green is a coming together of some of my biggest influences both in terms of genre and in stylistic tone,” says Anand RK. “It comes at a time when realism and grounded storytelling is something of great interest to me. It is both a distant and an intensely personal project at the same time. The protagonist, in many ways, is me. I have used myself as reference to draw him, grew a beard for this reason, many of my own little personal traits have made their way into him. The gradual shift in a man’s psyche and his grip on his world, the way Ram plays with the tone and craftfully shifts it and then brings it all back without making it look jarring, this is something that I find quite exciting about this book, even as I draw it. I think readers are going to see that come through in the work. They’ll hopefully find something intensely human and personal in a story that often pushes at the edges of its own reality.”