It’s been 16 years since Chynna Clugston Flores debuted her manga-inspired Blue Monday comic series, and after a significant period of no new stories, the title is returning at Image Comics with newly colored reprints leading up to the debut of a new Blue Monday miniseries. The first reprinted collection, Blue Monday Vol. 1: The Kids Are Alright, hits stands on July 27, and this exclusive excerpt shows that Flores’ storytelling has aged exceptionally well. She writes and draws teens that look and sound like real teens, and Bleu Finnegan’s interactions with her friends in these pages spotlight Flores’ strong understanding of the heightened emotions that dominate the adolescent experience.
The most exciting thing about the Blue Monday reprints is that they feature coloring by award-winning colorist Jordie Bellaire, who gives the book a bright, expressive palette that matches the boldness of Flores’ artwork. (You can read about Bellaire’s process in this extensive Expert Witness.) Bleu’s blue hair makes her the focal point of every panel she appears in, and her burning desire to find a stylish, cultured boyfriend is intensified in the panel showing beams of pink, blue, and teal radiating from her head as she fantasizes about her perfect mate. Bellaire’s palette is dictated by her emotional relationship to colors, and that personal connection makes her a great fit for Flores, whose art is similarly focused on capturing the fullness of the characters’ feelings.