According to the Afterward, the seed that became DARK BLUE was planted in Warren Ellis's mind while reading about a drug called DMT. Apparently up to fifty percent of DMT "experiencers" (read: hippies) report identical hallucinations. Read that again: fire up DMT and there's a pretty good chance that you're smoking a pre-programmed dream. Scary, innit? We haven't even gotten to the fiction part yet, kids. That's real. You can look it up.
So Ellis takes that idea and throws Jung into the mix: what if this pre-programmed hallucination was a shared experience? What if you were able to interact with your fellow "experiencers" in the world of DMT? (Think The Matrix, if you're having trouble with the concept.) Pretty neat, except Warren Ellis is writing, not Rainbow Loveatree so the drug-induced environment isn't filled with happy bunnies and gentle lovemaking to the soothing sounds of Jewel. It's the urban playground of a serial killer whose crimes make Se7en look like the Teletubbies. Ellis sends us into the City under the protective arm of Frank Christchurch, a psychologically-damaged CIA operative who's been chemically reprogrammed to believe he's homicide detective. Did I mention that Christchurch was psychologically-damaged and potentially psychotic?
If I didn't know Ellis to be a sweetheart, reading DARK BLUE would make me cross the street when I saw him coming.
Kelly Sue DeConnick relocated from Brooklyn, New York to Kansas City, MO, where she lives with her husband and artbomb.net colleague, Matt Fraction. Kelly Sue writes the English adaptations of several manga titles published by Tokyopop and Viz. She can be found on the web at kellysue.com.