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Jazz and the graphic novel

Enter the Blue book cover
Dave Chisholm
Blue Note Records
"Enter the Blue" graphic novel

Jazz music and the style of cartoon-book known as a graphic novel might seem to be an odd pairing, but don't dismiss it until you check out the work of artist Dave Chisholm.

Writer and artist Dave Chisholm understands the skepticism.

The term "graphic novel" conjures up images of superheroes fighting crime or groups of social misfits making their way through a hostile world.

Plus, Chisholm says, "So many depictions of jazz music in media get it so wrong."

But Chisholm is uniquely qualified for this work.

"My earliest musical memories are of my dad spinning Miles and Mingus on the turntable, and I've been a student of this music for most of my life," Chisholm wrote in a recent social media post. "I went to college to study jazz composition and trumpet, and ended up getting my doctorate and have been playing professionally for around 25 years."

"I also have this ongoing obsession with making comics, and these two lifelong pursuits of mine have now coalesced," Chisholm continued.

Chisholm's portfolio includes a sci-fi series called "Canopus" and two other music-related books: "Instrumental" and "Chasin' the Bird: Charlie Parker in California," which is centered around the famous be-bop saxophonist's harrowing years in Los Angeles.

Chisholm's latest offering, "Enter the Blue," is presented by Z2 Comics and Blue Note Records. It will be released on Jan. 25 and will be available in several editions, from the $20 softcover all the way up to the $200 Super Deluxe version.

"This book is made by someone for whom this music means the world," says Chisholm. "I put everything I have in to this book."

Originally from Detroit, Robin Lloyd has been presenting jazz, blues and Latin jazz on public radio for nearly 40 years. She's a member of the Jazz Education Network and the Jazz Journalists Association.