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Blue Monday is a comic series (comprised of small strips, short stories, and longer multi-issue arcs) written and drawn by Chyna Clugston, an indie rock and pop-culture fanatic. The series revolves around Bleu L. Finnegan, a teenager living in early 90's California, her friends, and their misadventures.
Published by Oni Press (who are better known for releasing works by Kevin Smith, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Paul Dini, and Jim Mahfood), most of the stories are slice-of-life fare (school, parties, concerts, pranks, going for pizza, dates), with the occasional supernatural oddness thrown in (floating Jesus heads, a not-so-imaginary Scottish Pooka in the form of a giant otter...) amid the various fart and sex jokes. Aside from its unique blend of Japanese and American humor and subject matter, Blue Monday is also notable for having the main title and the title of each chapter being the title of a song. And while it's drawn in the style of a Japanese manga, the content is purely American.
The first installments came out in the late 90's as mini-strips in Oni Comics Presents, but new arcs pop up now and again, the latest being 2008's "Thieves Like Us". The Author has stated that she'll keep making new installments as they pop into her head.
This series provide examples of:
- A-Cup Angst: Bleu rarely gripes about her less-than-ample chest, though losing a contest for Adam Ant tickets because she didn't have big ones that she was willing to expose stung quite a bit...
- Adults Are Useless: Very subverted. Not only do the adults play crucial (if minor) roles, but they're always one step ahead of the kids when it comes to their misbehavior.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Subverted so hard. None of the main female cast seem at all interested in jocks or "playas". Bleu even goes so far as to wonder where all the Paul Weller wannabes are... before meeting and crushing on Mister Bishop, who for all intents and purposes is a Cool Nerd who isn't anywhere near "badboy" enough to take advantage of her feelings even if he wanted to.
- Art Evolution: Over time, Chynna's art has matured, as have the character's appearances, despite the fact that they supposedly haven't aged.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Victor and Clover.
- Bested At Bowling: Except it was Soccer. In front of the whole school. And the referee was Clover's brother, allowing her to kick the shit out of Victor and Alan.
- Cycle of Revenge: And HOW! Never, EVER tape a girl bathing and show people. You'll lose your porn collection in a ball of fire. Of course, if you made copies, don't let the girl know or she and her friends will beat the shit out of you in front of the whole school during a rigged soccer match. Of course, by that point, you're justified in sending a copy to air on local cable access. And this isn't even taking into account the mass TP-ing of a house or the pube-burgers!
- Description Cut: Alan, who has a crush on Bleu, turns down Erin because he likes "girls with a little class". Cut to Bleu proudly unleashing a massive belch.
- Fighting Irish: Clover is easily the most violent character.
- Funetik Aksent: Clover. Of course, this isn't counting when she goes into full-out Gaelic
- I Ate What?: The pube-burgers!
- Idiosyncratic Chapter Naming: Every volume and chapter is titled after a song, down to the series' title coming from New Order's Blue Monday:
- The first volume is named after The Who's The Kids Are Alright. Its three chapters are There's No Other Way by Alabama, Substitute by David Bowie, and Try This for Sighs by Adam Ant, who appears in the story.
- The second volume is titled after another David Bowie song, Absolute Beginners, with Something About You by Level 42, Favorite Shirts by Haircut 100 (alternately titled Boy Meets Girl), To Sir, With Love by Lulu, and Hands Off, She's Mine by The English Beat making up the chapter titles.
- The third volume is named after The Cure's Inbetween Days and contains chapters titled after Dead Man's Party by Oingo Boingo, the band The Blue Belles, The Cure's Lovecats, and Nobody's Fool by Cinderella, which itself is made up of two parts, Everything's Gone Green by New Order and Everybody Plays the Fool by The Main Ingredient.
- The fourth, most recent volume is titled Painted Moon after The Silencers' song, with the chapters How Soon is Now? by The Smiths, Pictures of Lily by The Who, Blues Before and After by The Smithereens, and I Confess by The Beat.
- The title of the planned fifth volume is to be Thieves Like Us, after another New Order song.
- Like Reality Unless Noted
- Love Dodecahedron: Let's see: Bleu likes Mister Bishop, who doesn't seem to have a romantic interest. Both Victor and Alan like Bleu, but Victor actually prefers Clover, who sorta likes Victor back but is in denial about it. Erin likes Alan but doesn't stand a chance with him, so she tries to hook Victor and Bleu up so that Alan can't have Bleu. Monkeyboy seems to like Erin but would probably take anyone he could.
- Love Letter Lunacy: Victor writes Clover a romantic letter asking her to the dance.. too bad he stuffs it in the wrong locker!
- Not-So-Imaginary Friend: Shamus the Pooka seems to be a hallucination, until it's revealed that other people can smell him, and that Clover can SEE him, despite saying that she couldn't (turns out she was just messing with Bleu's head)
- One Judge to Rule Them All: Bleu sings her heart out during a contest to try and win Adam Ant tickets... but she loses by default because another girl (who confused A.A. for a "Skay" artist) had bigger tits and allowed herself to be subjected to a wet t-shirt contest.
- Radio Contest: Bleu tries this several times to get Adam Ant tickets.
- Shout-Out: The chapter titles are all taken from songs. For example, "Blue Monday" and "Thieves Like Us" are New Order songs.
- A Simple Plan: Want to play a game of Clue with everyone actually playing their roles? Sounds fun... until three separate people spike the punch and one attendant keeps looking at the clue cards.
- Totally Radical: Kind of subverted; The cast uses slang, but they don't overdo it and it's appropriate for the setting.
- Tsundere: Clover to a T.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Bleu. Too bad the comic is in black and white...
- ↑ Not pictured: Monkeyboy.