Thursday, September 1, 2022

What Is "Indigo," Anyway?

So if you've been following along with the whole Joel Suzuki series thing, then you probably know that Volume Six is meant to be the "Indigo Book."
In case you don't recall, there's a blog post from way back in March 2013 when the series was still called The Spectraland Saga where I explained why there were going to be seven books (later changed to a possible eleven - maybe) and that the whole idea was going to be that each book would correspond to a color on the visible light spectrum aka the rainbow.

When I first started working on cover concepts for Volume Six, I had informed my cover artist (the awesome Jill Colbert of Manfish Inc.) of the indigo color scheme, and in the end, the cover you see now is what came out. I was very happy with it, but it wasn't until after I had approved the proof copy and set all the launch mechanisms into motion that a thought suddenly hit me:

What the heck, exactly, is "indigo," anyway?

It's funny that I had never really given it much thought before. There were just vague notions floating around in the back of my mind based on my work with Indigo Editing as well as the color scheme on my own Joel Suzuki website. I had even made a fake cover for the Volume Six title announcement post where I used Microsoft Paint and chose a color that the program calls "purple."

So this led me down a rabbit hole where I wanted to find out what the actual definition of indigo really is. And as it turned out, the answer is a lot more complicated than I had anticipated. Apparently, there is some argument as to its actual position on the electromagnetic spectrum, with some people claiming that it isn't even really part of the spectrum at all. And for those who do acknowledge its existence, there are multiple different tones of indigo, each of which are quite distinct from one another.

At first I was a little distressed by this. All kinds of first-world-problem thoughts swirled through my mind, like "do I need to have Jill redo the cover?" and "if so, what should the color actually be?" and "does this mean I need to order yet another proof copy?" and "do I need to push back the launch date?" and so on and so on.

But then I realized that for a story that is set largely within the multiverse*, it actually makes a kind of sense for the color of its cover to be the enigma that indigo is, and that the interpretation of indigo that we went with is perfectly fine, because it can be considered this particular universe's version of indigo (whereas another universe might prefer the one that is more a shade of blue, etc.)

A cynic might say that I'm just trying to come up with a justification to be cheap and lazy and not do any more work, but I feel like there must have been a reason why I didn't stop to think more about "indigo" before the book was finished (after all, I had driven Jill crazy with a number of other nitpicky changes, none of which included questioning the color), and that this whole multiverse connection was that reason.

Or, you know, whatever, maybe I'll have it changed later.

P.S. Now whenever I see a color that is some shade of purple on anything from cars to cat toys, I think to myself, "could that be considered indigo?" Yes, I'm weird.

P.P.S. Also, at least I got a blog post out of this whole thing.

* I realize that multiverses are kind of the "in" thing right now in science fiction, but I swear that the idea for Volume Six to take place in the multiverse was planned out years ago. I mean, it's not a new concept, after all. The timing just happened to work out.

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