Posted by on Jul 23, 2002 in

 

The poster for Blue Company, designed by Rick Valicenti.

Blue Company is a month-long, subscription novel in e-mail that was first performed in 2001 and again in 2002. You read daily e-mails from Berto, a marketing guy who has gotten a really bad job transfer. He’s been transferred to Italy—which is great—but he’s been transferred to the 14th century, which is uncomfortable and sometimes downright dangerous. The e-mails are primarily addressed to a woman he met right before he was sent into the past whom Berto courts with vivid tales of riding the countryside with his workgroup—a band of mercenaries called The Blue Company. The e-mails are illustrated with Berto’s hand drawings (since, of course, there were no cameras in the 1300s). The story was outlined and mostly pre-written but I finalized each episode on the day I sent it out and was able to include current events.

Scott Rettberg’s Kind of Blue began as an unofficial continuation

Blue Company works in long, scrolling files that reflect the way I was writing e-mails at that time.

of my Blue Company characters (which was very flattering) and turned into a wonderful piece in its own right. Scott and I now consider the two works a pair. We co-wrote the last e-mail of Kind of Blue.