UPCOMING PRODUCT
EVERYTHING STAN LEE!
INCENTIVES
THIS JUST IN!
COMIC BOOKS
TRADE PAPERBACKS
HARDCOVERS
3D SCULPTURES
CGC GRADED COMICS
LITHOGRAPHS AND POSTERS
TRADING CARDS
PRODUCT ARCHIVE
DF DAILY SPECIAL
CONTEST
SEAL Team Six No More Omnibus Now Available! from Dynamite Entertainment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WAITING FOR TOMMY: WARREN ELLIS
By Richard Johnston

Warren Ellis became the vanguard of the New British invasion into American comics. Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison (who Mark Millar used as cover for his very own invasion before hopping off and looking like he'd always been there), that was all quite a while ago. When Warren Ellis, with only one real comics success to his name, that of Lazarus Churchyard in the short lived Blast! Magazine, wangled a Legends Of The Dark Knight gig (which would take years to be published) and charmed Marvel's Marie Javins into giving him a series of short gigs, each of which fell short of sales expectations or was soon cancelled, he took that opportunity to build himself as a brand. With a small X-Men audience drawn from his Excalibur run and an even smaller audience from Ultraforce and Stormwatch, he set himself up on the internet with his own message board forum. Adopting the nickname Stalin, using the stick of banning and gagging and the carrot of his favour, he created a slavish tribe of Warren Ellis addicts that would transform his small but vocal crowd into a Chorus that spread across the internet, letters pages and into comics shops. It saw company after company take a chance on this bearded Essex boy. After all, if there was so much fuss, there had to be something to it.

There was.

 

ORBITER HC

A last ditch attempt to revitalise the repeatedly re-launched and repeatedly low-selling Stormwatch as The Authority, would become the most influential superhero comic book of the decade. Other comics, other comic universe would be influenced or would define themselves as being opposed to, the spirit of that title. Wildstorm would eventually turn all their shared-universe titles into those following on from the Authority. and for a time, they seemed unable to publish a comic book without it being named after a section of officialdom, or ending in a 'Y'. And one year later the baton was passed on, and Warren's sci-fi series Transmetropolitan, ignored by much of the industry, would be the standard bearer of the line alongside Preacher, much as Swamp Thing, Hellblazer and Sandman had done previously.

And then Warren said goodbye to all that and pursued a series of shorter-run, creator owned titles to pretty much anyone who'd have him - except Marvel. The range of topics and genres tackled began to rival that of Alan Moore.

But Warren's books have never sold well compared to the rest of the industry - not initially, anyway. The Authority only really took off after Mark Millar joined and decided to grab a few headlines. But books like Orbiter, an original hardback graphic novel topped their own field and opened DC's eyes to the sales possibilities such titles could have - the success of Endless Nights may not have been so well achieved without it. They may not be putting them out exactly regularly, put its suddenly another possibility that they can explore a little more frequently than before.

And when mainstream American comics couldn't quite give Ellis the space he needed, he found it in companies such as Avatar (who, again, have revitalised their line after the first book, Strange Kiss, did so well for them) and Ait/PlanetLar (whose publisher, Larry Young, has had a good relationship with Warren for what seems like forever - even publishing a book of his grainy low-quality black and white photos taken on a Handspring). An attempt to do something similar with Image floundered, though Ministry Of Space is finally reaching completion.

Because of Warren Ellis, the voices of Antony Johnston, Matt Fraction, Brian Wood, Steven Grant, Lauren Martin, Kelly Sue, Nick Locking (heaven-help-us), and even yours truly have been turned up just enough to get heard by people in Iceland. He has given birth to a mass of linked Delphi fora taken up by ex-Warren Ellis forum readers and other creators. And he, above all others, is responsible for the mass of creators who now use the internet as a way to develop their own fan bases. Aside form his own work, this is his most far-reaching legacy.

On Monday, Warren Ellis asked if anyone would like to send him four questions for website publication. Not so much an interview, more a questionnaire, but I decided, "why not"? However with Warren, unlike many others, I'm more interested in what he's going to be up to, than what he's already done.

I wasn't quite prepared for the answer "not comics anymore."

Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 Continued Here...

Latest News
Updated: 09/15/14 @ 8:03 pm

1. BOND 24 TO START FILMING IN DECEMBER

2. RUMORS OF AN OBI WAN KENOBI STAND ALONE FILM

3. EVERYONE NEEDS A SUPERHERO: RUNNING FOR THE CHILDREN IN KENTUCKY

4. SPIDER-HAM TO GET HIS OWN SINGLE SLICE

5. GUINNESS NAMES WORLD'S LARGEST COMIC COLLECTION



DF Interviews
MIKE CAREY



CNI Podcast
EPISODE 566 - BALTIMORE CONNING

Reviews: Death of Wolverine #1, Detective Comics: Futures End #1, Ex-Con #1, God Hates Astronauts #1, Grayson: Futures End #1, The Names #1



This Week's Sales Ad
AXIS PRIMER MONDAY! SIGNED, SKETCHED, AND CGC GRADED COLLECTIBLES!

Sign Up Here!



Dynamic Forces & The Dynamic Forces logo ® and © 2014 Dynamic Forces, Inc.
All other books, titles, characters, character names, slogans, logos and related indicia are ™ and © their respective creators.
Privacy Policy