Warren Ellis

Warren Ellis

Warren Ellis (born February 16, 1968) is a British author of comics, novels, and television, well known for sociocultural commentary, both through his online presence and his writing, which covers extropian and transhumanist themes (most notably nanotechnology, cryonics, uploading, and human enhancement). He is a resident of Southend-on-Sea, England.

Ellis was born in Essex in February 1968, about seventeen months before Neil Armstrong landed on the moon on July 20, 1969; he reports that the televised broadcast of the event is his earliest coherent memory.[1] He was a student at The South East Essex Sixth Form College, commonly known as SEEVIC. He contributed comic work to the college magazine, Spike, along with Richard Easter, who also later followed a career in writing. Prior to his career as a writer he had "done most of the shitty jobs you can imagine; ran a bookstore, ran a pub, worked in bankruptcy, worked in a record shop, lifted compost bags for a living".[2]

Ellis' writing career started in the British independent magazine Deadline with a six page short story in 1990. Other early works include a Judge Dredd short and a Doctor Who one-pager. His first ongoing work, Lazarus Churchyard appeared in Blast!, a short lived British magazine.

By 1994 Ellis began working for Marvel Comics, where he took over the series Hellstorm with #12, which he wrote until its cancellation with #21. He also did some work on the Marvel 2099 imprint, most notably in a storyline where a futuristic Doctor Doom took over the United States. His most notable early Marvel work is a run on Excalibur, a superhero series set in Britain. He also wrote a four-issue arc of Thor called "Worldengine", in which he dramatically revamped both the character and book.

Ellis then started working for DC Comics, Caliber Comics, and Image Comics' Wildstorm studio, where he wrote the Gen¹³ spin-off DV8 and took over Stormwatch, a previously action-oriented team book, which he gave a more idea- and character-driven flavor. He wrote issues #37-50 with artist Tom Raney, and the 11 issues of volume two with artist Bryan Hitch. He and Hitch followed that with the Stormwatch spinoff The Authority, a cinematic super-action series for which Ellis coined the term "widescreen comics."

In 1997 Ellis started Transmetropolitan, a creator-owned series about an acerbic "gonzo" journalist in a dystopian future America, co-created with artist Darick Robertson and published by DC's Helix imprint. When Helix was discontinued the following year, Transmetropolitan was shifted to the Vertigo imprint, and remained one of the most successful non-superhero comics DC was then publishing [3]. Transmetropolitan ran for 60 issues (plus a few specials), ending in 2002. It remains Ellis' largest work to date.

1999 saw the launch of Planetary, another Wildstorm series by Ellis and John Cassaday, and Ellis' short run on the DC/Vertigo series Hellblazer. He left that series when DC announced, following the Columbine High School massacre, that it would not publish "Shoot", a Hellblazer story about school shootings, although the story had been written and illustrated prior to the Columbine massacre.[4] [5] Planetary has been notoriously plagued with delays, but is scheduled to conclude in 2007 with issue #27.

Ellis also returned to Marvel Comics, as part of the company's "Revolution" event, to head the "Counter-X" line of titles. This project was intended to revitalize the X-Men spinoff books Generation X, X-Man, and X-Force, but it was not successful, and Ellis stayed away from mainstream superhero comics for a time.

Transmetropolitan - one of Ellis' best-known seriesIn 2003 Ellis started Global Frequency, a 12-issue limited series for Wildstorm, and continued to produce work for various publishers, including DC, Avatar Comics, AiT/Planet Lar, Cliffhanger and Homage Comics.

In 2004 Ellis came back to mainstream superhero comics. He took over Ultimate Fantastic Four and Iron Man for Marvel under a temporary exclusive work for hire contract.

Toward the end of 2004, Ellis released the "Apparat Singles Group", which he described as "An imaginary line of comics singles. Four imaginary first issues of imaginary series from an imaginary line of comics, even." The Apparat titles were published by Avatar but carried only the Apparat logo on the cover.

In 2006 Ellis worked on Jack Cross (for DC), which was not well received and subsequently cancelled. For Marvel, he worked on Nextwave, which lasted 12 issues. The series was critically acclaimed and only ended because Ellis didn't want to carry on with it after twelve issues. He also worked on the Ultimate Galactus trilogy. Ellis also took over the Thunderbolts monthly title, which deals with the aftermath of the Marvel Civil War crossover.[6]

In honor of the 20th anniversary of Marvel's New Universe in 2006, Ellis and illustrator Salvador Larroca created a new series that re-imagines the New Universe, under the title newuniversal. The first issue was released on December 6, 2006.[7]

Ellis continues to work on several projects for different publishers, including Fell (for Image), Desolation Jones (for DC/Wildstorm), , Blackgas (for Avatar Comics).

Ellis also wrote an episode of Justice League Unlimited entitled "Dark Heart".

Ellis has managed a series of online forums and media to promote his written works and his creative ideals. These forums are sharply moderated by Ellis and his assistants, to suit the particular purpose each one was created for. They include the Warren Ellis Forum, DiePunyHumans.com, the Bad Signal mailing list, WarrenEllis.com, Warren-Ellis.livejournal.com and The-Engine.net. He is popularly known as "Stalin," "The Love Swami," or "Internet Jesus" on these forums.

Ellis' first prose novel, Crooked Little Vein, was published in the summer of 2007 by William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins), with a second novel, Listener, to follow. He is also developing a television series for AMC called Dead Channel, for which he will be the sole writer.

It has recently been announced that he is writing an animated direct to DVD feature film, Castlevania: Dracula's Curse, which will be based on the similarly titled video game Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.[8] [9]

Ellis has described himself as "a notorious pain in the arse for getting involved in book design"[10] According to a comment made in the first issue of Fell, he has more trade paperbacks in print than anyone else in the American comic industry.

Ellis is currently writing a column for the Suicide Girls website that appears every Sunday, entitled "The Sunday Hangover."[11]

Ellis is also writing a Second Life column for Reuters titled Second Life Sketches [12] In Second Life he's known under the name Integral Danton.

On July 29th 2007 Ellis announced two new projects for Avatar press; FreakAngels, a free long-form webcomic illustrated by Paul Duffield, and Ignition City, an ongoing monthly series.[13]

[edit] Bibliography

[edit] Marvel Comics
Hellstorm: Prince of Lies #12-21 (1994). With artists Leonardo Manco (#12-13, 15-16 & 18-21), Peter Gross (#14) & Derek Yaniger (#17). Note: The series was cancelled in issue 21.
Excalibur #83-103 (1994-1996). With several artists, including Casey Jones and Carlos Pacheco.
Ghost Rider Annual (1994)
Ghost Rider #55 (1995)
Starjammers (1995). 4-issue miniseries with artist Carlos Pacheco
Druid (1995). 4-issue miniseries with artist Leonardo Manco.
Ruins (1995). 2-issue prestige miniseries.
Dr. Strange, Sorcerer Supreme #80-82 (1995).
"Metalscream" in 2099 Unlimited #4, 7 (unfinished) (1994, 1995)
"Steel Dawn" in 2099 Unlimited #9 (1995)
Doom 2099 #25-39 (1995-96).
2099 A.D. Apocalypse (Dec 1995)
2099 A.D. Genesis (Jan 1996)
Thor #491-494 (1995-96). 4-issue "World engine" story arc, with artist Mike Deodato Jr.
Carnage: Mindbomb (1996). One-shot with artist Kyle Hotz.
Storm (1996). 4-issue miniseries with artist Terry Dodson.
Pryde and Wisdom (1996). 3-issue miniseries with artist Terry Dodson.
Wolverine #119-122 (1997-1998). 4-issue "Not Dead Yet" story arc, with artist Leinil Francis Yu
Ultimate Fantastic Four #7-18 (2004-05)
Ultimate Nightmare (2004), Ultimate Secret (2005) & Ultimate Extinction (2006). A trilogy of mini-series set in the Ultimate Universe.
Iron Man (volume 4) #1-6 (2005-2006). 6-issue "Extremis" story arc, with artist Adi Granov
Nextwave (2006-2007). With artist Stuart Immonen
newuniversal (2006-present). With artist Salvador Larroca and colorist Jason Keith
Thunderbolts #110- (2007-present). With artist Mike Deodato Jr.
Astonishing X-Men (2008-?). With artist Simone Bianchi [13]
What If (comics) (volume 2) #77 (1995). Wrote dialogue. Plot by Benny R. Powell. With artist Hector Gomez

[edit] Wildstorm

Planetary: All Over the WorldDV8 #1-8
Stormwatch (volume 1) #37-50 (1996-1997) & StormWatch (volume 2) #1-11 (1997-1998)
WildC.A.T.s/Aliens (1998). One-shot with artist Chris Sprouse
The Authority #1-12 (1999-2000). 12-issue run with artist Bryan Hitch
Planetary #1-26 (1999-2006). With artist John Cassaday
Global Frequency (2002). 12-issue maxiseries, with 12 stand-alone stories, each drawn by a different artist
Mek (2002). 3-issue sci-fi miniseries with artist Steve Rolston.
Red (2003). 3-issue action miniseries with artist Cully Hamner
Reload (2003). 3-issue miniseries with artist Paul Gulacy
Tokyo Storm Warning. 3-issue miniseries
Two-Step (2003). 3-issue sci-fi miniseries with artist Amanda Conner
Desolation Jones (2005-). Ongoing series with artists J.H. Williams III on issues #1-6 and Danijel Zezelj since issue #7
Ocean (2004-2005). 6-issue sci-fi miniseries with artist Chris Sprouse

[edit] DC Comics and Vertigo
Transmetropolitan #1-60. Sci-fi series with artist Darick Robertson.
Hellblazer: Haunted (collects #134-139)
Hellblazer: Setting Sun (collects #140-143)
Orbiter (2003). Sci-fi graphic novel with artist Colleen Doran about a space shuttle that lands on earth after being missing for years.
Jack Cross (2005-2006). 4-issue series with artist Gary Erskine.
JLA Classified #10-15 with artist Butch Guice (collected in "JLA Classified: New Maps Of Hell" TPB).
Stealth Tribes (with Colleen Doran, graphic novel, forthcoming) [14] [15] [16]

[edit] Image Comics
City of Silence (2000). 3-issue miniseries with artist Gary Erskine.
Ministry of Space (2001-2004). 3-issue miniseries with artist Chris Weston.
Down (Image/Top Cow, 2005-2006). 4-issue miniseries with artists Tony Harris (interiors of #1 and all the four covers) & Cully Hammner (interiors of #2-4).
Fell (2005-). Ongoing series with artist Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night)

[edit] AiT/Planet Lar
Switchblade Honey (2003). A 72-page sci-fi graphic novel with artist Brandon McKinney.
Come in Alone (non-comics). Collection of the on-line weekly column that Ellis published in 1999-2000 in the website Comic Book Resources.
Available Light (non-comics). Collection of short writings and digital photography by Ellis.

[edit] Avatar Press
Strange Kiss (a series of four 3-issue and two 6-issue miniseries with artist Mike Wolfer, all featuring the same lead character, William Gravel):
Strange Kiss #1-3 (1999)
Stranger Kisses #1-3 (2001)
Strange Killings #1-3 (2002)
Strange Killings: Body Orchard #1-6 (2002-2003)
Strange Killings: Strong Medicine #1-3 (2003)
Strange Killings: Necromancer #1-6 (2004)
Gravel (2008)
Dark Blue (2000). With artist Jacen Burrows. Originally published in 6 chapters in the Threshold anthology, later collected in TPB.
Bad World (2001). 3-issue miniseries with artist Jacen Burrows.
Atmospherics (2002)
Bad Signal: From the Desk of Warren Ellis, a collection of essays from Ellis' mailing list of the same name
Scars (2003). 6-issue miniseries with artist Jacen Burrows.
Wolfskin (2006-). Sword & fantasy mini-series with artist Juan Jose RyP.
Blackgas (2006)
Blackgas 2 (2006-2007)
Black Summer (2007-). Masked hero series (#0 plus 7 issue series) with artist Juan Jose RyP.
Doktor Sleepless (2007?)
FreakAngels (2007, webcomic, forthcoming) [17] [13]

[edit] Apparat
Angel Stomp Future
Frank Ironwine
Quit City
Simon Spector

[edit] Others
Lazarus Churchyard (with D'Israeli, later reprinted by Image Comics)
Calibrations, later reprinted as Atmospherics (Caliber Comics)
edison hate future (webcomic)
Cold Winter (video game)
Hostile Waters (PC game)
Crooked Little Vein (prose novel)
Listener (prose novel)
Dead Channel (TV series)
At the zoo, short story about transhumanism published in Nature #408, November 16, 2000.
Second Life Sketches, a weekly column about Second Life [18]

[edit] Appearances in others' work
He makes a lengthy cameo appearance in Powers volume 1 issue #7, in which much of his dialogue consists of actual quotations from Ellis' writings.

[edit] Awards
This short section requires expansion.

Eagle Awards: [19] [20]
Favourite Comics Writer
Favourite New Comicbook (for Nextwave)
Favourite Comics Story published during 2006 (for Nextwave)
Favourite Comics Villain (for Dirk Anger)
Roll of Honour

[edit] References
^ http://www.scifidimensions.com/May03/orbiter.htm Orbiter
^ www.reallyscary.com - 10 Questions w/Warren Ellis
^ Top 300 Comics For September
^ Holmes, Thomas Alan (2005) "Warren Ellis? 'Shoot' and Media Passivity." International Journal of Comic Art. 7 (2). 370-374
^ "Shoot" online
^ Castlevania: Dracula's Curse production blog
^ Introduction to 'Strange Kiss Cover Notes', Strange Kiss Scriptbook (Avatar Press, May 2000)
^ Warren Ellis To Join Suicide Girls As A Columnist (news article). Suicide Girls. Retrieved on 2007-07-08.
^ a b c Warren Ellis Addresses His "Children" at Comic-Con, July 29, 2007
^ The dark star, August 26, 2004, The Guardian
^ Colleen Doran talks Stealth Tribes, July 22, 2005, Newsarama
^ Colleen Doran announcing the arrival of the script, April 2, 2007
^ http://www.freakangels.com/
^ Warren Ellis to write weekly SL column for Reuters, December 22, 2006, Reuters
^ http://www.eagleawards.co.uk/results.asp?year=2006
^ http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=10538

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