June 26th, 2007 | researchmaterial
June 25th, 2007 | FeedWordPress
Warren Ellis: is trapped in pub by rain. Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.
June 25th, 2007 | Uncategorized
June 25th, 2007 | people I know
It’s always a matter of debate, what was the most humiliating moment of my meltdown. I hold that it was when I screamed “I DON’T WANT TO DIE LISTENING TO MADONNA!” Lovely Wife prefers the bit where, legitimately concerned at my terror, she yelled “Hold my hand!”
At the prospect of loosening my white-knuckled grip from the safety bar, I screamed back at her, straight into her face: “FUCK YOU! YOU HOLD MY HAND!”
June 24th, 2007 | FeedWordPress
Warren Ellis: is watching THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN and doesn’t care what anyone thinks.
June 24th, 2007 | Uncategorized
June 24th, 2007 | comics talk
I’m unlikely to ever get the time to do this, so I throw it out there for people to consider.
Slimline books are what we apparently now call the FELL Format. The FELL format is twenty pages of guts (in FELL, 16pp of comics and 4pp of text) plus covers (front, back, inside front, inside back), on sale for US $1.99.
I structure the following idea for financial ease — Image books, as at other indie publishers, are back-end only, paying royalties instead of page rates or other advance fees. Comics publishers in general will balk a bit (sometimes a lot) at any maths involving rights or royalties that look the slightest bit complicated. I speak from experience. So, easy structure, easy chunks:
Anthologies are generally thought of as anathema in US Direct Market comics publishing, not least because they’re thought to be unsatisfying to readers. So consider this: one writer, four artists, working in the following structure:
+ 1 cover.
That’s three five-page stories. Four one-page pieces. And one cover, provided by the same artist doing the four one-page pieces. Leaves the inside back cover and one page of guts over for playing with.
Four artists and one writer equals five contributors. Therefore, break the back end into clean fifths: everyone gets 20%.
Obviously, these can be single stories, serials, whatever takes your fancy. The structure’s the thing.
Anyway. Just a thought.
(I really, really want to do this one day. But no time. That said, I’m not especially worried about getting gazumped, it’s not like people are flooding to do FELL-format books as it is)
(originally written April 2007)
June 23rd, 2007 | comics talk
By which, in comics, we tend to mean moving from one scene to another.
I’ve been re-reading a book of interviews with Orson Welles conducted by Peter Bogdanovich, because I’m thinking about doing a book for black-and-white next year, and Welles loved black-and-white and hated colour. While reading this, I’ve been thinking a lot about lighting, and taking cues from black-and-white film — one of the things that defines a good film noir, to my mind, is a heightened sense of where the light sources are. Which isn’t something a lot of people do in comics — know exactly where their light source is in any given panel. And so that’s one of the angles I’ve currently got on a b/w book: that it’s a comic that would shoot around defined light sources.
Dogme-like restrictions like that can produce interesting visual effects — one recent one that most of you will be familiar with is Ron Moore’s call on BATTLESTAR GALACTICA that, in the space scenes, the camera POV should be, whenever possible, physically defined and not arbitrary.
Anyway, I’ve just been flicking over an early chapter (for the hundredth time) and something interesting finally impacted on me. The cuts in CITIZEN KANE are, more often than not, dissolves. Not a method that transposes well (or often) to comics. But the thing is, in KANE, the dissolves were “electric.” An electric dissolve, in the old term, is where the dissolve is physically attained on the set by having all the lighting on dimmer switches, and turning them down slowly in sequence. So the dark creeps in from the sides towards whichever element of the composition is called out as the last thing to be seen before the dissolve completes.
Which is really fucking interesting to me for some reason. It’s very theatrical — and theatre is a big part of comics, 80% of Eisner’s DNA was theatre. I mean, it’d eat up extra panels and real-estate… but, you know, naturalism is only one way to skin a cat. Imagine replicating electric dissolves as a scene-cutting method…
June 23rd, 2007 | FeedWordPress
Warren Ellis: 5 Red Bulls haven’t worked, and my new Sida Cordifolia tablets smell like cat piss. Today may be the day I die.
June 23rd, 2007 | about warren ellis/contact
Apparently today’s ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY features me in their Hot 100 list of creative people. The PR magicians at HarperCollins yanked my listing off Nexis — others have told me that I’m right next to JK Rowling on the list — and it seems that this is what they used:
‘CROOKED LITTLE VEIN’
A hugely acclaimed, acidic comic-book scribe, Ellis expands his repertoire this July with a brilliantly nasty and weird detective novel, Crooked Little Vein.
Ellis found it “murderous” to find time to write it: “It came down to banging out a thousand words a day in the pub before I started the day’s comics work. If it wasn’t for Red Bull and Silk Cut cigarettes, the damn thing would never have seen the light of day.”
You’ll note that, after receiving the crate of Red Bull, I am now blatantly angling for a container vessel full of Silk Cut.