Good morning, sinners. This is warren ellis dot com.
September 12th, 2010 | comics talk
Received in email from Chris Staros of Top Shelf, publishers of some of the finer comics out there:
THE 2010 TOP SHELF MASSIVE $3 SALE
For the next ten days — thru Friday September 24th — Top Shelf is having a
giant $3 graphic novel web sale. When you visit the site, you’ll find over 100
graphic novels and comics on sale — with over 70 titles marked down to just $3
To go directly to the list of items on sale at the Top Shelf website, just click
But here are a few sample sale items:
– Slashed Prices: Lost Girls, Alec: The Years Have Pants, and more!
– Slashed Prices: Essex County, Moving Pictures, BB Wolf, and more!
– Slashed Prices: Owly Hardcovers and Plushy, Undeleted Scenes, and more!
– Slashed Prices: Dodgem Logic, The Surrogates Owner’s Manual, and more!
– Slashed Prices: The 120 Days of Simon, Far Arden, The Ticking, and more!
– $3 Titles: Voice of the Fire, The Surrogates (Vols 1 & 2), and more!
– $3 Titles: Sulk (Vols 1, 2, & 3), I Am Going To Be Small, and more!
– $3 Titles: SuperF*ckers #1-#4, Lower Regions, Please Release, and more!
– $3 Titles: Regards from Serbia, Comic Book Artist, Delayed Replays, and more!
– $1 Titles: The Surrogates #1-#5, Black Ghost Apple Factory, Dang!, and more!
– $1 Titles:The Man Who Loved Breasts, Comic Diorama, 24×2, and more!
– $1 Titles:Jack’s Luck Runs Out, Tales of the Great Unspoken, and more!
Please note that Top Shelf accepts PayPal (as well as Visa, MasterCard, Amex,
and Discover — all secure), and that this sale is good for retailers as well
(and comic book shops will get their wholesale discount on top of these sale
Your friend thru comics,
Top Shelf Productions
September 12th, 2010 | photography
September 9th, 2010 | brainjuice
Perhaps apposite to today’s earlier mutterings, Ben Terrett:
I don’t think blogging is as good as it used to be. It’s lost a little magic.
September 9th, 2010 | music
September 9th, 2010 | researchmaterial
Found on my message board without attribution, offered without comment:
September 9th, 2010 | comics talk
In a perfect world every vertigo comic would be halloween themed.this would be the logo.
They really need some office of England-obsessed teenage girls going through their books and checking for enough top hats and absinthe, while the Craft plays on loop in the background. Keep em in line.
September 9th, 2010 | people I know
“L_A_N is, both in size and ambition, a door into another world, alien and lovely. You need one.”
— Warren Ellis
September 9th, 2010 | music
It is a pleasantly foggy, drifting sound, appropriate for a warm early-autumn day with misty rain. The whole album is a free download.
September 9th, 2010 | daybook
Funny thing I’ve noticed lately. I get fewer trackbacks than I did when this site had fewer readers. I presume this speaks to the supposed “death of blogging,” and that linking has moved off into Twitter from blogs and sites. Makes it harder to judge when “attention philanthropy” is working, though. Aside from the occasional note telling me that I’ve killed someone’s website.
Attention philanthropy — I have a feeling that term was coined by Alex Steffen — is a big part of what I do here. It’s one part that to one part research material of various kinds to one part muttering about work, because it pays the bills and keeps the site going. But it’s always hard to tell if the agalmic, anti-obscurity attention economy stuff is working. There’s a music site claiming that Zola Jesus didn’t hit big until I started talking about Nika, which I know isn’t true. But in times past I know I’ve helped comics companies get by.
Which brings me around to online comics retailer Khepri.com, whom Heidi Mac reported on over at comicsbeat.com yesterday. They’ve been hit by the economy like everyone else, and another year of flat numbers will see an end to them. What struck a chord, I think, was Heidi’s identification of them as a retailer specifically supporting those creators working in, in Heidi’s quote, the mode of “Warren Ellis style self determination.”
And, christ, just like that, I feel like I’ve got a weight on my shoulders. Did I really convince so many people that there was a career to be had in commercial creator-owned cross-genre work (and occasionally doing some work-for-hire on your own terms)?
No, of course I didn’t. It was blatantly obvious to anyone with half a brain and one creative bone in their body, and I was saying nothing that hadn’t been said a million times before during the Eighties and early Nineties. I possibly concretised some thinking for some people in my generation and the one immediately below, but no more than that. And God knows nothing I said in 2000 applies to comics in 2010.
On the other hand: hell, I’m so separated from the business these days that I don’t really know how bad things have gotten out there. It was conversations with people like Bryan Lee O’Malley that led me to open the Engine comics community, years ago, and now Mal has the best-selling graphic novels in America (because of the film, sure, but you’re not going to tell me it’s not deserved).
We do comics stuff on my current message board, Whitechapel (set up as online-community support for my webcomic FREAKANGELS), but Whitechapel tends to reflect my interests, and so we tend to talk a lot more about music and books and other stuff and not so much about, say, Brandon Graham’s KING CITY (though we do that too).
And, in the meantime, I see people drifting back to the convention circuit or, more and more, see people talking about wanting to get out of the convention circuit but not knowing where their sales and exposure will come from if they do. Even though sales and exposure are getting harder and harder to find at comics conventions as they morph into pop culture shows. And, really, is sitting at a table trying to hawk your wares like you’re at a rural craft fare with your handmade wicker bedpans really the model to aspire to?
The truth is that working the attention economy is hard in 2010 because there is so much noise and so many things vying for your attention. I actually feel a glimmer of pride because I’ve gotten my Google Reader down to under 600 unread items for the first time in six months. I think of it as the Manfred Macx problems, from Charlie Stross’ ACCELERANDO – Macx had to absorb a megabyte of text and a few gigs of AV a day just to stay current. This is why the web is still rammed with curatorial sites, from BoingBoing on down. The difference between them and this site is simply that this is my research store, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection (which, for me, is anywhere aside from rural Kent, apparently, where I think I have to sacrifice a hare to get bendwidth).
And now I’m out of Red Bull, here at the pub, and have to buy more and then go home and start work. Consider this not fully baked: a pile of things for later consideration.
September 8th, 2010 | researchmaterial
John’s Phone is the most simple mobile phone. Just call and hang up. John’s Phone is easy for anywhere, anytime. Finally a separate unit with no frills and conditions. A simlock free phone with large keys, an address book, a pen and over three weeks of standby time.
The phone equivalent of, say, the Muji bag. Or, perhaps, this:
Plus, you know, Lego.
September 8th, 2010 | brainjuice
September 8th, 2010 | researchmaterial
This, on the face of it, is pleasingly crazy. Ron Howard and Akiva Goldsman are to adapt Stephen King’s DARK TOWER sequence (which I’ve never read) for film and tv:
The plan is to start with the feature film, and then create a bridge to the second feature with a season of TV episodes. That means the feature cast – and the big star who’ll play Deschain – also has to appear in the TV series before returning to the second film. After that sequel is done, the TV series picks up again, this time focusing on Deschain as a young gunslinger. Those storylines will be informed by a prequel comic book series that King was heavily involved in plotting. The third film would pick up the mature Deshain as he completes his journey.
I’m betting there’ll also be an online element, for the full "transmedia" buzzword-fulfilling effect.
This is big old-media old-school popcultural stars stepping up out of their trenches with atomic bazookas, saying "this here might be the old stuff, and it might not be your magic digital smart dust, but we can still make a pretty big hole in shit with these things." In a way, I wonder if the question is not whether or not there’s been anything like this before, but whether there’ll ever again be anything like this afterwards.