Absenteeism

October 5th, 2009 | brainjuice

Strange gig tomorrow: I have to give a talk on posthumanism and the superhero to a Design Interactions class at the Royal College of Art in London. I suspect it may prove to be a condensed DO ANYTHING. And then I believe I have to see some of the boys from the BERG. So tomorrow’s going to be all quiet here.

Hell, given that PLANETARY #27 is published mid-week, I’m tempted to keep it all quiet for the week.

People keep asking me for some huge conclusive statement about its completion. For me, it was completed some two and a half years ago, when I wrote the final script. John and Laura have done their usual worldbeating work on the last issue, but I could barely bring myself to proofread it. It’s a book I associate with bad times: protracted illnesses, big arguments (I remember John and I once threatening to quit over some idiot move to take Laura off the book, and I vividly remembering arguing for John’s job when DC wanted to fire him over his taking on ASTONISHING X-MEN), my physical collapse and months in bed, and my dad’s long illness and eventual death. All of these things are intertwined with PLANETARY for me, and make it difficult to enjoy the moment. I’m just glad people won’t ask me about it anymore.

Anyway. It’s a beautiful-looking book.

ASTONISHING X-MEN #31 is also out this week, drawn by a man I don’t work with often enough, the superb Phil Jimenez. Phil did the PLANETARY/AUTHORITY book with me, collected in PLANETARY: CROSSING WORLDS, and also, infamously, the "banned" issue of HELLBLAZER I wrote, SHOOT. Which I have heard can be illegally seen here. After a bit of a false start on ASTONISHING X-MEN, it’s just hugely relaxing to work with an old friend who hurls himself into the work, enriching everything he touches while instinctively getting what I need and what the page needs.

Also, there are spaceships, asteroid bases, beasties and explosions. Just a bunch of Big Marvel Fun, for the hell of it. Also, lots of Science Talk and raw meat.

Which is probably not the sort of thing that gets you invited to the Royal College of Art, so ssssh.


15 Responses to “Absenteeism”

  1. I just wanted to say that during the run of Planetary, I was dealing with my own father’s prolonged illness and eventual death, and my memories of the series coincide with those events.

    We shared the individual issues and the collections, and he loved the series. I wanted to thank you for writing something that was fun, exciting, and ultimately as full of wonder as he often wished the rest of the world would be.

  2. Actually – that’s *precisely* the sort of thing that gets you invited to the RCA e.g.:
    http://berglondon.com/projects/meat/

  3. Thanks for the link to SHOOT. How very true.

  4. Thanks for the link to SHOOT. What a powerful piece! I’m so glad I finally got to read it!

  5. Sorry to hear your Planetary memories aren’t as fond from your perspective. Though I’m sure you know that for most of us on the other end of the intertubes this will be like a long-awaited reunion with old friends. Who can freeze things with their mind.

    And Cassaday didn’t go anywhere. So, you know, the forces of art triumphed. And then some.

  6. If you weren’t already aware… Well, I guess you are now… http://www.bleedingcool.com/2009/10/06/marvel-drop-f-bomb-on-kiddiwinks/#comments

  7. [...] I feel I can’t not make my pick of the week. Ellis shares his thoughts on the end of the series here. [...]

  8. Mr. Ellis- Sincerely, thank you for Planetary. It made me love comics again, and every issue was worth the wait.

  9. Any chance your presentation will be available online sometime? I’d love to see it. If not I’ll have to interrogate Matt when I see him in nyc soon.

  10. I was just saying to a friend who told me your twitter comments regarding Planetary #27 “Bugger, sounds like his heart wasn’t really in it”
    But after reading this, I’m now thinking maybe you had too much heart in it.
    Too much guts. Too much blood, toil, tears and sweat
    And all I can say is, it shows.
    Thanks

  11. Warren,

    Thank you. I respect the reasons for your feeling as you do about completing Planetary and it makes me more than a little sad that you can’t enjoy it the way your readers are doing. I hope that, sooner rather than later, you’ll have the opportunity to revisit Planetary and get a chance to appreciate what you’ve done.

    Cheers,

  12. Mr.Ellis, thank you for creating this astounding work of art. I absolutely love Planetary and your writing in general and I honestly don’t think you get enough credit for the amazing job you do. You are like the Midas of comic book writers, everything you touch turns to gold. I’m sorry though that Planetary has been associated with so many hard memories for you, but just know that it has brought me and my friends many great memories together.

    A Fan

  13. A meat sentinel? gross.

  14. [...] Warren Ellis has some reservations about the series, mainly due to some bad things that happened during its run, I think it’s actually one of the two archetypal Ellis stories; it and Transmetropolitan, [...]

  15. [...] The end of this series (or getting there) was clearly a struggle for Ellis, and no wonder. By his own admission, his own illness as well as the illness and death of his father (among many other factors) are [...]