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SHOOT To Finally Be Published

Years ago, I wrote a brief run on the DC Vertigo horror comic JOHN CONSTANTINE: HELLBLAZER. Brief, because I wrote a horror story therein called SHOOT. SHOOT was about schoolyard slayings in the United States. It was completed before Columbine happened, but scheduled to appear not long after. The regime at DC Comics at the time decided that it could not be released in its completed form. I refused to go along with the changes they wanted to make. They decided not to publish the book at all. I quit.

I remember that, at the time, someone telling me that the stance was that Paul Levitz would not release the book so long as he was running DC.

It never occurred to me that a new regime would feel differently.

Vertigo has a long history of publishing thought provoking stories that resonate whether they’re horror, crime, war, western, fantasy, urban memoir, science fiction or reality based.

So why not dig through the archives and bring some of them back? Welcome to VERTIGO RESURRECTED – a series of one-shots and specials geared to do just that-embrace history and stories that connect with the present day activities of our favorite protagonists, antagonists and creators.

“Shoot,” Warren Ellis’s much-talked about, but never published, HELLBLAZER story involving schoolyard killings leads this mega-sized VERTIGO RESURRECTION special.

Also included are rarely seen tales exploring the disturbing depths of horror, war, romance and science fiction by Brian Azzarello, Grant Morrison, Garth Ennis and artists Jim Lee, Phil Jimenez, Bernie Wrightson, and others. Cover by Tim Bradstreet.

VERTIGO RESURRECTED #1 On Sale October 20 / 96 pages / $7.99


Published in Work


  1. It’s good that it will see daylight. This must be a extremely great week for you, sir.

  2. Jay in Oregon Jay in Oregon

    That is pretty cool. I’ll definitely have to pick that up!

  3. theConundrumm theConundrumm

    this is nice news indeed. the HB run was far too short lived for all the wrong reasons. this doesn’t quite make up for the way things went at the time, but it will be nice to get to read Shoot in full colour finally. (original colorist ?)

  4. I’m glad to hear that they’ll finally publish SHOOT as you wrote it! Sometimes good things really do come to those who wait. For all others, there’s ma$tercard.

  5. Out of curiosity: did they tell you they were going to do this, or is this the first you’ve heard of it?

  6. Deniz Deniz

    I gotta figure you can’t respond to this, but with DC announcing that they’re releasing “Shoot” and re-releasing Jack Cross as a trade – a trade under their “DC Comics Presents” branding banner no less, indicating focus – it sure seems as though they are trying to woo you to come on board.

  7. interesting. I too am curious to know if they let you know ahead of time that they had a change of heart or if they went through their files and went OOOH this will make money. I’m not sure i’m liking many of the decisions of the post Levitz DC (which seems even more money grubbing and less plot/character related than before…ie the suggestion of a watchmen prequel/sequel. The reboot of wonderwoman’s costume and storyline) but in this case i’m happy we’re finally getting a chance to read more of your stuff! :) And really, what did i expect? All comic publishers are in it for the money, they’d be fools NOT to print your work.

  8. any chance that you could do a few more constantine stories now that they are reprinting SHOOT? (fingers crossed and thinking about how much he loved Haunted)

  9. AnneMartian AnneMartian

    Sounds like my horrible and quasi-sexual devotion to the works of Warren Ellis will compel me to spend even more money soon…

  10. Lee Lee

    And further to Eric Rosenfield’s question:
    Did you get paid in 1999 and they just shelved it? Will you see any royalties from the comic becoming available now?

  11. Warren Ellis Warren Ellis

    I got paid in ’99, yes.

    I won’t be writing any more HELLBLAZER stories.

    I first heard about this late yesterday, and have no more details than you.

  12. They’re pussies Warren who think it’s safe to make a buck off of your story. Same old story from these craven corporate drones. They think enough time has passed. Funny that it took over a decade for them to find some balls.

    Congrats though. I’m sure your fans are going to be happy.


  13. Bryan Stratton Bryan Stratton

    Does this mean that we’ll finally get to see Rick Veitch’s “Swamp Thing Meets Jesus” story someday?

  14. Lee in Detroit Lee in Detroit

    Sounds like someone is being courted. Did Jim Lee personally drop off those cases of whiskey and Red Bull yet.

  15. Brett T. Carr Brett T. Carr

    Great news. Now I can finally give you money for something I stole off the interwebs about ten years ago. It’s just about my favorite Hellblazer story.

  16. […] COMICS! Back in the day, Warren Ellis wrote a lot of good “Hellblazer” but quit the book in a huff because DC refused to print a school shooting-related story that would have unfortunately came out around the time of Columbine. Well, DC is going back and doing a new line of books and such and they’ve finally decided to print Ellis’ controversial story. He are his thoughts on the matter. […]

  17. This and “Mourning of the Magician” = Eisners! Love the idea of publishing stuff that was too good for its time.

  18. mike12572 mike12572

    I didnt see it solicited in the july previews. Maybe August previews?? I saw its suppose to be october.. Any information would be great… thanks

  19. This should be interesting to read… censorship on a “mature readers” imprint of any publication indicates that who ever is/was running said publication is too narrow-minded for the job.

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