Me too, if he takes 2 years off Trees and starts again or whatever then I’ll just view it as like the gap between movies or novels where you frequently wait that long. The pisser is if it never finishes and then you feel like you’ve wasted time and money on it.
Guys, come on, Ellis has been coasting since completing his real opus years ago.
He didn’t write that issue. Bill Mesner-Loebs.
Ha! So it was even better!
Does ComiXology have the Black Hammer FCBD issue? I can’t find it
Often the FCBD books don’t go up on Comixology straight away, if ever.
Multiversity comics has a free copy though.
So I was going to buy Black Hammer in physical TPB. I even bought vol 1 & 2 recently. But, this 35p/ issue deal was too good to resist. I bought 25 digital issues for less than the price of the Sherlock Frankenstein TPB that was next on my shopping list!
I just need to sell those two volumes now to recoup some of my money from those.
As much as he likes to make fun of him, Ellis is not really on the level of Alan Moore. To be honest, he’s not on the level of Garth Ennis, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, Mark Millar or Pat Mills, either. He’s conceptually interesting but narratively underdeveloped. He starts with a great concept, and then he does the same thing with it every time.
As much as I love the ideas of what he writes, I’ve yet to really be fully satisfied with how he actually handles them compared to even the most mundane work Millar or Ennis have published. Ellis essentially cannot get past the pessimism. I mean, if he was drowning in the ocean and someone threw him a life jacket, he’d have to ask them what ulterior motive they had before he’d take it.
As honest or “truthful” as it may be, most people won’t stick with it for an extended run. Millar, Ennis and Moore give you all the dark, depressing thrills that seem written in the UK DNA, but they also pull out a serious and somewhat unexpectedly uplifting epiphany at the conclusion. When Ellis decides to do that, we got Planetary and Authority, but that was a long time ago.
It’s not a surprise, though. Moore’s Neonomicon and Crossed +100 are as dark and pessimistic as anything anyone’s written in comics and, of course, hardly anyone has really bothered to read them who isn’t a massive Moore fan.
More fool those assholes
I think it’s also partly the limited reach of Avatar. For whatever reason they don’t seem to be able to market their stuff very well.
The work from Top Shelf (From Hell which is also pretty grim and LOEG) sells very well and most people into comics have read them. The first LOEG Century book sold out of a 75k print run in the opening weekend and had to go immediately to second print.
Kieron Gillen gets loads of attention for The Wicked and the Divine and had big launch sales but barely anyone seems to know Uber exists (even though it’s actually a lot less weird and more mainstream book).
Plus, there’s the small matter of still not having put out a softback collection of Providence - or even any kind of complete collection of all 12 issues. I mean, come on.
Yeah exactly. Not clever. I bought it all digitally at a half price sale because it was really expensive otherwise.
It may be because he likes having a page rate upfront but I’ve always thought it crazy Ennis doesn’t do an Image book, the profile they get would boost his sales loads.
I do wonder about Avatar - here is their last batch of solicits, posted in mid-May, for their two comics coming out in August.
No sign of September solicits yet. It’s coming to the point where I’m half-expecting Avatar to just stop publishing altogether.
And this doesn’t help that impression:
But we need your help. Comic stores have been going through a rough patch, and they just aren’t supporting our kind of bleeding-edge books strongly. The sales numbers on MIMIC are not where we need them to be, and while we know the Crossed fan-base is huge, the comics are not going to be in the stores in any real quantity for you to buy.
(A special ‘fundraiser’ issue feels a bit like an alarm bell itself - shouldn’t a comics publisher be raising funds through, I don’t know, publishing comics? And that solicit suggests that this is going to be followed by a Kickstarter for the book!)
Yeah and I’m playing armchair expert but I think their strategy is mostly wrong. They aren’t exploiting the back catalogue they have. As you said they’ve split Providence into 3 expensive books and as far as I can see from Amazon the first volume is now out of print (so the cheapest copy available is nearly $50). It’s criminal to let something with that profile of writer be out of print.
There’s an audience of literally millions who have picked up Alan Moore books in bookshops in the past and there’s no ready product for them to buy, that paperback collection of the full series.
I think part of the reason Ennis works with the likes of Avatar, Dynamite and Aftershock is because they don’t censor his work.
He’s a writer who won’t put up with that.
I’m not sure how much Image let their creators away with, if the recent debacle with Chaykin being forced to remove his United States or Hysteria cover has happened before, but I could see similar outrage at some of the elements of Jimmy’s Bastards if it were published at Image rather than Aftershock, like the Gender Fluid for example.
I think Image attracts a more sensitive hipster readership following whereas Avatar and Aftershock readership follow and respect the creators above all else.
I think the problem with Avatar is that they come off like a sleazy porn company. Almost everything they publish feels like exploitation: some combination of extreme gore, graphic sex, and gratuitous nudity. And there’s the stream of variant covers (and not uncommon to have “gore” and otherwise explicit variants) and frequently amateurish artwork, and it’s not surprising that retailers, readers, and bookstores tend to pass over them.
Given all of that, I am sort of baffled that they attract all of these a-list creators like Moore, Ennis, Ellis, Lapham, Gillen, etc. Even George R. R, Martin has had books published by them.
Have you read any of their books?
I have to agree. Avatar art style, and mostly, generally colouring is not to my taste. I have browsed, tried, and avoided generally. their Catalog does not invite me in.
I was both surprised with the quality of storytelling in Ignition City and then disappointed in the ‘male gaze’ artwork.
Uber is the only extended run I have been buying and that solely through trust of Gillen after Phonogram etc.
I guess I buy Avatar books despite who they are published by, not because…
I used to read quite a lot of Avatar - I keep up with all the Alan Moore stuff, and went through a period of buying a lot of Warren Ellis’ output some years back (Black Summer, No Hero, Supergod, Anna Mercury, Captain Swing, Ignition City etc.). They went through a period where they were putting out a reasonably diverse range of interesting stuff.
However, it seems to have dwindled to just Crossed and Uber now, with the occasional issue of Cinema Purgatorio every few months (the only thing I’m buying from them now).
While I’ve enjoyed their output in the past, I can see Jason’s point - they mainly seem to market themselves on fairly ‘extreme’ content these days, and a lot of their variant covers are themed around sex and gore.
Plus, their Boundless Comics imprint seems to be almost exclusively T&A/porn comics, to varying degrees of explicitness.
Talking of which, this might be another reason why they’ve been in trouble lately: