One of the strongest voices in comics over the past 20 years has been Warren Ellis, a write whose impressive body of work ranges from Next Wave: Agents of H.A.T.E. and Transmetropolitan to Global Frequency and Planetary to Fell and FreakAngels. In 2012, however, that voice was largely absent from the medium. For the past few years, Ellis has split his time at his time between writing comics and, increasingly, prose novels such as 2008’s Crooked Little Vein and commentating on society and culture for magazines like Wiredand Vice. On Tuesday, Ellis’ second prose novel Gun Machine was released by Mulholland Books, combining his fascination with the layered history of cities with crime noir. I reached out to Warren on Tuesday and we corresponded by email to discuss the future of his career, of comics, and his place in it all.
Two panels of SVK with and without the hidden content
Comics critic Paul Gravett has a peek at SVK, the new graphic novel due out from Warren Ellis and D’Israeli, as part of an interesting article on comics that trick the eye.SVK, which was announced last December, is a graphic novel with a hidden agenda, so to speak: The private thoughts of some characters are invisible on the printed page until the reader shines an ultraviolet light on them, at which point they appear in thought balloons. Gravett shows a few examples of this and then goes on to some interesting historical examples of other comics that use concealed content, including 3D comics, vintage newspaper strips that used invisible ink, and a comic that flips upside-down halfway through.