Warren Ellis Archives - Robot 6 @ Comic Book Resources

Ellis and Allred’s Bacardi graphic novel debuts online

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Warren Ellis and Michael Allred’s collaboration The Spirit of Bacardi, which retraces the history of the company, has made its online debut.

As we noted last month, the graphic novel — commissioned by Bacardi — focuses on Emilio Bacardi, son of Bacardi creator Don Facundo Bacardí Massó, “and his tireless work for Cuban independence from Spain in the late 1800s.” Emilio Bacardí was imprisoned and exiled, but eventually became the first freely elected mayor of Santiago de Cuba.

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Read Chad Sell’s touching comic tribute to ‘The Authority’ #8

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In the wake of Comic-Con International, The A.V. Club launched a week-long celebration of comics — called, appropriately enough, Comics Week — that’s included a discussion about diversity by Janelle Asselin, Karl Bollers and G. Willow Wilson, an interview with Becky Cloonan, a spotlight on the comics-inspired song “Alley Oop,” and a comics tribute by Ryan Brown (God Hate Astronauts) to his influences.

However, as much as I’ve liked all of the pieces, my favorite so far is easily cartoonist Chad Sell‘s touching ode to Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch’s The Authority #8, and how the depiction of Apollo and Midnighter’s relationship affected him as both a closeted teen and as a budding artist.

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Warren Ellis & Michael Allred team for Bacardi graphic novel

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Warren Ellis and Michael Allred have collaborated on a graphic novel, but it’s not likely one you expected.

The two were hired to tell the story of Bacardi, dating back to the company’s founding in 1862 in Cuba, in a graphic novel called The Spirit of Bacardi. It will be available for digital download on Aug. 6.

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Ellis, Shalvey present the best fight scene in ‘Moon Knight’ #5

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[Editor’s note: Every Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss “The best in comics from the last seven days” — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey’s run on Moon Knight may be short, but boy has it been memorable.

This past Wednesday the duo’s penultimate issue came out, featuring what Ellis called “Our Definition Of A Tony Jaa/ RAID Boombastic Thai Style.” The plot of the issue is pretty simple: A young girl’s been kidnapped, and Moon Knight heads into a building to save her. What follows is nothing short of awesome, as our hero heads up the stairs and encounters all manners of obstacles in his quest to find the girl in what has to be the best-drawn fight scene of the week — heck, possibly the year so far — if of course we’re counting this issue as one long fight scene (which I am). Moon Knight takes on everyone from your regular run-of-the-mill punks with easily broken noses:

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Comics A.M. | A nonprofit alternative for some publishers?

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Publishing | Spurred by the GoFundMe campaign launched last week by Dan Vado to get SLG Publishing “back on its feet,” Comic-Con and the Business of Pop Culture author Rob Salkowitz wonders whether a nonprofit model might make sense for some indie/niche publishers: “Contrary to popular perception, however, being a non-profit doesn’t mean you can’t make money. Lots of successful non-profits generate revenues in the millions and pay their staff, executives and contributors salaries comparable with those in the private sector. They can also pay contractors and contributors like performers or creators full market rates. They just don’t pay shareholders, and they plow any excess revenues back into their operations.” [ICv2.com]

Passings | Michael Cavna rounds up tributes and remembrances from the colleagues of the editorial cartoonist Etta Hulme, who died last week at age 90. [Comic Riffs]

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‘Trees’ for free

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[Editor’s note: Every Sunday, Robot 6 contributors discuss “The best in comics from the last seven days” — from news and announcements to a great comic that came out to something cool creators or fans have done.]

A new Warren Ellis comic book, particularly a new creator-owned Warren Ellis comic book, is a big deal. Trees has the added bonus of absolutely fantastic art by Jason Howard. Image Comics celebrated the release by making the digital version of the first issue free pretty much everywhere.

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Read Warren Ellis and Jason Howard’s ‘Trees’ #1 for free

trees1Ahead of the release of Trees #2, by Warren Ellis and Jason Howard, Image Comics is offering the digital edition of the first issue for free across all platforms through Tuesday.

“It’s not every day that a writer as important and influential as Warren Ellis launches a major new series, so making sure Trees reaches as many readers as possible is an ongoing priority for us here at Image,” Publisher Eric Stephenson said in a statement.

Debuting May 28, the sci-fi miniseries is set a decade after enormous, sentient tree-like creatures arrived on Earth, putting down roots and standing silent vigil, without even acknowledging the planet’s inhabitants.

“When we were developing the idea Warren asked me what kind of things I wanted to draw,” Howard, who previously collaborated with Ellis on Scatterlands, told Comic Book Resources. “I sent him a folder of a bunch of images that inspired me. From there he sent me the basic idea of, what if aliens landed and didn’t seem to do anything? What happens to society when these alien structures land but nothing comes out and after a while they become normal and they just stand there, like trees? I thought that sounded fascinating and could immediately visualize situations and story potential. I excitedly told him I loved it and we were off.”

Trees #1 is available for free through Tuesday on ImageComics.com and the Image Comics iOS app, and across comiXology‘s platforms. Trees #2 arrives June 25.

Ellis and Shalvey address their departures from ‘Moon Knight’

moon knight4Warren Ellis and Declan Shalvey have commented on Wednesday’s announcement that they’ll leave Marvel’s Moon Knight after August’s Issue 6, with the artist revealing he’s taking a break from monthly comics.

Part of the publisher’s All-New Marvel NOW! initiative, Moon Knight debuted solidly in March, landing in Diamond’s Top 20 and earning praise for both the characterization by Ellis and the art by Shalvey and colorist Jordie Bellaire (she’ll remain on the series).

“Issue 1 went to three printings, and 2 and 3 went to two printings, and so I consider that a job reasonably well done,” Ellis wrote in his email newsletter. “The job has been, simply, reactivating Moon Knight as a productive property for the Marvel IP library. And, in personal terms, producing six single stories that held together, because I thought it would be amusing to provide a book that could be entered at any point and still give the reader a complete experience. Which goes against the grain a bit, because the modern commercial-comics reader has been very much entrained to expect long arcs rather than singles. I’m sure there are plenty of complaints out there about the lack of character arcs or long stories. But the book is still getting bought and reordered. So I guess we found an audience after all.”

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Warren Ellis reveals ‘a thing that I probably shouldn’t’: ‘Trees’ numbers

trees1In an industry that’s quick to trumpet distributor-level sellouts and multiple printing, publishers and creators are generally reluctant to reveal any actual sales numbers. Sure, there are those monthly direct-market sales estimates, but they’re just that — estimates (and most anyone who attempts to divine meaning from them is usually quickly reminded of their inaccuracy).

And so it was refreshing to see Warren Ellis disclose orders for the first issue of Trees, his new Image Comics collaboration with Jason Howard, in his Orbital Operations e-newsletter. Or, as he puts it, “I am going to tell you a thing that I probably shouldn’t.”

Retailers ordered about 38,500 copies — “I don’t recall the precise number and can’t check it right this second,” he writes — and he and Howard authorized a print run of 50,000.

Ellis confesses, “That’s a big overprint, and it could easily blow up in our faces — if the overprint doesn’t sell, then the print cost is taken out of our hides. On the other hand: if you go looking for it, and your store tells you it’s sold out or that they couldn’t get any, you can tell them that I told you we printed 12K extra copies.”

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Best of 7 | ‘Empire,’ ‘Justice League United,’ ‘Elektra’ and more

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Welcome to Best of 7, where we talk about “The best in comics from the last seven days” — which could be anything from an exciting piece of news to something great fans are doing to an awesome comic that came out. So let’s get to it…

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Best of 7 | ‘Multiversity,’ ‘Project Superpowers’ and more

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Welcome to Best of 7, where we talk about “The best in comics from the last seven days” — which could be anything from an exciting piece of news to a cool publisher’s announcement to an awesome comic that came out. So let’s take a look at the last seven days in comics …

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Watch trailer for Bryan Talbot documentary ‘Graphic Novel Man’

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Digital Story Engine has released a trailer for its documentary The Graphic Novel Man: The Comics of Bryan Talbot, which, as the title suggests, chronicles the four-decade career of the creator of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright, The Tale of One Bad Rat, Alice in Sunderland and Grandville.

The trailer, which clocks in at more than three minutes, showcases plenty of shots of Talbot and his work, interspersed with excerpts from interviews with the likes of Neil Gaiman, David Lloyd, Warren Ellis, Pat Mills and Michael Moorcock about the artist and his impact.

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Brought to you by the letter M: ‘Moon Knight’ and ‘Magneto’

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This week’s new releases include three more series launching as part of the “All-New Marvel Now” initiative — Magneto, Moon Knight and Wolverine & The X-Men — but of those, I only want to discuss the first two.

That’s because they’re actually new series, rather than an existing series simply relaunching with a new #1 issue and a new creative team. (The previous volume of Wolverine & The X-Men, the one written by Jason Aaron, seems like it just ended. When was that? Let’s see, it was … last week? Marvel’s not even waiting a whole entire month to relaunch titles now?)

Those two books are also solo series featuring lower-tier characters, making them the exact sort of comics Marvel has been allowing creators to pursue riskier, quirkier, more idiosyncratic and interesting approaches on since the success of Mark Waid and company’s Daredevil and Matt Fraction, David Aja and company’s Hawkeye.

And, of course, they also both start with the letter M.
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Shalvey & Mooney chat about their careers & ‘Half Past Danger’

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Declan Shalvey’s friendship with Stephen Mooney stretches back nearly a decade, to before either Irish creator was well known in the United States. So when the Moon Knight artist pitched ROBOT 6 the idea of interviewing Half Past Danger creator Mooney about the hardcover collection, arriving Jan. 29 from IDW Publishing, we didn’t hesitate to say yes, thinking the conversation would offer terrific insight into their relationship, their careers, the Irish comics scene and, of course, Mooney’s Nazis vs. dinosaurs adventure.

As it turns out, we were right.

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Marvel unveils first look at color art from ‘Moon Knight’

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If there are Marvel fans who aren’t following Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso on Twitter, they’re missing out on a lot of previews of upcoming comics in various states of production. For instance, on Wednesday he unveiled a first look at a colored page from the first issue of Moon Knight, by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey and Jordie Bellaire.

Launching in March, the series returns Marc Spector to the streets of New York City, and places the focus on the character’s horror roots.

“The book is filled with oddities,” Shalvey told Comic Book Resources last month. “It starts with a man in a white suit and mask with big moon on his forehead, remember. I will say this:  Moon Knight investigates the strange and dark corners of the Marvel Universe, and boy, there are weird things there.”

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