Turn The Page / Comicsphere: From The Desk Of Warren Ellis
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book which may be a stupid thing to say given how much I have read Mr Ellis, both in the form of his graphic novels and the regular missives from his website. What struck me about this book though? That in some ways it was delivered in a friendlier voice. You always get a passionate delivery, especially when it is a matter that Ellis is particularly interested in, but this seemed to peel some of the gruff exterior which is usually on display away.
It’s a fairly slim volume and, given the insight which Ellis delivers, and the output which he is capable of, definitely calls for a sequel pretty soon. Like Grant Morrison he is one of the few creators in the market that strikes you as having a vision for what a comic should be beyond the remit of the storyline and the purely graphical element. He talks of potential, the unexploited strengths of the medium. The best thing about him and Morrison? They don’t just tell you what is wrong — they actually try and offer answers to those problems.
Ellis has tackled format with as much passion as he attacks a story, constantly pushing to innovate and find new ways to present the stories he chooses to tell. And, sorry to keep bringing up GM, but they really do seem to be like a double-barrelled shotgun of intellect aimed at the comics world. If they cannot bring people round to their way of thinking about what a modern comic should be by explaining then they are willing to put their money where their mouths are and do it by producing the artifacts (Freakangels being a case in point).
He offers advice on writing scripts, on how to break into the comics world, but he does so in a realistic way that doesn’t just puff the aspiring writer up but gives him the tools to think on his feet, or at least points him to where they may be in the toolbox.
It’s definitely worth picking up this tome — it was short, easy to read, and goes straight for the jugular — as you should expect it to. Thank you, Mr Ellis.