Bad Signal

    (Avatar, 2003)

Referring to Jack Kerouac’s famous novel On The Road, Truman Capote once complained: “That’s not writing; that’s typing.”

This collection is a huge assembly of Warren Ellis’ typing. There’s no doubting the fact that Ellis creates some incredible comics, but there’s also no doubt that he’s a little too aware of this fact. Digested in bite size chunks over the course of two years, these columns might be interesting. Taken in a large dose, though, they become a little unbearable. The main focus seems to alternate between how amazing Ellis’ latest (unproduced) script is and inane inconsequentialities of his everyday life.

There are some interesting aspects spread throughout, but they’re few and far between. Any prose writing on the inner workings of the comic industry should be interesting to anyone reading Comics Buyer’s Guide, and Ellis supplies some interesting viewpoints. The behind-the-scenes stories of comics conventions and Hollywood power meetings shed a little insight for fans that normally wouldn’t have access to such information.

Unless it’s constructed as a cohesive whole from inception, a journal-type collection can get pretty dull, pretty quickly. Couple that with an ungodly amount of egotism and you’ve got a virtual disaster on your hands. The cult of Ellis will be drooling over this one, but others might be tuning out of this signal before it reaches its course.

— Scott Semet

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 RegularWarren EllisJacen Burrows


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  Warren EllisJacen Burrows