Thursday, November 2, 2006

Warren Ellis: Global Frequency

I didn't like Stormwatch and I didn't like Planatary. Transmetropolitan doesn't interest me. I suppose I'll try it eventually. The one conclusion I can draw from reading so much Ellis lately is that when he's hot, he's very very hot and when he's not - it's horrible. At least to me.

Planetary seemed pretentious. There were good ideas, and some beautiful art. But it bored me. Just blah blah blah blah blah. Blah? Blah. Blahblablah. Charlie Brown. Blah Wah Wah Wah. The dialogue was the worst part, which is unfortunate in something that relies on dilaogue to tell its story.

Wow did Planatary make a bad impression. I can't even think of it now except in small flashes of 'What the fuck?!'

Global Frequency on the other hand, is as someone mentioned, very much in keeping with the ideas and ideals behind Stormwatch and Planetary. But it's good. I cared. Big Sky in the TPB wa a rather abrupt switch in art style. I find myself wondering if it was some sort of filler - except the TPB reads like a collection of short stories all set in the same universe. But aside from a little flutter with Big Sky - I loved it. It's something I could consider buying; not before Astro City, Invincible or Runaways Vol 2. But if I had the extra money and it was right there. I'd grab it. That's how much I enjoyed it.

I didn't feel talked down to. I have to wonder how it is Ellis manages to write stories were people are just living their lives and we the readers hover somewhere over their shoulder - and then manages to write stories where it's obvious I'm reading a comic book because comic book logic and science are messing up anything remotely looking like a character or emotional beat.

As a writer, I'm curious about how that happens. Does he just get more comfortable with one set of stories? Is he a better short story writer? Does he fumble with long arcs - trying to make them too spectacular and ending up not making them much of anything at all? Obviously the answer is to read more and see. Except the thought of reading more and falling across the less than stellar bits isn't at all happy making. I'm going to stick to looking up more Global Frequency and see if it was only a one off thing or not.

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