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  1.  (1606.1)
    Darick and I own TRANSMET and all that is included in that. If the terms of the contract were met (and don't ask me what they are because I don't recall), certainly we could do new TRANSMET stories elsewhere.

    Cool, Warren, thanks for that. Not to beat it to death, but does DC reserve similar rights, not that they'd make more comics, but in the marketing department? Or do you oversee franchising stuff, too, like those kick ass Spider glasses, or the DC Direct action figure, etc.? If DC decided, could they continue to produce supplemental Transmet stuff w/o your approval?

    I think these are the questions the Seigals are tackling...
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      CommentAuthorUnsub
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2008
     (1606.2)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    I think having creators like Warren on the mainstream comics not only gives their original work a boost but it makes for a much much better super hero genre.
    I picked up the Gage ,Thunderbolts International Incident one shot and it had the plot driven story but a unique feel. I will definitly give it a chance when Warren leaves.
    The guy they got to do a run of Punisher Max during the middle of the Ennis run(I forget the name but it was about crazy cab drivers)was good as well.
    If the editors pick the right up and comer for the follow up it could help some people find new authors. I also enjoyed Gages run on Stormwatch ,not quite as much as Team Achilles but worth having.
  2.  (1606.3)
    Cool, Warren, thanks for that. Not to beat it to death, but does DC reserve similar rights, not that they'd make more comics, but in the marketing department?

    They're time-sensitive, as I recall, in the merch stuff. They don't get to make more TRANSMET comics without me and Darick.
  3.  (1606.4)
    I've made Batman video-games, and Batman never gave me a phone call to say thanks.

    The thing to remember in all this is that it in the long run it doesn't matter all that much to the big license books that much whether or not a name writer does or doesn't do a run on the book. At best you can change the direction of the momentum, but the meteor still keeps hurtling through space.

    It's great that guys like Warren are showing up to make a buck on these titles, and I highly respect that he's using it as a marketing vehicle for his creator owned work, because at the end of the day these characters were around since we were born, and they'll keep going long after we're dead.
  4.  (1606.5)
    I'll admit that when I was first getting back into comics about four years ago I was confused as all hell at all these names floating around, and all the different books that were out there. A friend at college let me borrow his copy of Watchmen, as well as some other books that caught my attention. Then I found Neil Gaiman had written Sandman and started digging into that. But, my point with this paragraph is that when I was first figuring out the names of author's and artist's I enjoyed reading I was constantly confusing Warren Ellis with Garth Ennis. The E's just fucked me right up.

    My second confession is that I own not a single book written by Warren Ellis. I seem to go through phases. Specifically: Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, etc.

    Anyways, when one's faced with so much content out there, there's chance someone's work will never be found. I appreciate your analogy Mr. Ellis, and working both sides of the fence can benefit everyone involved when it's good stuff. I'd say the hardest part is finding someone to publish your work. And with writer and artist being rolled into one person by many people, it seems that the room for paintbrushless writers is becoming smaller. I'm sure getting started in comics is similar to getting started in any field of writing; Just write till you bleed from every pore.

    Well, here's to hoping a job driving a semi for a year or two will help in some fashion.
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      CommentAuthorjohnjones
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2008 edited
     (1606.6)
    It's great that guys like Warren are showing up to make a buck on these titles, and I highly respect that he's using it as a marketing vehicle for his creator owned work, because at the end of the day these characters were around since we were born, and they'll keep going long after we're dead.


    That both cheers me up and profoundly depresses me. I mean, I'm genuinely glad the occasional work-for-hire gig helps introduce Warren and other talented creators (and their owned work) to a new group of fans. Also, if Warren making a run on Iron Man or Thunderbolts or X-Beings means the market increases for Fell and Desolation Jones, I'm happy as hell.

    On the other hand, the idea that in the year 2408 Batman will still be here, and he'll still be Bruce Wayne whose parents got whacked in "Crime Alley" in Gotham City just makes me tired. I know there's a kind of precedent. People still write stories featuring Sherlock Holmes, after all. But after literally decades of continuous publication how much more can anyone really say about this one obsessive rich guy who dresses in fetish gear and beats the shit out of criminals?

    I admit to watching and liking the Batman Beyond TV-series. It had it's flaws to be sure, but at least it was moving forward instead of servicing the same tired status quo.
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      CommentAuthorAdmiral Neck
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2008 edited
     (1606.7)
    Grant Morrison's Batman run has been great so far, as he understands what the appeal of the character is and has gone back to that instead of getting bogged down in the soap operatics of the previous few years (which have their moments too, but GM is trying something different). He's managed to do something fresh just by understanding what Batman is and going from there.

    Same with Mr. Ellis and Iron Man. The Extremis arc is the only Iron Man I've read and really enjoyed, and it was because Internet Jesus remembered what the character was supposed to be (i.e. the ultimate futurist) and used that as a jumping off point for a modern take on it, all without having to use Ultimate Marvel style reboots. Well, that and going all Jeremy Narby on us. Both these runs prove there are still stories to tell and new ways to use the characters (and I see the irony that the "new" approaches rely on going back to the roots).

    Sadly a lot of writers don't get a chance to do that, either because they don't think to do it or they don't have the clout to do something too bold, or the character is perceived to be working well enough to not need a revamp. A lot of characters that appear at the end of their natural lifespan might be revitalised somehow (if Geoff Johns can do it for Booster Gold, I think anything is possible).
  5.  (1606.8)
    I recall enjoying his Stormwatch cop procedural


    STORMWATCH PHD was fucking brilliant. if tbolts can come even close it will be well worth yr monies.
  6.  (1606.9)
    I just wanted to go back to the earlier theme of finding a balance in your work. With the blank page of a wholly original work, you do have more space for creativity, but I often find in m own (non-comic) work that working within constraints can also be a source and challenge for creativity, if one has a mind to do more than regurgitate cliches. You can be a cummings and break all the rules, but there is something to be said for a well crafted sonnet. Perhaps that is part of it - there is some craft to working with constraints, a touch of engineering, instead of unbridled expression.

    I am also curious at the parallels in other fields that can share this style of working. The Client Eastwood model works in movies, house painting, and comics it seems, and I have seen a similar set of choices amongst programmers; how do you think Open Source happened? You can only be so creative in most day jobs, leaving teeming masses of folks to find a means to draw their creativity out on their own time.
  7.  (1606.10)
    I love writing my own stuff, but wouldn't mind painting someone else's house one day.

    I think the short burst thing is a good strategy. Get in and get out, leaving the poor bastard behind you plenty to play with and a lot to live up to.

    EDIT: Any chance of a new Vertigo series or mini anytime in the near future?
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      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeMar 30th 2008
     (1606.11)
    It was a neat run.
    Maybe I'm a little divorced from fanboydom, because I never think of anyones WFH stuff as anything more than 'neat'. All the really interesting stuff going on these days is in creator-owned books.

    I just don't get that sense of entitlement people get about work they have contributed nothing more than $3.50 to.
  8.  (1606.12)
    Darick and I own TRANSMET and all that is included in that. If the terms of the contract were met (and don't ask me what they are because I don't recall), certainly we could do new TRANSMET stories elsewhere.


    If you don't mind me asking a pretty tedious question...is there much of a continuum between the two poles (fully creator-owned and fully WFH) in comic books? Are - for example - there examples where a writer is hired to write a certain existing book, but retains right to new IP created in that book (new characters etc), or where someone owns the IP of a book, but allows (or pays...) a publisher to hire new writers on it, or where someone owns the IP (and so receives royalties etc), but is heavily restricted through restraint of trade clauses etc?

    (Yes, I worked in a corporate law firm...though I find this interesting in terms of considering possible contracts, I'm intrigued by the existence of possible middle-ground works. Was Strange Kisses etc WFH or creator owned (or a middle ground?)? If the latter, could this perhaps be part of a developing middle road, where creators retain IP but licence it out...or is this already common place?)
    • CommentAuthormagmar
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2008
     (1606.13)
    I never ever assumed Warren would just do Thunderbolts indefinitely. It just didn´t make sense before his announcement, because there were other series he just jumped on and then left. I don´t have any problem with it. In truth, i am kinda glad. Because i have the strong feeling he just did was he wanted on Thunderbolts and more would be just the kind of distilled crap other writers are producing, the type of writer who do two or three WFHs and only ONE creator owned work. Kurt Busiek i would put there, but i don´t know exactly how many WFH series he did at the same time until now but it was more than one, i seem to remember dimly. It was after his success with ASTRO CITY. A fine comic, but his other works were truly horrible. I remember picking up - i think - AVENGERS - and it was so devoid of ideas and originality, it was really apalling.

    I do believe the Garth Ennis - Warren Ellis stance is the better way. Nothing against whoring out, it pays the bills, it brings in some new readers, but it should be done with some restraint. Keeps you from getting too much blood on your ass...
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      CommentAuthorOwsler
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2008 edited
     (1606.14)
    I'm quite surprised you needed to explain the reasoning behind short stint work. It must be far more exciting for a writer to know you're free to maintain your own creations while being inspired in short bursts by a wide variety of pre-existing material. Surely that should be THE way rather than ONE way. As a test of your creative skills alone it must be very worthwhile.

    Admittedly I was slightly put off by the aggressive change in the Thunderbolts concept, but just as it is for many of your contemporaries, it's your ability to breath new life into old, kind of goofy characters, that is a huge draw along with a wealth of storytelling ideas that burst with potential. The whole psychic Trojan Horse (if I can call it that) was inspired.
  9.  (1606.15)
    I'm quite surprised you needed to explain the reasoning behind short stint work.

    Judging by the email I was getting, some people weren't understanding.
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      CommentAuthorJohn Keats
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2008 edited
     (1606.16)
    I'm having a time out until I can learn some manners.
    I understand because even if I have read you these last few years it was uneasy to really get the meaning of this work for hire stuff since UFF. at first I didn"t like it, especially this first gig, and I think that the ultimate books you made are the weakests, but for now I can tell that you've made great stories at marvel, Iron man, tbolts for example are very entertaining stories, even if I stay a creator owned afficionado.
    by the wat I miss a lot Desolation Jones, the first issues were rock solid, I have less enthusiasm for the two issues made by Zezelj, but damn this book had potential.
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      CommentAuthorTed
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2008
     (1606.17)
    @David xvx Ludd

    Are - for example - there examples where a writer is hired to write a certain existing book, but retains right to new IP created in that book (new characters etc)


    Yes, the obvious example coming to mind is the dispute between Neil Gaiman and Todd MacFarlane over some ownership of characters Gaiman created whilst writing an issue of Spawn.
  10.  (1606.18)
    warrenellis di d write this:
    Judging by the email I was getting, some people weren't understanding.

    Direct them to Crecy and say you've hidden the answer in an elaborate code based on visuals and metaphor as you understand the comics industry currently to be.

    Cheers,

    Chris.
    • CommentAuthordnwilliams
    • CommentTimeMar 31st 2008
     (1606.19)
    it's always made perfect sense to me that an author would want to write predominantly creator-owned work, but it's great that the WFH setup allows established company titles to benefit from the talents of those authors, albeit for a short period of time.

    i'm pretty sure the first ellis-penned book i read was the authority, although i was ignorant of who had written it at the time (being eleven years old and not caring), is that creator-owned? i'm not sure, but i do know the first ellis titles i read were picked up on the basis of word of mouth hype, borrowing global frequency from someone etc...not a surefire way to secure an audience, whereas doing a stint on a marvel title is.

    thunderbolts has been the only post-civil war book i've picked up that has been entrenched in the marvel u's new stat quo and it's been incredible thus far, i hope you're going out in a blaze of glory mr ellis! i look forward to more marvel work in the future
  11.  (1606.20)
    i'm pretty sure the first ellis-penned book i read was the authority, although i was ignorant of who had written it at the time (being eleven years old and not caring), is that creator-owned?

    No. (Although DC does compensate Bryan and I for having created some of those characters.)