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Desolation Jones Paperback – October 4, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

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Ellis' best comics are character-based thrillers involving high concepts and heavy attitude. Desolation Jones has both in spades. The titular hero is a former MI6 agent who was subjected by his government to the brutal "Desolation Test," which left him shattered and scarred. He is now confined, with other, similarly victimized ex-agents, to Los Angeles--a hellish prison, since the experiment left Jones pathologically susceptible to sunlight. Reduced to PI work, he is hired by an elderly pornography connoisseur to retrieve "the Holy Grail of cinematic filth," a sex film directed by and starring Hitler. The caper is consciously Chandleresque. The wealthy client with troubled, wayward daughters is straight out of The Big Sleep. Jones' outlook is thoroughly cynical, the dialogue hard-boiled, and the ending noirishly bleak. J. H. Williams III, whose intricate art limns the dark, violent world of Jones as convincingly as he portrayed the fantasy realm of Alan Moore's Promethea, aids Ellis' effort immeasurably. Ellis' Transmetropolitan was a cult favorite; this new series, while less accessible, may become another. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"Ellis both subverts and elevates." - Joss Whedon (creator of Buffy and Firefly) "This is impressive stuff" - The X-Axis "Desolation Jones promises entertainment, filth and above all else a fast-paced storyline and fantastic art." - The California Aggie Online "I emphatically recommend Desolation Jones... Get this one immediately." - Cinescape "Ellis performs surgery on the dark underbelly of America." - Dreamwatch" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: WildStorm (October 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140121150X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401211509
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.3 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,124,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By oldnoakes on January 8, 2007
Format: Paperback
Desolation Jones is an ex-spy from Britain living in a seedy underworld, located in Los Angelos, CA, which also home to other ex-spies. At the end of his career, Jones volunteered to be a guniea pig for an human-enhancement experiment called the Desolation program. This program has left him scarred and a shell of a man. Now, Jones does free-lance espionage in Los Angelos interacting with various allies/advisaries with a similar background as himself.

Due to the setting and the nature of espionage, there is some graphic action/situations that occur, mostly of a violent nature that is artfully and tastefully handled. I would say that this is not for children, but perhaps for those well-adjusted and mature-minded young adults (probably good for high school, maybe a little younger).

The fractured world that Jones views is very well interpretated by the vivid artwork of the book, some of the best I have seen. I've read my share of grahpic novels, and this graphic novel is very unique and exciting. I'm looking forward to reading more from this series. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Guzman on April 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
I sat down, opened up the trade and read it in one sitting. Not because I had nothing better to do, but I was caught: hook, line, and sinker by the second page. If you've read Ellis' Crooked Little Vein: A Novel (P.S.) and enjoyed it, then you'll love this tradeback (and vice-versa).

Michael Jones is an ex-British intelligence agent who rebels against "Intel just chewing people up for no reason than that it finds chewing people up interesting". He's an unlikely detective an in unlikely place. The city is Los Angeles, but not the way you know L.A. (unless you think like Ellis). Something was stolen from Colonel Nigh and he wants it back. With different conspiracies webbed together, it's going to take someone like Jones to get us through. Part of the fun is finding out the plethora of personalities from all the ex-agents. Because they just aren't retired veterans. They are exiled from the C.I.A., N.S.A., F.B.I., MI6 and forced to live within the L.A. boundaries, for reasons you have to read to find out. I don't want to put any spoilers, but just know there are a lot of fun things about this book if you like bloody, violent, detective stories filled with bizarre characters.

Williams artwork is wonderful and beautifully matched with Ellis writing. This is like the Kill Bill of comic books. Black & whites, markers, watercolours, different styles of artwork. His cross hatching is great. At times it felt like a manga, other times it was surreal. Just as enjoyable as his Promethea (Book 1) artwork. This is a good book to read a few times over a cup of tea.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jonathan briggs on May 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
"James Bond never urinated on himself." That's all you need to say where Michael Jones is concerned. The formerly soused MI5 superspy works as a kind of private eye in a community/prison in El Lay populated by other castoffs from the world's intelligence communities. The dissipated and decaying shamus is hired by a former Army colonel who's even more diseased than Jones to track down a favorite video of Hitler's homemade porn. The case lands Jones in the middle of a seriously twisted domestic drama and in contact with some of the more horrifyingly slimy denizens of underunderunderground El Lay. J.H. Williams lays out a feast for the eyes with his intricate art and inventive panel design, ensuring there's something interesting to look at in every corner and cranny of the page. Warren Ellis can spread himself too thin by juggling multiple comix series, but when he focuses his considerable talent on a particular project, the results are often memorable. "Planetary." "Transmetropolitan." "Global Frequency." Add "Desolation Jones" to the list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gill Friedman II on September 6, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The creative risk that he takes are off the charts. The composition and layouts are awesome. He is an illustrator that is a natural master of graphic design. I was blown away by this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Warren Ellis never seems to run out of crazy, intelligent, thought provoking, and occasionally disgusting ideas throughout his various works, whether it be in the forms of Transmetropolitan, his short but memorable run on Hellblazer, Planetary, Orbiter, Ocean, or even his surreal novel Crooked Little Vein. Desolation Jones is no different, featuring ex-spook Michael Jones whose damaged body appears to be slowly decaying (a result from what is referred to as "desolation tests") as he treks across Los Angeles. He gets a job in the form of searching for a stolen reel of pornography said to star and be made by Hitler, and soon enough, Jones discovers that there is even more going on behind the scenes. Compared to some of Ellis' other works, Desolation Jones isn't as enjoyable, but it does offer some great ideas and snappy dialogue to boot. While the Jones character himself may come off as a little too much like a joint-smoking John Constantine, the character manages to make the reader care enough to wonder just what made him what he is. Featuring solid artwork from J.H. Williams III and stark colors from Jose Villarrubia, Desolation Jones gets off to a pretty good start, and this could very well be the beginning of the next great thing to come from Warren Ellis.
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