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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Snowtown gives me Nightmares - Seriously
With Fell writer Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, The Authority) and artist Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night) have created a dark and eerie mindscape called Snowtown, a twisted part of some larger city that exists "across the bridge," a city which is only hinted at but never elaborated upon in the stories. What the reader immediately comes to realise is that Detective...
Published on June 8, 2007 by HJ Louw

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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh
I wanted to like this - I really did. I enjoy other titles by the contributors (Ellis, Templesmith), but found this to be a lackluster effort.

In brief - Richard Fell is one of a handful of detectives working in Snowtown, apparently the most run-down city in America. Crime is rampant, and accepted, and citizens have resorted to superstition to protect...
Published on December 24, 2009 by A. McLaughlin


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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Snowtown gives me Nightmares - Seriously, June 8, 2007
This review is from: Fell Vol. 1: Feral City (Paperback)
With Fell writer Warren Ellis (Transmetropolitan, The Authority) and artist Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night) have created a dark and eerie mindscape called Snowtown, a twisted part of some larger city that exists "across the bridge," a city which is only hinted at but never elaborated upon in the stories. What the reader immediately comes to realise is that Detective Richard Fell, the main character, has been given little choice in the matter of becoming Snowtown's newest detective, and must deal with crimes both strange and shocking on a daily basis, which puts his remarkable detective skills to the test in every stand-alone issue. Brilliantly written by Warren Ellis, the stories are often bizarre and gruesome, but not over-the-top, and Templesmith's art complements these sinister tales nicely. There is nothing supernatural about these stories, yet the reader gets the sense that some larger power (dare I say Lovecraftian?) is looming in the shadows, causing the evil that permeates every alley of Snowtown. Its not all about detective work either. There are times when Fell has to get hands-on with some of the perps and what follows are violent action scenes rendered splendidly by Templesmith' s use of blurred images that does not detract from the clarity of his panels. True, he is not known as a highly detailed artist, but some panels are remarkable because they require small details (like any detective novel or comic) and Templesmith shows that he is up to the challenge of conveying them to the reader. My favorite story is the last one contained in this volume, which gives the reader a view of Snowtown through the journal/diary entries of Detective Fell, and all the horrible things that can happen there in a single night. Awesome book. I recommend it to anyone who loves horror/mystery comics, or just plain anyone who has never read a comic before and finds the idea of superheroes just a little bit silly. Pick up Fell: Feral City. You won't be disappointed! (I should mention though, that I still love the silliness of superhero comics...)
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, Moody, Disturbing, Fascinating...a look into the Dark Human Heart, August 12, 2007
By 
Mir (North Miami Beach, FL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fell Vol. 1: Feral City (Paperback)
I noticed issue #1 of this comics series at my local comics store and, though at that time I had never heard of Ellis or Templesmith, I was attracted to it simply by the beauty and atmosphere of the cover.

When I read the first issue, I was hooked, and began to get the following ones. Then, I decided to wait for the bound edition, and pre-ordered it as soon as amazon.com allowed. Only cause I prefer bound to individual. Easier to shelve for me.

This series grabbed me because the art got my interest. I like Templesmith's style. I'm not art major or historian, so don't ask me to explain what it's like. Do a google and find panel examples from the series. It's a very evocative style, with this really cool use of colors that pop for emphasis--red in this panel, white in those.

It's the story of a cop who--and we don't know why--has done something that he thinks is right (but got him into trouble) in his previous town and is sent "across the bridge" to Snowtown. Snowtown is like the worst urban landscape from various major cities mashed together. No one seems to be undamaged. No one seems to be normal. Fell seems to be the most together of the lot, but he's harboring dark bits, although we sense a moral core. Or, as Mayko, his barkeeper girlfriend says, he's a good man--but one who sometimes does not so good things for the right reasons, we sense and, later, see.

He lives in a place void of real light--Snowtown seems to be enshrouded with some miasma of muted colors. His boss is a loony. There are only a couple other detectives (3 and a half to be precise, cause one lost his legs) on the Snowtown force. But Fell becomes a one-man crusade to make a damn difference. And we see him solving cases using his key talent: the ability to read people. He's observant and he's somewhat fearless. And Snowtown needs him.

But there may be something very much larger than Fell and darker than night hovering over this accursed place, that does make one think of hell.

But the worst parts of urban environments can seem like hell to its residents and the cops who have to work the darkness.

I really want to see where the characters of Fell and Mayko go, and what is the thing that controls this Inferno.

Interesting stuff. Visually very cool and very noir.

Mir
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Yet another wonderful Graphic that gets over looked... Sad., April 14, 2009
By 
W. Wilkerson "Dog Boy" (Earth; waiting for a ride...) - See all my reviews
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Initially this was to continue my exploration of the Non-Superhoero aspects of Warren Ellis [after the glory of Transmetropolitan] with Mr. Templesmith being a delightful add-on to the proposition.
Sadly, upon reading this OUTSTANDING story of detective Richard Fell the sad Sad SAD intonement of "no future offerings are anticipated" rung like a funeral bell over the proceedings and caused me to bag my FE copy to preserve for future pouring over which this volume can more than support.
Ellis's writing is sharp as a broken bottle and strong as dark bitter beer; dropping you into the world of SnowTown and it's band of not-so-merry inhabitants.
Ben Templesmith's art is at once blurred out and so crisply focused that the "eye-melting" detail of Transmet is hardly missed.
Find a copy and cherish it - you won't be dissapointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully different!, August 17, 2011
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This review is from: Fell Vol. 1: Feral City (Paperback)
Warren Ellis(Transmetropolitan, Iron Man: Extremis) and Ben Templesmith(30 Days of Night, Welcome To Hoxford) are both favorites of mine; and they both shine brightly here. This is one of the coolest graphic novels I've ever read. I've tried to find something out there that is similar to this, and I have yet to find anything. It's just so unique. It has this David Lynch-esque feel that gives off a weird, surrealistic vibe. It's this strange detective/crime drama with a dose of suspense, horror, mystery and bizarre humor injected deep into its muscle, releasing each ingredient at all the right times. Ultra cool stuff here.

Ellis scripts this story with a tantalizing plot, intrigueing characters, dialogue that is quirky and compelling, and fantastically odd atmosphere. There is nothing bad to say about his writing when it comes to this book. I would say that is true for most of the graphic novels he's written; although this book is probably my favorite.

Templesmith's artwork perfectly compliments the tone of the book. He has a very stylized look to his work that really plays up the surrealistic, hazy feel of the story. The whole thing kind of feels like a dream. This fits beautifully with Ben's expressionistic style. The avant-garde nature of it focuses more on creating an emotional experience in the reader rather than focusing on a more physically realistic, more 'house style' appearance. His art is realistic enough, but it distorts things a bit to evoke mood. I like it, and it works well here. I can't think of another artist who I would want to see on this title. Which brings me to the one downside to reading this graphic novel. There is no volume two. And to my knowledge, there isn't one in the works. I read somewhere that Ellis had the next several issues(I forget how many exactly) stored on file in his computer. Then for reasons I can't remember(it's been awhile since I read about it), they were lost. This led Ellis to just give up on the title and move on to other things. This is HUGELY disappointing! There are so many questions I had about the characters and what was going to happen next. The story is left open-ended, and finding out after reading it that it would stay that way was really upsetting. Part of me wishes I could go back and just never read this story to begin with because the pain of knowing that it will not be finished is so strong. In the end, however, it is just too brilliant a book to not want to have read - despite the open-ending.

So, if you can handle reading a graphic novel that will completely suck you in, taunt you with a longing to want to find out more, then just end without ever getting answers to the bountiful questions you will no doubt have, then I would highly recommend you check this one out. If, on the other hand, you are the kind of person who will go completely off your rocker knowing that you will never get anymore of this extremely addictive story, then I'd suggest that you maybe skip it. Still, having read it, I have to give it 5 stars. Though the fix is short and leaves you feeling like you're going to get severe withdrawals unless you get another fix really fast, the high is so amazing that I think it's worth the suffering.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, July 12, 2008
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This review is from: Fell Vol. 1: Feral City (Paperback)
Warren Ellis' (Transmetropolitan, Thunderbolts, Desolation Jones, Astonishing X-Men, this list can go on and on...) brilliant crime fiction saga Fell is something you have to read to believe. Revolving around the incredibly skilled Detective Richard Fell, who has been transfered to Snowtown: a crime-ridden wasteland from which there may be no escape. As the area around him decays with every passing minute, Fell makes a number of encounters (most frequently with an eccentric bar-maid) with the townspeople, and comes to one conclusion in the end about them all: everybody is hiding something, including himself. Peppered with fantastic dialogue, Ellis manages to make Fell one of his most intriguing works of crime fiction, with Fell himself being one of his most interesting character creations. Ben Templesmith (30 Days of Night) provides his typical dark and moody artwork, and it more than suits the atmosphere of the universe that Ellis crafts here. All in all, the first volume of Fell is a brilliant piece of crime fiction from one of the true modern day comic book masters, and it more than deserves your attention.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Stephen King of Comics, April 22, 2008
By 
Mark Eisenman "cartoonist" (anchorage, ak United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fell Vol. 1: Feral City (Paperback)
Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith have been around awhile. Warren is famous for his over the top horror and thriller type comics and Ben got famous for his incredible art with the original 30 Days of Night. And while this book has no vampires it has everything you would come to expect from these two masters. Warren delivers a great tale or I should say tales of Detective Fell and Ben creates his world with incredible art. When you have two master come together like this it's amazing what happens. I won't spoil the story lines I'm sure someone else will do that or has done that. If you enjoy Stephen King, Dean Koontz, or Chuck Palanuik you will most definately enjoy this graphic novel. Engrossing and at time nauseating you won't be disappointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One thing to add..., April 11, 2008
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This review is from: Fell Vol. 1: Feral City (Paperback)
With all the other praises to look at, I can't add anything new or of additional value. All I can say; This is a perfect comic book. Highly recommended.

SC
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Series, November 12, 2007
By 
Randy Given (Manchester, CT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Fell Vol. 1: Feral City (Paperback)
To start, I am not a comics expert. I had been going to the local comics store with my son and ran across the first issue of this series. I was hooked. I couldn't wait for the next installment. Now, all of them are in one volume and make a great gift ... for someone else or for yourself.

Quick reading, but also imaginative enough that you can take your time and really immerse yourself into Detective Fell's life and world. Good stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kill Street Blues, August 20, 2007
This review is from: Fell Vol. 1: Feral City (Paperback)
"Fell Vol. 1: Feral City" is a grim little tale about a police detective who has fallen from grace. Fell is the consummate Dark Stranger traveling under a Curse: a Good Man who does a Bad Thing and gets transferred to Hell as punishment.

Oh, I'm sorry---did I say "Hell"? I meant Snowtown.

Now, understand this: if you're a connoiseur of the Weird, the Sinister, the Strange, and the Macabre, then Snowtown is gonna be your kind of haunt, Brothers & Sisters.

Veteran story-smith Warren Ellis & Ben Templesmith, who did the art for "30 Days of Night", have pulled off a lonely, smokey, genuinely creepy little work of inky black juju & midnight melancholy in this tale of a hard-boiled police detective who tries to bring a little old-fashioned policework to the dank backwaters of the lawless nightmare burgh.

But that's quite a task, he discovers, in this dank, murder-wracked urban oubliette where he was been exiled to do penance: Snowtown PD is just 3 & 1/2 cops (you'll see) just trying to keep a lid on. But on what---on what?

Ah, well, that's what makes 'Fell' so much fun. Ordinarily transfers from one burgh to the next are no big deal: just ripples in the tide of fleeting fortune and shifting shoe-leather of beat cops & grizzled detectives, the ebb and flow of department favor and foemanship and pure inertia.

But in this case, Detective Richard Fell is about to be transferred over the river and deep into the Woods, into a city that slumbers, and dreams, and hungers, and sometimes awakes, & clambers over railings and up trellises, slides through windows whose locks weren't securely fastened, and---well, Eats.

Yeah, it Eats. Eats those who aren't marked by its beastly, bloody sign, which has edged out the typical gang-graffiti in favor of its singular blood-red Sigil. Either you have the Mark, or you travel at your peril.

In that regard---with reference to its horrors, its indignities, its haunted, desolate, desperate streets and burned-out storefronts---you might even say that Snowtown is something like Hell. Something like Hell, in fact, but without the warm weather.

Oh well, now, that's ridiculous!---you might say. All Big Cities have their problems! All Big Cities are like that, to some extent!---you might say. You're being grossly unfair to Snowtown, which like all urban exurbs, has its share of high crime, poverty, teen pregnancy, and all the attendant horrors and troubles that go with them.

And you might be right. You might be able to hold me off, banter over how many cold cases would fit on the head of a pin, might be able to say the Mayor's new "broken windows" crime-fighting strategy has completely transformed the business district.

Only you're not going to tell me that, because this is Snowtown we're talking about. Snowtown, man. Not Balty, not Philly, not the Big Apple, not Chicago.

And there is something horribly wrong with Snowtown.

Ellis & Templesmith---particularly the latter, who in reining in his more irritatingly abstract qualities (particularly in "30 Days of Night", where the sombre dead of night horror there was undermined by his cartoonish graphics) has become a more effective artist---have captured the essence of nullity & desperation at the heart of any Big City, and deepened its shadows, darkened its speakeasies, and provided their haunted detective with a labyrinth of terror and adventure in which to seek repentance, among the mumblers, the grave-robbers, the manglers, and other night terrors.

Chief among them is the Nun. Ah yes, the Nun: rubbery & black-eyed beneath the shifting caul of her scuffy whimple: the Nun who shadows Det. Fell through Snowtown's darkened streets miming Atrocity and Filth, utterly blameless, but increasingly sinister?

But I'm not going to prejudice you against the place, oh no. Cities are made for walking. Much better to drop you off on the corner, under the flickering streetlight, and have you venture down an alley, perhaps, or spend an hour or two in some flophouse or divebar while some passing freight train howls its weirding wail from a million miles away.

Because, let's face it, you should be like Det. Fell, and get to know Snowtown on its own terms. At any rate, get to know it before it comes looking for you.

Sweet dreams.

JSG
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The new noir, June 8, 2007
With a script by Ellis and art by Templesmith, you can expect the best. You get it.

Richard Fell is a detective. He's been assigned (exiled?) out of the city, "over the bridge", and into Snowtown. It's the kind of place that has 150 murders each year - more than that in total, but 150 that just aren't worth investigating. At least, they weren't worth investigating until Fell came into town (or was exiled here). He always gets the murderer. Well, he gets a murderer. Not hard, really, since you can hardly throw a beer bottle without hitting someone who's killed someone.

They're dark, smog-smeared stories about dark, smog-smeared people. Everything and everyone is dirty - in one story's context, "I love Jesus" becomes one of the foulest things ever spoken. The raw, sometimes rubbery artwork carries the mood perfectly. Too well, maybe, since some stories include elements that will disturb sensitive readers. If you have the stomach for it, there's a lot to like.

-- wiredweird
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Fell Vol. 1: Feral City
Fell Vol. 1: Feral City by Warren Ellis (Paperback - June 5, 2007)
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