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Ministry of Space Paperback – July 31, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Comics International Issue 173: " The art's lovely and the script's gripping until the end...Ellis' conclusions may leave a bitter taste in your mouth, but Weston's lovingly crafted conclusions make you realise this was worth the wait." www thefourthrail.com February 2005: "...a series that has finally lived up to its potential 8/10." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Warren Ellis's prolific writing can be seen on such varied and acclaimed titles as X-Men, The Authority, Transmetropolitan, Lazarus Churchyard and the award-winning Planetary. Chris Weston has worked regularly for 2000 AD on such stories as Judge Dredd and Indigo Prime. His other work includes The Invisibles, The Authority, The Filth, Transmetropolitan and an acclaimed run on Swamp Thing. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: IMAGE COMICS (July 31, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582404232
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582404233
  • Product Dimensions: 0.3 x 6.4 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Warren Ellis is the award-winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT-bestselling GUN MACHINE (being adapted for TV by Microsoft Xbox) and the "underground classic" novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN. The movie RED is based on his graphic novel of the same name, its sequel having been released in summer 2013. His GRAVEL books are in development for film at Legendary Pictures. IRON MAN 3 is based on his Marvel Comics graphic novel IRON MAN: EXTREMIS. He's also written extensively for VICE, WIRED UK and Reuters on technological and cultural matters. Warren Ellis is currently working on a non-fiction book about the future of the city for Farrar Giroux Straus.

His newest publication is the digital short-story single DEAD PIG COLLECTOR, from FSG Originals. His next book will be the novella NORMAL, also from FSG.

A documentary about his work, CAPTURED GHOSTS, was released in 2012.

Recognitions include the NUIG Literary and Debating Society's President's Medal for service to freedom of speech, the EAGLE AWARDS Roll Of Honour for lifetime achievement in the field of comics & graphic novels, the Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire 2010, the Sidewise Award for Alternate History and the International Horror Guild Award for illustrated narrative.

Warren Ellis lives outside London, on the south-east coast of England, in case he needs to make a quick getaway.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
What's your number one complaint about Warren Ellis? Mine is that he doesn't know how to pace his stories to adequately cover all the ideas be brings to the table. As a result, ripe plot points are glossed over, and the conclusion comes from nowhere, seemingly tacked on, and barely receiving enough space to explain it. MINISTRY OF SPACE is yet another victim of this approach, but unlike Orbiter or Ocean, it works a bit better. That's because this story is not a beat-the-clock adventure, but an alternate history overview, told in flashbacks that begin in World War II. So I guess as long as everything that Ellis writes from here on is in this genre, I have nothing to worry about.

In MINISTRY OF SPACE, the British reached Peenemunde ahead of the US Army and smuggled the German rocket scientists and technology to England, thereby expanding the British Empire into space. Now you may be asking: how could a Britain nearly bankrupted by WWII have funded this massive project? That's exactly what the British government is asking itself 60 years later, and the answer is just one of several historical twists that put a shadow on the glorious empire. The framing sequence of Ellis' story is set in 2001, focusing on Sir John Dashwood, one of the ministry's architects. Flashbacks highlight everything from putting the first man into Earth orbit to landing on Mars, with a few disasters thrown in for good measure. These are well-written segments, in the quick, high-adventure style of The Right Stuff. The final revelation and accompanying twists show that while this Britain certainly is a more industrious and effective explorer of space, there are downsides. Many other historical issues are briefly touched upon, especially in the final chapter, and I would have preferred some expansion here.
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Format: Paperback
Giving Warren Ellis only three issues to tell an alternate-history version of the space race (involving the British, natch) means a very compressed story.

He did the same thing with Reload and with Red. Decent books that could have been monthlies or at least a few issues longer. But maybe that was his point in writing all of these over the past couple of years - a conscious rebelling against the drawn out minimum 6 part stories DC and Marvel seem to like for almost every current title they publish.

Regardless of the motivation or the execution, it is still an interesting story of one man involved in it all from the beginning. If you like other mainstream publisher things Ellis has done (for example, his run on Authority and/or Global Frequency) then you will like this. It's got all the trademark Ellis elements: hidden agendas, deep dark secrets, way cooler than you characters, and a bunch of snappy dialogue.

I read comics primarily for the writing, but this series deserves mention for the art as well. It is absolutely fantastic. I've loved everything Chris Weston has ever done (for example, The Invisibles or Filth) and this is simply wonderful to look at.
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Format: Paperback
Ever wonder what kind of world we would be living in if the American War for Independence failed? Perhaps ponder what would modern music sound like had Elvis Presley never walked into Sun Record Studios? We are only limited by our imagination when we conceive about such possibilities. With Ministry Of Space, Ellis invites the reader to an alternate reality where England employs Nazi rocket scientists to secure its prosperity and empire. The scenario is credible as to why The United States and The Soviet Union's achievements in space flight is in full lag when compared to Britain's. The reason is mainly due to the protagonist of the story, Sir John Dashwood, who lacks moral values and is as ruthless as the empire he serves. There is a revelation that should not be too surprising since it is hinted within the first issue that Dashwood is in the same category as Bayer, Mercedes, Hugo Boss, Ford and Switzerland.

Ellis shifts the story's timeline effectively throughout the script. The reader is given the backdrop in doses instead of the usual diarrhoea method that most writers employ when relating past events that led to the current outcome of the story. The flashback sequences does not affect the pacing whatsoever but rather enhances its drama. While the science-fiction aspect reminds me of what can be found in a Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon comic strip, I appreciate that Ellis bothered to make (fictional) reference to the men and their science behind the technology to make the fantastic plausible in our eyes. I also admire at how he manages to lend a sense of authenticity and regard to what presently appears to be out of man's grasp; Colonising other planets in our solar system.
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Format: Paperback
"Ministry of Space" is an excellent graphic novel of an alternate-history England in which England wins the Space Race by first, beating the Americans and Russians to getting the German rocket scientists, then sending the first man-made satellite into space, the first manned rocket, all within ten years after the end of WW2. By the 1960s, a Space Station is built, men land on the Moon and stay there, a manned mission to Mars is done in 1969. This is frankly how the Space Race should have gone, a better and more sensible development than the "I'll show you!" American/Soviet show-off. The Brits didn't boast, they just went and did it, then they boasted.

But comes the last panel of the book, and I don't know why it is there. The revelation of where the money for the Ministry came from in the first place was all the drama needed. The last panel shows the "coloured female quarters" of Space Station Churchill. Wait, racial segregation in space? Why is it there? To show that not all is perfect within this alternate England? Sorry, not believable. The first man on the Moon in this alternate history was black, the man who created the Ministry of Space was by his own description a monster, but a racist monster? "Balls to that" as he would say. Buy the book, read it, and figure the last panel as a last-second addition done early one morning after a marathon night of drafts, revisions, rewritings, re-drawings, all done with the swigging of gallons of coffee and caffeine tablets. That's the one way in which the last panel makes sense.
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