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Transmetropolitan, Vol. 1: Back on the Street Paperback – March 17, 2009
Best Books of the Year So Far in fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, children's books, and much more.
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About the Author
Warren Ellis is one of the most prolific, read, and admired graphic novelists in the world and the creator of Transmetropolitan and The Authority. He lives in southern England with his partner, Niki, and their daughter, Lilith. He never sleeps.
Top Customer Reviews
I kept on buying my usual titles until the series was wrapping up, and my comic store guys (Rich and Ethan at Comic Fortress, Somerville NJ) told me to just try the first volume.
Thank you, guys.
First of all, this is Warren Ellis' most personal, volatile, heart-felt, and above-the-board best writing he has ever produced. The protagonist, Spider Jerusalem, is a Hunter S Thompson of the future; the series reads like Fear and Loathing in Blade Runner (if Ridley Scott had choked to death watching NBC sitcoms, Ted Nugent hunting videos, and porno). He's a hacked-off gonzo journalist who swings between eyewitness to humanity's best and Bill Hicks "we're a virus with shoes" vitriol, and Ellis crafts every word flawlessly.
Darrick Robertson is the perfect artist to complement the words. There is so much detail in every panel, including very human facial expressions (a very lost art in this business of gritted teeth on every cover) and backgrounds that are like a Where's Waldo of minutiae. As blaringly noisy as this vision of the future is, it's also unsettling enough to be glad we don't live there.
Or do we? Ellis weaves a lot of food for thought throughout the series, commenting on our world through his, and maybe there's some Warren Ellis in Spider Jerusalem. His point of view on the government is like no other, for example, and his catagorization of humanity as sheep waiting to be shorn, butchered, and eaten may not be that off the mark.
What Warren and Darrick have given us is nothing short of a masterpiece. This isn't a comic book, anymore than Hunter S just wrote columns. This is Comics Literature, capitalization intended. It's also Great Entertainment.
So set your bowel disruptor on "prolapse", grab a bag of Monkey Burgers, take your Jumpstart pills, and, like Rich told me, just try the first volume.
It's more addictive than crack, and better for you.
This vividly illustrated tale focuses on Spider Jerusalem, a journalist in a futuristic city. This is very much a science fiction story, spiced with references such as one to a Martian secession movement. In this volume Spider investigates a controversy involving an emergent subculture of genetically altered humans.
The tattooed, chain-smoking, gun-toting Spider is a compelling protagonist. The book is violent but intelligently written and often quite funny. The story raises questions about police conduct, multiculturalism, the First Amendment, and the role of the journalist in society. It's a remarkable book that has whetted my appetite for more of Spider's saga.