A brief statement on Warren Ellis

TW: Sexual misconduct, not directly described.

No one has asked, and I’m certain I would be just fine were I not to say anything at all, particularly anything I’m treating seriously enough that I’m calling it a Statement, but:

I have, on many occasions in the past, recommended Warren Ellis’ comic book and novel work in this space and others. He was, for many years, my favorite comic book writer, and I have a ton of his work in my house. I consider several of his comics to be among my favorite series of all time. His newsletter was the direct inspiration for my book Skylights, and he is mentioned in the introduction to that book. I have at least two books he has autographed and may well have more, although I have never met him in person.

In June of 2020 Ellis was accused of sexual misconduct by what eventually ended up being dozens of women; far, far too many to make it remotely reasonable to question or investigate any of their stories. Eventually nearly a hundred women came forward with some sort of story involving Ellis and emotional or sexual indecency, misconduct, or assault.

Ellis responded by publishing a brief statement in which he … well, didn’t quite deny all of the allegations, but certainly denied the context in which many if not all of them took place, and issued an apology that was rapidly deemed insufficient by, as far as I can tell, everyone involved. He then closed his mailing list and his Twitter account and went away for a while. While his statement mentioned making restitution for his behavior, he has not done so in any way that anyone involved has noticed.

Image Comics has recently announced that Ellis and artist Ben Templesmith will be collaborating on a revival of Fell, a series the two worked on in the early 2000s. While I am aware that there is no one out there calling out for my opinion in this matter, and other than a vague feeling of possibly unjustifiable betrayal I am absolutely not one of the people Ellis has harmed, I will not be purchasing or reading any of his work in the future until his half-assed apology is replaced with actual definable action steps to rectify and heal some of the trauma he has caused. If you’d like to see what that might look like, I’d recommend looking at the statement from So Many Of Us that is on their front page.

Until that has happened, I am done with him and any of his future work in any medium, and I will continue to not recommend his past work either, regardless of my feelings about it at the time it was released.

In which you receive orders

So here’s the thing.  I’m working on a post right now, which is requiring quite a bit more thinking than my blog posts usually need– like, a couple of days’ worth so far.  And it’s going to require a bit more writing time than my posts usually need, too, so you probably won’t see it until next week sometime.

As part of this post, I’ve reminded myself what an outstanding goddamn comic book NEXTWAVE: AGENTS OF H.A.T.E. was, and as a result I am demanding that every single one of you order a collected edition from Amazon or download it or (even better) find a local comic shop and buy whatever copies of the series they have available to you.

Right now.  Because Warren Ellis is a goddamned mad genius and one day I will hunt him down and eat his brain so I can steal his magical writing powers except that I’m pretty sure he’s also much tougher and cooler and eviller than I am so he would probably end up eating my brain instead and not getting much of use out of it.

Point is, sooner or later one of us is gonna have both our brains.  Other point is,  you should be reading this comic book because you’ve never heard of it and it’s bloody goddamn brilliant.  It’s a weekend, you ain’t got nothin’ to do.  Go shopping.  Now.

image_7_zps982b05d6(Speaking of Warren Ellis, and receiving orders, I have just read instructions in my email to tell everyone I know that the first issue of his current project, TREES, is available as a free digital download from Image Comics for the next couple of days.  So you should check that out also.  Immediately.)