10 minutes with Warren Ellis

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Alexis Ong hears from arguably the most acerbic comics writer of all time

First published on 7 Aug 2009. Updated on 6 Sep 2010.

 

    credit: www.freakangels.com

Thoughts on the Watchmen film adaptation: excited, indifferent?
Indifferent, I'm afraid. Zack Snyder is an interesting director – I think his 300 was better than the graphic novel – but I have no burning need to see Watchmen on the big screen.

On the whole, what do you think about film adaptations of graphic novels? There's supposed to be a Preacher film coming out – how do you think that's going to translate?
Probably quite badly, because what makes Preacher sing is the total effect of 66 issues and change. It's not often you'll get a good film out of the first chapter of a novel. That said, I'm sure there will be some excellent swearing and a few people exploding. And that's always good for a laugh.

 

    credit: www.freakangels.com

'Comics' or 'graphic novels' does this whole anal distinction thing just piss you off?
It's all words and pictures to me. Call it what you like. People know them when they see them.

Patrick Stewart as Spider – is this ever going to happen?
This, by the way, is when I realised this interview couldn't possibly be for Time Out Singapore.

What are your thoughts on comics as individual comic singles – do you think they're going to die out soon, or stay in circulation because of old-school collectors?
Singles have been pronounced dead a few times. They may well yet become niche items – but they do have a distribution system devoted entirely to them, and they do have the benefit of not requiring electricity to operate. It's always possible that they'll shrink enough to technically disappear, but I don't think they'll go away entirely. 

 

    credit: www.freakangels.com

Do you have filthy assistants?
I don't have assistants of any kind.

'Write what you know' – bullsh*t adage or solid foundation for good writing?
Writing doesn't have rules beyond grammar. Write what you know, write what you don't know, I don't care – just convince me with your writing.

I loved Crooked Little Vein – any plans for more novels?
I'm working on a second novel, entitled Listener, right now. Comes out in 2010, I think. It's about a new breed of internet journalist dispatched to cover the first expedition to America after a biowar accident wiped out most of the population.

 


    credit: www.freakangels.com

Red Bull or Sparks? Most fu**ed up you've been on energy drinks?
You don't get fu**ed up on energy drinks. That's kind of the point of energy drinks – they keep you awake, and I work very long hours. I use Red Bull – Sparks isn't on sale in my country.

What's going on with Dead Channel?
Dead Channel's currently stalled out, so, right now, it ain't airing anywhere…

Any plans to come to South-East Asia in the near future?
Not after this interview, no.

Comic panels from FREAKANGELS - a free, weekly, ongoing comic written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Paul Duffield.

By Alexis Ong
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