Monday, 2 March 2009

Comics What Are Great #3 - Transmetropolitan

Title:- Transmetropolitan

In a nutshell:- A deranged gonzo journalist in a twisted future takes on a corrupt president and wins. But what he puts in place is far worse and this fight will cost him dearly...

The Basics:- Following the exploits of pill-popping, bowel-disrupting journalist Spider Jerusalem (very obviously based on Hunter S Thompson), Transmetropolitan is a tour-de-force from English writer Warren Ellis, perfectly completed by the accompanying art from Darrick Robertson. Told over 60 issues, it follows five years in the life of Jerusalem as he battles apathy and indifference in a quest to bring people true journalism to the people of The City whether they want it or not.

Why's It So Good?:- The sheer amount of ideas on display is overwhelming. As with all good sci-fi, the futuristic world the writer creates is very much a comment on the world of today and this is no exception. Ellis takes a lot of current ideas and practices to their extreme conclusion to create this Nightmarish yet still ultimately hopeful futurescape. Plus it's extremely funny in that over-the-top black humour way that's very British.

Surely Some Of It Must Be Rubbish?:- The only slightly disappointing issues are the one-off specials which combine text pieces by Spider with double-page spreads by various artists. They feel a little bit like flimsy cash-ins. That said, if you don't read them, it makes no impact on the story. Otherwise, well, it's all good really.

So We Should Seek Out This Thing Of Which You Speak?:- Definitely. I've read this one several times through and never stop enjoying it. If you're a fan of the works of Hunter S Thompson at all then I definitely think you'd find something to enjoy in here.

Tomorrow's title:- Bone


Belle said...

I like to broaden my horizons and experiment with new things..but just to be sure..are you suggesting that I go out and buy this COMIC?

Anna Russell said...

I haven't read this one, but going by your tastes from the last two comic posts, I'll trust your judgement and give it a go. It does look pretty good.
But are there craz angels and demons in it? I'm a sucker for crazy angels and demons. (I'm reading Lucifer just now because it's the next best thing to Sandman).

Anonymous said...

Re: the artist and co-creator of Transmetropolitan, his name is Darick Robertson, as in

Anna, no, there aren't any supernatural elements. But if you enjoy strong female characters and humour (like you find in Sandman), then you'll probably like Transmetropolitan. You know, DC Comics is actually re-releasing Transmetropolitan #1 for their "What's Next After Watchmen" campaign. You can try the first issue for $2. It's a good deal.

Re: Belle .. you say in your profile you would, (and I quote), "roll over for George Clooney"? Well, George Clooney was in 'Batman & Robin'. As for whether you should 'go out and buy a comic', if you have a problem with illustrated literature I wish you the very best of luck finding books that feature no cover art or interior illustrations. The comic Anna mentioned, Sandman, won several literary awards, including a World Fantasy Award, a Hugo, and a Bram Stoker award. If you want to discount a critically acclaimed book because it has artwork in it, or because it could also be referred to as a "comic series", well, I really have no rebuttal for that.

That Baldy Fella said...

Belle - No, in the spirt of the comic, I'm suggesting you steal it, set fire to it and throw it at a passing politician's head (DISCLAIMER:- That Baldy Fella does not endorse theft. Or burning politicians, I guess.)

Anna - Definitely give it a go. I reckon it's right up your alley.

Anonymous - I know that's his name. It was a simple typo. And don't be snippy at other people (i.e. Belle) without at least leaving your name. That's a bit rude, really.