Parrots, tortoises and redwoods live a longer life than men do; Men a longer life than dogs do; Dogs a longer life than love does.Edna St. Vincent Millay
Warren Ellis (born 16 February 1968) is a British author of comic books and graphic novels.
- After this there's nothing. Do you see? There's no sin, no Hell for our bastards to burn in. No great punishment in the next life for the killer and rapists.
- "You people came looking for a mystery. But there is none. There's just us."
"Did he say "Justice"?" "No. Just us."
- You're about to discover the depth of strangeness and beauty the world holds.
- We crisscross the world, making it right, making it strange, and the people never see our coming or our going.
- You want to know the secret of the world? It's this : Save it, and it'll repay you, every second of every day.
- It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.
- We're archealogists. We'll dig you up and work it all out in a couple of years.
- If you loved me, you'd all kill yourselves today
- My household appliance is on drugs. Horrible.
- There's one hole in every revolution, large or small. And it's one word long— PEOPLE. No matter how big the idea they all stand under, people are small and weak and cheap and frightened. It's people that kill every revolution.
- You're miserable, edgy and tired. You're in the perfect mood for journalism.
- Yeah. I'm calling your "faith" bullshit. This man needs medical help if he can't get through his life without something invisible to believe in. Y'know, I wouldn't mind all this half so much if there was some historical truth in it. This whole concept of "faith"— of believing in something that isn't fucking there— was invented by a man to cover up the cracks in the "christianity" he cobbled together with the Romans. This whole god thing comes from the days when our brains weren't as connected up as they are now, and we all hallucinated daily!
- That's what a monoculture is. It's everywhere, and it's all the same. And it takes up alien cultures and digests them and shits them out in a homogenous building-block shape that fits seamlessly into the vast blank wall of the monoculture. This is the future. This is what we built. This is what we wanted. It must have been. Because we all had the fucking choice, didn't we? It is only our money that allows commercial culture to flower. If we didn't want to live like this, we could have changed it any time, by not fucking paying for it. So lets celebrate by all going out and buying the same burger.
- We may have been crazed, strange and entirely too eager to find new things to have sex with - but we went out to preserve great chunks of this planet's cultures and we damned well did it with some style.
- You want to know about voting. I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground nightclub filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pit bulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns and brand-new sexual organs that you did not know existed. So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as the eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.
- You people don't know what the truth is! It's there, just under their bullshit, but you never look! That's what I hate most about this fucking city -- lies are news and the truth is obsolete!
- So this Zealot comes to my door, all glazed eyes and clean reproductive organs, asking me if I ever think about God. So I tell him I killed God. I tracked God down like a rabid dog, hacked off his legs with a hedge trimmer, raped him with a corncob, and boiled off his corpse in an acid bath. So he pulls an alternating-current taser on me and tells me that only the Official Serbian Church of Tesla can save my polyphase intrinsic electric field, known to non-engineers as "the soul." So I hit him. What would you do?
- Hi. I’m Spider Jerusalem. I smoke. I take drugs. I drink. I wash every six weeks. I masturbate constantly and fling my steaming poison semen down from my window into your hair and food. I’m a rich and respected columnist for a major metropolitan newspaper. I live with two beautiful women in the city’s most expensive and select community. Being a bastard works.
- My grandfather had died, and my mother was trying to explain it to me. . . .Grandpa isn't coming back? No, she said. Not ever again. . . . And I remember saying, hold everything right fucking there. You went to all the trouble of conceiving me, and giving birth to me, and raising me and clothing me and all . . . and you make me cry and things hurt so much and disappointments crush my heart every day and I can't do half the things I want to and sometimes I just want to scream -- and what I've got to look forward to is my body breaking and something flipping off the switch in my head -- I go through all this, and then there's death? What is the motherfucking deal here? I wasn't having this. This was not fair.
- Thieves, the goddamn lot of you! Thieves and leeches! Fucking vampires sucking the will from people whose only goddamn crimes were to be frightened and tired! And you don't help them! You don't listen to them! They get no truth from you! All you do is scare them with stories of something that doesn't exist! And you bastards are winning! Hundreds more of you every day!
- Did you ever want to set someone's head on fire, just to see what it looked like? Did you ever stand in the street and think to yourself, I could make that nun go blind just by giving her a kiss? Did you ever lay out plans for stitching babies and stray cats into a Perfect New Human? Did you ever stand naked surrounded by people who want your gleaming sperm, squirting frankincense, soma and testosterone from every pore? If so, then you're the bastard who stole my drugs Friday night. And I'll find you. Oh, yes.
- Everyone's looking for someone to blame. Society. Culture. Hollywood. Predators. Looking everywhere but the right place. Children are very simple, Mr. Jerusalem. Very easy devices to break, or assemble wrong. You want to know who did this to these kids? Only their parents. That's the thing no one wants to hear. Every time you stop thinking about how you're treating your kid, you make one of these. It really is as simple as that. It's got nothing to do with the failure of the society or any of that. It's got everything to do with the responsibility of making a human.
- The future is an inherently good thing, and we move into it one winter at a time. Things get better one winter at a time. So if you're going to celebrate something, then have a drink on this: the world is, generally and on balance, a better place to live this year than it was last year. For instance, I didn't have this gun last year.
- Some days I know that if I let my brain fully understand what my gut was propelling me into, it'd chuck itself out my ear.
- They say they like politicians but couldn't eat a whole one. Political canvassers apparently keep better and mature nicely under the floorboards.
- When they're not around, I put the TV on. Purely out of curiosity, you understand. Up here, we can snatch some forty thousand channels out of the air. Most of them, of course, are still showing CSI and LAW AND ORDER. There are twelve different channels showing LAW AND ORDER 24 hours a day. In some countries, Jerry Orbach has become a cargo-cult figure. They don't understand the language or much of the situations. They comprehend only that Jerry Orbach is immortal. They watch and divine from the show that he outlives the young gods who are selected to be his assistants. Criminals fall. DAs change. Assistants fade away. Jerry Orbach is forever. Jerry Orbach is, in fact, some kind of avenging God-King who will hunt and incarcerate Scum until the end of time.
- Eat shit and die.
- If anyone in this shithole city gave two tugs of a dead dog's cock about Truth, this wouldn't be happening.
- LISTEN TO THE CHAIR-LEG OF TRUTH! IT DOES NOT LIE!
- Silence, vermin! I am in command here! Who did you vote for, vermin woman? Did you vote? Can you read? Have you got thumbs? SHOW ME YOUR FUCKING THUMBS! (hopping from car roof to car roof) THUMBS!
- You've got eyes bigger than your colostomy bag, you.
- Do yourself a favour, you tragic-looking old pisspot... go someplace and eat a lightbulb.
- What a classy plane this is. I can almost hear the cellophane flapping in the windowframes.
- Mother of twelve bastards!
Bad Signal (Ellis' Mailing List)
- Okay, okay. I lie to you constantly. But still.
- I have decided that I'm going to drink myself into a coma tonight. Join me?
- I really need about six more hours in every day. Ten past two in the afternoon and I can barely keep my eyes open already. I miss dexies, I really do.
- on the success of Fell #1: A lot of people -- including some respected professionals -- told me that lowering the price of a comic was suicide. We're probably going to top out at around 25,000. So, basically, up your arses.
- on the continuing success of the comic series "Fell": Fuck everybody. I won.
- UK TV is worse than it's ever been. For every piece of evil brilliance like ABSOLUTE POWER (which I don't think I've told you non-Brits about before), there's five things like WIFE SWAP. The one I saw had an obvious sub, whose husband had entrained her to dress in a hip-slit cheongsam and black stockings for dinner, swapped into a family where the man of the house was a monosyllabic hav whose head would have had a Victorian anthropologist proclaim a whole new species of subhuman. I'm not entirely sure how Channel 4 hasn't lost its license.
- I want fucking points for upgrading Wordpress myself when I still can't program the fucking video recorder properly. Points, and, I dunno, dancing girls and streams of whiskey and cigarettes that won't give me cancer. See to it.
- During this week, I've been leaving the house only once a day, to clear my lungs before returning to my death bed. So I've been getting a single snapshot of the weather each day. And it's no wonder I'm fucking dying. Yesterday, blazing heat, not a cloud in the sky, people moving in slow motion under the oppressive radiation. Today? Black skies, pissing down with rain, gales turning people's umbrellas inside out. It'll be snow tomorrow. Or hot hail.
- On Live Journal, my friend Donna came up with the joke tag "Warren Ellis' Holy Slut Army." She even made t-shirts. You know how scary it is to walk into a hotel and see a girl wearing one of those?
- The reason I only use female moderators on [message] boards is that I find women are better socialised and much smarter (and usually more level-headed) about interaction and discourse. Also, their presence tends to make a statement about the openness and non-locker-room-stench of a place.
- In cultural news from here in the old country, Pete Doherty is apparently still a "genius," which presumably means we have a hidden race of intellectuals who express their sheer brilliance by rubbing crack rocks into their eyes, stealing all their mates' stuff and failing to get it up for their girlfriends. Oh, and Kate Bush is making a comeback, which I would imagine means that Tori Amos will have to go into some kind of witness protection scheme.
- I am, in fact, Internet Jesus. Hurrah.
- Seriously. UFO organisations have been contracting of late, because no-one's seeing flying saucers any more. They turn up at weird cultural stress points, like an approaching millennium (which the X-Files lucked into, rather than caused). Almost, it seems, when the culture is worried about something amorphous rather than concrete (like terrorism). The 90s UFO "glut" coincided with the threat of nuclear war fading, relative political stability in the US and UK, and yet the feeling that the turn of the century Meant Something that we couldn't put into words. I almost miss flying saucers: because they might mean that we don't have anything serious to worry about.
- I don't drive, myself: couldn't afford to learn when I was a kid, and discovered by the time I was 18 that girls drove. For years, when people asked me if I drove, I told them that that was what girls were for. This means, however, that I'm totally stranded when in California, where taxis are apparently considered the work of the devil or something. New York; there's a civilised town. London, of course, has the best cabmen in the world.
- In other news, I'm up way too fucking early again. Oh, and Southend Pier caught fire (again) last night. Wasn't me.
- Does the Emperor wear no clothes? Or are you simply imagining him naked?
- If I knew PHP, I'd have my own social network system by now. Consider yourselves lucky.
- on the sales model of the comic series "Fell", to retailers:You guys who think I'm ratfucking you out of a few bucks? I've got 500 emails here from people thanking me for making one comic easier for them to buy from you. Get yourselves under control, for christ's sake.
- Stress has finally caught up with me. I know this because I have spent the last ten minutes considering whether or not the theme music to HAWAII 5-0 is in fact the greatest TV theme music ever. Or whether it is in fact the theme to VAN DER VALK... And have downloaded both of them off the internet. In the name of God. Someone help me think about sex or death or something. Thank you.
- The sky's gone the colour of death. Big storm coming. I'm going to be trapped in the pub. Very bad.
- I will accept death as an alternative to the pain of being awake, at this point.
- On the year in music, 2005: This year, the US got The Go!Team, whom I've been listening to since the Junior Kickstart EP. Which makes up for exporting Coldplay, I guess, for which we should have been prosecuted under international war crimes law. But, you know, you keep fucking with us at airports and we'll keep sending you educationally subnormal ponces with socks for hats.
- Writing comics? Still the best job in the world. I sit around all day making shit up and see it illustrated, in 99% of cases, exactly as I imagined it, if not better. I've been doing this a long time now, and I'm going to do it until I die. Which probably won't be long, given the constant insane deadline pressure. But fuck it. Anything worth doing takes work. Some people do question if it's worth it, given that the industry makes no friends and takes no prisoners and is not kind to people without the chops or the commitment or a thick skin. You know what? I've got forty books out there that some people wear on their fucking skin, and I didn't manage that by arsing around on the internet all day. That's right. I managed it AS WELL AS arsing around on the internet all day. I have powers.
- Shots of whisky between finishing a magnum of champagne? Don't do that again. I think I've woken up with motor neurone disease.
- So fuck 2005 right in the eyesocket. Horrible year. Will 2006 be any better? I'll settle for not having to bury any more of my friends for a year. Hoping to travel more. Also, forming a religion of some kind would be good. Embracing my destiny as Internet Jesus. (Or, at the very least, Wise Man Of The Internet Forest, who appears half-clothed at the treeline every day to make Proclamations And Propheses. You all want to fuck me now, eh?)
- Apparently it is Wrong, when finding carol singers at your door, to yell "Hail Satan! See you in Disneyland!" and slam it on them. But I don't want to be Right.
- Stopping off in the pub to recharge before heading into town to complete Phase Two Xmas Food Shopping. Phase Three is tomorrow, when we go to our butcher to pick up the goose, and stop off at the local beer specialist to get a case of heather ale and maybe some Samiclaus (sp), the superpowered Christmas beer that pours like treacle and paralyses the brain.
- My back is killing me. I can feel things moving around in it. It is a singularly unpleasant sensation. Almost as bad as watching Xmas television. Caught part of a documentary on the recording of "Fairytale Of New York" last night. What the fuck happened to Shane McGowan's head? It's shrunk.
- Portable culture is crucial to any society in motion. Manga in all its indigenous forms has been a thing built for Japanese commuters. Part of why that style of anthology doesn't play so well in America is that it's a culture of private cars, not public transport.
- I have decided that I shall be referred to only as Love Swami for the rest of the week, and shall delete any email not headed with the term.
- On the impending release of Nextwave #1: But if you're one of those real frightening anal sticklers for Marvel continuity? And you get genuinely angry about people playing fast and loose with Marvel comics canon? Please don't pick it up. You'll have a heart attack, and I don't need that on my conscience, despite the wonders it'd do for my reputation.
- It is so fucking cold. Outside, the sky's cut in half. There's this huge black cloudbank covering half the sky, just radiating cold and rain and doom, waiting for me to step outside. And it's not moving. It's waiting. The other half? Blue sky. Every erg of heat in England just flying up through it into space. There's some Russian bastard on the ISS right now looking down and saying, see, my country is saved, the Russian winter is moving east to FREEZE WARREN'S NUTS OFF.
- Spoke briefly with my family after the interminable service, during which the priest manfully ignored the fact that I wasn't singing or praying (they don't always), and then took off. I don't do the after- funeral. It tends to be a bunch of old people you don't know drinking all the booze, and then a lot of messy drama.
- Damn, I love drinking. Drinking and watching rugby. I note it's your Superbowl this weekend, my Yanqui friends. I think it's really nice that in your otherwise primitive society you make such a big deal about men playing a Girl's game. Which must not be mistaken for rugby, as you know, for rugby is a game for Men and Women. American football? Girl's game. Right up there with netball. England are about to play Wales at rugby, and it's on here at the pub. Camera closes in on the England team: scarred mutants to a man, with big weird bald patches where the hair has been ripped right out of their scalps in handfuls.
- Oh, this is brilliant. The Wales team are being sponsored by a brewery with a slightly unusual name. On their red shirts, the name is emblazoned on the front in big white letters: BRAINS. We are WALES, and we are here for BRAAAAIIIIINNNNS.
- Why am I drinking Jack? Because it's easy. It's like breakfast whisky. They don't have a good selection in here, and I'm not putting fucking Glenfiddich in my body straight. That stuff's for cooking with, and then only if you don't have Glenlivet or Isle of Jura. It's early in the day for me.
- And the end result is that at least several thousand people get exposed to the creativity of female readers for a change. Which I think is a good thing. And I get pretty pictures out of it, so I win. As ever.
- Bring back Christians vs Lions, that's what I say. That'd be some television. Don't lie to me. You only watch the Winter Olympics to see the skiers wipe out on the downhill slopes. I'd wear that shirt and go to the sports bar. "I'm a Lions fan!" "Me too!" "Have you ever met a Christians fan?" "Only in Oklahoma and South Dakota. But they say God invented lions anyway, so they're kind of torn. Which is funny, really, because that's what happens to the Christians on a Saturday afternoon anyway..."
- On convention appearances: I actually thought about attending San Diego a couple of years ago, and talked to a publisher about it. I told them I'd need a business-class flight (better air filters -- otherwise I spend a day on an inhaler) and a decent-sized hotel room. They said: "But if we give you that, what will Neil Gaiman ask for?"
- Alan Moore once told me he works the nine-pic grid because it's cinematic. I told him I work the six-grid pic because it's television. I should think more on that sometime.
- Finding a take on a female character is always hard, because I never want to find myself writing a man with tits, you know?
- What I loved best about The West Wing is how the characters spoke. People would say, well, real people don't speak like that. And to this day I fail to understand why that matters.
- Chris Claremont once said of Alan Moore, "if he could plot, we'd all have to get together and kill him." Which utterly misses the most compelling part of Alan's writing, the way he develops and expresses ideas and character. Plot does not define story. Plot is the framework within which ideas are explored and personalities and relationships are unfolded. If all you want is plot, go and read a Tom Clancy novel.
- Always remember: Valentine's Day is a Christian corruption of a pagan festival involving werewolves, blood and fucking. So wish people a happy Horny Werewolf Day and see what happens. I love you all. [02/14/07]
- Wikipedia also continues to spell my name wrong, so, you know, please stop using it like it's a bastion of truth, or, indeed, fucking anything. [9/1/2007]
- Cyclops is the best superhero in the world. He is, as far as I'm concerned, the Batman. He's been in intensive training since his early teenage years to lead the first-ever mutant rescue and security team. This is a guy who gets up every morning asking himself how he can be better.
- If you believe that your thoughts originate inside your brain— do you also believe that television shows are made inside your television set?
- The book is almost always better than the movie. You could have no better case in point than FROM HELL, Alan Moore's best graphic novel to date, brilliantly illustrated by Eddie Campbell. It's hard to describe just how much better the book is. It's like, "If the movie was an episode of Battlestar Galactica with a guest appearance by the Smurfs and everyone spoke Dutch, the graphic novel is Citizen Kane with added sex scenes and music by your favourite ten bands and everyone in the world you ever hated dies at the end." That's how much better it is.
- I have attempted to reflect this in TRANSMET: the understanding that the world can be neither perfect nor doomed. But that it can be better. And the people who get to decide if it's going to be better or not are the people who show up and raise their voices.
- Was I ever upset about John Lennon? I mean, if you're going to write a song as bad as "Woman," you've got to expect some kind of retribution down the pike.
- Horribly, I know this: that Malcolm McDowell only took the GENERATIONS gig so he could be known as the man who killed Captain Kirk.
- You know how many European public figures of the last hundred years have only had one ball? Mark Millar and Hitler.
- (On relationships ending) Relax. These are the quiet times, where you get to think, to take the world in, and to decide who you want to be. And these times will never come again. They're as crucial to your life as the experience of being partnered that you want. Use these days. And, I tell you - just when you think you've about got things sorted out in your head...
- (On Los Angeles) I hate the place. Which I'm sure comes as no surprise. I hate cities I can't walk around. When I try walking in West Hollywood people in their cars slow down and stare at me. I don't think this is entirely down to my shocking personal beauty. Have you ever tried walking in Burbank? Have you ever tried finding somewhere in Burbank to walk to? Walking down Sunset is an exercise in existential horror. Santa Monica's only walkable if death is no hurdle. The air's the wrong colour. People put sunglasses on their dogs. It's a hideous place where humans are not welcome and those who stay suffer eight kinds of brain damage.
- (on Nextwave) When you're putting together any kind of really stupid loud explody movie, I feel you need a Posh English Girl With Guns. Also, a Robot, a Man With One Name Who Hits People, The Blonde and the Magic Negro.
- I understand "professional wrestling" to have been an American comedy programme that was quite popular in the 90s.
- They make me sad, and angry that the world does not yet understand how much the Dog hates the Human.
- Okay, here's the thing. FOOTBALL is a very old game of skill played with a round ball. AMERICAN FOOTBALL is a game played with an ovoid ball by Girls in armour who are afraid of a little scratch or two. The original, superior version of American Football is RUGBY, which is played by Men and Women of courage and character and usually a collection of minor mental illnesses. The greatest sport ever invented by humans, however, is the Sumo.
- Didn't go to university, left education at 18, no idea what writing classes are like. Like most writers I know, I just make it up as I go along. I've never been totally convinced by the idea of "teaching" writing in any case -- I've known people who've used all kinds of processes like that, and they've still been shit. Just shit with good technique. You can't teach the essential spark. You've either got it or you haven't. The good news is that if you go to university, you gain the singular education that allows you to find Eddie Izzard funny.
- You'd be surprised how many people approach me thinking I'm going to try and cut off their thumbs or hit them with a chairleg or something.
- Like I said, it's one of the few real perks of the job, particularly if you do a certain kind of work: you get to meet all kinds of interesting people.
- I grew up in the 80s in England: we'd wake up each morning and look out the window to see if the government had finally put Daleks on the streets.
- I figure that the more of you there are around me, the more chance there is of the inevitable hail of bullets hitting you instead of me.
- Apparently, using the sentence "Does Daddy have to shank a bitch?" is considered unorthodox parenting. Who knew?