Written by Warren Ellis, Art by Darick Robertson, TRANSMETROPOLITAN begins here, with this volume collecting issues #1-6 of the acclaimed Vertigo series from writer Warren Ellis and artist Darick Robertson! After years of selfimposed exile from a civilization rife with degradation and indecency, cynical journalist Spider Jerusalem is forced to return to a job he hates and a city he loathes. Working as an investigative reporter for the newspaper The Word, Spider attacks the injustices of his surreal 23rd century surroundings. In this first volume, Spider ventures into the dangerous Angels 8 district, home of the Transients ― humans who have decided to become aliens through cosmetic surgery. But Spider’s interview with the Transients’ leader gets him a scoop he didn’t bargain for. And don’t miss Spider’s first confrontation with the President of the United States . . . in a men’s room.
Where do I begin with this one. If we were talking in person right now, and you asked me to describe Transmetropolitan, I’d probably laugh out loud, and rather obnoxiously too, to the point where if there were people around us, it would make their heads turn and look at us with a raised eyebrow. This is one weird graphic novel, and one that I probably would never have read only that the owner of my local games store told me to, and I’m actually pretty glad I did, to be honest.
I took notes as I was reading this, because I couldn’t believe half the stuff I was reading it. They go something like this: “Infamous journalist exiles himself. Comes down off his mountain, reports on an alien riot, becomes an infamous journalist once again.” This was then followed by: “Spider decides to visit the President with his new assistant. Bursts in on the President while he’s taking a piss, gives the President a piece of his mind before making the President lose control of his bowels.” Which was then followed by “Spider decides to watch TV for a whole day. Makes himself a wanted man by calling endless call-shows, ends with a TV advertisement, needs drugs to keep him from loosing his mind by the end.” This is all wrapped up in the volume by “Spider deciding he’s going to report on the newest religion in town. He ends up going to some religion convention, loses control of himself, has a rant, end.”… need I say more?!?
Warren Ellis is one of my favourite comic book writers, and he sure didn’t disappoint with this one. In fact, I can see why this would be one of his more well known works. It was written in 1997, and shows an idea of what Warren Ellis thinks of what technology and society might become in the years to come. Let me tell you, he’s not far off the mark with this. There are some things in it, a whole nine-ten years later where I’m going: we kind of have something like that now. Then there are other parts–numerous parts, in fact–where I just found myself laughing out loud at the absurdity of it, but at the same time going: we’re not too far from most of this happening in this day and age. While some of the Technology in Transmetropolitan mightn’t be accurate to what we have now, it’s certainly very similar, and it’s not wrong. Everyone is hooked up to the internet and social media and news feeds–which we pretty much are at the minute with our phones. It’s scary, actually how accurate Warren Ellis predicted the future, almost ten years ago!
If you’re looking for a laugh-out-loud read which has a lot of politics and violence as well as just a good damn read, look no further. I will say though, it’s not for the feint of heart and probably best if taken with a pinch of salt. It can be quite crude in some parts, and maybe not for everyone. If you’re an avid Warren Ellis fan, you’ve probably read it already, and aren’t living under a rock like I have been, and if not, then you’ll love this just as much as any of his other work, if not more!
* This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you subscribe or purchase something through the links provided. You will never see me post a link to a product or service that I haven’t used myself and love!