Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan is my favourite comic book of all time, bar none. As a journalist and a fan of Hunter S. Thompson, the story of Spider Jerusalem's endless crusade against stupidity and dumb politicians was my first look into the potential of graphic novels as a serious, cohesive story. It also cemented Ellis at the top of my "Favourite Writer" list.
It's been roughly ten years since Transmet ended, and any merchandise (like the DC Direct glasses, or Spider Jerusalem action figure) are quite sparse.
However, when I got word that someone would be putting together an "Inspired By Transmetropolitan" art book for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, I couldn't help but donate. The effort used Kickstarter, which allowed donors to cover the cost of the printing and be assured a certain level of reward, depending on what they donated. Today, finally, my hardcover came.
The book, titled All Around the World, is a collection of both inspired works and collection of Transmet-inspired commissions. Pages are crisp and well-colored; I definitely get the feeling that some effort went into portraying the art as well as possible.
While Ellis didn't have a hand in the creation of the book, series artist Darick Robertson generously donated his signatures to the boilerplate of certain books, like the one I bought. Ellis provides a forward, and other artists provide written pieces that go along with their art. Robertson also provides and introduction, giving some insight into the creative process that went into Transmetropolitan during the series' five year run.
Some choose to interpret events that transpired in the comic, while others took a more liberal approach to the setting: there's at least one picture of a female Spider, and a possible "What If?" scenario that's tacked onto the series' end. There's something here for everyone, really; some will appreciate the surreal interpretations, while others will love the more sombre pieces. Some might even want to see some Sex Puppets references, but I'm not one to judge.
Overall, the quality of the product is extremely good; the hardcover version features these silver-embossed designs on the slip case and the cover (once the dust jacket is removed) that really add some polish to the whole thing. My copy's corners got a little banged up during shipping, but I'm not usually one to care about that.
Ultimately, fans of the series are going to want to get their hands on this; like the Volume 0 trade paperback (which had industry artists and writers giving their interpretations of the setting), this book is more really shows an appreciation for the world that Ellis and Robertson crafted.
Remaining copies of the art book are available from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund's web page, though quantities are limited. This is only limited to the hardcover versions of the book, as all slip-cased and special editions of the book have been shipped.