Warren Ellis was born in Essex, England in 1968. He attended South East Essex Sixth Form College where he contributed comic strip writing to the campus magazine Spike. Prior to kick-starting his writing career, Ellis held a litany of jobs, like most writers, including such auspicious work as throwing manure bags. His first professionally published work was for the British comics magazine Deadline. Ellis is a prolific writer with a well established internet presence. His forums tend to be a gathering place for creative people including many of his peers in the comics business. He has directed serial webisodes, keeps a blog, and moderates several websites. Ellis should not be confused for the Australian musician of the same name, the sometimes collaborator of Nick Cave.
Like most of his peers within the elite group of "British Invasion" writers, Warren Ellis started his career working on classic British titles like Doctor Who Magazine, Speakeasy, and Judge Dredd Magazine. In 1991, he began a monthly serial of his first recurring character Lazarus Churchyard with artist D'Israeli in Blast! Magazine. Many years later the Lazarus Churchyard stories would be expanded and updated in the Lazarus Churchyard: The Final Cut graphic novel by Image.
In 1994 he was recruited by Marvel to take over Hellstorm: Prince of Lies. His run lasted from issues 12-21. Later that same year he began what would become his legendary run on Excalibur, revitalizing a title that was forgotten by all but the most die-hard X-Fans. Ellis also began work on Marvel's 2099 line, writing two issues of 2099 Unlimited, which later led in to his run on Doom 2099. Ellis continued working for Marvel through 2000, finally leaving for many years after the failure of his Counter-X project. Ellis has recently returned to Marvel, and had a six issue run on Moon Knight.
Ellis' failed attempt to revitalize the second tier X-Men titles for Marvel helped spur his decision to leave them for a few years. In 1997, he signed an exclusive contract for DC. Under the contract terms he was allowed an unprecedented amount of creative control which extended to Vertigo, Wildstorm and Homage titles, as well as allowing him the freedom to finish up any of his outstanding projects for other companies. His most well-known projects during this rime include Transmetropolitan (which began under the Helix imprint, but was soon published under the Vertigo banner), and Planetary (for Wildstorm).
Wildstorm/Homage (Ellis' work started for this company while it was part of Image Comics and carried over with it after Jim Lee sold it to DC in 1998)
The Apparat books were designed to be an imaginary line of comics that answer the question, "What if pulp stories transitioned into comics without spawning superheroes?" In practice, it is a publishing imprint under the Avatar Press umbrella.
In 2010, Ellis wrote a unique mail order only comic published by BERG Design Group called SVK. It comes packaged with a UV flashlight as some of it is written in invisible ink that shows up only under a black light.
Other Media Work
- 2010 Red (Based on Ellis' comic for Homage)
- 2013 Red 2 (Nothing to do with Ellis' second Red comics series but still loosely based on characters he created with Cully Hamner.)
Role Playing Games
- 2002 Adventure (Ellis wrote the back story and contributed a short story to the game book by White Wolf)
AVAILABLE LIGHT is a hardcover collection of new short writings and digital photography by Warren Ellis, the creator and author of TRANSMETROPOLITAN, PLANETARY, SWITCHBLADE HONEY and MINISTRY OF SPACE. The thirty photographs are taken with an Eyemodule, a camera plugged into a handheld computer. Low-fi high-tech — smaller than a lighter, but limited by fixed-zoom and no flash. It works only with available light.
Its eerie, grainily vérité images are coupled with thirty new prose pieces inspired by the pictures, ranging from strange fiction to observational writing familiar to readers of the best-selling COME IN ALONE. Warren Ellis' prose fiction has previously been published in places like the scientific journal NATURE and the two TRANSMETROPOLITAN complementary works I HATE IT HERE and FILTH OF THE CITY.
Publisher: AiT/PlanetLar (March, 2002)
Come In Alone
"They want me to entertain you bastards," Warren Ellis began his series of columns for the comic book Internet destination website Comic Book Resources. Part social commentary, part sitting at-the-feet-of-Socrates, part kick in the ass, COME IN ALONE was the column that would zig when you thought it would zag. This collection of all fifty-two columns includes Ellis' unique take on the comic book industry, features first-class interviews with top-flight comic book professionals, and even includes the legendary Old Bastard's Manifesto. Wrap this all up in an evocative and spooky cover by Brian Wood, and you've got a collection of commentary that midwifed the birth of the comic book industry into the 21st century.
Publisher: AiT/PlanetLar (May, 2001)
Crooked Little Vein
Burned-out private detective and self-styled shit magnet Michael McGill needed a wake-up call to jump-start his dead career. What he got was a virtual cattle prod to the crotch in the form of an impossible assignment delivered directly from the president's heroin-addict chief of staff. It seems the Constitution of the United States has some skeletons in its closet: the Founding Fathers doubted that the document would be able to stave off human nature indefinitely, so they devised a backup Constitution to deploy at the first sign of crisis. In the government's eyes, that time is now, as America is overgrown with perverts who spend more time surfing the web for fetish porn than they do reading a newspaper. They want to use this "Secret Constitution" to drive the country back to a time when civility, God, and mom's homemade apple pie was all that mattered. The only problem is, no one can seem to find it...
So who better to track it down then a private dick who's so down-and-out that he's coming up the other side, a shamus whose only skill is stumbling into every depraved situation imaginable?
With no lead to speak of, and no knowledge of the underground world in which the Constitution has traveled, McGill embarks on a cross-country odyssey of America's darkest, dankest underbelly. Along the way, his white-bread sensibilities are treated to a smorgasbord of depravity that runs the gamut of human imagination. The filth mounts; it is clear that this isn't the kind of life, liberty, or happiness that Thomas Jefferson thought Americans would enjoy in the twenty-first century.
But what McGrill learns as he closes in on the real Constitution is that freedom takes many forms, the most important of which may be the fight against the "good old days." Like Vonnegut, Orwell, and Huxley before him, Warren Ellis deftly exposes the hypocrisy of the "moral majority" by giving us a glimpse at the monstrous outcome that their overzealous policies would achieve.
Publisher: HarperCollins (2007)
Warren Ellis reimagines New York City as a puzzle with the most dangerous pieces of all: GUNS.
After a shootout claims the life of his partner in a condemned tenement building on Pearl Street, Detective John Tallow unwittingly stumbles across an apartment stacked high with guns. When examined, each weapon leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. Someone has been killing people for twenty years or more and storing the weapons together for some inexplicable purpose.
Confronted with the sudden emergence of hundreds of unsolved homicides, Tallow soon discovers that he's walked into a veritable deal with the devil. An unholy bargain that has made possible the rise of some of Manhattan's most prominent captains of industry. A hunter who performs his deadly acts as a sacrifice to the old gods of Manhattan, who may, quite simply, be the most prolific murderer in New York City's history.
Warren Ellis's body of work has been championed by Wired for its "merciless action" and "incorruptible bravery," and steadily amassed legions of diehard fans. His newest novel builds on his accomplishments like never before, announcing Ellis as one of today's most daring thriller writers. This is twenty-first century suspense writ large. This is GUN MACHINE.
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Mulholland Books; First Edition (January 1, 2013)
Dead Pig Collector
From the wicked imagination of award-winning writer Warren Ellis comes Dead Pig Collector, a love story with a classic Ellis twist. So while it might be a love story, it’s also about killing people and disposing of their bodies in the most efficient manner possible.
Dead Pig Collector introduces readers to Mister Sun, a very proficient businessman whose trade is the murder and spotless removal of human beings. Like any businessman, he knows each transaction is only as good as his client - and today's client, in Los Angeles, has turned out to be so dangerously stupid that Mister Sun's work and life are now in jeopardy...
An FSG Digital Original e-book
- 2001 Eagle Award for Character most worthy of ongoing title, Elijah Snow
- 2001 Eagle Award for Favourite reprint collection, The Authority: Under New Management
- 2006 Eagle Award for Favourite comics story published during 2006, Nextwave 1-6
- 2006 Eagle Award for Favourite comics villain, Dirk Anger (Nextwave: Marvel)
- 2006 Eagle Award for Favourite comics writer
- 2006 Eagle Award for Favourite new comic book, Nextwave
- 2006 Eagle Award Roll of Honour
- 2010 Eagle Award for Favourite Writer
- 2010 Eagle Award for Favourite web based comic, Freakangels