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When 2000AD Was The Future by Garth Ennis [25 Aug 2009|01:32pm]


from Bleeding Cool

This seems like as good a time as any to acknowledge a rather large debt. A creative one, to be precise. To what you might call a kind of great-great-grandfather once removed, whose bastard descendants include Preacher, Hitman, The Boys, Wormwood, The Pro, Kev, Barracuda, Dicks and more; whose barebones characterization, dark humour and intense action were and always will be a massive influence on my own work; whose writers, artists and editors created the greatest comic ever.

It cost 7p Earth money, it was printed on recycled bog roll, and it made Friday afternoons that little bit better: it was 2000AD, and in those first ten years- before they got desperate and started employing people like me- it was like lightning in a bottle. A glance at the roster of talent involved is enough to take the breath away, and it should be remembered that a whole generation of readers was able to pick up almost any given issue and see a dozen of these guys at their very best.

So thank you: Pat Mills, John Wagner, Gerry Finley-Day, Alan Grant, Alan Moore, Tom Tully, Alan Hebden, Steve MacManus, Kelvin Gosnell, Nick Landau, Robin Smith, Simon Geller, Richard Burton, Doug Church, Tom Frame, Carlos Ezquerra, Ramon Sola, Jesus Blasco, Massimo Belardinelli, Dave Gibbons, Mike McMahon, Kevin O’Neill, Ian Gibson, John Cooper, Brian Bolland, Brett Ewins, Brendan McCarthy, Garry Leach, Ron Smith, Colin Wilson, Steve Dillon, Kim Raymond, Cam Kennedy, John Higgins, Barry Kitson, Mike Dorey, Carlos Pino, Jim Watson, Alan Davis, Jesus Redondo, Jose Ortiz, Ian Kennedy, Eric Bradbury, Mike White, Bryan Talbot, Ron Turner, Jim Baikie, Angie Mills, Glenn Fabry, David Pugh, Mike Collins and many more.

Thank you for two Tyrannosaurs fighting to the death on the rim of a volcano; Bofors gunners shooting it out with UFOs; Old One Eye’s last and greatest kill; the only Bear on the CIA death list; “Quack-quack, Volg!”; the truly unstoppable Artie Gruber; Dan Dare at the battle of Jupiter; Conclusion: MACH One terminated. Now closing down transmission; the Space Fort’s final battle with the Starslayer Empire; I came into the apartment blasting. I’ve been at this game for forty years and there’s one thing I’ve learned- never give a robot an even break; “Goodbye, Ro-Jaws and Hammerstein. Little Mo and I will always remember you”; Blackhawk and his comrades at the Event Horizon; “When you get old, you start gettin’ strange notions, like maybe people aren’t so bad. Maybe if we treat ‘em with kindness, the good in them will come out. I guess that’s when it’s time to quit”; I was there the day the heavens turned to hell; an ammo belt of silver Spandau bullets; the madness that was Meltdown Man; “Boys, you’re making a big mistake. I’m the one you should be afraid of. And here’s why”; “Perhaps we could all do with a little more of what Dredd’s got”.

Thank you, also, for the night the G.I.s died; the Dark Judges on the loose in Billy Carter Block; “Is that what people are? Are we robots too?”; “Vape, baby, vape!”; And there was great celebration which went on all night… and the night went on forever; “An’ the name’s Thompson–Harry Thompson!”; Carefully–oh, so carefully–creeps the Starborn Thing; “And some of them… some of them are stars”; Johnny and Wulf fighting dead men in an alien churchyard; “There’s a moral here somewhere, Grobbendonk”; “Grim”; Red Planet Blues; “Welcome to the wound-feast!”; “But the third word is probably oranges”; “I know many things, Old Red-Eyes”; For you are a Judge. And it is your duty; “Wake up, guys…we’re home,”; “Fancy that for dinner, George?”; The city screaming Chopper’s name; “Been nice knowin’ ya, good buddies. Guess this is it. Truck tucker, y’hear?”; Halo Jones eating breakfast in the ruins; And let the Third Law be that anyone says different’s a dead man; “Because I hate you.”

And, of course: “This Cursed Earth will not break me! I am The Law! I am Dredd–JUDGE DREDD!”

Finally, there’s the best bit of all, to me the greatest moment in comics history: part 22 of The Apocalypse War. Having fought a losing battle against the invaders, seen half of Mega-City One destroyed, massacred collaborators and euthanised the critically wounded, Dredd has led an elite team of Judges into an East-Meg missile silo. Following one of the best action sequences I’ve ever read in a comic, the Judges find themselves unable to gain access to the operations room, until Dredd simply bangs on the door with his pistol and shoots the curious halfwit who opens it point-blank. Our boys storm the ops room and seal the door. Anderson, the telepath (and only volunteer in the Apocalypse Squad- no peacenik cosmic wandering in those days) pulls the launch codes out of the silo commander’s mind. The nukes are targeted on East-Meg One. “Please, Dredd”, begs the commander, “There are half a billion people in my city–half a billion human beings! You can’t just wipe them out with the push of a button!” And Dredd doesn’t hesitate, not even for a second.

“Can’t I?”

He can and he does. I still think about that today; what it meant about the character, and about the comic I was reading (aged 12). Even now I don’t know if Dredd was right or if he was wrong. It was the only way to win, to avoid the further slaughter and enslavement of his own people–but it was genocide. It was moral courage on an almost unimaginable level–but it was appalling. In the end, it was a dilemma not unlike those faced by a number of good and bad men in our own history, and if I had to sum it up in one line, I’d say this: what are you prepared to do when there isn’t any easy way out?

And that, I think, is why I’ve never been able to care about Batman, or Wolverine, or Iron Man… or any of them, really. Not because of what characters like that would or wouldn’t do, but because their publishers would never have the courage to have them written into such a situation.

A belated–but sincere–Happy Thirty-Second Birthday to the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic.

–Garth Ennis
New York City, June 2009

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Some quick icons.. [17 Apr 2009|08:55am]

[30] The Boys NSFW
[09] Misc. Batman Villains (The Joker, Harley Quinn, Catwoman/Harley)
[06] Misc. DC Comics (Guy Gardner, Identity Crisis, Salvation Run)
[10] Misc. (Cowboy Bebop [OST cover], The Devil's Rejects, The Dresden Dolls, Genshiken, Placebo, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies)

( Proper Preparation and Planning Prevent Piss-Poor Performance. )

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Remembering 'Just a Pilgrim' with Garth Ennis [23 Oct 2008|03:54pm]

From newsarama...

By Joe Rybandt

Hi there - Dynamite Entertainment Associate Editor Joe Rybandt here, back again with the ever-reclusive Garth Ennis to spend a bit of time here on the virtual pages of Newsarama talking in two parts. Part the first, here below, covers Dynamite’s release of the Ennis-written Just A Pilgrim coming in December. I pause now for an intrusion that tells you what it is we’re doing exactly.

Collected in hardcover for the first time ever, the Complete Just a Pilgrim Hardcover features the signature anti-hero as created by writer Garth Ennis and artist Carlos Ezquerra!

Return to Ennis' hopeless, yet fascinating, post apocalyptic world brilliantly illustrated by Ezquerra!

Featuring both the original mini-series and the sequel ("Garden of Eden") mini-series together for the first time in one hardcover collection, this volume also contains a complete cover gallery featuring the work of Tim Bradstreet, JG Jones, Glenn Fabry, and many more!

That said, let’s do this thing, shall we? (and come back in a few days for Part the Second where Garth and I talk about the Battlefields series, the first issue of which - “The Night Witches” hits stores shelves on October 29th, and funny enough, so does The Boys #24 and what you’re really find side-splittingly hilarious is that Garth will be available to sign both for those in the New York metropolitan area, over at Hanley’s.


Joe Rybandt: How did you get involved with the original Pilgrim publisher Black Bull and where did the character of Pilgrim come from?

Garth Ennis: I think it was Jimmy Palmiotti who got me involved with Black Bull. He was working on something for them at the time, a book with Mark Waid and Amanda Conner, I think called Gatecrasher. Anyway, Jimmy and I have been good friends for quite some time now. He, I think, passed on a request from the Black Bull people just to see if I would like to do something for them and they seemed like a good bunch and I was happy enough to give it a go. The character I think I really just sort of dreamed up to suit Carlos Ezquerra. I wanted him to be well, obviously a tough guy, also extremely handy with firearms and so on... and your classic kind of lone. post-apocalyptic. almost Western figure. What I added to that was the religious fanaticism because I thought... I think at the time I was kind of wondering how far I could push the notion of a kind of a lone hero. Partly it comes from writing the Punisher and taking the notion of the violent gunman to its logical conclusion. This isn't really the kind of character who simply takes his coat and hat and guns off at the end of the day and has a perfectly ordinary life.

JR: Now were you writing the Punisher when this was coming out or was this before your Punisher run?

GE: I think it was right around the same time.

JR: It was after Preacher though?

GE: Yeah, it was. It was probably 'round about the summer Preacher was ending. I wanted to push the idea of the classic Western or action anti-hero a little bit more than I normally would, and that is where the religious fanaticism came from and also where the cannibalism came from. That was pushing that particular notion as far as it could possibly go, I would say. People actually seem to be happy enough to accept both once people got involved in the story. I think you actually find out what he's been up to as of about issue #3, but once people found out what he'd been up to they seemed to stick with the story anyway. I don't remember anyone, or any letters from people throwing up their hands in horror saying this was too much.

JR: Well it seems kind of tame - I just read Crossed #1 which was out last week - I just read that over the weekend and I think Pilgrim seems tame in comparison, but I think also the time that has passed for you as a writer, it's been what ten years since Pilgrim, or so almost? Eight?

GE: It must be almost that.

JR: It’s interesting, because, not that the series are related, but they are both dealing with kind of endtimes, right?

GE: There is a post-apocalyptic aspect to both. In the case of Pilgrim, it's an almost literal apocalypse because the planet has been burned to a crisp. Earth is, what we know as Earth, is effectively gone. In Crossed, the Earth is pretty much the same, it's the people that have changed -- the population has been reduced probably to a fraction of what it was by the actions of other people. So yeah, you're right, Pilgrim and Crossed are as far from one another as it's possible to be... they're very, very different but there is an overlap in the genre.

JR: Yeah, do you find - and obviously the subject matter is different and Pilgrim plays more as a comic book story and Crossed plays as more of a pure horror - but again, they both deal with reaction to the endtimes. Is Pilgrim just a comic book story dealing with endtimes and Crossed something that maybe you feel we've shifted closer to? In other words the sun burns the earth out in Pilgrim but in Crossed people lose their f###ing minds.

GE: Yeah.

JR: [LAUGHS] Is that where you see us more as a society or are they both just stories to you.

GE: I think Pilgrim is high adventure more than anything else. It's a classic Mad Max-ish, post-apocalyptic adventure with the little band of survivors, the lone hero who comes to save them and the band of avaricious pirate scum who really are rogues... freebooters on land, vehicles take the place of ships but you are effectively talking about pirates. Crossed is, as you say, it's much more of a horror book, it also looks a lot harder, I think, at what's in people. You could argue that there is a little of that in Pilgrim, with the religious mania aspect, but Crossed looks at the notion of human behavior, or human impulses, boiled down to their most primal and most awful. The desire to fight, feed and f### accelerated and magnified times a thousand, until the human beings, well it isn't a human being anymore, because the most primal part of its brain has been accessed and overridden any notion of morality or restraint. I think that is the main difference between the two. Crossed is quite a vicious brutal horror book, Pilgrim is, if anything kind, of an old-fashioned adventure.

JR: Besides The Duke [note, I saw John Wayne in the character, I was wrong as you’ll see], who else is in the genetic make-up of the Pilgrim and your creation of him?

GE: I think visually you're looking more at Clint Eastwood, or perhaps Lee Marvin, not really a John Wayne sort of character-- and in terms of his personality rather than his actual visual appearance, I don't really think he has anything to do with those characters. He's almost like a warrior monk, a self-appointed one, but I think his religious zealotry takes him much further away from simply his visual appearance.

JR: Pilgrim happened after Preacher, at least in terms of publication, and while Preacher is incredibly “American” in scope and execution and reaction, Pilgrim could have been at home in a series like 2000AD, and not just because of Carlos on art. Pilgrim feels very much -- maybe it's just Carlos, it might be just as simple as that -- but Pilgrim feels like a 2000AD book, almost in a way with its humor and all that. Was that intentional or was that just what you brought to it at the time?

GE: I think it’s very much the kind of material I tend to do when I'm working with Carlos. I grew up reading his work and when I had a chance to work with him in those days like with Bloody Mary or with Adventures in the Rifle Brigade or with Pilgrim, it was very much a kiss of violence, humor, larger than life characters and again, a science-fiction adventure story. So yes, I think that Pilgrim is heavily influenced by my having grown up reading 2000AD. It's interesting I think, that the work I'm doing now with Carlos is quite different. In recent years, the war stories I've been doing with him, like Condors in the second round of Vertigo War Stories and the Tankies in Battlefields, don't really depend on our shared history in working for, and reading 2000AD; they're perhaps the kind of material that Carlos would not normally have been asked to do, but I think he enjoyed himself immensely.

Check back on Monday to read the full first issue of Just a Pilgrim.
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Garth Ennis on Battlefields: Night Witches [18 Aug 2008|06:32pm]

By Matt Brady
posted: 2008-08-18 15:40:00 ET

In October, Garth Ennis re-enters familiar territory.

That month, Garth Ennis’ Battlefields kicks off from Dynamite Entertainment with Night Witches #1. Fans of Ennis’ War Stories at Vertigo will recognize what the writer is doing – traveling back to lesser-known, or out and out forgotten conflicts and soldiers of the World War II era, and telling their stories.

Case in point - Night Witches, which features Russian female bomber pilots who would go on night bombing runs in planes which were near obsolete. Given the death that was always at their wingtip due to the condition of their aircraft – not to mention the fate that would await them if they were ever captured, Ennis takes these plain women of Russia, and shows them for the heroes they are.

Following Night Witches (illustrated by Russ Braun), Ennis will present The Tankies and Dear Billy (three issues each) to round out this volume of Battlefields. We spoke with Ennis about the series, and his fascination with World War II history.

Newsarama: Garth, Battlefields appears to be a continuation of the type of stories that you were exploring in your Vertigo War Stories a while back. What was the reasoning to get back to them? As Nick Barrucci said , you suggested this pretty quickly when he asked if there was anything else you wanted to do at Dynamite...

Garth Ennis: War stories are pretty much my favorite genre, and I've had these three ready to go for some time. In terms of theme and tone they are indeed a continuation of the War Story series I did at Vertigo.

NRAMA: We spoke about the story selection of War Stories at Vertigo a few years back, but let's touch upon that again...how do you find the settings & characters for your stories? You've said before that you're a pretty voracious reader of WWII history...are we seeing, for the most part, your discoveries in Battlefields, and previously in War Stories?

GE: Yeah, that's about it. The more I read the more occurs to me. It can be a particular setting, like The Tankies, or characters, like The Night Witches, or sometimes it'll be just a single incident that sets me off - as in Dear Billy.

NRAMA: That said, what turns a historical account of a lesser-known setting/battle/group of soldiers, etc from an academic curiosity into fertile ground for a story? Using the Night Witches as an example, what made them and their experiences fertile ground for a story arc in Battlefields?

GE: Sometimes you want to do stories about the ordinary, run of the mill soldier and his experiences - the Tankies, for instance, features a crew of fairly unexceptional tank men struggling to survive the brutal fighting in Normandy post D-Day. Not a tale of elite special forces, just the regular soldier doing his thing- because what happens to the regular soldier in his tank or foxhole can be just as fascinating as the exploits of commandos and paratroopers.

In the case of the Night Witches, however, I was drawn to the exceptional nature of the characters involved. Young women in their late teens or early twenties, piloting obsolete biplanes on night-bombing missions against a vastly superior force, that's interesting enough- but when you consider the bullshit they had to put up with from their male counterparts, and even worse, the potentially ghastly consequences of capture that they faced, the story becomes downright fascinating.

NRAMA: Where did you first find the accounts of the Night Witches? How much information is available about them?

GE: I first ran across the notion of Soviet women combat pilots in a strip I read as a kid, "Johnny Red", which appeared in a British weekly called Battle. It was probably my favorite story when I was young; I also first encountered the concept of camships and Hurricats there, which eventually led to me writing Archangel in the second series of Vertigo war books. I had a similarly astonished reaction, too- "They didn't let girls fly planes, did they?" But as I discovered when I did a little further reading, yes, they most certainly did. So there you go, comics are good for something.

I think there's a fair amount of information on the Night Witches available, in print and online, but it still seems to be pretty much specialist knowledge. No one I've spoken to is aware that the Russians employed women in combat roles- not just the Night Witches, but as bomber and fighter pilots, tank crew, medics, line infantry, snipers etc.

NRAMA: When does this arc take place during their active period?

GE: The story follows the first women to see service through their initial six months of combat, in the latter half of 1942. The characters are fictional, but their experiences are roughly based on those of their real-life counterparts.

NRAMA: Through your War Stories and now in Battlefields, what are you looking to leave readers with? If I recall correctly, part of this all was/is to just tell good war stories, but at the same time...your stories show these regular men and women with a great level of courage and nobility, all the while keeping them very real...

GE: I can't deny that I write these stories largely because of my own fascination with the war genre, and hopefully some of my enjoyment will come through for the reader. I certainly feel like Battlefields represents my A-game right now, the very best that I'm capable of. But beyond that, I'm hoping to keep alive some stories that might otherwise fade from the world that might disappear along with the men and women who lived them. If nothing else, stories like The Tankies and The Night Witches are a chance to acknowledge the courage of some pretty exceptional people.

NRAMA: You’ve been mentioning them, so let’s get into them a little - what battles/soldiers are coming up in the other two arcs of Battlefields?

GE: Dear Billy is set in the far east, beginning with the Japanese invasion of British-held Singapore in 1942 and finishing with their defeat in 1942. The story follows Carrie Sutton, a young English nurse who survives Japanese captivity by the skin of her teeth, and goes about seeking revenge in perhaps the worst way possible. The Tankies follows an inexperienced tank crew through one day's savage warfare in the Normandy bocage country, as the allies struggle to break out of the beach head they established on D-Day.

NRAMA: With your war stories, you've stuck mostly to the European theater (albeit with stories in North Africa and the North Atlantic and Russia)...have you considered more stories set in the Pacific front?

GE: You bet. I want to keep on doing these stories indefinitely, and I'd like to get to the Pacific sooner or later. The U.S. Marines in the island campaigns, maybe, or B-29 crew over Japan, or perhaps something involving the Kamikazes. The list is pretty endless.

NRAMA: Likewise, you've remained in the WWII era, generally speaking. While you've explored Vietnam somewhat in Punisher: Born, can you see yourself moving your focus to Korea, Vietnam, the covert wars of South America, or even the Desert Storm(s)?

GE: I did a story about the Spanish Civil War in the second Vertigo series, Condors, with Carlos Ezquerra. Certainly all the conflicts you mention are of interest, particularly Korea, which I think is something of a forgotten war. If it continues, Battlefields will probably focus on WW2 for the most part- but I imagine I'll get to the others in time.

NRAMA: Finally - drop a few names and pull back the curtain a little bit - for those who're interested in the same view of WWII as you are, who do you recommend hunting through the History section in the library for?

GE: I like Richard Overy, Anthony Beevor, John Keegan and Richard Holmes, but my favorite is probably Max Hastings, who achieves an objectivity that I've always been greatly impressed by. There's another guy called Stephen Bungay, who wrote an excellent history of the Battle Of Britain called The Most Dangerous Enemy. I think guys like Stephen Ambrose and Rick Atkinson are good, in that their books are filled with all kinds of useful anecdotes and first-hand accounts, but they're rather lacking in objectivity (to be fair, Atkinson's a lot better than Ambrose in that department).

I hate to say this, but the view of many American historians seems to revolve around the notion that the USA did the lion's share of the fighting in WW2, and saved the day almost single-handedly. The British historian will say, "Hold on a minute, old chap, I think you'll find there's a bit more to it than that". The Russian historian, presumably, will roll his eyes and leave the room

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Nick Barrucci on Garth Ennis Month at Dynamite [10 Aug 2008|04:20pm]

By Matt Brady
posted: 2008-08-08 16:02:00 ET

As its readers know, if there’s an antidote to superheroes, it’s Garth Ennis and Darick Robertson’s The Boys published by Dynamite Entertainment. Together, the creators pit their crew of agents charged with policing the superheroes against those that the public sees as the brightest and the best heroes their world have to offer.

And that’s not all Ennis has to offer at Dynamite. Coming in October, Ennis will write Garth Ennis’ Battlefields, a return of sorts to realistic war stories from fronts that are not as well known as those learned about in history classes, but yet, Ennis loads them to the breaking point with drama and gripping action.

And yet, even that’s not all from Ennis at Dynamite. We spoke with Dynamite President Nick Barrucci about what’s to come during “Garth Ennis Month.”

Newsarama: Nick, October sees The Boys #23, which is Dynamite's 17th issue of the series. How's it performing for you in regards to your larger library of titles?

Nick Barrucci: The Boys is performing almost as well as it did when we launched it under Dynamite as a monthly title June of last year. There was a lot of hype when we launched and we got a few extra readers, and we've kept some, but not all - it happens. It’s nice that we’ve kept the momentum going. We've got a nice, steady pace, and the trade paperbacks and collections keep selling gang busters.

Read more here:
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Wizard World Philly: The Garth Ennis Panel [02 Jun 2008|03:30pm]

by Sarah Jaffe

Garth Ennis is the Eisner Award-winning author of Preacher, The Boys, Chronicles of Wormwood, The Punisher, and numerous other books. Dynamite Comics hosted a panel with Ennis to discuss his work on The Boys, which landed there after being dropped from WildStorm, and to introduce his new project on their imprint.

Ennis will be writing a new series of war comics for Dynamite under the title Battlefields. They will continue his tradition of taking a closer look at the lesser-known aspects of past wars. The first book, Night Witches, will be the story of Russian squadrons of female fighter pilots during World War II, with art by Russ Braun of Jack of Fables.

The Night Witches came partly out of desperation on the part of the Russians, but also, Ennis said, because “Stalin was interested in the notion of Communism truly meaning equality, and he was keen for women to play their part.”

Despite Stalin’s lofty notion of equality, Ennis noted, the women in the squadrons found it hard to gain acceptance among the men, and faced extra dangers if they were captured, not to mention were given lesser equipment to use.

The second Battlefields book will be called Dear Billy, and will be the story of a nurse in the aftermath of the invasion of Singapore. Ennis called it “a very dark story.” Third off will be a book called Tankies, which will revolve around Normandy after D-Day.

Before taking questions, Ennis paused to thank everyone who’s stuck by The Boys through the transition to Dynamite.

He was asked about his personal investment in war stories and why he keeps coming back to them, and he replied that he has no personal experience with the military at all—“Really, no thank you,”—but that he grew up reading war comics in Britain the same way American comic fans grew up on superhero books, and that he uses the war stories to acknowledge heroes and villains that otherwise get lost, like the Night Witches. “Courage like that is worth remembering and acknowledging.”

Another fan brought up Nick Fury as a character that Ennis seems to have a connection with, and he replied that it wasn’t the soldier background as much as it was the “filthy old whoremongering cigar-chomping bastard” that he liked.

He joked, when asked about research for war comics, that “there’s a guy on the other side of town,” but in all seriousness, he has fired guns as part of his research. Growing up in Britain, he explained, you don’t do that very often, but he found it helpful “to get the taste and smell of it,” particularly when writing the Punisher, who is so connected to his weapons.

“Frank Castle is so in tune with the weapons he’s using that they have a comforting familiarity to them…he seeks refuge in firearms,” he said.

While on the subject of Punisher, he was asked about Barracuda, the villain. Ennis actually said that he based the character on Stagger Lee, the subject of a folk song “about a large terrifying man and the terrifying things he does to people.”

Ennis had planned on killing off Barracuda sooner, but his editor at Marvel asked him not to do it yet, and then he realized that there was a larger story to tell, though he noted “I don’t believe you can survive two encounters with Frank—maybe one, by the skin of your teeth, minus some body parts.”

He found the character Jigsaw much less interesting because he did keep surviving, and said that “it’s healthy to keep coming up with new characters,” rather than falling back on the old reliables over and over again. He wouldn’t find Jigsaw interesting even if he was able to kill him, because it simply wouldn’t have any meaning to it, it would just be killing another villain.

Punisher is a character that Ennis likes, and he feels that a lot of writers simply don’t like him. “We were made for each other,” he said. “I think that most writers dislike the Punisher. They see him as a one-note monstrous murderer with no supporting cast…I see him the same way, but I think it’s great.”

Most American writers, Ennis thinks, prefer superheroes because that’s what they grew up on. He grew up on war comics and violent books like Judge Dredd, so that’s what he likes to write. Plus, “The abuse that I was able to put superheroes through was part of the draw.”

Regarding the Hitman comic, which did not come out with a mature readers tag, he said that he was happy with the level of freedom he had on it, and that the only difference with mature readers would have been “a lot more salty language and gore.”

He was asked both about the Preacher TV show and The Boys movie, but had no new information on either one, and was also asked if he could cast anyone in a Preacher movie, who he would choose. His picks, after some thought, were Lucas Black (of Jarhead and American Gothic) for Jesse, Simon Pegg, who had been nominated already as Wee Hughie by a fan, for Cassidy and Katee Sackhoff (of Battlestar Galactica) as Tulip.

One fan wanted to see more positive portrayals of Russians, and was pleased to hear that Ennis plans on more Eastern Front stories in the Battlefields series. Others were pleased to hear that he has more plans to work with Steve Dillon in the future, on a Vertigo series and on a Punisher series.

While he has a hard time saying which book he is most proud of, Ennis did say that Nightengale, a war comic with art by David Lloyd, would be the answer “if I had to hold up one thing and say this is what I can do, that would be it.”

Another fan was more impressed by the “Slavers” Punisher story and wanted to know the origins of that one. Ennis noted that most of the time when writing Punisher, he knows that it’s an unrealistic character, but after he read an article on human trafficking, he said “I really wanted there to be a Punisher to just kill them and kill them and kill them until they weren’t there anymore,” because it was so horrifying.

As for The Boys, Ennis confirmed that it will run for a planned 60 issues, and that there is indeed an end in his mind for it. He also said that each character will get his origins told, that the story behind Mother’s Milk’s “mama” is going to be horrifying, we will get to see the Female doing what she does best, and that Butcher will get his own six-issue miniseries to tell his origins. “His story is a doozy,” he said, “and he needs a bit of space.”

When asked why WildStorm dropped The Boys, he didn’t have a specific story or situation that they objected to, just the idea that “you can have a book in which people do dreadful things to each other, but you can’t have a book in which superheroes do dreadful things to each other, because that’s too close to mainstream DC product,” noting that DC is very corporate and everything has to pass through a legal team, something that doesn’t happen at Dynamite, where he has complete freedom and they work hard to promote his book.

The Preacher backstories, specifically the motives he attributed to God, came from being an atheist, he said, and trying to apply logic to the stories in the Bible to find the motives behind it, and coming out with some fairly base motives.

Beyond another series of Chronicles of Wormwood, though, he has no more plans to write religious satire at the moment. Instead, he’s moving on to “the most extreme stuff” he’s ever written, with Crossed at Avatar, which he described as “What happens when humanity turns evil.”

Ennis lives in the United States currently, and does take inspiration from the States in his work. “I love it, sometimes it’s frustrating, but I love it,” he said.

More questions about artistic freedom rounded out the discussion, with a question about 303, which a fan said was the most extreme political message he’d ever seen in comics. “The publisher of Avatar is a filthy degenerate, and I say that in the best way possible,” Ennis said, “And he told me ‘I’ll never tell you you can’t do something, ever.’”

“I just write as honestly as possible about things that upset me,” he said, and noted that even though he had great creative freedom at Marvel’s MAX imprint, there were certain lines they could not cross—for example, he wanted to have the Punisher kill a pedophile priest, but Marvel wouldn’t approve it. At Avatar and Dynamite, he polices himself, and can write about anything that he wants.

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New interview with Ennis about his new western mini-series Streets of Glory (coming out this Wed) up at Newsarama, read it here.
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[12 Sep 2007|04:14pm]


Hello. I was hoping that my fellow comic-o-philes and aficionados could help me out here. I'm trying to find as many professional comic creators as possible that have journals here on LiveJournal. I already know about Jennie Breeden, Jacen Burrows, Colleen Coover, Evan Dorkin, Warren Ellis, Megan Gedris, Hope Larson, Bryan Lee O'Malley, Liz Prince, Jim Rugg, Johnny Ryan, Jeremy Tinder, and Shannon Wheeler. I'm sure there are others.

Do any of you know more? If so, please reply to this post with the name of the creator and if possible/applicable their LiveJournal alias. Thanks!

To reciprocate, here are the user names of the people above:
colleencoover (Colleen Coover)
comicnrrd (Liz Prince)
cooverart (also Colleen Coover)
destroyerzooey (Bryan Lee O'Malley)
evandorkin (Evan Dorkin)
hopelarson (Hope Larson)
jacen (Jacen Burrows)
jenniebreeden (Jennie Breeden)
jeremytinder (Jeremy Tinder)
jimrugg (Jim Rugg)
johnnyryan (Johnny Ryan)
rosalarian2 (Megan Gedris)
tmcm (Shannon Wheeler)
warren_ellis (Warren Ellis)

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Preacher or Garth Ennis fan clubs?? [22 Aug 2007|10:24am]

Is anyone aware of any large scale, possibly national, fan clubs devoted to Preacher or Garth Ennis?
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Moving Sale [20 Aug 2007|02:02pm]

Since I am moving out of town soon I am selling a lot of my stuff, books mostly.

I just put all of my Preacher trade paper backs on Amazon.com for 1 dollar less than the lowest used price.

Just figured I'd give everyone the heads up.

This link I think, is the link to my "storefront."
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Press Release
The way of the gun in the wild west may be a reality long gone, but no one's told Joe Dunn that. Garth Ennis' newest creator-owned series Streets of Glory will hit the trails this October, as Avatar Press begins shipping the 6-part monthly series which will be available for $3.99 an issue. Featuring the full-color art of Mike Wolfer, issue #1 is the beginning of the full-size regular series, a tale which is flooded with the blood of lesser men.

In the past fifteen years, Joseph Dunn hasn't seen much of the little civilization Montana had to offer in 1899, but his absence along with the death of a generation has rendered the atmosphere unrecognizable. Dunn is the last of the drifters that independently roamed the western frontier of the United States in the 19th century. These were men who fought with nobility, wits, and an easily un-holstered gun at their side. The body count will rise when Dunn's trigger finger is forced to settle new problems with the only solution he knows.

"At first glance, Joe Dunn does appear to be an icon, or a gunslinger, or a lone vigilante," notes series artist Mike Wolfer. "But as we move through the lingering gun smoke and step across blood, puddled on dry earth, Garth is going to show us the true worth of this man, set against the backdrop of the wildest and most dangerous era of American history. Joe Dunn is a hero for the ages, and by God, I'm sure glad that he and Garth are our guides."

"I've loved westerns since I was old enough to breathe," says Ennis. "'Streets of Glory' is my taken on the genre; romantic and epic, tragic and melancholy, bad and bloody. Considering the last two in particular, where else could I tell a story like this but Avatar?" Garth Ennis adds to his already impressive career as he sets out to re-define the western genre in comic books. Streets of Glory delivers the biting dialogue and powerful story-telling with the brutal violence you'd anticipate from a series by Ennis. Streets of Glory follows critically acclaimed series 303 and Chronicles of Wormood by Ennis from Avatar Press.

This is the first time the creator is working with popular Avatar artist Mike Wolfer, collaborator on the Strange Killings saga with Warren Ellis, and with John Russo on the Night of the Living Dead and Plague of the Living Dead series. Ennis says of Wolfer, "I've been wanting to work with Mike since I saw his art on Warren Ellis' splendidly deranged 'Strange Killings' series. Great storytelling and attention to detail, brilliant sense of character, excellent faces. Just what I need."

"From the standpoint of a creator, Avatar Press' editorial policy of having no editorial policies helps to create an enthusiasm that I think is unrivaled by any other publisher," says Wolfer. "It's a win-win situation for all involved. With total creative freedom, Garth's unrestrained vision naturally spills over into my territory as a visual storyteller; his enthusiasm is like an electric spark and has jump-started my own creative abilities as an artist, resulting in what I feel is probably the best work in my career." Wolfer will be at the San Diego Comic Con as a guest of Avatar Press to support the fall release of Streets of Glory #1.

Garth Ennis' Streets of Glory begins this Fall with the release of issue #1 in October. Each part of the 6-issue series is in full-color and priced at $3.99. Garth Ennis and artist Mike Wolfer team up for the first time to create one of 2007's most exciting new series, and Avatar Press is pleased to be promoting this talent-packed new series at the biggest convention of the year along with other upcoming appearances and interviews from the creative team.

Avatar Press is a comic book publisher that continues to push the boundaries between mainstream and independent with current and upcoming work from creators such as Alan Moore, Frank Miller, Warren Ellis, Garth Ennis, Brian Pulido, George A. Romero, George R.R. Martin, Joe R. Lansdale, John Russo, Mike Wolfer, Juan Jose Ryp, Jacen Burrows, and numerous others. The company has published a wide range of comic books including creator-owned titles like Garth Ennis' 303 and Brian Pulido's Lady Death, company-owned comics such as Pandora and The Ravening, licensed hits like Frank Miller's Robocop and George A. Romero's Night of the Living Dead, and numerous other titles. A publisher that has established itself as one of the cornerstones of the American indy comic book scene over the past decade, Avatar has published some 500 comic books since 1997.

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Punisher Community [09 Jul 2007|10:51pm]

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

There is a new all-Punisher community! punisher_fans
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Reading: 'The Preacher' [02 Jun 2007|09:34am]


This is a bit cheeky ...

The Streatham Library Readers Group(catchy title, don't you think?) will be reading and discussing Ennis/Dillons's ''The Preacher' starting with 'Gone to Texas'. Copies have been put aside for anyone in the the reading group to pick up & bone up on before we all meet up. To qualify as a member of the reading group you have to join the library & have a London address.  A work address will do.

We'll be meeting up on the 11 June at Streaham Library. For further details click on the link

Streatham Library is in the SW2 area of London, UK. So anyone in London is welcome although it's probably only easily accessible to residents of Lambeth and the surrounding boroughs. But if it's on your commuting route it could be an interesting diversion.

For said commuters Streatham has three rail stations; Streatham Common; Streatham; Streatham Hill. Streatham Lbrary is between Streatham & Streatham Hill stations. For more a better idea of the location check the map via the link above.

I joined this community for the express purpose of plugging this so please delete this if you don't feel it's appropriate.

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Ennis and McCrea back on Hitman [14 May 2007|02:12pm]

This is great news, as this was one of the best series published by DC in the '90's. What's unfortunate about DC's treatment of the series since it's end in 2001, and I say this from a retail perspective, has been their lack of interest in reprinting the whole series in trade paperback. Hopefully there will be enough interest in this book to see the tpbs already published put back into print, and the rest of the series finally reprinted.

Check it:

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Check it:

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One More: The Beat interviews Garth Ennis [26 Feb 2007|03:56pm]

Read it:
Exclusive: Garth Ennis talks The Boys and more
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Garth Ennis makes rare appearance at NY Comic Con [26 Feb 2007|03:32pm]

Unseen for years at US comics cons, Garth Ennis was the Myspace Comics' mystery guest for last week's east coast convention. He was featured on a panel, alongside other industry heavy weights, Steve Niles and Jim Lee.

Some gems from the panel (from CBR:

“Garth, is there anything you’d like to say to Jim?” asked the MySpace moderator, referring to the recent removal of Garth Ennis’ "The Boys" from DC/WildStorm lineup and its move to Dynamite Entertainment. The crowd got quite a kick out of that, but Garth Ennis calmed everybody down.

“The entire process of leaving DC and going to Dynamite has been incredibly civilized,” said Ennis. “I wish it wasn’t such a boring story, I wish it was a massive controversy, but it went great. So thank you, Jim!”


Garth Ennis’s first questions pertained to the “Preacher” television series for HBO. “We’ve done very, very little,” Ennis explained. “We’ve only taken a few steps on a very long trail. So far, Mark Johnson’s written a very good script, a very faithful adaptation. I read it and said a couple of things and he wrote a very good second draft as well. We’re a couple of weeks away from having a final draft or a pilot to give to the people at HBO and see what they think.

“As for casting, Mark’s idea, which I agree with, is to go with unknowns for the three leads. Beyond that… Saint of Killers, Star, Hugo Root and so on…hard to say. The real problem is when we first started kicking around the idea of a ‘Preacher’ film, all the people we wanted then are now too old. Johnny Depp is too old, frankly. The one ting I can tell you is that Arseface will be the easiest one. Anyone can do it, if anyone here wants the job…”

Speaking of Arseface, it occurred CBR News that it’d been ten years since the fan-favorite character’s first appearance, and we asked Ennis if he’d softened up a little on Nirvana. Ennis gave the laughing crowd a brief history of Arseface.

“The kid who became Arseface, in a suicide attempt, put a shotgun to his face after Kurt Cobain got it right. As Denis Leary quoted, ‘remember to get your whole head in front of the shotgun.’” The “Preacher” character failed to kill himself, and was left instead with a face that looked like an arse.

“I never really had much of a problem with Nirvana,” Ennis confessed. “I heard their songs and thought, ‘well, this is alright but it’s really just the Pixies,’” a remark that caused quite a reaction in the MySpace Comics crowd. CBR News reminded Ennis that in the comic, the quote was “Nirvana sounds like down-syndrome put to music,” a line that again had the Mystery Panel’s audience cracking up.

“Those words were said by a kind of redneck character who wouldn’t necessarily like that kind of music. I mean, I can tap my foot to it as much as anything else. It was really just that at that time, it hadn’t been long since ol’ Kurt… and it was just sort of fresh in my mind and I thought I’d pop that in. Arseface is of course based on those two idiots who [did the same thing over] Judas Priest, but obviously I couldn’t use that. Kurt had just obligingly done the deed….”


Another fan asked the whole group what characters they’d like to work on that they haven’t already.

Ennis: “All the ones I’d really like to write are old British comic book characters no one in here has ever heard of – I guarantee it. The one you might of heard of is Dan Dare, that would be great. There was a British war comic, a weekly anthology called ‘Battle.’ They’re currently reprinting in hardback volume a story from that called ‘Charlie’s War,’ which to me is just about the best comic strip ever published and I encourage everyone to pick it up. Yes, there are characters from that book I’d like to write.”


“Who is your favorite writer, artist and what is your favorite book?” asked another fan. “Besides yourselves, of course.”

“I like Brian K. Vaughan’s stuff,” said Ennis. “I like ‘Ex-Machina,’ I like ‘Y: The Last man.’” Ennis later revealed that the two Vaughan books are currently the only monthly comics he reads. “I’m not sure about ‘favorite’ artist but the artist I’m currently been loving working with who I think will be huge is Goran Palov, who’s drawing ‘Barracuda’ for me. I think he’s stunning, I think he’s brilliant.”


A fan asked the panel what they thought of the mega-story, year-long crossover trend in recent superhero comics. “I wouldn’t buy it if I was you,” joked Ennis. Well, maybe half-joked. “It’s one of those things where it’s about the talent involved. ‘Civil War’ is written by Mark Millar, therefore it’s going to be good. I haven’t read it, but I assume it’s going to be good!

“It’s the same old story, really. If it’s any good – keep reading. If it’s not – drop it.”

Jim Lee added, “I’d like to announce our new WildStorm series ‘365.’ One comic in 365 days.” Again, the audience cracked up.

“I’ll be doing the leap-year special,” Ennis said.


Asked about their influences as a child, the panel issued some surprising responses.

“Wile E. Coyote,” Ennis said. “Laurel & Hardy. Asterix. I looked at Asterix again recently and I realized what an influence those comics were. They’re some of the most sarcastic writing ever. Today my influences... god, I don’t know. It’s as much life as anything else.”


Designed as a “free-for-all” event, the panel was forced to answer questions about what points of their careers they regret. “I wish I could magically disintegrate probably the first three or four years of my career,” confessed Ennis. Steve Niles agreed, noting the work he did for Todd McFarlane. Jim Lee didn’t express much regret, although he does find it painful to look at older artwork and joked that the 90s were sort of a low point for him artistically. “There wasn’t much work, actually,” the artist joked.


As for their favorite work of their own, the panel had an easier time answering.

Garth Ennis choice “Nightingale,” one of the “War Stories” pieces he created several years ago. “I was very happy to have [artist] David Lloyd on that one. He did a beautiful job. If I had to pick just one, that would be it.”


Steve Niles had to leave for a signing before the panel was asked what works by each other do they admire most. “That Batman book,” said Ennis of Lee. “The Frank Miller one. ‘I’m the god-damned Batman.’”

“Preacher,” said Jim Lee of Ennis. “We still talk about it, we say ‘well they did in “Preacher,” why can’t we do it!’”

“I was told that if it’d been read by people high enough up the ladder at the time, half of the first twenty issues wouldn’t have gotten through,” confessed Ennis.

“It’s one of the few books that made me laugh out loud.”
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[11 Jan 2007|10:57pm]

So ... how about them hamsters, eh?
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Ennis interviewed on Wormwood [29 Nov 2006|01:25pm]

Writer Garth Ennis started his career in comics with titles like "Troubled Souls" and "True Faith," but really found his audience over at DC/Vertigo after taking over "Hellblazer" and then co-created the critically acclaimed "Preacher." So, for a man who has played with all aspects of religion, what could he possibly write about next? Why, the Anti-Christ of course. In "Chronicles of Wormwood" from Avatar Press, Ennis and his "303" collaborator Jacen Burrows dive into the life and times of Danny Wormwood, Satan's little angel.

With the "Chronicles of Wormwood" preview in stores now and the series coming in January, 2007, CBR News sat down with Ennis to ask him a few questions about his latest project.

Read More at CBR
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Preacher Comes to HBO [29 Nov 2006|01:22pm]

Preacher, which ran from 1995-2000, told the story of a down-and-out Texas preacher possessed by Genesis, a supernatural entity conceived by the unnatural coupling of an angel and a demon. Given immense powers, the preacher teamed with an old girlfriend and a hard-drinking Irish vampire and set out on a journey across America to find God -- who apparently had abandoned his duties in heaven -- and hold him accountable for his negligence.

The series was created by Irish-born writer Garth Ennis and British artist Steve Dillon, who will serve as co-executive producers. Ken F. Levin, who reps the duo, also will serve as co-exec producer.

The series -- which developed a rabid fan base -- was known for tackling religious and political issues, its dark and violent sense of humor and its observations of American culture. It also was one of the series that helped define Vertigo, the adult-oriented line of comics from DC Comics.

There have been several attempts to bring the comic to the screen, whether big or small, but nothing stuck. A movie version, to have been produced by Kevin Smith's View Askew, among others, got to the casting stage, with James Marsden attached for the title role and a reported budget of $25 million.

The project reunites Johnson with Deutch; Johnson wrote "Grumpier Old Men," which Deutch directed. Deutch's directing credits include TV's "Gleason," the pilot for "Melrose Place" and the 1986 film "Pretty in Pink." He is repped by ICM.

Johnson is repped by CAA.

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