Desolation Jones series discussion (spoilers)

ourchair

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[IMGL]http://jawbreaker.ph/tusok/images/05-desolationjones.jpg[/IMGL]
It's Friday here in Manila right now, meaning the comics finally arrive, a whole day or so later than you people get it across the Pacific. Anyway, I'm totally psyched for Desolation Jones, Warren Ellis' new creator-owned series under the Wildstorm Signature imprint. Anybody else picking it up?

Get ready for DESOLATION JONES, the new bimonthly ongoing series that's the unique product of the imagination of Warren Ellis (PLANETARY, OCEAN) and the eye-popping visual imagery of J.H. Williams III (PROMETHEA!)

Desolation Jones — the lone survivor of a horrific experiment called the Desolation Test — just lived through a full year of constant, sleepless agony. A former British intelligence operative, the retired Jones is making ends meet in the private sector as a detective-for-hire to the covert community of ex-spooks who are living whatever life they can in L.A. It's a dirty, ugly job, but someone has to do it — and that man is Desolation Jones.
Buzzscope has provided a preview right here: http://www.buzzscope.com/reviews.php?id=4201

What can I say? The consistent lack of Ultimate fixins due to tardiness in release schedules is absolutely killing me.
 

ProjectX2

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It looks and sounds good. But then I'm a fan of all Ellis stuff I've read. Is that that title I read about somewhere about a guy chasing ghosts and such? It was something that Ellis wanted to do anything with.
 

ourchair

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ProjectX2 said:
It looks and sounds good. But then I'm a fan of all Ellis stuff I've read. Is that that title I read about somewhere about a guy chasing ghosts and such? It was something that Ellis wanted to do anything with.
If Desolation Jones was ever described anywhere as "chasing ghosts" then it might be in the sense that the protagonist would be required to hunt down "sleeper agents", or basically the spectral remnants of long-dismantled espionage groups.

If it's something else, well I'll have to check. I haven't really read up on what's going on with Ocean or Ellis' Apparat work. Compound and I have just come off of a Grant Morrison high recently, so our resurrected interest in Ellis has yet to hit its consumption peak.
 

ProjectX2

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Well if you two eventually start a UC Ellis fan club, I'll join.
 

ourchair

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ProjectX2 said:
Well if you two eventually start a UC Ellis fan club, I'll join.
Well I'd like to do a fan club for Millar/Ellis/Morrison, AKA the British-Scottish Comics Writer Fan Club, but I think that schtick is soooo overdone. :p

Besides, we don't need a fan club. I think you, Baxter and I and a bunch of others are enough rah-rah-sisboombah for the "Writers Not Franchises" School fo Comic Book Consumption.
 

MoS

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Here's a quick opinion I posted on another site:

Desolation Jones #1 (Ellis/Williams III; WildStorm). Made in England, Part 1 of 6. Warren Ellis pays homage to two genres here -- a Graham Greene spy, not coming in from the cold quite as much as being tossed out into it (except "the cold" in this case is hot and smoggy Los Angeles, self-contained prison for ex-MI ops) and Raymond Chandler's stylish and witty "The Big Sleep," updated to 21st century sensibilities. Under another writer this would have been pastiche, but Ellis makes it work on its own, much like all of the titles in his recent Apparat set -- you can see where parts of the set came from, but the play still feels new. In this issue we meet the characters, get enough of Desolation Jones' background to have a good feel for him and where he's been (though, this being an Ellis book, I am sure there is something more shocking yet to come), enough information to round out the stage and still get on with the plot for the issues, including the introduction of the McGuffin and the perky, tattooed assistant, Robina. The last page of the issue is worth the entire price of admission - very nice art and a brooding, contemplative Jones.


So, yes, I liked it. It has a lot of the "stock" Ellis moments in it (the McGuffin is a porn reel made by Hitler in the bunker), but it's definitely on the better end of the scale. It's also fairly quickly-paced, so if this keeps up, even though the arc is 6 part it should be a fairly wild 6 parts. One of the things that really amuses me are the character names - Jeonimus Corneliuszoon, Colonel Nigh and his daughter Angela Nigh, porn queen Filthy Sanchez.

The art is gorgeous, but the panelling tripped me up once or twice - several of the two pages spreads are meant to be read left-to-right, all the way across the two pages, even though the panels don't extend across the staple. On one page there is an odd blank panel. But the art, and especially the last page, make up for it.
 

ourchair

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More coherent thoughts later when I DON'T happen to be taking an exam right now. But here's a most delicious quote:

"Oh I have many problems, Mr. Jones. The aftermath of a lifteime as a soldier and a world-class sexual adventurer. For fifty years the flesh-pots of earth were my fingerbowl.

"And now you witness the fruit of my labors. I am possessed of over seventy separate diseases, my every organ worked to failure in pursuit of the beast with two backs. Indeed, on one memorable occasion, forty-eight backs.

"But now, Mr. Jones, my pleasures are simple and my penis is somewhere in Bombay."
 

E

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Finally got a chance to read this today - I liked it. Nice to see that decompressed stories can be interesting...whoops, did I just say that outloud? Sorry, I didn't mean to drag UFF into this.

And I asked before if it was monthly - it's not. Every 2 months, according to Ellis himself.
 

ourchair

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UltimateE said:
Finally got a chance to read this today - I liked it. Nice to see that decompressed stories can be interesting...whoops, did I just say that outloud? Sorry, I didn't mean to drag UFF into this.
It's common knowledge that Ellis' for hire work just isn't as good as his creator owned stuff or output on independent publishers. Which is a shame. If he weren't such a crank, he'd be learning that UFF didn't have to be 60% splash pages, and could at least have the content-per-page goodness of Desolation Jones.
 

compound

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The first issue has got me totally begging for more! Ordinarily, I'd be groaning at 'casually shocking' lines such as "Everything goes better with bukkake". The fact that Ellis manages to pull it off is just a testament to how wonderfully fluid his story-telling is (excuse the pun!).

I agree -- the last page image... simply gorgeous!

Yes, there's plenty of Ellis' trademark idea-wanking and speculation going on, but it's threaded seamlessly enough into the larger narrative that you don't mind the characters' extended musings about the nature of city life and whatnot.

Plus, it's not just the gross-out humor that stands out here -- even more down-to-earth stuff like the butler gag was chuckle-inducing. (I won't spoil it, for those who haven't read it yet.)
 

ourchair

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compound said:
Plus, it's not just the gross-out humor that stands out here -- even more down-to-earth stuff like the butler gag was chuckle-inducing. (I won't spoil it, for those who haven't read it yet.)
Too bad I went ahead and spoiled it in the Traitor Manifesto thread. :lol:
 

compound

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UltimateE said:
And I asked before if it was monthly - it's not. Every 2 months, according to Ellis himself.
That's fair enough, I say, considering the intricate quality of J.H. Williams' art. It really brings to life the internalized 'everyday weirdness' of the L.A. setting.
 

Friday

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Anyone else here planning to check out Ellis next new series this august? It's called Jack Cross, and seems to be a more traditional spy styled comic. The DC solicitation for it is a bit over the top, but the preview looks pretty, good. That and a monthly Ellis fix, coupled with his JLA Classified arc will sate my reading needs, even if House of M and the rest of Seven Soilders suck.

http://www.dccomics.com/comics/?cm=4095
 

moonmaster

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Re: Desolation Jones

I'm dropping New Avengers, and I might start getting this.
 

MoS

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Re: Desolation Jones

Issue #4 is due out Nov. 2. Issue #3 had a bit of eye-rollingly Ellisian exposition about the life of women in the porno film industry, but this is still an incredibly strong title. Of all of his titles out right now, this is my favorite (though rumor has it that Cassaday is almost done drawing Planetary #25).
 

ourchair

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Re: Desolation Jones

Rhyo said:
Issue #4 is due out Nov. 2. Issue #3 had a bit of eye-rollingly Ellisian exposition about the life of women in the porno film industry, but this is still an incredibly strong title. Of all of his titles out right now, this is my favorite (though rumor has it that Cassaday is almost done drawing Planetary #25).
I kind of liked that issue. I think what stopped it from being nauseating was Ellis' refusal to get preachy and look the audience in the eye to say, "Look at what I'm showing you! This is what it's really like!"

What interests me most about this title are the stories of Robina and Emily as 'damaged goods' of the military-espionage complex.
 

compound

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UltimateE said:
I think I liked that fight scene better when I first read it in Transmet. (And the thug was based on Charlie Brown, in that one.)

A very disappointing start. Takes up waaay too many pages, especially when the past few issues have been very effective at using just a few well-laid-out panels to suggest the intensity of the fisticuffs.

Will probably read better in trade format, though.
 

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