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Warren Ellis – Apparat

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New tpb – Volume 1 (Avatar; Simon Spector, Angel Stomp Future, Quit City, Frank Ironwine; a Jacen Burrows, Juan Jose Ryp, Laurenn McCubbin, Carla Speed McNeil). [From Fantagraphics: The fan-demanded collection of the sold-out Apparat books is finally here! Collected here are all four of the first year’s worth of Warren Ellis’ Apparat. The four Apparat books are inspired by the pulp magazines of the 1930’s and imagine modern day comic books that evolved from the pulps without the influence of super-heroes. Ellis also includes over 10 pages of new essays on the inspiration behind, and the creating of, these self-contained stories.] Book of the Week 1/18/06: One of the reasons I love Warren Ellis (and if you check the Warren Ellis page, you’ll see a lot of BotW love) is that he doesn’t just do the same thing over and over. He’s often out there, trying something new. Apparat is one of those experiments, consisting of four “first issues” of comics from an alternate universe where pulp fiction, not superheroes, shaped the comics industry. The books deal with science fiction, crime, aviation (with no planes!), and a Doc Savage-like hero, all with the bent perspective we’ve come to expect from Ellis. The art shows as much variety as the stories, and for the most part it’s all successful (my only serious complaint is that Juan José Ryp’s art, with its mass of evenly weighted linework, really needs color to give the pages depth and focus). I’m looking forward to the next round of Apparat comics.

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