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Warren Ellis (born 16 February 1968) is a British author of comics, novels, and television, well known for sociocultural commentary, both through his online presence and his writing, which covers extropian and transhumanist themes (most notably nanotechnology, cryonics, uploading, and human enhancement). He is a resident of Southend-on-Sea, England.
Ellis' writing career started in the British independent magazine Deadline with a six page short story in 1990. Other early works include a Judge Dredd short and a Doctor Who one-pager. His first ongoing work, Lazarus Churchyard, appeared in Blast!, a short lived British magazine.
By 1994 Ellis began working for Marvel Comics, where he took over the series Hellstorm: Prince of Lies with #12, which he wrote until its cancellation with #21. He also did some work on the Marvel 2099 imprint, most notably in a storyline where a futuristic Doctor Doom took over the United States. His most notable early Marvel work is a run on Excalibur, a superhero series set in Britain. He also wrote a four-issue arc of Thor called "Worldengine", in which he dramatically revamped both the character and book (though the changes lasted only as long as Ellis' run on the book).
Ellis then started working for DC Comics, Caliber Comics, and Image Comics' Wildstorm studio, where he wrote the Gen¹³ spin-off DV8 and took over Stormwatch, a previously action-oriented team book, which he gave a more idea- and character-driven flavor. He wrote issues #37-50 with artist Tom Raney, and the 11 issues of volume two with artist Bryan Hitch. He and Hitch followed that with the Stormwatch spin-off The Authority, a cinematic super-action series for which Ellis coined the term "widescreen comics."
In 1997 Ellis started Transmetropolitan, a creator-owned series about an acerbic "gonzo" journalist in a dystopian future America, co-created with artist Darick Robertson and published by DC's Helix imprint. When Helix was discontinued the following year, Transmetropolitan was shifted to the Vertigo imprint, and remained one of the most successful non-superhero comics DC was then publishing . Transmetropolitan ran for 60 issues (plus a few specials), ending in 2002, and the entire run was later collected in a series of trade paperbacks. It remains Ellis' largest work to date.
1999 saw the launch of Planetary, another Wildstorm series by Ellis and John Cassaday, and Ellis' short run on the DC/Vertigo series Hellblazer. He left that series when DC announced, following the Columbine High School massacre, that it would not publish "Shoot", a Hellblazer story about school shootings, although the story had been written and illustrated prior to the Columbine massacre. Planetary has been notoriously plagued with delays, but is scheduled to conclude in 2008 with issue #27.
Ellis also returned to Marvel Comics, as part of the company's "Revolution" event, to head the "Counter-X" line of titles. This project was intended to revitalize the X-Men spin-off books Generation X, X-Man, and X-Force, but it was not successful, and Ellis stayed away from mainstream superhero comics for a time.
In 2003 Ellis started Global Frequency, a 12-issue limited series for Wildstorm, and continued to produce work for various publishers, including DC, Avatar Comics, AiT/Planet Lar, Cliffhanger and Homage Comics.
In 2004 Ellis came back to mainstream superhero comics. He took over Ultimate Fantastic Four and Iron Man for Marvel under a temporary exclusive work for hire contract.
Toward the end of 2004, Ellis released the "Apparat Singles Group", which he described as "An imaginary line of comics singles. Four imaginary first issues of imaginary series from an imaginary line of comics, even." The Apparat titles were published by Avatar but carried only the Apparat logo on the cover.
In 2006 Ellis worked on Jack Cross (for DC), which was not well received and subsequently cancelled. For Marvel, he worked on Nextwave, a 12-issue limited series. He also worked on the Ultimate Galactus trilogy. Ellis also took over the Thunderbolts monthly title, which deals with the aftermath of the Marvel Civil War crossover.
In honor of the 20th anniversary of Marvel's New Universe in 2006, Ellis and illustrator Salvador Larroca created a new series that re-imagines the New Universe, under the title newuniversal. The first issue was released on 6 December 2006.
Ellis continues to work on several projects for different publishers, including Fell (for Image), Desolation Jones (for DC/Wildstorm) and Blackgas (for Avatar Comics). Ellis also wrote an episode of Justice League Unlimited entitled "Dark Heart".
Ellis has managed a series of online forums and media to promote his written works and his creative ideals. These forums are sharply moderated by Ellis and his assistants, to suit the particular purpose each one was created for. They include the Bad Signal mailing list, warrenellis.com, and Whitechapel. He is popularly known as "Stalin," "The Love Swami," or "Internet Jesus" on these forums.
Ellis' first prose novel, Crooked Little Vein, was published in the summer of 2007 by William Morrow (an imprint of HarperCollins), with a second novel, Listener, to follow. He is also developing a television series for AMC called Dead Channel, for which he will be the sole writer.
It has recently been announced that he is writing an animated direct to DVD feature film, Castlevania: Dracula's Curse, which will be based on the similarly titled video game Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse.
Ellis has described himself as "a notorious pain in the arse for getting involved in book design". According to a comment made in the first issue of Fell, he has more trade paperbacks in print than anyone else in the American comic industry.
Ellis is currently writing a column for the Suicide Girls website that appears every Sunday, entitled "The Sunday Hangover."
Ellis is also writing a Second Life column for Reuters titled Second Life Sketches In Second Life he is known under the name Integral Danton.
On 29 July 2007 Ellis announced two new projects for Avatar Press; FreakAngels, a free long-form webcomic illustrated by Paul Duffield, and Ignition City, an ongoing monthly series. He also has two other current series with Avatar: Anna Mercury and No Hero.
On 12 June 2008, it was announced on the front page of The Hollywood Reporter that Summit Entertainment had optioned Red, his 2003 thriller with artist Cully Hamner, as a feature film.It will be scripted by Eric and Jon Hoeber, who have most recently written the script for Whiteout, and produced by Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian.