- Posted by Johanna on November 11, 2006 at 10:26 pm
- Category: Indy Comic Reviews
- PUBLISHER: Image Comics
I quite liked Fell, the series written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Ben Templesmith that created its own format.
The “Fell format” is 20 pages at $1.99 US with a satisfyingly dense story (complete in one issue) and some extra “backmatter” (text content, notes from the writer or letters). It’s already been picked up by Casanova (about which more to come).
It’s an excellent deal, and combined with the taut, engrossing stories, the result is continued demand. #1 went through 5 printings, #2 had 4, and #3 and #4 3 printings each. That’s quite successful for a thin stapled comic, but the way it’s designed, it’s fresh whenever you pick it up.
But all that’s extraneous. The story is about Richard Fell, a cop with a mysterious past who’s wound up in Snowtown, the worst city you’ve ever thought about. Each issue, he investigates some crime that’s usually inspired by a dementedly weird news clipping the author’s seen. Those are resolved, in some fashion, issue by issue, but there are continuing elements, like his relationship with the bartender who branded him, what drove him across the bridge, and just what’s up with the nun in the Nixon mask?
It’s concentrated Ellis, with everything he’s made his name on: the taciturn outsider who works to bring justice and only sometimes succeeds; the brilliant but broken woman who cares for him; the fascination with the extreme things humans do to themselves and others.
Unfortunately, I can’t find any news on whether the series is continuing. Issue #6 came out three months ago, with #5 three months before that. (Con season seems to have gotten in the way.) I haven’t seen official cancellations for the still-on-order #7 and #8, so I have hope that we’ll see more in the year to come. If not, it was still the right idea for the moment, and it has others to carry on its lessons.