What Happened to Fell?

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).

Fell #6 cover

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.


12 Responses to “What Happened to Fell?”

  1. Dennis Culver Says:

    There is supposed to be an issue out this Wednesday.

  2. Charles Reed Says:

    Yes, according to Midtown Comics shipping list, there is supposed to be an issue of Fell out this Wednesday. Unfortunately, it’s not #7 coming out — it’s a new printing of #6. Some months back I read (I think this was on Warren Ellis’s message board) that the series would probably run to at least #12, so I’m hoping for at least six more issues. The lack of news frustrates me too, but since each issue is relatively self-contained, it’s not too hard to pick it up a new issue after a three-month hiatus.

    Charles

  3. Soon Says:

    Last I read on Templesmith’s blog, he’s still on the series and just waiting for whenever Ellis hands him the next script. Apparently he’s also on the book until he drops dead.

  4. Dan Coyle Says:

    Warren Ellis? Late with this Scripts? I’m SHOCKED, I tell you, I AM SHOCKED!

  5. Blair Corbett Says:

    They solicited a trade for it too, so it would seem they have some sort of long term plans for it.

  6. Ralf Haring Says:

    No collection of Fell has been solicited so far, as far as I know.

  7. Rich Johnston Says:

    The nun with the Nixon mask seems quite a reference to the excellent TV series A Very Peculiar Practice…

  8. Sebastian Says:

    Solicited doesn’t have to mean just Previews anymore. For example, I snagged a Spring 2007 catalog from Diamond Book Distributors at Frankfurt book fair and the Fell trade is listed there for March 2007 (ISBN 1582406936, $12,99, 128p.). It’s also already listed on amazon.com.

    ~Sebastian

  9. Kelson Says:

    Ellis posted a note to the Bad Signal list this morning about the frustrations of writing for a 9-panel grid, Fell being the prime example. He says, “FELL 7 will be done in a bit” — not sure if he means the script or the full issue — and adds, “We’d all rather the books were happening faster, believe me.”

  10. Johanna Says:

    Thanks for the update. It’s nice to know that the series is still in progress.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for the update too Kelson. This series has so much fucking potential…

  12. Ellis and Templesmith’s Fell on Digital Sale » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    [...] posts like this, but the series is a good read, and I wish there was more of it. Fell was always plagued by delays, but that’s the risk with creator-owned work. If this offering makes new readers, perhaps [...]




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