Nowhere girl
December 17, 2002 10:58 PM   Subscribe

Warren Ellis Interviews the author of Nowhere Girl, which is a long running graphic novel on the web. The author refuses to put it into a traditional print format because she whould lose control over her work. Warren Ellis interviews her and talks about this.
posted by nyxxxx (11 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
cool link, nyxx. thanks! as well, there's more commentary on nowhere girl. i didn't know that the second chapter was available.
posted by moz at 11:45 PM on December 17, 2002

Perhaps it's my ignorance of the comic-publishing industry, but how, precisely, would she "lose control" over the project if she got a willing print publisher? This isn't the movies where the story is only a tiny piece of the overall production, leaving the writer with very little control over the project. It's a comic. It's about the writing and drawing. Anyone with more knowledge of the comic-publishing industry care to fill us in?

And while I like the artwork is really appealing, the author seems to get lazy about the drawing as the pages go on-- there's a marked drop in quality by the end. Also, the whole "early 90s nostalgia" thing of Chapter 1 just isn't working for me. The poster of The Smiths in the background, the Doc Martins that the main character is wearing along with her "depressed 90s teen aesthetic", and the references to "virtual reality programming" just seem too contrived. Either the writer isn't that good or the early 90s haven't aged that well. I feel like Chapter 1 somehow retained a marketing exec to convene a focus group to create an early-90s period piece for the late-20s/early-30s disaffected crowd.
posted by deanc at 11:47 PM on December 17, 2002

I love Warren Ellis's work, so I'll plug his book, Come In Alone, which is a really eye-opening look at the comic industry, and some manifesto-type ideas for how we can induce change within it.
posted by patgas at 7:09 AM on December 18, 2002

Though I like most of Ellis' works (Preacher, Punisher, The Authority, Planetary), I never understood what is the big deal about Transmetropolitan.

Badly written, pointless and just a big rant in itself. I think there are authors that do this same sort of things way much better and have a point.
posted by rexgregbr at 7:51 AM on December 18, 2002

There's nothing wrong with self-publishing these days. It's not that difficult. You lose none of the control, and you take home all of the profit. The stigma isn't even as bad as it used to be.
posted by toothgnip at 7:58 AM on December 18, 2002

Am I the only one who thought Nowhere Girl was only cathartic for the author? I really wanted to be interested... but it just didn't happen. The social interactions were far too awkward to be narrative or compelling.

And that said, I seem to like a great deal of the stuff Ellis and NG's author like.
posted by Hilarion at 8:59 AM on December 18, 2002

rexgregbr - Preacher and Punisher, aren't Ellis. Also - Transmet is badly written and pointless? I'll give you that it's rantish, but I think over the entire work, you can see a definite arc, with even the little side-stories pointing towards an inevitable ending. How much of it have you read?
posted by GriffX at 9:36 AM on December 18, 2002

GriffX: you're right about Preacher and Punisher. although I've been reading them for years, I mixed up the authors (Ellis and Ennis, but it's a close one, for the names are quite alike).

I've read 10 issues of Transmetropolitan . Then I quit buying it because it never did anything for me. You can argue that in the long run it makes sense, but still one has to have the joy of reading it issue by issue. I didn't have any problem getting addicted to Preacher or Sandman and they make much more sense in the long run than in a issue-by-issue basis. Still, they are quite enjoyable on the issue-by-issue basis.

Transmetropolitan is one of the few comics that I've dropped in my life. And I read some bad comics from time to time.

What I meant by my original post is that it's my personal opinion that it's badly written (because it couldn't grip me - and I'm an easy catch, for I love reading) and it's pointless (I still think that all that rant didn't make any sense). It might even be a good comic, I'll grant you that, but I can't see reason for the hype it got.
posted by rexgregbr at 10:03 AM on December 18, 2002

deanc- "Losing control"- she would need to hook up with a publisher to print the work (printing quality, marketable stuff is quite expensive), and of course, by doing so, she would lose a piece of herself, like any artistic contractual agreement- locked in to do 10 issues in 10 months, handing over merchandise rights etc. These might sound like small compromises, but the author admits she is a "control freak".

Back on topic - this was a pretty basic interview, lacking in insight. Though i like her illustrative style, i, too, couldn't get into her comic. Would have liked to hear more about her motivations and rationales for her work.

Ellis might be a good writer, but he is not the man with the questions :(
posted by elphTeq at 3:38 PM on December 18, 2002

I think nowhere girl appeals to a certain type of person very much, and puts a lot of people off.

Those of us who like it also probabably like The Smiths and The Cure, too.

I bought the first 3 issues of Transmet, and then stopped. I think Ellis' best work is his blog, die puny humans, which I also linked to. He's no Alan Moore or Grant Morrison, though.
posted by nyxxxx at 6:36 PM on December 18, 2002

nyxxxx: "He's no Alan Moore or Grant Morrison, though."

Amen to that. Moore and Morrison, I buy anything from them that I can lay my hands on. I probably should explain that I'm Brazilian and although we get almost every mainstream superhero comics here, it's very hard to get Vertigo, Dark Horse, ABC, etc.

Nowadays, I'm getting a kick from some of Moore's comics from ABC. We got the first arc of LOEG (and I've been hearing some nasty rumors about the movie) and now we get Tom Strong and Top Ten. I love Top Ten and I think that the Tom Strong stories are a bit weak, but I just love Chris Sprouse's art.
posted by rexgregbr at 9:22 AM on December 19, 2002

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