Settle down devotees, it’s scripture class. Later we’ll be reading from Son Of Drivel, chapter 2 verses 15 to 18 found in the book of Tripwire, but first a little religious history.

Once upon a time, a thin wiry man, named Our Lord Warren Ellis left his Essex comic shop behind which counter he put in a few days hard work and rode into the mighty city of Pictopia on a donkey he had borrowed. That donkey’s name was Speakeasy and Our Lord Warren proclaimed his views on comics across the kingdom. Some listened, many did not. But amongst those blessed with ears to hear was The NanoProphet Grant Morrison, who was so touched by Our Lord Warren Ellis’s words on Doom Patrol 19, that they were reproduced and stuck above his desk.

And Our Lord Warren Ellis continued to ride Speakeasy and spake, Speakeasy, you shall be named Blast! because your new owner John Brown Publishing wants to turn you into glue and create from your melted bones, an actual comic. And since another nearby donkey named Trident was already crippled, it was so, and Blast! carried Our Lord Warren Ellis onwards, telling tales of Lazarus Churchyard and carrying many others until it too fell. This was blamed on Paul Chadwick was blamed for eating too many concrete rocks.

And Our Lord Warren Ellis wandered the wilderness, and he was sore thirsty, but managed to get people to buy him drinks at UKCACs. He met the great sage Archie Goodwin, unto who he sold a Batman: Legends Of The Dark Knight story, though sad to say, Archie kept it hidden in a drawer for an aeon. And then a giant Turtle with a holy bandana appeared in some illegally derived hallucination and spake, I wish to tell more of this Lazarus Churchyard. Oh and any other horror stuff you’ve got lying about. And yet before a new Lazarus mini-series could be finished, the Turtle also fell.

But the thin and wiry Our Lord Warren Ellis had caught the eye of a woman of dubious virtue. And Marie Javins spake “Come unto the House Of Ideas, for I have Hellstorm under my domain and yea, it is shit. Wouldst though like to lie in its company. And Our Lord Warren Ellis was weak and didst lie with Hellstorm. And when Hellstorm fell, he did lie with Druid. And when Druid fell, he did lie with The Silencers. And when that fell into a coma before even rising, he lay with Ruins. And when that sank with only a murmur, he lay with various Ghost Riders, Doctor Stranges and Marvel 2099s. And Our Lord Warren Ellis got himself a reputation for getting about a bit. But lo, in all those books he lay with, he preached his word, whether through the mouths of the characters or through the letters column. And it was a word of fire, of brimstone, of sulphurous bollocks and how he was the saviour of comics. And lo, Bob Harras believed and said to Our Lord Warren Ellis, come to my right hand, not quite my right hand, that’s for Lobdell and Nicieza, for he was saved from Hellstorm, but have a go on this Excalibur thing. Lobdell may assist you.

And yea, Our Lord Warren Ellis’s name was in lights. But unknownst to the mighty Bob Harras, Our Lord Warren Ellis had found new avenues to preach his word. The internet. And the internet gospels of Our Lord Warren Ellis attracted a following of those who would say unto their retailer, Yea, we will buy Warren’s comics, whether they be Thor, set in the Ultraverse or even shoddy Wildstorm spinoffs. No matter how many smoking Britons with a drink problem turn up. Hell even that Starship Troopers thing, though even Our Lord Warren Ellis could not stand that for more than one issue. And the cult began to take form.

And the thin and wiry Our Lord Warren Ellis was no longer thin and wiry, and started to buy Armani suits and some of his followers thought to themselves, hang on, he’s raking it in with this Excalibur lark. But they spake not as they were distracted by Our Lord Warren Ellis’s pronouncements across the internet. And Our Lord Warren Ellis spake to them often telling them about comic book covers, or about superheroes and politics or about what great taste in music he had. And his followers heard and acted likewise. And the people of Pictopia began to say, you know, Stormwatch is not as shit as it used to be. But disaster, a mighty avalanche called The End Of Speculation hit Pictopia. And walls fell, and buildings collapsed. But Our Lord Warren Ellis used his followers to shield him with their bodies. And as Stormwatch fell, so a new Stormwatch rose with better architecture. And a whole city emerged called Transmetropolitan, and though in the dodgy area of Helix, it was soon moved brick by brick to Vertigo where he got to say ‘fuck’ and everything and where they didn’t really care if it was not a financial success as there’s all those lovely film options to have a cut of. And lo, there were plenty of bits of DV8 and Gen 13 as comics people began to understand the word of Our Lord Warren Ellis and to respect it.

And lo, I started to get fed up with using words like ‘lo’ and ‘yea’ but I’ve started now and can’t stop. Yea. Anyhow, though Stormwatch fell again, it was reborn as Authority and everyone in Pictopia went, ooh pretty. And the internet had grown as had its followers, and Our Lord Warren Ellis’s voice was picked up by the official scribes such as Wizard, Comic Book Resources and Mania and was much revered. And the followers of Our Lord Warren Ellis would brook no contradiction to their master’s words as they huddled in his website. But silent they were and muffled. So Our Lord Warren Ellis gave them voice, with a Delphi forum. And lo, they congregated and congratulated themselves on their taste and went out to convert the masses. And Our Lord Warren Ellis batted a few around, removed others and laid down the law with an iron fist. And lo, they loved it, they really did. And they spake out against censorship when Our Lord Warren Ellis’s Hellblazer story got knocked on the head. And even when Our Lord Warren Ellis went back to the X-books which really was against the spirit of what he had once said, they did not mutter. Well not much. And even when the books came out and were shit, and the Avatar books came out and were shitter, the followers of Our Lord Warren Ellis still believed and cast out unbelievers saying, Transmetropolitan is still good. Ish. And Planetary is brilliant. And the masses looked and some agreed and most weren’t actually bothered to be honest, they’d rather read Fathom and hadn’t even noticed they’d heard Our Lord Warren Ellis’s word when they’d bought that Witchblade spinoff thingy.

But lo lo ferarri, computer games companies and Entertainment lists and even national newspapers took an interest. Our Lord Warren Ellis is even revered in far flung ghettos of Pictopia such as Iceland or Sweden, even if they collect his Transmetropolitan in TPBs with Lobo back ups.

And this allegory is really going half cocked now, but I’m all E’d up and I can see the end coming. Bloody hell, what a debut for this column. Ahem. And the word is with us and the word is Our Lord Warren Ellis and he asks for your commitment signalled by reading everything he does, yea, even if Avatar publish it, for it will be collected in a TPB soon enough. And Our Lord Warren Ellis proved his divinity further by rising City Of Silence from the coma it had been in for so long. And then he signed an imprint deal with Image.

And lo, the blasphemers rose and spake unto the message boards, surely he’s taking on a bit much here. And some artists also spake out, saying, he’s a bit late with scripts isn’t he? But the prophet Steven Grant gave them all a good slapping down from his bloody obvious donkey. Which was nice. And then Our Lord Warren Ellis rested, for he was good. Amen.

Okay children, now Sylvia will lead us in song. “Give me whisky in my glass, keep me slurring…”

This is the word of Rich Johnston. Thanks be to SilverBulletComics.

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