Warren Ellis Masterminds Series of Continuing Mini Series at Avatar with Strange Killings

Official Press Release

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The creator of Transmet and The Authority will add another major project to his endeavors with Strange Killings, a continuing series of mini series by Warren Ellis and Mike Wolfer. Planned to progress as an ongoing saga of successive, self-contained mini series of several issues each, the project will launch in January from Avatar Press.

"I think William Gravel stands with Transmet's Spider Jerusalem as being among the best of Warren's characters," says Avatar Press editor in chief William Christensen, speaking of the hard-boiled combat magician readers first saw in Strange Kiss. "But Gravel's world is distinct among Warren's many diverse and exceptional creations. And it's a place that makes Sin City look like Disney World sometimes, so to launch this project Ellis has turned in an amazing tale that I think may be one of his best yet. His treatment for Mike was perfect, giving Mike some room to do his fantastic work on the action scenes yet also providing the tight layout and dialogue for all the character development scenes. After doing so many books together, I think these two have started sharing some brain waves and the final pages are fantastic. Really, the best of all worlds."

"Avatar and Mike Wolfer wanted to do more William Gravel stories," Ellis explains. "The dodgy bastard seems to get a grip on people like that. I, on the other hand, wanted to see Mike working his own inimitable storytelling. So here's what we're doing. It's like the "Plotmaster" gig I did for Marvel a couple of years ago. I'm writing detailed treatments for new William Gravel stories, which Mike will break down and adapt. My words, his storytelling. Mike tells stories in a tense, staccato way, which gives these new William Gravel pieces a real freshness. It's a good reason to do these."

"Plus, I like seeing mutant vaginas embedded in tongues and old men giving birth to lizards through their anus," adds Ellis. "You really can't get enough of that sort of thing. It's important."

"The vision of Strange Killings is Warren's," notes series artist and collaborator Mike Wolfer. "He will lay various scenarios before us and challenge us to believe that what we know of our world is the whole truth. We will see, hear and feel things that are beyond depravity, all the while knowing that these atrocities could be happening while we are asleep in our beds... And that they could quite possibly be happening in the house next door. The visualization of Strange Killings will be my own. I am taking Warren's ideas and breathing dark, two-dimensional life into them. It is a joy that is tempered with unease, as I sometimes can't believe that I'm actually going to draw some of the vile and controversial scenes with which Warren has chosen to entertain us."

Strange Killings is the story of Sergeant Major William Gravel, a brilliant soldier of Britain's SAS. He's also the only known combat magician in the occult sphere. Placed on "K" duty - deniable operations - when he's found to be taking unofficial black market jobs for money due to mysterious personal reasons, Gravel is plunged into the dirty life of a secret black-ops world. Still, with his power Gravel could probably change the world if he was capable of actually getting his life together. Instead, he's constantly involved in other people's lives and dirty secrets, running headlong towards the day when he hits something he can't escape from, shoot, or wish away.

Avatar Press has carved a niche for itself as a publisher that pushes the boundaries between mainstream and independent with titles such as Strange Kiss and Dark Blue from Warren Ellis, Alan Moore's Glory, Avengelyne, The Coven, company owned characters such as Pandora and The Ravening, and long-running anthology title Threshold. Now entering its fifth year, Avatar has published nearly 300 comic books since 1997.

Warren Ellis' Strange Killings begins in January 2002 with art plus regular and wraparound covers by Mike Wolfer. The debut saga will be a three issue mini series for mature readers. For more information, email info@avatarpress.net or see our web site at www.avatarpress.com.

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