Warren Ellis’s new Whitechapel message board hasn’t yet evolved into the kind of runaway train that his previous forums have — perhaps the simple, glacial interface helps to maintain that. However, Ellis is promoting it more on his mailing list, and he urged indie creators to show off their work in a recent thread. You can quickly scroll down 50 posts or so, and get a kind of kinescopic view of what people are doing, wishing and hoping for. Most of the stuff is what could be called either “d.i.y.”, charitably, or “hobbyist” uncharitably, but there is some gold among the dross. We rather liked this cover for FALL OF CTHULU DOMINION #4 by Tim Hamilton.
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We would also like someone to take K. Thor Jensen up on this:

And here is a preview image from my next book, “Cloud Stories,” out when I can hoodwink somebody into paying to print a 100-page book about clouds, cloud-like forms and cloud-influenced behavior.


Bolus1
But then, you knew that.

1 COMMENT

  1. Another Ellis bulletin board? When will this one feature scantily clad young women covered in bloodied words?

    Sorry, as a woman I found the cleavage competition and fawning really irritating.

    The signal to noise (or perhaps signal to wanker) ratio on Ellis’ boards has always been too high for me. The Wannabes and never-gonna-bes just circle each other, only rarely making anything worthwhile. I read the Engine and was glad I discovered Jonathan Hickman’s work, but I to get there you read some of the most insipid shit. Made even worse by the fact that they all held themselves head and shoulders over the “other” comic book people online. That was funny really like all the emo kids snickering in the corner who don’t realize they’re just as stuck-up as any preppy.

    I think I like Ellis work better when I don’t look at his social networks.

  2. Thanks for pointing that out, Heidi. It’s always good to have another place to show your work. Lauren, I know what you mean. The web can sometimes bring out to worst in all of us, and then snowball it. Don’t let it get you down. Turning the other cheek helps me to sleep at night.

  3. Hello Heidi,
    I’m Michael Alan Nelson, the writer of Fall of Cthulhu and Dominion and also the one who posted those images at Whitechapel. The image here was indeed done by Tim Hamilton, but it is a cover for the mini-series Dominion (it was the other image I posted that was for Fall of Cthulhu). And I agree, Tim’s cover is especially nice.

  4. “Made even worse by the fact that they all held themselves head and shoulders over the “other” comic book people online.”

    Well when you compared it to Newsarama talkbacks and CBR forums, I’ve found there was a definite improvement in the overall quality of content provided by The Engine.

    “That was funny really like all the emo kids snickering in the corner who don’t realize they’re just as stuck-up as any preppy. ”

    You mean similar to how you’re sounding now?

  5. “Well when you compared it to Newsarama talkbacks and CBR forums, I’ve found there was a definite improvement in the overall quality of content provided by The Engine.”

    Sparingly, it had moments. But overall the experience of the Engine was very anti-communal. The “enforcers’ seemed to bent more on getting in a pithy shot than actually shaping conversations. I’m all for aggressive moderation, but the personalities at work there seemed to range from flighty to outright hostile.

    “You mean similar to how you’re sounding now?”

    Case in point. That remark actually makes no sense whatsoever but I’d wager it makes you feel quite clever all the same doesn’t it? My point was about the groupthink ethos that Ellis’ social networks seem to foster. Cooler-than-thou “How dare you read superheroes!” sort of snobbery. For people who clamor so openly for the new and wonderful they spend a frightful amount of time whining about how shite everything has become.

    Again, the more distance I put between myself and Ellis’ digital shadow the more I appreciate his work. Spending time in his basement copping fags off the Magnetic Fields fans is just fucking depressing.

  6. “Case in point. That remark actually makes no sense whatsoever but I’d wager it makes you feel quite clever all the same doesn’t it? My point was about the groupthink ethos that Ellis’ social networks seem to foster. Cooler-than-thou “How dare you read superheroes!” sort of snobbery.”

    As you’re coming down on the attitudes of Engine folks for their snobbery, you appear to believe that you’re better than they are. This makes you seem similar to those you’re trashing. I didn’t feel “clever” by making my comment. I thought it was blatantly obvious that you were exhibiting the same attitude as those you disliked.

    I don’t know that an online discussion forum can actually be better than another despite my comment about Newarama talkbacks and CBR. They’re just different. Also, you don’t HAVE to wade through “insipid shit” no matter what website you visit. It’s real easy to just skim past what doesn’t interest you. I found more to interest me at The Engine than anywhere else in all my years online. I avoided a great many threads there as well.

    While I understand your dislike of The Engine, I found your reasoning to be harsh, unfair, and a bit hypocritical. If you have a suggestion for a better forum, I would love to hear it.

  7. This art is so awesome, I, like, started jumping up and down, making weird noises.

    MORE GREAT ART LIKE THIS!!!

    (please)

    Laurel

  8. @Unpopular: Oh noes! Someone has an opinion you don’t agree with! Wait, I know… maybe if you deploy the old “I know you are, but what am I”?

    Sheesh.

  9. Unpopular:

    Frankly, I don’t think there are any perfect forums out there. The engine always felt off to me. There always seemed an undercurrent of resentment, doom-saying and negativity about the industry. If you weren’t a a radically atheist science-humper (I dare you to bring up religion as anything other than a punchline around those people) who thought everything from the comics industry to humanity is just flotsom circling the bowl it was a pretty unwelcome space. And I’m an agnostic who works in a scientific field saying this. It always seemed like there was more talk about what was wrong and bad and broken and not good than there ever was about what is good, what is worth your time and money and interest. I don’t want to hear about how many shit comics there are, I want to see the amazing work that’s out there and support it.

    The potential at The Engine was very great, which is the truly disappointing bit to me. So many great artists and creators on there, talkin’ alot of wank.

    In addition, I’m a woman who doesn’t slap a cigarette between my boobs and glare into the camera like a myspace star as many other females my age did on there. Yes, I’m speaking generically, but you see something enough times and it sends a message. Ellis dirty old man with his dirty young girls nonsense is more than a little off-putting as online personas go.

    Though he’s still better than John Byrne. :)

  10. Lauren:

    It seems you and I saw two totally different sides of The Engine. I will admit I didn’t explore the place much, but what I did see wasn’t anywhere near what you describe. I was much more interested in spreading the good than slamming the bad no matter what the subject (which isn’t to say I never said anything negative). I do agree that there was a bit of wasted potential in some areas.

    Sorry you didn’t like it. You seem to be the type of person that could have contributed a great deal to the forum.

  11. Unpopular:

    I’ll confess that I gave it about a month of daily reading, which may be too little (or perhaps too much) before I hung it up. I only tried commenting a couple times, both threads were abruptly terminated by one of the “enforcers” who simply wrote something snotty and closed the thread up without any clear reason. Women on the Engine seemed oddly muted. I wanted to hear more from and about Creators like becky cloonan and Laurenn McCubbin. Seeing some goth-tart jibbering about whatever meme was blowing in the wind was never my scene.

    I help moderate a very wide-reaching e-mail list about bringing more females into scientific fields. In doing that I’ve had people call us “ultra-feminazis” on one end and “june-cleaver wannabes” on the other. Two people can see very different things from the very same text. I’m glad you found good things there and your heart is in the right place even if we don’t see eye to eye.

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