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Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island Collected Edition [Hardcover]

Warren Ellis , William Christiansen , Raulo Caceres
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 16.96 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

6 Dec 2011
From the sparking-mad mind of Warren Ellis, the creator of TRANSMETROPOLITAN and PLANETARY, comes an electrical romance of a pirate utopia thwarted! In the London of 1830, newly-minted copper Charlie Gravel keeps seeing things he's not supposed to: a crooked Bow Street Runner with a flintlock revolver, high-flying vessels that are not supposed to fly, and the violent Scientific Phantasmagoria popularly known as Spring-Heeled Jack. With the coming of Captain Swing and his Electrical Pirates, history shall never be the same! This crackling new graphic novel is illustrated by Raulo Caceres in a stunning woodcut style, capturing the classic literary feel from days of yore.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Avatar Press (6 Dec 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592911374
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592911370
  • Product Dimensions: 26.1 x 17.4 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,122,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Warren Ellis has created and written The Authority, Transmetropolitan, Orbiter, the award-winning Planetary, Ministry of Space and much more. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but very sweet 3 Mar 2012
Format:Paperback
A great idea beautifully illustrated. Warren Ellis never disappoints me. But the real star here is Raulo Caceres, who artwork is amazing and very immersive - an artist I will look out for.

My only gripe is simply that it was too short (as is often the way with Avatar books), and thus it did feel a little bit rushed at times. I desperately wanted to know more about the characters, but I doubt Ellis will return to this book.

Despite this I thoroughly enjoyed every minute. Well worth your time.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read but a little too short 3 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Since I like Warren Ellis and Steampunk I picked this book without having heard from it before. I was not disappointed. The story is quite interesting and blends information on the early London police nicely with
exciting steampunk action. The artwork also is great. The only reason I give this book 4 stars instead of 5 is that
it is way too short for my taste and to me it seems like there should have been a sequel. I hope there will be one
sometime soon.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Electric 28 Jan 2012
By Noel TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In the 19th century, before the more famous Jack the Ripper was the myth of Spring Heeled Jack, a disturbing night creature who could leap buildings in a single bound and got up to all sorts of mischief. Warren Ellis resurrects the story and rewrites it in a steampunk fashion with the help of Raulo Caceres to become "Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island".

It's 1830, years before Nikolai Tesla begins experimenting with electricity, and yet somehow this strange figure, Captain Swing, has been able to harness it and use it to fly boats across the sky, construct bullets that don't kill, and boots that can make him leap further than any normal man. His mission is to make electricity and knowledge free for all, free from those who would seek to control it and keep it for themselves. A Peeler (early version of the police) becomes entangled in Swing's story as he hunts down the killer of his friend, leading him to the Bow Street Runners and their colleagues, the corrupt Magistrates who, in league with the Freemasons, have begun manipulating the powers of a rock from Mars for their own nefarious purposes.

Warren Ellis pens a romantic and edgy action Victorian thriller that's full of invention, sharp characterisation and great dialogue. Raulo Caceres does a magnificent job of bringing to life this period drama through woodcuts, making each page gorgeous to behold. "Captain Swing" is a tremendous comic book and is another feather in the cap for Ellis whose work seems to be getting better with each passing book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great! 24 Jun 2013
By Babylon
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A really interesting and nice comic book. I've bought it a s a present for a friend and he liked it so much!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Electric 28 Jan 2012
By Noel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In the 19th century, before the more famous Jack the Ripper was the myth of Spring Heeled Jack, a disturbing night creature who could leap buildings in a single bound and got up to all sorts of mischief. Warren Ellis resurrects the story and rewrites it in a steampunk fashion with the help of Raulo Caceres to become "Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island".

It's 1830, years before Nikolai Tesla begins experimenting with electricity, and yet somehow this strange figure, Captain Swing, has been able to harness it and use it to fly boats across the sky, construct bullets that don't kill, and boots that can make him leap further than any normal man. His mission is to make electricity and knowledge free for all, free from those who would seek to control it and keep it for themselves. A Peeler (early version of the police) becomes entangled in Swing's story as he hunts down the killer of his friend, leading him to the Bow Street Runners and their colleagues, the corrupt Magistrates who, in league with the Freemasons, have begun manipulating the powers of a rock from Mars for their own nefarious purposes.

Warren Ellis pens a romantic and edgy action Victorian thriller that's full of invention, sharp characterisation and great dialogue. Raulo Caceres does a magnificent job of bringing to life this period drama through woodcuts, making each page gorgeous to behold. "Captain Swing" is a tremendous comic book and is another feather in the cap for Ellis whose work seems to be getting better with each passing book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars shadows swaddled in bedlam 9 Dec 2011
By gonzobrarian - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Readers uninitiated either to Warren Ellis or graphic novels would benefit immensely by reading Captain Swing and the Electrical Pirates of Cindery Island. On the one hand it's a brisk and bloody romp in a genre definitely not steampunk (as Ellis insists) but something that feels a lot like it. Sure, there's lots of metal and some gears but it's a story enshrouded mostly in fog, blood and sparks.

Captain Swing is a frenzied mix of clashing societal and seemingly fantastical forces. Enigmatic spring-heeled figures, harnessing blue lightning, are caught slinking about the streets and rooftops of London. Murdered Bobbies, drawn and quartered with all signs of foul-play pointing to the sky. Add to this confusion the turbulence of 1830s London with the eruption of the Swing Riots, the peasant uprisings against industrialized agriculture, combined with the full-on war between the emergent policing factions of the Peelers and Bow Street Runners. All these factors paint a story of change swaddled in bedlam, easily personified through the notorious visage of Captain Swing.

Ellis writes a deceptively pithy story. Course like the London grime, his dialogue, especially between his policing factions, is as bawdy as it's humorous and unsettling. Contrast this, however, to the utopian and progressive aspirations of his altruistic Swing. Thankfully, his own sentiment does not boil down to dualistic either-or scenario. Applying a shades-of-grey lens to the ideological questions concerning the nature of law, justice, piracy and knowledge, Ellis takes great care not to espouse any ideal but rather cloak it in uncertainty, showcasing only the confusion experienced by a rapidly changing English society.

The artwork of Raulo Caceres impeccably parallels Ellis's authorship. Shades of navy, amber, lavender and maroon deliberately permeate the work, highlighting predominantly the shadows of London upon each character, each panel. Only the blindingly blue sparks in this pre-electrical era add any brightness to the sketches, drawn in finely intricate woodcut fashion. It is equally fun to gaze at the panels as it is to read.

Captain Swing is a grand synthesis of fiction, history and dark, alluring artwork. Whether for the casual comic fan or for readers with a more academic scrutiny, this work is an impressive exposition on the continuum of societal bedlam and progress.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing 5 Mar 2014
By Thomas G - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great graphic novel, about heroes fighting for the high ideals of science, in a steam-punk alternate London. Was really Awesome!
4.0 out of 5 stars ElektroPunk Adventure! 13 Oct 2013
By Talvi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There's a really good concept lurking at the heart of this story - Elektro-Punk extraoardinaire with pirates, bow street runners, coppers, and crooked politicians thrown in for fun. And yet, despite a clear arc with some interesting thoughts contained therein, this feels very slight. 3-4 pages of art and then a full page text info dump transition doesn't fail as much as it could but somehow manages to feel a bit lazy.

That said, the artwork is excellent - dense and dark and beautiful. I still get the feeling that Morrison is writing himself into each of these main characters as a Marty Stu of the egregious sort - but hey, I bought the comic and I knew what I was getting into based upon the names on the marque.

The story revolves around a character named Spring Heeled Jack - a pirate with the ability to use electrical devices to further his means (which we later learn to be philosophical in nature). He comes into the sphere of influence of a Peeler (policeman) Charlie Gravel (who, as his last name suggests, is the rough, earthy, grounded in a banal reality sort). Gravel found his friend murdered and he isn't too happy about it. And he believes the key to bringing justice to his peeler friend is to hunt down Spring Heeled Jack. Where those two intersect, Charlie will find his quarry and Spring Heeled Jack will further his philanthropic agenda.

I do have to credit Morrison for writing a story where the women give as good as the men but aren't over sensationalized or stereotyped into nun or devil. Pirate Polly really is 'one of the guys' and is counterbalanced by Spring Heeled Jack's idealism and Gravel's brutal honesty. Their triumverate of Heart (Polly), Mind (Jack), and Body (Gravel) provide a few interesting observations on 1830s London society and people in general that are interesting enough even without all the pretty pictures around the text bubbles.

But ah, I have to admit, despite the disappointment in the story, I absolutely loved the intricate artwork. Rich color, heavy black lines, and very meticulous drawings really set the stage to show off the Elektro-punk lightning blue - you can hardly miss it in every image. And when the pirate ship flies the skies with electrified rudders, it truly is a sight to see.

So although I have very ambivalent feelings about this graphic novel (I waver between 3 and 4 stars), I did enjoy the tale while at the same time wishing it was so much more.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars nothing memorable about this. 16 Nov 2013
By tgw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
So Warren Ellis writes something about steampunk pirates or something. I can't recall much about this, which speaks volumes to its worth. I may have come into this with too high of expectations, coming off of reading transmetropolitan and Planetary, so this was a considerable let down. Again, there is not one memorable thing about this entire story besides how dark a lot of the art was.
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