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Transmetropolitan : Back on the Street [Paperback]

Warren Ellis , Darick Robertson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

24 Nov 2000 Transmetropolitan
"Transmetropolitan...Here is a city filled with every sin you can imagine, and a few that have been imagined for you. Here is Spider Jerusalem, the cranky, miserable bastard who will guide you through this future Babylon. Here is the finest, blackest humour, and a sense of justice hissed through gritted teeth..." -- Garth Ennis, writer of Preacher In anarchic, tradition-trashing style, we're rewinding to the beginning, before the hugely popular Transmetropolitan: The New Scum, to reveal Spider's first story after emerging from his self-imposed five year exile. Warning: Adults only!

Product details

  • Paperback: 72 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books Ltd; New edition edition (24 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840232587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840232585
  • Product Dimensions: 25.2 x 16.4 x 0.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 545,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Warren Ellis (whose recent work includes the excellent The Authority) is a fine comics writer. Spider Jerusalem, his tortured journalist protagonist, is a wonderful creation. Back on the Street is the first in the Transmetropolitan series and essential as an introduction to Spider and his world. Preacher's Garth Ennis introduces the book, rightly praising "the finest, blackest humour, and the purest hate, and a sense of justice hissed through gritted teeth". If the message is sometimes a little heavily, a little clumsily overbearing, this does not detract too much from a great story. Ellis has produced a fine comic series in Transmetropolitan. This is a future classic.

The scenario goes something like this. Spider Jerusalem left the City ages ago and grew an awful lot of hair up on a mountain. The City was just too corrupt, too sinful, too unbearable a place for a journalist with a heightened, if awry, sense of what's right, what's wrong. Then his editor calls. Spider still owes him two books. A contract from way back when. And if he doesn't come up with the goods there will be consequences. Trouble is, Spider can only write when he's in the City, hasn't written a thing since he left. He doesn't want to go back but he has to write, has to go back. So he returns to the trouble and the turmoil, back to the mess that feeds him as a writer and gets himself a story. A punk he used to know, Fred Christ, is causing trouble. Fred is the leader of the Transients (humans knowingly infused with alien genes) and he wants them to have their own land and is ready to lead a rebellion to achieve that end. The authorities, obviously, see things differently. And Spider sees through both group's hypocrisies... --Mark Thwaite


Ellis's dystopic narrative, with its full-color tale of a gonzo journalist, shares with mainstream superhero comics a macho ethos that undermines the otherwise cool Watchmen-like script. Spider Jerusalem, a hip reporter of the Hunter Thompson mode, breaks a five-year drug binge on a mountaintop to replenish his resources. The city he returns to resembles the post-apocalyptic Blade Runner and all its funky visual progeny, and Jerusalem soon uncovers a government plot involving a staged rebellion by half-aliens. Two pages at the end (done by a different artist?) suggest how much better this would have looked in a style like Moebius, instead of the conventional DC-house graphics. Still, lots of background gags and some sharp cross-cutting panels make for a compelling read. (Kirkus Reviews) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's here to stay 8 April 2003
By Charles
You like political satire? Buy this. Like sci-fi? Buy this. Like black humour? Buy this. Like comics in any way? BUY THIS.
Transmetropolitan is a brilliant example of comic work, and at equal times hilarious, thought-provoking and rage-inducing. As our hero, embittered junkie ultra-violent journalist Spider Jerusalem, returns to the futurities City and covers the Transient movement (humans turning themselves into aliens who want more civil liberties), you will see corruption from both the authorities and the movement leaders, and you will see Spider dealing with it... by reporting the truth.
And the truth, as he puts it, "can blow the knee-cap off the world".
Now freaking buy it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thumbs Up! 18 May 2013
A Gonzo Journalist in a cyberpunk setting is forced out of retirement and finds he can still make a difference.

This is a very dense read. You can't just sit back and be entertained here. There is a lot of prose, a lot of subtext and lashings of futuristic Orwellian technobabble. Imagine Hunter S Thompson meets Mega City One and you will have some idea of the strangeness that is weeping from Ellis' pustulent mind. Anyone who can get Garth Ennis to write their introduction is definitely going to be off the wall.

The art is equally garish and anarchistic. Darick Robertson does a fantastic job of rendering a decadent technopolis completely out of control. There are lots of creative angles and great expressions at work too. The colouring is totally over the top yet there is an expert depiction of light and shade that gives it a sophisticated look.

This is only three issues long yet feels so much longer because of the almost Clockwork Orange dialogue. Anything longer might have proved too tangled for many readers to persevere with so you get a good idea what to expect for the next nine volumes. Thumbs Up!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Set bowel disrupters to "prolapse" 2 Feb 2012
I read the Transmetropolitan series a few years ago but loved it so much I decided to go back and give them a re-read and see if they hold up the second time around. And if this first volume is any indication, they most certainly do!

Living in isolation atop a mountain idyll, renegade journalist and bestselling author Spider Jerusalem is living the life he's always wanted - shooting rats in a hovel far from the bustling metropolis of the future. If only he'd unplugged the phone... His publisher calls to remind him that he needs to deliver two books or they'll come looking for his advance, and if he's spent it, then they'll do terrible things to him. Knowing that he can't write without being in the city, Spider makes the shaky and hesitant journey from solitary confinement to people saturation, losing the Alan Moore look he's been cultivating for the Hunter S Thompson image that we all know and love.

The best thing about this series, or one of them anyway, is the way everything is skewed and different from our world but seems familiar in small ways. Like Monkey Burger or Ebola Cola, to the kind of narcissistic twerps who endlessly blog and tweet and flood the net with their boring lives, there's plenty here that's similar to our world.

More best things about this series: Warren Ellis' writing. It's never been better than in Transmet and it is scathing, righteous, furious, white hot genius morphed into words from the page and searing itself onto your brain. The lack of restraint and free-wheeling nature of Spider gives Ellis free reign to write the most amazing screeds of hate and disgust you're ever likely to read. Put simply, there are more ideas and more poetry in a single issue of Transmet than most comics books contain.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Transmetropolitan is a thing of greatness, for many reasons which are described in other reviews. This is purely a review of the print quality of this edition, which is not as good as the previous version; it appears to be printed on newsprint, which considering that the art of this series is uniquely detailed, colourful and imaginitive, is a pity. Usually these days graphic novels are treated with more respect by the publishers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spider, don't you just love him? 18 Jun 2009
I don't think I can say anything about this graphic which hasn't already been said. It's pretty old now, but Spider Jerusalem still hits home with his honest gonzo journalism, which seems to be quite appropriate in this day and age. It definitely stands the test of time and Ellis goes from strength to strength with this series of graphics.
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By J Witts
I love Transmetroploitan. It was a breath of fresh air after reading so many overly colourful superhero books and dark moody gritty vigilante titles. Spider Jerusalem is basicly "Hunter S. Thompson in the future" but none the less he's an awesome character who inhabits a world which is both amazing and confusing while at the same time being utterly familiar and full of problems we can all relate to.

Warren Ellis presents the future as seen through Spider's ultra-cynical eyes and yet manages to make him likeable despite his many hundreds of character flaws. The city is brilliantly realised by Darrick Robertson's artwork. I got the whole series and was hungry for more when I had read it all. My only problem is that having read Spider Jerusalem I don't think I'll ever be able to go back to Spider-Man!

You can't do much better than this. Buy it. Now!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining and engaging
Loved reading this so much I struggled to put down, funny, engaging, rude, well drawn. Enjoyed it so much bought the next two before I finished this one.
Published 7 months ago by neil-j
5.0 out of 5 stars Transmetropolitan is Awesome
I found this to be an hilarious take on modern society, the main character is insanely brilliant and funny 5 stars easily given, would recommend it to anyone.
Published 8 months ago by Stewart Kay
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Written Comics of all time
Warren Ellis shows what a great writer he is in this witty, funny and edgy series. Transmetrompolitan is filled with subtext and social commentary by showing what the future could... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Drakel Lesserson
5.0 out of 5 stars Two tugs of a dead dogs c**k
After reading Freakangels I wanted to read more from Warren Ellis and rather randomly chose this because it looked cool. Read more
Published 13 months ago by James Powell
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious, thorught-provoking and unique
Transmetropolitan seems to serve two purposes.
The first is a cultural satire, a glance into where the western world is headed. Read more
Published on 9 April 2012 by CrashBang
5.0 out of 5 stars If you really love me, read my bloody review!
I would describe this book as f**king awsome.Its brimmed with politics , bad language and characters so iratingly evil that you want strangle'em all to death. Read more
Published on 1 April 2012 by Doctor polical nerd
1.0 out of 5 stars Gonzo No NO.....
I have no idea why others have given this 5 stars. Does that mean that Watchmen gets 10 stars out of 5? Read more
Published on 6 Aug 2011 by D. Mackay
5.0 out of 5 stars fantasticly emotive
i must admit when this graphic novel first arrived throgh the small hole in my door; i was somewhat disserpointed. Read more
Published on 25 July 2006 by D. Womersley
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