Jump to content
Hondo's Bar

Transmetropolitan


MyLeakyBucket
 Share

Recommended Posts

I was delighted to notice my local comic shop had the new trade Transmetropolitan in. After a quick exchange of money for goods I took it home and have just currently finished it.

 

THis is definitely one of my fave comic series around at the mo and would recommend it to anyone, altho you'd have a little catching up to do. It's the penultimate trade so I'm all excited now, how will it end? :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My transmet crack supplier has gone to texas and left me dry. it truly is a great series. im still suffering from withdrawl symptoms... random typing at times. a feening for cigarettes. must go to texas soon.... :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

:D has it ?!?!?! I'm gonna KILL him

 

 

Where's my three eyed sticker? Can't find it anywhere online. arggggggg. To ME my filthy assistants, off to kill the piggy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Didn't know that grabbing the last issue was such a big deal, just kinda though that us folks in Miami would go out and spend the couple of bucks to buy it, I mean, IC, you've been great to let us read the stuff, but it's not like you write it, I figure we can manage buyin' one issue by ourselved. I'd lend out the one I bought but damned if I can find it... I'll look around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

Bituva bump, but I'm surprised this book didn't get some attention after Hunter S.'s trajic passing... Tho I've been toying with the thought: Lookit the very last couple of pages of the last issue, and then Hunter's end. Kinda creepy, no?

Edited by Skeeter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Damn...i actually hadnt thought of that.

 

Did this one finally finish in TPB? Also, skeet, you read the 2 one-shots of just art with Spider's articles? "I hate it here" was one, cant recall the other, i dont know that they made it into the trades...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah the main-story TPBs finished a while ago. There was a new TPB released fairly recently, I think it has some shorts in, perhaps the ones you are talking about IC.

 

The Hunter S. Thompson/Spider comparison hadn't escaped me. Will look at the end again when I'm back in the UK.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yeah the last one, i think it was scum in the city or something? that was the I hate it here one-shut and that other one too

 

i remember seeing the dillon page and it looked awesome, the last book of the main story is One more time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

I read my first Transmet comic about 2 weeks ago, after finally downloading it.

 

I finished the series off in less than a week, extras and all.

 

First off, Spider Jerusalem is a classic, unforgettable, character. I can't think of anyone who's like him. It's too easy to use obvious words to describe him like 'funny' 'unpredictable' or 'outrageous', but I thought about it and I think that one of the things that sets Spider apart is his honesty or sincerity. I don't think there was ever any doubt from issue one that Spider cared about the people in the city. He wasn't a journalist in the business for accolades or for an ego trip. He's the most believable idealist you'll meet. THe ideals he has are very few, granted, but he's basically living the golden rule: "Don;t treat people like shit". So, yeah, we love him because of the Bowel Disruptor and kicking people in the balls and for the Chair-leg of Truth, but none of that would work the same way for another character. It's because the reader feels that Spider is being genuine at the most basic level that the humor works.

 

And it's also for that reason that when we see Spider slump against a wall in despair, we can buy it completely and feel how much it kills him inside.

 

Spider's also pretty libertarian as far as I can tell. He doesn't really give much hint into his economic views, but he seems to respect privacy and individual rights pretty deeply, so I find it easy to go along with his attitude to life.

 

Ellis is pretty inventive too. There's so many places in the comic where I just ended up stunned by something that Spider says or does and I just have to stop until by brain recovers.

 

The Fiilthy assistants are fun. When Channon shows up for the assistant's job and you realize she's one of the dancers from the rooftop scene, it's a bit gimmicky, but it also gets your attention and makes you feel like this is a city that's full of interesting people.

 

The City of course is a big part of the reason this book works. I love that Ellis didn't just create an oppresive stereotypical future city where everyone's a slave of some kind (social, mental, economic etc) There's a lot wrong with the city, but it seems that the people are mostly living well and living happily. I especially like that Ellis makes technology something that creates possibilities for people. The makers get credit for making life easy. The Solar station on Mercury also.

 

And the way people use tech in their personal lives is much more positive than we usually see in scifi. Think of the grey transitives. Ellis gets into why these people choose to escape their human bodies and he never makes the tech the villian. Bodily tech modification is just a neutral thing here, like human cloning. I love that.

 

Eating cloned human meat... When Spider interviews the two streetkids and they ask to go to the human fastfood joint because they have toys, I had one of those moments I was talking about where, I was just stunned by how outrageous and still natural it all felt.

 

--------------------------------------

 

The social commentary is pretty sharp in the book too. There's an issue that focuses on the people from the past who wake up in the future and walk around all shellshocked. Ellis was making a point about homelessness, using the parallels but never preaching about actual homelessness. I did think that the point could have been made a little less obviously but that's probably because I've been trained by 4 years of English Major education to be alert for allegory and symbolism far more than the average reader.

 

When the book focused on the elections and you had candidates arguing about 'the Real America' I had to double check the publication date of the book. THose scenes were written 10 years before Sarah Palin.

 

The way the book targets today's soundbite/ talking points journalism is somewhat uneven, but it's a point I hardly ever see being made consistently in popular culture, except for maybe Stewart and Colbert. Ellis does identify the problem but I don't buy some of the ways he portrays it in the comic. Like when he has none of the journalists investigate President Smiler's wife, that seems far fetched. Considering that pictures of Obama with his shirt off get to be on the CNN front page, I don't think that the journalists of Spider's time would be as simplistically lazy and lacking in curiosity as Ellis makes them.

 

Of course, half the time I can't believe the journalists of OUR time are as lazy and lacking in curiosity as they are.

 

I also think that Ellis over estimates the ability of journalism to inspire public action and change.

 

---------------------------------

 

Some other things that didn't quite work for me:

 

Spider attacking people all the time and never getting stopped. I mean, the attack on the President in the bathroom was funny as hell, but I couldn't help thinking the Secret Service would never have allowed it. And how come no one ever has real muscle around? I mean, the bodyguards we see Spider beat up are kinda cartoonish and it's hard to believe that good help doesn't exist, especially since Spider himself has such a good bodyguard.

 

And I keep thinking that President Smiler, who can fuck with and kill people in so many different ways, could have easily gotten Spider and everyone he cared for kidnapped and tortured in a way that would be easily covered up.

 

The book's social commentry may be still up to date, but it's views on technology do show their age. Like when Spider shows off his digital Camera like it's some kind of miracle. To someone in 1998, I'm sure it was, but we already have better looking cameras today.

 

Same goes for the Hole website that Spider uses later in the series. It's basically an underground blog, which we've got entirely too much of as it is.

 

-------------------------------

 

But overall this book works really well and it's entertaining and makes a point or two about how people shouold live and think and it's good literature because you'll be thinking about it long after you arent' reading it anymore.

 

Of course, there's tons more I could say about this book, but those are some of my main reactions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, you might recall back at FIU when id be searching high & low for original issues on this one, it took me forever to put it together since i discovered it about 1/3 through its run.

 

Ellis has written things somewhat like it since, but many consider it his preacher. i agree that the gratuitous violence was fun but didnt serve anything sometimes, same way the social commentary of arseface went nowhere eventually. another thing the series did for me was show me how much i love darick robertson as an artist; like dillon, some faces would be similar, but that part with the big storm in the city, all the silent scenes? i was made to feel like i was really there for it, and that was impressive.

 

i think the preacher/hitman comparisons come up because like them, if you peel away or look past the irreverent humor for a moment, there's a fair amount of commentary (moreso in transmet's 2 books of just spider's articles) and character at the core that stands out form other works. i dont personally keep them in the same league, but i see why others do. and yeah, vertigo hasnt had another Spider. glad you got to read it & get all into it though, man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When Spider Assaulted the Beast in the toilet, the secret service had basically written him off he was so hated. No one in the secret service (which had apparently been privatized) cared about protecting him, that and they had let their recruitment standards slip to where there were more dedicated convenience store clerks than motivated bodyguards. Of course later in the series once the election started, the beast got himself a REAL bodyguard that had spider on the floor with a gun to his head the moment he laid a finger on him.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to download it one more time and try to finish it, but it was an ordeal to get through the first trade last time, and i couldn't go any further. I actually deleted it because i hated it so much and didn't want it being associated with my other comics and giving my collection and comics in general a bad name.

 

No doubt the preceding post will be quoted back to me after again and again after i'm raving about the wonders of transmet, we'll great doubt but i'll see what happens

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What have you got against the White Stripes? Theyre a fairly non-threatening elevator band. Not exactly spectacular but definitely not terrible.

 

As for Transmet. You sir are a fool. One of my favourite books ever. Love it.

 

Dont want to start discussing it as I'm playing catch-up with 100 Bullets and my newbie brain can only handle so much comic knowledge at one time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 months later...

Okay, I gave this fucker a second chance, I realize that reading a book in its entirety is different than reading a few issues here and there. So I amend my score, but don't get too excited yet.

 

I read the first 3 issues and immediatly went "What the fuck was wrong with me? This is great" and then things tailed off for a long time until we picked up with the Smiler and moved forward then they went down, up, down, up, down, up a little, and finally up to a respectable height but nowhere near the starting point.

 

The Beast was a useless character, didn't serve a goddamn purpose, he was a red herring which wouldn't annoy me so much if he hadn't been such a mind-numbingly obvious allegory of Nixon.

 

Spider was a great character, the problem is that a lot of times he felt forced, like Ellis was trying too hard to make him seem crazy. This always happen when people try to write Hunter S. Thompson, Thompson had a lot of sane moments in-between the sanity and anyone will tell you that half the time the man was downright normal. He was just very manic and prone to outbursts and I know Spider isn't supposed be Hunter S. Thompson, but if Ellis had managed to write a character that was indepenent of its inspiration it wouldn't have been a problem in the first place.

 

And then of course there were the article stories, the one about the people who had their minds transported into clouds of nanobots and the cryogenics ones were great stories, the rest were absolute cack, especially the one about child prostitution, you can practically see the chip balanced proudly atop Ellis' shoulder as he typed that one up.

 

All in all it was a good series but not great, the artwork definitely helped and the 3 main characters were good enough but like everything (except Nextwave) that I've read by Ellis so far, it's there in reality but not in spirit. I would like to own this some day but I'm in no particular hurry, I'll stick with Ex Machina, it's really a much better written and more thought provoking book on the whole.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree that, at times, Spider seems "forced" as a character. As a straight up H.S. Thompson shadow, he's certainly not accurate. Thompson ran for public office for fuck's sake, and he wasn't kidding around. I completely believe that in the astronomically unlikely event he would have been elected sheriff, he would have fulfilled his duties to the best of his abilities.

I agree with the foglet and icehead stories being the strongest of the bunch. Those are the ones that stick out in my memory, I don't even remember the details of the child prostitution story so I'm gonna say that it's forgettable.

I'm not gonna agree that The Beast was useless, though I'm thrilled to see you caught the Nixon allegory (I thought it was obvious, but in retrospect it's only obvious if you're familiar with Hunter S. Thompson).

As a whole, I think Transmet deserves praise. It's a fun little ride, and the fact that you plowed through 60 issues should say something.

 

...but like everything (except Nextwave) that I've read by Ellis so far, it's there in reality but not in spirit.

 

WHY IS THERE NO LOVE FOR PLANETARY HERE!

Am I really the only one that enjoyed this book?

Say it aint so, Joe. Say it aint so...

Edited by Thelogan Prime
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...