Warren Ellis’ STRANGE KISS/STRANGER KISSES/STRANGE KILLINGS

Strange Killings cover

Sergeant Major William Gravel of Britain’s SAS is a brilliant soldier. He’s also a chronic moonlighter, taking on unofficial cash-in-hand jobs from unsavoury underground characters in order to pay off his constant, secret and quite hefty personal expenses. This has led to him being permanently placed on “K” duty — deniable operations. If he’s caught pulling the dirty secret black-ops stunts that define “K” duty, then nobody knows him and he has no escape. Which leads to him taking more black-market jobs in order to make money and purchase favours against the day he’s finally caught. Which is plainly something of a vicious circle.

He’s also a magician of some twenty years’ standing.

He is, in fact, the only known combat magician in the occult sphere. If he was capable of actually getting his life together, he could probably change the world. Instead, he’s constantly involved in other peoples’ lives and other people’s dirty secret, running headlong towards the day when he hits something he can’t escape from, shoot, or wish away.

But he’s going to enjoy the race.

“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 AND STRANGER GALLERY

Gallery Slideshow

 

“Never a dull day, being a magician.”

Creator Warren Ellis launched the first Gravel saga, Strange Kiss, at Avatar almost a decade ago as his first project with the publisher.
All 6 original TPB’s are in print; in order, they are:

  1. 1. Strange Kiss
  2. 2. Stranger Kisses
  3. 3. Strange Killings
  4. 4. Strange Killings: Body Orchard
  5. 5. Strange Killings: Strong Medicine
  6. 6. Strange Killings: Necromancer

(Warren Ellis’ next ongoing series featuring combat magician William Gravel will launch in January with GRAVEL #0. Artist and collaborator from the original run Mike Wolfer will be assisting Ellis in co-writing this ongoing monthly.)

Warren Ellis’ STRANGE KILLINGS: NECROMANCER (Sixth in Series)

trade paperback cover
Cover: Mike Wolfer
Story: Warren Ellis
Script Assist & Art: Mike Wolfer
Readership: Mature Readers
Format: B&W, 144 pages, square bound
ISBN: 1592910335
Diamond: JUN062917
in the store

Finally, all six issues of the zombie epic Necromancer collected into one volume! Warren Ellis’ cult hit STRANGE KILLINGS is back with “combat magician” William Gravel’s most gut-wrenching mission yet! Deployed to a steaming Philippine island, Gravel’s assignment is to assassinate an investigative reporter about to expose a chemical weapon lab sanctioned by the British government. But double-crosses and political intrigue have marked Gravel for murder by his S.A.S.  comrades as he realizes that he has been led into a trap by a vengeance-seeking superior. And it only gets worse. There’re zombies: Scores of flesh-ripping, reanimated corpses seeking to shred and devour everyone and everything in their path. If Gravel is able to uncover the shocking truth hidden within the jungle on this island of the dead, can even his otherworldly powers help him escape from a madman, and army of the undead and four squads of heavily armed S.A.S soldiers out for his blood?

STRANGE KILLINGS are the stories of William Gravel previous to STRANGER KISSES. A series of self-contained story arcs “plotmasters” by creator Warren Ellis and completed by STRANGE KISS/STRANGER KISSES artist (and writer in his own right) Mike Wolfer.

Warren Ellis’ STRANGE KILLINGS: STRONG MEDICINE (Fifth in Series)

trade paperback cover
Retail Price: $9.99 US
Cover: Mike Wolfer
Story: Warren Ellis
Script Assist & Art: Mike Wolfer
Readership: Mature Readers
Format: B&W, 72 pages
ISBN:1592910246
Diamond: MAY042360
in the store

Ellis and Wolfer return for this fifth volume of the adventures of Combat Magician William Gravel and unleash a new series full of bad juju. Gravel finally escapes his deniable ops in the USA and is able to return to his home in London. But before he can even settle in, he gets sucked into a horrific child mutilation investigation. Because this child was killed in a very specific way, it was a muti killing designed to bring powerful magic to someone. And if Gravel can’t stop him, many more children will die to create a black magician with very strong medicine.

“Strong Medicine is an old-fashioned occult detective story based on an actual unsolved case: a boy’s torso washed up on the banks of the Thames, bearing the hallmarks of a ritual death for the purpose of muti — African shamanic medicine,” says creator Warren Ellis. “In a London already unusually charged with racial tension, combat magician William Gravel is blackmailed into solving the crime before it triggers off mass violence.”

“Collaborating with Warren Ellis on the Strange Killings saga continues to be the most comfortable and creative working experience in which I have ever been involved in the field of comics,” adds artist Mike Wolfer. “With each successive mini- series, the storytelling bar is raised a little bit higher and I’m sure you’ll agree that in the political horror arena, Strange Killings does not disappoint.”

“I think that the most intriguing aspect of each series and of Strong Medicine in particular is that there are elements in Warren’s tales that are absolutely real,” Wolfer continues. “Much is fictionalized, but there is an underlying voice, beneath the magic bullets and the Body Orchards, that reminds us, “This is happening. Now. Watch the news.”

STRANGE KILLINGS are the stories of William Gravel previous to STRANGER KISSES. A series of self-contained story arcs “plotmasters” by creator Warren Ellis and completed by STRANGE KISS/STRANGER KISSES artist (and writer in his own right) Mike Wolfer.

Warren Ellis STRANGE KILLINGS: THE BODY ORCHARD (Fourth in Series)

trade paperback cover
Story: Warren Ellis
Script Assist & Art: Mike Wolfer
Readership: Mature Readers
Format: B&W, 144 pages, square bound
ISBN: 1592910130
Diamond: SEP032087
in the store

Warren Ellis and Mike Wolfer return for more Strange Killings! Before his disgrace and removal to solo deniable duties, Sergeant Major William Gravel was part of SAS team Alpha One Four. He hasn’t seen his teammates since his fall. He knows only that they’re still in the job, doing the things he used to do. Which doesn’t remotely explain why, while he’s moonlighting in New York, the Alpha One Four team should be seen blowing away a newly-elected mayor — a military man himself ? and then vanishing into thin air… This series digs deep into William Gravel’s magic past and begs an answer to one of the greatest combat magician secrets, what is the Body Orchard?

STRANGE KILLINGS are the stories of William Gravel previous to STRANGER KISSES. A series of self-contained story arcs “plotmasters” by creator Warren Ellis and completed by STRANGE KISS/STRANGER KISSES artist (and writer in his own right) Mike Wolfer.

Warren Ellis’ STRANGE KILLINGS VOLUME ONE (Third in Series)

trade paperback cover
Retail Price: $9.95 US
Cover: Mike Wolfer
Story: Warren Ellis
Art & Script Assist: Mike Wolfer
Readership: Mature Readers
Format: B&W, 72 pages square bound
ISBN: 1592910009
Diamond: STAR17794
in the store

Warren Ellis’ and Mike Wolfer’s three issue action-packed Strange Killings series is now collected in this one volume! This TPB is the third installment, after Strange Kiss and Stranger Kisses, of the on-going adventures of William Gravel, Combat Magician. For the second time in history, the British Government sends in its crack troops, the Special Air Service, to quell a major prison riot. But not even these, the most accomplished and frightening soldiers on Earth, are equipped to face what lies at the center of the prison, the heart of the riot. In fact the only man in the SAS qualified to deal with the horror within is the recently disgraced Sergeant Major William Gravel: combat magician. But inside the prison lies a man waiting to fight with more than mortal weapons. The will be at least one more strange killing this evening.

STRANGE KILLINGS are the stories of William Gravel previous to STRANGER KISSES. A series of self-contained story arcs “plotmasters” by creator Warren Ellis and completed by STRANGE KISS/STRANGER KISSES artist (and writer in his own right) Mike Wolfer.

Warren Ellis’ STRANGER KISSES (Second in Series)

trade paperback cover
Retail Price: $9.95 US
Cover: Mike Wolfer
Story: Warren Ellis
Artist: Mike Wolfer
Readership: Mature Readers
Format: B&W, 72 pages, square bound
ISBN: 0970678444
Diamond: STAR14717
in the store

Warren Ellis brings his mad visions to life with the same team who brought you STRANGE KISS, with Mike Wolfer on art and Dan Parsons on painted grey tones. Stranger Kisses is about people for whom two genders are not enough, no matter how you play mix-and-match with sexuality. It’s also about videotape, bad secrets, and what it’s like to have an entire city wanting to kill you. The videotape is of seriously physically modified whores. Possibly altered at the genetic level. Because those extra orifices look grown. And those weird protuberances don’t look artificial…. A very 21st Century comic, mad and modern and speedy and full of nasty ideas. Most sequels end up as pale imitations of the first. Stranger Kisses makes its ancestor look like a runt. It’s Big Comics, Pop Comics. hard fast explosive storytelling, mad science and weird sex. What the hell more do you want? The year 2000. In LA, the future of rich man’s whoring and trophy women is being designed. Two sexes are not enough. People like their kisses stranger than that.

Warren Ellis’ STRANGE KISS (First in Series)

trade paperback cover
Retail Price: $8.95 US
Cover: Mike Wolfer
Story: Warren Ellis
Artwork: Mike Wolfer
Readership: Mature Readers
Format: B&W, 72 pages
ISBN: 0970678401
Diamond: STAR12541
in the store

Finally, the entire Strange Kiss series is back in print and collected in one volume! Featuring an all-new introduction by Warren Ellis and new pinup art by Mike Wolfer. Strange Kiss is best described by Ellis himself, “A horrific murder-suicide in the middle of a busy city street at midday; an old man rotting and bloating in a hospital bed, something sick gestating inside him; in a darkened place close by, people screaming, impregnated, doomed. Something beautiful and awful is trying to reproduce, and its strange kiss is only to be feared…”

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