Ellis Announces Apparat "fifth" Week Event for November

Tue, May 11th, 2004 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Jonah Weiland, Executive Producer/Publisher

Tuesday afternoon on his Bad Signal mailing list, Warren Ellis announced plans for Apparat, a new line of comics to be offered through Avatar Press.

"Last month, I told you about my idea of publishing a group of imaginary first issues of imaginary series from an imaginary line of comics on an imaginary fifth week," Ellis said in his mailer. "This month, I'm telling you what the line is called.

"Apparat. Or the Apparat Singles Group, depending on my mood.

"Four first issues from a line of comics that don't exist, from an imaginary label called Apparat.

"Apparat will work in partnership with the Avatar Press of Illinois, USA, who are generously funding this stunt. The Avatar Press mark will appear on the backs of the books only. Otherwise, to all intents and purposes, these will appear to be works of the Apparat Singles Group.

"Right now, I have to thank William Christensen for his kindness and rank stupidity in bankrolling this thing.

"There will be four Apparat books -- as mentioned in an earlier transmission, I felt it'd be easier to maintain the quality on four than five.

"The titles of the four Apparat books, along with the names of their illustrators, follow:

  • "Simon Spector": illustrated by Jacen Burrows

  • "Quit City": illustrated by Laurenn McCubbin

  • "Frank Ironwine": illustrated by Carla Speed McNeil

  • "Angel Stom Future": illustrated by Juan Jose Ryp

"Further information will be released next month.

"And so it is said."

Included in this mailer was the original text from April 1st in which he detailed his ideas for this publishing line. That's included below.

"Years ago, I sat down and thought about what adventure comics might've looked like today if superhero comics hadn't have happened. If, in fact, the pulp tradition of Weird Thrillers had jumped straight into comics form without mutating into the superhero subgenre we know today.

"And then, a couple of years later, Alan Moore went ahead and did it with the America's Best Comics line.

"Years ago, I sat down and wondered what the regular 32-page adventure comics single would look like if you took away preconceptions about design and the dominant single form.

"And then, a couple of years later, Dan Jurgens went ahead and did it with the Tangent line at DC. The other day, I was thinking about response songs. Rappers taking shots at each other, covers that answer something in the original, art made in reaction to art. Which, you kind of hope, is not the same as being reactionary.

"The small music labels 555 Recordings and Dark Beloved Cloud have singles clubs. People play down the importance of singles these days -- they don't sell the way they used to, downloads bother the music business -- but I love them. Sometimes one song contained on one object is all you need to move the axis of the world. Self-contained and saying all that needs to be said.

"Singles and Tangent and ABC all kind of stuck together in my head, and I began conceiving of a response. The Singles Group was the working title -- not permanent, as after a while it starts to sound like a dodgy online adult dating service. An imaginary line of comics singles. Sitting in that peculiarity of comics distribution, the fifth week. A couple of times a year, a month has five weeks, but publishers schedule in four-week cycles, so the fifth week is often kind of empty. It's the imaginary week of comics publishing. And that's where you put an imaginary line of comics. A fifth-week event has always been on my list of Things To Do In Comics.

"And then someone checked the calendar for me, and showed me that the next available fifth week window is the last week of December. Which is just a deadzone. No-one's got any money. I'd be taking the piss if I put it there.

"So the plan changed a little. Five imaginary first issues of imaginary series from an imaginary line of comics released on an imaginary fifth week.

"We're going to put it in the middle of November.

"More next month."

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