Thursday, October 11, 2012

Transmetropolitan series by Warren Ellis

Transmetropolitan is a cyberpunk series following Hunter S. Thompson-of-the-future Spider Jerusalem as he spits out vitriol-soaked articles for the City's masses to read and get angry about.  With the aid of his Filthy Assistants and his bowel disruptor, he is on a mission to find the Truth. Here are the spoiler-free discussion questions:

1.  What are Spider Jerusalem's morals?  Who or what does he fight for?

2.  What are Spider's motives throughout these stories?

3.  I felt that the Filthy Assistants were entertaining, but ultimately not integral to the series.  Your thoughts?

4.  Not many graphic novels get political.  Ex Machina's stories were taken straight from post-9/11 
headlines, did you sense any of the political stories in Transmetropolitan ringing true or familiar?

5.  Transmetropolitan was written over the course of 9/11, yet the book continued on apologizing to no one and not confronting the issue as far as I could tell.  Was this a good choice by Ellis?  Do you think he offended anyone at the time?

6.  You only ever see excerpts of Spider's articles until the very last trade, which collects them all.  What did you think of this artistic choice?  Would the articles have clarified events or furthered Spider's character?

7.  Transmetropolitan is most definitely gritty, grimy, and over the top.  Did you find this to be appealing or not?  Why?

8.  Ellis seems to be a pretty varied writer, having this, Orbiter, and Planetary under his belt.  Are there any common themes among his work?

9.  As with many antiheroes, critics say that Spider Jerusalem is simply unlikeable and seems to never be humanized throughout the series.  What do you think?

10.  Vertigo Comics often seem to subvert what we consider to be a hero.  Is Spider a superhero in the same vein of the Sandman?

11.  Why does Spider Jerusalem return to and tolerate the City?

12.  How does this series illustrate the importance or lack of importance of journalism in a democracy?