At Nothing But Comics, we’re enjoying the science fiction comic Trees. Written by Warren Ellis and illustrated by Jason Howard, the Image Comics series showcases a wide-ranging cast on a future Earth altered by the arrival of the monolithic, enigmatic alien structures known as “Trees”. We love Howard’s art in Trees, and we were curious to know which science fiction movies were Howard’s favorites.
So we dispatched Robot 21 to ask him!
by Warren Ellis & Jason Howard
After the shocks which ended #8, Warren Ellis’ Trees returns with a new arc. Time has passed since the devastation of #8, yet not all of the smoke has fully cleared. The issue opens with the remnants of the Svalbad research team plunging into the icy sea. The body of Dr. Marsh comes to rest on the ocean floor where it is immediately overtaken by the ominous black flowers. Instantly the body decays. It is a vivid, disturbing sequence which reminds readers of the series’ newly raised stakes.
From there the narrative flows into the near future, though exactly how much time has passed remains unclear. Dr. Joanne Creasy was the head of the Svalbard station and its sole survivor. Miraculously fished out of the chilly waters, she has been on a long journey of rehabilitation both physically and emotionally. She struggles to adjust to changes in society, while managing PTS flashbacks to the tragedy of Svalbard. In the midst of this recovery process, she is summoned by the British government and offered the chance to return to studying the trees once again.
Continue reading Review of Trees #9
Updated: Warren Ellis confirms on his website
Ye Olde Bleeding Cool is on a roll today as they are reporting that legendary and influential Warren Ellis of the upcoming Moon Knight in addition to seminal titles and runs on The Authority, Planetary, Global Frequency, Iron Man Extremis, Hellblazer, Gravel, Astonishing X-Men and Transmetropolitan will be launching a new creator owned series via Image Comics with artist Jason Howard from Superior Spiderman, Super Dinosaur and The Astounding Wolf-Man. Strangely this wasn’t announced in Images initial online May solicitations and wasn’t announced at the Image Comics expo in January but things look about as official as this gets. Check the details at Bleeding Cool .
2014 has been a Warren Ellis renaissance as he’s reinvigorated comics with three fantastic series that dropped like an a-bomb on the comics landscape and have put everyone on notice. But while his Moon Knight run was fast paced and bare to the bones superhero crime fiction and Supreme Blue Rose has been a surrealistic path into the heart of continuity his creator owned Trees has been the more measured and subtle of the three with issues that are often not really about the giant alien architecture labeled as “Trees” in the book but more about the people that live around them. This is very much a book that is more or less a wide casting character study and issue #6 is perhaps the best yet as it takes a deep dive into exploring the nature and confusion of sexuality. This chapter is one part about a young boy from a small town that is living in a big city that has always had to hide his homosexuality but now that he is free he is scared and unsure about where his desires will lead him while the other half is about someone who exploits the homosexuals in his city for money in order to keep a secret. It’s strong statement of the necessity for an open society for all it’s members and how closed ones leave the door open for black markets and criminal elements to manipulate those things everyone is trying to sweep under the rug. Trees #6 could have done that with anything as drugs, migrant laborers or sex workers all fall under the same umbrella but the fact that he did with the nature of sexuality makes it all the more potent as those themes have become a ground swell in comics culture as of late with questions of representation while the mainstreaming of non-heterosexuality continues to become a reality of our world. The basic message here is pretty simple as “if it makes you happy embrace it don’t run from it” is essentially the tag line of the former while the later shows the consequences of society that discourages that sentiment but it makes for a thoughtful issue with a beautiful conclusion to the story where happiness is embraced with a form of great clarity. Warren Ellis is in his do anything stage of his career but what’s made it so great is how he’s embraced that freedom to explore all sorts of fantastic and interesting ideas and story telling techniques. Trees
is a geopolitical science fiction series and issue six is about the fluid nature of sexuality and it’s place in modern society’s. That’s probably not a comic for everyone but if it sounds like one for you then this one is about as good as it gets.