Warren Ellis is someone who could be credibly referred to as a genius. Transmetropolitan — a futuristic riff on Hunter S. Thompson — has never felt more relevant than in the era of Trump and the nationwide Black Lives Matters protests. The Marvel cinematic universe exists in no small part because of his Iron Man comic Extremis. His books have accurately predicted the rise and adoption of smartphones, micro-drones, facial recognition software and how the police would turn consumer security cameras into a de-facto surveillance network.
He also created the Warren Ellis Forum — an online community that would become a haven for creators, intellectuals and artists. From 1998 to 2002, The Warren Ellis Forum was, in its way, the CBGBs of comics; established comic book professionals, up-and-coming amateurs, and fans who simply wanted to be in the room where it happened all mixed and mingled freely. The WEF became a talent incubator, churning out creators who would go on to transform not just comics but television, film and more. Some of the creators that had been part of the WEF included G. Willow Wilson, Ed Brubaker, Brian Wood, Matt Fraction, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Kieron Gillen, Chip Zdarsky, Sam Humphries, Andy Khouri, Justin Jordan, Alex de Campi, Jeremy Love, Carla Speed McNeil, Colleen Doran, Lea Hernandez, Gail Simone, Antony Johnston and…er… me.
DeConnick and Jamie McKelvie transformed Captain Marvel into the version we see in movies. Atomic Blonde was adapted from Johnston’s book The Coldest City. WEF alumni went on to become editors at Oni, Image, Dark Horse, Marvel and DC, show-runners at the CW network, famous podcasters and more.
As it says on the WEF’s epitaph: “Couples met and even got married here, people found homes and aid here, companies were started and saved here. It was good.”
It is no exaggeration to say that Warren Ellis single-handedly changed the face of pop culture.
Warren Ellis is also accused of manipulating and sexually coercing many young women.
Writer and editor Katie West opened the dam with a thread on Twitter (since deleted) talking about her relationship with Ellis. Musician Meredith Yayanos, photographer Jayne Holmes and Denver Primrose also came forward with their own stories about Ellis, including screenshots of Twitter DMs from him. As of this writing, over 35 people have come forward to talk about their experiences with Ellis.
I believe them. I know that Ellis was capable of this because I was there. I saw it happen. And I did nothing about it.