Sunday, August 19, 2007

He Might Actually Have Written The Phone Book.

So, being a comic nerd in general and huge Warren Ellis fan in the specific, I subscribe to Ellis' Bad Signal email list. The Bad Signal can be a few words or a paragraph or even a lengthy essay on Whatever's On His Mind Today. Here's an excerpt from a recent mailing:

bad signal

I have an confession to make.

I have ordered a man-bag.


...I started
thinking about what else I really
need to carry... Bah. Man-bag.


Man-bag. God, I am so sad.

Like every other Signal I've received, I at least paid attention to the whole thing, probably nodded in silent approval, and was entertained for the short time it took to read it. I was still thinking about it later that day, and I finally thought, Why did I enjoy that?

Was it a witty turn of phrase? No, except for the word "man-bag".

Was it the subject matter itself? I can't think of a time I actively sought out a column about picking out a "man-bag", so that wasn't it either.

What makes this Signal work, what makes pretty much all of the Bad Signals work, is my impression that Ellis doesn't stop to worry about audience approval (like I would and like other budding writers would); he already knows for certain that we do approve. His dismissal of any alternative allows him to move ahead on his chosen topic and just write.

And we all just read.

Inspiring. Liberating, even.


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