There will always be one or two comics that I will talk up. “Blue Beetle” for one. “The All-New Atom” is another. Because I believe that those are great illustrations of the pluses of their respective genres in comics. There are other books that I just flat out don’t understand the appeal of, and I’m sure you’ll get an earful about them some day, too. Then there are the rare comics that I’ll talk about and say, these are just great. And I don’t mean, these are great comic books. I mean, these are excellently crafted stories in every regard, and deserve recognition from the literary and artistic community as well as the comic community as a whole.
Warren Ellis’ Fell is one of those comics.
Fell is an amazingly atmospheric detective drama horror…thing that is released sporadically, but very affordably. Each issue costs 1.99$, 1-2$ cheaper than most comics today. Another bonus? While there is an overarching continuity, recurring characters, and character growth/change, each issue is a done-in-one that is new reader friendly. You can pick up issue 10 when it hits the stands and give it a shot, and if you like it, go pick up the earlier stuff, or you can start at the beginning. It doesn’t matter. There aren’t arcs. Each issue is one case. A little self-contained horror-mystery.
Another benefit? Art is handled by Ben Templesmith, a well-known artist in horror comics, and his morbid, almost minimalist style suits the feel of the comic. The art never falters – every issue, it’s been top-notch creepy, and Templesmith is on the book for the foreseeable future, so you have a great deal more of some of his best work to look forward to.
What Fell is about. Fell details the story of detective Richard Fell, transferred to the decrepit, beat-down Snowtown after a tragedy we know little about in his old precinct. Snowtown is noir heaven: everyone has a secret, the few police are overworked or corrupt or just flat-out drugged up, and no one likes the new guy. Richard Fell is a clever man, though, and he has a sharp sense of justice, and so he fights the horrible degradations of Snowtown, bringing justice even as he himself begins to succumb to the hopelessness of it all.
Fell: Feral City is the first collection of issues to be released, and it’s a great place to start. If you enjoy comics with gorgeous art give Fell a shot. If you enjoy great noir, pick it up. If you want a bizarre, arcane, mature comic, you owe it to yourself to try Fell.