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Transmetropolitan, Vol. 1: Back on the Street (Transmetropolitan #1)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  30,921 ratings  ·  650 reviews
After years of self-imposed exile from a civilization rife with degradation and indecency, cynical journalist Spider Jerusalem is forced to return to a job that he hates and a city that he loathes. Working as an investigative reporter for the newspaper The Word, Spider attacks the injustices of his surreal 23rd Century surroundings. Combining black humor, life-threatening ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 17th 2009 by Vertigo (first published January 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Hunger For Knowledge
I can't believe it took me this long to finally read Transmetropolitan for the very first time. In retrospect, it has been a real and shameful dodging attempt gone right when it should have gone wrong, for my own good.

No point of crying about it now unless it is a part of my personal internal metamorphosis, which it very well might be.

Transmetropolitan is an graphic novel that makes justice to filth and sickness by being absolute color feast with its meticulous and crammed art, art that still ma
J.G. Keely
Comics have been going through a very public struggle with maturity for some time now. They were well on their way to catching up with other art forms until they were hit with the 'Comics Code' in the fifties. The code was an outgrowth of reactionary postwar witch-hunting a la McCarthyism, and succeeded in bowdlerizing and stultifying an entire medium for thirty years.

For example, all crime had to be portrayed as sordid, and no criminals could be sympathetic. There goes any comic book retellings
When these comics originally came out in the late 1990's, the comic-book industry lay in ashes. The speculation bubble had just burst, hundreds of retail stores were going out of business, many publishers were downsizing or declaring bankruptcy. It was a time when comic books had to reinvent themselves or fade into obscurity - a time when something as unconventional and confrontational as Transmetropolitan felt like it might actually have a chance, when somebody as cocky and subversive and spect ...more
Dec 06, 2007 Andrew rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: the smugly superior
Shelves: genre, scientific, visual
I found this comic pretty irritating. It's the story of gonzo journalist Spider Jerusalem, who's pulled out of sylvan retirement when his publisher demands he deliver on his contractual obligations. Impoverished and drug-addled, Jerusalem has no choice but to comply; he gets a job writing a column called I Hate It Here, a chronicle of his experiences in the scifi megalopolis known as The City.

Throughout the comic, Jerusalem is portrayed as an underdog, fighting for the rights of the common man.
Written by one of my favorite comic writers, Warren Ellis.

This series is in the running for my top five favorite comics of all time. That might seem like faint praise until you consider the fact that it's competing with comics like Sandman, Bone, Hellboy, Lucifer, and Girl Genius.
Everyone seems to love this! Whether they are reviewing the series or just this first volume is sometimes unclear, but with this first installation I was mostly disappointed. It's one of those comics series that you hear about here and there, so I decided to give it a go. And to me it mainly seemed crude just for the hell of it, and with characters that you're not supposed to care about or relate with. Spider is supposedly meant to be a moral character, and yet when the story starts it is made a ...more
This is manic, biting, and brilliant. Ellis takes on everything he can think of: magpie popular culture, the media, politics, and anything else in his path. And though I haven't read everything he's ever written, I can definitely say that this is one of his best works. You know, I was a little irritated when I got the trade and saw just how thin it is, only three issues. But those are three powerful issues, with more substance than six issues of 90% of the comics out there.
Transmetropolitan's main character, Spider Jerusalem, is annoying at his best and exasperating at his worst. His childish, hyperactive antics would be funny if they didn't involve blowing up buildings, burning people with his cigarettes and shooting up bars. Spider gleeful spreads his the wanton destruction aimlessly, all while expressing a holier-than-thou attitude toward virtually every person on the planet, all the mindless sheep he hypocritically despises; he decries their addictions as he t ...more
Aaaaargh. Esto es tan, pero tan fabuloso! Absolutamente todo: desde la narrattiva, pasando por la estructura visual, hasta los diálogos y todo lo que escupe brutalmente Spider Jerusalem: "No matter how big the idea they all stand under, people are small and weak and cheap and frightened. It's people that kill every revolution"
Pero además, es especialmente fantástico por la atinada manera de mostrar el periodismo, o al menos cómo debería ser. Es mi oficio hace más de 10 años, y Spider ofrece una
Dark, crazy and hilarious.

Spider Jerusalem is insane mix of Deadpool and Raoul Duke(from Fear and loathing in Las Vegas).
Sam Quixote
I read the Transmetropolitan series a few years ago but loved it so much I decided to go back and give them a re-read and see if they hold up the second time around. And if this first volume is any indication, they most certainly do!

Living in isolation atop a mountain idyll, renegade journalist and bestselling author Spider Jerusalem is living the life he's always wanted - shooting rats in a hovel far from the bustling metropolis of the future. If only he'd unplugged the phone... His publisher c
I put off reviewing this graphic novel to give it a fair shake but my feelings haven't changed. I found the main character to be chaotic and without much in the way of morals and most of his attempts to be funny just turned out crude or got a question mark for me. The artwork felt jammed on the page rather than flowing nicely. There were certainly some interesting ideas within but I found myself struggling in the latter 20% of the the graphic novel. I will give the second volume a chance but I d ...more
My Brief Bookshelf Overview: bold-or-unapologetic, hell-of-a-ride, odd-or-unconventional, top-notch-artwork

Additional Notes: This collection contains Transmetropolitan issues #1-6.

Top 5 Reviewers' Consensus : Uproarious, imaginative, and brazenly satirical, Transmetropolitan is a captivating and memorable sci-fi tale that grabs hold and doesn't let go. And in spite of his mercurial and self-righteous nature – and perhaps partly because of it – Spider Jerusalem is a protagonist that's fairly e
I agree with most of what Ellis is saying in this book, but I'm not really a fan of HOW he is saying it. It's a bit too juvenile and obvious, and nowhere near as subversive as it likes to think it is. Overall, it's not at all bad, it just didn't connect with me. I'll give it a few more volumes to see whether or not I change my mind about Ellis as a writer.
What can I say? I love the main character.
Loony, unpredictable, mood-swingy Spider Jerusalem (I'm excited to find out about his name) - fighter for truth and justice :D kh..khhh..

He's on a roll from the very start:
"Working this tollbooth all week, pissing in a whiskey bottle and weakly jerking off over the radio porn that aerial picks up...must be a tough life. But you really are everything I moved to the mountains to escape from. A worthless scrap of frogshit with a pulse and a bit of authority
So fucking awesome! If awesomeness could be condensed into six books, then this would be it!

Warren Ellis makes some eye-opening observations through Spider Jerusalem. The one that struck me most was this:

There's one hole in every revolution, large or small. And it's one word long -- people. No matter how big the idea they all stand under, people are small and weak and cheap and frightened. It's people that kill every revolution. (Issue 3)

He also captures the essence of journalism in a brief but
Feb 21, 2011 Zach rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: comics
Wildly inventive, politically incorrect - in the real sense, not the lame-excuses-for-being-sexist-and-racist sense - and frequently hilarious: like the canon of anarchic late-'60s and punk-era underground comics brought lurching to the cusp of the millennium. Ellis is a sharp satirist here, but the real star of the show is Darick Robertson, who packs his panels with dense layers of pop-culture references (was that John Lennon as a shirtless angel?) and jokes. If I have any complaints, it's that ...more
I'm reading a lot of reviews here saying that this series is "crude just for the hell of it," among other things. I think those people, and anyone else who reads this series, would do well to keep a couple things in mind: first, if you bother to read the forward to volume one, it's stated that Warren Ellis doesn't like nice things and doesn't trust nice people, and that this series is his way of breaking away from the "nice" world of superhero comics. Second, this series (or, at least, the first ...more
Michael Benavidez
This caught me by surprise. I knew it was going to be pretty out there from what I had heard, but I wasn't fully aware just how far it would go. It uses dark humor from politics to human behavior to just a whole bunch of other crap that's meant to be offensive. hell, Spider is the type of character that wants to offend people. He wants to piss people off and this whole issue follows off of that. It's Spider being called back from the woods (where he became some sort of crazed paranoid lunatic) a ...more
Don't know what took me so long to read this, but glad that I finally did. Read this volume on an airplane, which is not necessarily advisable as being in an enclosed space surrounded by a cross-section of humanity really magnified the overall feelings of misanthropy that one might get from reading this book and I started feeling like punching people in the face. However despite all the anger, weirdness, and over-the-top humor in Transmet, what really struck me about it was the political certain ...more
Spider Jerusalem is a metaphor - a metaphor for dealing with the absurd amount of cynicism an absurd society bestows on us as the people inhabiting it. That way of dealing is by uncovering the truth and then abiding it, by direct, assertive action and personal standards.

He also shows us how being a perverted oddball addicted to cigarettes and guns can change society by refusing to stand by the sidelines. And Spider does have a good heart.

This is truly one of Warren Ellis' greatest works and th
Won't even lie about how much I enjoyed this.
Crude, lewd, the kind of black humour that drips off the page and isn't for everyone (but it sure is for me).
A breath of fresh air. I tend to go into graphic novels with bated breath, not expecting much, ready to forgive tiresome cliches (and dare I say, not holding it to half the standard I hold "real" novels at). But nah, this was brilliant. Intelligent, hilarious, gorgeous panels, biting satire, a cat with two-faces... what's not to love?
Still awesome. Ellis' lightning writing makes my brain sit up and take notice - the tight phrasing, constant barrage of unpleasant yet intriguing ideas/scenes/concepts, coupled with a completely insane, totally id-driven hero, all conspire to keep me far too alert and fuels my longstanding paranoia.

Robertson's art is energetic, fully-formed (filling frames, not just phoning them in) and just plain whacky. Every cell has extra shit he's scribbled in - I imagine it's like leakage from his own imag
Federiken Masters
Dec 17, 2010 Federiken Masters rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans de South Park y de la soft-SF
Recommended to Federiken by: Sosías.
Leído a lo frankenstein entre números sueltos en inglés y tomos españoles de Norma. Esta serie fue uno de los hitazos claves de la línea Vertigo y ahora que finalmente leo la primera saga puedo ver los porqués. Ellis vomita todas sus ideas e ideales a medio regurgitar con total inmunidad y Robertson se preocupa por que los cachitos de comida a medio procesar generen el asco correspondiente con su dibujo prolijo y antihigiénico a la vez. La visión de la sociedad -yanqui principalmente-, las menti ...more
Aug 21, 2011 Halik rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Halik by: Smriti Daniel
Kick-ass comic book. Literally. Funny and pushes my journalistic ego buttons. But objectively speaking this is a deep meditation on a bleak projection of Earth's future. A future where sexual perversion has reached proportions almost equal to its technological advances. Transmetropolitan is set in 'The City' from which famous journalist Spider Jerusalem has been staying away (out of disgust) in self enforced exile. But due to owing books to his publisher, and being able to only write whilst in T ...more
Zan G
May 24, 2007 Zan G rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: warren ellis fans, h.s. thompson fans.
This is a great series but you are goddamned crazy if you think I'm going to write ten reviews of a single series I've been reading over the course of the year. The comic's main character is based off of Hunter S. Thompson and has a lot of similar humor to that man's writing. He, like Thompson, is a political journalist hounding a corrupt politician who pulls some very ominously 9/11 and Katrina-aid type ploys to gain control of the nation. Ellis is a very political guy and he gets to politic as ...more
I love Hunter S. Thompson. Really, really, love him. With the possible exception of David Foster Wallace, there isn't an author who I've read more thoroughly, or whose style I adore more.

But Warren Ellis, who is a great author in his own right, just isn't Hunter S. Thompson. Spider Jerusalem mimics Thompson's obvious traits: the drugs and the guns and the antics and the anger. But Ellis's homage to Thompson misses the more subtle, but more important characteristics of the great godfather of Gonz
I'm on a bit of a Warren Ellis kick at the moment, and this might be my favorite thing so far.

A crazy, disillusioned, world-hating author is forced to return to the city he thought he had escaped for good 5 years ago when he is told that he can either finish the last 2 books of his contract or be sent to debtors prison. He can only write in the city and so he returns, in a foul mood with a bunch of weapons. Needing money he takes a job as a reporter and goes into the world to see what troubles h
Graphic Novel. Spider Jerusalem's been living in the mountains for five years, letting his hair grow and hiding from his fans, but an unfinished book contract forces him back into the sin-infested city. Hot DAMN is Spider sexy and messed up. This really is the perfect place for Ellis. He gets to swear and hate humanity and write monologues about how shitty life is and that's the story instead of getting in the way of the story. The art is just as manic and pissed off as Spider, full of dirt and ...more
Que rabia! Gasté tanto dinero para esto!
La historia en general está bien, la crítica al consumismo, al poder, a las religiones, genial y todo pero era leer a un cabro chico medio punky ODIOSO!, aunque eso no es lo que más me cargó, sino que todo tenía que ver con mierda y el meado del gato wn, Noooo asqueroso.
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Warren Ellis is the award-winning writer of graphic novels like TRANSMETROPOLITAN, FELL, MINISTRY OF SPACE and PLANETARY, and the author of the NYT-bestselling GUN MACHINE and the “underground classic” novel CROOKED LITTLE VEIN. The movie RED is based on his graphic novel of the same name, its sequel having been released in summer 2013. His graphic novel GLOBAL FREQUENCY is in development at Jerry ...more
More about Warren Ellis...

Other Books in the Series

Transmetropolitan (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 0: Tales of Human Waste  (Transmetropolitan, #0)
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 2: Lust for Life
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard (Transmetropolitan, #3)
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 4: The New Scum (Transmetropolitan, #4)
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 5: Lonely City (Transmetropolitan, #5)
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 6: Gouge Away (Transmetropolitan, #6)
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 7: Spider's Thrash (Transmetropolitan, #7)
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 8: Dirge (Transmetropolitan, #8)
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 9: The Cure (Transmetropolitan, #9)
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 10: One More Time (Transmetropolitan, #10)

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“There's one hole in every revolution, large or small. And it's one word long— PEOPLE. No matter how big the idea they all stand under, people are small and weak and cheap and frightened. It's people that kill every revolution.” 68 likes
“Journalism is just a gun. It’s only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that’s all you need. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world.” 67 likes
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