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Transmetropolitan, Vol. 1: Back on the Street

(Transmetropolitan (Collected Editions) #1)

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4.22  ·  Rating details ·  37,373 ratings  ·  1,011 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 February 1st 1998 by Vertigo (first published January 1998)
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  37,373 ratings  ·  1,011 reviews


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Anne
Feb 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Anne by: Artemy Nizovtsev Nizovtsev
I don't really know what to say about this one, except it was off the wall and crazy in the best way possible.

description

The main character is this deranged genius of a journalist, who only comes back to the city because he owes his publisher and the money is already spent. For years he's been living off the grid like a hardcore prepper and is loathe to come back to civilization. And never misses an opportunity to say so.

description

I should mention that this is set in a nutty futuristicesque world where the mundane a
...more
Jeff
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comix
Hunter S. Thompson -> Uncle Duke -> Spider Jerusalem?

Whether Ellis’ creation is an intentional ape of the Doonesbury character or not, it seems like a natural progression – putting Trudeau’s profane character in the future and turning him loose on social injustice and stuff.



After a long, imposed exile, Spider’s back in the big city and in order to keep the creditor hounds at bay, he’s looking for work as a journalist.



Armed with a bowel disruptor, righteousness, his wits and a mouth that wo
...more
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
...more
Sr3yas
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The word 'unique' doesn't even start to describe our title character and the story. From the moment I heard the name of our guy, I was hooked!

Spider Jerusalem, (crazy) journalist: A man who sees through everyone's bullshit.

if that's not enough to win you over, look at the character design!


*It's like the combination of the two band members from System of down!*


I Hate it here!
Spider Jerusalem was one hell of a journalist. But after years of Journalism, the man had enough of the city. He has bee
...more
Melki
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
Hunter S. Thompson Spider Jerusalem reluctantly returns from his self-imposed exile to emerge anew as the premier gonzo journalist.

Anyway, you don't learn journalism in a school. You learn it by WRITING FUCKING JOURNALISM. You teach yourself to wire up your own brain and gut and reproductive organs into one frightening machine that you aim at the planet like a meat gun - -

In addition to his mighty pen, his only other weapon is the truth, and something called a bowel disrupter set to prolapse. G
...more
Patrick
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jan Philipzig
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
Lyn
Mar 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
DEVILISHLY FUN!

Hunter S. Thompson is alive and well done, shambling across the pages of Warren Ellis’ 1998 Transmetropolitan volume number one: Back on the Streets.

First published in 1998, this only demonstrates the great vision Ellis had then, he was a canary in the coal mines as much of what he wrote 20 years ago could have been created today.

Spider Jerusalem. As great a character name as Velveeta Jones or Hiro Protagonist. Spider is a journalist, an inflammatory writer, a brigand of the TRUTH
...more
Andrew
Dec 06, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: the smugly superior
Shelves: scientific, visual, genre
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.
...more
Purple
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was ok
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
Sam Quixote
Oct 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Ivan
I don't usually reread but I was in a mood for some dark humor and missed the insane bastard.I think this is second series I started (first was Sandman) since I rediscovered comicbooks and graphic novels.Since the nearly 2 years has passed and dozen of series and over 200 volumes but this is just as good and crazy as first time I read it.
Tina Haigler
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graphic-novel
I picked this up from my library on a whim. I'm not a huge fan of the urban future sci-fi genre. I much prefer dark urban fantasy but I figured, why not. It could be fun. Right?

Hell yeah, it was fun! It was gritty, interesting, hilarious, entertaining, and crazy. I love the main character. He's absolutely insane but for all the right reasons. His rants were awesome and his vulgarity was epic. The art was also fantastic and really set the mood for the story. Well done.

I definitely recommend this
...more
Book Riot Community
I wrote a whole thing about how amped I am about having read Transmetropolitan, but I’m just gonna have to be redundant: this cyberpunk tale of political corruption being faced head-on by a badass journalist and his badass assistants made me happy in my heart. I binge-read like 60 issues in three days.

— Susie Rodarme



from The Best Books We Read In December 2016: http://bookriot.com/2017/01/03/riot-r...
Sidharth Vardhan
Well, I changed my avatar to Spider Jerusalem. I think a review is redundant.
Zach
Sep 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comics, hated
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
Sesana
Aug 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Trish
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
This comic definitely is nothing like I've ever heard of.

The city this comic shows is called Future Babylon, but really, this is like Sodom and Gomorra. There is every sin imaginable portrayed. We have people abusing their power, corruption, drugs flooding every-day life, prostitution, violence, poverty, ... and a movement about genetic alterations (people changing their species, which definitely is the author's way of addressing current transgender issues).

Future Babylon is extremely bad. Witho
...more
Irena
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
StoryTellerShannon
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
Arielle Walker
Seems all too relevant right now.
Travis Duke
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to be honest I often feel like Spider, but I dont have the guts to act like him haha. Prophetic for 1997, Ellis nails the subject matter and the art is pretty darn good for mid/late 90's. Spider is a journalist that has been in hiding and comes back to the city to only see its a nightmare filled with police brutality, TV overload, and religious cults. The personality on spider is comical and in your face, which i found to be really entertaining. Ellis really does a great job and describin ...more
Jedi JC Daquis
Aug 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I asked myself before reading the first volume: my friends have recommended Transmetropolitan to me, but how on earth can a journalism-themed graphic novel interest so many.

The answer is generic yet very effective: a phenomenal first volume.

I have read so many titles with an awesome first volume. Many have kept me interested and excited until the end/current story arc (Chew, Sandman, Preacher, Scalped, Y The Last Man) while there are some that performed poorly after the first volume (Black Scien
...more
James DeSantis
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
My buddy Jimmy told me to read this ages ago. My buddy Chris has also told me it's a must read Ellis story. I'm glad I took time to read this because 8 or 9 years ago I don't think James would have liked it much. Now? Well...

The story is about Spider. He's a journalist. Don't worry, if you didn't know that or care to know he'll fucking TELL YOU. I mean this dude is no filter loud mouth, foul mouth, loony bin type main lead. That's a good thing here though because it keeps you entertained through
...more
Christopher
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.
Sud666
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Warren Ellis' Transmetropolitan is one unique work. Reminiscent of series like Preacher and Crossed, it can be very shocking. But it IS good. The story revolves around Spider Jerusalem a journalist who had gone to live in the mountains. His publisher makes him come back to the "City" and we are off on a marvelous satire of modern life. Transmetropolitan does not pull punches- from its dystopian future where overcrowded cities are clearly divided into upper, middle and lower class areas to the in ...more
Otherwyrld
Reading the first volume of Transmetropolitan for the first time, I feel that I've been shot between the eyes with a bullet coated in a variety of psychedelic drugs which is giving me the trip of my life as I die. There's more ideas per page than I think I've ever seen in a graphic novel before.

It's not just that though, it's the heart and soul that comes pouring off the pages as well. The author is angry about so many things - the violence and brutality of the police, the corruption of the medi
...more
Mike
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Bucletina
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
...more
Gorab Jain
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Gorab by: Jaya
Fast moving plotline, sexy art, kickass protagonist with a fuck you all attitude - rib tickling hilarious and full on stylish!

Spider Jerusalem - the cranky journalist with exponentially rising craziness, drug addiction, hurling venom and hatred, spewing the classiest verbal assault- this guy seriously kicks ass!
The art is mind blowing good. Just have a look at those faces and their expressions! Each frame is full of so much of detailed awesomeness to keep ogling over it.

Brilliant beginning. On t
...more
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5,191 followers
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

Other books in the series

Transmetropolitan (Collected Editions) (10 books)
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 2: Lust for Life
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 3: Year of the Bastard
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 4: The New Scum
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 5: Lonely City
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 6: Gouge Away
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 7: Spider's Thrash
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 8: Dirge
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 9: The Cure
  • Transmetropolitan, Vol. 10: One More Time
“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.” 90 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.” 87 likes
More quotes…