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FreakAngels

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The comic starts out simple enough:

23 years ago, twelve strange children were born in England at exactly the same moment.

6 years ago, the world ended.

This is the story of what happened next.

Pretty intriguing, eh? Now what if I told you it’s written by Warren Ellis? Sounds promising? And now the interesting part: it’s free. Okay, now I’ve got your attention.

Last week Warren Ellis and Avatar released FreakAngels, a weekly comic to appear on http://freakangels.com/. The series will be penned by Ellis and have art by industry newbie Paul Duffield. In short, FreakAngels is about a group gifted adults who are now living in a future England which is mostly under water. It’s sort of a futuristic, steampunk, dystopia by the guy who’s famous for writing that sort of thing. When explaining the plot behind FreakAngels during a interview with CBR, Ellis described it as, "Think of ‘FreakAngels’ like the kids from "Village of the Damned" grew up and became disaffected teenagers and 20-somethings."

We all know who Warren Ellis is, and there’s no question about his writing skills. But what about this Duffield guy? Well, it turns out he’s really talented. With a knack for simple lines and cool colors, Duffield is a perfect fit for this project.

It should be no surprised that Ellis has teamed up with Avatar for such a project. The independent publisher has been a haven for the British writer to flex his creative muscles. Ellis’s most recent ventures with Avatar, Black Summer and Doktor Sleepless, have been huge successes.

Ellis prides himself with being on the forefront of industry in terms of technology. So making a comic that appears only on the internet is of course the next step. Making it free? Well, that’s just plain cocky. What’s especially interesting about FreakAngels is that is not just an on-line comic, but it’s also a community. Warren Ellis has every intention of connecting fans from all over the world through the Whitechapel Forum. There fans can interact and discuss the comic, or talk about anything else for that matter. Ellis himself is a regular on the forum, and even though he can sometimes sound a bit loony, it’s fun to get to talk to him and see him interact with his fans.

When asked if he was trying to reinvent the medium by CBR, Ellis said, "No, not really. I have great respect for web comics creators. There's an awful lot of superb work being done on the web that I don't think I could hope to compete with. What I'd like to do is show print creators that it can be done on the net. If I had a goal, and I'm not saying I have one, but I guess it would be to show my peers in the print community that you can do this, not loose your shirt and reach an awful lot of people you wouldn't ordinarily speak to otherwise."

What have you go to lose? It’s not going to cost you a dime. Go to the site and read it. If you don’t like it, there’s no loss. Time will only tell if this will spark a new trend. What is it with those crazy Brits and their desire to work for free? What’s next, Edgar Wright giving away movies on the internet? The world wide web is a beautiful device. While it’s basic task is for communication and pornography, it’s nice to know that some folks out there are using it in new and different ways to distribute media to a ready and willing audience.

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