XXXLIVENUDEGIRLS, by Laurenn McCubbin & Nikki Coffman, is a black and white book, heavily greytoned, inside colour card covers. It's short stories about lost girls in doomed lives. Little vignettes, moments from people in painfully real late-night places. Hating the people you love, loving the people you hate.
The writing is gorgeously minimalist; it's the coherent thoughts in between the jumble of sense and memory, the mind on pause. It is evocative of lostness, of drunkenness, of reaching. The art is photoreferenced, for a stranged-out, solarised and stoned effect. It's club and bar lighting. Very accessible, but very atmospheric. Put together, it create a slow tranced pacing, and the most assured debut I've seen in years.
I've known lots of the people in XXXLIVENUDEGIRLS. Dated some of them. The girl with the drugs that guy really wanted her to have, so he must like her, right? Clawing at the skin of the guy with dead eyes who only ever notices her when she goes nuts. These lives and these places ring right. In these quietly brutal little stories they are telling you things you should know. There is truth here.
Warren Ellis has written around thirty graphic novels, comics, prose fiction, journalism, videogames and screenplays. Sometimes he take photographs. He also creates and co-creates websites, including this one. He has awards and stuff, he's been in big magazines and newspapers, and he's been published in Nature, which he always mentions because it makes him laugh. He's on the web at warrenellis.com and diepunyhumans.com.