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Well, with his Avatar stuff, when I say it has good concepts and good dialog, that's only two parts of it all, you know? the fact that the issues don't feel complete and the plot sort of goes in weird directions and doesn't seem to be on track, that makes an overall bad reading experience, so I'd say yeah, that would qualify as bad.
But "Bad" in the way you can still glean something good from it. Sort of like how I consider "Eraserhead" to be a bad movie, but there are scenes in there which I think are some of the most amazing (and messed up) sequences of nightmare-horror ever commited to film.
It's like finding a diamond in a piece of dog poop. On one hand, it's "Hey, I found a diamond!" but on the other hand, it's "but I have to fish it out of a piece of dog poop..." and then from that point on, you'll think of that diamond as "the one I found in that peice of dog poop..."
Yikes. Wow. OK, I gotta get some breakfast. I'm starting to go on a WEIRD rambling session here. I'll stop before I make any more unusual metaphors.
I saw your question on Beau's FAQ page, regarding the worst Warren Ellis story out there.
I didn't want to answer questions on a page where BEAU is supposed to answer questions, but I did have something to say so I figured I'd comment you directly.
Warren Ellis is a really good writer, and while he's written a few that weren't great, they weren't "horrible". just stories that were lacking.
Warren's "Avatar" stories:
these aren't terrible, but for my money they're NOT as good as the stuff he's done at Marvel, DC (Wildstorm & Vertigo). Avatar doesn't interfere with the scripting and content of their superstar creators... the idea is that they want to let them have free reign... but unfortunately when there IS a problem with the script, no one is there to tell Warren "hey you should fix this..."
Warren's Avatar titles are ones that have great ideas/concepts, good characters, good moments... but the storytelling (for my money) is sloppy, the endings of each issue (and some series) just seem to END abruptly. The titles that have suffered from this were "Black Gas" "Black Summer" and...even though I love the characters and love the concepts of this book... his "Doktor Sleepless" suffered from clumsy storytelling.
but again, it's just that these titles are "less good" than his others. Warren Ellis' worst stories are still better than a lot of crap out there...