Friday, March 1, 2013

Announcing the Gutter Talk "Hellblazer" Poll!

Y'know what I haven't done for awhile? (And the answer is not "showered"--though I should get to the dishes before too much longer.) 
I haven't polled my readers; asked you a question designed to elicit your opinion on a matter of vital importance to the survival of mankind.  
With the recent conclusion of the long running Vertigo horror series Hellblazer, I thought I'd gauge my readers' thoughts on the various talents who've been tasked over the last quarter century with chronicling the life and times of "working class mage" John Constantine by giving them a chance to vote for their favorite Hellblazer writer.
(By the way, the review of the final storyline is still forthcoming.  Having now acquired a copy of the last issue, I actually have to find time to read it.)
For this poll, I've decided to do things a little differently than I have in the past.  In fact, I'm actually running two polls. 
The first is for the series' regular writer; those who wrote an extended run of issues.  
But there's also an impressive list of fill-in writers throughout the course of the series who came on for just one issue or one storyline, giving the regular writer a short break, or filling in until the next regular writer takes over.

The writers in the first category are:
  • Jamie Delano
  • Garth Ennis
  • Paul Jenkins
  • Warren Ellis
  • Brian Azzarello
  • Mike Carey
  • Denise Mina
  • Andy Diggle
  • Peter Milligan 

And the guest writer field consists of:
  • Grant Morrison
  • Neil Gaiman
  • John Smith
  • Jason Aaron
  • Dave Gibbons
  • China Mieville
My apologies to Alan Moore fans who may prefer his version of John Constantine to anyone else's.   Moore didn't make the cut for this poll, since, despite creating the character, he never actually wrote an issue of Constantine's solo series.
As always, the poll will be open for one week, so vote early.  I'll have some sort of half-assed analysis of the results after the poll closes.


  1. I didn't vote for Warren Ellis, so I'll plug him here in the comments section. Ellis quit Hellblazer prematurely due to editorial conflict. His story "Shoot" was cut from the title at the last minute (before going to the color department) but was leaked online. The web-savvy Hellblazer fan can probably find it easily enough.

    All of this is a shame since Ellis' too-brief run on Hellblazer was really good. His last few issues were his best (#143's "Telling Tales" is a particular favorite) and one can only speculate how good his run may have been had he time to build onto Constantine's world.

    I fear Garth Ennis is gong to walk away with the victory here (although I didn't vote for him either) largely because he was on the title for such a long time - 49 issues by my reckoning. This gave him time to build tension with the First of the Fallen as well as develop his characters, John and Kit in particular.

    By comparison, Ellis only wrote 10. If he had another continuous 20 or 30 issues to his credit, who knows what he could have crafted? I know this is purely speculative, but the mind boggles...

  2. P.S. In your list of Hellblazer guest shots, you reglected Dick Foreman, who wrote the excellent "New Tricks" story in Hellblazer 32.

  3. And I also forgot Eddie Campbell...who wrote a four issue storyline between Ennis' and Jenkins run...I didn't know about Foreman's issue, but I actually own copies of Campbell's issues.