TGIZineday! 30 Years Ago: Doctor Death The Life Man Mini Comics by Warren Ellis

I met Warren Ellis at the Avatar booth about 10 years ago at SDCC. When I splayed out my vintage set of Warren Ellis mini comics right in front of him, he let out a chortle, quickly signed each “pamphlet”, and pushed them back in my direction as he looked off to the side(still chuckling), and said, “Now, fuck off haha!”  I felt honored, not insulted over this much deserved dismissal.


Warren Ellis was 16 when he wrote these mini comics back in 1984.  Doctor Death The Life Man is sort of a mix between Doctor Strange, and John Constantine.  His powers, which were tough to define even after reading all 3 issues, are augmented by stress.  That neat little detail is just a small sign of Mr. Ellis’ impending bright future as a comics writer/creator, but you can tell that it’s an inexperienced kid emulating his favorite science fiction/fantasy stories in these stapled, xeroxed comics.  The artist’s name is Martin Chaplin. His style kind of reminded me of Norm Breyfogle, or Marshall Rogers.  I didn’t find any other information about him, but admittedly I didn’t dig deep.


I bought these rarities on ebay a dozen or so years ago for 20-30 bucks.  I can’t remember the exact amount, but I think it was a good deal since someone is currently asking for a princely sum just for the first issue on Amazon.


Who knows, maybe a little Doctor Death The Life Man will leak into the upcoming, much anticipated, Warren Ellis penned Moon Knight run.  Please, Warren, make it happen; then I can sell these and retire.




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