Which Comics To Read After ‘Red’? Warren Ellis Has Some Recommendations!

EDITOR’S NOTE: With “Red” hitting theaters October 15, we’re kicking off the next two weeks of coverage with five days of guest columns from writer Warren Ellis, co-creator of the 2003 “Red” comic book with artist Cully Hamner. Join us all week for original columns from Ellis that will look at the origins of the comic, his favorite scenes, and much, much more! -RM

If You Like “Red,” You’ll Love…

Would you like some graphic novels that are, like “Red,” all about spies, liars, guns and things exploding? ’Course you bloody would. Let me give you a few suggestions.

Probably the best graphic novel series about spies is the “Queen and Country” sequence created and written by Greg Rucka, working with several artists. “Queen and Country” is a very grounded and grim look at the work of the British Secret Intelligence Service, which might be better known to you as MI6, and one of its field operatives, Tara Chace.

In the mode of the famous UK tv series “The Sandbaggers,” Q&C is the story of a spy agency forced to do the most dangerous work in the world on the cheap by a fearful goverrnment, and the cost it takes in human lives. The books are never less than riveting.

Harder to find, but worth the hunt, is Pierre Christin and Enki Bilal’s “The Black Order Brigade,” a story of old men and women not yet done with secret wars regroup to hunt down a fascist terror organization in Europe. A very different tone to “Red”-the-film, and a few shades darker than “Red”-the-book, but a superb work from two of France’s major creators.

Fancy the grim and tangled underworld without the spies? Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ “Criminal” books feature clever plots, con games and revenge schemes, and are generally the best noir on the comics market. Ed and Sean’s lighter superhero-crime graphic novel “Incognito” (where the chemically-depowered supervillain in witness protection discovers that recreational drugs give him his super-abilities back) was recently optioned for film.

Or you could buy all my books and just pretend they were about spies and sh*t and GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY BLOODY COMPUTER I’LL SAY WHAT I BLOODY WELL LIKE NO STOP!!!

— Warren Ellis

That wraps up a full week of guest columns from “Red” co-creator Warren Ellis! We can’t thank him enough, and if you’re looking for more, you can also find Warren Ellis online at WarrenEllis.com and on Twitter.

“Red” hits theaters October 15, and stars Bruce Willis, Karl Urban, Helen Mirren, John Malkovich, Morgan Freeman, Mary-Louise Parker, Brian Cox, and Richard Dreyfuss.

Let us know what you think of this guest column from Warren Ellis in the comment section or on Twitter!

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Warren Ellis’ Most-Anticipated ’Red’ Scenes: Office Brawls, F-Bombs, And Ernest Borgnine
ADAPT THIS: Guest Editor Warren Ellis Reveals The Comic Book Adaptations He’d Like to See!
Warren Ellis On His ’Red’ Set Visit: Frozen Hipsters, Throat-Punches, And Carrot Sticks
Where It Started: Guest Editor Warren Ellis Explains The Origin Of ’Red’