FreakAngels
FreakAngels.jpg
FreakAngels promo ad, artist Paul Duffield
Author(s)Warren Ellis (writer)
Paul Duffield (artist)
Websitewww.freakangels.com
Current status/scheduleEnded
Launch date15 February 2008
End date5 August 2011
Publisher(s)Avatar Press
Genre(s)steampunk

FreakAngels is a post-apocalyptic webcomic created in 2008 by Eagle Award-winning writer Warren Ellis and artist Paul Duffield, and published in book format by Avatar Press. The plot focuses on twelve 23-year-old psychics living in Whitechapel six years after civilization in Great Britain is destroyed. The webcomic has received various awards and has been collected in a series of six volumes.

Crunchyroll adapted the webcomic into an animated series in January 2022.[1]

Publication history

Warren Ellis announced the project at the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con with the statement: "I've written two hundred pages and I still have no idea what it's about… it's retro-punk, it's near future steampunk"[2] It was launched on 15 February 2008. New installments were released in six full-colour page episodes every week,[3][4] a schedule that allows the story the chance to grow naturally.[5]

The story grew out of Ellis' question as to what would have happened if the Midwich Cuckoos had survived and grown to "disaffected and confused twenty-one-year-olds." The story builds on the legacy of John Wyndham's style of disaster fiction.[6]

The series ran for 144 episodes, completing on Friday 5 August 2011. Duffield eventually moved on to his own webcomic project, The Firelight Isle.[7]

Synopsis

Ellis' synopsis of the plot involves characters "living in a post-flood London that they might possibly have had something to do with."[2] The so-called FreakAngels, who possess telepathy and many other "special" abilities, such as space-time manipulation/distortion, and pyrokinesis, live in Whitechapel.[4]

As the story progresses, eleven of the FreakAngels are introduced and their role in the community is expanded. For the most part cooperatively they have created a small community of roughly three hundred people with fresh water, watch towers, markets, home-grown vegetables and a medical clinic. Their society is threatened, however, externally from refugee attacks and internally from personal conflicts and crime.

Reception

Brian Warmoth of MTV News stated that FreakAngels works well because of the combination of the steampunk-styled imaginative prop design and the bleak, post-apocalyptic setting, as well as a well thought-out underlying mystery. However, Warmoth noted the ongoing nature of the comic being detrimental, as the big reveals hadn't happened yet during the review in 2009.[8]

Larry Cruz from Comix Talk praised FreakAngels' "subversive style of grittiness" and described the comic's dialogue as "a cut above prose you’d find in most novels." Characterizing the webcomic as "anti-steampunk", Cruz argued that went against steampunk tropes by setting the story in a post-apocalyptic setting rather than in an "age of science." Cruz stated that Ellis' high reputation as a writer is well deserved, as he "pours his heart and soul into FreakAngels".[9] Critics have also argued that the cavalier treatment of psychological horror and sexual abuse inflicted on some characters is not consistent with the tone or aesthetic of the sometimes "silly and mundane" weekly web comic.[10]

Awards

FreakAngels has won various awards:

Collected editions

The series has been collected into trade paperbacks:

Animated series

Crunchyroll Studios produced a 9-episode animated series based on the webcomic which was released on January 27, 2022.[14][15]

References

  1. ^ "Crunchyroll Unveils 7 'Crunchyroll Originals' Works Including Tower of God, Noblesse, God of High School". Anime News Network. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b Anderson, John (29 July 2007). "Warren Ellis Addresses His "Children" at Comic-Con". Comics Alliance. Archived from the original on 12 February 2008.
  3. ^ McMillan, Graeme (15 February 2008). "Get Your Steampunk Freak On With New Webcomic". io9.
  4. ^ a b "Warren Ellis' "FreakAngels" webcomic is online" (Press release). Comic Book Resources. 15 February 2008. Retrieved 18 February 2008.
  5. ^ Stuart, Alasdair (15 February 2008). "Comic Review 'FreakAngels' Week 1". Firefox News. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008.
  6. ^ Ellis, Warren "FreakAngels: Interlude 01", 2008-05-09.
  7. ^ Dueben, Alex (11 December 2013). ""FreakAngels" Paul Duffield Debuts "The Firelight Isle"". Comic Book Resources.
  8. ^ Warmoth, Brian (21 October 2009). "ADAPT THIS: 'FreakAngels' By Warren Ellis & Paul Duffield". MTV News.
  9. ^ Cruz, Larry (9 June 2008). "FreakAngels, Reviewed by Larry "El Santo" Cruz". ComixTalk.
  10. ^ Evans, Woody (2012). "FreakAngels: Vols. 1-6".
  11. ^ MacDonald, Heidi (30 October 2010). "2010 Eagle Award winners". Archived from the original on 2 September 2015. Retrieved 22 April 2011.
  12. ^ Armitage, Hugh (20 June 2010). "British Fantasy Award nominees announced". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 June 2010.
  13. ^ "Your 2012 Eagle Awards Winners". The Comics Reporter. 25 May 2012.
  14. ^ "Crunchyroll Unveils 7 'Crunchyroll Originals' Works Including Tower of God, Noblesse, God of High School". Anime News Network. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  15. ^ "Post-Apocalyptic Original 'FreakAngels' Hits Crunchyroll in January". 16 December 2021.