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Garth Ennis

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Garth Ennis

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Best mainstream-published Irish writer and Hall of Fame (individual)

Garth Ennis (b. 16 January 1970) grew up in Holywood, County Down, reading Battle Picture Weekly and 2000AD. He attended Sullivan Upper School in Holywood, an outspoken atheist in a school dominated by evangelical Christianity, where he first experimented with creating his own comics, drawing the violent, blackly humorous strip "Sith Ifrica" and sharing it with friends. He studied English Literature at Queen's University, Belfast, but dropped out during his first year to write comics for Fleetway's politically-aware, mature readers' anthology Crisis.

His first series was "Troubled Souls" in 1989, examining Northern Ireland's "troubles", with painted art by John McCrea. A comedy sequel, "For a Few Troubles More", followed, as did "True Faith", which satirised Christianity and his schooldays, including a character looking to hold God to account and references to popular movie tough-guys, themes he would later return to. In 1990 he began writing for 2000AD, starting with time travel comedy "Time Flies", and taking over as regular writer on Judge Dredd for three years.

The following year he broke into American comics, writing DC's horror title Hellblazer for four years, and their comedy-horror title The Demon for three. On the former he established a creative partnership with artist Steve Dillon, which continued into their original series Preacher, a riotous contemporary western about a disillusioned Texan minister, possessed by the offspring of an angel and a demon, hunting down God to hold him to account for abandoning his creation, and advised by the ghost of John Wayne. On The Demon, Ennis and artist John McCrea created Hitman, a super-powered Irish-American contract killer, who got his own series from 1996 to 2001.

Starting in 2001, Ennis became the regular writer on Marvel's vigilante character The Punisher, which he wrote on and off in various formats until 2009. Inspired by the comics of his childhood, he has written a number of war comics, including revivals of aviators Enemy Ace, Battler Britton and The Phantom Eagle and sci-fi aviator Dan Dare, and his original series War Story and Battlefields. His character Kev Hawkins, a hapless former SAS corporal, has stumbled through several spin-offs of The Authority.

In 2006 he launched The Boys, an ongoing satirical series about a team of US government agents who control and, if necessary, eliminate super-heroes. His most recent creations are the housewife-cum-vigilante Jennifer Blood, and Stitched, a horror story set in Afghanistan, which he directed as a short film and wrote as a comic drawn by Mike Wolfer.

His comics are characterised by black humour, violence, profanity, macho sentimentality and a fascinated scepticism towards religion, and are strongly influenced by action cinema, from John Wayne and Clint Eastwood to Quentin Tarantino and John Woo, as well as the laconic style of comics writer John Wagner. He lives in New York.

BibliographyEdit

  • "Troubled Souls", art by John McCrea, Crisis, 1989
  • "True Faith", art by Warren Pleece, Crisis, 1989-90
  • "For a Few Troubles More", art by John McCrea and Wendy Simpson, Crisis, 1990
  • "Suburban Hell", art by Phillip Swarbrick, Phil Winslade, Crisis, Revolver Horror Special, 1990-91
  • "Time Flies", art by Philip Bond and others, 2000AD, 1990, 1996
  • "Judge Dredd", various artists, 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine, 1990-1993, 1995, 2001, 2003
  • "Chopper", art by John McCrea, Martin Emond, Judge Dredd Megazine, 1990-1991, 1992
  • "Light Me", art by Phil Winslade, Crisis, 1991
  • "The One I Love", art by Glenn Fabry, Revolver Romance Special, 1991
  • "Strontium Dogs", art by Steve Pugh, Nigel Dobbyn, 2000AD, 1991-1993
  • Hellblazer, art by William Simpson, Steve Dillon, John Higgins and others, DC Comics, 1991-94, 1998
  • "And They Never Get Drunk But Stay Sober", art by Steve Dillon, A1, 1992
  • The Demon, art by John McCrea and others, DC Comics, 1993-95
  • "The Corps", art by Paul Marshall and Colin MacNeil, 2000AD, 1994
  • Goddess, art by Phil Winslade, DC Comics, 1995
  • The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe, art by Dougie Braithwaite, Marvel Comics, 1995
  • Preacher, art by Steve Dillon and others, DC Comics, 1995-2000
  • Hitman, art by John McCrea and others, DC Comics, 1996-2001, 2007
  • Bloody Mary, art by Carlos Ezquerra, DC Comics, 1996, 1998
  • The Darkness, art by Jimmy Palmiotti and others, some stories co-written by Malachy Coney, Image Comics, 1996-1998
  • Loaded, art by Greg Staples and Les Spink, video-game tie-in, 1996
  • Batman: "Freakout", art by William Simpson, Legends of the Dark Knight, DC Comics, 1997
  • Heartland, art by Steve Dillon, DC Comics, 1997
  • Pride and Joy, art by John Higgins, DC Comics, 1997
  • Unknown Soldier, art by Kilian Plunkett, DC Comics, 1997
  • Dicks, art by John McCrea, Caliber Comics, Avatar Press, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2005
  • Shadowman, art by Ashley Wood, Valiant Comics, 1997
  • "Satanic", art by Kieron Dwyer, Flinch, DC Comics, 1999
  • Superman: "How to be a Super-Hero", Superman 80-Page Giant, DC Comics, 1999
  • "All Those Little Girls and Boys", art by Glyn Dillon, Vertigo: Winter's Edge, 1999
  • Adventures in the Rifle Brigade, art by Carlos Ezquerra, DC Comics, 2000, 2001
  • The Punisher, art by Steve Dillon, Darick Robertson and others, Marvel Comics, 2000-2009
  • Enemy Ace: War in Heaven, co-written by Robert Kanigher, art by Chris Weston, Russ Heath, Christian Alamy and Joe Kubert, DC Comics, 2001
  • Fury, art by Darick Robertson, Marvel Comics, 2001, 2006
  • Hulk Smash!, art by John McCrea, Marvel Comics, 2001
  • Spider-Man: "The Coming of the Thousand", art by John McCrea, Spider-Man's Tangled Web, Marvel Comics, 2001
  • The Simpsons: "In Springfield, No-One Can Hear You Scream", art by John McCrea, Bart Simpson's Treehouse of Horror, Bongo Comics, 2001
  • Just a Pilgrim, art by Carlos Ezquerra, Black Bull Entertainment, 2001-2002
  • War Story, various artists, DC Comics, 2001-2003
  • Star Wars: "Trooper", art by John McCrea, Star Wars Tales, Dark Horse Comics, 2001
  • Star Wars: "In the Beginning", art by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, Star Wars Tales, Dark Horse Comics, 2002
  • The Authority: Kev, art by Glenn Fabry, Carlos Ezquerra, DC Comics, 2002, 2004-2007
  • The Pro, art by Amanda Conner, Image Comics, 2002
  • Thor: Vikings, art by Glenn Fabry, Marvel Comics, 2003
  • 303, art by Jacen Burrow, Avatar Press, 2004
  • Ghost Rider, art by Clayton Crain, Marvel Comics, 2005-2007
  • Battler Britton, art by Colin Wilson, DC Comics, 2006-2007
  • Chronicles of Wormwood, art by Jacen Burrows, Rob Steen, Avatar Press, 2006-2007
  • Seven Brothers, devised by John Woo, art by Jeevan Kang, Virgin Comics, 2006
  • Streets of Glory, art by Mike Wolfer, Avatar Press, 2007
  • The Midnighter, art by Chris Sprouse, DC Comics, 2007
  • Dan Dare, art by Gary Erskine, Virgin Comics, 2007-2008
  • The Boys, art by Darick Robertson and others, DC Comics, Dynamite Entertainment, 2007-
  • War is Hell: The First Flight of the Phantom Eagle, art by Howard Chaykin, Marvel Comics, 2008
  • Back to Brooklyn, co-written by Jimmy Palmiotti, art by Mihailio Vukelic, Image Comics, 2008
  • Crossed, art by Jacen Burrows, Avatar Press, 2008-2009
  • Battlefields, art by Russell Braun, Peter Snejberg, Carlos Ezquerra, P. J. Holden, Dynamite Entertainment, 2009-2010
  • Jennifer Blood, art by Adriano Batista, Dynamite Entertainment, 2011
  • Stitched, art by Mike Wolfer, Avatar, 2011

External linksEdit

InterviewsEdit

Online referenceEdit

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