- Attention Deficit Creator Disorder: It varies, but this often turns out to be a good thing; some of his best work is stuff he came up with and wrote while he was supposed to be writing something else. Avatar Press probably has a red phone just for him: "What's that, Mr. Ellis? You want to have SuperIron Man kill the POTUS? Shoot it on over and we'll print a run, see how the fans like it. We'll keep the presses warm, too, because they probably will."
- Doing It for the Art: Pretty much his entire work on Avatar Press. While their sales are extremely miniscule in comparison to even the most unpopular mainstream comic, Ellis manages to publish some of his most distinctive work for Avatar.
- Executive Meddling: Averted when he wrote GI Joe: Resolute. According to him, the Hasbro executives were generally easy to work with and while they didn't allow Cobra Commander to wipe out Beijing as his original plan, they let him wipe out Moscow (likely because Hasbro's toys are made in China).
- Life Imitates Art: He started writing about New Media at the beginning of The '90s. He started writing his best-known work, Transmetropolitan, in 1997. And it's all come true.The years since I finished TRANSMETROPOLITAN have been a litany of horror. That book is COMING TRUE. Right down to the stupid details Darick Robertson and I threw in like two-headed cats and cameras in shades. Every time I invent something, lately, it turns up in the news six months later(including but not limited to space shuttles blowing up, and in a script I decided not to finish, snipers terrorizing cities.) And then I have to open up the throttle a little more and let more horrible shit out from the back of my head.
It's possible that I'm actually driving humanity towards total apocalypse.
—Epilogue to Angel Stomp Future
- He's noted in his newsletter that when he started Global Frequency, the trademarked phones that every operative carried were the stuff of science fiction. By the time the series ended, they were nearly obsolete.
- Memetic Mutation: Godzilla Bukkake! (warning, it has become a minor Berserk Button for the author)
- Name's the Same: Ellis shares his name with the Australian musician best known for his work with Dirty Three and Nick Cave. It's gotten to the point that several times a year he posts and Twitters a message that usually goes along the lines of "Once again: I am NOT the Warren Ellis who plays with Nick Cave. I am a comic book writer." Ellis claims that he occasionally gets phone calls from a drunken Blixa Bargeld (a bandmate of the other Ellis), making this same mistake. Both Ellis's seem to find the confusion funny:I don't play the violin, but I talked to the other Warren Ellis last week and he thinks we should switch jobs just to fuck with people.
- Reclusive Artist: Downplayed. Ellis is fairly open and public about himself and has willingly gone to conventions and the like, but it's explained a big reason why he created the now defunct forums is so he could interact with his fans but not have to leave his house to do so.
- Schedule Slip: When reading his ongoing work, prepare to wait months, if not years, for the next issue to come.
- According to Ellis via his message board, his main writing computer and backups failed back in late 2007 (the computer going out in a puff of smoke soon after the backups died), and the data-recovery company that he sent his hard drives to promptly vanished off the face of the Earth after the owner died while on an operating table in Europe and the employees scattered to the four winds, leaving behind only a boarded up empty space where the offices used to be. Many of Ellis's current projects were on those hard drives, including Fell and newuniversal. He has since then set up a FAQ thread on the Whitechapel forums where he explains the fate and (possible) future of many of his projects that were directly affected by the crash.
- Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Downplayed in that Ellis hasn't admitted to writing a story without proper planning, but in a refutation of the existence of Writer's Block, argued that it's a professional writer's job to get up in the morning and come up with something out of nothing to put food on the table.
Trivia / Warren Ellis