Transmetropolitan

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Transmetropolitan is a cyberpunk comic book series written by Warren Ellis, drawn by Darick Robertson, and published by DC Comics.

Back on the Street (issues #1–3)[edit]

Here in these streets are the things that we want: sex and birth, votes and traits, money and guilt, television and teddy bears. But all we've actually got is each other. You decide what that means.
Spider Jerusalem: Five years of being alone. I can't begin to describe the ways I'll miss the mountain.

Spider Jerusalem: If I'm miserable, then everybody's miserable.

Spider Jerusalem: A Kenyan man once said to me, "you can get used to everything when money's involved." He used to stick mice up his ass for twenty bucks a time.

Spider Jerusalem: The fans, Royce. They held me down in Bank Street once and tried to steal my gizzard. The fans and the noise and the TV and the bullshit and … I couldn't get at the truth anymore.

Spider Jerusalem: My household appliance is on drugs. Horrible.

Spider Jerusalem: Barely twenty hours back in the city and I've already gone madder than a bastard on father's day.

Spider Jerusalem: Lawyers. You can always recognize them by the bad pockets. Lawyers always carry drugs. Ruins the line of their pants.

Spider Jerusalem: There's one hole in every revolution, large or small. And it's one word long – people. No matter how big the idea they all stand under, people are small and weak and cheap and frightened. It's people that kill every revolution.

Spider Jerusalem: There was a time when I liked a good riot. Put on some heavy old street clothes that could stand a bit of sidewalk-scraping, infect myself with something good and contagious, then go out and stamp on some cops. It was great, being nine years old.

Spider Jerusalem: Man, I haven't been onstage on a strip club since I was eight. Takes me back … the lights, the creak of the boards, the smell of scrotal sweats and dirty panty elastic …

Mitchell Royce: Where's my fucking column?

Spider Jerusalem: Journalism is just a gun. It's only got one bullet in it, but if you aim right, that's all you need. Aim it right, and you can blow a kneecap off the world.

Spider Jerusalem: If anyone in this shithole city gave two tugs of a dead dog's cock about Truth, this wouldn't be happening.

On the Stump (issue #4)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: Point: journalism is not about plans and spreadsheets. It's about human reaction and criminal enterprise. Here the lesson begins.

What Spider Watches on TV (issue #5)[edit]

There's one hole in every revolution, large or small … people. No matter how big the idea they all stand under, people are small and weak and cheap and frightened. It's people that kill every revolution.
Spider Jerusalem: The boy's weird, Channon. You should trade him in. Or sell him for salvage.
Channon Yarrow: Yeah, right. Take advice on relationships from a man whose ex-wife won't come out of cryonic freeze until he's dead …
Spider Jerusalem: Who told you that?
Channon Yarrow: You did.
[Long pause]
Spider Jerusalem: Silence. I am watching television.

Spider Jerusalem: I am so incredibly bored that I will buy a pair of your ridiculous shoes. Look grateful.

Spider Jerusalem: You people don't know what the truth is! It's there, just under their bullshit, but you never look! That's what I hate most about this fucking city – lies are news and the truth is obsolete!

Spider Jerusalem: Oh my god. I have become television.

God Riding Shotgun (issue #6)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: So this Zealot comes to my door, all glazed eyes and clean reproductive organs, asking me if I ever think about God. So I tell him I killed God. I tracked God down like a rabid dog, hacked off his legs with a hedge trimmer, raped him with a corncob, and boiled off his corpse in an acid bath. So he pulls an alternating-current taser on me and tells me that only the Official Serbian Church of Tesla can save my polyphase intrinsic electric field, known to non-engineers as "the soul". So I hit him. What would you do?

Spider Jerusalem: Messianic fuckheads are a superstitious, cowardly lot, and I must strike fear into their hearts.

Spider Jerusalem: You're miserable, edgy and tired. You're in the perfect mood for journalism.

Spider Jerusalem: Yeah. I'm calling your "faith" bullshit. This man needs medical help if he can't get through his life without something invisible to believe in. Y'know, I wouldn't mind all this half so much if there was some historical truth in it. This whole concept of "faith" – of believing in something that isn't fucking there – was invented by a man to cover up the cracks in the "Christianity" he cobbled together with the Romans. This whole God thing comes from the days when our brains weren't as connected up as they are now, and we all hallucinated daily!

Spider Jerusalem: Thieves, the goddamn lot of you! Thieves and leeches! Fucking vampires sucking the will from people whose only goddamn crimes were to be frightened and tired! And you don't help them! You don't listen to them! They get no truth from you! All you do is scare them with stories of something that doesn't exist! And you bastards are winning! Hundreds more of you every day!

Boyfriend Is a Virus (issue #7)[edit]

Tico Cortez: Ah, Spider's a dirty bastard and a moral vacuum, but you couldn't have a better friend.

Another Cold Morning (issue #8)[edit]

You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns and brand-new sexual organs that you did not know existed. … That's voting. You're welcome.
Spider Jerusalem: Think about it: the quicktank is given a job most of us would laugh out of town. Build a sophisticated camera capable of full 3-D input and peripheral pickup, using only water and jelly. Build an eye.

Wild in the Country (issue #9)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: We may have been crazed, strange and entirely too eager to find new things to have sex with – but we went out to preserve great chunks of this planet's cultures and we damned well did it with some style.

Spider Jerusalem: One day I'm going to drop a bomb on this City. A contraceptive bomb.

Year of the Bastard (issues #13–18)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: If you loved me, you'd all kill yourselves today.

Spider Jerusalem: You want to know about voting. I'm here to tell you about voting. Imagine you're locked in a huge underground nightclub filled with sinners, whores, freaks and unnameable things that rape pit bulls for fun. And you ain't allowed out until you all vote on what you're going to do tonight. You like to put your feet up and watch "Republican Party Reservation". They like to have sex with normal people using knives, guns and brand-new sexual organs that you did not know existed. So you vote for television, and everyone else, as far as the eye can see, votes to fuck you with switchblades. That's voting. You're welcome.

Spider Jerusalem: And I've only begun fucking with you people.

Spider Jerusalem: [on his ex-wife] Never trust anything that bleeds for four days but doesn't die.

Spider Jerusalem: [leaving note] Have gone to commit suicide. Intend to return from grave Friday. Feed cat.

Spider Jerusalem: The Oval Office carpet is thick with Presidential semen. They look out of the window, think "I own you all" and jack off like ugly apes in humping season. It's what they live for. No one who wants that is to be trusted. Why can't you all see that?

Spider Jerusalem: There's nothing to be on Cluny Square. It's fallen off the world. And they can't find their way back on their own. You're not supposed to say that in America, are you? The land of can-do, the American dream of grab all you can and fuck the other guy. But it's true. Cluny Square is rotting. If and when utilities workers enter these apartments to service power and water, they have to wear anti-bacterial suits. But the people who live here don't get them. Cluny Square is poison. The police enter in groups of no less than twenty, cabs won't enter at all, the address on a job application is death … and this is fixable. This was caused by the president that you all voted in twice. It can be fixed by voting him out.

Spider Jerusalem: By four o'clock, I've discounted suicide in favor of killing everyone else in the entire world instead.

Spider Jerusalem: Joshua Freeh … I know you're trouble. I can smell it. I can feel it in my journalistic gonads. Each and every one of my sperms knows you're bad, and they're churning with hate and murder inside my burning balls, Freeh. Churning

Gary Callahan: What did I ever do to you, Jerusalem?
Spider Jerusalem: You made me sick.

The New Scum (issues #19–24)[edit]

That's what a monoculture is. It's everywhere, and it's all the same. And it takes up alien cultures and digests them and shits them out in a homogenous building-block shape that fits seamlessly into the vast blank wall of the monoculture. … This is what we wanted. It must have been. Because we all had the fucking choice, didn't we? … So let's celebrate by all going out and buying the same burger.
Spider Jerusalem: Some days I know that if I let my brain fully understand what my gut was propelling me into, it'd chuck itself out my ear.

Spider Jerusalem: They say they like politicians but couldn't eat a whole one. Political canvassers apparently keep better and mature nicely under the floorboards.

Spider Jerusalem: These are the new streets of this city, where the New Scum try to live. You and me. And here in these streets are the things that we want: sex and birth, votes and traits, money and guilt, television and teddy bears. But all we've actually got is each other. You decide what that means.

Here to Go (issue #25)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: My grandfather had died, and my mother was trying to explain it to me … Grandpa isn't coming back? No, she said. Not ever again … And I remember saying, hold everything right fucking there. You went to all the trouble of conceiving me, and giving birth to me, and raising me and clothing me and all … and you make me cry and things hurt so much and disappointments crush my heart every day and I can't do half the things I want to and sometimes I just want to scream – and what I've got to look forward to is my body breaking and something flipping off the switch in my head – I go through all this, and then there's death? What is the motherfucking deal here? I wasn't having this. This was not fair.

Spider Jerusalem: I always thought people were essentially bright. Distracted, sure, and weak, and beaten, but never stupid. And then you show them, here's the two people who want to be president. One is evil, but you can deal with him, because he actually harbors beliefs. The other one will tell any lie, wear any mask, to become president, and not only that, he fucking hates you, and he's doing this just so he can make your lives hell. And who do you think they vote for? Stupid.

21 Days in the City (issue #26)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: Don't look for media-approved ideologically sound Right Causes where there are none. Look out of the window instead, and do something about what you see there.

Spider Jerusalem: Did you ever want to set someone's head on fire, just to see what it looked like? Did you ever stand in the street and think to yourself, I could make that nun go blind just by giving her a kiss? Did you ever lay out plans for stitching babies and stray cats into a Perfect New Human? Did you ever stand naked surrounded by people who want your gleaming sperm, squirting frankincense, soma and testosterone from every pore? If so, then you're the bastard who stole my drugs Friday night. And I'll find you. Oh, yes.

Monstering (issue #27)[edit]

I always thought people were essentially bright. Distracted, sure, and weak, and beaten, but never stupid.
Channon Yarrow: What next?
Spider Jerusalem: Some actual journalism, I think.
Yelena Rossini: Actual journalism? Is that when you don't commit crimes?
Spider Jerusalem: Hell, no. It's when we commit really good crimes.

Spider Jerusalem: Every law that curbs my basic human freedom; every lie about the things I care for; every crime committed against me by their politics; that what's makes me get up and hound these fuckers, and I'll do that until the day I die … or until my brain dries up or something.

Spider Jerusalem: I want to see possessed journalists! Yes! I want to see people like me, rising up with hate, laying about them with fiery eyes and steaming genitalia … possessed by ancient volcano gods from the polynesian islands waving vast breasts and improbable penises to the secret chiefs of the worlds … naked god-journalists brown-trousering the naughty twenty-four hours a day … a new planet earth …

Spider Jerusalem: Waiter! Fresh underwear, seven blankets and a bucket of moist towelettes!

Lonely City (issues #28–30)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: Hi. I'm Spider Jerusalem. I smoke. I take drugs. I drink. I wash every six weeks. I masturbate constantly and fling my steaming poison semen down from my window into your hair and food. I'm a rich and respected columnist for a major metropolitan newspaper. I live with two beautiful women in the city's most expensive and select community. Being a bastard works.

The Walk (issue #32)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: That's right, you take a good long look, you fuckers … you all know it's going to be a matter of time before old Spider finds a way to give you shit, just a matter of time … I've got all day in a fucking penthouse to think up ways to make your lives miserable …

Spider Jerusalem: "Column"? I know no "column".

Spider Jerusalem: He's prepared to delete the first amendment. He's prepared to kill dissenting voices. He's prepared to do anything to get what he wants. Well, newsflash: so am I.

Spider Jerusalem: They assume, like most people, that fear will do the trick. Fear will keep everyone in place. Fear will keep everyone distracted from what's really going on. Let him know we can beat him up, let him know we could have killed him, let him know we can destroy him, let the fear shrivel him up. Fuck that. I'm not afraid of them. They're afraid of me. They're afraid of the truth.

Gouge Away (issues #34–36)[edit]

Children are very simple, Mr. Jerusalem. Very easy devices to break, or assemble wrong. … It's got nothing to do with the failure of the society or any of that. It's got everything to do with the responsibility of making a human.
Spider Jerusalem: Ha! No one touch that dog! I'm having that for my fucking dinner!

Spider Jerusalem: You've never met me before.

Spider Jerusalem: Trust the fuckhead.

Back to Basics (issues #37–39)[edit]

Gary Callahan: I support free speech, obviously. But equally obviously, all things must be taken in moderation. This is something we need to strongly communicate to the media.

Business (issue #40)[edit]

Bill Rose: Everyone's looking for someone to blame. Society. Culture. Hollywood. Predators. Looking everywhere but the right place. Children are very simple, Mr. Jerusalem. Very easy devices to break, or assemble wrong. You want to know who did this to these kids? Only their parents. That's the thing no one wants to hear. Every time you stop thinking about how you're treating your kid, you make one of these. It really is as simple as that. It's got nothing to do with the failure of the society or any of that. It's got everything to do with the responsibility of making a human. Why are your kids selling themselves on the streets? Because you fucked up the job of raising them. That's what no one wants to hear. That we can't blame anything outside our houses.

Dirge (issues #43–45)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: Paranoids are just people in possession of all the facts.

What I Know (issue #46)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: So we've got a deadline. We can do deadlines.

Here Comes the Sun (issue #49)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: [hopping from car roof to car roof] Silence, vermin! I am in command here! Who did you vote for, vermin woman? Did you vote? Can you read? Have you got thumbs? Show me your fucking thumbs! Thumbs!

Happy Talk (issue #50)[edit]

The world is, generally and on balance, a better place to live this year than it was last year. For instance: I didn't have this gun last year.
Spider Jerusalem: Listen to the chair leg of truth! It does not lie! What does it say? It says, "Shut up, Fred!" Can you hear it?
Fred Christ: You've gone mad –
Spider Jerusalem: Can you hear it?
Fred Christ: Yes!

Two-Fisted Editor (issue #51)[edit]

Mitchell Royce: Catch them, Spider.

Taxi driver: Where to, buddy?
Mitchell Royce: Now there's a question. First, I want to walk into a bar and drink it. And then I'm going to start a fight with five men and win. And then I am going to make use of a truly staggering number of prostitutes. Some of whom I may have once been married to. Following which, I will buy drugs. I will, in fact, show them a large pillowcase, and tell them to fill it with drugs. And I'm putting it all on the goddamn expense account.

Next Winters (special issue)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: The future is an inherently good thing, and we move into it one winter at a time. Things get better one winter at a time. So if you're going to celebrate something, then have a drink on this: the world is, generally and on balance, a better place to live this year than it was last year. [he pulls out a Frost-Biter 7-K snow cannon] For instance: I didn't have this gun last year.

I Hate It Here (special issue)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: That's what a monoculture is. It's everywhere, and it's all the same. And it takes up alien cultures and digests them and shits them out in a homogenous building-block shape that fits seamlessly into the vast blank wall of the monoculture. This is the future. This is what we built. This is what we wanted. It must have been. Because we all had the fucking choice, didn't we? It is only our money that allows commercial culture to flower. If we didn't want to live like this, we could have changed it any time, by not fucking paying for it. So let's celebrate by all going out and buying the same burger.

You Know My Fucking Name (short piece)[edit]

Spider Jerusalem: When they're not around, I put the TV on. Purely out of curiosity, you understand. Up here, we can snatch some forty thousand channels out of the air. Most of them, of course, are still showing CSI and Law and Order. There are twelve different channels showing Law and Order 24 hours a day. In some countries, Jerry Orbach has become a cargo-cult figure. They don't understand the language or much of the situations. They comprehend only that Jerry Orbach is immortal. They watch and divine from the show that he outlives the young gods who are selected to be his assistants. Criminals fall. DAs change. Assistants fade away. Jerry Orbach is forever. Jerry Orbach is, in fact, some kind of avenging God-King who will hunt and incarcerate Scum until the end of time.

See also[edit]