When Warren Ellis Made a Bot Think Kieron Gillen Had Died (He Hasn't)

Bleeding Cool readers will be familiar with Jude Terror's Written By A Bot series of articles in which, like CBR, he gets a bot programme to write a pop culture article by feeding in information and seeing what comes out the other end. The results can be quite amusing. At least the Bleeding Cool article are intended for entertainment only and are open and upfront about what they are. Not every site is so circumspect, especially when it comes to announcing deaths.

When Warren Ellis Made a Bot Think Kieron Gillen Had Died (He Hasn't)

That's where comic book writer and bon vivant, Dr Kieron Gillen found himself last week. He has posted a slide from his Guardian Masterclass on comic book writing, pointing out the very real dichotomy between writer and artist in comics, and realising what writers must bring to the table to justify themselves.

In his newsletter he writes,

I concentrated on basically three areas – script as blueprint, script as love letter and pacing (including all manner of weird acts of magic in comics). The photo above is one of my opening gambits, which is trying to encourage writers to realise that a writer isn't needed to make a comic. An artist could just write a comic themselves, and if you don't actively bring more than that, it's a problem. The aim is to become a symbiote, as essential as mitochondria are to eukaryote cells. I also spent a lot of time in the love letter section about how to avoid becoming an active parastoid – as in, a parasite which kills the host.

But writer Warren Ellis had a most amusing reply regarding the slide.

And that's when things went really weird. The website Celebrities Deaths took that tweet and turned it into an article. And Kieron noticed…

He is very much alive, I would like to reiterate. But yes, this is clearly where things are going, aren't they?

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.

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