Doktor Sleepless

Doktor Sleepless  is a monthly comic book series written by Warren Ellis with art by Ivan Rodriguez that is published by Avatar Press , launched in July 2007.  [1]  Comic draws from a wide range of ideas – from futurism and transhumanism to corporatism and counter -culture .

According to Warren Ellis, Doktor Sleepless may be a man named John Reinhardt, a trust-fund baby and boy genius who was helped by the counter-culture he helped found. After disappearing from the city of Heavenside three years ago, he suddenly returns to undergone some changes during the interim. Upon his return, he has made himself a relative mundane man as he describes a “cartoon mad scientist,” calling himself “Doktor Sleepless.”  [2]

Ellis compares the series to his earlier fan-favorite work on  Transmetropolitan  , published under the DC Comics imprint, Vertigo .  [2]

Due to a series of computer difficulties, the series has been placed on hiatus.  [3] The  third edition of the book is expected to be released later in the year.  [4]  As of the end of 2016, no such publication took place.


In the near future, this series follows the exploits of John Reinhardt, an enigmatic “mad scientist”  [5]  whose motives for returning to Heavenside are shady at best. Since his mysterious disappearance, he has reinvented himself as “Doktor Sleepless” and, to the dismay and utter confusion of the authorities, seemingly rules the airwaves (through his mastery of all things) with his thought-provoking, radical rhetoric. He addresses the disenfranchised citizens of Heavenside, acknowledging their disappointment in the “future” they live in. With the resources, knowledge and ambition that John Reinhardt possesses, everyone is listening and watching closely as he stands for the future.

It is initially unclear if it works at a very positive, or dangerous, situation, when it is dangerous, when it reaches the apocalypse, using Heavenside as a testing ground. His stated reason is that we are promised … if we can not have that, then we should not have anything at all. It is revealed it is deliberately instigating violence by the grinder counter-culture and is providing them with the means to do so, more releasing a bioweapon – “St Theresa’s Eyes” – that causes people to “see angels” (actually winged, mechanical constructs which may or may not be hallucinations).

By the eighth issue, he has claimed that the world is merely a source of food for a race of tenth-dimensional animals (based on the Cthulhu Mythos stories) that feeds on souls and lives in a realm similar to Heaven; he claims that these creatures have been killed, and that he is trying to kill people.

While Doktor Sleepless gives the impression of being in full control, it is unknown how true this is. He is unaware his companion (“Nurse”) murdered an old colleague of his that he intended to contact; directly after outlining his great scheme, he is shocked when he sees one of the constructs himself.

From issue nine on, the series focuses on the Doktor himself and more on the way Heavenside has changed in his wake. It is also revealed that its trainer caretaker plans not only to kill him but who could spread his ideas. Preston Stoker, the police commissioner, agrees to turn a blind eye to this.

Issues and format

  1. (Future Science Jesus)
  2. (Tesla Boy Gangster)
  3. (Bastard of Tomorrow)
  4. (Do not worry ma’am, we’re from the internet)
  5. (Your Imaginary Friend)  [6]
  6. (The Mortician of Love)
  7. (Marg Bar Amrika)
  8. (Superconnected Superinsane)
  9. (Engineer of Your Future Doom)
  10. (Immanentising the Eschaton)
  11. (Butterfly on a Wheel)
  12. (Salvage Messiah)
  13. (Diabolus Ex Machina)
  14. (Borderland Security)
  15. (Infernal Champion)
  16. (Say Goodnight to the Bad Guy)

At the end of each issue, writer Warren Ellis provides information on the fictional devices, organizations, advancements, etc., used in the narrative, as well as the occasional piece of Flash fiction .

All of these things can be retrieved and researched in a special “Doktor Sleepless” Mediawiki site.  [7]

As with other Avatar titles, each issue comes with a number of variant covers; The majority are by Rodriguez, and, as a result, they are more often than not, and Raulo Cáceres produces a wrap-around cover designed to evoke an earlier era, as Ellis said : “Raulo was tasked with producing covers that looked like woodcuts that testified to the late 19th century Tesla and James Whale movies.”  [8]

Collected editions

The series is being collected into volumes :

  • Engines of Desire  (216 pages, October 2008, softcover, ISBN  1-59291-054-8 , hardcover, ISBN  1-59291-055-6 )


  1. Jump up^  “Ellis on Doktor Sleepless” .  Newsarama  . Archived from the original on April 26, 2007 . Retrieved 24 April 2007 .
  2. ^ Jump up to: b   “Sleepless in Southend Ellis Talks Doktor Sleepless” .  Comic Book Resources  . Retrieved 24 April 2007 .
  3. Jump up^  Warren’s Work FAQ (Revised May 2011) ArchivedJuly 11, 2011 at theWayback Machine.
  4. Jump up^  Warren Ellis >> FAQ(dated January 3, 2012, revised at unspecified dates entre January 2, 2013 and May 2, 2013)
  5. Jump up^  Doktor Sleepless ArchivedJuly 1, 2007 at theWayback Machine.
  6. Jump up^  Comic Title – Doktor Sleepless Archived12 January 2008 at theWayback Machine.
  7. Jump up^  Main Page – doktorsleepless
  8. Jump up^  GRAVEL artist Raulo Caceres talks about Ellis, Wolfer, and their upcoming series with Avatar


  • ‘  Doktor Sleepless’  at the Grand Comics Database
  • Doktor Sleepless  at the DB Comic Book

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