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Warren Ellis signs for fans at Heroes Con on Friday.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Showcased in his own panel at Heroes Con on Friday, Warren Ellis said he should know the fate of his television pilot with AMC by the end of August.

"I was contracted for a pilot script and if they like it, then they'll go to pre-production," Ellis said.

Ellis said he was contacted by AMC through is agent and really didn't want to meet with the network's represenatives. He said he only went because he wanted to visit the hotel in London where they were staying.

Sending several ideas to the network, Ellis said AMC picked the one idea he didn't think could be done.

Contractually, Ellis can't provide details about the half-hour pilot, other than it's been decribed as both "black comedy/science fiction" and "sf/entertainment-industry dramedy." He said the reason for non-disclosure is so that the concept can be duplicated by another network.

Ellis has been down this road before, with a $4 million Global Frequency pilot that was shot for The WB, which eventually passed on it. "The things I could do with $4 million," Ellis said.

In other notes from the panel:

* Ellis' first novel, Crooked Little Vein, which he describes as a "weird detective story," will be released in hardcover by Harper Collins next year.

* Despite the other media opportunities, Ellis said he remains committed to comic books.

"Comics is the last place where you can do words and visuals without an outsider filter," he said. "It's absolutely pure. What I say is exactly what is on the printed page -- and I wouldn't give that up for anything."

* Ellis said he doesn't have a specific regimen when it comes to script writing. "It's what you have on the day," he said.

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