The Official Grant Morrison Thread

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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Fri Sep 30, 2011 3:16 pm

Grant Morrison To Write Batman Marvel-Style, And Other Animals
Rich Johnston wrote:Laura Sneddon write this interview with Grant Morrison for the Independent newspaper. But it was short and mainstream, and missed out all inside industry stuff as a result. Thankfully, she posted the full experience online. Here a few snippets.

On Action Comics artists and schedules:
I can talk a little bit about it. Well Rags Morales is still drawing it but he needed to get help on the second one from I think it was Brent Anderson and he’ll probably need help on the third one and honestly it’s because DC decided that they want the comics to come out monthly because people were complaining that the comics were taking too long. And it’s a really hard one to negotiate because the reason comics take too long is because they cost more, so the artists put more time into making the work worthwhile and also because they’re collected, the artists want to make sure that the work is good enough to withstand the test of time, which takes longer.



So it was a weird problem because things were getting late, like my Batman Incorporated has been super late because, partly because of me but also because the artist just couldn’t keep up and do their best work and suddenly came this dictat that now everything had to be monthly and they want to keep to that so it’s just the case that if your artist can’t meet that then somebody else will finish up the pages. So it’s kinda, for me it hits the long term collections of it to have things done like that but at the same time it brings back a lot of the freshness and improvisation of doing comics again and just responding to that and also sometimes you know they’ll be like we need a two part filler here – okay I’ll just come up with something, and it might not necessarily fit it in to the middle of this but okay, you need a filler.

On having a free reign:
Pretty much yeah, which was the reason I did it. And you know when Dan DiDio came over and said do you want to do this and I said well no’ really but here’s what I’d do and I thought there’s no way he’ll accept this and he kind of did! So that was it, it was really getting the chance to just recreate Superman from scratch and I do keep running up into things that are happening now because you know Superman’s now… the story I’m telling is supposed to be set 5 years in the past of the current continuity so all this stuff’s going on in the current continuity that I’m kinda trying to mix and match with while they’re expecting me to come up with certain aspects of the lore that they haven’t figured out yet. So it’s been a weird kind of shuffle and once the first six issues are done I’m sort of moving forward through the present day of it and catching up with that.

On writing Batman Marvel style:
Comics in the last ten years have tried to imitate movies but movies have now got so good at doing comics that we just look like a poor cousin. So what I’ve been doing, I was talking to like Chris Burnham on Batman for the final season, these last 12 parts of the Batman Leviathan story is that he’s gonna do the lead work you know, I’m just going to do it almost like Marvel style with a really detailed plot and just say break this down. So we were looking at all these, like Paul Gulacy’s Master of Kung Fu, and Walt Simonson and things and thinking lets get back to multi-panel pages and slicing time and doing all the things that comics can do. Because we got so into just that wide screen, four panels a page look that it began to take over everything and all it was was an imitation of how it feels to sit in a movie theatre without the audiences heads in front of you.

So I kind of thought now’s the time, particularly as the sales are diving and DC are making this great, this mad final flourish to see what happens, it’s time to just let the artist take over again. The writers have been running the show for too long, it’s ossified into a certain approach. I think it would be really nice to start seeing you know, like I said, things that only comics can do that movies can’t do, like that double page spread that Chris Burnham did in Batman Incorporated where it’s like across the entire world in slices but everything joins up and all the perspective lines match so it’s like one giant image of multiple batmen doing the same thing. More of that stuff, and more of the stuff they were doing in Watchmen and you know, kind of just letting the artists go a bit wilder.

On the impact of the Batgirl Of San Diego;
Certainly Dan [DiDio] was… I think it definitely left an impact. They felt they had to do something because whatever the girls name, Batgirl I believe (laughs), was so forceful and made them confront some things and I think that’s pretty good. I didn’t think that could be done any more, I didn’t think one voice could really make much of a difference but in actual fact she did so there’s kind of proof that you can stand up and shout loudly and maybe change things.

On the suitability of superhero comics for kids:
You know, I get these big boxes in from DC every month and they’re just filling up the rooms and we want to take them to a hospital or something, but you think, there’s a lot of these you can’t hand in, there’s no way! Imagine some poor child suffering in bed and then they’re forced to read this thing where Arsenal is injecting himself with a cat! It’s not the sort of thing kids would be really drawn to I think, you know, so a lot of them just aren’t appropriate.

On digital comics:
It’ll revive the format again, there’s things you can do on that three dimensional depth of the page that you can’t do on a two dimensional surface and nobody’s really done it yet, nobody’s thought about it. I’m sure we’ll see it soon because I’ve been talking about it and I know Jim Lee’s been talking about stuff, but I think it’ll be really interesting to see what can be done. Once they stopped just trying to translate one medium into the next and doing the flippy pages and start doing other things: pull it, twist it, do all kinds of stuff.

On fiction and comic universes:
To me nobody talks about the really interesting stuff, which is about the fact these are virtual realities, they don’t quite pick up on that. Somehow there’s this thing, this DC Universe that exists inside our universe created by generations of people. And when all the current ones are dead there’ll still be people doing Superman stories, and there’s something really bizarre about that notion of creating a little continuum. But it’s not just one person’s, it’s not like Buffy say which was just Joss Whedon’s really, this is a gigantic project that, it’s like building a medieval cathedral or something. It’s really strange what’s going on and what’s powering those characters is memes you know, and that to me is the fascinating thing. There’s two dimensional time now and continuity and living characters that can be carried on in to the future.
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Re: The Official Frank Quitely Thread

Postby TheButcher on Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:00 am

Comic Studies: Frank Quitely on "Multiversity," We3," Alan Moore & More
Laura Sneddon wrote:The University of Dundee in Scotland recently launched the world's first mainstream postgraduate degree course (an MLitt) in Comic Studies. In this weekly column, I cover the course from a student's perspective, looking at and discussing what the term "Comic Studies" really entails.

One of the most exciting benefits of doing a Comic Studies degree right here in Scotland is just how many of the world's greatest comic writers and artists live nearby. Luckily for us students, quite a few of them have managed to squeeze some free time out of their hectic schedules to come and talk to the students at Dundee University. Next month, we'll be learning about script writing from Alan Grant, while John Wagner is one of the guests at Dundee Comics Day at the end of October.

This week's guest was the legendary Frank Quitely who stopped in on the class to talk us through his work as one of the most sought after artists in the comics industry. Those, of course, are my words rather than his, as Quitely (real name Vin Deighan) is incredibly down to earth and happy to chat away at length about any of his projects.

Speaking to a class including students from the MLitt in Comic Studies as well as from the nearby art college (Duncan of Jordanstone), Quitely brought a large, digital portfolio of his work, some pages to be pounced on and admired and one of his many notebooks containing all his rough work. His pages included two of the comics he is most admired for, "All-Star Superman" and "New X-Men," as well as some of his older work, including "The Greens" from Electric Soup

After a brief battle with the Macbook being used for the occasion (I get the sense Quitely is a Windows man), the class settled into a brief tour of his artistic process from trusty sketchbook to finished work. Quitely starts with thumbnailing the script and then selecting the best sketches upon which to build his page layout. Then, the thumbnails are reworked as he decides how to make the panels work with each other as well as the story.

Bringing up a page on the screen, Quitely discussed the problem-solving aspect of his work which he says often takes as much time as the actual drawing. The images on the screen, from Grant Morrison's upcoming "Multiversity" series, all had something more complicated about them than your average comics page. In a page split into three horizontal panels, two characters walk down a flight of stairs: in the first panel they walk left to right, in the second they walk right to left, and in the third they walk left to right again. The middle panel, therefore, has them walking against the normal flow of a page.

"When I got the script in for this, I wasn't really happy about it because it's a real bugbear of mine when things go the wrong way," Quitely explained. "But the script itself was echoing what was actually going on -- they were talking about things going backwards, or going into reverse, or something like that."

Consequently, Quitely told us, these pages took a lot longer than usual to actually work out before he got past the initial page layout stage.

"Having said that," Quitely continued, "one of the problems was there was a wee bit of performance anxiety involved in this. The comic that that was for is called 'Pax Americana' -- this is this 'Multiversity' thing that Grant Morrison's writing. He's getting a bunch of different artists each to do one of these books, and the one that I'm doing is the Charlton characters. These were old comic book characters that the publisher, DC [Comics], acquired years ago. The most famous comic, called 'Watchmen,' it's based on them, these characters. But because a couple of them died in the story, DC wouldn't let him [Moore] use the actual Charlton characters so they [Moore and Gibbons] made their own versions of them.

"But Grant recently said in an interview, just right before I started thumbnailing the script, he said something to the effect that this will be 'Watchmen' -- but done right! And that's the thing, he hates Alan Moore," Quitely joked, referencing the much-publicized comments Morrison has made topwards Moore over years."[Grant] thinks he's overrated, so he's quite happy to say, 'This is the way it should be done!' But I love Dave Gibbons, the guy that drew the original, and he's not overrated in the slightest! So now that [Grant's] said that, I can't hand in something that doesn't actually work!"

The next image Quitely showed was that of a gigantic human head with terrifying eyes, an amazing illustration of Alan Moore and his prolific beard which contains his even more prolific list of works. It's a stunning work of art, even before you notice the writing cunningly hidden within the beard. The illustration, Quitely explained, is the cover art for a book by "a writer called Alan Moore. What I planned to do was do a pencil drawing, or what looked like a pencil drawing, with fully painted eyes. I did the pencil drawing. As you can see, there's actually writing in the beard there as well. That's got the names of various of his -- 'Lost Girls,' there! -- various works. But the thing is, once I'd done the pencil drawing -- it had been ages since I'd use watercolor paints and I thought, 'I'm gonna mess this up!'"

Quitely's solution was to paint the eyes digitally. In fact, most of his work is done on the computer these days. His sketchbooks are scanned in, drawn over and tightened, before blue lines are printed out for more work. Zooming in on the cover image, Quitely pointed out the highlights and shadows on the veins of Moore's eyeballs; a great attention to detail that is incredible to see, but understandable when the final, printed size of the illustration is about human head size.

Next was one of my new favorites -- Quitely's take on Madman for the upcoming anniversary issue. The story Quitely shared with us doubled as a neat breakdown of how comics work.

"This was a single page story that I had to draw and write for 'Madman,'" Quitely said. "Madman's a character that's been written and drawn by the same guy [Mike Allred] for like 20 years. He asked loads of different people that he knew in the comics business if they would do a page. I couldn't actually get past the idea that it was his character. Although I'd read Madman before, it didn't feel right, me writing and drawing it, so I actually have him going to the psychiatrist or therapist, talking about the fact that something feels different, that that thing out there that he can't explain, it just doesn't feel the same any more.

"I just pencilled the whole page loosely like that, then scanned it in and added a few extra lines and a suggestion of a kind of the light from a lamp," Quitely continued. "You actually see the shadow of the pen there, then he's partially inked and then it's inked and some flat coloring added. Then we're back in the real world, going back out into white, and then he's back to being sketchy again because he's not feeling quite right. He's starting to feel a bit sketchy like he was before."

The sequence finishes with Madman sitting on a bucket, an "Oor Wullie" reference that perhaps flies over the head of any non-UK readers (Wullie begins and ends each of his strips sitting on an upturned bucket). In fact, the creator of both "Oor Wullie" and "The Broons," Dudley Watkins, is someone Quitely cites as a particular influence on his work though says it's hard to pinpoint other specific influences.

"When I was growing up," Quitely explained, "I didn't make much of a distinction between high art and low art. There were people that could do what I wanted to do and could do it much, much better than I could. They could be old Victorian illustrators like Gibson, it could be album covers, it could be posters, it could be food packaging -- it could really be anything! Disney cartoons, you name it."

Asked about the most challenging work of his career to date, Quitely pointed to "We3." Hearing the artist break down what went into the series, it was quite astonishing to realize just how much hard work was involved. Some scenes, like the Cat smashing through slices of time, are understandably complex, but even small tricks like breaking up panels with landscape and shadow, lengthening leaves to give the illusion of movement or a flash of light to draw the eye, it's impressive how much work lies behind this accessible comic.

"Very often, you read a script and it seems more complicated when it's written down in words. Then, once you actually start doing thumbnails and breaking it down, you think, 'Aw ,no, actually, this is okay.'" Quitley said. "These pages took ages. And the thing was, it always looks really simple once you've done it! Grant and I very often get together at the start of a project, just to talk about it and fire me up with enthusiasm with what kind of overall feeling that he's looking for for it. But this was one of those occasions when we actually got together and we met in my house, we met in his house, we met in the café at the Burrell Collection and in a wee café in Glasgow. We'd get together and we'd both have sketchpads, and he'd be saying, 'Right, the way I want this to work is...' and he'd describe something that didn't actually make any sense on paper! It was actually like him looking over my shoulder, saying, 'No, no, think more like an animal!' So yeah, it took ages," he said with a laugh.

Asked whether he's tempted to become his own writer, Quitely seemed enthused about the idea -- particularly when it comes to a strip he's developed featuring a hitwoman. The artist shared with the class, "I've written some short stories recently. About two years ago, my back problem came back and I had some time off work. I started writing a bunch of short stories that I wanted to draw when my back got better. Some of them are silent strips, and some of them have got dialogue in them. I'm working on two at the moment, one of them is going to appear in an anthology next year.

"I would rather do my own stuff than doing other people's work," Quitely continued. "Generally speaking, I would rather work on my own characters than company owned characters, and I would rather just work on my own things than work from other people's scripts. But that's quite a recent change, it's only really the last couple of years that I've actually started wanting to write again. "

That said, Quitely did stress, however, that he is still very happy drawing comics. The artist was keen to emphasize that for him, it's about job satisfaction rather than monetary gain. Not that he need worry, being one of the most in demand comics artists around!

"Comics is really steady work for some people," Quitely said, noting his own career. "I've been one of the ones it's really steady for. It doesn't matter to me if I'm working on something that I'm doing for free or if it's for somebody and they're only paying a very small amount of money or if it's for a big company. It doesn't matter what I'm working on or how much I'm getting paid for it, I always have this idea in mind that it's probably the only time I'm going to do this particular job so I may as well make it as good as possible. Or if I'm going to spend the whole day on it I might as well have something that I'm proud of at the end of the day. I know quite a few people that work in comics, and depending on what publisher they're working for at the time -- you get paid by the page in comics, and British publishers that do stuff like 'Judge Dredd' pay a lot less than American publishers who do stuff like Batman, and they pay you more to draw Batman than they do to draw a creator owned thing like 'We3' -- and I know quite a few guys, they find out what the page rate is and then they actually set a clock!"

His final advice was equally useful, I think, both for the writers and artists present. "If you're always determined to do your best work, if you're always determined to solve problems as they arise, and if you're reasonably easy to work with which helps, people do come back to you."

After the talk, I spent a good ten minutes browsing through his sketchbook and furiously resisting the urge to grab it and run. Sketches of Superman, Catwoman, Ra's al Ghul and a number of characters I couldn't identify (ooh!) flashed before my eyes. Tiny thumbnailed pages the size of a match box had full stories playing out. And did I mention Catwoman?! It almost made up for me not seeing the pages of "Transmetropolitan," which visitors to my site will know is my object of fangirl desire.

I await "Multiversity" even more impatiently than before!

Laura Sneddon is a freelance comics journalist in the UK, writing for mainstream press and websites alike. You can follow her on Twitter and read most of her work at www.comicbookgrrrl.com. In her working hours she sells comics to an unsuspecting public and formulates her plan to become an evil professor of comics.
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Sat Feb 25, 2012 3:23 am

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Re: Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens

Postby TheButcher on Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:55 am

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Re: FLEX MENTALLO

Postby TheButcher on Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:57 am

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Re: FLEX MENTALLO

Postby TheButcher on Thu Apr 12, 2012 1:58 am

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Re: Grant Morrison's FINAL CRISIS

Postby TheButcher on Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:03 am

Absolute Final Crisis To Have Seven New Pages And Batman Issues… And Be A Lot Later

If you were still waiting for February’s Absolute Final Crisis oversized hardcover volume from DC Comics, you may have to wait a little longer. In fact, you might as well add it to your Christmas list. But one additional present you’ll be getting is seven new and exclusive pages to the volume by Grant Morrison…
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Re: Grant Morrison’s MorrisonCon

Postby TheButcher on Fri Apr 20, 2012 5:12 pm

What Happens WIth Grant Morrison In Vegas, Stays In Vegas

Rich Johnston wrote:So much for the San Francisco Bay Area… Grant Morrison’s MorrisonCon with Isotope Comics is happening in Las Vegas at the end of September. Grant, an assembled entourage of comic creators and a select group of comic fans. Elvis, Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Siegfried And Roy and now… Grant Morrison. It works, doesn’t it?
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Re: The Official Frank Quitely Thread

Postby TheButcher on Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:04 am

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Re: Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens

Postby TheButcher on Wed May 02, 2012 2:21 am

From CBR:
Grant Morrision Sets Up "Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens" As Comic & Film
Kiel Phegley wrote:In an era where pop culture opposites of all kinds are facing off in titles from comic shops to multiplexes, the May, Liquid Comics release "Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens" (published through Dynamite Entertainment) is carrying a noteworthy creative pedigree as it weaves its story of early giant lizards and futuristic insectoid aliens. Written by acclaimed comics scribe Grant Morrison and painted by his "18 Days" collaborator Mukesh Singh, the 96-page original graphic novel is the planned first step towards a film being developed by "Men in Black" director Barry Sonnenfeld.

With names like that involved, comic fans curiosity was piqued a while ago, but CBR News went to Morrison for a more complete scoop on how the project came to be and what it might come to be. Below, the writer describes how he first hooked up with Liquid Comics to tackle the high concept, what's at its heart beyond eight-year-old fever dreams and Cretaceous explosions, how drafting a screenplay of the story in tandem with the graphic novel hasn't impacted the latter in a negative way, and why exactly you should care about thunderous lizards who can't speak.
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Wed May 02, 2012 2:21 am

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Re: Dinosaurs Vs. Aliens

Postby TheButcher on Thu May 03, 2012 5:39 pm

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Re: Grant Morrison's FINAL CRISIS

Postby TheButcher on Tue May 15, 2012 1:19 am

From Funny Book Babylon:
Thursday, May 10th, 2012 at 10:00:24 PM
Five Years Later: The Oral History of Countdown to Final Crisis
Chris Eckert wrote:Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of Countdown #51. Hopefully everyone honored the anniversary in the same way as its creators: by trying to forget that Countdown ever existed.

Indeed, what can be said about Countdown that has not already been said about the Vietnam War? It was a quagmire, an unwinnable war of attrition that even the planners could not find a graceful way to end. It left a psychic scar on the nation, and destroyed the best years of countless young men’s lives.

Okay, maybe it wasn’t quite as bad as Vietnam. If nothing else, Countdown provided the spark that led to me blogging about comics. And if you don’t think that’s a good thing, fine: it also provided us a near-perfect lab specimen of what an Editorially Driven Comic Book looks like. To a certainly extent, everything you can say about Countdown is true of nearly every Big Two superhero comic:

* It was published to fill a hole in the schedule
* Non-Executive-Staff creative members were treated like interchangeable cogs, comic-producing machines
* Plot Events (and importance to the companywide Uberplot) were privileged over what would be traditionally called “story” and “character”
* It received constant “comics” “media” attention on the big blogs despite no one, not even the interviewers and DC employees extruding the book weekly, seemed to care in the least

Countdown may have been a lightning-in-a-bottle, textbook demonstration of what you get when the entire publishing line of a company is hashed out by people who have never been hired to be creators on a dry erase board, then handed down piecemeal to people actually hired to be creators. But it isn’t the last. From countless Blackest Night tie-ins (now with free prize inside!) to Marvel’s endless series of Avengers Presents: We Need Some Movie Tie-Ins, from Avengers vs. X-Men to Before Watchmen, we are seeing a shift towards ever more editorially driven comics from “The Big Two”. All of the gradual, glacial movement towards treating superhero comics as something that might exist because a creator had a compelling story seems to be eroding. Of course, this exists in all media: just as there Has to Be an issue of Batman every month, there also has to be a few dozen episodes of CSI shows every year, an appropriate number of Star Wars Extended Universe novels, a Battleship motion picture, whether anyone has the perfect idea for it or not. But the ratio of “someone has a good idea they have pitched” to “someone in marketing decided this needs to exist” is growing more and more lopsided.

I’ve already written a lot about Countdown. In the weeks to come, I will probably write more. But in honor of its fifth anniversary, I thought I would let the people responsible for Countdown tell their own story. Thanks to nearly every major Comic News site purging their archives since 2007, this was no small task. Most of these interviews had to be scraped out of message boards and caches. It’s as if the Internet itself does not wish to dwell on the recent history of the comics industry. Regardless, I have exhumed:

COUNTDOWN TO FINAL CRISIS: AN ORAL HISTORY
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Re: Batman Incorporated

Postby TheButcher on Mon May 28, 2012 6:54 pm

Annotations: 'Batman Incorporated' #1
David Uzumeri wrote:Well, we're back. (I realize I never got to the Leviathan Strikes oneshot, and I swear on the graves of Thomas and Martha Wayne I'll get to it soon enough.)

But it's a new #1 issue, in a New 52, and there are new readers, so let's sit back and absorb the 22 (!) pages of the first issue of Batman Incorporated volume two, by Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham and Nathan Fairbairn, who continue to prove themselves insanely well-matched for Morrison's scripts. I hope these guys collaborate for a long time to come, especially with Frank Quitely off toiling in the Millarworld money fields. I'd recap what's happened so far, but that's like about half of this comic as it is, so let's jump right in.
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Sat Jun 16, 2012 3:50 pm

Image Comics – A Threat To DC?
Rich Johnston wrote:It was the double punch of Jupiter’s Children and Happy that seems to have done it.

Frank Quitely and Grant Morrison, creators who had worked for DC on the monster hit All Star Superman, Flex Mentallo and We3 and currently working on one of the Multiversity issues together.

And suddenly Frank Quitely is working with Mark Millar on Jupiter’s Children from Image. A twelve issue series.

And then before you know it, Grant Morrison is working with Darick Robertson on Happy from Image.

And while we’re talking about it, DC Comics had big plans for Bryan Hitch. But he has his own Image comic, America’s Got Powers delaying them.

And Image Comics has started growing. With The Walking Dead tearing up the charts and filling the bookstore sales, repeatedly and consistently beating their rivals, and in May taking over seven percent share of the market, when they were under five percent a couple of months ago. And that’s share of an increasing not decreasing market.

In the past, Marvel and DC exclusives had been quite laissez faire about creator owned contracts. So Jason Aaron could work on Vertigo’s Scalped (even though it’s more of a creator participant deal) without any issue. But with these moves, and the odds that creators are more likely to promote their own owned work than that of a publisher, word has been coming down at DC and I’m told by creators that the latest exclusive contracts are far tighter on creator owned work outside the company.

It might help if DC actually had a decent creator owned imprint, as Marvel does with their Icon deal. DC used to have Piranha Press, but that was some time ago… and Vertigo’s terms contracted a few years ago as well.

Basically, if you are exclusive at DC right now, you are really really exclusive…
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Re: MorrisonCon

Postby TheButcher on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:48 pm

From Hero Complex:
MorrisonCon: Grant Morrison’s DJ spin on Comic-Con culture
So what exactly is Grant Morrison building out there in the Nevada desert?

This September the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas will host ”a once-in-a-lifetime” event called MorrisonCon, which sounds not that different than, say, last month’s Comicpalooza in Houston, Megacon every winter in Orlando, Fla., or the recently launched Stan Lee’s Comikaze Expo, a brand that will meet the public this September in Los Angeles (and soon be cloned for China).

But on closer examination, the plans for the Sept. 28-30 MorrisonCon are quite different than the standard comic book convention — just as the 52-year-old Morrison is the most distinctive voice in comics today with his Dada superhero excursions and carefully cultivated trickster-shaman persona.

The writer, who splits time between Los Angeles and his native Scotland, describes his event in a way that sounds more like a TED Conference with a dash of Nocturnal Wonderland, The Bowery Poetry Club and, um, maybe a pentagram?

“The ideas of comic books have exploded off the pages to influence our entire culture so we wanted to create an event to celebrate that,” Morrison said. “Something that would combine visionary ideas, occult ritual, music and spoken word performances, art workshops, experimental films, DJ sets and in-depth discussions inspired by the comics.”

The event was curated by Morrison and Ignition Sequence of San Francisco (the people behind iFanboy and Isotope Comics)) and though it sounds heroic – as cool as a Coachella for comics — it should be noted that the event is just a wee Ant-Man (1,000 fans, maximum) compared to Comic-Con International (130,000-plus fans expected this year). To old-school fans, the July 12-15 pop culture expo is as oversized and ill-mannered as Godzilla — and looks like the same shade of green with its cash-register priorities.

Still, MorrisonCon is an intriguing experiment to create a next-generation rebuttal to the morphing Comic-Con, where more and more terrain is taken up by Hollywood ventures, video game brands and toy companies; the press coverage, meanwhile, is fixated on the film and television celebrities who come to promote their upcoming work.

The dispossessed of Comic-Con have an alternative plan with another indie-spirited rebuttal event: Dozens of noted comic book creators have added their names to a nearby alt-convention, Trickster, which is a gallery and retail space attuned to creator-owned and creator-driven work.

Trickster has a garage-band spirit but MorrisonCon is more like an international DJ gathering in Ibiza. Morrison is hailed and cheered by those DJs too — check out the reception he got at a speaking event in this excerpt from “Talking with Gods,” a documentary about his career and philosophies.

The plan is to go for class, not mass. The event is limited to 1,000 fans and the least expensive ticket costs $523 per person (the price included access to panels, a late-night party, a hangover breakfast, a program and some collectibles) but those are sold out, according to the event site. The remaining packages are $699- $1,099 (those include a Hard Rock room and more goodies).

Ten guests have been announced and they include My Chemical Romance singer and “Umbrella Academy” writer Gerard Way; “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman; superstar artist and DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee; and “Transmetropolitan” artist Darick Robertson. There’s also Morrison, of course, the idea piñata behind the surreal-tinged “All-Star Superman,” “Batman Inc.,” “Animal Man” and “Doom Patrol.”

“This is a much more intimate and intense experience, where smart, forward-thinking readers will get to hang out for two days with a group of incredibly creative people, all of whom count comic books as an inspiration and a passion,” Morrison said.

The writer said this is absolutely not the beginning of a tradition.

“It’s a one-off, unique event which will never be repeated,” Morrison said. “Everyone’s doing something special for it. I’m collaborating with Gerard Way, for instance, on a new spoken word piece with music to be performed once and only once at this location…. The plan is to have a number of surprise guests who love comics – friends from the allied worlds of music, film, TV and the arts – turning up over the weekend too. What can I say? It’ll never happen again so if you miss it you miss it forever.”

Morrison’s mojo is surging these days and it’s not confined to the counterculture scene and comics industry; the same evil genius who pretended to gun down Way in a My Chemical Romance music video was just awarded an MBE as Queen Elizabeth II released her birthday honors list this month.

Morrison was called a “vulnerable Virgil in the underworld of geek culture” by the New York Times last year in a less-than-glowing review of his nonfiction book, “Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God From Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human.” The book, which arrives in paperback this week, rummages and rampages through comics history, myth, magic, film and other vivid corners of pop culture; it veers between the turfs of Kirby, Kubrick, Kant, Keef and Kent with equal affinity. It’s not for everyone — the same can be said for mad-minded MorrisonCon.

“Well, 2012 is the year of the Mayan apocalypse and we reach the omega axis of Terence McKenna’s Timewave Zero graph so on the off-chance the world is about to undergo a radical and unprecedented shift in consciousness and/or translation into higher dimensional space, we’re here to help kick it off.” Morrison said. “So I suppose this is what might have once been described as a Happening. If anything, it’s going to be more like one of those life-changing, paradigm-shifting weekends where everyone goes mad and sees flying saucers.”

– Geoff Boucher
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Thu Jul 05, 2012 8:52 pm

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Re: Multiversity

Postby TheButcher on Tue Jul 10, 2012 12:43 am


Rich Johnston wrote:At the Glasgow Comic Con this weekend, Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely were in attendance and Grant talked abiut his upcoming DC project, Multiversity, that has been promised for some time.

Comics Anonymous reports;
Pax Americana, Morrison briefly spoke about the other titles in the series, including the main Multiversity title which is the framing for the whole series, Society of Superheroes (or S.O.S for short) a pulp version of the DC characters, The Just – set on a world of celebrity youngsters, Thunder World – a Captain Marvel book, and finally Mastermen – which includes a fascist version of the Justice League.


Laura Sneddon of Comic Book Grrl reports, on Pax Americana from Grant and Frank;
Yeah it’s been difficult, like doing calculus. The idea was, I’m doing this series called Multiversity next year which is a bunch of superhero books in different parallel universes, and one of them’s the Charlton characters. So one of the ideas I had was since the Watchmen were based on some of the Charlton characters, to do a book about the Charlton characters, we’ve kind of updated some of the storytelling techniques from Watchmen, because nobody’s really done much with them. The kind of books that are out just now are tackling it in a very different way I thought, it would be really interesting to the challenge of those beautiful crystalline mirrored structures that exist in that world. So we kind of tried to find a new way to do it. Stuff like, where they had a nine panel structure, we’ve got this 8 panel grid and it’s based on the musical harmonics and it’s all to do with DC, and this ringing frequency.


And for MorrisonCon plans, he spent time in a Q&A “confirming he’s working on a “musical piece” with My Chemical Romance front man and Umbrella Academy writer Gerard Way as part of the Las Vegas Morrisoncon later in the year. He also confirmed that the current run on Batman Incorporated is his final piece of his Batman epic and that he may consider doing another novel in the future, possibly fiction this time.”

And plenty more to get your collective teeth into.
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Mon Jul 23, 2012 9:26 pm

From CBR:
Being Grant Morrison: From "HAPPY!" To MorrisonCon & Beyond
Kiel Phegley wrote:For the better part of the past 20 years, Grant Morrison has been leading the charge for groundbreaking superhero stores at both DC and Marvel Comics. However, as 2012 zooms to its possibly Apocalyptic end, the writer is looking to change up where and how his counter-cultural ideas will manifest next.

This September, Image Comics will publish its first creator-owned series from the writer – the crime noir/psycheadelic pony/Christmas fable "HAPPY!" with artist Darick Robertson. And to hear Morrison describe it, the book is only the first step in a new set of stories that will see him break off from regular superhero work for the foreseeable future.

Below, Morrison tells CBR News how a cascade of events from the publishing of his superhero manifesto "Supergods" to the plans for the September Las Vegas meeting of the minds called MorrisonCon have all combined to launch him on a new phase of his writing career – one where Batman and Superman will step aside for a new wave of characters, starting with an insipidly cute cartoon horse.
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Re: The Invisibles

Postby TheButcher on Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:25 pm

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Re: Batman Incorporated

Postby TheButcher on Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:26 pm

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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:30 am

From BC:
Grant Morrison Under the Microscope

From comicbookGRRRLl:
New Statesman: Interview with Grant Morrison
My latest interview with Grant Morrison is up on the New Statesman today.
We chatted about Wonder Woman, finishing Action Comics and Batman Inc, stepping away from DC monthlies, his MBE, Happy, Multiversity, Before Watchmen, MorrisonCon and more. Enjoy!


From New Statesman
Grant Morrison: Why I'm stepping away from superheroes
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Re: Multiversity

Postby TheButcher on Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:12 pm

Comics Legend Grant Morrison Unveils DC's Multiversity Story
Borys Kit wrote:The story, set for release in 2013, is an eight-issue series comprised of six one-shots and a two-part story.

Grant Morrison is ready to unleash his Lord of the Rings.

Or Use Your Illusion or Citizen Kane, depending on the analogy the iconic comics author is using.

Morrison — in the midst of curating this weekend's MorrisonCon, perhaps the first comics-plus convention to revolve around one personality — and DC Entertainment are finally unveiling the long-rumored and long-in-the-works Multiversity comic book story.

The story is an eight-issue series comprised of six one-shots and a two-part story, featuring different titles but working under the rubrick of Multiversity. Each issue features a 38-page lead story and an eight-page back-up. They are set for release in late 2013.

Additionally, each issue will be drawn by a different artist, and while DC is keeping most names under wraps, it is confirming Frank Quitely as the artist for the fourth book, Pax Americana. Morrison worked with Quitely on landmark runs of All-Star Superman, Uncanny X-Men and We3, among others and Heat Vision presents an exclusive first-look from the book here.

Multiversity presents alternate realities and parallel worlds, something that DC was on the forefront comics-wise when, in 1961, it had the original Flash from the 1940s meet his more modern counterpart.

The success of that story, which appeared in Flash #123, allowed DC to re-introduce its heroes from comics’ golden age and have them fight side-by-side with the characters that had been relaunched after superheroes’ near demise in the 1950s.

An Earth where the Justice League are bad guys and Lex Luthor is the only hero? Check. A planet where World War II never ended? Yup.

“There’s something always appealing about a Russian Superman and a vampire Batman," Morrison tells Heat Vision. “It’s a different way of looking at the archetypes that we’re familiar with. And I wanted to a really massive story that would be my Lord of the Rings and it would be the best thing I’ve ever done. Whether it is, I don’t know. But I’ve certainly spent a long time on it."

Morrison has been working on the comic for the past six years and he says he has never approached writing a comic the way he is writing Multiversity. Nor has he ever spent so much time on a project.

“Most comics are done in a improvisational way," he explains. “Deadlines make it so you don’t have a lot of time to really work it and do a lot of revisions, so most of what you see is first draft. But for this one, I wanted to do a proper book about superheroes. So I’ve been writing this more like a screenplay, where you write drafts and then redraft and redraft again. And basically polish things down to as much as a sheen as I can possibly manage."

Each issue will feature comics about the adventures of the previous story’s heroes, an idea introduced in that historic issue of Flash.

“If you’re having a war across multiple parallel realities, one way they can contact each other is to publish comic books that others can read and know what’s going on," says Morrison. "So in each parallel reality you’ll see one of them is reading the comic that you just read the month before and finding out what happend to the good guys, giving them a chance to defeat the bad guys in the next one. They are kind of passing on, in a chain, their own adventures."

Pax Americana, being unveiled at MorrisonCon, features heroes such as the Blue Beetle, The Question and Captain Atom, part of the group of characters known as the Charlton heroes, named after the company bought by DC in 1983. The heroes were supposed to be used by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons in the mid-1980s, but after the company saw Moore’s controversial plans, it balked and made him create new heroes, which led to the groundbreaking Watchmen.

The Pax story revolves around the assassination of a president and how the Charleston characters failed him. “We’re taking the characters and applying it back to Watchmen and seeing what we could get. Nobody has really used those Alan Moore tricks in 25 years so it seemed right to take that very tight, controlled, self-reflecting storytelling and seeing if we can do something new with it."

He adds, “It’s not trying to be Watchmen, it’s more of an echo of a storytelling technique of Watchmen. >Despite some reports, Multiversity is not Morrison’s swan song to superheroes. He is leaving the monthly comic grind after his Batman Incorporated run ends with issue 12 and Action Comics with issue 17 (not the previously reported 16), and says he will focus on “finite projects."

“All I ever said is I’m not doing the monthly comics once I finish up Batman and Superman. I’ll never leave superhero stuff because I really enjoy doing it."
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Re: Multiversity

Postby TheButcher on Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:15 pm

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Re: Multiversity

Postby TheButcher on Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:46 am

From CA:
'Multiversity': Grant Morrison Interview And Frank Quitely Art From MorrisonCon
Speaking at the "Future of the Third Millennium" panel at the convention he curated and gave his name, writer Grant Morrison confirmed for the MorrisonCon audience in Las Vegas that work is finally underway on his long awaited Multiversity project. The book will be serialized as eight 38-page issues (with 8-page backup stories) featuring two bookend chapters, six middle installments that each take place on a different Earth of the DC Comics multiverse, and a ninth book featuring a 20-page story and supplemental material. Each of the six middle chapters will be drawn by a different artist and feature trade dress appropriate to the relevant aesthetic, i.e. pulp comics, Captain Marvel/Shazam-style comics, '90s comics and so forth, and be identified as a #1 issue.

Morrison explained that he's been actively writing and rewriting the series since Final Crisis concluded several years ago, marking a break with his traditional process of what he likened to improvisation. The panel also included a first look at pages from the only confirmed artist on Multiversity, Frank Quitely, who is working on the "Pax Americana" issue which stars heroes like the Question and Blue Beetle in a story inspired by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Watchmen, which was itself partly inspired by the same characters.

ComicsAlliance was on hand at MorrisonCon to speak briefly with Morrison about some of the different worlds of Multiversity and why it's "the biggest" project he's ever done.

We weren't able to get to the specific threat that the heroes of Multiversity combat, but Morrison told us the narrative would be informed heavily by DC's original parallel world story, "The Flash of Two Worlds," in which the Flash of the 1960s, Barry Allen, met the Flash of the 1940s, Jay Garrick, whose adventures he'd read in comic books and inspired him to take the same name.

"One of the things I loved was that Barry Allen got his name from a comic book because he used to read about Jay Garrick in the Golden Age," Morrison explained. "So the idea that each of these worlds read comic books featuring characters from the other world seemed really interesting to play with. So each of the worlds sort of communicate with the other worlds by comic books. In the second one, you see guys reading the comic book you just read the month before. They see the bad guy moving closer to their reality, through comic books."

Earth 22 - The Pulp World


This issue will re-imagine some of DC's pulp characters including Doctor Fate, Immortal Man, Lady Blackhawk and the Atom.

"It's a version of the Earth where there's two billion people, even though it's 2012," Morrison said. "There's just been a war kind of like World War II, and there's a group of heroes called the Society of Superheroes -- S.O.S. -- led by Doc Fate who's an amalgam of Doc Fate and a kind of Doc Savage type. He appeared in Superman Beyond. There's a bunch of primitive pulp characters that we brought back and recreated. They're dealing with the first incursion of the bad guys across the multiverse."

Earth Prime - Our World

This issue will be Morrison's attempt to depict a superhero-style threat in a realistic setting.

"We've created this thing that I think has never been done before... technology that explains what a superhero would actually be like in this world."

The Just - Legacy Heroes

This issue spotlights the children or grown-up sidekicks of the Justice League in a world that their parents and mentors have made completely safe, leaving them inexperienced and aimless.

"What happens when your mom and dad fix everything? Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman have kind of fixed everything so the kids have nothing to do," Morrison said. "Connor Hawke and all those guys, Kyle Rayner, all those guys are hanging around and doing battle reenactments. 'It's my turn to defeat Starro the Conquerer!' The whole idea of superheroes has been taken to this exhausted end point so no one's got anything to do. They're all just trying to deal with it. Damian Wayne is the Batman and Chris Kent is the Superman of that world. These kids, they dress up but they've never fought anything. So they have to deal with [the threat] on that level.

"We designed it to be like The Hills, where we introduce these characters with their names underneath and these banal conversations. It's taking all those '90s characters and doing it as The Hills."

Thunderworld - Captain Marvel

Based on the classic Fawcett comics starring Captain Marvel, known today as Shazam!

"It's a Pixar version of the complete story of Captain Marvel, who's drawn into the conflict," Morrison said.

The Nazi World - The Mastermen vs. the Freedom Fighters

Morrison likened this issue to Superman: Red Son, in which baby Kal-El was raised in the Soviet Union. Here, Superman landed in Nazi-controlled Europe in 1938 (the year Action Comics #1 was published), and the story details how the Nazis used the Man of Steel to bring about Hitler's vision for the world, which of course necessitated killing a lot of people. Seventy years hence, the planet is without war but Superman questions whether the ends justify the means as a new group of heroes rises to reclaim the world.

"The first page is Hitler on the toilet reading Action Comics and suddenly he gets [a superman] of his own," Morrison said. "Suddenly it cuts to the '50s and we see this Nazi Superman walking in Washington and the place in flames. We have Uncle Sam, who's the kind of trampish Alex Ross version, is watching them burn American comic books and records. It's based on the idea of what if the Nazis had won. What happens is Uncle Sam and the Freedom Fighters come back and they're all representatives of the people who were killed by Hitler. Dollman is Jewish, The Ray is homosexual, there are Jehovah's Witnesses, that kind of thing. They're the huddled masses and Uncle Sam has brought them together in this terrorist cell. It' this big Shakespearean-style story of this Superman dealing with his own guilt and wondering if his world should be destroyed.

Pax Americana - Charlton World

The cover of this issue plays on the iconic Watchmen motif of the bloody smiley face badge by depicting a peace sign in flames. In the story, the Peacemaker (re-imagined as the Comedian in Watchmen) assassinates the American President from a weather balloon in space. The Question and Blue Beetle also star, although the two are estranged. While Steve Ditko's The Question and Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' Rorschach were preoccupied with Ayn Rand's objectivism, the Question of Pax Americana is concerned with spiral dynamics, which considers the world in terms of distinct modes of behavior or thinking that are represented by different colors.

Pax Americana references Watchmen's famous nine-panel grid by adhering largely to an eight-panel grid, which Morrison explained was inspired by music, specifically octaves. He'd previously written stories about the multiverse vibrating on a musical frequency, and the eight-panel grid (or the multiples-of-eight grid, as the case may be), is a continuation of that theme.

"It's like the Rutles version of Watchmen," Morrison joked.

Multiversity's ninth book will be what Morrison descried as a guidebook featuring a 20-page story and 20 pages of maps and concordances detailing the cosmic hierarchies and other details of the entire DC Comics multiverse.

Morrison told the Vegas crowd that Multiversity is the "biggest" comic project he'd ever done. Obviously he's written much longer works, but the writer told us that his method for Multiversity has raised the stakes. "It's big in the sense that I've spent all this time working on it," he said. "I'm not doing it in the improv way, which is the way I usually prefer to work. It's more about rewrites and rewrites and rewrites, making everything as perfect as I possibly can. Especially because it's the multiverse and all these DC characters, I really wanted a big hefty thing where people could feel the weight and the grinding hours i put into it [laughs]. I wanted to do it that way because I've been working in movies and that's the way they make you work, perfecting stuff."

Multiversity is expected to debut some time in 2013.
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Re: Multiversity

Postby TheButcher on Sun Sep 30, 2012 3:48 am


Also due next year is Multiversity, a series of interlocking titles that span the DC multiverse, a construct that allows multiple Earths to exist without destabilising the core continuity of the DC universe (for many comic fans, continuity is as necessary as oxygen). One of the titles most talked about is Pax Americana, partly because it reunites Morrison with fellow Glaswegian artist Frank Quitely, and partly because it focuses on the world harbouring the Charlton characters, the same characters that in turn inspired the cast of Alan Moore's Watchmen.

Originally scheduled for 2012, it appears we must now ride out the Mayan Apocalypse first.

“Yeah, we waited till the end of the universe to publish this one – that's how long it takes for Frank Quitely to finish a book!”

The gentle ribbing is nothing compared to the bizarre vitriol some fans hold for artists who work more slowly, but having seen some of the pages myself, it is definitely worth the wait.

“It's my Citizen Kane, this comic, I’m so proud of it.” Morrison smiles. “We've really worked hard to make it worthy of not only its source but to do all that in 38 pages and in a new way. So yeah it's a big deal, but there's other great ones. The Captain Marvel one's great, the Ultra comic, which is the Earth Prime comic is the one that's gonna really freak people out because I’ve come up with a way... it's a haunted comic. The comic will do things to people that they will never forget. And it's like technology, I’ve discovered a kind of technology that I don't wanna tell because someone else will nick it and they'll ruin it! But that one'll freak people, it's things comics have never ever done before.”

Comparisons to Watchmen will be hard to escape, particularly in light of the current Before Watchmen comics that DC are publishing, much to the distaste of Alan Moore.

“It's so not like Watchmen,” Morrison states. “In the places where it is like Watchmen people will laugh because it's really quite... it's really faithful and respectful but at the same time satiric. I don't think people will be upset by it, in the way that they've been upset by Before Watchmen which even though it's good does ultimately seem redundant. You know, it's actually good – I mean, Amanda Conner's stuff is brilliant, I’m really enjoying it, and Darwyn Cooke's Minutemen is great, the rest of them [I'm] not so hot on but they're really nicely written comics, really quite adult but kind of redundant.

“This one is its own thing but it deliberately quotes the kind of narrative techniques used in Watchmen and does something new with them.”
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:14 am

NY Comic-Con: Grant Morrison Writing 'Annihilator' for Legendary Comics
Borys Kit wrote:Grant Morrison is putting his stamp on Hollywood with Annihilator, a new creator-owned comic mini-series from Legendary Comics, the comics division from Legendary Entertainment.

Legendary is announcing the new book at an event at New York Comic Con, which began today, along with a graphic novel based on its upcoming Guillermo del Toro tentpole, Pacific Rim.

“This is my big L.A. story,” Morrison tells Heat Vision exclusively. “It’s a devil’s deal story, it’s a science fiction story, it’s a horror story.”

The comic miniseries, which be published in six 32-page installments, tells the story of Ray Spass, a tentpole screenwriter on the ropes, uninspired, on a deadline for a sci-fi movie, and dealing with a brain tumor.

The plot of the movie Spass is working on involves an anti-hero named Max Nomax who is in a haunted prison on the edge of a black hole after losing his battle with an artificial life form.

Spass’ life changes drastically when the real Nomax suddenly appears, worldwide destruction is imminent, and the tumor, which somehow contains key information, is key to the fight.

Morrison, of course, is the Scottish author who has charted best-selling runs for Superman, Batman, and X-Men, among other heroes. But for the last several years he has been spending time in Los Angeles, working on adaptations of his creator-owned work and even at one point acting as a consultant on DC’s film slate.

His time in L.A. got him jonesing about writing about what he calls “a peculiar world.”

“At first I didn’t like the city but I’ve latched on to the superficiality of it. There’s a lot more going on under the surface,” he says. “To me it’s a very magical town. It’s a very magical act in creating stories out of nothing that inspires people and the world.”

However, the weirdest thing, he says, is how much he’s grown to like the city.

Annihilator puts Morrison back in business with Bob Schreck, who runs Legendary Comics and who was Morrison’s editor on the acclaimed All-Star Superman mini-series.

The title, by the way, comes from a name of a giant black hole in the centre of the Milky Way galaxy, which Morrison says has been nicknamed by scientists as “the Great Annihilator.”

The Pacific Rim graphic novel, meanwhile, will be written by Travis Beacham, who wrote the initial script for the monster movie. It will serve as a prequel to the movie and giving backstory to when the monsters first attack the world’s cities as well as on the character played by Idris Elba.

Morrison is repped by ICM Partners.
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:04 am

From MTV:
NYCC 2012: Grant Morrison Talks 'Multiversity,' 'We3,' MorrisonCon, and Being A Music Video Villain
MTV Geek's Steven Smith sat down to chat with a very dapper Grant Morrison during New York Comic-Con about the writer's upcoming Elseworld-style miniseries, Multiversity at DC. According to the All-Star Superman and Final Crisis writer, the series is a riff on the big alternate universe questions like "What would happen in Superman landed in Nazi-occupied Germany in 1938? Or What would happen if the Charlton characters were more like Watchmen characters?"

During his chat with Smith, Morrison explains that being put in charge of defining exactly what the other 51 universes in the New 52 look like was the big draw of the long in development for him. He also discusses the origins of his recent convention, Morrisoncon, along with his friendship with fellow comic creator and My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way.
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:05 am

A Human Superstar Among the Superheroes
COMIC book fans can’t get enough of Grant Morrison these days. Last month Mr. Morrison, the Scottish writer of series including All-Star Superman, Batman, Animal Man and New X-Men, was the star of his very own three-day convention, MorrisonCon, in Las Vegas. On Friday Mr. Morrison will star in “Grant Morrison Spotlight” at New York Comic Con, the sold-out four-day extravaganza that runs through Sunday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

A project Mr. Morrison will surely be asked about in his appearance, at 1:45 p.m., is Multiversity, a mini-series from DC Comics. Artwork from the project was presented at MorrisonCon, and it has fans clamoring for more. The project adopts a concept that DC introduced for its heroes in the 1960s: visits to other Earths, where events played out differently from the way they did on the real planet. As an example, Mr. Morrison, said, posing a potential scenario in a telephone interview last week, “What would happen if Superman landed on Earth in Nazi-occupied Poland?”

Each chapter will focus on a different set of heroes, including the ones that inspired the Watchmen; the Watchmen riff is being illustrated by Frank Quitely, with whom Mr. Morrison had a critically acclaimed run on All-Star Superman.

Mr. Morrison’s latest foray into the DC sandbox began in 2006 when he introduced Damian Wayne, the son of Batman, into the Dark Knight’s world. He also evolved Batman from a local protector into a global one, with Batmen from different countries. “Some of the stuff had been written out of the general canon of Batman,” he said, because it was deemed silly, but he brought it back, with a modern twist, because “I saw a lot of story potential.”

Last year DC Comics decided to reintroduce its heroes as if they were brand new. Mr. Morrison was given the task of remaking Superman, which included altering his origin and his costume. He described his Man of Steel as a young, angrier hero. “We took away the paternal quality of the character and it made him more appealing to younger people,” he said in the interview.

The writer’s stints on Batman and Superman are nearing their end, but it’s clear in speaking with Mr. Morrison that he still finds superheroes exciting, which is why he will use a little time at his panel to address the persistent rumor that he is leaving superhero comics.

“That’s not true,” he said. Instead he wants to focus on limited series like Multiversity and on adapting his Image comic, Happy, for film with the rapper RZA, who will direct.

“I’m taking a step back from the monthly comics for a while,” said. “It was becoming a grind.”

New York Comic Con runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, 655 West 34th Street, Manhattan; (888) 605-6059, nycomiccon.com. Tickets are sold out, but many events will be streamed live through TwitchTV on the Comic Con Web site. Popular events, like film screenings, fill up quickly, so early arrival is advised.
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:09 am

Flex Mentallo and the Morrison Problem
Sean Rogers wrote:The experience of reading about Grant Morrison’s comics is frequently more stimulating than actually suffering through the work itself. In undertakings like The Invisibles or 7 Soldiers, Morrison slaps together elaborate sagas that span volumes, centuries, and dimensions, ganglial constructs that weave themselves around grand themes like time, language, identity, and heroism. The elegance with which some brave souls like Douglas Wolk and Marc Singer have untangled and explicated this mess can situate readers at an appealing remove, surveying Morrison’s story-worlds from the kind of extra-temporal, fifth-dimensional vantage point one might expect to find elsewhere in the author’s sub-Dickian oeuvre. But this critical distance too often simply amplifies the spiralling, vertiginous feelings of idea-rich complexity that Morrison is everywhere at pains to induce, and ignores the hollowness that resounds at the work’s core.

The perfect picture of this kind of strenuous vapidity occurs in Doom Patrol, in an issue where a character flexes his biceps so hard that he turns the Pentagon into a circle: certainly this is a feat comparable to revivifying a moribund superteam franchise (JLA, X-Men), or crowbarring a slew of not-ready-for-primetimers into their own ramshackle epic (7 Soldiers). But what the hell is the point? Morrison, like his character Flex Mentallo in that earlier comic, may succeed for a moment in changing the shape of the system, but the rules by which that system operates, the things it stands for, remain forever unaltered. Flex’s new Pentagon, like Morrison’s new conception of the superhero, ends up circling a big empty nothing—though there sure is a lot of impressive-looking flexing involved.

Flex’s own series marks an opportune point from which to examine the Morrison method in greater detail, not least because the author himself argues for the pivotal role it plays in his career. “Flex Mentallo made me think about new ways of writing American superhero stories,” he says, at the same time that it “hinted at the age beyond the Dark period.” Its recent republication, too, cannot help but invite new comparisons with the fifteen years of Morrison comics that follow in its wake. And Flex Mentallo does resemble other Morrison comics in its precarious architecture, so that it may indeed sound intriguing once mapped out. But permit me not to do the book a disservice and ignore the clumsiness with which its author bulls through his thematic concerns: if here there be marvels, they are flimsy and fleeting, without exception.

First published in serial form in 1996, and only now collected after years of litigious handwringing, the book has its origins in a send-up of the famous Charles Atlas bodybuilding ads—surely the least of the many parodies that ur-text has inspired. Where Chris Ware satirizes the ad’s ugly power fantasies, and Leonard Cohen’s Beautiful Losers mines it for its sexuality, Morrison simply makes a man out of Mac by turning him into a superhero. The newly rechristened Flex Mentallo—whose superpower is basically that he has muscles, which almost qualifies as a clever conceit—lends a hand to the Doom Patrol in a couple escapades like that Pentagon outing, but here in his own title Flex is no longer a character who has adventures, so much as he is a locus for all things superheroic, and Morrison’s meditations on the same.

Flex Mentallo is essentially metafiction, full of the pervasive and winking reflexivity of other Morrison series like Animal Man—which used a Wile E. Coyote pastiche to reprise Duck Amuck‘s notion of cartoonist-as-god, much like Flex‘s take on the archetypal comic book ad spins off into investigations of the comics reading experience. Here, as Flex searches for a group of mysterious terrorists called Faculty X, as well as an old comrade in arms, the narrative dizzyingly shifts register between Flex’s flatfooting and several other levels of reality and perception. In one, Flex exists only in the childhood scribbles of Wally Sage; in others, Sage may or may not be an angsty rockstar, an angsty adolescent, an alien abductee, a powerful psychic, a 1960s Greenwich Village scenester, or Flex himself. Sage may also be hallucinating the entire story as he dies in an alleyway—or maybe he’s on his kitchen floor, who knows. Wally Sage’s suicide and Flex Mentallo’s quest, however, soon begin to converge as it becomes apparent that in both endeavors the fate of the entire universe is at stake. As the storylines flit back and forth—now in a fishbowl, now in quantum subspace; here in a council flat, there in a nuclear flash-fire—Morrison attempts to tie all these elements together in a grand unified theory of comics, if not of existence. Nothing if not ambitious, the series opens with a big bang, and plunges forward toward a looming apocalypse, with each of its four issues loosely aligned with one of the “ages” of comics fandom (Golden, Silver, “Dark”…), as well as the stages of young Wally’s life.

So far, so good, right? Scope, complexity, ambition—all the hallmarks of a potentially expansive SF experience. But despite the abstract appeal of Morrison’s ideas and approach, there is very little enjoyment to be had in their execution, not least because he assails his readers with verbiage at once high-flown and ham-fisted. The Morrison touch—deployed everywhere, endlessly—is to crowd one high concept after another, reverently leaving each alone, never to return to any one idea again. The technique works well enough when trying to gesture toward a vast back catalogue of adventures for Flex, so that a panel featuring an exploit with “Origami, the Folding Man,” leads into other enjoyably spurious antics with “the Lucky Number Gang” or “the Baffling Box,” in one of the comic’s few successful homages to superhero nonsense. But too often Morrison tries to convey a sense of unearned wonder by spilling out vagaries in overheated prose, adopting an awestruck tone and asking his readers to “imagine” half-baked fantasies that seem rescued from Burroughs or Ballard’s litter bins. “Candy-striped skies!” the TV says at one point to a pensive Flex. “Can you imagine? And a child smiling, weightless—each floating strand of hair with a tiny eye at its tip. A swaying mass of blinking lights.” Elsewhere, we’re invited to admire a superhero utopia of bullshit portmanteaux—“Dreamatrons and boom shoes, paraspace-suits and omniscopes”—or to marvel at the experience of “Breathing the narcotic vapors of spectral avengers, inhaling ghost girls[...].”

These visionary moments are too often hypothetical, too seldom committed to and drawn out. But what’s worse, they’re derivative, too: one character, confronted with the cosmos, actually gives voice to the sentiment that we’re all “like ants… just ants.” Morrison’s mouthpieces in the story, though, contend that such cliché revelations are on the contrary dangerous and revolutionary. The book begins with a police lieutenant transparently explaining for us just how crazy and subversive Morrison’s ideas really are. The terrorists that Flex is searching for, he says, leave cartoon bombs in crowded public places to “show us how fragile the whole system is,” to “damage the foundations of the establishment.” Morrison seems to think that, like the characters he’s created, he too is leaving these cartoon bombs in the middle of a system that could use some shaking up—the very funnybook you hold in your hand will change the course of comics forever! Like the useless plastic bombs of his characters, however, Morrison’s, too, are duds.

Where Morrison’s efforts fail to fulfil the potential of their design, the same can’t quite be said of Flex‘s artist, Frank Quitely. One of Flex Mentallo‘s other attractions is its status as the first major collaboration of Quitely and Morrison, a team who would go on to make extremely entertaining popcorn comics, especially with the slick and quick We3. Quitely in particular would distinguish himself in those later works, perfecting a brand of freeze-frame action-adventure that tips the scales away from Morrisonian fustian and towards the purely visual. Surely the strongest sequences in the Morrison/Quitely canon are those where Morrison writes the least: the potted origin story that leads off their Superman, the silent psychodrama that takes up an entire issue of New X-Men, the video screens and savage attacks of We3. (Indeed, We3 offers convincing evidence that Morrison may work best when he limits himself to penning lines like “Gud dog.”)

As we might expect, though, Flex‘s Quitely is not yet as restrained as he is in those later works, not as classical, not as much himself. When his figures here aren’t squishy and unbelievable, they’re over-proportioned instead—Flex looks less like a barrel-chested musclehead than he does a parade balloon about to pop. The artist hasn’t yet discovered his own clean and clear style, or learned to resist all the sturm und drang that beset modern mainstream comics—reckless camera angles abound in Flex, as do panels that bleed pointlessly to the book’s edge, millions of wispy details, and characters who mug and pose rather than live their lives on the page. That said, the art is one of the only things to recommend the comic. The character design is sometimes inspired—the drippy, tacky Waxworker is a sight—while Quitely’s vaunted ability to depict trumpery, fabric, and flesh as tactile objects does manifest itself on occasion. As Flex, for example, descends into a superhero orgy, in one of the book’s most ill-considered developments, the artist abstracts the scene into a closely cropped image of faceless limbs and skin impossibly entwined, a panel that is suggestive and unexpected in its reticence. Too bad that the script, characteristically, robs the art of its accomplishment and poetry, pasting over it a humdrum evocation of superhero fetishism: “Imagine vampire amazons in wetlook thongs… a shy secretary stripping down to her black vinyl costume… gunsmoke and spent caps and Multiboy in his new fucking costume!”

I’d really rather not imagine all that, thanks. Such notions were infused with more scandal and panache when the Tijuana Bibles first trotted them out a lifetime ago. But the scripting problems aren’t limited to the bankruptcy of the ideas dropped here and there like so many rabbit pellets—even the overarching structure, so impressive from a distance, is fundamentally corrupt. Consider the book’s principle of organization once more, where Morrison increasingly equates the proliferation of bad superhero comics with the end of God’s green earth. So the first issue corresponds to the big bang, Wally Sage’s childhood, and the Golden Age of comics, and each subsequent chapter marches forward until we reach armageddon, Sage’s eradication, and “the first ultra-post-futurist comic” wherein “characters are allowed full synchrointeraction with readers.” Comics are life, in Flex Mentallo; the two are coterminous—a sentiment with which I can find great sympathy, given how lousy with comics my own life is. The crucial problem with Flex Mentallo is that Morrison’s idea of what comics are, and what life should be, are both irremediably, impossibly benighted.

Comics, for Morrison, mean superheroes, and life seems to mean something equally cartoonish. Wally Sage, the lieutenant, and Flex himself all constantly hold forth on the state of the world in general, and the superhero in particular—why they do so is anyone’s guess, since their ruminations never seem provoked by anything other than a whim of the script. Sage especially indulges in tiresome laments for the “good old days” of comics, the prelapsarian golden age of “when you’re a kid,” when superheroes “loved us,” when we could “look up to” them, when there was no use wondering “who always saves the world?” because the answer is always, and reassuringly, “Superheroes, that’s who.” Flex Mentallo, and Wally Sage, seem traumatized by Crisis and Doomsday, Liefeld and Shadowhawk, so I suppose it’s possible to forgive Flex‘s often elegiac tone, its rosy-eyed nostalgia. Let’s even grant that in such a context, proclamations like “[superheroes] abandoned us, left us to die” may not sound risible, or it might not be asinine to say that “all the heroes are in therapy and there’s no one left to care about us.” There’s still no excuse for a hunched over, defeated-looking Sage to mewl, “Why didn’t the superheroes save us from the fucking bomb? … Why didn’t they stop my mum and dad fighting?”

Even if we’re charitable enough to write off such prattle as the mawkish dying words of a suicide—Wally Sage spends the book medicating himself to death, after all—we would have to contend with the comic’s concluding, and by all indications heartfelt, sentiments. “We can be them,” says Sage, after the superheroes reveal the secret of the universe to him. Soon after, Flex echoes that huckstery Atlas ad copy: “I can show you how to be a real man,” says the superhero, hand outstretched manfully to scrawny Wally Sage. Superheroes as moral exemplars, as platonic ideals, as fiction bombs left latent in our universe and which will one day explode in blinding blazes of inspiration and mass perfection: does Morrison actually believe this cack?

Its seems, regrettably, so. Nowhere, in Flex or elsewhere, is there a world beyond the superhero for Morrison—there’s only Our Benevolent and Perfect Role Models, or there’s some ineffable beyond. In Flex, our reality has been constructed (and botched) by Nanoman and Minimiss, just as in All-Star Superman, there’s only Superman’s world, or the world he deigns to create for us, where our lives are no more than little experiments. If such a comic-book reality is unacceptable, though, we can escape it, don’t worry: but the only escape is oblivion. So characters in Flex experience their moments of cheesy, drug-induced cosmic awareness as blanched-out obliteration, just as The Invisibles will later dissolve into panel-less whiteness. Not much imagination goes into what life, or comics, might be like outside of the gleaming standards superheroes have erected for us. The closest we get to reality, in Flex Mentallo, is a morose rockstar, strumming on his acoustic; the comic’s idea of real life is a relationship in which your girlfriend, clad perpetually in a clinging tube dress, nags you so much that you forget how much you love her, man.

Even shorter shrift is given to “adult” comics (by which I can only guess Morrison means to indicate undergrounds—the book provides scant details). These are apparently even more morally corrupt and baneful than the plague of dark superheroes. Not only do they fail to deliver young Wally Sage any kind of moral compass—in their pages, “Nowhere was safe. There was no one you could trust”—but they also fail to inspire any kind of ennobling activity, other than a quick wank. Says Morrison through Wally, his proxy, “I knew I shouldn’t have read those ‘adult’ comics.” So much for the source of every major aesthetic achievement in comics over the last half century.

Given how grievous are the rest of these sins, to complain about the book’s repackaging may seem like mere pettishness. But the comic’s fundamental faults are carried out even here. Besides some superfluous sketches and original art pages from Quitely, the “deluxe”ness of this edition consists mainly in some updated hues. The new color job turns a Silver Age villain, motley-colored in the original, into dead, dull gray; it takes those moments of oblivion and transcendence and stains their pure fields of whiteness with urine-yellow gradients; it leeches any trace of four-color revivalism out of the original, leaving the “deluxe” version looking grimy, befouled, and drab. As distasteful as that sounds, this is actually a more truthful rendering of what Morrison and Flex Mentallo actually do: purporting to bemoan the darkening of superhero stories, to embody a new standard for inspirational comics, they in fact indulge in all the grim unpleasantries at which they tsk so self-righteously.

So, yes, the principles voiced everywhere in Flex Mentallo would have us disapprove when superheroes shrug off genocide with a joke (New X-Men), when Kirby characters get murdered just so the plot has a MacGuffin (Final Crisis), when porn sites pop up devoted to teenage girl heroes (7 Soldiers), or when a villain tortures his victims before performing invasive surgery on their faces (Batman and Robin). Flex and Sage would shake their heads in dismay—and Morrison would follow through with it all anyway. Perhaps, then, the new tones in this edition of Flex can likewise re-color our understanding of Morrison’s past decade-plus. We can see now that Flex Mentallo, like Morrison’s comics in general, trades in the same ersatz grown-uppedness that it protests in other comics. Morrison’s comics have never been ben-day bright; in the end, like Flex Mentallo, they’ve always borne that undercoat of ugly Vertigo gray. That’s what lies at their center—and that, at last, is all there is.
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:47 pm

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Re: Alan Moore vs Grant Morrison

Postby TheButcher on Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:26 pm

Fanboy Rampage: Grant Morrison Vs Alan Moore, Round Eight

Rich Johnston wrote:I recently wrote an article for Bleeding Cool Magazine #2, entitled Comic Book Feuds, looking at some of the more prominent comic industry feuds of late, and they included Alan Moore and Grant Morrison.

I may have to do some last minute editing however, as Laura Sneddon has compiled for The Beat, a fisking of a recent article by Pádraig Ó Méalóid that detailed Alan Moore’s case against Grant Morrison, by Grant Morrison himself.

Thankfully they mostly line up with what I’d written, with some extra details that will no doubt make it into a reworked version. And it’s terribly handy, if only for legal reasons, gto have this kind of thing on the record.

Here are a few choice cuts from Grant;
So I’ll repeat until maybe one day it sticks; I was already a professional writer/artist in the late ’70s, doing work-for-hire at DC Thomson alongside “creator-owned” sci-fi and superhero comics. This was at the same time as people like Bryan Talbot, Peter Milligan, Brendan McCarthy, and Brett Ewins, making us some of the earliest exemplars of the British new wave. If Alan Moore had never come along, if he’d given up halfway through his ground-breaking turn on “St. Pancras Panda”, we would all still have written and drawn our comics. We published our own fanzines, and small press outlets were popping up everywhere. “2000 AD” was at a peak. Marvel UK was in a period of expansion and innovation. I’d already submitted art and story samples several times to both DC and Marvel, along with a pitch for a crossover entitled “Second Coming” to DC’s New Talent Programme in 1982. I was on the files and I didn’t stop angling for work. DC would have found all of us, with or without Alan Moore, who seems curiously unable or unwilling to acknowledge that he was part of a spontaneous movement not its driving force or sole font of creativity.

Far more significantly, much of the material that fed into early Vertigo was originated by the creators and by Editor Art Young for the proposed Touchmark imprint of creator-owned adult comics he’d been assigned to put together under the aegis of Disney, of all things. Coincidentally gay-themed series like Peter Milligan’s “Enigma” and my own “Sebastian 0″ – which actually grew out of a pitch for a revamp of IPC’s “Janus Stark” character – were commissioned by Art for publication at Touchmark, not by Karen Berger. When Touchmark experienced a failure to launch, Art was re-hired by DC and brought his portfolio of projects to Vertigo. At no point was Alan Moore involved in any of this.



Allow me to demonstrate how easy it is to play this dangerous game:

I’ll start by pointing out how various interviews in which I talked about my practice of Chaos Magic during the 1980s and early ’90s clearly played into Alan Moore’s decision to declare himself a magician in 1993. Next, with censorious authority, I’ll point to my own “Doom Patrol” #53 and claim it gave him the idea for his “1963″ project at Image, released a year later. I’ll suggest that Moore’s take on “Supreme” was a lot more like my take on “Animal Man” than “Zenith” was like “Marvelman” or “Captain Britain” – The Supremacy in “Supreme” is a fairly blatant copy of the Comic Book Limbo concept I introduced in “Animal Man” seven years earlier and the Moore book’s wider meta-fictional concerns also covered territory well-trodden by “Animal Man”. “LOEG: Century” with its apocalypse/moonchild plot occurring over three time periods cannot help but recall the apocalypse/moonchild plotline running over three time periods in “The Invisibles” fifteen years previously – with Orlando playing the Lord Fanny role, if you fancy. I could go on and on here, with “convincing” examples, but you get the idea. I’ll wind up with some condescending comment about how I figured he’d grow out of the rip-off magic and metafiction nonsense then wryly conclude that there’s not much chance of that now he’s nudging 60.

The above is at least as plausible as Alan Moore’s outlandish attempts to claim that my entire career rests on two stories he wrote 30 years ago.

There’s plenty more when this came from. Expect another round in a few months when someone asks Moore about some of the more pertinent points raised…

Fanboy Rampage was a blog by Graeme McMillan dedicated to the funniest, most ludicrous and most inappropriate comic book back-and-forths online. McMillan has moved on now, becoming a proper journalist for the likes of Newsarama and Spinoff but he gave permission to Bleeding Cool to revive his great creation. Feel free to contribute your own spots of online excess…
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Re: Multiversity

Postby TheButcher on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:44 pm

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Re: Multiversity

Postby TheButcher on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:46 pm

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Re: Multiversity

Postby TheButcher on Fri May 10, 2013 10:20 am

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Re: Multiversity

Postby TheButcher on Sun May 12, 2013 2:57 am

Grant Morrison Talks “Multiversity,” “Wonder Woman: Earth One”
DC’s favorite creator spoke with Crave Online about his magnum opus project for the DC Multiverse.
Andy Hunsaker wrote: The other big project is Multiversity, and he went into much more detail about what this is going to be – namely, a nine-part series that takes place throughout seven different alternative DC universes, with a through-line based on something taken from the old "Flash of Two Worlds" story, wherein the comic books of each world tell the stories of the other worlds, and they warn each new world of "a gigantic cosmic threat which is the most terrifying thing I think anyone's ever created in a comic," he said, before adding with a laugh. "I don't do hyperbole."

The interesting part is the breakdown of each 40-page issue, every one with a different artist (although not all of them have been chosen or revealed so far), and as of yesterday, he said he was about halfway through the half of them he hadn't finished yet. "This is my magnum opus," he said. "This is why I love comics."

"Honestly, I'm trying to make each one of them the best superhero comic you've ever read, but in different ways," he told me. "Each one of the episodes also sets up a potential series. You could do a Multiverse range of books out of this. All of them are designed to be issue one of potential long-running series as well as being self-contained. It's been a storytelling challenge, but the whole idea is to set stuff up for future development – not necessarily by me, but by DC in some way."

So here's the boil-down.

Mutlversity #1:
We revisit the world he established in Action Comics #9, wherein Calvin Ellis is president of the United States and also Superman, and he's not afraid to use super-powers in shaping and enforcing policy. In this issue, we'll see how the Justice League of the Multiverse comes together. After I mentioned to him that I sort of wanted to read Ellis in his own series after that issue, Morrison told me "I bet he gets his own series – once you see him in Multiversity, he's so great in that, he deserves his own series."

Multiversity #2:
A pulp world where the population of Earth in 2013, just after a major world war, is only about two billion. This will include a trechcoat-wearing, gold-helmed occult adventurer in Doc Fate, along with The Immortal Man and The Mighty Atom and Lady Blackhawk, among others.

Multiversity #3: The Just, set on Earth 11.

This is a look at the children of superheroes – a son of Superman, a son of Batman, etc. – who exist in a world where they have incredible abilities, but the previous generation had ushered in a utopia, so they don't really have any notion of where to direct it, and they're very unhappy with the world as is. It's based on old stories of "the supersons" who grew up to be "real mean bastards." There's Megamorpho, the Sapphire Stag's daughter. This will also include a lot of the forgotten 1990s characters relegated to doing re-enactments of famous superhero battles. This includes Kyle Rayner, Walker Gabriel and may even include Bloodwynd, Blood Pack, and "the stuff Christopher Priest created for Justice League."

Multiversity #4: Pax Americana.
This is an idea which seems long overdue – taking the Watchmen storytelling devices and retroactively applying them to the Charlton Comics characters they were originally based upon. Frank Quitely will be handling the art on this one, which will be laid out in a rigid 8-panel grid system similar to how Watchmen comics were. "We created this grid, which is 8 panels, which breaks down into 16, and it's just been one of the most amazing experiences to write this comic. It's like calculus," Morrison said. "Everything's grids, and we can keep subdividing the grids for storytelling effects and the type of things no one's done before – the super digital approach to the page." Morrison said this is "the next stage" of Quitely, and "honestly, it kicks the ass of whatever he's doing with Mark Millar right now." He also claimed he felt like this chapter will be his Citizen Kane, saying both Quitely and himself feel like it's the best thing they've ever done in superhero comics – in just 40 pages.

"It's a whole new story," Morrison told me. "It starts off with the president being executed in reverse. That's where it begins. There's a peace sign on fire – you know, Watchmen had the smiley face with blood? We're taking that and doing the Rutles doing the Beatles. We're taking the peace sign, which is equivalent to the smiley face, and settling it on fire, which is equivalent to the blood. There's a quote from Delmore Schwartz that says 'time is a fire in which we burn, time is a school in which we learn.' The issue's called 'In Which We Burn.' It works backwards through a man's life, but it starts with the death of the president. It all goes in reverse. The president's been shot from space. Then you cut to the Charlton character Peacemaker tied up, and a bunch of men looking at him, saying 'we don't understand, we've run the tapes backwards and forwards, why did you do it, Chris? Why'd you kill the president?" That's our first four pages. It tells you the whole story of this superhuman initiative. It's kind of taking what Watchmen was and putting it in the current political climate, and that changes everything. It's replacing those characters with the originals, so you've got Captain Atom himself now instead of Dr. Manhattan, and that changes everything. It's about this one man who discovered who he really is, and there's a "Rosebud" moment at the very end in the last panel. That's all I want to say about it."

Multiversity #5: Thunderworld.
This will be Morrison's attempt to deliver a pure, all-ages story of Captain Marvel (aka Shazam, although he told me he's still using the name Captain Marvel) without irony, to see if he can make the purity of Billy Batson resonate with a modern audience without having to make him "edgy." Here's some Cameron Stewart art from "Thunderworld."

"Right now, he's called Captain Marvel," Morrison says of the Shazam nomenclature. "I'm still thinking. I want to talk to DC about maybe going back to the Captain Thunder name, but who knows? I don't know yet. We'll see what's best for it. Right now, he's Captain Marvel. But that one is my attempt to see if you can get the pure note of Captain Marvel, with no irony and no camp and just make it work for everyone. It's like a myth, a little folk tale. It's pure. There are no apologies for Mary Bromfield writing in her 'good deeds' ledger. The model was Pixar. I tried to think 'what would Pixar do with this concept?' We tried to create a really nice, complete adventure that says everything about Captain Marvel that's pure and great and non-ironic."

Multiversity #6: Master Men –
basically, it will be Nazi superheroes, in a reality formerly known as Earth X (aka Earth 10, he said, which hearkens back to Weapon X becoming Weapon Ten) where the Nazis won World War II and took over the world. What if baby Kal-El's ship landed in the Sudetenland? Morrison says this is his epic Shakespearean Game of Thrones kind of heavy parallel world story, and it apparently opens with Hitler on the toilet reading Action Comics.

"Imagine you're Superman," Morrison explained, "and for the first 25 years of your life, you were working for Hitler, and then you realize 'oh my god, it's Hitler! Shit! Now I get it! Now I see who the baddie is!' And he cleans up, and they create a utopia, but the utopia is based on the Nazi principles that he was indoctrinated with, so the architecture's all this soaring, cheesy, sentimental, overwrought, overwritten, grotesque stuff. Everything's overblown, everything's wrong, everything's ripe and ready for destruction in this culture, and Superman knows it, so you've got this conflicted character. Not only a Nazi Superman, but a Nazi Superman who knows that his entire society, although it looks utopian, is built on the bones of the dead and is ultimately wrong and must be destroyed.

"Into this come the Freedom Fighter characters, led by Uncle Sam, who is the last remnant of an America that was conquered in 1956, and he's now gathered all the people that Hitler killed – give me your huddled masses, basically. The Freedom Fighters characters, we recast them all as Hitler's enemies. Doll Man's a Jehovah's Witness, The Ray is Dumbledore, Black Condor's a black man, Phantom Lady's a gypsy – basically, all the people who Hitler persecuted and they suddenly come back. This is the return of the repressed."

Multiversity #7: Ultra Comics.
This is set in the real world – our actual world, the one you're reading this article in. He claims they are using an amazing new technology to craft this issue that he can't talk about or reveal, but he insisted that "this book is haunted!"

"The Earth Prime one, the Ultra Comics," Morrison told me, "it's like a technology, it's like we've discovered something you can do with comics that hasn't been done. In terms of novelty, that's really got me excited, you know? I don't want to talk about what it is, because other people will latch onto it and probably use it before I get a chance. It's so obvious, I can't believe no one's done this thing. It's a haunted comic book! You will have an experience you've not had before. It's a haunted comic book. It doesn't involve anything that you've never seen in a comic book before. We use the old style technology of panels on a page and ink."

"What would a superhero be like in this world?" he posited. "It's not Kick-Ass and it's not Batman. It's something you have never seen before, and it's for real and an actual superhero. We're going to make a superhero in front of you."

Then there will be a "guidebook" sort of issue that explains how the Multiverse works, and the final issue will head back to the same world of the first issue, tie it all together and wrap it all up.

Honestly, that all sounds pretty fascinating, and I think 'alternate realities' are the best places for Morrison to play around in, so he can be unfettered by troublesome continuity things. What say you?
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Re: Grant Morrison vs Mark Millar

Postby TheButcher on Sun May 12, 2013 3:07 am

A Jupiter’s Legacy Tweak At DC Comics…
Rich Johnston wrote:Remember “What If The Batman Was The Joker?” used to promote the original Nemesis comic from Mark Millar and Steve McNiven (and yes, where has its sequel gone?)

DC Comics persuaded Mark to change that strategy.

Well, let’s see the solicit posted by Comic Book Resources with an exclusive preview of artwork.
“Celebrate the 75th anniversary of Superman this month by buying this frankly much-more interesting book by superstar creators MARK MILLAR and FRANK QUITELY.”

Yeah. I don’t expect DC will like that any more…

Grant Morrison Talks “Multiversity,” “Wonder Woman: Earth One”
DC’s favorite creator spoke with Crave Online about his magnum opus project for the DC Multiverse.
Andy Hunsaker wrote:Multiversity #4: Pax Americana.
Morrison said this is "the next stage" of Quitely, and "honestly, it kicks the ass of whatever he's doing with Mark Millar right now."
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Re: Alan Moore vs Grant Morrison

Postby TheButcher on Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:30 pm

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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jun 21, 2013 2:27 am

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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Wed Jul 31, 2013 7:39 am

Grant Morrison On 'MAN OF STEEL'
Famed comic book writer Grant Morrison shares his views on Zack Snyder and David S. Goyer's "Man of

Sunday Geekersation: Grant Morrison switches superheroes
[b]The iconic comic-book scribe says goodbye to Batman and hello to Wonder Woman.

Brian Truitt wrote:Grant Morrison may not hang upside down to get in the mood to write Batman, but he has been known to immerse himself in the tunes of Mindless Self Indulgence.

For seven years, the Scottish comic-book icon has written the Dark Knight and his alter ego, Bruce Wayne, given life and then death to his son, Damian, and thrown any and all drama at the superhero first in DC Comics' Batman series in 2006, followed by Batman and Robin and Batman Incorporated.

Yet, all great things come to an end, and Morrison says goodbye with his final issue, Batman Incorporated No. 13 (out Wednesday), which features Chris Burnham illustrating the confrontation between Batman and former flame Talia al Ghul — Damian's mother and head of the evil Leviathan organization — that Morrison has been building toward for years.

Post-Batman, he's sticking with the superheroes: Morrison is currently working on the mythology-tinged Wonder Woman: Earth One graphic novel with artist Yanick Paquette featuring Diana, the Amazon warrior princess, and her mother, Queen Hippolyta. Also upcoming: Morrison's long-gestating Multiversity, which takes familiar DC characters like Batman, Superman, Blue Beetle and The Question and tweaks them for eight issues of parallel-reality adventure.

Morrison talks with USA TODAY about his Dark Knight finale, what he has in store for Wonder Woman — hint: she's going to need a good lawyer — and how he really feels about the Man of Steel movie.

Q: What can we expect from this final chapter of yours?

A. Batman vs. Talia. Basically, that's what it comes right down to. There's a lot of other stuff happening, but it's also Batman as seen through the eyes of Commissioner Gordon.

I noticed in my first issue of Batman way back with (artist) Andy Kubert, the first panel is seen through Commissioner Gordon's glasses. I don't know why I started it that way but I think that needs a payoff. I decided it would be really good to do the last issue as how does Gordon really see Batman and Bruce Wayne and does he know.

Q: There have been so many different versions of Batman in media that have explored that relationship. In your mind, does Gordon have a clue Bruce is really Batman?

A. That's what this is about. I don't want to say what my conclusion is, but that's a big part of what this story deals with.

Q: Is it truly a grand finale you're going out with?

A. Not even that. I certainly couldn't do what Geoff (Johns) did with that amazing Green Lantern issue where he basically summed up the entire story of Green Lantern and Hal Jordan. His was like the last chapter of The Lord of the Rings and was amazingly done. Also, he had a lot more pages — we do it in 24 pages, because I could only get four extra.

My thing about this was to do all of these in 20-page chunks and also I don't want to do a big long one at the end. It was all about condensing certain elements of Batman down into new forms.

With the way comics have been done in cinema and comics have been done in these panel grids, basically when Chris and I talked about it, we said, "Let's do comics as opera." All through this book of Batman Incorporated, there's been lots of spotlights and stagey setups, and suddenly by the time you get to the last issue you realize what you've been looking at is Batman the Opera.

It's actually just the finale story but hopefully says a couple of new things about Batman and a couple of things you've never thought before.

Q: Can you sum up your time with Batman in one word?

A. Batman rocks.

Q: Well, that's two, but we'll give it to you just for telling the truth.


A. (Laughs) It's got Batman in it, doesn't it?

Q: You've done many epic runs in your career, from Justice League of America to The Invisibles to New X-Men, but will this Bat-journey of yours be near the top for fans down the line?

A. I don't know what people will think — that's for them and posterity to decide. But for me, I've finally gotten to the end. I was getting really frightened when I was doing the last issue. I thought, "This is not going to work." And then when I got it to work, I felt good that I was finally done. This is accomplished.

Certainly for me, it's been a really exciting project. I read all of them before I did the last one. There's a lot of stuff in there that people could spend a lot of time looking at. In the way that the Superman stuff I've done is emotional and physical, Batman has been intellectual. It's been about puzzles and weird storytelling tricks and doing stuff that doesn't normally get done, that even I don't normally do. Because of that weird intricate coursework puzzle nature of it all, a lot of people still haven't figured out all the stuff in there. It'll keep people talking for a long time.

Q: When you're writing Batman, is there something you do to get in a Caped Crusader mind-set?

A. It's really easy to get into the head of Batman because I've been doing it for a while. All I can say is that he makes me more depressed, so I'll be kinda glad to get past that. When you spend a lot of time thinking like Batman, the world can look quite dark.

I listen to music all the time, but for Batman it's usually heavy metal and techno because it seems to suit the action stuff.

Q: How about for other comics you've done?

A. All-Star Superman was like being a Buddhist for the entire period of writing that because I was thinking like Superman and reading all this hopeful, inspiring stuff. He's very different from Batman. Superman sort of elevates you when you're writing him and makes you think to a higher degree, and Batman makes you paranoid.

With Wonder Woman, I've been listening to tons and tons of Elizabethan music like Thomas Tallis and Palestrina. I've got this idea of the Amazons being in the Age of Elizabeth, which was led by a woman, and it was a very psychedelic period with Shakespeare and all that sort of stuff. So there's a little of that influence on the culture of the Amazons.

I've been listening to that music to get that sense of a slightly alien culture but that's really highly developed and has different aesthetics than we do but is able to really express itself. Think of the language in Shakespeare at the time, which was really elaborate and elusive, and the music was the same.

Q: We've been hearing about your take on Wonder Woman for years. Now that you're finally getting into it, is she all that?

A. Oh yeah, it's getting more and more exciting. I've seen a lot of Yanick's stuff, he's done about 18 pages of work now, so I've really got a feel for how the character's going to look and the physicality of it.

It's been really enriching to write. It's not a boring one at all.

Q: What can you tease about her story and your take on this iconic heroine?

A. She's very different, and I'm really focusing a lot more on the mother and daughter story in it between Hippolyta and Diana. I want it to be that kind of book, a story about women. I grew up with my own mother and sister in the house, and it was watching that and the way women can tear each other apart and lift each other up at the same time. I wanted to do a little bit of my own experience with those characters.

Diana's a lot more defiant in it and she's not sent to man's world — she runs away to it so there's a very different dynamic between her and Hippolyta, and the entire thing basically takes place around a trial.

I always felt one of the fundamentals of Wonder Woman in at least the last two decades is that she always seems to be on trial, and I don't mean that in a story sense. Everyone's always saying, "Why does nobody buy Wonder Woman? Why isn't she any good?" (Laughs) it seems like she's always on trial, so I thought if I literalized that and made the story basically the Amazons bringing her back home after her first adventure away and putting her on trial, it'd be different from anything else you might see. The Amazons have their own ways of doing things.

It's kind of asking Wonder Woman to justify herself, which I feel has almost been what the character's had to do for a long time.

Q: Does she bring something out of you as a writer that we haven't seen before?

A. Definitely. The story structure is very different, the way it's written is a lot more poetic, but at the same time there's a ton of action.

What it's done for me is I've had to read the entire history of feminism, which I'm still working my way through. Reading that, you really do get angry. You get a little bit militant. It's brought out my politics again a little bit, which has been buried for a long time. It's getting me back into my alternative roots.

Q: Do you consider yourself a feminist at this point?

A. I wouldn't be any kind of "ist." I don't believe these T-shirt slogans adequately explain the complexities of human existence. (Laughs)

There's a lot of what you've got to agree with. It's undeniable. There's so much that has to be said and there's a lot that really gets you enraged, but as a man who doesn't feel that way, it's hard to identify with. That's always going to be a problem for men who don't recognize themselves in the description.

Q: We've had endless versions of Superman and Batman in media. On the other hand, we've had one Wonder Woman show in the 1970s and, more recently, a TV pilot that didn't get to series. Is the character just that tricky to pull off in an on-screen fashion?

A. People have just convinced themselves that that's true. I know Warner Bros. isn't particularly keen on launching movies with female leads, and most of the big studios aren't. It's just a thing in Hollywood — they have fears about this. They also believe the audience is composed mainly of 18- to 30-year-old men who don't want to know about women. (Laughs)

There are certain attitudes that have been around for a while and I think people just don't question them anymore, and things like Wonder Woman always fall prey to it. I think you could have easily made an amazing Wonder Woman film if you had Angelina Jolie in her prime doing it. I think it would have done well, but I don't know if there's a big-name actress who can do it now.

The executives just run these things over in their heads and say, "I don't know if it's worth putting money into this. It's not a surefire hit. The boys want to see Batman brooding." Believe me, that's what they think: "Boys don't want to see a bunch of Amazons running around."

I don't know, I guess they'll do a Justice League movie and then maybe a Wonder Woman movie.

Q: Along those lines, what did you think of the new cinematic take on Superman in Man of Steel?

A. I kinda liked it and kinda didn't, to be honest. I feel bad because I like (director) Zack Snyder and (writer) David Goyer, and (star) Henry Cavill was really good. But it felt like one of those ones where it's like, "Bring on the second movie now that you've done this," and I don't need to see that as someone who knows all I know about Superman. For me, it was a bit "seen it before," no matter how they tried to make it a little bit different. I'm more looking forward to the Dark Knight version of Superman, the next one, where hopefully it will have Lex Luthor and be some fantastic second act.

It's a credible Superman for now. But I'm not sure about the killing thing. I don't want to sound like some fuddy-duddy Silver Age apologist but I've noticed a lot recently of people saying Batman should kill the Joker and, yeah, Superman should kill, he should make the tough moral decisions we all have to make every day. I don't know about you, but the last moral decision I made didn't have anything to do with killing people. And I don't think many of us ever have to make the decision whether or not to kill. In fact, the more you think about it, unless you're in one of the Armed Forces, killing is illegal and immoral. Why would we want our superheroes to do that?

There is a certain demand for it, but I just keep wondering why people insist that this is the sort of thing we'd all do if we were in Superman's place and had to make the tough decision and we'd kill Zod. Would we? Very few of us have ever killed anything. What is this weird bloodlust in watching our superheroes kill the villains?

Q: One of the best things I've read in the past year was your Image Comics series Happy with artist Darick Robertson. It was very you but not non-superhero you — a palate cleanser of sorts. Do you want to do something like that again soon?

A. Yeah. I've got a Christmas edition of Happy coming out with 10 new pages that adds to the story. I'm also doing this thing Annihilator with Legendary Comics. There's a lot of creator-owned stuff and new character stuff coming out, as well.

Q: You're also working on Multiversity. Your 2005 Seven Soldiers series of books was a really expansive project with a lot of moving pieces to it. Will Multiversity be akin to that?

Obviously it's a lot shorter, for one, but each of the books set in parallel worlds are all complete stories. You can read any one of them without reading the other ones and it'll still work. You don't have to read the entire thing. If you do read the bookends, a lot of stuff that happens will take on a new meaning, but it's not the same kind of thing at all. There are connections but I wanted each of the books to have its own individual story so you'll get a completely satisfying read in one comic book.
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Re: Batman: The Killing Joke

Postby TheButcher on Thu Aug 15, 2013 9:43 pm

SPOILERS!!!

Grant Morrison talks 'The Killing Joke' on studly Man on Batman #44

studly Man on Batman #044: More with Morrison
Aug 14, 2013 - In the Fave Cave this week, it's the return of Batmasterpiece maker and living legend Grant Morrison! The scribe from Scotland talks about ending his epic flight with the Dark Knight, his future dream date with the real Wonder Woman, and his favorite Bat tale of all time!
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Re: Batman: The Killing Joke

Postby TheButcher on Fri Aug 16, 2013 5:52 pm

SPOILERS!!!
THR:
Did The Dark Knight Secretly Kill His Arch-Nemesis 20 Years Ago?
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Re: Batman: The Killing Joke

Postby TheButcher on Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:02 pm

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Seaguy Eternal

Postby TheButcher on Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:37 am

Comic Book Resources:
Final "Seaguy" Miniseries "Still a Long Way Off," Stewart Cautions
A new profile of Grant Morrison closed with the promise of the third and final volume of Vertigo series "Seaguy" in 2014, but his collaborator Cameron Stewart cautions excited fans "it's still a long way off."
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Re: Seaguy Eternal

Postby TheButcher on Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:38 am

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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Wed Aug 28, 2013 1:23 pm

Grant Morrison at the Edinburgh International Book Festival


Grant Morrison, Stripped
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Re: Multiversity

Postby TheButcher on Fri Nov 29, 2013 3:03 am

Grant Morrison's Multiversity interview (The Feed)
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jan 10, 2014 4:12 am

Morrison, Burnham reteam for scary 'Nameless' horror
Brian Truitt wrote:Grant Morrison has been giving himself the heebie-jeebies lately, and soon he's passing those scares off to the rest of us.

The Scottish comic-book writer is reteaming with Batman Incorporated artist Chris Burnham for the six-issue horror miniseries Nameless, launching later this year from Image Comics. The comic was announced Thursday at the Image Expo convention in San Francisco.

"We're taking all the dark stuff that Western culture's kind of obsessed with — the zombies and everything — beyond the limit and doing hopefully for now what H.P. Lovecraft did for the wartime generation," Morrison says.

The book centers on a man named the Nameless, a protagonist who's a hero only in the post-modern 21st-century sense of the word, according to Morrison. He's a screw-up but he's also super-smart and, much like Benedict Cumberbatch's modern take on the literary detective in Sherlock, "super high functioning in how he makes connections between things," says the writer.

"I got that idea from Batman, him being this high-level thinker and everything for him is important and meaningful."

The writer's staying mum on the details of the series, but he teases that Nameless' thoughts will be revealed through first-person narration captions that Morrison hasn't used a lot in his work thus far.

"I wanted to take it beyond that Frank Miller hard-boiled thing into a quite weird stream-of-consciousness, Lovecraftian kind of thing," Morrison says. And while Nameless could return for more stories, "really this one is about the big test of the human experience against a nightmare."

When it comes to horror, Burnham feels that the creators as well as the audience all have similar reference points, so with Nameless he wants to dig a little deeper and weirder instead of mashing up two things folks already like.

"Everyone's read the exact same books, seen the same movies and TV shows, so everything's starting to feel a little comfortably same to me," the artist says. "I don't want the readers of a horror book to feel comfortable at all."

What Burnham does feel at home with — and in a good way — is working with Morrison. They wanted to continue to work together after their run on Batman Incorporated ended last year, but also experiment with storytelling techniques in the way panels work on the page.

So far, Burnham has been playing with the contrast between very straightforward layouts and "the weirder, chopped-up, trippy time-warp stuff," he says.

Burnham teases that the visuals "will run the gamut from 'quietly eerie' all the way up through 'cut out my brain so I don't have to remember seeing this!' "

They also yearned to have a much darker story than they ever could doing Batman, so they're tackling a variety of fears and terrors — maybe even some that folks are experiencing and not even know it.

One of the things that scares Morrison the most that he's exploring is the basic nature of being human.

Mankind projects a lot of things onto zombies and their horror-movie ilk, but "this notion of disease or decay as being outside us, it's what we live," Morrison explains. "I've been studying nihilistic philosophy, which is basically the most depressing stuff on Earth. These guys are saying we basically live in a condition of extinction. No matter how well humans do, no matter how we strive, no matter how much effort we put into our families, that one day the fan will burn out and the universe itself will have a heat death and every atom will shut down and freeze to an absolute stillness.

"It's the bleakest world view, so Chris and I want to take this right on board and do a comic about it. It's that kind of existential horror. The stuff that when you wake up at 4 a.m. in the morning and think, 'Wow, I'm getting older…' — it's like that but taken to the max."

He's also been doing a lot of "strange" research, too, reading up on weird occult practices, Satanism and "the darkest stuff we could get," Morrison says.

Thankfully, he has an escape if he gets too creeped out — the writer's currently penning an all-ages sci-fi animated film as well.

"I can go right over there and back to the screenplay, and suddenly I'm in the world of dancing prairie dogs," Morrison says with a laugh.

"A really good piece of art captures a mood, and (Nameless is) capturing the darkest possible mood but also making it entertaining and exciting."

He's also made sure to spread the weirdness before it reaches his fan base.

"Grant is definitely leading me down a crazy labyrinth of rabbit holes. There is some really unsettling stuff out there. And I'm always looking for the most horrific stuff the internet has to offer," Burnham says. "I think we've successfully deranged our minds enough that we'll be able to freak you out."
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Re: Alan Moore vs Grant Morrison

Postby TheButcher on Fri Jan 10, 2014 5:16 am

Last Alan Moore Interview?
Pádraig Ó Méalóid wrote:Alan Moore:

This, I think, leaves us only with the herpes-like persistence of Grant Morrison himself.

The first time this name passed briefly through the forefront of my consciousness before swiftly making its way to the latrine area would have been at some point in the early to mid ’eighties. As I remember, I was in Glasgow for a signing at local comics outlet AKA Books, although for a signing of what I couldn’t possibly tell you. Bob and John, the proprietors, both very likeable and honourable individuals, were taking me for a dinner at (I think) one of Glasgow’s many fine curry establishments, and asked if a regular visitor to their shop who had aspirations as a writer might be allowed to join us. Since I liked and respected both of them and had no reason to suppose that any of their associates would prove to be in a different category, I readily agreed. They were, after all, paying for the meal, and an extra guest presented no inconvenience to me. Of course, with hindsight…

At the restaurant I was introduced to Grant Morrison. I can’t say I remember him making any particularly vivid or lasting impression on the occasion, in terms of his appearance. All I can reconstruct at this distance is a blurred image of a soberly-dressed and smallish man with tidy collar-length hair and no remarkable or memorable features beyond a general pastiness of complexion, perhaps four or five years younger than I myself was at the time, although this age-gap seems to have somehow increased since then. As to his conversation, he was quite forthcoming in his praise for my work, telling me how much inspiration it had provided and adding that it was his ambition “to be a comic-writer, like you”. Looking back from my present position, it strikes me that I may have only imagined that there was a comma in that last statement, but at the time I took it at face value. I thanked him for his compliments (as I recall he’d been most effusive with regard to V for Vendetta, despite that might-as-well-call-it-a-rape in the first episode), encouraged him in his efforts as much as I could without having seen any examples of his output, and told him that I’d look out for his work in future. Short of perhaps adopting him on the spot as my ward and rather elderly boy sidekick, I don’t see what more I can be expected to have done for a complete stranger on such a brief acquaintance, although it may be that he came from a background with a different set of expectations and thus felt slighted in some way by the encounter. Certainly he gave no indication of this at the time, and I’m only speculating based upon what I perceive as his subsequent peculiar and creepy behaviour.

The next time his name arose would have been, I think, around the time that my relationship with Dez Skinn and Warrior magazine was beginning to enter its down-slopes. As I remember the occasion, I was approached by Skinn with an on-spec submission from Grant Morrison, a Kid Marvelman story as I recall, which while I had nothing against the story or its author did not fit into the storyline which I was attempting to establish. Additionally, I was the author solely responsible for Marvelman’s reinvention and was as puzzled by Skinn’s actions as I’m sure Steve Moore would have been if presented with a script for a spin-off Zirk story by an untested new writer. I held none of this against Grant Morrison, and simply told Skinn to explain to him that the story didn’t fit with my plans for the character. As intimated above, I was already starting to formulate an impression of Skinn as a duplicitous and untrustworthy hustler by this point, and for all I know his initial statement (via Lance Parkin’s book) to the effect that he’d called Morrison and informed him that I’d rejected the story out of my growing possessiveness and paranoia may be, uncharacteristically, a true one, at least in as much as it may be a truthful account of the distortions that Skinn was trading in at the time. I can say with some degree of certainty, however, that Grant Morrison’s colourful account of the threatening letter which he purported to have received from me on the subject is entirely the invention of someone whose desperate need for attention is evidently bottomless. From Skinn’s less-than-smooth revision of his account in order to synchronise his notes with Morrison’s later publicity-ploy, I can only assume that these two individuals are in approximately the same bracket in terms of their moral outlook ( I’m told that Skinn apparently sells my old Marvelman scripts to collectors, presumably when he needs additional pin-money), and that there was thus a great mutual sympathy between them. Anyway, since again nothing was raised at the time of these non-existent events, I continued on my course with no knowledge of them and thus no reason to bear any ill-will towards someone who, in all honesty, was not really impinging on my awareness to any noticeable degree one way or the other.

It was an unspecified amount of time later, perhaps further towards the middle-’eighties, when I had ceased to be connected with Warrior and was already some way into my run on D.C Comic’s Swamp Thing, that I noticed a superhero strip written by Grant Morrison in 2000 AD, a periodical which I was only intermittently looking at during this period. I followed it for two or three episodes, noting that it seemed to have been influenced in several of its ideas and approaches by my own work on Marvelman and Captain Britain. Since every beginning writer probably shows undue signs of influence during their early career, I didn’t really see this as a fault at all, and certainly not an insurmountable one. I reasoned that once he’d found his own voice (as it turns out, an over-optimistic assessment) he might prove to be an interesting writer. Since at this time I was still on good terms with at least Karen Berger, and had only comparatively recently passed on to her the work of Neil Gaiman after he’d interviewed me for a men’s magazine, she’d asked me to recommend to her any other new British writers of interest whose work I happened to chance upon. I mentioned Grant Morrison, describing him as someone still very influenced by my work who could with time emerge as an interesting individual talent in his own right, just as Neil Gaiman had managed to do. While I have no idea whether my recommendation played any part at all in the decision to subsequently employ Morrison, I can’t see that that it would have hurt.

Shortly after this, as I was no longer really engaged with the British fanzine scene (as I recall there’d been a couple of letters attacking me as an individual by over-entitled superhero fans, which at the time I found to be a compelling reason to sever my connections with that milieu), I had called to my attention a number of unpleasant comments and insinuations regarding me and my work which Grant Morrison was making in the promotional platform/fanzine column that he was selflessly providing for one of these publications. This was somewhat annoying and I concluded, not unreasonably in my opinion, that this was evidently some pallid species of career-tapeworm that one might perhaps expect to pick up in the parasite-infested waters of the comic business; a fame-hungry individual without the talent necessary to satisfy his inflated ambitions who had decided to connect himself with my name by simultaneously borrowing heavily from my work and making studiedly controversial statements about me in comic-book fanzines grateful for any free content from supposed professionals. I decided that the best thing I could do about this needy limpet was to ignore him and everything connected with him, reasoning that acknowledging his existence by replying to his allegations would only be assisting his strenuous scrabble for notoriety, and would be involving me in a debate with some feverishly fixated non-entity (we didn’t have the word ‘stalker’ back then) in whom I had absolutely no interest. I avoided his work, which seemed no great hardship as there was no real reason to revisit ideas that it appeared either Michael Moorcock or I had formulated several years earlier. On the rare occasions when his name came up in interviews, I would give the formula reply that since I didn’t read or have any opinions about his work, it would be unfair for me to comment upon it. It was my hope that this tactic might eventually persuade my own personal 18th century medicinal leech to clamp himself onto some more promising and responsive subject, but it’s been around thirty years by now and I am seriously starting to doubt the effectiveness of my own strategy. I’m frankly beginning to feel as if some more conclusive approach might be called for.

A possible reason for Morrison’s excruciating perseverance was to be found some years later in another fanzine contribution that I had pointed out to me, this time an interview in the American Comics Journal where he discussed his early reaction to my work. By this juncture his appreciation had evidently moved on from the mere ‘inspiration’ which he claimed to have found in my work during our only conversation in a Glaswegian curry house, to the remarkable statement that he had experienced such a strong response to my early stories that he’d felt, in a sense, that they were actually his stories. While this would explain why he’d felt at liberty to plunder them for ideas, I feel I must point out that in the limited technical sense of things that really happened in the real world, those were actually my stories, weren’t they? Later in the same interview, he reflected upon those early years of struggle and upon the frustrations he’d known upon realising that he still wasn’t famous enough (fame seemingly being the whole point of his career, rather than say the development of a distinctive voice or talent). Allegedly it was at this point that the young author, presumably lacking the option of attracting attention by means of original and well-written stories, decided that it would be easier to gain status by smearing my name from the safety of his fanzine columns. He expressed some mild regret that this had for some reason led to me not wanting anything to do with him, but in validation of his unusual method for attaining fame without noticeable ability, he pointed out that it had worked. The end, at least in the Morrison household, would always seem to justify the means. And although he certainly implied that he’d only employed this ugly technique during his disadvantaged entry into the field, as far as I can tell he never actually stated in so many words that he’d stopped, or that he’d ever had enough imagination to engineer another means of drawing attention to himself and his otherwise unrewarding product. I presume that in the world which Grant Morrison and his fellow mediocrities inhabit, where the worth of one’s work is a remote consideration after one’s bank balance and degree of celebrity, these methods are seen as completely legitimate or even in some way entertaining.

It appears that he never developed to a degree where he felt he could safely abandon either his sniping criticisms of my work or his Happy Shopper emulation of the same. I remember some several months after my announcement of the fractal mathematics-based Big Numbers, or The Mandelbrot Set as it was originally known, I had someone call my attention to a Mandelbrot set that had been spuriously shoehorned into the plot of an issue of Grant Morrison’s superhero comic Animal Man. This may, admittedly, have been no more than trivial and unimportant coincidence, and yet over the next year or so it would come more and more to look like Morrison’s sole creative strategy and an obvious extension of his strange ‘I felt they were really my ideas’ ethos. I remember Eddie Campbell advancing the theory that Grant Morrison had arrived at most of his published works around this time by reading my early press releases concerning projects which it would take me years to complete and then rushing into print with his limited conception of what he thought my work might end up being like. I announce From Hell and in short order he ‘has the idea’ for a comic strip account of a historical serial murderer. I announce Lost Girls, a lengthy erotic work involving characters from fiction, and within a few months he has somehow managed to conceptualise a Vertigo mini-series along exactly those lines. What I at first believed to be the actions of an ordinary comic-business career plagiarist came to take on worrying aspects of cargo cultism, as if this funny little man believed that by simply duplicating all of my actions, whether he understood them or not, he could somehow become me and duplicate my success. It would appear that at one stage, as an example, he had concluded that the secret to being a big-time acclaimed comic-writer was to be found in having a memorable hairstyle. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the possession of talent, hard-earned craft or even his own ideas would seem never to have occurred to him.

Having removed myself as much as possible from a comic scene that seemed more the province of posturing would-be pop-stars than people with a genuine respect for themselves, their craft or the medium in which they were working, I could only marvel when the customary several months after I’d announced my own entry into occultism and the visionary episode which I believed Steve Moore and myself to have experienced in January, 1994, Grant Morrison apparently had his own mystical vision and decided that he too would become a magician. (It wasn’t until I read Lance Parkin’s biography that I learned that as a result of Morrison’s apparently unwitnessed magical epiphany he had boldly decided to pursue a visionary path of ‘materialism and hedonism’. Could I point out for the benefit of anyone who may have been taking this idiotic shit seriously that this doesn’t sound so much like a mystical vision as it does an episode of The Only Way Is Essex? How does this magical discipline and philosophy differ in any way from the rapacious Thatcherite ideologies of the decade in which Grant Morrison wriggled his way to prominence?) I’m reliably informed that he has recently made the unprecedented move of expressing his dissatisfaction with the superhero industry, if only because there isn’t as much money in it as there used to be, and I imagine that there is a very strong likelihood that he will contrive to die within four to six months of my own demise, after leaving pre-dated documents testifying to the fact that he actually predeceased me.

Through the early years of this present century, as he somehow managed to perpetuate his career seemingly without the accomplishment of any major or memorable works, he apparently still found it necessary to keep up his running commentary on me and my writings through the very 21st century medium of a self-aggrandising website. I would occasionally have easily-amused industry associates insist upon passing on his latest hilarious sliver of Wildean wit, having conceived of no earthly reason why I shouldn’t find it as rib-tickling as they had evidently done. As I recall there was a particularly amusing piece where he’d suggested I should put a naked picture of myself on the front cover of Promethea because he (probably correctly) assumed that he and his discerning readership would very much like to see a image of my ‘todger’. (For American readers, I should perhaps explain that this is a cuddly, stuffed-toy-sounding euphemism used by British people who are too well brought-up to resort to words like cock or even penis.) While I understand that there is a large section of the superhero comic-book community who can see nothing at all unusual in one man being unable to stop talking about another, nor even in making a ‘jocular’ request to be allowed to look at his genitals, they should probably be made aware that from the recipient’s perspective this will obviously start to look like a genuine and long-sustained clammy infatuation which is (barely) sublimating its sexual component in saucy Carry On-style banter. It became difficult not to see this decades-long campaign of trying to attract my attention as some kind of grotesquely protracted schoolboy crush, or as a form of thwarted and entirely unwanted love.

This growing impression was only accentuated as I neared the end of my run on the America’s Best Comics titles when I was called by a colleague who happened to be related by marriage to one of Grant Morrison’s artistic collaborators and associates. It seemed that Grant Morrison had insisted on employing these third and fourth parties in order to ‘reach out’ to me and ask if we couldn’t perhaps be friends. Now, I understand that to a certain strata of the people reading this, my reaction of appalled incredulity will only provide more evidence of my apparently unfathomable and wildly eccentric nature, but this really isn’t how men in their fifties behave in the world that I come from. Why would I conceivably want to be the friend of someone who had never even previously been an acquaintance, whom I’d only previously ever met when he inveigled his way into a meal with associates in order to see if I could help him with his career, and who had subsequently orchestrated a campaign of abuse for the self-confessed purpose of making himself “famous” without recourse to anything difficult like effort or ability? When I raised these questions, it was suggested that Grant Morrison himself might argue that he was just being “a bit Johnny Rotten; a bit Punk Rock”, to which I pointed out that as far as I was aware John Lydon hails from a working class background, and that by his own admission Grant Morrison had spent most of the Punk era in his room for fear of being spoken to roughly by some uncouth person with a pink Mohawk and a U.K. Subs t-shirt. I’m afraid I didn’t see how appealing to completely unearned teen rebel credentials made any difference to the spoiled-child behaviour of a deeply unpleasant middle-aged man, and therefore once more declined the invitation to whisk him off to my Bat-cave so that we could solve mysteries together, perhaps in todger-revealing tights. I remained bewildered as to what kind of person could have made such overtures, deciding that if it wasn’t an extreme case of parentally-encouraged entitlement then it might possibly be something like clinical narcissism, shading into actual delusion. In either instance, this was evidently someone who I didn’t want anywhere near me, and who I could never have any reason to notice or take an interest in if he wasn’t, metaphorically speaking, continually masturbating on my doorstep.

Some few months after these appeals to a potential bromance, I noticed a review of a book by Grant Morrison in which, seemingly unable to stop mentioning me even when he’s moved on to a superficially more grown-up medium, he mischievously cites the apparently poor sales of Big Numbers as the reason for my return to superhero comics. This book, from what I understand a paean to the significance of both Grant Morrison himself and the franchised superheroes owned by his major employers, would probably have been in the proof stages around the time that he was making his conciliatory approaches, another testament to the sincerity of both the man and his work. It was at this point that I decided a more stringent anti-bacterial attitude to both him and the modern comic-scene environment in which he appears to flourish had become necessary. Without public fuss, I began to inform publishers of Grant Morrison’s work, starting with Jonathan Cape, that they should neither contact me nor send me any of their merchandise in future. Given the distance that I had already withdrawn from comic-scene matters, it seemed probable that I’d also have little difficulty in quietly disengaging myself from any people who considered themselves a friend, collaborator or close associate of his, and in this way further quarantine myself from a world in which I haven’t been interested for a long time, just in case anyone hadn’t noticed. The announcement sometime later that our neo-punk firebrand had accepted an M.B.E from the current pauper-culling coalition government, naturally, only confirmed me in the wisdom of my decision: I don’t want to associate with people I consider to be massively privileged Tories, nor with anyone who doesn’t see anything wrong in doing so. I particularly wish to avoid all of those who have struck rebellious or radical poses while always remaining careful not to offend their employers or to make any kind of moral or political statement that may later jeopardise their career prospects; all of the rebels without a scratch.

I think this brings us pretty much up to where we came in, with me arriving at the launch of Magic Words having read my would-be friend Grant Morrison’s characterisation of me as a writer with a rape in every single series he’s ever written. And then, after what had seemed a genuinely pleasant event, being made aware of the uproar orchestrated by the persons dealt with above (once more exempting the American photographer who I feel may have a genuine grievance which is in my opinion misdirected in this instance, although she is of course entitled to think otherwise). I hope the fact that I’m answering at such wearying length over the Christmas period – it’s now the 27th – demonstrates the seriousness with which I am taking your questions; possibly a far greater degree of seriousness than many of those who originally posed them. It might also indicate to a perceptive reader that I wouldn’t be doing this, at my advanced age, if I had any intention of doing this or anything remotely like it ever again. While many of you have been justifiably relaxing with your families or loved ones, I have been answering allegations about my obsession with rape, and re-answering several-year-old questions with regard to my perceived racism. I don’t imagine that anyone who has been following my career to even a cursory extent will be in any doubt regarding how I’m likely to respond to that, given my considerable previous form in such unwelcome situations.

As already stated, any publishers, friends, artistic collaborators or other close associates of Grant Morrison or Laura Sneddon should not approach me in future. Further to this, any periodicals or institutions which publish or have published interviews with Grant Morrison should similarly not attempt to contact me. To be brutally honest, I’d prefer it if, as with the Before Watchmen re-creators, their associates and their readers, admirers of Grant Morrison’s work would please stop reading mine, as I don’t think it fair that my respect and affection for my own readership should be compromised in any way by people that I largely believe to be shallow and undiscriminating. So far so predictable, perhaps, but an outcry over my appearance at an event which I myself had not seen as being specifically comic-related suggests that these measures are going by no means far enough. If my comments or opinions are going to provoke such storms of upset, then considering that I myself am looking to severely constrain the amount of time I spend with interviews and my already very occasional appearances, it would logically be better for everyone concerned, not least myself, if I were to stop issuing those comments and opinions. Better that I let my work speak for me, which is all I’ve truthfully ever wanted or expected, both as a writer and as a reader of other authors’ work. I’ve never presumed that I should have access to my favourite authors’ lives or, indeed, to anything more than that part of themselves which they’ve expressed through the medium of the words on the page. To this end, once I’ve satisfied my current commitments, I shall more or less curtail speaking engagements and non-performance appearances, certainly including all offers to talk on comic-related matters or in a comic-related context. Likewise, while I shall probably still do a couple of rigorously-selected interviews and perhaps a limited signing at the launch of any new books (since my worthy and excellent collaborators and publishers shouldn’t be disadvantaged in terms of publicity, although for my own part I’m not that bothered), it would be much more convenient if I just rejected requests for interviews unless I myself saw some especially good reason to do otherwise. I suppose what I’m saying here is that as I enter the seventh decade of my life, I no longer wish that life to be a public one to the same extent that it has been. As far as the signings and public appearances go, while I have over the years found the vast majority of my audience to be the nicest and most intelligent people that any writer could hope for, since Before Watchmen I’ve already ceased signing copies of any works that I do not own, which is of course most of them up to and including the A.B.C. titles with the exception of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. I don’t keep copies of these books around or really have any good reason to think about them, and answering questions about them or signing copies of them, while I’ll sometimes make an exception for a particularly deserving case, is something that I can no longer do with any genuine enthusiasm.

This may seem like a disproportionate response, but for thirty years I have had to patiently endure the craven and bitchy hostility of someone who, when I bother to think of him at all, I think of as a Scottish tribute band. While he is clearly not the only reason why I have come to feel actual revulsion for the greater part of today’s comic world, he has probably done more than any other single individual to foul its atmosphere and make it unbreathable with his ongoing reeking incontinence – and that, believe me, is in a field where he has enjoyed a great deal of vigorous competition. There are perhaps a dozen or so people in the industry that I respect immensely and with whom I am delighted to both work and remain in contact, but the rest of it is a comic world that I don’t wish to take any part in; a world of fleeting minor celebrities who have managed to make this magnificent medium into a source of lucrative commercial product that is socially acceptable to the point of being neutered, or else into style accessories by which otherwise socially cautious and conventional people and publishers perhaps hope to foster an air of edgy modernity. During the Before Watchmen debacle, although I was touched and surprised by the response from a number of the readers and retailers, I received only two letters expressing support from anywhere within an industry that evidently has as little concern for me as I have for it. It’s hard to see how my withdrawal is going to greatly inconvenience anyone, and Grant Morrison will have finally vindicated all those long years of effort by at last getting my full attention for a few hours. I myself will be able to get on with my work without interruption, which I think is something that I’m entitled to do after all these years, and indeed part of the length of this response might be likened to someone taking their time about unwrapping a long-postponed and very special birthday present to themselves. The truth may or may not set us free, but I’m hoping that blanket excommunication and utter indifference will go some considerable way to doing the trick.
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Re: The Official Grant Morrison Thread

Postby TheButcher on Mon Jan 20, 2014 6:16 pm

Son of Batman 2014:
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