Grant Morrison S/D

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
Not all messages are displayed: show all messages (372 of them)
"Kill Your Boyfriend" is rather good.

Tuomas (Tuomas), Tuesday, 16 March 2004 11:44 (fifteen years ago) link

It just seems like not much actually HAPPENED for the first three issues of the arc, just some action in a sort of generic post-apocalyptic world. They could totally be justified by the reveal in the last issue, if it's good, but aren't that interesting on their own.

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 16 March 2004 14:59 (fifteen years ago) link

Don't really disagree with much said above. I'm quite enjoying the 'final' New X-Men thread, but still am puzzling why since it has nothing to do with 'proper' continuity. Maybe he's just trying to outdo himself after the Xorn/Magneto plot, which was brilliant apart from Wolverine surviving crashing into the sun...

S: Kill Your Boyfriend, Flex Mentallo, Doom Patrol, Animal Man, Zenith, New Adventures Of Adolf Hitler
Only Worth Buying For The Artwork: The Filth, Arkham Asylum, Mystery Play
D: Marvel Boy

The Invisibles, much as I like bits of it, is too patchy to fall into any of the categories.

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Tuesday, 16 March 2004 16:48 (fifteen years ago) link

oh god, Arkham Asylum, thanks for reminding me of that stinker.

DV (dirtyvicar), Tuesday, 16 March 2004 17:48 (fifteen years ago) link

Arkham Asylum can't be complete dud with McKean doing the art.

O.Leee.B. (Leee), Wednesday, 17 March 2004 01:54 (fifteen years ago) link

Maybe so, but it isn't worth buying new, that's for sure. I liked JLA: Earth 2 a lot, but that's another one not really worth buying in hardback, I think. Did they ever come out with a TPB for that one?

Chris F. (servoret), Wednesday, 17 March 2004 04:03 (fifteen years ago) link

Yeah, I've got the TPB of JLA: Earth 2 . Nice, but skirts close to "worth it for the art" territory.

There's a handful on ebay at the moment in the US at around $5, plus a Frank Quitely signed Dynamic Forces hardback for 10 Euros...

aldo_cowpat (aldo_cowpat), Wednesday, 17 March 2004 09:25 (fifteen years ago) link

Doom Patrol, JLA, Flex Mentallo, Zenith Bk 3, Hitler, Animal Man = all grebt.

Other Zenith Bks, New X-Men, Invisibles = definitely worth reading.

The rest of his stuff is patchy, still good compared to most people.

Did anything ever 'come' of Bizarre Boys?

And did he do Bible John? Or was that John Smith?

Tico Tico (Tico Tico), Thursday, 18 March 2004 12:03 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
I read the first two Doom Patrol trades over the weekend, they're great!

His character work here is really fantastic and heartfelt, it seems to me. The liberal arts drop-out "-ism" dropping gets a little tiresome, but who am I to complain if it brings with it monkeys vs. robots and brain-in-a-jar vs. brain-in-a-jar?!

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 4 April 2005 15:14 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
I *loved* his Doom Patrol when it first started coming out, and I still have a deep and abiding affection for the series and, for that matter, his work as a whole. DP was a big big formative influence on me as a child (I think I would have been 11 when I started reading it, pastors being flattened by falling refrigerators and all), and it was all for the better, I think.

I have to take back what I said about The Invisibles and Sebastian O up top. Andrew is right, I think, in his claim re: uniform brilliance. Everything makes sense, seen in the context of Grant's work as a whole. I think the system of "magick" that he's worked out through his books is both valid and totally genius as a method of working out and disseminating a deeply personal mythology. It's amazingly lucky for us as readers that he's been able to popularize his work through the medium of mainstream comics.

Chris F. (servoret), Sunday, 8 May 2005 07:20 (fourteen years ago) link

if he were a novelist would we like him?

tom west (thomp), Sunday, 8 May 2005 22:22 (fourteen years ago) link

I almost certainly wouldnt read him.

Tom (Groke), Sunday, 8 May 2005 22:35 (fourteen years ago) link

If he were to become one now, you mean? I dunno what would be the point of that. I think he's adapted his approach to fit comics. His "Pop Magick" article was a pretty good read, though-- illuminating as to his approach to and intent of his work, for me at least.

Chris F. (servoret), Monday, 9 May 2005 05:27 (fourteen years ago) link

I have Strange Biscuits, his collection of .. stuff. It's not very good, the short stories have interesting ideas, but obviously spend too much time getting them onto the page. The plays are complete rub.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 9 May 2005 09:53 (fourteen years ago) link

He has a novel in the works y'know

(he's been saying so for ten years but apparently has written some of it now)

kit brash (kit brash), Monday, 9 May 2005 10:55 (fourteen years ago) link

I finished reading the last Animal Man trade over the weekend so I have giant warm feelings toward Grant.

I am secretly glad he has never come out with this novel because I do not want to hate him for it.

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 9 May 2005 14:43 (fourteen years ago) link

Anyone ever read Alan Moore's book?

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Monday, 9 May 2005 16:52 (fourteen years ago) link

Voices in the Fire? Yes, it's GREAT. The first story is intentionally very hard going.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Monday, 9 May 2005 21:32 (fourteen years ago) link

So the problem with Grant writing a novel is that maybe it would be too self-indulgent of him? (You could make a case that a tendency for self-indulgence shows up in his comics work, beyond the merely personal aspect of it and the sheer ballsiness of constructing/disseminating a personal mythology in front of an audience of many thousands.) Also because it would be too much of an immature effort on his part? I.e., his influences who *have* written novels-- Burroughs, Anton Wilson, et al.-- would show up too much on the page? He's really free to share his influences directly on the page in comics-- look at Doom Patrol for great examples of that, where it seems like every story title is taken from a lyric or title of a song by one of his favorite musicians, and lots of direct quoting happens otherwise in dialogue and so forth. I suppose in a novel he wouldn't be as free to do that, and that would combine with the above tendency to really hurt his prose. Was his Cthulhu story any good?

Chris F. (servoret), Tuesday, 10 May 2005 05:36 (fourteen years ago) link

Hey did Vimanarama issue #3 ever come out? WTF?

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 16:33 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't think so! But I thought someone here (Douglas? Andrew?) was talking about it like it had!

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 16:47 (fourteen years ago) link

It's out this week or next, I think. Yay.

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 16:51 (fourteen years ago) link

By which i mean JUNE 15TH

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 16:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Chuck, that wasn't very nice.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 17:00 (fourteen years ago) link

I can't flat-out call anything he's done a dud, since I've been interested in at least some aspect of all of it. Still..

Classic(ish): Doom Patrol, Flex Mentallo, The Invisibles (I'm the only volume 3 fan). Half the ideas in New X-Men, when it didn't get bogged down by rushed art or half-assed ideas with the Shiar. The Filth is good as a collection of ideas and reads better the second time through. It's part of Grant's "feel sorry for my dead cat" genre. We3 is necessary, when collected I hope it sells a bajillion copies. Marvel Boy is carried on half story, half art and is practically a blueprint for the style of Marvel's Ultimate line of comics.

Close to dud: Arkham Asylum, Mystery Play
Ambivalent: St. Swithin's Day, Seaguy.

I still haven't read any of his mainstream DC superhero stuff! Animal Man is the closest I've been. Any suggestions on anything that's particularly outstanding?

mike h. (mike h.), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 17:24 (fourteen years ago) link

I don't think you're the only volume 3 fan. Unless you mean that you think it's the best one.

DC Superheroes: No point in pissing about, go directly to JLA. The first collection is called 'Brave New World', I think.

Or JLA Earth2, the graphic novel drawn by Frank Quitely.

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 17:45 (fourteen years ago) link

It was May when I last looked! And then I looked again. And it wasn't. Boo.

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 21:21 (fourteen years ago) link

I love "feel sorry for my dead cat genre".

If only Seaguy #3 wasn't so horribly dark, I would have given in to everyone in the world. My partner now refuses to read any Grant Morrison after she read that. If I do end up interviewing Cam3ron St3wart, I'm going to dictaphone record him saying, "Hey Sheila, Chubby is really still alive."

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 21:25 (fourteen years ago) link

"given it", sorry

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 21:26 (fourteen years ago) link

SLAPPER

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 21:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Animal Man is totally "feel sorry for my dead cat", but at least he personally admits that it's exactly that in the comic.

Jordan (Jordan), Wednesday, 11 May 2005 22:09 (fourteen years ago) link

It seems like he's always working on the same themes and ideas, and of course out of his own personal history, so to reject any of his stuff out of hand as a dud is to make a mistake, I think, if you want to understand where he's coming from. Even so, of course, some stuff doesn't read as well as it might, and some of the lesser works are probably redundant if you've read the major ones (i.e., Animal Man (maybe), DP, Invisibles, and The Filth, I'm thinking, but I could be wrong). And his stuff is deep, like, so deep I sometimes wonder whether I'm just making up interpretations that fit the text or if it's all intended to be there, subconsciously or not. And I'm not just talking about semi-obvious stuff like the tripartite mind thing in Doom Patrol (Rebis="male" and "female" intelligences combined with a third "vital" force that act as one unit, while also being the left brained partner in a trio consisting also of right brained Jane (also fractured mentally into discrete and initially competing modules) and corpus callosium pragmatic Cliff (who's literally only a brain, aliennated from the mechanism that forms his body)... all balanced against the opposing trio of lefty arrogant Chief, righty compassionate Josh, and primal conduit Dorothy). There's stuff like the "Their number is always 5" comment from DP, the necessity of which (5 = the number symbolizing "Man" numerologically, but why, really?)I had always wondered about until I realized that it would of course be the Hand's number also (and by implication it's the Invisibles' as well). And the importance of 5 equalling the hand of "Man" works both with the Invisibles with their blank badge and their "Which side are you on?" question as well as with the decision made by Feely/Slade at the end of The Filth (which equates to the decisions that Dane/Jack makes as well, and also Dorothy in regards to her "friends" and the Candlemaker). And that decision is of course to take responsibility and agency over one's actions for oneself, and not play the pawn in a game between two opposing sides that don't have one's best interests in heart (back to the whole tripartite thing again, and the moving beyond dualism thing from the aliens story in DP). Was that the "secret of the universe" that was supposed to be revealed at the end of The Invisibles, or not? You be the judge.

OK, that's enough rambling on like a mad nutter. But anyway, I don't think that anything he does is bollocks at all, even though some parts of his work (like feeling sorry for dead cats) are perhaps less symbolically significant than others. There's a doctoral thesis in there somewhere for whoever wants to be the first Grant Morrison scholar in Cultural Studies, I tell you.

Chris F. (servoret), Thursday, 12 May 2005 20:30 (fourteen years ago) link

OK, one more thing about GM and then I'll stop hogging this thread.

"All I want is the answer to one simple question before I run screaming back to the BUGHOUSE: Is this REAL or isn't it?"

I think there's a tension about Grant's use of "magick" that shows up in his work repeatedly. Not just in the statement quoted above, but in characters like the rock star in Flex Mentallo, and of course Feely/Slade in The Filth as well as the convergence that Grant claims happened between writing The Invisibles (and writing himself into it as an idealized character) and the events that happened in his real life at the same time. The question is whether "magick" is real or whether it's shite, and I'm willing to bet that, using the tripartite thing, it's neither-- it's really a use of A. Moore's "idea space" from Promethea, i.e., memetics, i.e. as the Chief puts it when confronted with The Book with No Title, "It might help to consider the Zen KOAN, 'First there is a mountain, then there is no mountain, then there is.'" So of course, it's both real as well as unreal, as Jane puts it to Cliff two pages before the page in DP #21 with the quotes given above- it works functionally, but to think it works because of some "magickal" power or essence is dumb essentialism, so no, it's not real also. Stuff like this plus the "Buddhismo" bad interpretation of Buddhism from The Filth and the similarly wrong one-toothed masturbating Buddha of pleasure thing from The Invisibles makes me think that Grant is on to something deep and he knows it, too.

OK, sorry to bother you guys with all this, but I thought it and felt like I had to write it out for someone to read if they cared. And now I'm late for my movie, so I've got to go. If anyone else here has thoughts on all this, I'd like to read them.

Chris F. (servoret), Thursday, 12 May 2005 22:52 (fourteen years ago) link

GM is probably one of my favorite writers, in or outside of comics. Like a lot of people on this board (I'm guessing) I'm one of those people who think that everything of his is worth reading (his badly executed interesting ideas are still interesting), but recognize that a lot of his early stuff (animal man and DP) are pretty sophomoric in a "hey look, I just heard about postmodernism" sort of way. (I say this still owning a lot of those issues and the trades; the end of animal man has got to be the best "ending" of a series ever).

okay some questions:

(1) I don't have flex mentallo. is this really his best thing ever? Same with Zenith.

(2) are they going to collect the remaining doom patrol issues?

(3) what do you guys think of this whole magic thing? Although it's interesting (like that interview where GM says he could beat up Alan Moore in a magic war), I can't always take its BSy, DISINFO tone that seriously. But for a lot of people, that's what they seem to like best.

(4) People who hate GM--why? I had an hr long discussion (i.e. "argument") with my comic shop owner about this and it seemed like the exact things he hated about GM (discursiveness, wackiness, fucking around with conventions) were the things I liked. My impression is that people who don't like GM are precisely the people who are "real" comic book fans--conservative continuity hounds who rightly note that GM is screwing up his continuity facts and doing his best not to repeat the satisfyingly boring old Darkseid-takes-over-earth story. I told my sister (who read the Kubert/Lobdell X-men out of a crush on Gambit) about Morrisson's Xmen (Beast as Beast from Beauty in the Beast; Beast as gay; etc.) and she said "Those people who loved X-Men before must hate this." Am I wrong?

(5) GM seems like he's in this intermediate tier--famous and obscure in all the wrong places. Fanboys like X men and JLA (I think Rock of the Ages is the best paced superhero comic I've ever read) but don't really know about the Invisibles, but neither the snobby I-only-read-comics-I've-heard-about-in-the-new-yorker crowd or the Sandman franchise Gaiman fanclub really know about his work either. Gaiman once said in an interview that GM would be as famous as him (and invisibles as well read as Sandman) if only the invisibles had been collected earlier. He predicted that once it was in book form, there'd be a Sandman-like GM worshipping. But this hasn't happened, as far as I know. Is it because Sandman caters to pre-existing niche crowds (like goths)? Or because Sandman has sweet life-affirming stories, fairy tales about love and death, and Invisibles has the giant floating afterlife head of John Lennon, Archon conquerors in 2012, and Russian anarchist buddhas? And The Filth isn't exactly the kind of comic you take home to your mom. It's possible that Sandman is a richer, more flawless work, but Invisibles is way more relentlessly interesting, intense, and challenging. what do you think?

kenchen, Saturday, 14 May 2005 18:00 (fourteen years ago) link

(1) I have Flex, and I've read bootleg CBR copies of Zenith a couple of times, which isn't exactly ideal. I think Zenith probably read a lot better when it came out and all the material was stuff that was being explored by Morrison for the first time. It presages the Elder Gods stuff from The Invisibles in a way that's more clearly a takeoff on Lovecraft, delves into some utopian superhero stuff, and the character of Zenith himself is a fun anti-hero, who keeps getting out of scraps because he's not as dumb as he pretends to be and has no pretensions toward any cause other than having a good time. If I had grown up on that series instead of Doom Patrol like some of the British posters here evidently have I'd probably think it was the bee's knees too. I still think it's pretty good, and I'd like to get my hands on the originals someday.

Flex is interesting in that it presages JLA and The Filth with the final issue with the invisible superheroes that have gone fictional/memetic in order to protect humanity. I guess it's also a loving tribute to reading superhero comics during the Silver Age when one could feel that superheroes were a force that existed to protect normal folks and the peaceful mundanity of their everyday lives. That's a theme that comes up in Morrison just as much as the radical utopian stuff does, it seems (maybe part and parcel of the whole superhero concept, but not necessarily--look at the earliest Superman stuff for radical superheroism in action): The Doom Patrol, The Invisibles (arguably?), The Hand all have this function of protecting the prosaic from incursions of the irrational (it took me a while to get the pun of "anti-person"-- anti-persons are always megalomaniacs trying to rock the boat 44r0nHz-style, they're anti-people-in-general). I dunno, I guess if you go through the personal transformation advocated in the end of Flex, you've done what Morrison's trying to prompt you to do through The Invisibles, so maybe Flex is the best thing he's ever done 'cause he gets where he's going in only 4 issues?

(2)Dunno, since all the subsequent issues have Flex Mentallo in them I thought it had the same problem with DC wimping out over the Charles Atlas plagarism that collecting the mini-series does.

(3)I dunno how seriously Grant takes it! Look at the end of The Filth, which is really ambiguous over how seriously we're supposed to take Greg/Ned's adventures into magick-shiteland a la the ending of Videodrome. Then there's the "Pop Magick" thing, where he goes on about how being a magician is all about pretending to be the person that you really want to be, and how picking fictional characters as your personal deities is probably the best choice (like Alan Moore worshipping whatever Roman fraud he claims to worship). And his "I got abducted by aliens who told me the secret of the universe because I went off to get abducted by aliens" thing. I guess, to the extent that I'm not agnostic about it, that I just see it as memes/Joseph Campbell-style symbollogy, and I don't sweat the fact that I'm not up on the hidden meanings of all the Crowley-derived magick stuff that Morrison and Moore are up on. I don't think that literal "magic powers" are what Morrison's aiming for his readership to attain, that rather it's really a rejection of dogmatism and rigid belief structures that he's after. The pretensions of the "magickal workings" crowd actually annoy me-- I think that stuff's outdated and can be too much like wish-fulfillment fantasies. I don't really think that the universe is so cuddly that you can get anything you want from it if you just ask for it hard enough-- I think that way lies madness, and that Morrison explores this somewhat in The Filth, with its potentially psychotic protagonist. (And hey, look at the last issue of Doom Patrol, where Grant seems to argue that, yes, literal belief in this stuff is crackers, but that letting "reality" kill your soul isn't a viable option either.)

(4)No, I agree. I think they hate him because he's got his own personality and he's working on his own themes all the time. He's not into producing soap-opera product to feed these people's addictions-- he's trying to subvert those very habits in them by introducing his material to these people, and they pick up on that and hate him for it. They don't want to be challenged by this shit-- they treat comic books as comfort food, and find some sort of solace in the way that they can master the "facts" of the material and construct order out of comic-book flotsam in a way that they can't do in their real lives. Polar opposite of Morrison's intentions-- he seems to want to use this fictional material to inform his (and others') real lives, not try to make the fictional into some sort of reality that can be lived in as an escape (although he shows nostalgia for this type of escapism in Flex among other places, the point of that series is to move beyond this as a person).

(5) Yeah, I think The Sandman is way more middlebrow and unchallenging, comfort food style, than The Invisibles. The personification of death is the cuddliest character in the series, for crying out loud. And at the same time, it's a lot less slapdash than Invisibles, reads better, has better production values and better art. The Invisibles reads like somewhere along the way Morrison ripped up the original plan that he'd made for the series and just started cramming that material in where he could, meanwhile recycling good bits of dialogue from his earlier series (the "stop a conversation stone dead" thing, among others), and getting very seat-of-the-pants in his writing style, which started annoying me in a serious way during Volume 2 and led me to literally throw away the last two series worth of comics after I'd bought them (sort of a mistake-- I should look at the last series again sometime). I think that Sandman was built to last as a literary enterprise, whereas The Invisibles was just written to explore and disseminate some of the material Morrison was working on/up to at that point (the "secret of the universe" shaman thing that I alluded to in an earlier post and that is also found in Flex) and is ultimately disposable in a way that Sandman is not (supposedly touching on great truths in a mythopoetic way also, but in a more classical fashion). The Invisibles is also more of a explicitly personal work than The Sandman (at least I think it is-- as far as I know Gaiman didn't write himself into his comic directly as a character, etc.) so it's harder for it to find a mass audience, sort of like Burroughs compared to Kerouac (who, yeah, writes semi-autobiographically in On the Road, but writes about the mythology of the open road, etc., easy stuff for Americans to sympathize with compared to Burroughs's personal issues with homosexuality, drug addiction metaphors, paranoid fantasies about social control, con men, etc.)

Chris F. (servoret), Monday, 16 May 2005 22:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Re. Zenith: it's written as i) a wham-bam action story in classic 2000AD style, every episode 5-6 pages with a socking great cliffhanger. ii) an answer to the question "What would British superheroes be like?". Second to Pat Mills' stuff before he went loopy it's probably the best example of i) and it's definitely the best ever treatment of ii). But it's not deep or nuffink.

People don't like Grant Morrison because while he takes comics as seriously as they do he doesn't take the characters as seriously. A lot of his stuff is as openly sentimental as the biggest superhero soap but the sentiment comes from his and your relationship to the material, not from the character interactions themselves. GM's characters tend to be *very* broad, New X-Men is probably the time he's tried hardest to 'do' characterisation and even then it basically falls to bits halfway through the run.

He doesn't have the serious following of a Gaiman because he can tell superhero stories very well indeed and loves doing it: people who distrust superheroes don't like that. Maybe an Iain Banks/Iain M Banks rebranding would have helped, who knows.

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 08:55 (fourteen years ago) link

Tom OTM at start and end, but I'm not sure about

A lot of his stuff is as openly sentimental as the biggest superhero soap but the sentiment comes from his and your relationship to the material, not from the character interactions themselves.

Do you mean that it's broader 'heroes are brilliant stuff' rather than overly emotional characters? JLA seemed like a collection of superhero firefighters at times (Green Lantern excepted)

New X-Men is probably the time he's tried hardest to 'do' characterisation and even then it basically falls to bits halfway through the run.

Doom Patrol is down this end of his range as well, and I think it work brilliantly (or I think that I think this - hurry up with the reprints, Vertigo!). Cliff and Jane anyway, if falls away a bit after from that (mostly for plot reasons).

Andrew Farrell (afarrell), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 09:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Cliff and Jane works because it's two completely fucked-up people who get closer slowly and obliquely, and yes it's good characterisation but the characters are so far out that it still lacks the 'identification' thing that Marvel brought to comics.

The JLA thing - the big sentimental moments in that are huge saves-the-day widescreen stuff, which yes is a third category of sentimentality but still isn't really much to do with character interaction.

Tom (Groke), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 09:26 (fourteen years ago) link

nearest thing Zenith has to a subtext is something like "look-where-the-idealism-of-the-60s-got-us" but this mostly gets pushed aside so that morrison can play superheroes

morrison's 'position': does he cultivate it? can you ever imagine him actually escaping it?

i don't really read for characterisation (or at least i certainly don't read comics for characterisation) so when i actually find a character interesting often as not it is a broad type (e.g. i find morrison's version of the beast GRATE but anna karenina a bore)

tom west (thomp), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 11:16 (fourteen years ago) link

i can't find the new x-men thread i was going to go on about characterisation in! oh well

tom west (thomp), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 11:27 (fourteen years ago) link

Which supehero writers can do characterisation, though?

I can think of maybe Peter David, DeMatteis, BK Vaughn, Bendis, Alan Grant...

Okay, that's quite a few, but still...

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 13:22 (fourteen years ago) link

Well, Alan Moore writes superhero comics. Is he different? Is it a matter of intellectual street cred? Though come to think about, he's not exactly a cottage industry in the same way...

I don't think GM is bad at characterization, I just think that (1) it doesn't interest him and (2) comics are a serial medium so characterization doesn't work the same way as in a film or novel. So (1) his interest is clearly in creating action movies of ideas and probably plots and thinks this way too. (Are there enough ideas-per-page, etc.?) If ideas = intellectual, then there is a way that characterization is anti-intellectual, in that it requires plodding plot construction. In this way, GM is similar to Kafka, Borges, and Murakami, in that he's less interested in the literary homework and more in just getting right to the metaphysical candy. (2) The problem with serial comics (I might be plagiarizing this from a hellblazer forum) is that the protagonist is really a shared convention, so you can't really change him that much w/o abandoning the conventions of the series. In this sense, GM does great characterization, but it's a serial (or comics) specific form of characterization, where charactization means people being always themselves: the people are all unchangeable icons. In that sense, his Batman, Lex Luthor, Jean, Cyclops, Wolverine, white queen, etc., for example, seem to perfectly embody their archetypal selves. But they never change and we never really know their interior life. Since superheroes are so uncomplicated in the first place, I'm pretty happy with this Silver Age version of charactization; I think when people don't do this (like some of the people you mentioned, such as peter david) characterization just ends up meaning mundane stories filled with unfunny jokes. GM's way seems more like mythology: we don't know the characters aside from what they do in the story, but we have a pretty good idea of what kinds of things they would and wouldn't do.

That said, there's usually the obligatory "John Constantine goes to the bar or confronts his dead father" issue and GM hasn't written anything like that as far as I know. I think the problem is that his emphasis on ideas makes him a sort of shallow writer, in the sense that he doesn't ever give his characters texture or subtext. Usually, I love that, b/c the stories end up sleek and graceful. But it can make his characters too generic (king mob and fantomex).


(Thanks for the great posts--especially chris!)

kenchen, Tuesday, 17 May 2005 15:02 (fourteen years ago) link

I dunno about this NXM talk about "archetypal" revisiting - GM did a LOT of work re: Beast & Cyclops & White Queen, 3 characters that (to my knowledge) were mostly treated as stereotypes of themselves - Cyclops = "he's lantern-jawed and a leader!"; Beast = "he's smart and furry!"; White Queen = "she's wicked and wears a bustiere as regular clothing!" Even w/ Jean Grey, turning her from a super-powered dud into a sympathetic and caring megalomaniac.

If I'm restating something from before, forgive me (esp. Ken, as this might be what he's getting at), but GM's knack for characterization seems to be his ability to get at charcter details while (or by) painting in these broad archetypal strokes. cf. those moments in JLA when the universe is going to shit and Batman has this one line that embodies his Batmanness (as GM sees it) so perfectly while at the same time not distracting from the grandeur of the moment happening around Batman's one line. Or, hell, that line from Emma Frost near the start of his NXM run - something like "The whole world is watching; we must be nothing less than fabulous." That's her right there.

As for continuity-related boggins, I think some of it (the unintentional stuff) has been publically classified by GM as communication breakdowns between Marvel editors and him, like the bit in "Return to Weapon X" where Sebastian Shaw talks about reading minds.

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 15:16 (fourteen years ago) link

In this sense, GM does great characterization, but it's a serial (or comics) specific form of characterization, where charactization means people being always themselves.

Otm

Chuck_Tatum (Chuck_Tatum), Tuesday, 17 May 2005 16:54 (fourteen years ago) link

three months pass...
Pay my telephone bills
Pay my automobills
Pay my head wax bills

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 6 September 2005 14:10 (fourteen years ago) link

not short of cash though is he, our boy grant?

Slumpman (Slump Man), Tuesday, 6 September 2005 14:47 (fourteen years ago) link

So, uh, what was GM's contribution to this?

Huk-L (Huk-L), Tuesday, 6 September 2005 14:49 (fourteen years ago) link

Writing a treatment for a series of interlocking storylines involving Angel Robbie, Devil Robbie, Naked Robbie, and Gorilla Grodd?

Jordan (Jordan), Tuesday, 6 September 2005 15:00 (fourteen years ago) link

Gorilla Grodd is revealed to be Gary Barlow in disguise.

O'so Krispie (Ex Leon), Tuesday, 6 September 2005 15:11 (fourteen years ago) link

RT @jollybaez: A glimpse at some of the new artwork from the expanded deluxe WE3!

Flaca (R Baez), Thursday, 25 August 2011 22:36 (eight years ago) link

this was the part I preferred, tbh

lying about Siegel & Shuster to shill for his employers during the lawsuit is gross to me, so

rude ragga beats from the F. U. Schnickens (sic), Friday, 26 August 2011 01:03 (eight years ago) link

Wtf is that new WE3 panel? It doesn't even look like Quitely's art. And how does it fit into the story?

Tuomas, Friday, 26 August 2011 08:34 (eight years ago) link

that's a joke, it's from the new issue of Inc

rude ragga beats from the F. U. Schnickens (sic), Friday, 26 August 2011 10:39 (eight years ago) link

Ah, okay.

Tuomas, Friday, 26 August 2011 11:03 (eight years ago) link

lying about Siegel & Shuster to shill for his employers during the lawsuit is gross to me, so

What did he say? I don't recall this at all, so I'm thinking I must have missed something potentially interesting.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 26 August 2011 12:00 (eight years ago) link

yeah I don't recall that either...?

That's the dick move? I read that interview and it seemed pretty damn innocuous.

Whatever.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 26 August 2011 16:48 (eight years ago) link

Even that quote doesn't seem like he's being a dick, only that he doesn't delve into the reasons why Bob Kane got a good deal at that point. Kane was the outlier, not S&S! I thought that was pretty clear when I read it.

I think he also mentions that Bill Finger was rather screwed over by history and finances.

unwarranted display names of ilx (mh), Friday, 26 August 2011 20:05 (eight years ago) link

it's the context of totally glossing over them being fucked, 1) while a lawsuit is going on that DC are paying lawyers more to file paper on every month than they ever paid S&S while they were alive, and 2) Grant is actively redesigning Superman's costume and origin to be potentially legally distinct from the S&S creation, while being 3) ickily disingenuous about their situation, that I find unpleasant.

rude ragga beats from the F. U. Schnickens (sic), Saturday, 27 August 2011 04:09 (eight years ago) link

So he's supposed to just avoid the franchise right now due to a lawsuit, or forever?

unwarranted display names of ilx (mh), Saturday, 27 August 2011 04:37 (eight years ago) link

he can make whatever employment decisions he chooses, I'm not talking about that. I'm saying I personally find it distasteful to lie about the situation of creators of said franchise in this context, and thusly find his position on the backstage history of early superhero comics untenably compromised and proven inaccurate, so I'm unlikely to even read those aspects of the book.

rude ragga beats from the F. U. Schnickens (sic), Saturday, 27 August 2011 06:56 (eight years ago) link

So you're saying you haven't read those parts of the book, or what he actually said? I think he's a little vague, but I think people are stirring the bucket and reading more into it than is there.

unwarranted display names of ilx (mh), Saturday, 27 August 2011 17:47 (eight years ago) link

I have really enjoyed Supergords, it's got everything you love about Morrison comics: big ideas, lots of heart inconsistently spread out, misdirected spite, and glossing over of elements he finds boring or inconvenient. Not surprised that he has little sympathy/empathy for S&S considering the jackpot he scored with Arkham Asylum, which succeeded more because it was published at the absolute height of Keaton/Burton Bat-Mania than on its own merits. As humble as his writing/cartooning beginnings may be, the ordeal of Siegel & Shuster beyond his imagination. Which is a pity, considering his fascinations.

like working at a jewelry store and not knowing about bracelets (Dr. Superman), Saturday, 27 August 2011 18:45 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

Caleb Mozzocco stirs the bucket.

robocop last year was a 'shop (sic), Wednesday, 5 October 2011 08:39 (seven years ago) link

I wasn't super-impressed with that, actually

boxorox (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 14 October 2011 06:05 (seven years ago) link

Morrison to put the sex back into Wonder Woman comics --

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2011/10/13/grant-morrisons-wonder-woman-series-planned-for-2012-or-thereabouts/

Antonio Carlos Broheem (WmC), Friday, 14 October 2011 14:31 (seven years ago) link

Just finished Supergods. Overall, I thought it was entirely inessential. It seemed to me like two books rather poorly integrated; his life through and in comics, and an overview of superheroes. I enjoyed reading the sections where he talked about what inspired him along the way, but thought he gave little insight into his own work (except for his admitted chickening out on pushing Final Crisis as far as he had initially planned), and his overall "history of the superhero" is, um, unique.

EZ Snappin, Friday, 14 October 2011 17:04 (seven years ago) link

eight months pass...

Grant just got an MBE.

EZ Snappin, Saturday, 16 June 2012 01:48 (seven years ago) link

I wonder if he's gonna give the Queen the issues of Inivisibles where he honours the royal family...

On a more serious note, is he the first superhero comic writer to get one of those? Do Gaiman or Moore have one?

Tuomas, Saturday, 16 June 2012 08:06 (seven years ago) link

Moore would turn it down, surely. (but that then raises the question of whether he'd say publically he'd turned it down, which is bad form iirc.)

woof, Saturday, 16 June 2012 09:30 (seven years ago) link

five years pass...

I've read it twice now, very slowly and carefully the second time, and I think Nameless is up there with his best stuff. Which is nice, given I thought he wouldn't produce anything that good again. A fair bit of the credit definitely goes to Chris Burnham, though.

albvivertine, Monday, 5 March 2018 18:55 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

ok lol
http://i.imgur.com/cmzDlhV.png

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Wednesday, 5 June 2019 21:20 (three months ago) link

Wow! Is Morrison writing GL now, or is that just a one-off gig?

Tuomas, Friday, 7 June 2019 06:43 (three months ago) link

No, GM is writing one of the GL books. IMO it's not really lived up to the hype, some neat ideas but really doesn't hold together - it's more like a handful of 2000ad ideas in search of a character.

Elitist cheese photos (aldo), Friday, 7 June 2019 08:54 (three months ago) link

It's pretty silly but I like it! It's like Batman Incorporated In Space (although not quite as good as that sounds). It's the first thing he's done since Batman that I've enjoyed. although Liam Sharp doesn't really do anything for me - it's a bit sub-Gene Ha.

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 7 June 2019 18:42 (three months ago) link

This cover sums it up really

https://files1.comics.org//img/gcd/covers_by_id/1237/w400/1237279.jpg

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 7 June 2019 18:46 (three months ago) link

ASTOUNDING Sci-Fi style Green Lantern as dopey police procedural sums it up pretty well; I'm having a great time with it! The art is maybe overly florid in a Bart Sears way but it gets the job done.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 7 June 2019 19:35 (three months ago) link

would it be possible to execute the good and funny idea for a superhero cover any worse than they have done there?

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Friday, 7 June 2019 20:30 (three months ago) link

(like, there are many ways that you could make it just as bad. but from art to trade dress to layout to lettering, every element collaborates to render the dynamism and joke utterly inert

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Friday, 7 June 2019 20:32 (three months ago) link

not sure what the "'joke" is exactly but the covers seem like (occasionally witless) stabs at pulp homage more than anything. computer coloring certainly doesn't help.

Fuck the NRA (ulysses), Friday, 7 June 2019 20:37 (three months ago) link

the junkie cover is clearly a terrible defenestration of something that could have been much funnier

the god one tickles me, ugly fonts and all

Chuck_Tatum, Friday, 7 June 2019 21:05 (three months ago) link

It's Liam Sharp, guys, govern yr expectations.

Fiat Earther (Old Lunch), Friday, 7 June 2019 23:25 (three months ago) link

Not that we saw this contextless cover itt with any expectations, but a) Sharp isn’t responsible for the rigid trade dress, right-to-left layout, bad balloon, awkward speech lettering, mixed fonts or font choices, and b) why do DC keep lumbering Morrison with primary artists who draw lumbering steroid cases & have no sense of humour or wit?

Case was a good match on Doom Patrol and Burnham was a gift from the heavens, perhaps the most “gets it” artist Morrison has ever had on any ongoing project, but apart from that the chasm between artists he brings himself and ones that DC assign to him is yawping.

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Saturday, 8 June 2019 00:28 (three months ago) link

See also: Quitely (obvs), Cameron Stewart

Fiat Earther (Old Lunch), Saturday, 8 June 2019 01:22 (three months ago) link

Quitely he brought himself; Stewart campaigned to get his Invisibles fill-in.

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Saturday, 8 June 2019 09:05 (three months ago) link

Just checked, and Morrison invited Burnham to do his first 7-page fill-in after seeing Officer Downe; DC signed Burnham to a 2-year contract after his first full issue. Shoulda figured.

quelle sprocket damage (sic), Saturday, 8 June 2019 09:12 (three months ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.