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Author Topic: Exclusive Grant Morrison Interview  (Read 9720 times)
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Super Monkey
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« on: September 06, 2005, 01:18:37 AM »

Enjoy: http://www.popthought.com/display_column.asp?DAID=861
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2005, 03:14:19 AM »

People can be incredibly arrogant wankers and still produce great work. By all accounts, Steve Englehart was an egomaniac of Shatneresque proportions, Mort Weisenger was a bully that liked to throw things at people when he was unhappy, and Stan Lee was an avaricious sociopath that turned his collaborators into impoverished assassins out to destroy him.

So, finding out Grant Morrison is a prentious snot doesn't make me any more or less nervous either way about ALL-STAR SUPERMAN.

I must confess, I kind of skimmed through this interview. It alternates between mind-destroying minutiae that would be thrown off even the most self-obsessed teenager's LiveJournal for being too trivial (how much water Grant Morrison drinks a day), and fanboy praise that is so gushing that it seriously borders on the homoerotic. It feels like that interview Barbara Walters gave Fidel Castro where she coyishly pushed her hair behind her ears, gazed into his eyes, and asked hard questions like "Castro, why are you so dreamy?"

Quote
AN: Your use of Metaphor has confounded numerous "Joe Six-pack" readers and thrilled many critics. Is metaphor the domain of higher levels of thought? If so, does that thereby threaten to alienate those readers who are unable to think upon those planes?


Almost at the start of the interview I heard a starter pistol shot. Let the self-congratulation BEGIN!

Yes, fanboys, YOU TOO can be as great as Grant Morrison in three easy steps:

1) Take an idea that approximately 1.7 billion postmodernist and magical realist authors have done before;

2) Put in a plot gleefully stolen from INDEPENDENCE DAY or whatever hit movie is big now;

3) Put in as many snarky, self-referencial jokes at the expense of iconic characters as possible.

Here's a tip, Grant Morrison: work is only intelligent if it is good. Putting in your mind-boggling subtext and allegory does not make it a good story. Consistent Characterization, fast-paced original plots, and imaginative power make a story work, and not all the allegories to politics in the world will change that. I will give you credit, though: you're smart enough to know that you're not good at any of those three things and you don't try to, so you produce average work that is completely unoriginal and totally uninspired. This is fine; Gerry Conway, Roy Thomas, and Chris Claremont appreciate the company in the Club of "Just Okay" Comics Writers.

Take your JLA story that revealed that Angels are real, for instance. What a mind-blowing concept! Does that mean there IS a God, too? An afterlife? Does every human being on earth have a guardian angel (even superheroes)? Do robots have robot angels, and dogs have doggy angels? Imagine the possibilities for exploration that such a concept would raise. Imagine what a writer like Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman would do with this sort of idea. But, instead, what do you do? Turn it into just another alien invasion story where the climax is the JLAers catching an exploding blimp and Superman punching out a monster with eyes all over his chest. You wrote a story about angels and it felt like just another rehash of INDEPENDENCE DAY.

Words fail me.

Quote from: "Grant Morrison"
What can I say? I'm not some big intellectual:


Gee, I never would have guessed.

Oh, and incidentally, there is a part where they ask Granty-boy "when comics will be accepted as a valid medium." He says that comics don't need external validation, and that their success in captivating the entire world's imagination is validation enough (I'm paraphrasing here). This is a shockingly intelligent and articulate statement from a man whose work is pseudo-intellectual and infuriatingly pretentious. This is going to sound like damning with faint praise, but I would never think Grant had the clarity and maturity to make such an insightful comment.
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NotSuper
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2005, 04:33:00 AM »

That's a really good interview. I just wish there were more questions about All-Star Superman.
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2005, 06:31:45 PM »

I kind of already knew Grant Morrison was an egomaniac, when the last issues of Animal Man were ABOUT GRANT MORRISON!!!

"Hmm...what shall the grand finale of Animal Man be? So much story to resolve, so much to explain...wait, I know! Animal Man will have the honor of meeting...ME!"

Has Grant Morrison ever written Superman before? Because I don't remember the Superman and Grant Morrison issue of DC Comics Presents.  :wink:
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Captain Kal
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« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2005, 06:49:48 PM »

Grant Morrison wrote the original run of the new JLA book, and the related DC One Million (about the triumphant return of Superman Prime, over 83,000 years in the future) miniseries.  Both runs were deeply respectful of Superman and tended to make Big Blue the centrepiece of the DCU, as he should be.

I'd have no problem with Morrison taking over regular Superman writing.  DC has done and is doing worse.

Maybe he had a failure of imagination at some points.  But he actually gets who Superman is.  His Superman is very Silver Age/Bronze Age.  Morrison's Superman is once again a Primal Legend of the DCU instead of the whining, ineffective, just-another-hero of the Byrned brow.

Here's a link from this very site as a tribute to Morrison's interpretation of Superman:
http://superman.nu/a/History/grant.php
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Gangbuster
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« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2005, 06:53:01 PM »

I made fun of him, because I can. Still, is he taking over the regular Superman books? (I hope so.)

Still looking forward to All-Star Superman. Might be the first Superman book I ever subscribe to...we'll see.
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« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2005, 06:58:32 PM »

Hey, Gangbuster Thorul, see my edited post above.

I wish he'd take over regular Superman.  His work rocked when it came to Superman in his other books.

But his writing All-Star Superman is the next best thing.

Waid's done Birthright.

Morrison is on All-Star.

DC seems to finally be letting guys who know who Superman is to handle the character.
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JulianPerez
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« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2005, 09:25:47 PM »

Quote from: "Gangbuster Thorul"
I kind of already knew Grant Morrison was an egomaniac, when the last issues of Animal Man were ABOUT GRANT MORRISON!!!

"Hmm...what shall the grand finale of Animal Man be? So much story to resolve, so much to explain...wait, I know! Animal Man will have the honor of meeting...ME!"  


Whatever else I can say about him, Grant Morrison is indeed a pioneer. That ANIMAL MAN story came out years before the invention of the self-insertion fanfic, heralding the coming of Gonterman and Marissa Picard. Morrison is truly a modern John the Baptist.

I can't get enough, though, of the "Emperor's New Clothes" defense of ANIMAL MAN's incomprehensible ending. Mention in any form that it made no sense and was not led up to in any way by the events of the story, the defenders' response is, "Well, if you don't get it, that shows you're not insightful."

To be *totally* fair, though, Morrison's ANIMAL MAN was better than it was under Paul Kupperberg, but MY GOD, it would have been better canceled, too.

Quote from: "Captain Kal"
Grant Morrison wrote the original run of the new JLA book, and the related DC One Million (about the triumphant return of Superman Prime, over 83,000 years in the future) miniseries. Both runs were deeply respectful of Superman and tended to make Big Blue the centrepiece of the DCU, as he should be.


This is why I can honestly say I'm excited about Morrison's run. It says something about the "quality" of the super-writers, or at least the mediocrity of the Carlin-helmed comittee, that someone like Morrison towers over them like a giant. I really want to see what he comes up with.

But let's keep things in perspective here. If Morrison and Waid wrote Superman during the ACTUAL Silver Age, their work would have been overshadowed by Bates and Maggin, and their work would be viewed at the same level as the "just okay" writers of the period, like Mike W. Barr or Gerry Conway.

In fact, a case can be made that Morrison is the reincarnation of Gerry Conway. The similarities between the style and careers of the two men is astonishing...this is fodder for a future post.

More than anything else, I'm excited about ALL-STAR because it means Morrison will prop the door open for other, better writers: can you imagine Dan Slott's Superman? Or Kurt Busiek's Superman? Or Steve Englehart's Superman?
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