NYCC: Grant Morrison Spotlight

Sat, April 19th, 2008 at 10:45am PDT | Updated: April 19th, 2008 at 12:49pm

Comic Books
Shaun Manning, Staff Writer

Grant Morrison holds court during his "Spotlight" panel at the NYCC
Welcome to CBR's live coverage of the New York Comic Con. Grant Morrison is now discussing his work at a special Spotlight panel.

The lights have just gone down for a multimedia presentation. The first slide is simply the word "Fuck." The slideshow then went through Morrison's life as a personality and his works, narrated with text from Morrison's biography. Lots of laughs at pictures of Morrison as a rock star and in the comics he writes.

Morrison immediately opened the floor to question.

"Terrence McKenna suggested we're all going to spiral off into space and time," Morrison said about 2012, "and there's some evidence he's right. ... But the world hasn't ended yet."

Fan: "So you and the pope are in town at the same time? What the hell?"

Morrison described watching TV in a taxi, in which a young nun described touching the pope as closest to touching Jesus on earth. "What the hell?" Morrison said. "Why would you want to touch Jesus?"

Wildcats is still happening; "The Authority was just a complete disaster." Though part of the disaster was due to "52" getting in the way and Gene Ha getting sick, Morrison said "then I saw the reviews for issue one and said, well fuck this."

Asked about drugs in the creative process, Morrsion said he used a lot for Invisibles, "doing everything I'd never done. I became a tranny for a little while--I was beautiful!"

Follow up question asked about drugs in his Katmandu experience, which Morrison has described as a divine experience. He was on hash, but has not been able to replicate the experience, leading him to believe it was not drug-related.

Asked about writers that inspired him, he mentioned Peter Shaffer, Tolkien, Alaister Crowley, Beatles, Buzzcocks, and Sex Pistols, amogng others.

"Pop Magic" is coming "very slowly. But my guardian angels are watching over me for this, saying if you don't finish this soon we'll kill you."

Morrison said the "We3" film script will be better than the comic, but New Line has had trouble finding the perfect director. "It's a high priority on their slate," he said.

Where are you taking Batman? "To the grave," Morrison laughed.

He described his take as a deconstruction of Batman. "I kinda wanted to humanize the guy, because he'd been a dick for a while. Which is fine, because if you're Batman you'd probably be a dick."

"When we begin to see the revelation of the villain, it's possibly the most shocking Batman revelation in seventy years."

Morrison said he would prefer to write philosophy and his own experiences into fiction rather than writing about them directly.

A fan said: Superman's my god. "Don't you feel good?" Morrison said. "Superman loves you! And he's a lot more proactive than God."

A Morrison autobiography? "You'd never believe it." He said David Lynch movies are more like his real life. "This is realism to me," he said.

WIll Lovely Biscuits be republished? "No idea." But there is always interest. "Just keep an eye out for it."

"Batman Gothic" came out of Morrison's interest in Keats and Shelley, the romantics and gothic literature. "It was really my take on that with Batman as the hero."

"Superman's quite a gnostic character," Morrison said in response to a question about gnostic themes in "Final Crisis." "They're always there in the work. But I don't believe in the Manichean ideal, they hated the flesh, and the material world is supposed to be the part of heaven we can touch."

Morrison talked about his first paid comic gig, in "Near Myths." "They paid me ÂÂŁ10 a page, like $20, but I was a poor kid, and I was like, alright, I can keep doing this!"

"Animal Man is still a vegetarian, he wears a canvas jacket. He only wore the leather jacket once, when he went crazy. Which you'll do if you're wearing a leather jacket."

As a kid, Morrison wanted to be the Flash. "He was always getting turned into a puppet" or some other thing. "It was like he was permanently tripping." He also commented on Carmine Infantino's drawing of Barry Allen's ass.

Morrison said he had difficulty writing X-Men because they had so many problems. "That starts to seep into your life, and you're moping like Cyclops." "Seven Soldiers" was a response to this, and Morrison said he'd scripted half of it without pay before he'd gone back to DC.

"Christian Bale Batman is the best Batman ever," Morrison said, mentioning that he's loved most on screen interpretations. Batman and Robin? "The colors are brilliant! .. If you just switch off your brain and think, I'm watching the gay Batman..."

"The Filth" character Anders Klimax was based on Morrison's watching a documentary of pornorgrapher Max Hardcore. "And I just thought, this is horrible!" The name "just came into my head, and I kept saying it over and over."

Idle thoughts walking down the street? "Nnnnnnnnnnneeeeeeeee." Then, "I don't have idle thoughts--they're all worth money!"

"I just expect" the dismantling of his continuity Marvel said. "It's what these guys are paid to do--dismantle anything that makes sense."

"The idea was that the Chronal War had eaten the first ten years of the twenty-first century... so Superman and his allies have to build a bridge of events into the twenty-first century," was the idea behind the aborted Hypercrisis. "I'm glad they went with 'Identity Crisis' instead."

"War Cop" from Vertigo will return to a bit of Morrison's psychadelic storytelling. It will not be a sigil, like "Invisibles." "Or maybe."

"I thought about going back to [the Invisibles], but it wasn't working. Once you hear there's a movie comign out called 2012, it's time to stop."

Regarding collaborating on "52," Morrison said 'we all got on really well. ... There were no fights, there was no animosity at all."

Seaguy is "like if you put on a wetsuit and said I'm a superhero."

In DC One Million, Morrison destroyed Montevideo--where one fans lives. "I was after you!" Morrison said. He said he had to destroy some place and he picked Montevideo off a map.

Seaguy 2 is a "bit emo," representing SG's adolescence as a hero. The people who run the world turn him into El Macho, King of the Bull-dressers. In the future, "you can't kill bulls in a bull fighting ring, you can only dress them up to show how macho you are. ... The bull charges and you pull out a hat. The bull's got this stupid hat on. Then you pull out a bra..." But when he's got the bull dressed up and the crowd is cheering, Seaguy thinks "is this all there is?"

Seaguy 3 is "a journey to the land of the dead... which is Australia." "It's kind of my take on being alive, and being human and going through all these expereineces."

"Final Crisis" is "based mostly around the New Gods... [who] were designed by Kirby to be the gods of technological world. So we're putting them back there."

Morrison said DC should come up with a new word for the next Crisis. "Call it 'Final Climax' or something."

He also said that "Superman escapes from the confines of the DC Universe into something else." Morrison is interested in the idea of dimensions, with comics occupying 2D space.

"Superman was born before us," Morrison said, and will outlast us all. "in a way he's more real than any of us, and he occupies 2d space within a 3d world." And what if there's something above us?

Regarding movies with meta-perspective and drug experiences: "If you haven't seen Renegade, go get Renegade--don't deal with the rest of the movie, but there's this trip sequence that's the best ever!"

Last issue of the Invisibles: "What happened was those words you read and the pictures you saw."

Now discuss this story in CBR's DC Comics forum.

TAGS:  grant morrison, dc comics, final crisis, nycc2008, all star superman

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