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Wonder Woman means so much more to me than Hera or Aphrodite.
April 26, 2012 9:38 AM   Subscribe

Comics author Grant Morrison talked to Playboy about the Super Psyches of some of his favorite superhero characters. (Clean interview, NSFW website)
posted by The Whelk (41 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
Recent Rolling Stone profile of Grant Morrison
posted by The Whelk at 9:39 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Batman once did a crossover with leather clad authoritarian Judge Dredd, with a lot of tying each other up and beatings with "nightsticks" involved...
posted by Artw at 9:48 AM on April 26, 2012


I wonder how people ever enjoyed art back before we could hear any artist's exact detailed thoughts in a variety of media.
posted by Legomancer at 9:54 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


*consults Poe's The Philosophy Of Composition to find the answer "
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 AM on April 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


That would be before my time, what with fanzines and all.
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on April 26, 2012


Her greatest strength: being able to show her T and her A, from behind, at the same time.
posted by clvrmnky at 10:07 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


What is this Playboy you speak of?
posted by Ironmouth at 10:32 AM on April 26, 2012


I just read it for an article.
posted by Artw at 10:35 AM on April 26, 2012


Grant Morrison is about the only person on the planet who can make this stuff genuinely interesting. There are perspectives, anecdotes and odd little historical facts here that are entirely new to me (though I'm not really well versed in superhero comics at all, so it's probably easy to surprise me there).

Also, very happy to see King Mob. I was thinking about him just yesterday. I can't remember what the overall train of thought was, but somehow it came back to how memorable and dorky-witty his lines are.

"In my day we used to hang upside down in a tidepool full of hallucinogenic crabs, didn't we Jack?"
posted by byanyothername at 11:09 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


It’s quite a bizarre mission to go out at night dressed as a bat and punch the hell out of junkies. And then he goes home and lives in this mansion.

The trailers for The Dark Knight Rises have me excited that Nolan will tackle this idea in some respect. In this day and age it would certainly be nice to see a major blockbuster/superhero movie tackle class disparity if only to a certain level.
posted by sendai sleep master at 11:11 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, I know he wrote Supergods recently but I would pay good money for Morrison to actually write an auto-biography. I would think it would be filled with fantastic tales.....and probably a few tales of the fantastic.
posted by sendai sleep master at 11:14 AM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


The comic bloggers I follow pointed out this morning that the creator credits in this piece are strange. Normally credits are phrased as, "Fantastic Four created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby." But in this article, the format is, "Created by: [writer], art by [artist]."
posted by thecjm at 11:15 AM on April 26, 2012


Ah: I think the overall train of thought was suddenly recalling/realizing what a positive influence The Invisibles had on me, thinking it might be a neat thing to give away my copies of the books to someone who would get that benefit from them now, wondering what all the positive energy that fueled that series ever transformed into, wondering how to reintegrate that same kind of positivity into my life now... etc.

It's kind of nice that whenever I wonder what Grand Morrison is doing now, the universe says, "Me too!" and then we both find out a day or so later without my necessarily doing anything.
posted by byanyothername at 11:16 AM on April 26, 2012


Also, I know he wrote Supergods recently but I would pay good money for Morrison to actually write an auto-biography.

I think it may be called "Flex Mentallo".
posted by Artw at 11:18 AM on April 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh, come on, that's obviously fictionalized. Morrison's bald.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:32 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Grant Morrison: indirectly responsible for my marriage and directly responsible for most of my favorite comics.
posted by Kitteh at 11:36 AM on April 26, 2012


Holy shit, the Justice League is Mount Olympus. Mind = Blown.
posted by GuyZero at 11:43 AM on April 26, 2012


DC Universe Morrison isn't bald - though I think maybe the colourist had some trouble with how to approximate a Scottish complexion.
posted by Artw at 11:43 AM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


The trailers for The Dark Knight Rises have me excited that Nolan will tackle this idea in some respect. In this day and age it would certainly be nice to see a major blockbuster/superhero movie tackle class disparity if only to a certain level.
sendai sleep master

There was a post on MeFi a while back, which sadly I can't seem to find, featuring an article that argued that Batman is ultimately not a defender of the poor but a guardian of the status quo. He savages the poor and attacks anyone who attempts to rise above their station while keeping the city safe for the wealthy elite to which he belongs. As Bruce Wayne he does a lot of charity, as many wealthy do, but does nothing to really alter the structures that keep the poor poor and in fact works to capture and destroy anyone who attacks that order.
posted by Sangermaine at 1:04 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't agree with Morrison's take on these characters (the ones not invented by him). He's far too interested in fashion. The Joker as David Bowie? Please. That's insulting to both Bowie and the Man Who Laughs.

That said, it's interesting to read, and the Greek pantheon thing is an interesting take.

On Wonder Woman:

"Instead she became this weird cross between the Virgin Mary and Mary Tyler Moore that didn’t even appeal to girls."

I think you can lay this one right at the feet of an immature and politically correct male response to 60s and 70s women's liberation. Wonder Woman is not a younger Maude with a left hook instead of a witty remark.

What's sad is that the writers from that era had a different model to look at and either ignored it or didn't get it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:36 PM on April 26, 2012


Oh, they did that for a bit. It didn't stick.
posted by Artw at 2:11 PM on April 26, 2012


Actually, looking at mod-era Wonder Woman the main thing that comes to mind is that it just isn't a DC kind of a strip - the power level isn't right for an iconic DC character, it's all a bit too "hip", but Emma Peel inspired adventurer Wonder Woman would have bit right in at Marvel.
posted by Artw at 2:14 PM on April 26, 2012


I remember when Morrison first tried out the Greek pantheon thing during his run on JLA. It felt a bit forced, and I even think he realized that at some point, going so far as to have Plastic Man make a joke about it in the pages of the comic book. If you haven't read Morrison's Supergods yet, I highly recommend the book. Part biography, part manifesto, it really opens up how Morrison sees the world through the prism of comic books.
posted by KingEdRa at 2:47 PM on April 26, 2012


Actually, looking at mod-era Wonder Woman the main thing that comes to mind is that it just isn't a DC kind of a strip - the power level isn't right for an iconic DC character, it's all a bit too "hip", but Emma Peel inspired adventurer Wonder Woman would have bit right in at Marvel.i>

And then Marvel didn't really do that until Morrison tried his hand at Emma Frost in New X-Men.

I owe Grant a lot. To this day I'm still absolutely certain that it was his run on Zoids - Zoids! - that first really convinced an 8 year old bebrogued that fiction was somehow Really, Really Important.

posted by bebrogued at 3:07 PM on April 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


THE BLACK ZOID!
posted by Artw at 3:08 PM on April 26, 2012


Argh, properly formed tags are your friends. At least the links worked.
posted by bebrogued at 3:08 PM on April 26, 2012


And then Marvel didn't really do that until Morrison tried his hand at Emma Frost in New X-Men.

Gonna have to disagree with you there - Claremont era X-Men is ALL gals dressing up and kicking faces... or at least greater than 50% that (I think one of them even remarks that it makes the name of their team odd).
posted by Artw at 3:10 PM on April 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Ha! The reveal of the Black Zoid was the best thing ever.

Yeah, you're absolutely right about Claremont - I was too quick trying to be a smartarse - but Emma Frost is voiced by Diana Rigg, and no fancypants live action movie is going to change that.
posted by bebrogued at 3:15 PM on April 26, 2012


Dianna Rigg, yes, but near-imperceptibly fake.
posted by Artw at 3:18 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


People like Aleister Crowley have written down rituals for summoning Hermes, because if you want to contact the spirit of magic, you’ve got to talk to Hermes. But doing magic, I would use the characters from the comics because they meant more to me. Because I do magic all the time, it’s part of my normal life. I know for most people it’s outlandish and impossible. So I tell people that if you are truly skeptical, do the rituals and prove to yourself that it doesn’t work. And you’ll get the shock of your life.

Fascinating. Morrison seems to be a true believer in this. He wrote a document called Pop Magic (part 1, part 2) which explains how to cast real spells. It is I think also anthologized in the Book of Lies.
posted by shivohum at 6:27 PM on April 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh. Lord Fanny is his cross-dressing majgickqxahghl identity. You know, now she makes a lot more sense in general. And loses a bit of that "is Morrison really allowed to write about this?" uneasiness she always had for me.

And on the tangential subject of magic... yeah, all I can really do is agree with him when he says "try it and see what happens".
posted by egypturnash at 7:53 PM on April 26, 2012


Yeah, all British comics writers are magic weirdos. Except John Wagner - can't really imagine him wanking over a sigil.
posted by Artw at 12:09 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Amusingly, Morrison is responsible for me reading Marvel.
I was mostly a comic agnostic as a kid, reading whatever my parents picked up off the newstand with their spare change (remember that?) be it marvel or DC, Disney or Golden Key (this was before Alan Moore knew the score), and I had loved 2000AD as a kid (and Tornado) when I could.

I hooked into 2000AD early enough to get down with Tharg & his anti super-hero stuff, until Zenith. It blew my mind. Still does. I read it now and then, more often than Watchmen.

In '88 I was stuck in an airport and, well, I had change and time and I picked up a few comics. If Morrison hadn't convinced me that spandex could be cool I'd not have read any superhero comics in the late 80s, or the 2000s.
Like Final Crisis, I prefer to ignore the '90s.
posted by Mezentian at 9:55 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Really? 90s were peak Morrison! The Invisibles, tail end of Doom Patrol, his amazing JLA run...
posted by Artw at 10:04 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Of course, they were also the grimmest days of 2000ad where Millar and Morrison would occasionally pop up to do appalling Dredd stories or weird random stuff they'd come up with while on E. Big Dave was awesome though.
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on April 27, 2012


My 1990s started with Liefield taking over New Mutants and... the associated Jim Lee X-Men. I stopped, borrowed book from friends or a while and... walked away as the BOOB/Head ratio exploded.
I intend to read Invisibles, and such. I should have said: "I prefer to ignore the MAINSTREAM '90s."

So much silver foil embossing.
posted by Mezentian at 10:16 AM on April 27, 2012


Oh, and there was DC One Million - probably the best crossover event OF ALL TIME*.

* It is very rare that I talk well of crossover events.
posted by Artw at 10:25 AM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


There was a post on MeFi a while back, which sadly I can't seem to find, featuring an article that argued that Batman is ultimately not a defender of the poor but a guardian of the status quo. He savages the poor and attacks anyone who attempts to rise above their station while keeping the city safe for the wealthy elite to which he belongs. As Bruce Wayne he does a lot of charity, as many wealthy do, but does nothing to really alter the structures that keep the poor poor and in fact works to capture and destroy anyone who attacks that order.

Yeah, I remember that, too. I also recall thinking, "Well, you know, if one considers trying to murder everyone in the city with poison gas 'attempting to rise above one's station,' then, yeah, maybe, but somehow 'not crushed under a giant novelty playing card or turned to ice by a freeze ray' seems like a decent status quo to maintain."
posted by Amanojaku at 11:20 PM on April 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


Weirdly the latest Action appears to a commentary on corporate ownership of the Superman brand AND the relentless forced grim'n'grittiness of the rest of the DC line-up - I wonder if anyone at DC noticed.
posted by Artw at 3:25 PM on May 2, 2012


And suddenly I have the desire to pick up the latest Action.
posted by Mezentian at 7:19 AM on May 3, 2012


I was going through my bookshelves and found my old copy of Superman For All Seasons. Rereading it damn near 15 years later, I have to say that Jeph Loeb & Tim Sale's story makes a much better "volume 1" of Morrison's Superman "trilogy"(see All-Star Superman & DC One Million for parts 2 & 3) than Morrison's current run on Action does.

There, I said it.

I don't know if the blame lays more on the editorial side or on the creative side, but Morrison's Action is not very good. It is uneven and seems to lurch about, story-wise. It almost feels like heresy for me to say that, given my love for Morrison's take on the character in the past.

*sigh* Here I stand, I can do other.
posted by KingEdRa at 1:43 PM on May 3, 2012


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