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Grant Morrison

Grant Morrison at Comic-Con 2008
Born January 31, 1960 (1960-01-31) (age 50)
Glasgow, Scotland
Nationality Scottish
Area(s) Writer
Notable works All Star Superman
Animal Man
The Invisibles
The Filth
New X-Men
Seven Soldiers
Final Crisis
Batman R.I.P.
Batman and Robin
Official website

Grant Morrison (born 31 January 1960) is a Scottish comic book writer and playwright. He is best-known for his nonlinear narratives and counter-cultural leanings, as well as his successful runs on titles like Animal Man, Doom Patrol, JLA, The Invisibles, New X-Men, Fantastic Four, All Star Superman, and the controversial "Batman R.I.P.".

Contents

Biography

Early years

Grant Morrison was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1960. His first published works were Gideon Stargrave strips for Near Myths in 1978 (when he was about 17[1]), one of the first British alternative comics. His work appeared in four of the five issues of Near Myths and he was suitably encouraged to find more comic work. This included a weekly comic strip Captain Clyde, an unemployed superhero based in Glasgow, for The Govan Press, a local newspaper, plus various issues of DC Thomson's Starblazer, a science fiction version of that company's Commando title.

1980s

Steve Yeowell's cover to Zenith Book one.

Morrison spent much of the early and mid-1980s playing music with his band The Mixers while writing for UK ventures. However, after writing The Liberators for Dez Skinn's Warrior in 1985, he started work for Marvel UK the following year. There he wrote two three-part and one one-part eight-page comic strips for Doctor Who Magazine (his final one a collaboration with a then-teenage Bryan Hitch as well as a Zoids strip in Spider-Man and Zoids. 1986 also saw Morrison start to write several Future Shocks (normally short two- or three-page comic strips) for 2000AD.

Morrison, however, wanted to write a continuing strip rather than short stories. He got his wish in 1987, when he and Steve Yeowell created Zenith, an early example of deconstructing the superhero genre.

Morrison had been sending proposals to DC Comics for revamping various characters during this time. He had several proposals ignored, including Second Coming, but his work on Zenith got him noticed by DC. They accepted his proposal for Animal Man, a little-known character from DC's past whose most notable recent appearance was a cameo in the Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series.

Animal Man placed Morrison at the head of the so-called "Brit Wave" invasion of American comics, along with such writers as Neil Gaiman, Peter Milligan, Jamie Delano and Alan Moore (who had launched the invasion with his work on Swamp Thing). Morrison had himself a hit with Animal Man, even writing himself into the story as a character in his final issue, #26.[2]

Morrison's uniquely surreal take on the superhero genre proved such a success that he was given Doom Patrol to write, starting with issue #19 in 1989. Previously, Doom Patrol had been a fairly formulaic superhero title. Morrison introduced more surreal elements, introducing concepts such as dadaism into his first several issues.

1989 was also the year DC published Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth, a script he had written in 1987. Painted by Dave McKean, Arkham Asylum was a Batman graphic novel that featured uses of symbolic writing not common in comics at the time. (The story was to have included a transvestite Joker, an element toned down by DC.) The book cemented his reputation as a major talent in the industry. Morrison also wrote various other titles for DC at this time, most notably issues 6-10 of Legends of the Dark Knight called Gothic, another of DC's Batman titles.

He also kept working for smaller publishers, most notably writing St. Swithin's Day for British publisher Trident Comics. St. Swithin's Day proved to be controversial due to its anti-Margaret Thatcher themes, even provoking a small tabloid press fury and complaints from Conservative MPs such as Teddy Taylor.

He was also still writing for the 2000AD spin-off title Crisis. It was in Cut magazine in 1989 that he would experience controversy again with The New Adventures of Hitler - due to its use of Adolf Hitler as its lead character.

1990s

The early 1990s saw Morrison revamping another old DC character, Kid Eternity, with artist Duncan Fegredo. He also updated Dan Dare, with artist Rian Hughes, to be set in the era of Thatcherism in Revolver.

In 1991 Morrison wrote Bible John-A Forensic Meditation, a comic book series drawn by fellow member of The Mixers Daniel Vallely, which appeared in the anthology title Crisis #56-61. It was based on an analysis of possible motivations for the crimes of the serial killer Bible John and was also an analysis of evil. It has been compared to Alan Moore and Eddie Campbell's From Hell as it covers similar themes. The story was highly experimental in terms of story and art, with Vallely and Morrison claiming to have used a Ouija board to write the script and Vallely using a series of collages rather than conventional panels to tell the story. The term "Forensic Meditation" refers to Morrison's mixture of science and magic in order to tell the story. The rumour is that Vallely destroyed most of his work after this collaboration and left the comic industry. Bible John has not been reprinted since.

In 1993 Morrison and fellow Glaswegian comic writer Mark Millar were "given" 2000 AD for an eight-week run called "The Summer Offensive". Morrison wrote Judge Dredd and co-wrote with Millar Big Dave, a highly controversial strip that helped give Morrison and Millar some brief fame outside the world of comics.

DC Comics also began in 1993 its Vertigo imprint, which published several Morrison titles, such as the steampunk mini-series Sebastian O and the graphic novel The Mystery Play. Later Morrison would write Flex Mentallo, a Doom Patrol spin-off with art by Frank Quitely, and Kill Your Boyfriend, with artist Philip Bond, for Vertigo.[3] He also returned briefly to DC Universe superheroics with the critically acclaimed but short-lived Aztek, co-written with Mark Millar.

In 1996, Morrison was given the Justice League of America to revamp as JLA, a comic book that gathered the most powerful superheroes of the DC universe into one team. This run was hugely popular and returned the title back to best-selling status. It was also influential in creating the type of "widescreen" superhero action later seen in titles such as Warren Ellis and Bryan Hitch's The Authority.[citation needed] He also handled DC's crossover event of 1998, DC One Million, a four-issue mini-series with multiple crossovers, as well as several issues of The Flash with Mark Millar.

It was with The Invisibles, a work in three volumes, that Morrison would start his largest and possibly most important[4] work. The Invisibles combined political, pop- and sub-cultural references. Tapping into pre-millennial tension, the work was influenced by the writings of Robert Anton Wilson, Aleister Crowley and William Burroughs and Morrison's practice of chaos magic.[5] At DisinfoCon in 1999, Morrison said that much of the content in The Invisibles was information given to him by aliens that abducted him in Kathmandu, who told him to spread this information to the world via a comic book. He later clarified that the experience he labeled as the "Alien Abduction Experience in Kathmandu" had nothing to do with aliens or abduction, but that there was an experience that he had in Kathmandu that The Invisibles is an attempt to explain.[6] The title was not a huge commercial hit to start with. (Morrison actually asked his readers to participate in a "wankathon" while concentrating on a magical symbol, or sigil, in an effort to boost sales).[7] The first issues were critically acclaimed[citation needed], but many readers found the second arc in issues 5-8 too confusing or lacking in action[citation needed]. The title was relaunched as Volume two as it moved to America and became intentionally more "American", featuring more action while still maintaining Morrison's ideas and themes. Volume three appeared with issue numbers counting down, signaling an intention to conclude the series with the turn of the new millennium in 2000. However, due to the title shipping late, its final issue did not ship until April 2000. The entire series has been collected by Vertigo as a series of seven trade paperbacks.

2000s

In 2000, Morrison's graphic novel JLA:Earth 2 was released with art by Frank Quitely. It was Morrison's last mainstream work for DC for a while, as he moved to Marvel Comics to take over the writing of X-Men (which was renamed New X-Men for his run ), with Quitely providing much of the art. Again, Morrison's revamping of a major superhero team proved to be a critical and commercial success[citation needed]. However, his penultimate arc, 'Planet X', is the subject of much controversy[citation needed]. In it he depicted the classic villain Magneto infiltrating, in the guise of new character Xorn, and defeating the X-Men, as he became a raving lunatic (the result of an addiction to the power-enhancing drug "Kick"). This has since been retconned by other writers and Morrison's Xorn is said to be a new character distinct from Magneto.

Morrison in 2006

Morrison had one more project for Vertigo during this time: The Filth, drawn by Chris Weston and Gary Erskine, a 13-part mini-series,[8] said by Warren Ellis to be heavily influenced by Chris Morris's Blue Jam radio series.

Morrison also wrote the six-part Marvel Boy series, as well as Fantastic Four: 1234, his take on another major superhero team. Morrison helped challenge Marvel's reputation for being closed to new ideas[citation needed], but after finishing his New X-Men, he returned to DC Comics to work on several titles and help revamp the DC Universe.

Starting in 2004, Vertigo published three Morrison mini-series. Seaguy, We3 and Vimanarama involve, respectively, a picaresque hero in a post-utopian world that doesn't need him; cyber-enhanced pets running from their captors in what Morrison calls his "western manga"; and ancient Hindu/Pakistani myths translated into Jack Kirby-style adventures. We3 came in for particular praise for its bold storytelling techniques and artwork by Frank Quitely. Morrison also returned to the JLA with the first story in a new anthology series, JLA Classified, tales set within the JLA mythos by various creative teams.

In 2005, DC Comics started publishing what was dubbed the first ever "megaseries". The Grant Morrison-scripted Seven Soldiers features both new characters and reimagined obscure DC characters: The Manhattan Guardian, Mister Miracle, Klarion the Witch Boy, Bulleteer, Frankenstein, Zatanna and Shining Knight. The maxi-series consists of seven interlinked four-issue mini-series with two "bookend" volumes — 30 issues in all.

Dan DiDio (current editorial vice president of DC Comics) was impressed with Morrison's ideas for revamped characters. Giving him the unofficial title of "revamp guy", DiDio asked him to assist in sorting out the DC Universe in the wake of the Infinite Crisis.[9] Morrison was also one of the writers on 52, a yearlong weekly comic book series that started in May 2006 and concluded in May 2007.[10]

In November 2005, DC started publishing a new ongoing Superman series, starting with a twelve-issue story arc by Morrison and Frank Quitely. Called All Star Superman, the series is not so much a revamp or reboot of Superman, but presents an out-of-continuity "iconic" Superman for new readers. All Star Superman won the Eisner Award for Best New Series in 2006, the Best Continuing Series Eisner Award in 2007 and several Eagle Awards in the UK. It also won 3 Harvey Awards in 2008 and the Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series in 2009.

In the same year, Morrison and Quitely worked on pop star Robbie Williams' album Intensive Care, providing intricate Tarot card designs for the packaging and cover of the CD.

In 2006 Morrison was voted as the #2 favorite comic book writer of all time by Comic Book Resources, beating Neil Gaiman at #3 (Alan Moore was #1).[11] That same year, Morrison began writing Batman for DC with issue #655, continuing to be the series writer into 2008. As well, he authored the relaunches of The Authority and Wildcats (with the art of Gene Ha and Jim Lee respectively) for DC's Wildstorm imprint. However, neither have seen a release for several years and are still on hiatus, with a fill in Authority mini-series having been run.

At the 2007 San Diego Comic-Con, DC Comics announced that Morrison would write Final Crisis, a seven issue mini-series slated to appear in 2008. Artist J. G. Jones will draw the series. Morrison also says that later in 2008 he will hand over the follow-up to 2004's Seaguy called Seaguy 2: The Slaves of Mickey Eye, the second part of a planned three part series (now released from April 2009).[12][13]

At the "Spotlight on Grant Morrison" panel, part of the 2008 New York Comic Con, Morrison revealed that Wildcats would continue when Jim Lee was ready but The Authority's future is less certain: "Authority was just a disaster." It was running late and conflicted with the start of 52 but the last straw was when he read the reviews: "I said fuck it."[14] Wildstorm editor Ben Abernathy has said the problems were caused by a perfect storm of events, but both series will get finished - Keith Giffen will be completing the twelve-issue run on The Authority.[15][16]

At NYCC Morrison also announced a new title coming in 2009, War Cop, which he says is "a very psychedelic thing and it'll be a little bit more back to being me again."[14] At NYCC it was also revealed Morrison would working with Virgin Comics to produce "webisodes" (short animated stories) based on the Mahābhārata; he said it wouldn't be a direct translation but "Like the Beatles took Indian music and tried to make psychedelic sounds… I'm trying to convert Indian storytelling to a western style for people raised on movies, comics, and video games."[17] Other upcoming work includes The New Bible, a creator-owned title for Vertigo, with artist Camilla D’Errico[18].

Morrison is also a fan of Geoff Johns' current work with the Green Lantern mythos, and thus made certain to reserve a significant role for the Corps in Final Crisis. In particular, one of the new Alpha Lanterns features prominently in the early issues of Final Crisis. The fallout of those events will reverberate back through the upcoming event the Blackest Night in 2009.[19]

He is currently working with Frank Quitely on the new Batman and Robin title, which began in June 2009 after the Battle for the Cowl event.[20][21] He has also revealed that his next major project will be, "Multiversity", a metaseries of eight one-shots set in some of the 52 worlds in the DC Multiverse.[22][23] Morrison also will write a mini-series titled Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne. The series will follow Bruce Wayne travels through many eras of time.[24]

An 8-Issue Vertigo series titled 'Joe the Barbarian' is started in January 2010 with artist Sean Murphy[25]. The comic was originally going to be a 6 issue series, but Morrison felt that the story could only be told through 8 issues. The series deals with the main character, Joe, that has diabetes. When he stops taking he medication he begins to hallucinate and enter a fantasy world populated with his toys and other fantasy characters[26].

Morrison is also writing a book on superheroes called Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero, to be published by Random House, Spiegel & Grau in the US and Jonathan Cape in the UK, release date is August 2010.[27]

He is the subject of a feature-length documentary titled Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods. The documentary features extensive interviews with Morrison as well as a number of comic artists, editors and professionals he has worked closely with.[28] Talking with Gods is being co-produced by Respect Films and Sequart Research & Literacy Organization, and is slated to release in 2010 at the San Diego Comic Con.[29]

Appearances as a comics character

Grant Morrison first appeared as a comics character with a cameo in Animal Man #14. He made a full appearance at the end of issue #25, and spent most of #26 in a lengthy conversation with the comic's title character, particularly on the topic of how realism has to be part of comic books somewhere. Nevertheless, in the end, Animal Man's family returned from the dead due to 'his' influence.

Shortly afterwards, a Morrison-resembling character called "The Writer" appeared in issue 58 of the DC Comics title Suicide Squad (written by John Ostrander).[30] This issue was part of the War of the Gods storyline. He was seen protesting that other "writers" had taken control of his fate now that he was part of "the continuity". He demonstrated his skills by writing down dialogue onto a laptop. This text was attributed to specific, gathered, super-hero allies. Moments later, the allies then said those very words. He then participated in the attack on the stronghold of Circe. He eliminated a few enemies by writing of their deaths, which then happened. Writer's block then hit and he was killed by a bestial humanoid.

Morrison would later be counted among the Seven Unknown Men of Slaughter Swamp, the body of "reality engineers" seen throughout the Seven Soldiers miniseries event, all of whom look exactly like him. During the series, one of these - referred to as the "Eighth of Seven" - went rogue, consolidating magical power for himself, releasing the Sheeda warrior-race on their Twenty-First Century ancestors, and becoming the silver-age character Zor, "The Terrible Time Tailor", a figure who looks exactly like Morrison but also wears a magician's outfit, as well as sporting dark hair and a self-described 'magnificent beard'; this Zor was introduced in the original Spectre adventures in More Fun Comics #55 before he was re-invented in Seven Soldiers. Zor is conquered by Zatanna and captured by his fellow Time Tailors who 'Judge' him; Morrison himself, bearing a Dc Comics-logo Tie clip becomes the narrator of the final chapter, treating the reader as if they were Zor himself. Zor is eventually dressed to resemble a pedophiliac miser named Cyrus Gold, killed by an angry mob.[31]

He has also appeared in an issue of Simpsons Comics, where he is seen fighting with Mark Millar over the title of "Writer of X-Men".[32]

In the notes to the Absolute Edition of DC: The New Frontier, writer Darwyn Cooke mentioned that this version of Captain Cold was visually based upon Morrison.

In the Doctor Thirteen story found in Tales of the Unexpected, Thirteen encounters the self-proclaimed Architects of the DC Universe. This foursome wear Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Flash masks, and could be interpreted as the writers of DC's 52. The Batman mask-wearer bears more than a passing resemblance to Grant Morrison.

In Mad Magazine, he is referred to as Jim Morrison in a review for a comic book he supposedly wrote.[citation needed]

It has also been suggested by Comics Bulletin's Thom Young that the near-future Batman depicted in issue #666 of the comic book of the same name is based on Morrison: "Oddly, the shaved-headed Batman in the trench coat looks a bit like Grant Morrison and he has a cat named Alfred. In other words, it looks like Morrison (who is known to love cats) made himself Batman in this story. Of course, in Animal Man, Morrison appeared as himself as the teller of tales of Animal Man's life; in Seven Soldiers, the tailors who tell the tales of the universe looked like Morrison; and now he seems to be the Batman of the not-too-distant future."[33] However, Morrison has stated that the decision to base the appearance of the future Batman on him was one of artist Andy Kubert, "I had written him as having a buzz cut, I think, but Andy drew him bald. I think a lot of people just assumed that I stuck myself into a comic again, but that was never intended."[34]

Similarly, in Morrison's The Filth, the central character, named Greg Feely, becomes acutely physically similar to Morrison at the exact same time that his cat dies under the care of a malicious body double of his; Feely's care for the cat mirrors that which Morrison has claimed he felt for his own cats.

Morrison has received praise for his works' various portrayals of Lex Luthor - a character who is bald, and often wears clothing with a high collar, similar to his signature trench coat - in particular All-Star Superman, wherein the iconic elements of the character such as his insanity, genius and representation of infinite human potential are highly emphasized.

Screenwriting and playwriting

Morrison has become more involved in screenwriting and has written numerous scripts and treatments.

His screenplays include Sleepless Knights for Dreamworks and WE3 for New Line (both in development with Don Murphy producing, John Stevenson is attached as Director for WE3). Most recently he wrote the adaptation of the video game Area 51 home console game [35] for Paramount (in development with CFP Productions producing).

Morrison provided outline story and script work for two video games (Predator: Concrete Jungle and Battlestar Galactica) both by Vivendi Universal, though the finished products often didn't contain all his contributions.

He has also been a successful playwright, with two plays written for and performed by Oxygen House at the Edinburgh Fringe. The first was Red King Rising in 1989, about the (partly fictional) relationship between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell and the second in 1990, Depravity about Aleister Crowley. Both plays were critically acclaimed and won between them a Fringe First Award, the Independent Theatre Award for 1989 and the Evening Standard Award for New Drama. A film adaptation of Red King Rising is in discussion. Both plays were included in his collection of prose, Lovely Biscuits released in 1999.[36]

Bibliography

Notes

  1. ^ YouTube - DC Comics Grant Morrison interview
  2. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008), "Animal Man", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 27, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015 
  3. ^ Before All Star - Grant Morrison on Kill Your Boyfriend, Newsarama, November 6, 2008
  4. ^ CBR's #2 & #1 All Time Favorite Writer, Comics Bulletin
  5. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008), "The Invisibles", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 92–97, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015 
  6. ^ Barbelith Interviews: An Interview with Grant Morrison
  7. ^ Barbelith Interviews: An Interview with Grant Morrison
  8. ^ Irvine, Alex (2008), "Filth", in Dougall, Alastair, The Vertigo Encyclopedia, New York: Dorling Kindersley, pp. 83, ISBN 0-7566-4122-5, OCLC 213309015 
  9. ^ Grant Morrison on Being the DCU Revamp Guy, Newsarama, June 20, 2005
  10. ^ The 52 Exit Iinterviews, Newsarama, May 12, 2007
  11. ^ "CBR's #2 & #1 All Time Favorite Writer". Comic Book Resources. http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=8684. 
  12. ^ All Star Grant Morrison III: Superman, Comic Book Resources, April 17, 2008
  13. ^ Morrison on the Return of Seaguy!, Comic Book Resources, March 20, 2009
  14. ^ a b NYCC '08: The Grant Morrison Panel, Newsarama, April 19, 2008
  15. ^ Wild at Heart: Ben Abernathy, Newsarama, May 19, 2008
  16. ^ Keith Giffen on Finishing Morrison's Authority, Newsarama, March 24, 2009
  17. ^ NYCC: Virgin Comics Announces Grant Morrison Webisodes, Comic Book Resources, April 18, 2008
  18. ^ Camilla d’Errico Feels the "Burn", Comic Book Resources, May 22, 2008
  19. ^ Grant Morrison on Final Crisis #2, Newsarama, July 21, 2008
  20. ^ Morrison discusses Batman and Robin, IGN Comics, March 11, 2009
  21. ^ Grant Morrison Talks Batman & Robin, Comic Book Resources, March 19, 2009
  22. ^ Grant Morrison's Multiversity, Comic Book Resources, May 6, 2009
  23. ^ Warren, Kirk (April 30, 2009). "The Multiversity - Grant Morrison, Watchmen 2, All-Star Captain Marvel & More!". Weekly Crisis. http://www.weeklycrisis.com/2009/04/multiversity-grant-morrison-watchmen-2.html. Retrieved February 3, 2010. 
  24. ^ Geddes, John (December 9, 2009). "Grant Morrison on return of original Batman". USA Today. http://www.usatoday.com/life/comics/2009-12-09-morrison-bruce-wayne-st_N.htm?loc=interstitialskip. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  25. ^ Talking Comics with Tim: Sean Murphy
  26. ^ An early glimpse of Morrison and Murphy's Joe the Barbarian
  27. ^ Cape swoops for superhero, The Bookseller, June 18, 2009
  28. ^ Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods official website
  29. ^ Thil, Scott (November 30, 2009). "Counterculture Comics Hero Grant Morrison Gets a Biopic". The Underwire. Wired.com. http://www.wired.com/underwire/2009/11/grant-morrison-biopic/. Retrieved December 18, 2009. 
  30. ^ Grant Morrison. ""Pre Ink"". grant-morrison.com. http://www.grant-morrison.com/pre_ink.htm. Retrieved 2007-02-11. 
  31. ^ ""Seven Unknown Men"". Barbelith. http://www.barbelith.com/faq/index.php/Seven_Unknown_Men. Retrieved 2007-01-22. 
  32. ^ http://www.timemachinego.com/linkmachinego/images/gm_simpsons.jpg
  33. ^ Review of Batman #666, Comics Bulletin
  34. ^ Talking Batman with Grant Morrison, Newsarama, February 22, 2008
  35. ^ http://www.chud.com/index.php?type=news&id=9601 "Grant Morrison Goes Hollywood"
  36. ^ Journalism

References

External links

Interviews

Preceded by
Jamie Delano
Hellblazer writer
1990
Succeeded by
Neil Gaiman
Preceded by
None
JLA writer
1997-2000
Succeeded by
Mark Waid
Preceded by
Scott Lobdell
X-Men (vol. 2)/New X-Men writer
2001 – 2004
Succeeded by
Chuck Austen
Preceded by
James Dale Robinson
Batman writer
2006 – 2009
Succeeded by
Judd Winick

Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Grant Morrison (born 31 January 1960) is a Scottish comics writer whose writing includes The Invisibles (1994-2000) and The Filth (2003).

Contents

On Comics

  • I love to work in the comics medium -- I really do -- and I've realised that a total contempt for the intelligence of the audience is the key to success. You know that Doom Force thing I did recently for D.C.? -- the pisstake of X-Force, right? Well, eighty percent of the people who sent letters of comment in on the story actually took the thing seriously! They didn't see the joke! It's horrific. Tom Peyer phoned me up and read page after page of these insane letters. That was the turning point. That is the moment that I became a super-villain. (1992) [1]
  • I see no reason why children as young as six, seven, or even three shouldn't be allowed to produce corporate comic books to relentless monthly deadlines. And have to write several titles at once to make a decent living. That's what a proper childhood's all about isn't it? This is the 21st century after all and these unruly little bastards have been milking post-Victorian sentimentality for all it's worth for way too long. Time to get kids back where they belong - up chimneys, down mines, and tied to the printing presses! If you can pick up a brick to smash a car window, then you can build me a textile factory, son ... here's a whole half dollar for your day's labor. Now put down that Justin Timberlake bio-comic and get back on the production line! (2003) [2]
  • Let's face it; regular monthly superhero comic books have taken on the look and smell of old men's pants. It's hardly a surprise comics lost the teenage audience or that the adult audience is now bored and irritated by the endless recycling of images they've already seen and words they've already read. (2003) [3]
  • Truthfully, the job security in this business is uncertain, the hours are long, long and lonely, the audience is increasingly small, fickle and dissatisfied, like 3 of the 7 Dwarves. Respect is nonexistent, success fleeting; you'd be better off in a boy band, where at least you'd get laid before they made you obsolete. (2004) [4]
  • Most of the people who do this kind of work, do it out of love, like the love you'd show to an ailing friend. (2004) [5]
  • The comics medium is a very specialized area of the Arts, home to many rare and talented blooms and flowering imaginations and it breaks my heart to see so many of our best and brightest bowing down to the same market pressures which drive lowest-common-denominator blockbuster movies and television cop shows. Let's see if we can call time on this trend by demanding and creating big, wild comics which stretch our imaginations. Let's make living breathing, sprawling adventures filled with mind-blowing images of things unseen on Earth. Let's make artefacts that are not faux-games or movies but something other, something so rare and strange it might as well be a window into another universe because that's what it is. (2004) [6]
  • As for all this talk I keep hearing about how 'ordinary people' can't handle the weird layouts in comics - well, time for another micro-rant, but that's like your granddad saying he can't handle all the scary, fast-moving information on Top of the Pops and there's really only one answer. Fuck off, granddad. If you're too stupid to read a comic page, you shouldn't be trying to read comic books and probably don't. (2004) [7]
  • (On Frank Miller's comic book 'Holy Terror, Batman!') Batman vs. Al Qaeda! It might as well be Bin Laden vs. King Kong! Or how about the sinister Al Qaeda mastermind up against a hungry Hannibal Lecter! For all the good it's likely to do. Cheering on a fictional character as he beats up fictionalized terrorists seems like a decadent indulgence when real terrorists are killing real people in the real world. I'd be so much more impressed if Frank Miller gave up all this graphic novel nonsense, joined the Army and, with a howl of undying hate, rushed headlong onto the front lines with the young soldiers who are actually risking life and limb 'vs' Al Qaeda. [8]
  • (On DC: One Million) I just read it again and liked it a lot. Comics were definitely happier, breezier and more confident in their own strengths before Hollywood and the Internet turned the business of writing superhero stories into the production of low budget storyboards or, worse, into conformist, fruitless attempts to impress or entertain a small group of people who appear to hate comics and their creators. [9]

On The X-Men

  • The 'Planet X' story was partially intended as a comment on the exhausted, circular nature of the X-Men's ever-popular battle with Magneto and by extension, the equally cyclical nature of superhero franchise re-inventions. I ended the book exactly where I came on board, with Logan killing Magneto AGAIN, as he had done at the end of Scott Lobdell's run. Evil never dies in comic book universes. It just keeps coming back. Imagine Hitler back for the hundredth time to menace mankind. (2004) [10]
  • What people often forget, of course, is that Magneto, unlike the lovely Sir Ian McKellen, is a mad old terrorist twat. No matter how he justifies his stupid, brutal behaviour, or how anyone else tries to justify it, in the end he's just an old bastard with daft, old ideas based on violence and coercion. I really wanted to make that clear (when writing New X-Men). (2004) [11]

On Superman

  • Superman should be a huge, positive role model, an almost Christ-like force.

On Magic

  • 'Sigil' as a word is out of date. All this magic stuff needs new terminology because it's not what people are being told it is at all. It's not all this wearying symbolic misdirection that's being dragged up from the Victorian Age, when no-one was allowed to talk plainly and everything was in coy poetic code. The world's at a crisis point and it's time to stop bullshitting around with Qabalah and Thelema and Chaos and Information and all the rest of the metaphoric smoke and mirrors designed to make the rubes think magicians are 'special' people with special powers. It's not like that. Everyone does magic all the time in different ways. 'Life' plus 'significance' = magic. (2004) [12]
  • Everything is literally entangled, it can all be communicated with and affected 'at a distance' because there is no distance, only a simulation of apparent separation which our limited consciousness feeds us second by second at 11 bits. The 'telepathy' which brings people together is no more or less supernatural or unlikely than the 'telepathy' which brings two of your fingers together when you think about it. Patience, participation and constant close observation of what's going on, on the inside and on the outside will soon make you a fine sorcerer, if that's what you want to be. (2004) [13]
  • I got so enmeshed in (The Invisibles) that I was producing holographic voodoo effects and found that I could make stuff happen just by writing about it. At the conclusion of volume one, I put the King Mob character in a situation where he was being tortured and he gets told that his face is being eaten away by bacteria and within a few months my own face was being eaten away by infection. I still have the scar. It's a pretty cool scar too but at the time it was really distressing. Then I had the character dying and within a few months, there I was dying in the hospital of blood poisoning and staph aureus infection. As I lay dying, I wrote my character out of trouble and somehow survived. I used the text as medicine to get myself out of trouble. Writing became a way of keeping myself alive. As soon as I was out of hospital I made sure my character had a good time and got a laid a lot and within months I was having the time of my life. (2005) [14]

On Life

  • "Real life?" What's that? (2003) [15]
  • I'd say to myself or whoever I was with, 'It'll look good in the biography.' and then I'd go ahead and do whatever daft thing it was - like taking acid on the sacred mesa or doing the bungee-jump, getting the haircut, dancing with the stranger, talking to the crowd - whatever I was 'scared' of mostly, or fancied doing, or never dared before, I'd try it on the basis that it would make for a more interesting read one day. (2004) [16]
  • When Nietzsche said God is dead, he forgot to mention that Satan died in the same horrific accident. [17]

On Writing

  • We're so familiar with written language that we sometimes forget how outlandish a concept it must have seemed to our ancestors. Writing allowed people to copy and transfer their thoughts and their tribal codes of conduct to others, even unto generations they themselves would not live to personally instruct, affect or control. The words themselves must have seemed alive and immortal and as "holy" as ghosts. Written law was thus a way of mastering time and influencing the future, a weapon greater than fire and steel, I hope you'll agree. When read, the written word made the head buzz and ring and fill up with voices and commands from nowhere, as if God Himself had come thundering down through the symbols, off the page and into the room, fertilising and impregnating the mind with his Ghostly, unmistakable presence. (2005) [18]

On The Matrix

  • It's really simple. The truth of that one is that design staff on The Matrix were given Invisibles collections and told to make the movie look like my books. This is a reported fact. The Wachowskis are comic book creators and fans and were fans of my work, so it's hardly surprising. I was even contacted before the first Matrix movie was released and asked if I would contribute a story to the website. (...) I'm not angry about it anymore, although at one time I was, because they made millions from what was basically a Xerox of my work and to be honest, I would be happy with just one million so I didn't have to work thirteen hours of every fucking day, including weekends. (2005) [19]

On Himself

  • I use media exposure as a means of playing with multiple personalities. Each interview is a different me and they're all untrustworthy (2000) [20]
  • My work ethic is rigorous, brutal, and uncompromising. I've had my pension plans in place for a long time and I never spend more than I have or forget to pay my tax bills. My repressed, inner Protestant is an absolute Godsend in that respect. I also have lots of highly-paid and well-regarded work outside the comics field now and with Jupiter in the second house on my horoscope, I shouldn't have to worry too much about my dotage. I love the future and it loves me. (2003) [21]
  • I must admit to being increasingly deranged by the kinds of bizarre myths which have grown like moss around my name in comics fan circles - I keep coming up against this idiot savant image; me reflected back at myself as a shambling, incoherent drug addict, wanking and drooling out meaningless gibberish which can only be understood by 'those lying bastards' who claim they can see 'Magic Eye' 3-d pictures and wee men reading the news on the TV. (2004) [22]

Attributed

  • I really do think that the battlelines have been drawn. I want to see comics as a pop medium, I want to see the Forbidden Planet empire reaching out to every city in the world like McDonald's. I want to see comic creators and retailers in Vogue and on telly, but ranged against that brilliant global vision are the cornershop bankers who just want to sneak home with their brown paper bags and their Betty Page video's and who're just desperate to keep comics at the level of stamp collecting and train-spotting because they can't face up to the glare of the real world. Which side will you be on? -- its as simple as that. (1992)

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