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jueves, 23 de octubre de 2008

Grant Morrison, deconstructing the superhero 03

Animal Man, which was to be a four-issue miniseries, became a regular series and grew to be an essay on the interaction between reality and fiction, apart of a thrilling testimony on the power of pure imagination and of comic books as a genre.
In Doom Patrol, the only thing Morrison wanted to do was writing superhero stories: “I always wanted to read, a comic book that made me feel the same that Kirby’s Fantastic Four”. Many readers joined the trip, but some of us couldn’t assimilate the cascade of imagination that overflows each page in Doom Patrol; fact that gave birth to the legend of finding Morrison’s works eccentric and difficult.

Time has made this legend bigger with each project, up to a point where it endangered the survival of his most personal and appreciated project —the fascinating The Invisibles— during its first year of life due to its low sales. I must admit, I didn’t understand most of what was told. But, it still holds the supercalifragisexy scent of a story worth to be read for its chaotic unfolding.
An opportune stylistic change of course at the beginning of its second part, and the support of Shelly Roeberg —the series editor during most of its six years running— made possible the survival of one of the most provocative and intellectually stimulating comic books in last century’s final decade.
Although it could be said that The Invisibles was indeed the end of the Century by itself. Or at least its chronicle…

Following his tendency of playing with more than one pack of cards at the same time, of writing what he is interested on and what helps him to pay off the mortgage, Morrison worked at the same time that in The invisibles, in the big blockbuster JLA, a new incarnation of the adventures of the most archetypical characters in DC Universe. Morrison not only handled them with more respect than many anticipated, but also employed great settings and epic plots, there were also some holes in the way. However, it didn’t matter. JLA became one of the best selling titles in the company’s recent history.

The competence, Marvel Comics, didn’t overlook this fact and after Morrison abandoned DC in a not very joyful way, they rushed out to offer him the chance of working in their top series, X-Men. Morrison accepted pleased the challenge, for it was the best opportunity for infiltrating mew ideas into mainstream tendencies. Because he sees comic books as food and fuel for the readers’ imagination. Or as he said: “What I would like to see is the way the others tell their own lives, or their own experiences, without pretending to be wise guys or imposing a new fashion. If you tell what you have in your mind it will be great, for nobody would have thought it before”.

Now, Grant is back in DC, after his dazzling run in The New X-Men. But, this will be the subject of a new series of posts, coming soon to your screens…

Take care.

Most of Morrinson’s quotes, are taken from the Spanish edition of some of his works by Zinco Publishing Company.

©Nino Ortea Gijón, 23-X-08

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