Grant Morrison: Seaguy’s my Watchmen

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While everyone was quoting it at length last week, you can now read a transcript of The Mindless Ones’ epic Grant Morrison interview, in which he talked about his new book SUPERGODS, and other trifling things, like turning down the chance to write the WATCHMEN sequel, how Mark Millar destroyed his faith in human beings, and so on.

There is no way to excerpt this astral journal through one glorious madman’s mind, but here are a few choice bits;

On SEAGUY, his Aquaman-esque collab with Cameron Stewart:

Grant: No, Seaguy‘s my Watchmen, they’re all my Watchmen. He just did one and I do one a week!

For me the big breakthrough in Seaguy that only happened when I was at the end of the first book, and I realised that it was actually a story about a human life. As you know I always prefer to do stuff that’s symbolic rather than gritty and realistic. I suddenly realised that the whole notion of: you become aware of sitting across from Death, and Death says “Your move, Seaguy”. Kind of being born. And I suddenly noticed that Seaguy looked deformed and kind of foetus-like: the way Cameron [Stewart] drew him in those early issues, he’s very wan, very super-slight, but he fills up as the series goes on. I suddenly realised that the whole thing was a human life compacted into 9 issues. That’s what made it bigger for me.

The first one was almost something to make Kristen [Grant's wife] laugh. A stupid, surrealistic thing, but then it became quite meaningful to me.


On writing SUPERGODS, which is a nonfiction history of both superheroes and Morrison’s career, with a few mystical interludes thrown in.

Grant: It was just that it took a long time and I was right in the middle of Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman and these things take a long time to do, and to have a book in the middle of – it got nuts. I was having these, what they call businessmen’s breakdowns, where you would have a complete mental breakdown but it would only last ten minutes like a DMT trip and just have to come back to normal baseline and get back to work, because if you didn’t it wouldn’t get finished. It was really quite interesting, at moments I was gripping the edge of the table and staring at the screen through tears [laughs]. I’m so glad it’s over. Right now I’m doing it with this film script I’m on, so…


On meeting Leonard Nimoy:

Grant: I totally freaked out, I was at one of those My Chemical Romance backstage things and Leonard Nimoy was sitting there, and my mother had encouraged me to be like Spock when I was a kid, it fucked me up. So I was encouraged to be completely emotionless and have pointed ears. So I’m faced with the actual, real Leonard Nimoy, and I’m down on my fuckin’ knees, and he looked at me like there was something desperately wrong with me.


Props to the Mindless Ones for transcribing this interview — recording the soft-spoken heavily accented Morrison is bad enough but when it’s from a mike by a speaker phone…really guys, what WERE you thinking? Have you ever heard of Skype?

We recall an incident back just before THE INVISIBLES ended when we sat down with Morrison (then living in NYC) for an intervew, and after a few moments realized that life would be too short to ever even thinking aqbout ranscribing the tape. Instead we sat in the sun and drank wine all afternoon. A better choice all around…although that tape must be around here somewhere….

Comments

  1. Bill Scurry says:

    I just watched the documentary “Talking With Gods” and found that tales of Grant’s impermeable brogue to be greatly exaggerated. I have a harder time understanding Leighton Meester.

  2. No wonder Return of Bruce Wayne and Joe the Barbarian was months off schedule. He was doing a vanity project.

  3. Synsidar says:

    I just watched the documentary “Talking With Gods” and found that tales of Grant’s impermeable brogue to be greatly exaggerated.

    Having an impenetrable brogue can be wonderful, depending on whom you’re talking to.

    SRS

  4. Synsidar says:

    .. . like turning down the chance to write the WATCHMEN sequel, how Mark Millar destroyed his faith in human beings, and so on.

    What sane person would want to do a sequel to, prequel to, or spin-off of WATCHMEN?

    As you know I always prefer to do stuff that’s symbolic rather than gritty and realistic.

    He pigeonholed himself with that comment.

    SRS

  5. Man he still can’t get over his little Freudian feud with Moore and I can’t believe that the old hermit cares one iota about the poor little bald man’s feelings. I’m getting really sick of how much Morrison wants to talk about metaphysical meanings and mystical allusions while he’s spending his time in the real world helping DC and their parent company screw the Siegels out of their rightful share of Superman.

  6. Mikael says:

    Perhaps Grant doesn’t use Skype – why is it just assumed that the fault is on the interviewers’ side?

  7. jacob goddard says:

    Do you need a Glaswegian translator on staff?

  8. The Beat says:

    Mikael — you can call any phone line with Skype — it just costs a few pennies. I do it all the time, including international calls.

    Anyway I kid because I love. That awesome scratchy phone line was like…am Audio Kirby panel!

  9. I’d like a Who Sees the Seaguy? shirt.

  10. ’…getting really sick of how much Morrison wants to talk about metaphysical meanings and mystical allusions while he’s spending his time in the real world helping DC and their parent company screw the Siegels out of their rightful share of Superman.”

    An interesting viewpoint – not entirely without merit, either.

    Morrison has, over the last 20+ years, gone from being an innovative & unpredictable upstart to the corporate-friendly version of Uncle Weirdo. Joe the Barbarian, for example, was about as original & exciting as a mouse fart – but for DC, it was prime shelf filler, guaranteed to make pallets of dollars for very little effort.

    I used to love Morrison’s work – the sight of his name in the credits always resulted in an instant sale – but after Batman RIP, Final Crisis (what an ugly clusterfuck), Joe The Barbarian & the current Batman Inc – I’m pretty much done reading the watered-down pablum he’s shilling for the BoA of the comics community.

  11. Xenos says:

    Morrison is a mad genius. Talking With Gods was interesting… especially with what was being passed around the screening I was at.

    Plus just today on the way to the comic shop a guy asked for directions to a bar in town and it only took a sentence or two to place his accent to Scotland because it sounded like Morrison’s. Well, or Millar. After mentioning the latter case, my friend with me joked that I better check if my wallet is still there.

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