'Happy' Grant Morrison leaving behind superheroes in 2013

201207241407 'Happy' Grant Morrison leaving behind superheroes in 2013

Finally! After spending a decade scratching all his superhero itches—and after being quoted in an actual Superman trailer—superstar writer Grant Morrison is finally moving on a bit, he told CBR:

The idea was always that I’d keep doing it as long as it gave me a lot of pleasure and allowed me to express myself. And it still does, but I can see the end coming closer. I’m coming to the end of long runs and stories I’ve had planned in my notebooks for years and the stuff I’m developing now is quite different.

The “Action Comics” run concludes with issue #16, “Batman Incorporated” wraps up my take with issue #12, and after that I don’t have any plans for monthly superhero books for a while. “Multiversity” is eight issues and I’m 30-odd pages into a Wonder Woman project but those are finite stories.

I’m not saying that I’ll never write superheroes again. It’s just that my relationship to them has changed especially after finishing the book and I’m not sure if I want to maintain the same kind of relentless level of production.


And what is keeping Morrison busy? Well, HAPPY!, his new Image book with Darick Robertson, for instance:

I’ve always wanted to try a crime story. I wanted to do my take on that type of book – the hard-boiled anti-hero and the mafia villains and all that but I never had a strong enough story hook. I was looking for a way to put my own stamp on the genre and it finally clicked with “HAPPY!”


Fans of Morrison’s mind-expanding, genre-bending ’90s work such as FLEX MENTALLO and THE INVISIBLES have been tapping their heel with impatience while Morrison wrote the best Superman in decades—ALL-STAR SUPERMAN—and gave Batman some startling twists and turns. However, going back to creator-owned material, is just that, he insists—a return:

The majority of my creator-owned stuff is published at Vertigo but I’ve been putting out creator-owned stuff through all kinds of publishers since the late ’70s and I still own everything from “Captain Clyde” and “Abraxas” to “St. Swithin’s Day,” “The New Adventures of Hitler” and “Bible John” all the way up to the more recent stuff with Liquid. I’ve always put out my own books in tandem with the DC Universe trademark stuff I like to do, like “JLA” or “Batman,” so in some ways this is business as usual for me. But there’s definitely some kind of centrifugal movement away from the mainstream toward new and more personal, expressive, creator-owned stuff, and I think it’s partly because cinema has appropriated so much of the stuff we’ve been doing in comics for the last thirty years. Movie superheroes finally look better than their comic book counterparts. And creative people are more informed and want to own their ideas, and to be able to protect them or profit from them. The audience has developed a fresh appetite for new characters and stories which is driving a shift toward those kinds of stories again. Writers and artists are experimenting again. The future’s back and you could feel the floodgates opening at Image this year, in particular. It seems like everybody’s got something new coming out.


Also revealed in the interview: Grant Morrison has never been to Disneyland:

I’ve never actually been to Disneyland and probably never will. My parents wanted to take me there when I was younger, but we had no money. So I was cruelly cheated! [Laughs] It just wouldn’t be the same now.


Grant, just believe us…it is never too late.

Comments

  1. Given how long the road to Multiversity and Untitled Kinky Wonder Woman Comic has been already, I think “2013” might be a little optimistic.

    Good on him, though; I look forward to seeing more creator-owned work from him.

    Maybe not Happy, though. “Pedo-Santa” does not sound very much like a thing I want to read. But, you know, looking forward to whatever he’s doing after that!

  2. George Bush (not that one) says:

    “Happy” doesn’t sound like my kinda thing, but I am still happy to wait for Multiversity.

  3. Johnny Memeonic says:

    After reading Supergods and seeing the obvious love of the super-hero genre that Grant Morrison has, combined with how it appears to be the only genre big enough for his imagination, I don’t expect his departure will last too long.

  4. @Johnny
    On the contrary – one’s imagination can only get so big while playing with somebody else’s property. At least these days.

  5. Derek says:

    Superheroes do seem like a more claustrophobic ideaspace these days.

    I’m heartened to see the creators I respect and whose work I appreciate the most seemingly following suit.

  6. Wait, is he leaving superheroes or just big two publishers? I would have no problem reading his own superhero stuff.

  7. Roberto Briceno says:

    Liked most of Grant’s work at DC. The whole Seven Soldier, All-Star Superman, JLA, his Vertigo books were fun, but then when get started on writing Batman and that event book…I can’t remember, I just lost interests in his craft and really hated his writing.

    If anything, I am looking very forward to his creator-own books.

  8. I would again like to read the writings of the Grant Morrison who wrote Doom Patrol.

  9. >> Wait, is he leaving superheroes or just big two publishers?>>

    “I don’t have any plans for monthly superhero books for a while.”

    That doesn’t rule out stuff from big two publishers or superheroes. Or even monthly superhero books after “a while.”

    Rather than trying to deduce some sweeping principle from it, it’s probably better to just go with what he actually said: He’s wrapping up this stuff, and then, for a while at least, he’s got no plans for monthly superhero series.

    I know how he feels — after AVENGERS, AVENGERS FOREVER, THUNDERBOLTS, DEFENDERS, JLA/AVENGERS, JLA, SUPERMAN, AQUAMAN and TRINITY, I felt like I’d pretty well scratched the big-universe itch for a while.

    Doesn’t mean it won’t return, doesn’t mean I’d rule out doing something smaller scale, doesn’t mean I’m opposed to superheroes or to Marvel and DC, just that after a pretty intense concentration on a certain kind of stuff, the urge to do other stuff looms larger, at least for the near future.

    And I’m really eager to see HAPPY, too.

    kdb

  10. Mikael says:

    “Rather than trying to deduce some sweeping principle from it, it’s probably better to just go with what he actually said:”

    Thank you, Kurt.

    Why start with “Finally!”. I don’t understand that at all – as if working at DC was somehow limiting his other work when he clearly states his love for ALL types of genres. Finally? It’s not an us vs them mentality. Sheesh.

  11. Johnny Memeonic says:

    On the contrary – one’s imagination can only get so big while playing with somebody else’s property. At least these days.

    Guess I missed the memo about the Big Two owning every super-hero invented or to be invented.

  12. He usually does good, interesting work. I’m definitely interested in seeing what he does next.

    —————-

    BTW: I usually like Grant Morrison’s work, but this past week I picked up my copy of the collected JLA: ROCK OF AGES story (I think it ran in JLA #5-10) and I was surprised at how disjointed and — at times — incoherent it was. Maybe JLA just wasn’t something that he was really into?

  13. @Leigh: I dunno, DC seems to let Morrison do pretty much whatever he wants. The extent of the New 52 changes to Batman Inc seem to be “the yellow oval is gone and Jim’s hair is red now”. Granted, Dick and Babs are back to being Nightwing and Batgirl, but I don’t think that’s even impacted Inc as yet.

    I suspect Wonder Woman may be a test of just how far DC’s willing to let him go with its toys.

    @Mike: I’ve only read Morrison’s first JLA arc, but once I did I couldn’t understand what the fuss was about. As much as anything I was pretty put-off by Porter’s art, but I felt Morrison’s writing was just a string of cliches. I expect I’ll check out Earth-Two at some point (I love Quitely and he brings out the best in Morrison, too), but I haven’t felt much of an itch to continue reading the Morrison/Porter run. I hear vague Good Things about it, though.

  14. Scott says:

    Hey, he does this every few years. He’s had high output for the last few years. Would have liked to have seen a longer run for him on Supes, but there are others that can take over. Maybe a new guy will get a shot. Hopefully, they write him like in that first issue. I really enjoyed that!

    Scott
    @barbariancomic

  15. Regardless of how long it is before he returns to big two superhero books, I’m pretty excited about the prospect of him working on screenplays or more prose stuff. He had a great run the last few years with Superman and Batman, so I don’t doubt that whatever he decides to work on next will be awesome, as well.

    ___________________
    Twitter: @the_dfc

  16. His run on JLA is some of my favorite superhero comics ever. I don’t understand why DC doesn’t use it as a template for how to tell big stories in their universe.

  17. I noticed he didn’t include ZENITH in the list of his creator-owned stuff… Whatever happened to the legal feud that prevents any reprint of that series?

  18. Ditto the “Finally” question.

    Would anyone cheer if Joe Sacco, who’s good at political comics, suddenly cheer because he was getting out of them?

    At most one might tip one’s hat to him and wish him success in his new endeavor. But if one liked his political comics, it wouldn’t be a cause for celebration!

  19. …if Joe Sacco, etc. suddenly announced that he was getting out of them?

    Rassen frassen edits.

  20. Jesse says:

    Wow did Morrison finally exhaust Moore’s material? Maybe Alan will come back write a few more things and restart Grant’s engine.

  21. @Jesse: What, “pedophile Santa” doesn’t sound Alan Moore-y enough for you?

  22. Saber Tooth Tiger Mike says:

    I know it’s just my opinion, but from my obsrvation, no one is praising his run on Action Comics and that says a lot. It’s almost like if Grant Morrison turns in a weak story, fanboys are afraid to say anything bad about it. No one has the clout in the comics industry. No one. My opinion, is two things may have led to him leaving DC. One, may be editorial influence on the nuDCU comics that may be censoring Grant Morrison’s more interesting ideas. Two, may be that he has realized that no one cares whether what he turns in makes sense or is good anymore, and that he’s just riding off the loyalty he earned from his JLA run. He’s out out of ideas , is coasting, and is and no one has noticed. That’s got to eat a person with a healthy ego.

  23. Jesse says:

    Point to Thad. Match and set.

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