venerdì 1 aprile 2011

Word Wizards meets Comics For Non-Nerds: Grant Morrison

Tough Nut to crack.

Alright, this feature defies labeling, since the almight Mr Morrison writes for comic books, but still he is completely out of any limitation that exists in the medium (not unsimilarly to other greats like Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman) and is a magician of the written word as much, if not more than any traditional novelist/narrator.

Describing his work is a challenge, since it needs putting it into a restricted cage of explanations that does no justice to what he can do. To put it in laymen terms: he is a revolutionary. In all senses. Not only hi style of wrting and using the connections with pictures and words unlike the one used by anyone else (and people have tried to explain what he does or compare it tothers, failing). He manages to do what lots of artists and authors in much more lauded ways, dont: he opens your mind, floods it with notions and make you perceive reality differently. If you think this is an overtsatement, all you have to do is go to a comic book store, avoid the nerds, go past the merchandise section, take a breathe and get the first volumes of his series "The Invisibles".

He has done much much more than that. Actually he has managed to create, pissibly, the BEST stories for the two icons of the DC Universe: Batman and Superman. The mind bending and conforntational psychology meets noir meets surrealist nightmare "Arkham Asylum". Or the perfect Superman Saga "All Star Superman" where he manages to be epic, heartbreaking, unspeakably poetic and larger than anything in the real universe. He has destroyed and re-creted the mythology of DC universe itself with his hypertextual mind, his seemingly infinite knowledge of the characters backstories and his ability to weave alldetails together in one gigantic alchemy of tales, experimentation and emotions.

He can manipulate the volatile matter of dreams as silly putty and make new stories where every detail has its perfect place, alwasys ties with the others and creates something new. Has re-invented historical characters, like The Joker, and gave them dimensions, gravitas and weight that has infulenced all modern takes on them and on the mere idea of superheroes themselves.

Still, to go back to The Invisibles, he can treat non-superhero sotires as well. The Invisibles is something that melts your brain and reassembles it in a new fractal-like wave. Its a counter-cultural story of conspiracy, destruction of icons and alternate realities that starts as a vividly illustrated mixture of science ficition, pop culture, horror and action and melts them into something "other". Its about ancient mythologies, opening a third eye, talking with gods (also the fitting title of the beautiful documnetary on him, which is only made difficult for me by his oh-so-thick scottish brogue), living at multiple times at once, experiencing all knowledge, culture, viuuals and words in one giant flow of stimuli that makes your brain pulsate with orgasmic bliss while your eyes go wild.

Not unlike a brain-bending version of his inspiration, the great and iconic show and pop-culture idol Doctor Who, Morrison tells engaging story and yet harges the with so much details, reading them makes you feel like a thirsty pilgrim drinking from the fountain of knowledge.

You'll read even one volume of The Invisibles or his Watchmen-like epic The Filth and you'll know new stuff and crave for more and moere. He wil put ideas, sentences, images in your head that you never thought of before.

If you dont trust me, just try. Open the third eye, with the help of King Mob.

3 commenti:

  1. Great tribute to my favourite writer in any medium. I love how he has complete faith in the reader to follow him along, never talking down to them and no matter weird the book gets or who the character 'belongs' to, it still feels like it's personal.

    He is successor to both William S Burroughs and Jack Kirby, often one the same page and has changed pop culture more than most people realise, for the better and the weirder.

  2. exactly. and he is more at ease when compared to Burroughs, or other revolutionary writers like Pynchon, Vonnengut... than any other comic book author.

    even when his style is compared with Moore its diminishing of both.

    Morrison is an artist of the idea.

  3. How hypertextual do you find Morrison?? I made this little research (pardon my rough English, I'm not a native speaker), at , but I get the impression that my view isn't that popular.

    Although Morrison has never gone on record making his hypertextuality clear, has hinted that he's a fan of Borges and made a more obvious nod to him in Doom Patrol. I can't avoid noticing nods in Final Crisis as well.