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Grant Morrison and The Death of Comics | Comic Book Fury

Grant Morrison and The Death of Comics

August 23, 2011 by
Filed under: Thoughts 

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Grant Morrison needs no introduction. His influence on comics the last 20 years is renowned. The man has obviously seen and been through a lot in this industry and yesterday’s interview posted on Rolling Stone revealed a lot of what that is.

Two things caught my eye right away. One was his estranged relationship with one-time protege:

“When he got the Authority book, his star started to rise, and at that point, he felt he was in my shadow and he had to get out, and the way to get out was to do this fairly uncool split. It was quite hard, I felt, but he had to make his own way, and he was in denial that I’d been there, because I saw a lot of his work had been plotted or devised, even dialogue suggestions were done by me right up until the point of The Ultimates. It was seen by him as a dimunition of his position, even though it wasn’t, I was quite proud of him as a mentor… “

“There’s a very good chance of running into him, and I hope I’m going 100 miles an hour when it happens.”

Yowsers. Clearly, there’s some animosity there, something I was not privy to. Good point though that Millar’s style seem to become his own once he worked on Ultimates. It’s that summer blockbuster action-oriented style we’ve come to associate with Millar nowadays in works like Ultimates, Wanted, and Kick-Ass.

The other thing that caught my eye was his take on the slow death of comics:

“The definition of a meme is an idea that wants to replicate, and it’s found a better medium through which to replicate: games and movies. It would be a shame, because as I said in the book, one of the most amazing things about those universes is that they exist, there’s a paper continuum that reflects the history, but people don’t die, it’s like the Simpsons, people don’t age, they just change…”

“With comics, the quality now is better than it’s ever been, there are more people now who are really good at what they do, doing what they do. Everything’s available for free, I think that’s the real problem, nobody wants to buy it anymore. One comes out, you see it immediately online and you can read it. That’s the way people want to consume their information, the colors look nicer. I think that’s more the problem, but that’s a problem for everybody, it’s not just for comics, everyone’s going to start feeling that one.”

Morrison, of course, is only speaking at one or two issues that are why comics are slowly fading away, but good points nonetheless. It’s the same difficulty Marvel and DC have been having with all of their movies this last decade in terms of getting readers to come to comics. Why pay for a weekly fix of books at $3-4 a book when you can get the same enjoyment out of paying $10 for a movie and owning the DVD/Blu-ray at $20 forever? Obviously, everybody has their tastes, but it’s a problem nonetheless that the industry is struggling with. One can only hope DC knows what they’re doing, as the countdown to re-launch hits 8 days now.


  • Reubothemighty

    Very poignant thoughts expressed by Morrison Tim.. but who is the mentor and who is the protege here? I’m not really familiar with the Ultimates storyline.

  • Anonymous

    Morrison was Millar’s mentor.  Guess Morrison has some silent grudge that Millar never paid him respect for building him up.  Who’s to say what the real story is.

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