Should we bring the Morrison discussion over here now? I don't know how...

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Just following Anocoqui's advice and attaching a pdf of Jeff's thread from the old board.
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So I hate to do this after you've put so much effort into this new thread, Figs, but I was just thinking...

This project would probably work great as a group rather than a thread, wouldn't it? That way, there could be separate discussions for each of Morrison's works, while keeping them all under the same umbrella.

Does that make sense, or is it a fool idea? And would we want to make that much effort at this point?
Alan M. said:
So I hate to do this after you've put so much effort into this new thread, Figs, but I was just thinking...

This project would probably work great as a group rather than a thread, wouldn't it? That way, there could be separate discussions for each of Morrison's works, while keeping them all under the same umbrella.



Does that make sense, or is it a fool idea? And would we want to make that much effort at this point?

That's the thing about our current state of limbo. I've got some ideas for the new site, but I'm not going to put in the time until there's a firm decision to move.
Well, I've been acting on the premise that the move to this site will go ahead. I 'feel it in me waters'!

If it doesn't then we can just pack this up and move it elsewhere, lock, stock and and smoking barrels, as I've just done above.

The group idea might work, but it has a few things going against it. Some posters have said that they will only use the forum section of the board. It seems that we are more likely to get 'passing traffic' if we are on the forum, people who have a comment or two to make, but aren’t going to read everything Morrison wrote (Or who would be horrified at the thought of so doing!) Speaking only for myself, I see this project focusing partly on the connections between his works and that feels better on a single thread.

Any decision will be up to Jupiter when he gets back from his break, but in the meanwhile I’d like to put forward this possible compromise.

If you look at Grant’s work chronologically it divides itself up into phases. He throws himself into long series and big projects, does a few standalone minis and one-offs along the way, and then has a break before coming back with his batteries recharged a year or two later.

In this thread so far, we have been talking about the work he started from 1988 – 1990. If we make this thread cover to the end of Doom Patrol, then we have a particular period of his career in one thread. Strictly speaking, it would have to include various Vertigo minis and one-shots he did up to that time.

1994 saw the beginning of the next phase with The Invisibles and went up to 2000 and included his JLA.

I suggest that we devote this thread to everything started before 1991 and decide later whether to include the handful of 1991-94 stuff. That way everything covered so far is still under the one ‘umbrella’. I'd worry that if we separated eg Doom Patrol and Animal Man, we’d be subdividing an already small number of posters as some people have only read one of the two.

If we did decide on the separate threads in a discussion group idea, perhaps we could similarly have a separate thread for each ‘era’ and discuss contemporaneous works.

For future reference, below is my breakdown of his work (adapted from the Wiki bibliography.) I think it’s quite interesting to see how our Grant’s creative energies (and interest in the DCU) ebb and flow over the years. It also helps to break his huge output into manageable ‘chunks’, an important consideration as it can seem like one huge single unit, given how he often returns to the same topics and works at old themes in new ways.

1986
"The Stalking" (text story with illustrations by Garry Leach, in the UK Batman Annual,
"Osgood Peabody's Big Green Dream Machine" (text story with illustrations by Barry Kitson and Jeff Anderson, in the UK Superman Annual, 1986)


1988-90
• JLA: Ghosts of Stone Secret Origins #46
• Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth with Dave McKean, DC, graphic novel, 1989
• Animal Man (DC, #1-26, 1988-1990):
• Doom Patrol (DC, #19-63, 1989-1993):
• "Flash of Two Worlds" (Secret Origins #50, 1990)
• Gothic (with Klaus Janson, in Legends of the Dark Knight #6-10, April - June 1990
• Hellblazer: "Early Warning" (with David Lloyd, #25-26, Vertigo, 1990.


1991 - 94
• Kid Eternity (with Duncan Fegredo, DC, 3-issue mini-series, 1991
• Sebastian O (with Steve Yeowell, Vertigo, 3-issue mini-series, 1993
• The Mystery Play (with Jon J. Muth, Vertigo, graphic novel, 1994
• Swamp Thing: "Bad Gumbo" (with co-writer Mark Millar and artist Philip Hester, Vertigo, #140-143, 1994)


1994-2000
• The Invisibles (Vertigo, 1994-2000):
• JLA (with Howard Porter and John Dell, DC, #1-17, 22-26, 28-31, 34, 36-41, 1997-2000
• "JLA/WildC.A.T.s" one-shot crossover, 1997
• Aztek, the Ultimate Man #1-10 (with co-author Mark Millar, and pencils (2-10) by N. Steven Harris, pencils (1) and inks (2-10) by Keith Champagne and inks (1) by Chris Eliopoulos, 1996
• The Flash: Emergency Stop (with co-writer Mark Millar, Flash #130-134, 1997)
• The Flash: The Human Race Flash #135-138 (with co-writer Mark Millar, 1997
• Kill Your Boyfriend (with Philip Bond and D'Israeli, Vertigo, single issue, 1995
• Flex Mentallo (with Frank Quitely, Vertigo, 4-issue mini-series, 1996)
• Weird War Tales #3: "New Toys" (with Frank Quitely, Vertigo, 1997)


2002
• The Filth (with Chris Weston, Vertigo, 13-issue mini-series, 2002


2004 – present
• WE3 (with Frank Quitely, Vertigo, 3-issue mini-series, 2004
• Seaguy (with Cameron Stewart, Vertigo, 3-issue mini-series, 2004, 2009
• Vimanarama (with Philip Bond, Vertigo, 3-issue mini-series, 2005
• All Star Superman #1-12 (with Frank Quitely, DC, 2005-August 2008):
• JLA: Ultramarine Corps JLA Classified #1-3 (with Ed McGuiness, DC, 3-issue story arc, 2004
• Seven Soldiers 2005 -6
• 52 (with co-authors Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka, and Mark Waid, DC, #1-52, 2006-2007)
• Batman & Son Batman #655-658, 2006)
• "The Clown at Midnight" (with John Van Fleet, Batman #663)
• "Three Ghosts of Batman" (with Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang, Batman #664-665, April-May, 2007)
• "Numbers of the Beast" (with Andy Kubert and Jesse Delperdang, Batman #666, July 2007)
• The Black Glove 2007-08
• "The Resurrection of Ra's al Ghul" (with Tony Daniel, Batman #670-671, October-November 2007
• Batman R.I.P. 2008
• Final Crisis (with J. G. Jones, 7-issue limited series, May 2008-January 2009
• Final Crisis: Superman Beyond (with Doug Mahnke and Christian Alamy, 2-issue limited series, August 2008 - October 2008)
• Batman and Robin (with Frank Quitely, June 2009)
I will do just that, Figs. It's a great issue. I'll reread it before posting, and I promise it will be soon.

I like the way Grant Morrison could have done this with pretty much any character--taken a washed-up character with lame powers and had them go back into action. But he did it in a way that would have only worked with Buddy Baker. (Does that make any sense?)

Also, I enjoy the different personalities, especially that of Ellen and Cliff. I always thought the daughter was horribly annoying, and I'm hoping to find a purpose for her now that I'm rereading this book.
Aw, she's lovely. Just a wee thing asserting herself. Not easy with that lummox for a brother.

Well, Buddy brought no baggage in the form of previous continuity. I'd love to read his previous appearances. He has a very likeable personality. Ineffectual but well-meaning. I wonder was that in place before Grant came along, although you'd need to be a very subtle reader to discern differences in the 60's heroes. Its just degrees of difference on the square-jawed do-gooder archetype. I wonder how many issues in total he appeared in? Sounds like only 20-30.

Perhaps the Commander would have something to impart on the pre-Crisis Buddy Baker?

You are right that it looks like any old hero could be taken on the journey Buddy went on. However, because it is Animal Man, Morrison is able to bring in encounters with apes and the senseless suffering we deliberately inflict on defenseless animals. These elements tie into ideas about evolution, the fall from grace and the cruelty creators inflict on their creations.

Perhaps what you are referring to is that Buddy works here because he feels like a real person, someone we like and who we don't want to suffer? He certainly feels very real to me; its hard not to think he exists somewhere. But alas, that's just good writing sustained over 20+ issues...
Figserello said:
Any decision will be up to Jupiter when he gets back from his break, but in the meanwhile I’d like to put forward this possible compromise.

I don't know that we need a compromise, per se. You make some very good points for keeping it in one thread... And given some of the callbacks in later works to some of his earlier stuff (I'm thinking of the DC One Million / All-Star Superman connections specifically, but you can also look at echoes of Arkham Asylum in his later Batman work, & etc., as well as stuff in the Vertigo works that I'm probably not even aware of), even splitting it up among multiple threads might not be worth it.

'Twas just an idea I had in passing — I say we carry on as-is, unless Jeff (née Jupiter) says otherwise.
A group would be just fine with me. However we want to do it. It's not my thread alone--it's meant for everyone! :)

What we see here as well as in Doom Patrol is what we see throughout Grant's work. He loves to take the washed-up characters and show them as being no less "real" because they've been ignored. You see it in Final Crisis (look at the Tattooed Man and Merry Man amongst others), All-Star Superman (Steve Lombard), Batman (The Club of Super-Heroes, or whatever they're called), JLA (the Global Guardians/Ultramarine Corps), Seven Soldiers (most of the Soldiers themselves), and it even goes a bit deeper in Animal Man (B'Wana Beast, etc.). I'm sure we could go on and on about this, but if there's one thing Grant doesn't need, it's the super-stars. I loved it when the Justice League Europe members showed up in this book, for instance.

I'm almost disappointed that Animal Man and Doom Patrol never guest-starred in each other's books. That would have been pretty fun.
Well, he's good with the superstars too. The Batman/Superman chemistry has never been as well written post-Crisis as in his JLA. He made Batman the baddest baddassio in the DCU in that series. His All Star Superman is hailed as the definitive modern interpretation. Superman Beyond was great.

Its a pity he's never really got his hands on Marvel's big guns, but the PTB there probably feel now the same way Morrison's DC masters felt about him doing the Suprman comic in 1995 or so. The Marvel line has never been so homogenous, and Morrison's 'serious whimsy' approach doesn't fit in with their 'tough guys acting tough' - "let's shoot someone with a gun!!" aesthetic.

I'm almost disappointed that Animal Man and Doom Patrol never guest-starred in each other's books. That would have been pretty fun.

That was a pity. He doesn't intermix his characters much. Aztek's arc was concluded in JLA, mainly because its own series had been cancelled. (Unlamented by me at the time!)

The Batman of Batman and Son on didn't seem like quite the same character as the Orion-avatar in FInal Crisis. The guy in the first kept all his sci-fi closet stuff compartmentalised away from his Gotham friends, whereas the guy in FC is best buds with a alien superhuman and takes a showdown with an otherdimensional God in his stride. The jump-cuts between the two series have inspired much fanboy gnashing of teeth.

Animal Man's apearances in the lead up to Infinite Crisis and in 52 were a real treat. Editorial tampering closed down any chance that Grant's Doom Patrol would appear in his most recent phase of DC work as they've been somehow banished to Limbo themselves...
I'll probably reflect more on this as we approach the recent Batman arc, but I got today Batman: The Black Casebook, the TPB that collects some of the '50s Batman stories that inspired Morrison — including the Batmen of All Nations / Club of Heroes, the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, & etc. — and it features an introduction by Grant, talking about how these stories informed his run (specifically "Batman R.I.P."). It's interesting stuff, and if you don't already have it, I encourage you to get it as a worthwhile supplement to these books.
Alan M. said:
I'll probably reflect more on this as we approach the recent Batman arc, but I got today Batman: The Black Casebook, the TPB that collects some of the '50s Batman stories that inspired Morrison — including the Batmen of All Nations / Club of Heroes, the Batman of Zur-En-Arrh, & etc. — and it features an introduction by Grant, talking about how these stories informed his run (specifically "Batman R.I.P."). It's interesting stuff, and if you don't already have it, I encourage you to get it as a worthwhile supplement to these books.

I was originally going to skip this trade--thanks a lot, Alan! ;P I'm a sucker for anything Batman/Morrison, so I know I'll pick it up. Seriously, thanks for the tip.
I'll probably get it sooner or later - the Library doesn't have it (yet), but in the meanwhile I notice that all the stories in The Black Casebook precede the comics printed in the Showcase Presents Batman volumes. I thought I might have been able to read some of them in there. Just shows you how Morrison's heart is with the really forgotten marginalised stuff. It also seems that DC editorial and he are pushing different visions of what Batman can be.

I also wonder if the recently published The strange deaths of Batman also ties into Morrison's run, or is it just a case of DC cashing in on his recent 'RIP/death'?

Getting back to Animal Man, but still thinking about reprints - I wonder could/would DC release a Showcase of all his appearances before Grant's issue #1? It seems there aren't that many.

If there isn't enough material, then perhaps it could be supplemented with the previous appearances of B'wana Beast and the other assorted oddballs that appear in the post-Crisis comic?

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