The End of the World as We Know it...New Year's Resolution...Appeal for Assistance...Phantom Gifts

Title: Grant Morrison's DC Reading Project
Post by: Jupiter on May 04, 2009, 09:58:35 PM

As I've said before, I'm starting a reading project where my original intent was to read all of Grant Morrison's DC work in a year. I just about have all of it now, and I will have it all within a year, I hope. (I'm assuming they'll release his third JLA volume in hardback within a year, the second is due this summer...) I'm not going to put a time limit on it, though, because I know at least my reading time is extremely limited--I'm sure I'm not alone--and I tend not to read comics every day.

Grant has stated himself that he sees his work as one giant, living, cohesive thing. I've noticed several themes as I've read through his stuff before, and I'm hoping that by reading them all together, those themes and connections may pop out a bit more.


This is how Jeff Carter started a certain Grant Morrison reading project on the old board back in the dim mists of time.  Having been a fan of Morrison's work before that, but knowing that I didn't really understand half of what he was going on about, I decided to join in and try to read everything Morrison had produced up to that point, and to analyse or discuss it to the best of my ability.


We've covered a fair bit of ground up to now, and I've learned a lot about Grant's themes and approaches (and much more besides).  However, having come this far, I'd really like to see this through to the bitter end.  The main characters in Morrison's The Invisibles live their lives with the belief that the world ends with the Eschaton in December 2012, so I've decided that I have to try to finish the project this year, or perhaps I never will.  :-)


That's my comics-related New Year's Resolution.  Now for the appeal. 


In order to possibly finish it in the next 11 months, I'll need some help from the Legion, Captain Comic's All-Star Squadron, the Comics Cave Crew


ie YOU!


In the opening post of this thread, you can see all the work of Morrison's that I've covered so far in red hyperlinks, and the ones remaining are in normal type.  Is anyone game to start a thread on any of the remaining work?


The really big ones are New X-Men, Morrison's only major Marvel U extended series,and 52, which was written along with Mark Waid, Greg Rucka and a certain Geoff J Johns esq.  Both series are thoroughly deserving of a good reread I'm sure.


Or you might want to try one of the shorter series Morrison has embarked upon, (sadly without the assistance of Geoff Johns.)


As for the Phantom Gifts, I thought I might offer a bit of an incentive.  No, they are not the Figserello version of the No-Prize!  Some of you already know about the thick collections of classic Phantom adventures that are produced every year here in Australia.  I figure every true fan of superhero adventures or classic comics would want at least one such volume in their collection.  The Phantom is the world's first superhero after all*, and a hard-ass who Alan Moore was going to include in Batman's team in his never completed Twilight of the Superheroes.


Well, dig out a few of those old Morrison comics, write up your thoughts in a dedicated thread, and I'll happily buy you one and send it by way of appreciation.  The only thing is that it is published on the 27th of January and will only be in the shops a few weeks after that.  So I'll only have a short time to see who's being naughty or nice...


If you are interested, let me know on this thread.


*Arguably.  :-)

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Well, Figs. Did you accomplish your goal.

Well, if you look at my list, we've managed to complete, or at least start, most of the titles, mini-series and runs that I set out to.  I was very glad to make inroads into New X-Men and 52, in particular as they are important works of Morrison's.


I think there are only a half dozen or so short runs left to do.


Chris, yourself, Mark and Philip all came through with the goods and received your just reward.  (I finally sent off your Phantom book before Xmas, so you should be getting it any day now.) I'm still waiting for Rob and Travis to step up and match their fine intentions with epic typage.


There are still two Phantom books sitting on my shelf here in case anyone still wants to participate.


I'd have loved if more had taken up the challenge.  There are folks here who suddenly start reviewing odd and random runs, but they didn't turn their attentions to anything by Morrison even though the invite was there.


Anyway, at the start of last year I was definitely running out of steam, so the different participants did give me the opportunity to talk about these runs in some fashion.  I still want to write a bit about the final few issues of All-Star Superman that you covered, but keep putting it off.


I was serious about trying to do everything within the year of 2012, but looking at the few that remains to be covered, I might try to do the last few before I finish it up completely.  Just from now on, I won't be in a big panic to get it done.


As I've covered elsewhere, I am a bit put off lately that it's so hard to get much in the way of conversation going about comics on this board.  It's like talking to an empty room sometimes. While I was learning things about comics generally and Morrison's in particular I didn't mind whether I got a lot of responses or not, as the learning was its own reward, but it's starting to wear on me now.


That said, I think my Morrison project helped to generate a bit more discussion around here than would have otherwise been the case, and maybe even brought a curious onlooker or two over to the board along the way.


The year went in very fast though.  The 2013 Phantom collection is due out on the 11th, which is only a few days away.  (I'm excited about it!) 


Despite a great trip home to Ireland - my first in 4 years - 2012 was a terrible year for me and my immediate family and very stressful.  I'm hoping to make a few changes this year, as a fresh start, and I think disengaging somewhat from this board will be on the cards as part of that.  I do spend a lot of time on here, that might be time spent better elsewhere.


2012 also happened to be the year that Grant Morrison himself let me down.  There is a great scene at the end of Invisibles where he shows the crowning of the monstrous moon-king in Westminster Cathedral by the Queen who quietly acquiesces in the ritual.  It was a fun, anarchic and slightly daring thing to put in a comic.  Imagine my surprise to find that Morrison himself had accepted a Knighthood from the same Queen?  The eejit.  As well as showing himself to be a monarchist, he's come across as a bit of a corporate stooge at times in the last year.  So I don't hold him in as high a regard as I did a year ago.  That's another reason the wind has gone out of this project slightly for me.


But thanks everyone for taking part and showing an interest.  The list is still there, and its easy to see what remains to be covered, should anyone be bothered.  The only one of the unfinished ones that I am really keen to see brought to a close is Philip's Final Crisis/Batman thread as those books are such fun, take a lot of discussing and there's a lot in them.  I'm also really enjoying the 'old longtime fanboy' insights that Philip brings to the comics.  It's a different point of view than typical Morrison fans usually bring to the subject. 


All of which is a long answer to a short question!

I'm sorry to hear 2012 was so rough for you, FIgs; I hadn't realized. Here's hoping 2013 will start things looking up.

I know what it's like to need to disengage from a board. I was a regular on the Gail Simone board for more than a year, and I gave it up some months ago. Did me a world of good, and kept me out of countless inconsequential arguments that would have only served to ruin my mood.

And as for my (admittedly MINISCULE) Morrison reading, I am a big ol' heel. I still intend to do it, but I'm an inveterate procrastinator. I'll do better once this bout of intensive freelancing is over in a few weeks. And if/when I do, I'll definitely send you a pointer to it on Facebook, just in case you've retreated into Bag End for a while.

I can guess why it was a bad year for you, Figs. My Best wishes to you and your wife and family.

Once more you shame me about Final Crisis and I apologize. Things have been very "dramatic" around here. I lost the computer twice and my new work schedule combined with the holidays have sapped a lot of my energy. Plus I haven't been feeling that creative lately though I'm getting better.

My major obstacle is that I keep rereading Final Crisis: Superman Beyond #2 and couldn't figure out the ending. Either I'm burnt out on it or too stupid to make sense out of it or both.

But I promise that I will try again!

"Do or do not. There is no try!" 

Yep, I know what you mean.  I have found another board that I am frequenting, and enjoy some of the nuggetts that they bring up. I always get a thrill out of seeing a silver age cover pop up (I used to dream about discovering some prior-to-this unseen covers feature Namor in Tales to Astonish) however, I find that the constant and continuing harping about a particular person's contribution to history grows very tiring.  It's not that they can't have their point of view, it's just that I've heard it from them before, and I don't know who they think they are convincing by bringing it up on their board again and again.  As a result, I'm not hanging out on that board anywhere near as much now.  I just needed to disengage from it.

George Poague said:

"I know what it's like to need to disengage from a board."

I generally post short comments now. The days when I had time to write long essays for ANY board are pretty much over.

And there's the sense of "plowing the same ground" as the years go by.

I know. Nothing to do with actual comics.
George Poague said:

Yes, it seems that Star Trek, James Bond, Dark Shadows and Dr. Who are the only topics that draw a lot of responses these days.

Well, getting back to the (sole) purpose of this thread, what about the comics of the late-90s/early Noughties, George?  Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness, beating the same old drum all the time.


Plenty of series left to cover that came out long after most of our childhoods.  Most of them are well outside the box of dodgy four-colour superheroics too.  Why don't you jump in and lead a discussion?

Yes, George, please pick a title you like and start a discussion. If you want recent, pick a DCnU or Marvel NOW! book. Just remember that everyone is not into everything. We all enjoy different titles or eras for different reasons. But one shouldn't disparage what discussions are out there without contributing their own.

As for me, I'm finishing up a new thread based on a book I loved when I was twelve. Go figure! ;-) 

Capt. Comics and Luke Blanchard occasionally write about them, but their posts draw few responses ... maybe because (among other reasons) these comics often aren't about Marvel or DC superheroes.

The ones Captain Comics talks about are usually expensive reprints, and if you read his reviews he usually finds them boring, repetitive, not good, etc. He wants to read them from a historical perspective but won't recommend them, unless it is something that really interests someone.

It's fine if someone is genuinely interested in the history, but if you're not it's like taking medicine (except I'm not even sure it's good for you!). Personally I've read some Golden Age stuff: the Flash especially, because I used to be a fan. But I didn't enjoy it much. It's just a very different style of storytelling from modern comics: similarly, not every fan of modern movies is interested in silents or pre-Code. I did get a kick out of the Phantom reprint Figs sent me, and commented on it in the "What Comics Are You Reading Today" thread. But not enough to get the yen to read a lot more. When I started rereading the Vertigo miniseries I was going back to 1993, which is still pretty old by contemporary standards.

Travis Herrick said:

Capt. Comics and Luke Blanchard occasionally write about them, but their posts draw few responses ... maybe because (among other reasons) these comics often aren't about Marvel or DC superheroes.

The ones Captain Comics talks about are usually expensive reprints, and if you read his reviews he usually finds them boring, repetitive, not good, etc. He wants to read them from a historical perspective but won't recommend them, unless it is something that really interests someone.

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