Tag Archives: grant morrison

Sequart’s Book on the British Invasion’s Big Three is Now Available

BRITISH INVASION coverSequart Organization has announced the publication of The British Invasion: Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, and the Invention of the Modern Comic Book Writer, by Greg Carpenter.

Moore. Gaiman. Morrison.

They came from Northampton, West Sussex, and Glasgow, and even though they spoke with different dialects, they gave American comics a new voice – one loud and clear enough to speak to the Postmodern world. Like a triple-helix strand of some advanced form of DNA, their careers have remained irrevocably intertwined. They go together, like Diz, Bird, and Monk… or like Kerouac, Burroughs, and Ginsberg… or like the Beatles, the Stones, and the Who.

Taken individually, their professional histories provide an incomplete picture of comics’ British Invasion, but together they redefined the concept of what it means to be a comic book writer. Collectively, their story is arguably the most important one of the modern comics era.

The British Invasion: Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison, and the Invention of the Modern Comic Book Writer runs 492 pages, making it the longest book Sequart has published. It features an interview with the legendary Karen Berger (who spearheaded the British Invasion at DC Comics), and it sports a fun “Meet the Beatles!”-esque cover by Kevin Colden.

The British Invasion is available in print and on Kindle. (Just a reminder: you don’t need a Kindle device to read Kindle-formatted books; you can download a free Kindle reader for most computers, phones, and tablets.)

Preview: Klaus #7 (of 7)

Klaus #7 (of 7)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora
Cover Artist: Dan Mora
Price: $3.99

Final issue! Klaus must not only save Yuletime, but the town of Grimsvig itself from the evil Krampus and Lord Magnus.

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Morrison and Del Rey’s Sinatoro Gets Pick up by Universal Television

SinatoroUniversal Television, Depth Of Field, and Black Mask Studios are going out to directors with a drama television series based on the forthcoming Black Mask comic Sinatoro by Grant Morrison and Vanesa R. Del Rey from a pilot script by American Odyssey and Heroes’ Adam Armus, Kay Foster and Morrison. Depth Of Field’s Andrew Miano, Chris Weitz, and Paul Weitz and Black Mask Studios’ Matt Pizzolo and Brett Gurewitz will executive produce with Armus, Foster, Morrison, Kristan Morrison and Adam Egypt Mortimer. The team intends to partner with a director and then take to buyers with the studio.

The comic book series Sinatoro tells of a soldier on a strange mission that takes him into a sinister landscape of American mythologies, melding the Tibetan Book of the Dead with the Great American Road Movie for Morrison’s masterwork on Life, Death, and America. Armus, Foster, and Morrison’s script is a faithful adaptation of the long anticipated work that has been a passion project of Morrison’s for years.

In the release, Morrison said:

Sinatoro reimagines American pop culture as a whole new mythology. It’s about life, death, sex, romance and everything in between.  This is one of my favorite stories and I’m excited to see it finding new life as a television series where we have more opportunity and potential to develop the ideas and characters.

The comic series had been promoted since August of 2015, but hasn’t been released. Black Mask has said the comic will finally hit shelves in 2017.

Preview: Captain Victory & The Galactic Rangers TPB

Captain Victory & The Galactic Rangers TPB

writer: Joe Casey
artists: Nathan Fox, Farel Dalrymple, Nick Dragotta, Ulises Farinas, Michel Fiffe, Jim Mahfood, Benjamin Marra, Dan McDaid, Grant Morrison, Jim Rugg, Connor Willumsen
cover: Nathan Fox
FC • 168 pages • $19.99 • Teen+
COLLECTS ISSUES 1-6

The valiant Captain Victory falls in battle… but death is only the beginning! His superiors long ago enacted a contingency plan: maintain clone bodies, that — with a memory download — can be sent into space to die again and again. Only this time, two copies were created, their memory downloads incomplete and bodies ejected into far-flung time and space. Can a teenage, amnesiac Victory survive the dangers of 1970s New York City? Can a scarred, hulking Victory survive a hazardous alien landscape millions of light-years away? Born from the fertile imagination of comic book legend Jack Kirby, Captain Victory bounds into cosmic adventure anew courtesy of writer Joe Casey (Sex, Uncanny X-Men) and artist Nathan Fox (Blue Estate, Haunt)!

This boldly experimental volume collects the complete six issues of Casey’s critically acclaimed, star-studded reimagining, plus sixteen pages of never-before-seen bonus material and an all-new introduction by the writer, Joe Casey.

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Preview: Klaus: Pen & Ink #1

Klaus: Pen & Ink #1

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora
Cover Artist: Dan Mora
Price: $19.99

Calling all process junkies! If you’re as much a fan of the behind-the-scenes process of illustration as you are of the finished product, you will love this in-depth look at the making of the critically acclaimed Klaus.

This next installment of the Pen & Ink series collects Klaus issues #1-2 in an oversized, 11” x 17” format that features Dan Mora’s detailed inks alongside new commentary and creative insights from Mora and writer Grant Morrison.

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Preview: Klaus #6 (of 7)

Klaus #6 (of 7)

Publisher: BOOM! Studios
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora
Cover Artist: Dan Mora
Price: $3.99

It’s Klaus versus Krampus, and the whole world hangs in the balance!

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Review: Wonder Woman: Earth One

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So, here it is — several years (necessitated by several twists and turns in the development stages) after it was initially announced, Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette‘s Wonder Woman: Earth One hardcover graphic novel is finally in our hands (or mine, at any rate — and maybe yours, too, but frankly I have no idea about that), and I guess the question on everyone’s minds is a pretty simple one : was it worth the wait?

Having just read the book yesterday you’d think I’d be able to provide a definitive answer to that, but the truth is I can’t (hey! What sort of a critic am I, anyway?) simply because, well — I’m not entirely sure how I feel about it yet, apart from harboring a vague sense that it marks something of a wasted opportunity .

Uncertainty isn’t an entirely atypical reaction for any Morrison-scripted work, to be sure, but usually for reasons other than those I’m about to offer here. With previous projects like The InvisiblesThe FilthThe Multiversity and Animal Man (to name just a handful), it often took several reads to get a solid “handle” on the full breadth and scope of everything our favorite shaven-headed Scotsman was throwing at us from the admittedly deep well of his imagination, but what’s perhaps most disarming about this particular book is how absolutely straightforward it all is.

Really. Everything’s right there on the surface. Which isn’t to say that many well-nigh-legendary Morrison works such as All-Star SupermanWE3, or his runs on Batman and Action Comics  haven’t essentially been fairly easy to get a full grasp on the first time you read them, either, but they all at least betrayed some level of ambition in terms of either telling a very traditional type of story in a new way, or getting us to look at familiar characters from a hitherto-unconsidered point of view. By contrast, Wonder Woman : Earth One seems perfectly pleased to simply tell an adequate story that tinkers with the Princess of the Amazons’ formative years around the margins a bit, and to leave it at that.

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Of course, the entire enterprise may have seemed considerably more ambitious back when Morrison’s proposal was first accepted (at the expense of an earlier one from Greg Rucka that had been “green-lit” by DC editorial, helping to precipitate Rucka’s departure from the company — except now he’s back, and writing Diana again, so I guess it’s all good), but honestly — Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang already did the whole “she’s not really made of clay!” thing that serves as this graphic novel’s purportedly “major” departure from what has gone before, and they also pretty much hinted that the warrior-women of Paradise Island were all — well, exactly what you’d expect them to be in a society without men, the only difference here being that Morrison comes right out (no pun intended) and says it.

Oh, and the Steve Trevor of Earth One is black, if that counts as a “change” for you.

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Other than that, shit — I’m not sure what to tell you. Morrison and Paquette don’t give Diana the same father that Azzarello and Chiang did (although, hey, it’s close enough), and certainly there are a few laughs to be had here as the script openly pokes fun at the S&M fetishism inherent not just in Wonder Woman’s costume but her entire backstory and gives her a plus-sized sorority sister as a “comic relief” sidekick, but on the whole it’s a fairly breezy and insubstantial read and doesn’t seem any more ambitious than the previous books in the Earth One series, which all seem quite content to give their characters’ origins a few cosmetic changes and call it a day. Maybe that’s all their editorial remit really allows for, anyway, but when the promotional blurbs for this one come complete with a quote from the author himself saying that working on it “changed everything I’m thinking about the future,” well — I can be forgiven for expecting something a bit more Earth (One)-shaking, can’t I?

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Certainly Paquette’s art here is gorgeous throughout and his lush, organic style — coupled with the vibrant tones of colorist Nathan Fairbairn — gives the book a sleek, elegant, and graceful look that goes well with the quasi-lyrical, almost free-flowing nature of the script. And I enjoyed the classically-tinged dialogue that Morrison employs throughout. But I can’t help feeling that, on a purely conceptual level, a lot was left “on the table” here, as the saying goes. Wonder Woman is a character rife with deliciously intriguing contradictions (a feminist icon consistently portrayed from a “male gaze” perspective is bound to be, I suppose) and rich in philosophical and thematic possibilities — yet most of that is barely even hinted at here, much less actually explored. I suppose the inevitable sequels will do some of that, but at $22.99 (okay, I only paid about half that, but still) per volume, the next one’s going to have to get busy doing just that real quick.

Story: Grant Morrison Artist: Yanick Paquette Colorist: Nathan Fairbairn
Story: 4 Art: 8 Overall: 6 Recommendation: Read

Preview: Klaus #5 (of 7)

Klaus #5 (of 7)

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora

Magnus passes judgement on Klaus, and the enemy’s past is revealed.

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Sunday Roundtable: What run or comic series do you love and feel like nobody else read?

JLA Roundtable comics to readSundays are known for folks gathering around tables on television and pontificating about some of the hottest topics out there, offering their expertise. We bring that tradition to Graphic Policy as the team gathers to debate in our Sunday Roundtable.

On tap this week?

What run or comic series do you love and that you feel like nobody else read? What made you enjoy it?

Logan: I always felt like the only one reading the Bravest Warriors comics even though the cartoon is super popular, and Catbug is literally everywhere!

I loved the book b/c it featured a queer character in an all ages book, really expanded on the cartoon’s mythology (especially with Catbug’s backstory), had nice pop culture riffs on stuff like The Great Gatsby and Pacific Rim, and Ian McGinty‘s art is animation translated to the comics page.

Daphne: I loved Bravest Warriors! I’ve been catching up on the comics by buying the collections Comixology sells whenever they go on sale. I am a few volumes behind I think but it’s such a fun series.

Daphne: Bone, by Jeff Smith. I know it’s actually critically acclaimed and it did get Jeff a decent amount of press and attention, but it feels criminally underrated and forgotten to me. It’s this amazing mixture of high fantasy and Peanuts-style character interaction, with these really believable and real-feeling characters caught up in a fantasy war with rat creatures, dragons, a sentient locust swarm, undead, and ghosts. But it never loses sight of the heart of the story, which is the eight or nine characters we follow all through the plot. It was how I discovered comic books as a little girl and it is a really important and special series to me. I hate that so few people seem to have read it.

Javier: This is the kind of stuff I used to buy for my kids, but secretly was really for me. Scholastic reprinted these a few years back, and I bought my son the entire set.

Alex: Ha, most of the superhero stuff I love is, I feel underrated, but ‘ll start with C.O.W.L. It’s a series written by Kyle Higgins, set in the 60s (or so) where the city of Chicago’s unionized superhero outfit is about to go on strike as they try to negotiate a new contract with the mayor’s office. The problem? They’re so good at what they do that they’re not needed anymore…

This 11 issue series ignited my interest in exploring the concept of superheroing as a paid occupation, corruption, and the nature of power. It’s fantastic, and needs some love.

Brett: I started reading that one and stopped. I should definitely go back and see what I missed.

Paul: The New Warriors, the original run. I loved the original line up, and the new additions that came and went. It was so 90s and it was great. Young teen heroes, turned away by the established teams so they form up and show them how it’s done. And they had some great villains; Psionex, Mad Thinker (who actually helped these kids learn about themselves), Folding Circle, The Sphinx, Force of Nature…so many great stories. I think this is the only title were I bought every single issue, #1-#75 and annuals. I still pull the box out and read through the run. It really stuck with me and still is one of my favourite books (not including the unfortunate relaunches).

Alex: I enjoyed the most recent relaunch with Scarlet Spider, to be honest.

Paul: It started out pretty good..but I couldn’t stick with it after the talking dog and cat beings from Wundagore. There was potential though…I did enjoy Scarlet Spider and Hummingbird

Alex: Heh, I actually enjoyed those quite a bit. I’d read them all on Marvel Unlimited after plowing through some Moon Knight from the 2006 run, and they were a nicely pleasant change.

Paul: I’m glad someone enjoyed it smile emoticon

Alex: If you liked the way Scarlet Spider was written, you should check out the 25 odd issue run by the same writer. It’s fantastic

Paul: I would love to see the originals in a new run…older, wiser..like 3 ex Avengers (Justice, Firestar, Speedball), bring back Turbo, rescue Alex Power from the Future Foundation…boom, you got a book tongue emoticon

Alex: I’d be interested in that, and I never read the originals

Elana: I like the idea of villains helping young heroes understand themselves. Any idea roughly which issues that was?

Ryan: How about Alan Moore‘s totally under-appreciated run on WildC.A.T.S.? Even with all the quality creator-owned stuff coming out of Image these days, I still maintain that this is the best-written run of any Image title. It sold well, but like a lot of the stuff that came out at that time, people bought it, but never actually bothered to read it. That’s a real shame because while this won’t leap-frog V For Vendetta or From Hell or Watchmen (or Providence, his best series in decades) on anyone’s list of favorite Moore comics, it’s a thoroughly engaging, imaginative, stylish, and dare I say even modestly ambitious run of issues that are richly deserving of critical re-appraisal and a far more considered examination by anyone so inclined.

Brett: I think Joe Casey and Dustin Nguyen’s run in Wildcats 3.0 was even better. That’s a run that’s woefully overlooked and so ahead of its times. It had the team more as a corporation dealing with not just powered villains but the oil lobby.

Elana: Need to read both of those! There was a lot of creative work by top writers in the Wildstorm universe.

One of the comics I would include here as an overlooked great would be the Wildstorm summer special of 2001.

There’s Hawksmoore parkour, Zealot in a beautiful silent piece stealing apples, a hilarious bit with The Engineer’s dating woes that includes what HAD been the iconic Midnighter moment until his solo series.

I referenced it in my review of Midnighter. Apparently he wears his mask even when he’s hanging around their headquarters in an undershirt and underwear. And ironing clothes.

Elana: Grant Morrison and Jae Lee‘s “Fantastic Four” 1,2,3,4. I’ve only met one other person who’s read it. I LOVED his take on the characters. He seems to be the only person to ever care about Sue’s psychology. The art is really sexy when it needs to be (ie when Namor shows up to seduce Sue). His Alicia Masters is smart. Ben Grimm’s dialog about becoming the Thing makes me cry. The art is beautiful and moody and the book is a tightly put together package of “Oh, so this is how the fantastic four works” written for modern readers.

Alex: That sounds like it might be interesting. When did they come out?

Paul: Sounds very interesting

Elana: 2001-2002. It was in the Marvel Knights imprint. There was one issue dedicated to each member.

Alex: Interesting. I may try and find those issues if it’s only the four

Elana: Alex they are in a tiny trade paperback.

Alex: Awesome! I’m heading to the comic shop anyway later today so I’ll check for them

Ryan: I read it, but don’t remember it striking much of a cord. Guess I’ll have to dig out my back issues and give it another look —

Javier: Kirby‘s Kamandi: The Last Boy on Earth. I’m on a bender trying to get every issue. I’m short an odd 17 issues. I don’t really remember how I got into this character. I was 8 years old when this series ended, and I didn’t start collecting til I was 14; but I had a few beat up issues in my collection. Much later I looked to buy the collected TPB, but much too late; and it is now out of print and sells at a premium. I did the math; and looking for the originals will cost about the same as buying the collected trades. I know it’s suppose to be a rip-off of the Planet of the Apes, but Kirby’s art and writing still holds. The idea of a “Great Disaster” that not even Superman was able to prevent is classic. I can’t figure out why it was cancelled so early, since everything I read on it said sales were good; and to this day, back issues sell cheaply (when you can find them).

Ryan: One of Kirby’s very best series — shoot, we could do a whole roundtable discussion on under-appreciated Kirby titles, from OMAC to Captain Victory to Silver Star to Devil Dinosaur to Black Panther to 2001 to Machine Man to his 1970s Captain America run — all are crackling with more ideas per page than any ten entire comics are today.

Elana: Ryan: let’s do it! Also the success of Adventure Time is def a reflection of Kamandi’s brilliance as a story

Christopher: I would have to say the lesser known Neil Gaiman works, that the now defunct Tekno Comix published; Mr Hero: The Pneumatic Man, Teknophage, and Lady Justice. The story is good, albeit a bit strange but, it is Neil Gaiman after all. I have found a few issues of each, but finding them in sequential order is a frustrating challenge. In addition to that I would have to say, Alan Moore‘s Fashion Beads run. Another weird, strange yet, detailed and wonderful story. I would say Grant Morrision’s six issue, Batman RIP run. Great story, and art.

Brett: I didn’t know any of those Gaiman comics. I’ll need to check them out.

Elana: Do Peter David‘s decades on X-Factor count as overlooked? It’s an incredibly long run that doesn’t seem well examined. I grew up on it.

Brett: I grew up on that run, a favorite of mine too!

Well, that’s a lot of good suggestions folks. What do you readers think? Sound off in the comments below!

Review: Klaus #4

Klaus_004_A_MainWhen I initially heard that Grant Morrison would be writing what is, essentially, Santa Claus: Year One I was genuinely intrigued. It’s such an outlandish notion that it almost shouldn’t work, but when a writer like Morrison throws Santa, a Nordic styling, and some almost hallucinatory magic into a mixing pot, the end result has (so far, any way) been spectacular.

Klaus #4 tells us a little more about the future Santa Claus, an origin within an origin if you will, but Morrison doesn’t stop at just giving you the early bit in one ham-fisted segment at the beginning, but more of a drip fed panel by panel of the origin that leaves you wanting just a little bit more. I enjoyed the way in which it was told, just as  enjoyed the issue itself.

Focusing on what drives the young Klaus is a good touch for the middle issue of the series, shedding just enough light on the man’s motivations, and the wheels behind the story itself without being over bearing. There’s also a very small nod the Dark Knight here too, which I chuckled at a little.

What drove the young, beardless Klaus to grow a giant beard? Well, there’s one way to fnd out…

The art retains the high quality that you should expect from the issue; Dan Mora has given us another stunning comic, especially with the light style variations on the falshback sequences – it’s a subtle touch, but one that clearly separates  the past from the present in this masterful tale of Klaus.

At this point it may be easier to wait for the collected edition of the comic, as opposed to hunting out the back issues (I think – but I could be wrong) as  some of them are sold out, or on their second printing, but this is a story that you should pick up and read. Don’t be fooled by the Christmas undertones, Klaus  is more than a seasonal story.

It’s fantastic.

Story: Grant Morrison Art: Dan Mora
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review, but I’ve been buying the individual issues anyway

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