NYCC 2012- Grant Morrison Spotlight

As some of you may know, I have a deep love and admiration for Grant Morrison. In short, his opinions and work constantly force me to challenge the way I think and understand the world, universe and everything in between. (You can read all about why here.) Over the course of the convention, I heard at least three people say that Morrison’s work literally saved their life. That fact alone should show the impact this man leaves in people’s lives. This spotlight was predominantly fan questions and I thought it would be easier to recap the spotlight in a bulleted format.

  • –  The moderator described Happy, Morrison’s new four issue series, as A Christmas Story on meth.
  • –  The creepy song “ Pegasus”, by The Hollies inspired Morrison to create Happy.
  • –  He described Happy as a buddy cop movie.
  • –  He also announced that Rza (Wu-Tang Clan) is working on a script for one of his works and they instantly bonded over UFOs.
  • –  He recently finished working on Aliens vs. Dinosaurs and he thinks Hollywood is getting more psychedelic and would love to have The Filth made into movie.
  • –  On the topic of superheroes, Morrison said he identifies with superheros and believes everyone probably does in some way. They illustrate social realism. They are able to talk about real life in ways that realism cannot handle. Hence, the fantastical elements.
  • –  Morrison believes Superman is a man for the people. He gives us what we need, when we need it. He represents the ultimate man and Morrison always thought Superman was a half Christ, half Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. figure. He also emphasized that Batman himself has become an architype.
  • –  Superheros ask us, “I am better than you, can you live up to me?” They are noble and help elevate us out of negative cynicism. Nothing is impossible and there’s always a way. 
  • –  He believes the 5th dimension is inside our head. He told the audience to think about one universe, now think about two, now think about ten. That is an example of how our mind is infinite and holds no bounds. The imagination is the 5th dimension.
  • A fan asked Morrison if he thought the world would end in December and he replied, no. “The apocalypse is us projecting our morality to the world.”, he went on to explain.
  • –  Morrison was juggling about 15 things in 2010 and was almost at the point of mental illness. But he stressed to never reject an opportunity to work.
  • –  In regards to why Buddy Baker in his run of Animal Man was involved in animal rights, he explained that his cat died while writing it and he loves animals and wanted to give his animal friends a good story.
  • –  He’s not a fan of “the red” concept in Animal Man because he feels it makes Buddy seem like a sub-Swamp Thing. He stressed that he is a fan of Jeff Lemire and the other ST writers, but personally doesn’t like the red in relation to Animal Man.
  • –  Flex Mentallo was inspired by ecstasy, mushroom and rave culture.
  • –  A fan asked what to do if you’re practicing magic and bad things happen. Morrison simply responded by saying the same way you always deal with bad things.
  • –  In addition, if you ever conjure up a demon, he said they don’t like logic or shapes and it’s easy to talk them out of existence.

Press Release from Legendary Comics about Grant Morrison’s Annihilator to be released in 2013:

Morrison brings to the pages a thrilling story starring wild-living screenwriter Ray Spass, who has one last chance to save his career as he struggles to write a new studio tent-pole movie, Annihilator.

The film centers around the incredible adventures of Max Nomax; a sci-fi rebel anti-hero who’s condemned to a haunted prison orbiting a supermassive black hole, following an epic struggle against the all-knowing, all–powerful artificial life form VADA and his squad of deadly Annihilators. Found guilty of the Greatest Crime in History, Nomax has vowed to clear his name by discovering a Cure for Death itself and resurrecting his lost love.

But with deadlines looming and a recently-diagnosed brain tumor, Spass is running out of time and inspiration – until the real Max Nomax mysteriously appears in the world of 21stcentury Los Angeles with no memory of how he got there, only a terrifying warning of imminent destruction and a mission for Ray Spass.

Ray’s tumor is the key—it contains all the information of Nomax’s adventures, uploaded into Ray’s head before Nomax made his great escape.  Now, Ray has to finish his screenplay in order to get the information out of his head and shrink the tumor. Nomax needs Ray to finish the screenplay so he can remember how to defeat VADA and ultimately save the universe from extinction – if Makro, the unstoppable rogue Annihilator, doesn’t kill get to them first, that is.

But who or what is Max Nomax really?  And why is it the more we learn, the less we want to know?  A heart-stopping suspense thriller. A love story. An impossible mystery. A tale of vengeance and defiance – bargains and consequences – life and death – good and evil.

NYCC 2012- Brian K. Vaughan, Brian Wood and More Discuss Sci-Fi at Image Comics

Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan of Saga

Fractured Futures: Speculative Fiction & Image Comics Panel

Science fiction embodies different elements to different people. This panel took a look into what sci-fi means to these writers and illustrators and how they use it to shape their work in Image Comics. The panelists included Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Saga), David Hine (Storm Dogs), Joe Harris (Great Pacific), Glen Brunswick (Non-Humans) and Brian Wood and Ming Doyle (Mara).

Brian Wood said that in Mara, the sci-fi is less about the actual technology and more about how it affects the characters in his story. It’s about how we as humans realistically react to fantastical elements. They all admitted there are different types of sci-fi, which we can all attest to. There’s apocalyptic, cyberpunk, science fantasy, or how Brian K. Vaughan likes to describes Saga, fakey make-believe.

BKV said that he used to have friends who liked science fiction and those who liked fantasy, but never both. Saga is both, there’s magic and space ships. When going into depth about the reasoning behind the character design and world building, BKV wanted to use, “simple iconography for each world”. Whether it’s wings, horns or television heads, there’s no mistaking each world and its people. We instantly know what team they play for.

Fiona Staples, the artists for Saga, explained that she isn’t a fan of drawing tech, “I always put character first when I design these things”. BKV said he pretty much gives her a lot of free reign of the character design. Fun fact: Vaughan showed Staples a bong as a reference for his dragon skull space ship.

A fan asked the reasoning behind the characters non-violence stance. Vaughan joked, “I have kids now and my major question is what order to show the Star Wars movies to them.” On a more serious note, most of the panelist agreed that, as a creator you love violence, but as a human being you abhor it, so you face a creative crossroads.

BVK shared his thoughts on Saga becoming a film, “That part is cool, and I’m happy to sell out. Beyond that, I don’t really care. My idea director for ‘Saga’ is Fiona, and my ideal cast are the ones that Fiona draws. The comic is a destination; it’s not a blueprint for something else.”