Finally! After spending a decade scratching all his superhero itches—and after being quoted in an actual Superman trailer—superstar writer Grant Morrison is finally moving on a bit, he told CBR:
The idea was always that I’d keep doing it as long as it gave me a lot of pleasure and allowed me to express myself. And it still does, but I can see the end coming closer. I’m coming to the end of long runs and stories I’ve had planned in my notebooks for years and the stuff I’m developing now is quite different.
The “Action Comics” run concludes with issue #16, “Batman Incorporated” wraps up my take with issue #12, and after that I don’t have any plans for monthly superhero books for a while. “Multiversity” is eight issues and I’m 30-odd pages into a Wonder Woman project but those are finite stories.
I’m not saying that I’ll never write superheroes again. It’s just that my relationship to them has changed especially after finishing the book and I’m not sure if I want to maintain the same kind of relentless level of production.
And what is keeping Morrison busy? Well, HAPPY!, his new Image book with Darick Robertson, for instance:
I’ve always wanted to try a crime story. I wanted to do my take on that type of book – the hard-boiled anti-hero and the mafia villains and all that but I never had a strong enough story hook. I was looking for a way to put my own stamp on the genre and it finally clicked with “HAPPY!”
Fans of Morrison’s mind-expanding, genre-bending ’90s work such as FLEX MENTALLO and THE INVISIBLES have been tapping their heel with impatience while Morrison wrote the best Superman in decades—ALL-STAR SUPERMAN—and gave Batman some startling twists and turns. However, going back to creator-owned material, is just that, he insists—a return:
The majority of my creator-owned stuff is published at Vertigo but I’ve been putting out creator-owned stuff through all kinds of publishers since the late ’70s and I still own everything from “Captain Clyde” and “Abraxas” to “St. Swithin’s Day,” “The New Adventures of Hitler” and “Bible John” all the way up to the more recent stuff with Liquid. I’ve always put out my own books in tandem with the DC Universe trademark stuff I like to do, like “JLA” or “Batman,” so in some ways this is business as usual for me. But there’s definitely some kind of centrifugal movement away from the mainstream toward new and more personal, expressive, creator-owned stuff, and I think it’s partly because cinema has appropriated so much of the stuff we’ve been doing in comics for the last thirty years. Movie superheroes finally look better than their comic book counterparts. And creative people are more informed and want to own their ideas, and to be able to protect them or profit from them. The audience has developed a fresh appetite for new characters and stories which is driving a shift toward those kinds of stories again. Writers and artists are experimenting again. The future’s back and you could feel the floodgates opening at Image this year, in particular. It seems like everybody’s got something new coming out.
Also revealed in the interview: Grant Morrison has never been to Disneyland:
I’ve never actually been to Disneyland and probably never will. My parents wanted to take me there when I was younger, but we had no money. So I was cruelly cheated! [Laughs] It just wouldn’t be the same now.
Grant, just believe us…it is never too late.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.