It’s one of The Queen’s birthdays today. Please stand for a playing of The National Anthem.

Whenever the Queen has one of her multiple birthdays, it’s traditional for her to have an Honours List, which celebrates the people whom our Government think she should be celebrating for their various services. Traditionally these awards go, surprisingly, to people who paid a lot of money to the Government. But she also hands out awards for those who have actually contributed to culture, charity, and society. People such as Grant Morrison, for example, the writer of several of Her Majesty’s most beloved comics like The Invisibles, We3 and Doom Patrol.

In today’s Honours List, the Scottish writer of some of the most acclaimed and read stories in comics has been awarded an MBE – Member of the Most Excellent British Empire – which was apparently first created by Bill and Ted. He is one of the few talents within the world of comics to be honoured by Her Majesty, and it’s a delight to see the shadowy forces who decide these honours recognise the Most Excellentness of the comic-book medium. Congratulations to Grant Morrison, MBE, on the honour.

Now let us stand for another playing of The National Anthem.


  1. To be “Sir Grant” he’d actually need to be a Knight of the Order of the British Empire (KBE or GBE) which is 2-3 ranks higher than a mere Officer (OBE). Or a Baronet (Bt), but Her Majesty hasn’t made one of those in a while.

  2. Wow…why do I get the feeling Alan Moore is feeling slighted today…or was he given this honor as well and I just don’t know about it or no one ever made note of it on a large scale?

    On a secondary note, does anyone else feel like Grant Morrison is the greatest comic writer of all time HALF THE TIME and the other half he’s a ridiculously half cocked hack who has no business writing for a junior high school rag let alone Marvel or DC?

    His JLA work maybe the single greatest run of comics displaying how truly great the super hero dynamic is and it will probably never equalled…and yet…I found all his Final Crisis and Batman (Dr. Hurt) work nonsensical…a complete jumbled mess of hap hazzard storytelling that should have never been allowed by a second year copy writer let alone arguably the best writer ever.
    His All Star Superman…very good ( I don’t rave over it like some do but I still appreciate what Morrison had done with the character for that particular story)…but the new Action Comics??? I find it weak and forced (like I find a lot of NEW52 stuff).

    On a seperte note I am happy to see HAPPY getting ready to be solicited by IMAGE…it looks like it might be a lot of fun.

  3. Alan Moore probably hasn’t been offered, but he is also the kind of person who may well refuse the honour if it were made to him. Neil Gaiman will probably be the next author, and then surely we are only a few more months away from Sir Peter Milligan?

  4. I am now ready to watch Grant and Alan in Drs Strange and Fate style magical battle fighting to see who will be occult adviser to Buckingham Palace.

  5. Apparently the BBC didn’t see much worth in this news as they did not mention him in their article of the Birthday Honours List. His name may have been included in the overall listing but not in the article itself. I wonder if that’s because his work is primarily done for American Corporations?

  6. Yes, the Doom Force special was THAT good.

    (But We3 owes a lot to Simon Furman’s Brute Force.)

    Good for Grant though, really. Maybe his disinfo 8th dimensional angels gave him John Dee’s secret passwords to get in with the Royal family or something. Better still, are all the media types looking at this strange bald guy and wondering why he’d be chosen. It is opening sequential doors, I guess.

  7. Full list here:

    The GOV site does make mention of a comic book writer. But he’s buried deep down at the bottom of the list. I’m sure most got bored when they skimmed the list.

    1201 recipients all told this time.
    About 100,000 living OBEs.

    I wonder, did he use sigil magic?

    Any SF writers so honoured?

    The American equivalent:
    The National Medal of Arts
    Stan Lee received one in 2008.

    The National Humanities Medal

  8. The BBC (and many other headline news stories about this birthday honours list) don’t mention him because outside the comics ghetto he has zero name recognition.

    For the same reason the suggestion made at other sites that the content of his work might raise eyebrows doesn’t seem all that likely. So far the eyebrow raising for this list has been about satirist Armando Iannucci accepting one.

    The award may not even be any particular acknowledgement of his work in comics, or of comics themselves. The committees who draw these lists up for the Queen and the Prime Minister try to ensure Scottish, Welsh and Irish writers are represented – he could simply be the token Scottish writer.

    Interestingly Morrison’s father (in his day rather more directly anti-establishment than his son) accepted an MBE for his community activism.

    Science Fiction writers ? Well Brian Aldiss and Arthur C. Clarke received honours and I’m sure there have been others. J. G. Ballard refused one, and amongst that sixties generation of sci-fi writers he is unlikely to have been the only one to do so. Plenty of crime writers have been awarded honours. This birthday list includes Susan (Woman in Black) Hill.

  9. “On a secondary note, does anyone else feel like Grant Morrison is the greatest comic writer of all time HALF THE TIME and the other half he’s a ridiculously half cocked hack who has no business writing for a junior high school rag let alone Marvel or DC?”
    He and Mark Millar have been milking fans since 2006 with their half-baked stories, terrible decompressing, and ,well, hype. In my opinion, Grant Morrison is probably the worst offender, because he doesn’t have enough integrity to walk away from the big franchises and to realize his work is getting stale. (Remember Mark Millar’s comeback to the Ultimates? Me either. At least he saw the writing on the wall. He also knows as he’s said “when to get off the stage”. He knows his limits and strengths. Work for hire at the Big Two became a creative and professional dead-end for him. It is for Grant Morrison too, if one is looking at work on Action Comics.) Everyone here remembers Grant’s reputation for being full of ideas or a surrealist? The experimentalist? That is completely gone. When he was given access to the big franchises, he completely froze up as a writer and has delivered nothing but really dull and boring stories that failed to gain the enthusiasm of his fans. The only exceptions are a few issues of Batman and Robin, and All Star Superman. He was clearly creatively challenged with Batman,and phoned in Final Crisis. He did what Frank Miller did with All Star Batman. He took the money DC was throwing at him and ran.

    “…but the new Action Comics??? I find it weak and forced (like I find a lot of NEW52 stuff)” I’m not sure who is suppose to like Action Comics. It’s not sophisticated enough for his long-time fans, and it’s too out of touch to connect with teenage boys and younger boys. Harry potter in a sci-fi setting? Is that the best Grant could do with Superman?

    “The thing with Morrison is that so few of his works have been adapted.” Morrison has told very few good, straightforward stories. His particular surreal type of writing is not well suited for multimedia adaptation. Grant Morrison is more interested(I don’t want to say capable) in writing experiences–vignettes–than narrative work that hinges on the unique qualities of the comic book medium than straightforward work that is more easily adaptable.

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