Friday, March 20, 2009

Grant Morrison's Sexy Apocalypse

Grant Morrison talks with Wired about the thirty (!) ongoing projects he's starting, working on, or just finished, the indestructability of the Superman story itself, and the importance of weird physics theories to art.

Morrison: Final Crisis was much heavier, much harder to write than The Filth, which at least came with massive doses of surreal black humor to sweeten the bitter pill of the subject matter. On Final Crisis, I spent months immersing myself in the thought processes of an evil, dying God who longed for nothing less than the degradation, destruction and enslavement of all of DC's superheroes, along with every other living thing in the universe and beyond!

To get into his head, I had to consider people like him in the real world and there were no shortage of candidates. The emissaries of Darkseid seemed to be everywhere, intent on crushing hope, or shattering human self-esteem. I began to hear his voice in every magazine headline accusing some poor young girl of being too fat or too thin. Darkseid was there in the newscasters screaming financial disaster and planet-doom. It was that sick old bastard's voice terrifying children with his hopeless message of a canceled future, demanding old ladies turn off their electric blankets to help "save the planet," while turning a blind eye to corporate ecocide.

Up against that, all we had to offer were the wise words of Pico Della Mirandola and Superman singing a song to break your heart. I had to grind America's superheroes down so hard there was nothing left but diamond in the dark. Everything was falling into a black hole, even the story structure ... and fans on message boards were going to war over the thing, screaming "genius" and "gibberish" at one another. It was quite unpleasant to be at the heart of all that but also strangely exhilarating.

I like Final Crisis a lot now that it's all over. I think it's the closest I've come to creating the type of DC superhero comic I most want to read. Like continuity, is crisis itself becoming obsolete? Disaster scenarios seem to just get heavier and more mind-blowing, but they also are becoming more ubiquitous. Are we too inured to apocalypse and crisis these days to be scared of it anymore?

Morrison: I don't know if we're so much inured to apocalypse as almost sexually obsessed by it. We could only love apocalypse more if it had 4 liters of silicone in each tit. Think of all those videogames where the Earth's overrun by insect-aliens or there's been an atomic war and we're stumbling in the ruins with a gun we stole from a zombie. We should be grateful that we live in a culture so insulated from true horror it can afford to play with fear as entertainment.

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