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Wally's Flash Chat-Grant Morrison

Posted 09-08-2008 at 03:19 AM by W.West
Updated 08-02-2009 at 02:36 PM by W.West

So I decided I'm going to "snag" some interesting interviews from various sites, and to start things off, of course is Grant Morrison.
IGN Comics: Although you have been up front from the beginning regarding Final Crisis' overall theme - the day that evil wins - I think you've kept your cards fairly close to your chest in revealing the actual set-up and nature of the story itself, which has remained a bit elusive to some readers. In general, Final Crisis is probably the most non-traditional take on a Crisis or big event book that we've seen thus far. What made you go about structuring the story the way you did?

I didn't want to use techniques we'd seen before in these things. Final is coming in as the third part of a trilogy with Crisis on Infinite Earths, Geoff's Infinite Crisis and then this one. To a certain extent, it has to wrap up themes and ideas from all those books, which means revisiting ground we're all familiar with - the Multiverse, the Monitors, Barry Allen etc. So I had to find ways to present those ideas that might make them seem slightly fresh or unfamiliar again.

I chose to dispense with thought balloons, interior monologues and 'dateline' style captions. It's not a new approach: it's how I write All Star Superman and Batman and it's done to add a sense of 'realism' - the real world tends not to have explanatory captions floating over people's heads, you know. When we get into unusual situations, there's rarely a handy thought balloon or editor's note to help us out, so I figured I could use that effect as a way of making Final Crisis at least 'feel' different from its predecessors.

And actually, the reaction has been quite bizarre, to me. [laughs] This thing to me is just straight up, 'this happens, then this happens' straightforward storytelling, like the type you get in movies and TV, and yet I've seen a few people online having real trouble with the basics. In a lot of cases, it comes down to patience - everything will link up and be explained by the time the story's over and not before. If you can't be bothered waiting for answers and want the whole story at once, you'll be driven mad. It's serialized. That's just the way it is.

I can't really be expected to care about, let alone pander to, the sort of people who respond to my work with personal insults and slanders, but I'm also not deliberately trying to annoy them. Ultimately, I'm more interested in writing for the majority who've been buying the book and enjoying it.

I agree it might not look like 'traditional' Crises, because when Marv [Wolfman] and George [Perez] and Geoff and Phil [Jiminez] did their books, what they did to accommodate the sheer amount of characters was to have twenty panels a page sometimes. And if you look at those books, what you're actually looking at is quite unusual. There are very few people who can organize those tiny images like George and Phil. J.G. Jones, whose style is more classical and painterly, is better on more open layouts and bigger panels.

Most superhero comic books, since the turn of the century especially, have used big, four panel pages and cinemascope spreads. So that's kind of what we've gotten used to in modern comics and I wanted Final Crisis to look like a modern comic. That left me with the same problem previous Crisis writers had to solve: how do you fit everyone in?

So some of the pacing choices came about as a way to try and solve that sort of actual physical problem - how do you get all the characters in the DCU into one story without using so many panels per page that the comic looks stuffed, and without having some of the more traditional crutches that you have to use, like thought balloons or having everyone refer to everyone else by their superhero name? As I say, I was just trying to do something that was a bit more 'realistic', and a bit closer to the type of storytelling that we're used to from TV and movies. And that was it. There was no real attempt to make it difficult or obscure in any way but I suppose we did want to throw the reader into the pool with all these characters and events and let them find their own way through the story.

You know, the power that the superheroes are up against in this one is this really, really big fundamental evil power. It's Jack Kirby's Master of all Evil, in fact. We wanted it to feel like you were in it with the heroes, and you didn't quite know the rules anymore and you weren't quite getting all of the information you would get in other crossovers to make you feel comfortable. So there's a sense that we wanted the readers to feel slightly vulnerable and exposed as well, and give them the impression that they were interacting with a world that was suddenly at mercy of evil.
To view the rest of the interview click below...

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  1. Old Comment
    Maverick_GL's Avatar
    This is actually pretty interesting. I'm finding with Final Crisis, it is a long waiting game. Over a month between issues #3 and #4 is a long time, especially in the days of the "weekly fix" that some people are so used to (52, CD, Trin). I think it will pay off tho, and there actually is some pretty good theories over at the DCMB.

    Above all, I'm really interested to see how it plays out. I haven't counted Morrison out yet, not by a long shot.
    Posted 09-08-2008 at 06:26 AM by Maverick_GL Maverick_GL is offline
  2. Old Comment
    W.West's Avatar
    And you shouldn't, I love his work but I can understand that most fans want less build up and more punches.

    But I'm trying to avoid the theories for FC, RIP and even SI simply because if someone is right, it'll ruin the entire thing for me.
    Posted 09-08-2008 at 02:21 PM by W.West W.West is offline
  3. Old Comment
    GLJIMT's Avatar
    well avoid this, SI - everyone is a Skrull EVER GODDAMN ONE!

    RIP - Batman is a Skrull, Alfred is a Skrull, infact the only one not a Skrull is Tim

    FC - EVERY GODDAMN ONE is a Skrull, except Tim and Hal Jordan.
    Posted 09-15-2008 at 03:36 AM by GLJIMT GLJIMT is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Fearless's Avatar
    ...You high, Jim?
    Posted 09-15-2008 at 07:28 PM by Fearless Fearless is offline
  5. Old Comment
    GLJIMT's Avatar
    fearless is a SKRULL!!!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIFES!!!!
    Posted 09-16-2008 at 02:43 AM by GLJIMT GLJIMT is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Fearless's Avatar
    Am not! They're too poor a race... BTW, diggin' the new avatar, Jim.
    Posted 09-16-2008 at 08:39 PM by Fearless Fearless is offline
  7. Old Comment
    GLJIMT's Avatar
    Thanks Fear, is that a new pic of Vice? where you dig that up?
    Posted 09-17-2008 at 03:32 AM by GLJIMT GLJIMT is offline
  8. Old Comment
    Fearless's Avatar
    Yeah, it is. Xionice whipped it up in his avatar thread.
    Posted 09-17-2008 at 01:24 PM by Fearless Fearless is offline

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