photo manipulation by nacrowe
i was most definitely not raised on COMICS. as a young child i read CALVIN & HOBBES but that was about it. in fact, its only been in the past few years since returning stateside that ive really dived in headfirst into the weirder world of the genre and all roads seemed to point at SCOTTISH writer GRANT MORRISON. specifically his more personal work in THE INVISIBLES, ANIMAL MAN and DOOM PATROL series.
GRANT MORRISON: TALKING WITH GODS (RESPECT FILMS, 2010) is essentially a documentary made up of several sit-down interviews with the writer discussing his upbringing and influences. essentially he was raised as a child of the cold war with palpable fears of nuclear annihilation that COMICS helped him escape from, specifically those with super powers that had the capacity to neutralize such massive threats. his father was an political agitator who was very much against SCOTLAND's role in NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION and its harboring of the TRIDENT MISSILE DEFENSE SYSTEM. so that sense of existential dread and loss of agency was part of his nascent sense of identity. fast forward to attending a GLASWEGIAN all-boys school for his teen years and his sense of isolation only furthered his relationship with reading and creating his own narratives in regular school published COMIC STRIPS.
what interested me about his life's narrative is after he became established with the BATMAN vehicle ARKHAN ASYLUM, which allowed him the economic freedom to eventually pursue his THE INVISIBLES series. in essence, once he was financially independent he decided to travel and experience as much as possible. those excursions abroad allowed him to experience various modes of existence in terms of chemical, spiritual and gender manipulations that were beyond what his SCOTTISH identity would allow back home. it is that exploration that he threw into his work. as someone who spent the better part of a decade living abroad on five continents, i understand completely the sense of not being able to escape yourself and the sense of being connected to many, but essentially alone. i get understand that intimately and that sentiment very much resonated with me. i find it interesting that upon meeting his partner he now resides and works comfortably back in SCOTLAND. that sense of leaving only to return but with a new appreciation.
what i found less interesting was all the talk of magical thinking from MORRISON himself as well as those of his numerous peers that are interviewed in the film. MORRISON is not the first or the last person to sprinkle in autobiographical nuggets into his elaborate fictional worlds. maybe the everything ALEISTER CROWLEY and MAGIK related is a BRITISH obsession that doesnt translate to an AMERICAN audience. it just came off like tedious nonsense, like running into "ghost hunters" from STATEN ISLAND. you just nod and keep walking, preferably fast.
i thoroughly recommend this documentary to anyone interested in TRANSGRESSIVE and thought-provoking art or literature. MORRISON is most definitely worth the effort of further investigation, especially THE INVISIBLES which is a personal favorite of mine. no wonder THE MATRIX ripped it off.