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Waiting For Tommy XXIII
Interview with Grant Morrison
Grant Morrison is a phase you go through. Repeatedly. I mean, you're young and angry and Zenith is the superhero that the main companies wouldn't publish. Then you get all environmentally concerned while simultaneously asking philosophical questions about reality, and there's Animal Man. Your last adolescent hormone burst and pangs of alienation coincide with Doom Patrol. Finally you start to grow up (but you're still reading comics) and Mystery Play is waiting for you. As cynicism strips away what optimism you had left, Kill Your Boyfriend fans the flames, while Invisibles exploits it, but then reconstructs it again. So you're a happy carefree chap with feelings of nostalgia for what never was and New X-Men is everything you thought Claremont/Byrne was when you were twelve, but never could be until now.

I hope he keeps doing this for a long time. I mean, I'll have my mid-life crisis in ten years, I'll need someone to address it.

Although if it's The Filth, I might as well commit suicide now.

Ladies and gentlemen, Grant Morrison.

RICHARD JOHNSTON: You're an accomplished, award-winning writer. Your comic books have played with the most extreme flights of fancy, your plays with the nature of reality and your influence on pop culture has far outstripped your sales. You're an influential creator. Is writing JLA or The X-Men more than slumming it? Is it the equivalent of Dennis Potter, or indeed Pete Milligan, writing the British TV soap Crossroads, but an even smaller and ever decreasing audience?

GRANT MORRISON: Smaller than Crossroads ? Aye, right!

RICHARD: New X-Men sales - 130,000. Last recorded Crossroads figures before it was put out of its misery, 500,000.

GRANT: I was only joking. But if Dennis Potter had written Crossroads I'm sure it would have been the best episode ever and I'd have it on video. Like when Peter McDougall did 'Softly Softly'. If the writer's good, the material will shine.

If the suggestion is that I've somehow squandered my vast talent by working exclusively on superhero franchises in pursuit of easy cash, then I think you should consult my eclectic and frightening CV. In light of the fact that I've done comics of all kinds and I already produce work in numerous other areas - music, film, journalism, consultancy and speaking engagements, etc. (hence my 'influence on pop culture...'), there are probably other comics creators who could answer your question more effectively.

I'm not ashamed or embarrassed by writing comic books, if that's what you're getting at, and I certainly don't think producing one play a year on an Arts Council Grant is a better way to stretch my writing abilities than writing 40 comic books a year. Comics are only a part of my life and business but they've certainly opened the doors for me to speak at global summits or correspond with some of the world's smartest human beings about technology, culture and magic.

Continued here...

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