August 3, 2012
Go, Read: Grant Morrison On Action Comics, Siegel And Shuster
The writer about comics Kiel Phegley did an interview with the writer Grant Morrison this week
about winding down his run on DC's re-launched Action Comics
. I don't have an easy way to measure if Morrison's answer to a question about Siegel and Shuster and creator's rights sparked a controversy of any kind -- or at least people talking about it -- but I did read this comment from Sean T. Collins
about the disappointment some feel with Morrison's general take on the creative duo behind Superman and this piece
castigating the idea of "what did you think about this controversy"-style questions in a section by Abhay Khosla.
I think Collins and Khosla both have smart things to say there. I'm with Collins that I have to imagine that it's disheartening for a lot of fans that have taken to Morrison's expressed beliefs in the specialness of superhero comics and their transformative impact to see the writer turn around and lay out a bunch of standard qualifiers of the "I'm no idol," "I've got mine," "You may not understand everything involved here" and "I'm just a working joe and they've been good to me" variety -- all in the same graph, no less! Morrison is a smart guy and usually very convincing in terms of how he portrays himself, and he doesn't sound very convincing there. He sounds like he's scrambling for safe purchase, right through the moment he declares he's provided a last word. I'm probably a little more kind to Phegley's line of questioning in that piece than Khosla was, but I strongly agree with Abhay on the general point that leaping immediately to a "well, let's not talk about anything controversial because it's been done to death" position is an abdication of, well, a lot of things. Khosla's analysis of the overriding value that self-promotion has in comics circles and the seething contempt certain aspects of the industry seem to feel for any counter-narrative to that self-promotional ethos seems solid to me, and well-articulated.
To my mind, that interview and the follow-up posts fall under the "look at this" standard this site talked about early on during last Spring and early Summer's focus on creators rights issues. These are the answers you're going to get to the issues as presented; what you do with that information is up to you. Please don't pretend there isn't something going on there worthy of notice, of thought and consideration. Whether or not Grant Morrison decides to join in, I imagine we're a considerable distance from a last word on this subject; in fact, I suspect we've barely begun to talk things out.
posted 1:50 pm PST
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