Grant Morrison’s Supergods

supergodsLongtime disinformation ally Roy Christopher reviews the first non-fiction book from Grant Morrison, Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human:

Grant Morrison describes his growing up through comics books as a Manichean affair: “It was an all-or-nothing choice between the A-Bomb and the Spaceship. I had already picked sides, but the Cold War tension between Apocalypse and Utopia was becoming almost unbearable” (p. xiv). Morrison’s first non-comic book, Supergods (Spiegel & Grau, 2011), is one-half personal statement, one-half art history. It’s an autobiography told through comic books and a history of superheroes disguised as a memoir. His early history of superhero comics is quite good, but it gets really, really good when Morrison enters the story full-bore — first as a struggling but successful freelancer and later as a chaos magician of the highest order, conjuring coincidence with superhero sigils.

As if to follow Kenneth Burke’s dictum that literature represents “equipment for living,” Morrison puts a lot of weight on the shoulders of the supergods. “We live in the stories we tell,” he writes, and he’s not just saying that. Morrison wrote himself into his hypersigil comic The Invisibles and watched as the story came to life and nearly killed him.

In Supergods Morrison tells the story in high relief and stresses the transubstantiation between words and images on a page and thoughts and actions in the real world….

[continues at Roy Christopher’s blog]

  • http://twitter.com/TonyCancer Tony Cancer

    I’m a huge fan of GraMo, but I didn’t find this book to be anything special. I would highly suggest reading any of his comics over reading this. It pisses me off that I know more people who have read this than people who have read Seaguy.

  • Tony X

    I’m a huge fan of GraMo, but I didn’t find this book to be anything special. I would highly suggest reading any of his comics over reading this. It pisses me off that I know more people who have read this than people who have read Seaguy.

  • Anonymous

    I have got many Good Idea for the Super Gods.
    http://acaithermo.net/?p=48

  • Gregory Wyrdmaven

    I have read Supergods and I also found myself sort of wondering what his point was.  He wanted to deliver some sort of personal manifesto about superhero comics and modern life but it didn’t quite deliver.  As a comics fan in danger of losing interest in comic books due to the mainstream publishers reliance on “events” and the B-List publishers reliance on francises and rehashing old things…Dark Horse is really guilty of this…what Supergods did do is bring a new re-appreciation of superhero comics to me…even though GM is preaching to the converted in my case.

    It’s interesting hearing him talk about Alan Moore (they’re not BFF’s are they?) and the rabid internet trolls who are really trying to deal with their disfunction…which comic books have not helped them with.  There are other candid moments in the book but it…dunno…just didn’t go far enough in the history part and didn’t go far enough in the “superheroes are the new mythical archetypes to replace the older gods we no longer connect with as well” part either.

    I’d recommend it to someone who doesn’t know jack about superhero comics or the occult and it might rewire their brain a bit.  For those who have even a passing knowledge about comic book history and the influence of the occult on modern comic books in the past 3 decades, it doesn’t have enough calories.

    Also, I was miffed that, in recounting the origins of Batman, that he was by no means an original creation, he failed to mention The Shadow (yes a pulp hero) as an obvious influence.

    Nice and smooth.

    Oh…and T Cancer.  No, I haven’t read Seaguy.  Sorry.

  • Gregory Wyrdmaven

    I have read Supergods and I also found myself sort of wondering what his point was.  He wanted to deliver some sort of personal manifesto about superhero comics and modern life but it didn’t quite deliver.  As a comics fan in danger of losing interest in comic books due to the mainstream publishers reliance on “events” and the B-List publishers reliance on francises and rehashing old things…Dark Horse is really guilty of this…what Supergods did do is bring a new re-appreciation of superhero comics to me…even though GM is preaching to the converted in my case.

    It’s interesting hearing him talk about Alan Moore (they’re not BFF’s are they?) and the rabid internet trolls who are really trying to deal with their disfunction…which comic books have not helped them with.  There are other candid moments in the book but it…dunno…just didn’t go far enough in the history part and didn’t go far enough in the “superheroes are the new mythical archetypes to replace the older gods we no longer connect with as well” part either.

    I’d recommend it to someone who doesn’t know jack about superhero comics or the occult and it might rewire their brain a bit.  For those who have even a passing knowledge about comic book history and the influence of the occult on modern comic books in the past 3 decades, it doesn’t have enough calories.

    Also, I was miffed that, in recounting the origins of Batman, that he was by no means an original creation, he failed to mention The Shadow (yes a pulp hero) as an obvious influence.

    Nice and smooth.

    Oh…and T Cancer.  No, I haven’t read Seaguy.  Sorry.

  • Anonymous

    I have just ordered this book from the Public Library. If it proves significant to what I am into, I shall order it from my neighborhood bookstore.

    I have hitherto maintained, as to “‘super’-heroes(?)” the position of “Superjero, schmuperhero, stuporhero, pooperhero!” The “‘super’-hero” so-called, is a secularization of the mythical figure of “messiah,” a myth that is quite pernicious: The myth of “messiah” gave the Christians Y’shua bar Joseph of Nazareth, and his arch-epigone Saul of Tarsus. The myth of “messiah,” gave the Jews Shabbatai Zevi and his arch-epigone Jacob Frank. The myth of the “messiah” gave Germany Adolf Hitler, who crawled out of obscurity through the trapdoor of that myth onto the stage of public consciousness. The burden of Frank Herbert’s Dune double-trilogy, is that messianic figures make ruin, with which burden I at least concur.

    When I said similar on a mainstream website, a Christian Zionist, who was mocking Mr. Obama’s personification as “messiah,” with a question as to whether he was “antichrist.” Hello– the bloody “antichrist” is just another bloody-damned “messiah!”

     

  • robertpinkerton

    Anyhow, this Christian Zionist took any amount of offense.

    I have just ordered this book from the Public Library. If it proves significant to what I am into, I shall order it from my neighborhood bookstore.

    I have hitherto maintained, as to “‘super’-heroes(?)” the position of “Superjero, schmuperhero, stuporhero, pooperhero!” The “‘super’-hero” so-called, is a secularization of the mythical figure of “messiah,” a myth that is quite pernicious: The myth of “messiah” gave the Christians Y’shua bar Joseph of Nazareth, and his arch-epigone Saul of Tarsus. The myth of “messiah,” gave the Jews Shabbatai Zevi and his arch-epigone Jacob Frank. The myth of the “messiah” gave Germany Adolf Hitler, who crawled out of obscurity through the trapdoor of that myth onto the stage of public consciousness. The burden of Frank Herbert’s Dune double-trilogy, is that messianic figures make ruin, with which burden I at least concur.

    When I said similar on a mainstream website, a Christian Zionist, who was mocking Mr. Obama’s personification as “messiah,” with a question as to whether he was “antichrist.” Hello– the bloody “antichrist” is just another bloody-damned “messiah!”

  • Namelesswon

    Alan Moore would kick his ass too.

  • Namelesswon

    Alan Moore would kick his ass too.

  • filtro

    i just wish that disinfo would do a dvd about him as they did about alan moore. but instead of focusing on the comics which is widely known it would be great to discuss grant’s role as a magician/shaman in a more detailed way. there was even a few articles that he never got to wrote like that were listed in his website, i wonder why no one evers ask him about that!

  • filtro

    i just wish that disinfo would do a dvd about him as they did about alan moore. but instead of focusing on the comics which is widely known it would be great to discuss grant’s role as a magician/shaman in a more detailed way. there was even a few articles that he never got to wrote like that were listed in his website, i wonder why no one evers ask him about that!

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