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15th February 2001

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live chat

...with Grant MorrisonGrant Morrison

We talked to Grant Morrison, one of the world's most successful comic book writers. Here's the transcript...

<BBC-Host> Hello, and welcome to tonight’s live chat with Grant Morrison. Here's the first question.

<Question> If you could carve a word or two into a city, as your Marvel Boy did recently, which city and which words?

<Grant Morrison> City: Los Angeles Words: Exterminate the stupid

<Question> Did you read any comics when you were younger? If so what were they?

<Grant Morrison> My favourite comic was The Flash because he had the best costume and the best super power

<Question> Grant, I've read in interviews that you view comic book universes as mirror dimensions where a writer can play God (or at least that is my understanding). How does the alteration of these comic book realities allow you to create change/magic in our reality?

<Grant Morrison> By the laws as above, so below

<Question> Hi there, Just wanted to ask if there will be any more Invisibles comics, such as the mentioned diary of Edith Manning, etc..? I mean, Sandman comics keep coming out, why not Invisibles? Thanks for a good six year read! Greetings from Sweden,

<Grant Morrison> The comic is a holographic splinter of the world at large. The story is complete as far as I am concerned

<Question> What's the situation with the Invisibles mini-series BBC Scotland were claimed to be interested in?

<Grant Morrison> It's no longer the case with BBC Scotland. But Channel 4 are interested I was told that noone will understand telepathy!

<Question> What do you feel is the zeitgeist now (it feels to me like we're dithering inbetween) and where do you think we're going next?

<Grant Morrison> I think this is a classic decadent phase and we will see a new phase of modernism in the next 10 years. My view of the Zeitgeist is entirely captured in "We're All Policemen"

<Question> Will DC/Vertigo still put out the remaining uncollected issues of THE INVISIBLES in trade paperback format, and if so, do you have any idea when we'll be seeing them?

<Grant Morrison> Yes. The first one came out in Feb 2000. The rest of Volume 1 is out next year and all of Volume 3 the year after that

<Question> You have often stated that your life & that of King Mob's character have blurred/crossed over into the so-called real world. Now that the series is over, has your life gone in a drastically different direction, unrelated to the aforementioned fictional reality, or, are the rumours true: Do you plan on doing a King Mob solo series?

<Grant Morrison> There's still,a possibility of a King Mob series...but not just yet

* BBC-Host smiles at everyone in the room -)

<Question> The once-new "return to the silver age" type of heroism seems to have come and gone rather rapidly, making way for big screen blockbuster action & self-centered mercenary anti-heroes, a la THE AUTHORITY & MARVEL BOY. How do you explain this sudden & drastic shift, and do you feel that is a good thing?

<Grant Morrison> I think it's a good thing as I started it. It was the natural way to go...reestablish the importance of the Superheros first

<Question> Thanks- And looking forward to your book. Still titled "The IF" or has that changed?

<Grant Morrison>  Yes it's stiil The If

<Question> Whatever happened to the Flex Mentallo trade paperback, and were you aware that the Charles Atlas company took legal action against DC because of him?

<Grant Morrison> You answered the question. it was blocked because of the legal action

<Question> Can you settle an internet argument for me? I say that your Doom Patrol is, basically, a superhero comic. Sure, a comic that evokes a similar sense of weirdness and bizarreness that the original Doom Patrol will have evoked in its readership, but it has fight scenes, colourful costumes, soap-style character interactions and baddies to fight. Johanna Draper Carlson, of rather says that "I'm not sure I'd agree with that. I'm not sure some of the creators would either."

<Grant Morrison> Obviously it's open to interpretation. It was a superhero comic with my particular interests thrown in

<Question> Grant, could you please expand on your abortive plans to revamp the Superman titles?

<Grant Morrison> It's a long story but Paul Levitts, head of DC didn't want to revamp them so that was that

<Question> Would the Invisibles have made a better job of beating the Matrix than Keanu?

<Grant Morrison> They did

<Ed Mathews> JLA was a fun romp. Any chance we'll see you playing with DC's heroes again soon? Grant Morrison on Aquaman would be most intriguing, for instance...

<Grant Morrison> I had a really good idea ...Aquaman's mum was a mermaid and laid eggs and there were thousands of them!

<Art Rehak> Whatever happened with your lawsuit against the people who did the Matrix?
<Grant Morrison> I dropped it cos I thought it uncool....thought a public shaming was enough
<steve wacker> Is is still possible to get your book Lovely Biscuits?

<Grant Morrison>'s available on Amazon..or through the publisher..Oneiros Books

<Antlerhead> What do you think of Mark Millar's run on The Authority?

<Grant Morrison> I think it's the best comic of the moment. In fact it's the only one!

<steve wacker> Can you talk about how it felt finishing Doom Patrol as opposed to the Invisibles?

<Grant Morrison> Like watching your entire family shrivel and die in front of you. It was a wrench...I cried my eyes out!

<Gerry Turnbull> If a company pulped an issue of one of your comics like DC did with Alan Moore recently,how would you react?

<Grant Morrison> I would try my best to pulp the publisher

<Question> How do you handle media exposure in terms of magickal identity modelling (self-hologram)

<Grant Morrison> I use media exposure as a means of playing with multiple personalities. Each interview is a different me and they're all untrustworthy

<Antlerhead> Did you start out writing straight text pieces when you were young, or was your writing always comic-oriented?

<Grant Morrison> I wanted to be a novelist,like Alan Garner. But I drifted into comics because of what I'd seen Alan Moore doing in the early 80s

<Ed Mathews Grant> Ed Mathews ( from NYC here. We understand telepathy. Can we expect some sort of movie version of The Invisibles to come to the USA?

<Grant Morrison> A lot of people are interested but nothing definite

<William_Brackeen> With word coming out about the new Zenith story is there a chance that the original stories will come back into print?

<Grant Morrison> I'd like to hope so. The editor is very encouraging

<Kevin Maroney> Who are your heroes?

<Grant Morrison> William Burroughs, John Broome, Brendan McCarthy and Jesus

<steve wacker> What things make you cry?

<Grant Morrison> I just watched my beloved cat be put down today. So I've been roaring and greeting all morning
 <alex jestaire> Can anything be changed by mere comic books?

<Grant Morrison> Your mind

<Deborah Taylor> Grant, how is the Invisibles follow-up novel going? Is there a release date yet?
<Grant Morrison> It's going fine but no date yet

<steve_wacker> Have any of your plays been staged?

<Grant Morrison> Yes..they were staged to full houses in 1989 and 1990 during the Edinburgh Festival

<Rizla 1977> Am I a sad, deluded fanboy, or are there really deep magical undertones to MarvelBoy?

<Grant Morrison> Yes there are deep undertones and Yes you are a sad deluded boy for thinking so

<Art Rehak> Do you get many hot comic groupies?

<Grant Morrison> Completely I've seen them but that's all

< Antlerhead> Can we expect any more long-form, definitive comic series from you, on the level of The Invisibles?

<Grant Morrison> year. Get ready for The Filth

<Jinx> Will Zenith be returning to 2000AD?

<Grant Morrison> Yes shortly and in a fairly bizarre story It starts off with Britney Spears being raped by a robot

<Ozz_Man> Grant, what d'you reckon to Alan Moore's new stuff?

<Grant Morrison> I'd rather not say. I'm not a fan. One thing I really enjoyed was the Birth Caul

<William Brackeen> If you could poke any other creator in the eye, who would you pick?

<Grant Morrison> So many eyes so few fingers

<Rizla 1977> How's your novel coming on, and is it true you're writing a Dr.Who book?

<Grant Morrison> I've expressed interest and may do it but it's not certain

<Antlerhead> Do you feel there are new currents arising in the world of magic with the apparent demise of the Chaos aesthetic? What do you see the future of the occult as?

<Grant Morrison> Yes there are and they involve the destruction of all previous 20C dualities. Good and evil aren't opposites they're on the same line what would be the opposite of that line
< Ed_Mathews> Judd Winick is doing a graphic novel through a book publisher. Do you think you'll do something similar in the near future? They have him going on a book tour here in the US...

<Grant Morrison> If it works for him I'll join the band wagon

<alex jestaire> Do you recommend schizophrenia?

<Grant Morrison> Not during sex

<Ozz Man> If someone else was commissioned to continue one of your "own" comics (Invisibles, Zenith...) what would you think about that?

<Grant Morrison> It's unlikely to happen since I own the characters

<Art Rehak> Is it true that you're planning a new Zenith story for 2000AD's anniversary?

<Grant Morrison> Yes

<Rizla 1977> What music are you into at the moment?

<Grant Morrison> Japanese pop

<Gerry Turnbull> You've written a new Zenith story,what about Captain Clyde?

<Grant Morrison> It will never happen..he died in 1991. But his adventures are now available online apparently
< William_Brackeen> In your opinion, who's the best comics author no one's heard of yet?

<Grant Morrison> Don't know I haven't heard of him yet

<Question> Are you still doing your band?

<Grant Morrison> Still recoding music but not in a band

<alex jestaire> Could an Invisibles movie be made by an American anyway?

<Grant Morrison> Yes I don't see why not

<d k> Are you at the point with 'designer MPD' beyond any internal self-hierarchies, or do you still privelage 1 or 2

<Grant Morrison> I have a virtual meeting table where we discuss issues

< Ozz_Man> Out of all fiction ever written, what would you like to have written? (Excepting your own work, of course...)

<Grant Morrison> The Ring O' Bells Mystery by Enid Blyton

<Antlerhead> Any words of advice to the youth of today?

<Grant Morrison> Grow up all of you

<alex_jestaire> Do you consider yourself insane?

<Grant Morrison> No I consider myself the sanest man on the planet

<Wilson Tse> A few months ago you mentioned you tired of the comics book and you sound like you don't want to have anything more to do with it, but then you start writing Mavel Boy and now lots of comic projects are in line, what caused your change of heart and renewed interest?

<Grant Morrison> I've always had an interest but my experience at DC put me off. But that's behind me now

<Ken Dreger> I don't know if anyone's asked yet but is there any chance you'll be doing any creator-owned projects through Image etc like Gorilla?

<Grant Morrison> Yes, but not through Image or Gorilla

<steve wacker> Can you predict what the American comic industry would be today if Alan Moore had not met Karen Berger?

<Grant Morrison> All our comics would have been written by Peter Milligan...God bless him

<Ed Mathews> This week, we're finishing up printing our Phil Jimenez interview. He's had nothing but high praise for you. Would you consider working with him again?

<Grant Morrison> The fella's gorgeous and a God...yes yes yes

<Art Rehak> What will your next comics project be? Is there a Marvel Boy follow-up being planned?

<Grant Morrison> Marvel Boy ..there will be 3 volumes of 6 issues each with a strong political agenda
<Question>Is V for Vendetta the best comic written?

<Grant Morrison>'s one of my favourites

<gaijin_jo> Do you believe in Jung's concept of the collective unconscience?

<Grant Morrison> I think it's an interesting workable model

<Antlerhead> Explain to us this "Filth"!!!!

<Grant Morrison> No, wait and see

<Shannon Smith> How many issues will Marvel Boy run and any launch date you are aiming for on Fantastic Four.

<Grant Morrison> The 1st series runs for 6 issues. The Fantastic Four will be released early next year

<Ozz man> Is it just me or are Daphne & Celeste hilariously refreshing?

<Grant Morrison> It's just you

<Deborah Taylor> What do you think is your best work, both commercially and personally?

<Grant Morrison> Flex Mentallo, Man of Muscle Mystery

<steve wacker> Can you write us a novel in under 10 words?

<Grant Morrison> How much are you willing to pay?

<Gerry_Turnbull> I remember your covers for Fusion and have seen some of your breakdowns,. Ever have the urge to draw a book for real?

<Grant Morrison> You obviously go way back. I know too many good artists to poach their territorybut I would like to do a short story

<rollo kin> How do you feel about John Lydon as the new Doctor Who?
<Grant Morrison> I 'd rather have Stephen Hawking

<Pedro> Anything new about that Batman movie script rumour?

<Grant Morrison> No news, but it's still a possibility

<Jack ruby> Was the "artist's jam" in Vol. 3 of the Invisibles your idea, and what did you think of the result?

<Grant Morrison> It was my idea and I think it worked for 2/3s of the way and fell apart the rest

<Deborah Taylor> Have you visited any of the websites and message lists devoted to the Invisibles? Have you heard of the Invisibles list hosted at Egroups?

<Grant Morrison> I've seen a few but haven't much time to go on these things
<alex_jestaire> does your perception of magick make you an optimistic

<Grant Morrison> No, almost dying in 1996 of blood poisoning made me optimistic

<mark wilkin> Grant if you could pick one event that got you started on magic what would it be?

<Grant Morrison> My Uncle Billy's library if the occult

<Wilson Tse> Will you grow your hair back in the near future?

<Grant Morrison> Never it's all over for me and my hair

<Michael_Van> With gatherings like Burning Man going more and more corporate, how much harder does it become to create and maintain temporary autonomous zones?

<Grant Morrison> There's no such thing...the corporate people are living in the same place as us. We need to live on the same planet...and stop thinking them and us

< Ed Mathews> Grant, I think the opposite of good and evil is indifference. What say you?

<Grant Morrison> Now join those 2 together and tell me what the new synthesis looks like and is it usable
<gaijin jo> How do "strings, " as the underlying element of the universe, inform your work?

<Grant Morrison> Again, it's only an interesting model - no more so than voodoo loas are essential models of the university
<Nick halliday> With Mark Waid leaving jla, who do you think will take over the writing duties??

<Grant Morrison> No idea and it's not my affair!

<Antlerhead> What writers or groups do you consider to be on the cutting edge of magic right now?

<Grant Morrison> Phil Hein as ever. People on the Nexus

<Rizla 1977> It was posted on the nexus yesterday that you're involved in no less than 3 Hollywood superhero movies??

<Grant Morrison> It's entirely true beyond that I stay stumm.  I'd prefer not to...but think Chris Ware writing Fantastic Four that's the idea

<Shannon Smith> What do you make of the whole Survior and Big Brother phenomenon. It seems to play into your theories in the Invisibles about all of us being tv stars.

<Grant Morrison> I think my quote was everyone will be famous 24 hrs a day and that's what's happening. More camers means more chaos
<steve wacker> The Jam or Style Council?

<Grant Morrison> The Jam. No contest.
<wesley crow> You said you were into Japanese pop, have you ever heard Cornealius?

<Grant Morrison> Of course have you heard the new Kahimi Karie
<Rizla 1977> Riots are cool. true or false?

<Grant Morrison> Riots are fun

<Deborah Taylor> Will you still work for D.C.?

<Grant Morrison> Not at present

<Wilson Tse> Do you plan on making a personal web site?

<Grant Morrison> Yes it'll be up in the next few weeks
<Pedro> now that you're a high profile writer (again) , can we expect reprints of your older material? ( Skull Kill Krew, Saint Swithin's Day, tec...)

<Grant Morrison> Probably not ...none of my work is ever collected

<pooper> Do you wish that you could draw so fast that drawings turned into majical moving images?

<Grant Morrison> Every night at 3 am

<Alan> Sorry if this has already come up, but any long term plans with Marvel?

<Grant Morrison> No long term plansjust a few projectsfrom now on I want to do my own creative stuff
<Jack ruby> Do you see comics continuing to be a commercially viable artform, or do you think they're on their last, quivering legs? And if so, what's the future?

<Grant Morrison> No I think they're about to enter a new boom period
<Levon Jihanian> Are you going to pull an Alan Moore and make work for DC through dummy corporations?

<Grant Morrison> know me. I always let you down

<Nick halliday> If you could change one thing in the dcu(or marvel universe) what would it be?

<Grant Morrison> That would be actionable

<rollo kin> Have you checked out Whitley Strieber's website? He's saying some very similar stuff to your 'visitations' in his recent journals.

<Grant Morrison> I haven't seen the website but he's a smart man. Abductions have nothing to do with aliens

<Question> Is it true you were abducted deliberately?

<Grant Morrison> I went to Kathmandu in that hope and it happened so I guess mystical experiences are available on tap. Brendan McCarthey said ...we who seek mystery become mystery

<Ozz Man> Any opinion on Jaime Hernandez' Love & Rockets?

<Grant Morrison> It was great for a good 5 minutes in the 80s

<Stephen Kane> What do you think of Frank Miller doing The Dark Knight Strikes Again?

<Grant Morrison> Pointless

<Alan> What percentage of what we experience as "reality" would you guess actually represents the totality of existence?

<Grant Morrison> VAT

<Deborah_Taylor> Which is your favourite Bond movie?

<Grant Morrison> Moonraker

<d k> Any friction with friends/family during extreme ego-modification xrcises?

<Grant Morrison> Yes ..what would you expect but it's possible to have friction with them just by being in the same room
<Nick halliday> Towards the end of your JLA run it looked like you would be writing a JLA spinoff, Ultramarines, is that now a dead-duck?

<Grant Morrison> DC. Understand?
<Question> If you could get some of the artists jam pages redrawn, especially the Ashley Woods pages, would you?

<Grant Morrison> No I quite liked them. What didn't work in the 3rd part was the combination of artists

<steve wacker> What's Frank Quitely's real name?

<Grant Morrison> Dudley D Watkins

<Ed Mathews> Will you be writing any fill-in issues for Mark Millar on The Authority, Grant?

<Grant Morrison> No

<wesley crow> Any other Marvel characters, besides the FF, that you plan on corrupting?

<Grant Morrison>The Silver Surfer is in my sights

<Shannon Smith> Did you kill off Aztek because it seemed the best way for him to meet his destiny or just so no other DC hack would mess him up?

<Grant Morrison> Both

<rollo kin> What did you think of Fight Club?

<Grant Morrison> Great except for the ridiculous Superman 3 sequence where they just beat crap out of each other
<Alan> Who is the one penciler you would like to work with that you haven't yet, and why?

<Grant Morrison> Brendan McCarthy

<Deborah Taylor> Do you really consider Arkham Asylum to be pretentious dross?

<Grant Morrison> Sometimes. Sometimes it's a work of shimmering genius

<Ozz_Man> What is the flight speed of an unlaiden swallow?
<Grant Morrison> Slower than the Flash's running speed

<Mya Roark> What's your opinion on digital comics? Are they viable?

<Grant Morrison> It's an interseting concept but you can't read them in the bath and paper comics don't give you cancer
<Ed Mathews> Would you consider co-writing a few issues of Wonder Woman with Phil Jimenez?

<Grant Morrison> Our ideas are so opposite it would be impossible

<alex jestaire> Was your Disco 2000 story even close to your own Hogmanay 2000 party?

<Grant Morrison> Not at all I had one of the most miserable Hogmanays known to man

<Leo_Zeygerman> Are the beginning pages of volume 2, issue 1, just a play out of King Mob entering the super context ?

<Grant Morrison> The entire series is a playout of you entering the super context

<Question> So, I've been experimenting with writing fiction as a conscious magical act, and you're right: it works. So well it's scary, sometimes. But the all-over-the-place results make me think I need a banishing ritual that's specific to the form; drawing pentagrams in the air around my PC just seems too daft for words. So, do you use a banishing ritual when you write and if so, what sort? How does it work?

<Grant Morrison> I've never used a banishing ritual in any form of magic

<Ed Mathews> Grant, your love of psuedoscience is apparent in your writing. Is there any new scientific theory that has caught your eye that you'd like to put to paper in fiction?

<Grant Morrison> I read New Scientist every week and there's always something

<Nick halliday> Do you have any particular political persuasions?

<Grant Morrison> No

<BBC-Host> That is all we have time for. Here's Grant with a final word.

<Grant Morrison> Thanks for coming see ya all when I'm dead




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