Alan Moore, Grant Morrison and Vertigo Comics

 I know not a lot of us (I included) rarely get the chance to read other comic books other than Spiderman or Superman, but in a sense we have also just been negligent to the fact that apart from super hero comics the genre of comics does not only span the realm of superheroes.

And for people like me who have been rummaging through the sale bins of P50 comics at Filbar's there is that wonderful line of comics under the Vertigo imprint of DC Comics.

Titles like Sandman, Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Doom Patrol, Shade The Changing Man and The Invisibles have been great influences in the penchant that I have in writing. I know a lot have seemed to ignore these titles since they're don't have covers done by Todd McFarlance, Rob Lifefield, Jim Lee and the like, and this was way back in high school when everyone that I knew who read comics was so into Spawn, WildCATS and all those other muscle bound freaks in so-called "enhanced" comics I was then contented to reading obvious DC books like Batman, Robin, New Titans and Giffen-Era JLA.

But all of that changed sometime in 1995 while I was rummaging through the sale bins of Filbar's (that was a time when you could still buy a comic on sale for the price of P15) I was by stroke of luck able to grab a copy of Skin Graft, Children's Crusade, Shade and Doom Patrol, and I guess that was it for me I've come to abandon the super-hero genre altogether and replaced it with the habbit of scouring through old issues of Shade, Doom Patrol, Sandman, Swamp Thing etc. on sale bins, and on grocery store magazine racks. Where after a while of collecting I was able to amass quite a number of Vertigo comics that would qualify to be called a collection.

Being a long time reader of comic books there are quite a number of writters that I've respected for their craft.

Among them are:

Neil Gaiman, of Sandman and also the creator of Tim Hunter from the graphic novel Books Of Magic, the character that JK Rowling ripped-off for Harry Potter. (I'll resserve another post for my point regarding this); Pete Milligan of Shade The Changing Man, and Enigma; Marv Wolfman, (creator of the Teen Titans, and author of Crisis On Infinite Earths), the team of Keith Giffen & JM DeMatteis (the comedy Justice League); and John Orstander (creator of Oracle from Birds Of Prey).

But above them there were only two who seemed to have written at an intellectual level that is more superior thus proving the point that comic books were no longer just kids stuff.

Those two were Alan Moore and Grant Morrison.

For a lot of people Alan Moore wouldn't even remind them of something but to be certain his influence has gone way beyond the bounderies of comic books. A lot of us have watched LXG, The Road To Predition, From Hell and The Swamp Thing. And factually speaking he wrote all of them. Another war the fact that the Vertigo Imprint was created by DC in honor of him.

That would certainly merit him as a genius.

But for me the reason that I see him as a genius is because of this single Batman story that he wrote way back in 1988 called The Killing Joke, a very introspective story about the relationship of Batman and the Joker, which basically explains that to some degree both of them are the same and that it proves a point that it only takes one bad to drive someone into insanity. But apart from that the reason also that I loved the comic was the fact that Moore was the one who made the Joker into a villain that's worthy of the Batman, this is not the Joker that one would associate with Cesar Romero from the Adam West Batman show. Another is the fact that this story is of groundbreaking relevance which up to now affects the continuity of DC Comics, this is where the saga of Oracle started though it was not Moore who created her this was the starting point wherein John Orstander would pickup the broken body of a Barbara Gordon that was shot in cold blood by the Joker and afterwards taken pictures off to drive Comissioner Gordon insane and then left to be crippled for life. And later breathe life into her by turning into a cyber vigilante that maintained close ties with the SuicideSquad and a host of other heroes. And all that could be credited to Alan Moore.

Another was Grant Morrison.

Has anyone every heard of Grant Morrison?

Maybe I better re-phrase the question, has anyone ever read a copy of any of the following:

Animal Man

Arkham Asylum

The Invisibles


New X-Men

The Filth

St. Swithin's Day

Next to Alan Moore I think he's a heck of a genius. I loved the way that he wrote Animal Man and Doom Patrol. I haven't got the chance to read Arkham Asylum which he did with Sandman's Dave McKean. But that Invisibles series that he wrote was absolutely thought provoking, that comic changed the way I used to think about a lot of things concerning politics, culture and society.

And during the course of collecting there was this one comic book that got my head to tick: The Invisibles a saga about a team of anarchists terrorists who supposedly dwell in a battle to liberate the world's minds from an age long conspiracy that stretches all through out history and to my surprise the author of the comic was the same one who've written other comic books that I've also come to be a fan of, it was Grant Morrison a Scottish writer imported by DC to write for their mature reader's line of comics. Now considered a genius since he's brought the "big guns" back to the Justice League and has remade the X-Men to his own image (which is sort of like how he used to write Doom Patrol).

But before all that there were just a few who've really taken him seriously. And I am glad that I was one of those.

I can't afford to buy his comic books now but given the chance I'd gladly read them, but reality check, we all know how expensive comic books are here in the Philippines, and I think kind of sucks.

For an article about Grant go here

To visit Grant_Morrison's website go here

1 comment:

luiboi said...

i basically got into comics because of the art.i really love to draw and i got my inspirations from comic books though reading them also helped me a lot with my english.i got into comicks way back in 94 though i have no collection of my own yet,except for the filipino-based comics,funny comics.i only used to borrow comics from a friend who is way older than me and whose comics fit into one medium-size cabinet.he's one of those serious collectors who buys 2 sets of comics, one for display and the other for reading.

the first comic i remember reading was spiderman "maximum carnage".i forgot the writer though and i only remember a bit of the story.i think it was when carnage's power has gone wild and in other for spiderman to stop him he sought the help of the avengers and even his nemesis venom.

the year i started to collect my own was during 98.the first title that i bought was fantastic four heroes reborn was after the "onslaught event" which i really dream of reading one day.most of my collections are marvel comics.ranging from spiderman,fantastic four and xmen.

the only writers that i know of are warren ellis (wolverine/xmen)chris bachalo(Fantastic four/xtreme xmen)and brian augustyn (out there/crimson).just like what i've said sir im really more into the art that's why i only knew a few writers.

as for the artists,my idols are joe madureira(xmen/battle chasers)humberto ramos(out there/spider-man)salvador larroca(xtreme xmen)pat lee (superman-batman/transformers)skottie young(spider-man/unlimited xmen)and even pinoy artists like leinil francis yu(xmen/superman birth right/wolverine)and gerry alanguilan (wasted).my collection are mostly drawn by this people.

before,i really buy comics every month.i save money from my allowance just to buy a single issue a month.i only buy single issues worth 165-180.its really quite expensive for a 48 page comic book thats why a month before im already saving money for the next issue.i only bought one trade paperback in my life and its xmen visionaries:joe madureira.

sir,kung gusto nyo po hiramin nyo po kay mam jen yung comics ko kung tapos niya na po ipinahiram po kasi ako sa kanyang spiderman at xmen para makita nyo naman po yung mga gawa nung binangit kong lang po.sensya na po kung napahaba comment ko,nadala lang po ako.hehe.

sige po.good day.god bless.