Artefacts from another universe

Comics imitate movies imitate comics…

A lo largo de su carrera, Grant Morrison nos ha dejado conceptos y terminología para toda una vida, y cada entrevista a este maestro de los comics arroja sabiduría y lecciones invaluables.

La siguiente es una love letter al noveno arte; una carta de intención que es más que urgente, sobre todo en esta época en donde el comic comercial se obstina en saturar a sus historias de elementos del cine de superhéroes, bajo la falsa idea de que será “relevante”—¿para quién? Ni idea—sin darse cuenta de que poco a poco se arrincona y se atrofia por la falta de novedad y de riesgo.

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Wise up: the more comics imitate movies, the less need movies will have for comics as a source of imaginative material; let’s remember that the movie industry is ONLY NOW learning to simulate the technology and imagination Jack Kirby packed in his pencil 40 years ago. As I’ve been saying to the point of boredom, our creative community owes it to the future to produce today the insane, logic-shattering, side-splitting day-glo stories which will be turned into all-immersive holographic magic theatre experiences in 40 years time.

The comics medium is a very specialized area of the Arts, home to many rare and talented blooms and flowering imaginations and it breaks my heart to see so many of our best and brightest bowing down to the same market pressures which drive lowest-common-denominator blockbuster movies and television cop shows.

Intelligent is not necessarily the point; I think what older readers (and younger ones too ) want to see is not necessarily more ‘realistic’, in the sense of ‘filmic’ comics, but simply what’s lacking from most current books and that’s a sense of the truly epic, the unusual, the novel, the beyond simply mundane. Stuff they haven’t already seen in a movie or on TV, basically. And with the best will in the world, who really wants to watch Superman suffering agonies of doubt, for instance, when he could be wrestling Phantom Zone giants back into the 10th dimension? If Superman felt any doubt at all, he’d know it was Luthor’s Doubt-O-Ray to blame and smash it up fine style.

Let’s see if we can call time on this trend by demanding and creating big, wild comics which stretch our imaginations.

Let’s make living breathing, sprawling adventures filled with mind-blowing images of things unseen on Earth.

Let’s make artefacts that are not faux-games or movies but something other, something so rare and strange it might as well be a window into another universe because that’s what it is.

Let’s see images which come directly from the minds of inspired artists, not from publicity stills. We should get real about this and stop dumbing down, stop stunting our artists’ creativity and stop trying to attract a completely imaginary ‘mainstream audience’.

The best way to consolidate comics as a viable medium is to make them LESS like other media, not more. Let our artists go wild on imaginative page layouts. Let our writers find stories in their dreams and not in the newspaper pages, at least for a little while again.

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