Saturday, October 23, 2010
About seven years ago I was making ends meet as an assistant in the Videogame division at Twentieth Century Fox. I can't say the position was a nonstop cavalcade of fun, but it did have its moments, especially when it occasionally involved one of my favorite pursuits: Comics. My good friend David Stalker was looking for a writer for a licensed game relaunch, and shared with me his idea of using a comic book writer to remold an intellectual property that was long in the tooth. I had recently come across writer Grant Morrison's website, so I took a shot in the dark and sent an email to the site's webmaster about Morrison potentially writing for the game, hoping that they would forward along my inquiry to him. It turned out that Morrison's manager & girlfriend-now-wife Kristan actually ran the site, and we started talking about the possibility of getting together the next time they were in Los Angeles. After a few months and a dinner that involved a bit too much wine for my bodyweight, Morrison got the gig, and I got an inside look at how a genius writes for a project with a million moving pieces while simultaneously assuaging the proprietal concerns of a vertically integrated media monster. For an aspiring writer like myself at the time, this was priceless.
Needless to say, the experience inspired me to keep up with all things Morrison, and when I read that Meltdown Comics in LA would be screening Patrick Meaney's documentary Grant Morrison: Talking With Gods, I made a beeline down Sunset Boulevard to check it out. The store's gallery where the screening was held was packed, but they squeezed me in after a quick handstamp from the ever-vigilant Chris Rosa.
The documentary is impressive, not just in terms of its production value, but in terms of its structure. Most documentaries are structured to tell a narrative, but GMTWD is actually a polymyth, layered to tell multiple narratives. In addition to the narrative of Morrison's own journey as a writer, the documentary presents the evolution of the superhero in American Comics, and ultimately the arc of the mindset of Morrison's audience and how we view the world, from the decade of potential that was the 90s, to the low of 9/11 to the uncertainty of today. The doc will be available to purchase at Amazon next week, but if you live in LA, you can get it for $15 at Meltdown right now.
Here's the trailer:
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