WhatCulture Attends Grant Morrison SUPERGODS Book Signing at Isotope Comics!

Music thumping. Dapper men. Smoky women. Curvy leather couches. Comic books? That was the scene at Isotope Comics in San Francisco at Grant Morrison’s book signing for Supergods!

Music thumping. Dapper men. Smoky women. Curvy leather couches. Comic books? That was the scene at Isotope Comics in San Francisco at Grant Morrison€™s book signing for Supergods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants And A Sun God From Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human. Everything about Isotope falls inline with Morrison€™s idealistic voice; it€™s loud, colorful, rebellious and chic; in short it€™s everything that makes comics great but without any of the geek in fighting. The joint was as shoved as full as a speakeasy with waify goths and formal gentlemen all atwitter with the gospel of Morrison. The friendly crowd discussed current comics tabloid fodder including the death of Ultimate Spider-Man and the DC relaunch. By far, however, the crowd was chatting up Morrison€™s new book; those who had already read the tome filled others in on some of the choice details. Like some cult comics Mormon mob, each guest carried a copy of Supergods close, ready to preach the good word to the masses. The cult of Morrison also drank the proverbial Kool-Aid from commemorative highball glasses bearing Morrison€™s likeness. The free drinks were named Morrison-esque terms like €œSun God€ and €œPrometheus,€ which I for one can vouch for the tastiness of. A couple of drinks later some of the more bashful guests, such as myself, had loosened up enough to have actual conversations with Morrison and to pose for pictures. A loose line formed around a bean shaped desk where Morrison sat, regally in a suit coat a tee shirt. Guests were only allowed two items signed by Mr. Morrison but he gladly signed whatever was asked of him. Morrison not only met each guest and shook their hands; he engaged them in actual conversation. When a man in a Batman shirt and a fedora asked Morrison to sign copies of his sort lived run on The Authority, Morrison lamented his never finished storyline, then followed by filling the guest in on the missing pieces. When I expressed excitement over the upcoming Action Comics#1 Morrison became visibly excited stating €œYeah it€™s gonna be great.€ His other comment concerning Superman may make some fans uneasy but true Morrison believers insane with anticipation. Further displaying his palpable giddiness he exclaimed, €œThey€™re pretty much letting me do whatever I want. I€™m recreating Superman from the ground up.€ If any one can provide the Man of Steel with the imagination and flavor he so desperately deserves, its Grant Morrison and, along with All-Star Superman, Supergods is the proof. Reading less like a history book and more like a personal confession Supergods chooses to emote to its audience as much as inform it; it inspires its audience instead of bragging to it. Morrison€™s encyclopedic knowledge of comics is clear but does not inhabit the center ring of Supergods€™ circus. The pure information dwindles as the book progresses from the Golden Age of fantasy, socialism and wish fulfillment to the post-modern, violent, posing anti-heroes of the 1990€™s. By the time Morrison approaches the current state of superhuman affairs, Supergods becomes a completely personal tale. By the way, Morrison€™s outlook on superheroes is extremely optimistic. Supergods doesn€™t shy away from criticizing superheroes in some of their less fantastical appearances. Morrison exposes the €œrealism€ of Watchmen and its descendants as farcical, broken clocks abandoned by their creators. This grim and gritty trend touted €œrealism€ which Morrison also claims to strive for, but whereas Watchmen limited possibilities Morrison clearly seeks to expand them. The realism Morrison champions includes emotional depth instead of deconstruction, which he had already explored in his early work Zenith. Obviously Morrison decided deconstruction was useless unless used to build a stronger, better and faster machine. However, the same concern lies at the center of both approaches, not how superheroes do what they do, but why. In other words, who cares how Superman flies but who doesn€™t care why he makes the effort in the first place? In Grant Morrison€™s world superheroes are symbols, magical sigils that give us back the energy that we put into them. Supergods not only envisions a bright future for superheroes but a bright present for human beings. According to the books closing thoughts humans are blind of their super-human world around them as €œa fish lacks a sense of the ocean.€ The barriers between reality and fiction are blurring as humans become capable of communicating across oceans or flying across seas at supersonic speeds. Supergods claims that in some ways we have already become superhuman and begs us to use our new found powers responsibly. €œWe love our superheroes because they refuse to give up on us. We can analyze them out of existence, kill them, ban them, mock them, and still they return, patiently reminding us of who we are and what we wish we could be.€
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