artwork by Frank Quitely for DC Comics; photo by Brian Heater
io9 actually beat me to setting down some of the best quotes from Grant Morrison‘s Saturday afternoon panel at the New York Comic Con, although they missed the part where an audience member asked the comic book writer what’s going to happen in 2012: “Who knows? Beats me. Maybe nothing… The world’s never ended yet. It might not end this time.” Or the Earth’s magnetic field might reverse, and we could all wake up feeling like we’re on a non-stop acid trip. You just don’t know!
I got to ask him how he’s coming along at expanding his pop magic essay into a book. Slowly, he said; “my guardian angel is sitting on my shoulder telling me, ‘You getter get it done or we’re going to kill you!'” And then there was the fan who wondered if the plot twist at the end of the latest issue of All-Star Superman meant that Superman was the God of our universe, which in context was a perfectly sensible question.
(There was so much going on that nobody got a chance to ask him about his new project for Virgin Comics, scripting an animated adaptation of the Mahabarata as science-fiction epic for director Shekhar Kapur. “”Like the Beatles took Indian music and tried to make psychedelic sound,” Morrison said at another panel, “I’m trying to convert Indian storytelling to a western style for people raised on movies, comics, and video games.”)
Earlier in the day, at a DC Comics panel, he’d been asked by executive editor Dan Didio to talk a little bit about what happens in Final Crisis, the company “big event” series for this summer. “They’re all DEAD!” he screamed, waving at a page of penciller J.G. Jones‘s artwork in front of him. “How could you let this happen to the DC Universe?” As is customary at comic book convention panels, we never did find out much more than that, although we did learn that he had created several new characters for the series, including Most Excellent Super-Bat. (As Jones deadpanned, “It’s Most Excellent Super-Bat. What else do I have to tell you?”
In an interview with Brian Heater for The Daily Cross Hatch, Morrison concdes that his Superman story is “the story of a dying sungod,” explaining, “Right now a lot of my work is about the feeling of western civilization being in decline, feelings of fear and trying to deal with that, using some of these big imaginative symbols that everyone understands, that people can talk about.”
“Final Crisis is kind of a big combination of a lot of strands of work that Iâ€™ve been doing since Justice League in the ’90s. After this, I really want to take a break and do some creative work and rethink superheroes again. I do want to come back and do it, again, but… Iâ€™d have to decide what I want to talk about, and figure out whatâ€™s going on in the world and what character best exemplifies those kinds of field.”
Finally, here’s a brief sample of what Morrison’s hour-long conversation with the fans was like:
video from ComicRelated.com