Friday, September 2, 2011

Grant Morrison: "Chris Ware's attitude stinks..."

I can't say I disagree with Morrison on this. Although he needn't be defensive or self-conscious when comparing his comics criticism to that of the 'college boys" at The Comics Journal, because TCJ really hasn't been relevant or even readable in print in some 15 years at least. I always thought the magazine would catch its second (third?) wind eventually under some fiery new editor but that certainly never happened and it lapsed into toothless dotage; finally little more than the Fantagraphics promotional arm so many people had accused it of being even when it wasn't.


There have been histories of comic books, but your book Supergods is all superheroes. It's a counter-narrative to the idea that comics need to outgrow this superhero stuff.
I can appreciate someone like Chris Ware for his artistry, which I think is beautiful, but I think his attitude stinks, it just seems to be the attitude of somebody really privileged, and honestly, try living here, try living on an Indian reservation and shut up, and really seeing all that nihilistic stuff, it really makes me angry, it's unhelpful to all of us, and it's coming from people who have money and success to talk  like that and bring those aspects of the way we live in favor of all the  others, and it's indefensible.

So I never liked that stuff, I  always thought that I had a real Scottish working class thing against  the fact that these were done by privileged American college kids, and  they were telling me the world was flat. "You're telling me the world is  flat, pal?" And it's not helpful, it doesn't get us anywhere. OK, so it  is, then what? What are you going to do about it, college kid? My book wasn't academic. I can't take on those Comics Journal guys, they flattened me, as they did, it's just defensive, smartass kids.

This is what I'm into, and here's how, through my eyes, it's exalted. You may look at the same thing and just see trash, toilet paper, I'm  looking at this and seeing William Blake angels. This is how it looks  through these eyes, this is all I've got, I can't talk about it in half  degrees, but I can talk about it in the sense of a practitioner of it,  someone who has thought about it intensely for an awful long time, and  again, I thought, "What can I make, a book that reads the way Nick Kent talks about music," those guys, it at least gives you a personal  connection to someone who takes this very seriously.