Don't worry, celebrity comic book writer Grant Morrison isn't giving up tales of the capes n' cowls for good...but you won't be seeing any more of his stories about Superman and Batman for a while.
"Supergods" author Morrison revealed in a Comic Book Resources interview that he will be leaving "Action Comics" with issue #16, and "Batman Incorporated" with #12. After that, outside a couple of special projects, he doesn't "have any plans for monthly superhero books for a while."
Call it "superhero fatigue," call it being tired of the monthly grind...or link it to the wave of high-profile creators who have recently left mainstream work at the Big Two to work on their own creator-owned projects. Regarding this "exodus," Morrison points his finger at the rise of superhero movie blockbusters:
"...there's definitely some kind of centrifugal movement away from the mainstream toward new and more personal, expressive, creator-owned stuff, and I think it's partly because cinema has appropriated so much of the stuff we’ve been doing in comics for the last thirty years. Movie superheroes finally look better than their comic book counterparts."
To that end, the writer has been working on a new creator-owned project for Image, "HAPPY!" Described as "what would it be like if the Bad Lieutenant teamed up with Pegasus the Flying Horse?," the series features the cartoonish, sweeter-than-light Happy the Horse thrown into a dark and gritty world that includes "pedo-Santa":
"I've always wanted to have a go at a classic Christmas story like 'It's A Wonderful Life' or 'A Christmas Carol' but with characters drawn from the shock headlines of the 21st Century. So this idea seemed to lend itself to that and it gave me a chance to do the kind of wider, symbolic pop cult critique that I like."
From Grant Morrison's "HAPPY!", art by Darick Robinson
One shock headline that is currently bombarding both the mass media and comics media alike is, of course, the "Dark Knight Rises" shooting in Aurora CO. While this interview with CBR was obviously conducted before the tragedy, the irony of Morrison essentially saying he's "leaving" superhero comics -- and discontinuing writing a Batman title -- is not lost. Perhaps the self-described "shaman" was already picking up something from the pop-cultural zeitgeist. Or maybe...he's just been writing capes n' cowls for an awful long time.
"HAPPY!" hits stores starting in September.