The Road To MorrisonCon (photo by Pat Loika)
MTV Geek special correspondent Ali Colluccio gives you an inside look at the much-talked about and enigmatic MorrisonCon. This series documents her MorrisonCon "diary" day-by-trippy-day...
I still didn’t really know what to expect when I walked downstairs to the first full day of MorrisonCon.
The first panel of the day was called “Grant Morrison & The Future of the Third Millennium” featuring Darick Robertson, Frank Quitely, along side Chris Burnham the guest of honor himself. The main “theater” looked not too different from the panel rooms you’re used to seeing at a comic convention. But the stage was a bit lower and instead of a table and chairs lined up, looking at the audience, there were cushy black couches.
Grant Morrison, Chris Burnham, and Frank Quitely (photo by Pat Loika)
Morrison was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation. What followed was what I’d imagine “Late Night with Grant Morrison” would look like where that a thing. He brought out each “guest” one at a time and chatted with them about the books they were working on together. The discussion itself was quite similar to a regular con panel. We saw pages from “Batman Inc.” and “Happy”. And there was a formal announcement about the long anticipated “Multiversity” project.
The panel set the tone of the rest of show. There was a fear that this event would come off a bit pretentious and full of itself. But the reality was it was incredibly laid-back. The discussions were candid and fun, often full of hilarious tangents and side stories. The audience was encouraged to ask absolutely anything they wanted. Even with free reign, the questions were all constructive and respectful, albeit a bit silly at times. There were none of the angry fan-rants or non-questions you’ll hear so often at larger comic panels. Everyone was there for their genuine love of comics.
Before the lunch break, I was able to sit down and talk to Grant Morrison about what he loves most about superheroes as well as his plans for "Multiversity".
Grant Morrison (photo by Pat Loika)
While the writer is taking a step back from monthly comics, he’s still very much writing about superheroes: “I love the fact that comics are very directly able to talk about how I feel inside,” said Morrison. “Superman’s like me in the sense that he has to deal with these problems. I don’t have to deal with exploding suns but I have to deal with exploding toilets. Superman has to walk his dog, and I have to take my cat to the vet. It’s just when Superman walks his dog he does it around Saturn. But he’s like us.”
Morrison went on to say, “To me superhero stories are social realism. I see through what’s there to what it’s actually about, which is always some human being and how they feel.” Adding, “That’s what I love about comics. They can talk about things that to me are real things but in a way that’s fantastical and fun to absorb.”
When asked who his favorite superhero was, Morrison answered with the Flash, a character he thought was “the coolest” when he was a kid. “First and foremost it was the costume. Just the red and those boots,” Morrison gushed. He called the costume design visceral and primal, “There’s something alarming about the Flash,” he added. “Because he has to do with speed, it brings the whole idea of the whole world of coffee and fashion and magazines. And so the Flash always represented that for me: the idea of modernity expressed as a character.”
Then, after a quick margarita, it was back to the panels.
Max Landis and Robert Kirkman (photo by Pat Loika)
The big panel of the afternoon for me was "Celluloid Heroes: Comics’ Love Affair with Hollywood" featuring Grant Morrison and Darick Robertson alongside James Gunn ("Dawn of the Dead", "Super") and Max Landis ("Chronicle" and that awesome "Death of Superman" video). Sadly, Gunn wasn’t giving up any secrets about Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie (which he’s directing), but with his genuine love for superheroes and the source material, I think this film is in good hands. The unexpected star of the afternoon was Max Landis, whose fanboy-esque passion and enthusiasm for comics, movies, and cheap ties stole the show.
After a very full day, it was off to the bar for drinks, dancing, and delirium at the MorrisonCon Afterparty!