Robot 6

Quote of the Day | ‘Comics can actually do the impossible’

Action Comics #18, by Paolo Rivera

Action Comics #18, by Paolo Rivera

“Everyone’s trying really hard to do the three-act structure, and write like movies, and do it by the book. You know what you can do in comics? You can do anything. So what I did was to have the impossible happen. There’s a bit in [Action Comics #18] when Superman comes to the audience and says: ‘If we do the impossible, the devil disappears.’ And you go: What? How? Why? I put it in there because nowhere else — you couldn’t get away with it in TV, you couldn’t get away with it in movies. I wanted to show that comics can actually do the impossible. Here’s a comic that would never get by a committee. This is true weirdness. I’m hoping it will be an actual experience for people. I want it to be almost psychedelic on that level. People should go check it out, because it’s Psychedelic Superman.”

Grant Morrison, discussing the conclusion of his run on Action Comics with this week’s Issue 18



Hey Morrison, here’s a shock for you – – It doesn’t work in comics either.

Good storytelling is good storytelling no matter what the format. Being weird because you can doesn’t mean its any good.

Now let’s see you write something other than the same Animal Man story over and over or the Batman story you’ve been stretching out for decades now.


March 19, 2013 at 1:28 pm

except the three act structure isn’t ‘good storytelling’, I mean it can be, but it is just a template for telling a story – a template that happens to be extremely overdone

Respectfully disagree. His batman run was intentionally cryptic and full of both clues to the greater story, as well as red herrings. It’s very format is a mystery for you to pick clues out of and discover the truth, because, after all, it’s about the worlds greatest detective. It may come off as gibberish initially, but it becomes much clearer with subsequent rereads.

@nWoJeffDW – What doesn’t work in comics? Morrison never said anything specific works.

@christianizcool – He never said the three act structure is ‘good storytelling’. You are using quotes, but what are you quoting? You are arguing against a point that isn’t made too.

I’d tend to agree that you can shift between frames of reference more quickly than in any other medium. I’ve seen animated movies move from Bugs Bunny-type hijinks to HEAVY METAL-style fantasies, but when such films do this, the different frames still remain distinct due to the differing technologies involved. An artist’s pen, in contrast, has work far less to convince us that Spider-Man and Howard the Duck occupy the same page.

But then, I speak as one who got a headache from watching WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?

Bill Walko’s webcomic “The Hero Business” I believe hit the nail on the head with this idea:

Comics can do the impossible but comics still can’t make that Superman redesign look good.

Boy, I love Morrison’s work. :)

Remember when Grant Morisson’s totally “original”…

[i] There’s a bit in [Action Comics #18] when Superman comes to the audience and says: ‘If we do the impossible, the devil disappears.’ And you go: What? How? Why? [/i]

…was what saved me in Peter Pan?

Or if I’m too old for you, remember when that “totally original” thing Morisson does was the season 3 finale in Dr. Who? Yes, he is totally “original” and “transcending” stuff.

I wouldn’t trade Morrison’s attitude for anything, but it does lead to incoherent and/or incomprehensible comics at times. It’s alienating to people who regularly read comics, so I don’t know what the hell it must be like for new readers, or someone who think his Superman run sounds cool after reading an EW interview.

Morrison on Action Comics: far from perfect, still far, far better than DC Comic-Flavored Product #26.

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