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Friday, July 30, 2010

Grant Morrison on Fantasy

One of the many, many things Comic Book Resources posted about Comic Con was the Grant Morrison panel ("DC Focus," Friday, Jul. 23). During the panel, Morrison responded to an apparently straightforward question about the age of Batman and Robin thusly:

"It's not real! There is no science. The science is the science of 'Anything can happen in fiction and paper' and we can do anything.

"We've already got the real world. Why would you want fiction to be like the real world? Fiction can do anything, so why do people always want to say, 'Let's ground this' or 'Let's make this realistic.' You can't make it realistic because it's not."

While I do completely understand where Morrison is coming from, and I hate to read too much into an off-the-cuff convention response, I can't help but wonder if he's not missing the point a little bit by dodging the accusation that is most often leveled at him: his work is too often -- I don't want to say "intellectual," so let's say "theoretical" instead. To some of us, the quasi-reality is the escapist fantasy. To so easily dismiss that point, even to dodge an uncomfortable question at a convention, may be the same as simply dismissing his harshest critics.

No one who reads this blog thinks that Booster Gold is a real person. (I hope.) But the quantification of the trivial elements of a fictional character is a large part of the enjoyment of reading DC Comics for at least myself, and I suspect many others. No offense intended to Mr. Morrison, who has indeed written some very enjoyable stories over the years, but to flippantly write-off our devotion to an artificial reality as a misguided fantasy, I think, indicates the flaws in Morrison's approach to mainstream American super-hero comic books.

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