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Meta-Messages – Grant Morrison Meets Animal Man

All October long I explored the context behind (using reader danjack’s term) “meta-messages.” A meta-message is where a comic book creator comments on/references the work of another comic book/comic book creator (or sometimes even themselves) in their comic. Each time around, I’ll give you the context behind one such “meta-message.” Here is an archive of the past installments!

What better way to cap off the month than with one of the most famous instances of metafiction in comic book history, Animal Man #26, Grant Morrison’s final issue of his remarkable run, as he comes face to face with Animal Man.

Pretty much the entire run of Morrison’s Animal Man (as an ongoing series, at least) was playing with the idea of Buddy Baker, Animal Man, being a character in a comic book. You know, in a sense that he KNOWS that he is a character in a comic book – well, not at first, but over time. It all leads to the final issue of Morrison’s run, as Animal Man meets Morrison himself and the two spend the entire issue talking.

What’s particularly fascinating about the issue is how Morrison eschews the opportunity to portray himself as some sort of infallible, brilliant writer. Instead, he goes out of his way to show the other side of the tale. Heck, he spends much of the issue criticizing himself.

First off, notice how Chas Truog and Mark Farmer draw Morrison’s world (the “real” world)…

Animal Man even mentions on the next page how dull and drab Morrison’s world is. In addition, note Morrison above pointing out how the story he had planned for the whole series has not ended the way he originally hoped.

Next, Morrison mocks his frequent political commentary in the pages of Animal Man, as well as taking to task both the pointless murder of Animal Man’s family as well as Morrison’s inability to think of interesting villains for Animal Man to face (resorting, instead, to depicting two horribly cliched villains)…

In another nice bit, while Buddy is being pummeled by the villains, Morrison ignores him and begins to thank people, concluding with a hilariously ironic nod to PETA…

Morrison even mentions how the death of his cat helped to inspire him to do things in the pages of Animal Man, things he did partially to make his cat’s death “mean” something…

And, of course, Morrison returns Buddy’s family to him at the end of the story (not before Buddy walks past Morrison’s live (well, in the DC Universe, at least) cat.

A delightful end to a great run.

65 Comments

Tom Fitzpatrick

November 1, 2011 at 5:11 am

Of course, the Morrison depicted in this issue is NOT the Morrison we’ve all come to know/love/hate today.

Plus, he had more hair back in those days. ;-)

I hate to say it, but the cat at the end is not Jarmara. It’s buddy’s cat T.C. (also reincarnated tho)

while we’re mourning cats we never even met, please spare a thought for Louis, thanks!

nice way to wrap up the look at the meta messages in comics. was wondering how long before animal mans confrontation with Grant would pop up here.

What’s particularly fascinating about the issue is how Morrison eschews the opportunity to portray himself as some sort of infallible, brilliant writer. Instead, he goes out of his way to show the other side of the tale. Heck, he spends much of the issue criticizing himself.

Yes, but the self-criticism is very insincere. It’s self-aggrandizement disguised as humility.

He is doing here what he has been doing his whole career in interviews and in his recent book, creating the myth of Morrison. He very much likes the idea of creating a public persona that is his idealized self, and even his “flaws” play into that idealized self that he wants to present to the world. I doubt any of those so-called “flaws” he describes are things he is truly embarrassed about or that he feels it took any bravery on his part to reveal. To this day when it comes to revealing the raw, sensitive parts of himself, he still remains as coy and impenetrable and cagey as ever.

If anything, the false modesty on display here just confirms his narcissism in my eyes. You can read more here:

http://samvak.tripod.com/faq36.html

Another example of the dynamic I’m speaking of:

http://www.thenarcissistinyourlife.com/disguised.html

The “humility” is just an evolved form of bragging in my opinion. Read his dialogue from above again. The man is outrageously in love with himself. To some degree one must be in love with the sound of one’s own voice in order to be a writer, just like one must be in love with money more than sex in order to be a good stripper or prostitute, but the talent in all three professions is in at least creating the illusion that that’s not the case. Which is where to me this ultimately fails. Buddy Baker exists not as a character or the protagonist in his own right but solely as a mirror through which he can reflect Morrison’s idealized self-image back at him.

And by the time I got to the final issue I felt especially cheated because up until that point I thought I was connecting with a character, not merely being set up to join a cult dedicated to Morrison’s idealized self-image. It felt like a gradual narrative bait-and-switch. And like any good narcissist, Morrison’s story sets you up to join his cult of personality by flattering you into believing that joining his cult reflects positively on you the readers’ intelligence. The subtext to the story, when I read it, said to me “If you enjoy this clever, cheeky subtly brilliant idealized self-representation I am selling you, then on some level you must equally clever and subtly brilliant. This is the kind of book the idealized person you want to be would love to read. If you read it and love it, then on some level you’ve taken a major step in becoming that underappreciated genius you like to imagine you are destined to be.”

this split open my head back when it came out, like a pick ax cracking granite.
i keep waiting for mr morrison to have his current self visit this eras self in one of his comics.
i’m sure it would not be nearly as good, but it would indeed be very interesting.

his weakest work, I think. (except for #5)

that whole bit where he meets Morrison read..gimmicky.

I remember this as if it were yesterday.

Morrison’s interview at the time for Amazing Heroes (RIP) was just about to come out, and this ending to his run was sort of “leaked” to a few of us as the interviewer was someone I knew.

My 16 year old mind was blown as I was told what was coming in Animal Man #26 and after going back and re-reading his run and seeing how it all came together… – it really was incredible to me.

Perhaps it’s nostalgia as well (can’t believe it’s over 20 years old!) but I hold this run – and indeed, all Morrison’s work from this time – in the highest regard.

I still keep my eye out for Foxy…

Wow. McCracken, how having a DC superhero literally meet his maker is just a “gimmick” is beyond me. It was a cool and incredibly surprising twist when I read it, but maybe that’s just gimmicky, too.

T., I understand the point you’re making about Morrison, but it’s totally overshadowed by your intense bitterness.

Tom, I don’t hate any Morrison.

blah blah Morrison blah blah pretentious blah blah intellectual used as a pejorative blah blah where’s the punching

There, that should take care of the entire comments section.

“T., I understand the point you’re making about Morrison, but it’s totally overshadowed by your intense bitterness.”

Also by the fact that he’s completely full of crap.

randypan the goatboy

November 1, 2011 at 8:30 am

Morrison is lying out his ass when he said PETA was a non violent protest organization…they are domestic terrorists and they are as wrong headed as it gets on a lot of things. first off if its slow it is food…meat is not murder…meat is FOOD. Animal testing is regretable but if it came down between my son being sick and 3 million white mice…there would be a room full of dead white mickeys. When you think of the diseases that have been cured due in part to animal testing then it more than makes up for a few dead rats.. i am sure someone will pitch a fit over this” mean spirited” diatribe against peta but any organization that employs professional firebombers is a infected hair on the ass of life

Randypan, firebombing aside (and I have no idea if you’re actually right about this, but let’s address the rest of your blanket statement) I don’t think you know what “lying” means. You have an opinion about animal testing (which, broadly, I agree with); Morrison’s not lying by disagreeing with you. When your son was slow (maybe he still is), was he food?

MP, I don’t know how full of crap T actually is because I couldn’t be bothered to read even more of his whining about Morrison, but I at least understood the point he was trying to make here.

MP, I don’t know how full of crap T actually is because I couldn’t be bothered to read even more of his whining about Morrison

Give me a break.

Okay, I can understand if I just kept randomly injecting Morrison’s name into irrelevant conversations or blog posts or kept steering totally unrelated conversations toward some hatred of Morrison, but every time I bring up my problems with him is in direct response to a post or comment raving about him. It’s totally fair game, not whining or bitterness. Anytime I bring up a critique of Morrison, it’s in response to a praise of Morrison I disagree with. That means if I’m somehow guilty of cluttering up the blog with critiques of Morrison, others are equally guilty of cluttering up the blog with praises of him, since there is a praiseworthy statement that precedes every one of my critical ones.

So why do you complain about “even more whining about Morrison” but don’t complain about “even more gushing about Morrison?” Because your real complaint is someone disagreeing with you, not someone being repetitive or opinionated. Because if the latter was your real complaint, you’d be just as critical of repetitive one-sided praising of Morrison as you are of my critical posts.

At least be real about your gripe instead of resorting to ad hominems. Or better yet, take up the challenge and refute my points.

I remember wanting veal after reading this comic but now I wonder if the preaching converted anyone. This issue made me feel more negative towards animal rights but did anybody out there join PETA or go vegan because of it?

Peter David’s political issues also had a negative effect on me. Other than the old Superman vs. Hilter and Stalin, have any political comic books really worked?

Has any political anything ever really worked?

Hugueknot:
Buddy Baker didn’t meet his maker just as much as he is not a real person. And what’s so surprising and novel about the fact that I always knew some guy on a keyboard plotted Animal Man’s stories all this time?

Morrison never really knew what to do with a character that was rubbish right from the start in the 60ies. His copout was ‘oh whats the use you’re fictional’

T., your critique was worded in such a way as to make it seem whiny and personal; that you had to come back for a second round right after the fact just underscores it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t post, but the tone of your posts is a turn off; I’m thinking he stole your girlfriend or something. And, since a) I’m fully capable of forming my own opinion about Morrison, b) I’m very comfortable with my opinion of Morrison and c) I like Morrion’s work and ideas, I don’t see the point in reading a whiny tirade tearing him down, esp. since I get the gist of it from your posts here and don’t think it’s compelling. At least I’m not as reactionary as Mark. :P

mccracken, what’s surprising about the reveal was that it obliterated the Fourth Wall, something I’d never seen done in an honest-to-God superhero comic as a real plot point. It then went further by offering a full-on critique of super hero tropes, within its own pages. Further, Morrison had done such a good job of aping the post-DK melodrama it made the undercutting of said melodrama all the more surprising. If that’s a cop out, surely it’s the ballsiest cop out in DC or Marvel history.

I thought it was the ALF that did the firebombing.

(Incidentally, I can’t help chuckling anytime I see their acronym in print. “Stop the fascist oppression of the animal kingdom? No Problem!”

randypan the goatboy

November 1, 2011 at 10:03 am

Nope ingrid newkirk personally sponsored one of the fire bombers herself…a man by the name of Rodney Coronado. also ALF member named gary Europhsky is the official peta spokesman and takes the PETa dotrine to high schools and colleges all across the united states. The fact are there. Grant morrison is a liar…period

T: I accept that this issue was Morrison’s first attempt at cultivating the cult of his personality; and in retrospect, as an impressionable teenager who had devoured comics and was lapping up anything post-Watchmen that said ‘look, we’re taking comics forward’ I was an ideal target for this ‘clever, cheeky subtly brilliant’ stuff as you put it.
I remember reading the issues leading up to this one and thinking: “How’s he going to resolve it?” I was surprised, but not disappointed by it, concluding that how on earth could the whole meta thing be handled? Sure, Morrison came across as a dick in places, but it was thought-provoking stuff.
So a question for you: How should Morrison have resolved it?

randypan the goatboy

November 1, 2011 at 10:19 am

There are roughly 10 million type a diabetics in the US alone. Insulin is derived from testing on dogs. chances are some of us in this forum will have to be on some kind of diabetees medicine in our life times…who wants to play the odds and do it PETAS way?..I will wait for your answers.but first speaking of PETAS doggie style… ” sometimes the only kind option for some animals is to put them to sleep forever”..Ingred Newkirk founder of peta… any group that uses violence and intimidation as well as property damage to attain their goals are terrorists…the ALF is a branch of Peta…

Well, I liked this resolution when I first read it and still do, but I understand the dissenting opinions. I can’t tell whether the Morrison monologues are sincere or not, but they ring true and I found them interesting.

I also think it helped that as early as issue 18 (or probably earlier) this is the direction he was going in, so it doesn’t come across to me as a cop out by someone who wrote himself into a corner.

It was a little different when Mark Waid had the FF go to heaven years later and meet their creator. That seemed to be a “straight” superhero adventure right up to that issue, and then the resolution sort of came from nowhere.

Having said that, I kind of liked Waid’s resolution too. Guess I’m a sucker for happy endings.

Ironically, Morrison undercuts his own message about how bad angst is by bringing back Buddy’s family– and act that, were it not for their previous deaths and Buddy’s previous suffering, wouldn’t have any meaning. Still a brilliant comic, though.

Wow…i dont think grant morrisons own mother gives as good lip service for morrison as hugeknot does..while you fish yourself out of grants pants do yourself a favor…Come down off of your fanboy fetish and dont be so quick to punish someone who doesnt share your groupie like obsession with morrison[ who on his best day is 50% media creation]..its kinda creepy

T., your critique was worded in such a way as to make it seem whiny and personal; that you had to come back for a second round right after the fact just underscores it. I’m not saying you shouldn’t post, but the tone of your posts is a turn off; I’m thinking he stole your girlfriend or something. And, since a) I’m fully capable of forming my own opinion about Morrison, b) I’m very comfortable with my opinion of Morrison and c) I like Morrion’s work and ideas, I don’t see the point in reading a whiny tirade tearing him down, esp. since I get the gist of it from your posts here and don’t think it’s compelling. At least I’m not as reactionary as Mark. :P

It’s kind of ironic that you complain that my critique comes off as whiny and personal like he stole my girlfriend or something. I think someone could say the same thing about your responses, that they’re whiny and they come off personal like you have a crush on him or something. If you were really so “comfortable” with your positive opinions of the man and his ideas and his work, you wouldn’t have to keep calling me “whiny” and doing ad hom attacks in every fourth sentence you type.

And if you want to keep personally insulting me, fine, but don’t disingenuously go and then punctuate it with a smiley face at the end to make it seem more harmless and cute than it actually is. Own it.

And I note you still have not even once touched the actual substance of my criticisms.

randy: I’m curious about the timeline, then. Was PETA crazy when Morrison was writing this, or did they jump off the edge afterwards? I’d look it up myself, if I weren’t supposed to be working right now.

That’s because your criticisms have no substance, T.

An interesting point to consider is that the portrayal of Grant Morrison is recursive. The “Grant Morrison” portrayed in the comic is a portrayal of the author and cannot be the author himself. How much of the “Grant Morrison” in the comic book is the author? As you might guess, I was an English major back in the day. :)

I agree we should not hurt some animals but PETA is a mess of an organization.

Still, I do want to collect Morrison’s work.

I think it would be interesting/fun to debate what the greatest-ever run-ending issue is. I place this issue in a toss-up with Daredevil #191 and Preacher #66 as my top pick. It’s interesting, though, how few GREAT runs end as well as they began. So many end with a whimper, a cancellation, an unexpected force-out (Byrne’s FF, Claremont’s X-Men, etc.). And almost all of the truly great comic runs out there are better throughout the first half than the second half (Moore Swamp Thing, Sandman, Starman, Y The Last Man). Animal Man and Miller DD are the only two I can think of where the second half of the run is significantly better than the first half.

i love this whole run of Animal Man. Sorry if others don’t like it, but you are entitled to a wrong opinion. Morrison is one of the best comic book writers working today or in any other era. He doesn’t always get it right, nor does everyone love him [nor should they], but to say he’s overblown or overrated is just wrong.

i don’t particularly like Alan Moore’s output, but i admit he’s light years ahead of just about every other creator. Morrison’s output has been so much better than most of his contemporaries.

This issues of Animal Man was great, although it has plenty of problems. It’s just wrong to say otherwise, based on the work that had been done by other comic creators up to that point.

I guess maybe Wolfman/Perez Titans was better during the second half, but the run also had no real ending at all.

randyfan – I’m not a fan of PETA at all, but, to be fair, all of the information you’re talking about came out in the FBI investigations in the early 21st century. Their connection with overt terrorist acts wouldn’t have been known as of the writing (and, in fact, hasn’t been proven to exist at that time).

Also, judging by the contrast between the peaceful message and the beating of Buddy, I’m not entirely sure the PETA thing isn’t ironic.

“That seemed to be a “straight” superhero adventure right up to that issue”

Welllll… it’s not exactly a straight superhero adventure. The issues building up to meeting Jack Kirby-the-creator are Reed taking the team to heaven to “rescue” Ben from being dead. It’s kind of a strange thing for a comic, they just treat it like a normal adventure, like visiting another dimension.

“but every time I bring up my problems with him is in direct response to a post or comment raving about him. It’s totally fair game, not whining or bitterness.”

Just so you know, responding with criticisms of Morrison every single time somebody praises him kind of reeks of bitterness, T. (To be fair, not usually whiny — this is the first time I’ve seen you say “I was reading Animal Man and this was a copout that disappointed me”, but if you did that every time somebody praised him also, then it would eventually reek of whining.)

I just love how because of this story, Ostrander then used Grant Morrison in a Suicide Squad story, he was killed.

I still love the idea some commenter had (sorry for not looking it up right now, whoever you are) that Morrison should kill off Supergirl’s neighbor Johnny O. (the comic book John Ostrander from before he was a writer) as a tongue-in-cheek rebuttal.

If you want Morrison doing comments on superheroes that don’t involve “look guys this Animal Man is actually pretty silly – im outta here” over 26 issues, then I suggest buying FLEX MENTALLO. (with NEW coloring!!) in feb.

Just so you know, responding with criticisms of Morrison every single time somebody praises him kind of reeks of bitterness, T. (To be fair, not usually whiny — this is the first time I’ve seen you say “I was reading Animal Man and this was a copout that disappointed me”, but if you did that every time somebody praised him also, then it would eventually reek of whining.)

I didn’t say that every single time someone praises Morrison on this blog, I respond with a critique. What I actually said was that anytime I DID critique Morrison, it has been specifically in response to a point someone else brought up about him that I didn’t agree with. That’s a big difference.

Have you seen how many times Morrison is praised on this blog? It would be a full time job to respond with a critique every single time someone said something nice about him here.

randypan the goatboy

November 1, 2011 at 6:47 pm

Michael P. I am not sure of the exact timeline…But Ingrid Newkirk is the founder of PETA so I would say they have always been batshit crazy. I know that this forum isnt about animal rights directly, but a lie is a lie and you cant make me believe that a guy as smart as Grant Morrison is was unaware of the seedier side of PETA. But Look up the names and prettymuch all the information is available. There is also an episode of Penn & teller bullshit about PETA. I watched the show and did the follow up research and it is all on the button. I am an animal person myself, I have 5 dogs 3 cats and a tank full of fish. At the end of the day if my house catches fire and there is no time to get much out my wife and son are the first priority and all the animals[as much as I love them] would have to go. Peta are extremists and terrorists and a lie is a lie..Morrison is lying and he knows it. But i am done with my soapbox and i hope I havent offended anyone too much.

Somebody asked if this comic actually impacted anyone’s food choices and/or politics. The answer: Yes. Me. (And I’d be surprised if I were the only one.) While not the sole factor, reading Animal Man while I was in college was surely the biggest motivator in my becoming vegetarian.

I love the line “we thought that by making your world more violent we would make it more “realistic”, more “adult” God help us if that’s what it means”. Pity it took a large chunk of the comics world five years to catch on to that.

ronically, Morrison undercuts his own message about how bad angst is by bringing back Buddy’s family– and act that, were it not for their previous deaths and Buddy’s previous suffering, wouldn’t have any meaning. Still a brilliant comic, though.

I would suggest that the real message is that angst without redemption — and redemption without angst — don’t work. At the time, too many superhero comics forgot about redemption; in other periods, too many forgot about angst.

I’m going to be a little less subtle this time and flat out state what other commenters are merely hinting at – maybe Grant Morrison was commenting on “Grant Morrison the author.”

I have not read the whole comic, but judging from the frames we see, I think Morrison made the resolution deliberately too pat and simplistic, which allowed him to parody himself and the lack of space he had to make his case. His blatant shilling for PETA deliberately undercuts his ability to convey complex concepts in comic book form. Morrison is not just a propagandist but he plays one here (note how his PETA appeal is made in the frame with a bloody Buddy on the ground) and I suspect he has ulterior motives.

Captain Librarian

November 2, 2011 at 9:36 am

I’m not sure if this is a pretentious and narcissistic comic, or a creative and original story…perhaps its at least some of both?

Regardless the only part that really burns me up is Morrison saying a little girl is worth no more than a field mouse. It pretty much confirms every negative stereotype of the animal rights groups in my mind. It’s fine for him to express his opinion but it sours my own opinion of him (I don’t know if he’s changed or not) and consequently, of the comic itself.

Probably going to regret this, but going to put in 2 cents about PETA.
I disagree w/ the argument that they’re a terrorist organization, and I think it’s irresponsible to say so.
Are their members (founders even) who’ve acted violently? Apparently so, but they didn’t do it in the name of PETA and the organization shouldn’t carry the stigma.
I think we’d agree that the religious fundamentalists who shot abortion providers aren’t speaking for all church-goers or even members of their congregation.
Additionally, I would argue that as people change over time, once reasonable beliefs can harden and they might become more radical. Again this doesn’t mean everything they touch is criminal.
I feel that the characterization of PETA given here is part of a campaign to discredit them that’s been going on for a long time.

I will also add, I am not a member of PETA nor have I ever been.
At the time I was reading these comics I was not a vegetarian but I did find them a nice counter the accepted notion that anything a human wants to put in it’s mouth for food is A Okay.
It’s something that should be said and thought about, even if in the end you decide you don’t agree.

Randypan the goatboy, if you really believe that meat = food then you believe you are also food.
If you do that’s fine and I commend you for admitting that–most people don’t have the guts to do so (unintentional joke there).
I am a vegetarian now (for about the past 5 years) primarily for personal health concerns, but also because I don’t feel factory farming is safe.
I do believe we have a right to eat meat for sustenance, but I chose not to. I believe it should be done thoughtfully–as should everything–but the overwhelming majority of people in Western society do not think enough about anything. PETA and other organizations are a valuable counter to lazily accepted assumptions we live with.
Simply by stating their belief they are marginalized because it’s such an uncommon notion. They will always be radical just because they’re such a small minority.
It wasn’t Morrison or PETA who caused me to make my decision, but things I read did inform my choice, MANY things I’ve read.

As for this issue of Animal Man, I thought it was great and very novel while still keeping up with great comic book traditions going back to the early days. Those critics who come down on it harshly now are mostly standing on hindsight, at the time it came out Animal Man was a breath of fresh air compared to most Big 2 books, and deserves to be at least respected for its attempts at trying different things. It is perhaps a bit indulgent, but after his time on the book the author earned himself the leeway given for this farewell story (in my opinion).

I’m not sure if this is a pretentious and narcissistic comic, or a creative and original story…perhaps its at least some of both?

I think that’s fair. While I thought this was overrated for sure, it left no doubt in my mind when I first read it that Morrison was a very bright idea man and as a writer, a gifted stylist. That’s why I love his work when he lays off the metafiction and authorial self-insertion, like in JLA, X-Men and his current Action Comics.

PETA is a non-violent organization. God there is so much misinformation out there.

And animal-testing has not been responsible for any drug developments in at least the last 20 years at least. It’s done mainly to check some boxes on forms and for insurance purposes.

randypan the goatboy

November 3, 2011 at 6:15 am

To JRC… Thank you for such a well thought out and articulate response.It is refreshing to see that 2 people with completly different points of view on such a polarizing topic can discuss it without one of them being called an asshole….[especially on a comic book forum} I stand by my original statement though. The big difference being that not every church in the world operates under the same charter. the churches are affiliated based entirely on a idea and a popular[to them] beliefe. Peta on the other hand is an organization that has a leader[ Ingrid Newkirk] and uses violence and intimidation to acheive their goals. The facts are there and the only way to convince someone is to present the evidence. Your mind is made up and I respect your opinion no less because of it. Even though I disagree with you I will not resort to name calling.. I do have to admit I got a laugh out of me being food though…I honestly believe that if i was food just bite of me would cause a heart attack. My cholestorol is so High that I cut myself shaving this morning and I bled sausage gravy…lol

I like about 66% of Grant Morrison’s work and I think he’s a narcissist and often pretentious. Yeah, it’s irritating at times but there are a lot worse things that people could be than that. It’s probably even more annoying when he acknowledges his foibles/weaknesses in his final Animal Man story; it takes away the weird pleasure we get at calling people names and trying to shame them or take them down a peg. I did think, however, he was being both genuine and self-involved in this story and in his Invisibles work, both of which I enjoyed.

When I think of “metafiction” I think of Coyote Gospel, not the self indulgent bring my characters to me and have a conversation, I’m not even sure I would consider that to be meta fiction. Breaking the fourth wall, by itself is not meta fiction. Or at worse it’s an unsubtle way of hammering you over the head with it. Good meta fiction should be less obvious, more of a commentary to those in the know, but past over by those who don’t.

Coyote Gospel is a fantastic piece, great commentary on the looney tunes cartoons, violence in society, religion and a host of other stuff in a one and done. The meet your creator on the other hand was a little over the top. Mind you I point to Animal man as the first comic book a non-comic book fan should read(that has a tangential relationship to super hero books)

JRC:

I disagree w/ the argument that they’re a terrorist organization, and I think it’s irresponsible to say so.
Are their members (founders even) who’ve acted violently? Apparently so, but they didn’t do it in the name of PETA and the organization shouldn’t carry the stigma.

I don’t know. I haven’t researched it in any detail – beyond watching the episode of Penn and Teller’s Bullshit that covered it – and I won’t take that programme as gospel, but…

From the evidence in that programme there was some evidence to suggest that PETA was directly funding some of the terrorist activities.

Matty, good comment. I want to add that even though I too think Morrison shows many narcissistic traits and some pretentiousness, i do think comics as a whole are better as a result of his having existed. The works of his I have liked are among my favorite superhero comics ever. I also agree with Capt USA in that i think Animal Man is a great first comic book to recommend to non-comic book fans.

At the risk of being told once again that I’m being whiny or bitter, I’ll share the following observation anyway:

This Animal Man story really makes me think about Mark Twain and how similar Morrison is to him. There was a recent book called inventing Mark Twain, and it’s all about the real Samuel Clemens and the idealized persona he invented for public consumption, Mark Twain, and how he eventually fully became this public idealized self and what that psychologically might have done to him. You can find a great short summary of it here:

http://www.ptypes.com/inventives2.html

I highly recommend that piece, as it seems to have a lot of similarities to Morrison, and in a way makes me even more fascinated by him. Even his own friend, Steve Yeowell, remarked, “In many ways, Grant’s greatest creation is himself.”

[...] one of my favorite comics was recently discussed over at CBR, the issue of Animal Man where he finally comes face-to-face with Grant Morrison: Pretty much the entire run [...]

I really appreciated this, for the most part because Morrison opens his hands and says, I’m not great at writing endings, this is no exception, I hope you enjoyed the story anyway and we can both take something away from it about how life doesn’t wrap up neatly either.

[...] sure I’ll get around to reviewing Animal Man someday. But until then I have to post some particularly poignant comic panels I found on one of my favorite sites: Comics should be [...]

Mychael Darklighter

July 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm

why do you have such a problem with people ‘inventing’ themselves, t?
i think that should be everyone’s right. maybe even duty.

oh, and animals > people.

Grant Morrison’s Animal Man run: possibly the second most important superhero comic book of the modern era (after Watchmen).

This final issue is a beautiful conclusion to the 26-issue run. Another highlight is the classic #5 (The Coyote Gospel) a mind bending commentary on religion that is so haunting that you might wake up one day and realize its frighteningly close to the truth.

“it takes away the weird pleasure we get at calling people names and trying to shame them or take them down a peg.” -Matty Macomber

Its one thing to be malicious and petty; its another thing to admit it on a message board. Bizarre.

Morrison trumped you, the same way Eminem/Rabbit trumped his opponents in ’8 Mile’.

Lesson learned.

Random; Grant Morrison’s “character” showed uplater in the Suicide Squad as “the writer”…..he was killed after he came down with a case of writer’s block….though as John Ostrander was writing the Squad then, it my have been Ostrander borriwing Morrison’s “gimmick”

…issue 55 I think

This comments section is crazy. One guy starting a debate on animal rights and peta for some reason, and another guy talking about Morrison likes he’s his jilted ex psychiatrist.

[...] can be taken from the horse’s mouth in his last issue of “Animal Man”, where he writes himself in as a character.  he reveals that much of his motivation in writing the comic had been driven by his personal [...]

Big Roth Johnson

October 30, 2013 at 2:29 am

While I enjoyed this issue when it came out, and still find it to be some of Morrison’s best writing, I wasn’t one of these people who found the ending to be like nothing ever done before. If my memory is correct, Kurt Vonnegut ended “Breakfast of Champions” in a similar manner. Vonnegut himself entered the story and revealed himself to the main character, whose basic response is, “My God, how could you have done such horrible things to me.” I read Animal Man #26 when it came out, and remember thinking “Wow, he really ripped off Vonnegut here.”

In terms of the weirdo in the comments who is all upset about PETA, says they are full-blown terrorists, no different than Al Qaada… I actually kind of agree that the actions of a few members of a group or church who commit violent acts CAN and SHOULD tar the entirety of the organization. The U.S. military will always be defined by the My Lai Massacre. Any American who would willingly be a part of an organization that committed an act like My Lai should be defined by that willing association with terrorists. Every time I see an Army fellow in uniform, to me it’s just some dumb hillbilly shooting Vietnamese babies in the face while his gang-raped mother is being forced to watch. PETA might have a “dressed-up” image, but they are not the only ones. Anyone who willingly associates with Evangelical Christianity, for example, is knowingly associating with an ideology that regularly commits terrorist acts. And while some in the US military might be semi-decent people, the majority of them are there because they’re the kind of people drawn to hurting others. John Dillinger robbed banks because that’s where the money is, US soldiers sign up for the military because that’s where the killings and the rapes are. No better deal in town if you’re into that sort of thing. Plus immunity from prosecution.

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