Friday, September 9, 2011

Grant Morrison - Leaping Tall Buildings


Much of my time this past summer has been spent finishing up my part on the book, LEAPING TALL BUILDINGS: The Origins of American Comics. While Chris Irving has been editing the text and our designer Eric Skillman has been creating layouts, I've been a) making final, hi-res version of all of my photographic portraits and b), with the help of my intern, India, collecting art from all of the subjects to go along with their profile and portrait. It's been a massive amount of work for everyone involved.

We thought we had all the material together for the approximately 60 subjects whose stories and art would tell the narrative of comics history in the book. We were out of space, and in fact, we were way over the 240-page count our publisher powerHouse books had granted us. 60 pages over! But, there was one particular subject who had eluded us and it always bugged me that he wasn't in the book, so I figured I'd try Grant Morrison one more time. He lives between Scotland and LA, so it was mostly proximity which kept him from us, but he was scheduled to be in NYC to promote his new book Supergods, and he graciously found some time to meet with us.


Grant Morrison is a rockstar comics creator, who even in his superhero work manages to challenge the reader with his use of thought-provoking trippy futurism which looks back as it looks forward, and his big IDEAS. His work on Batman these past few years forces the reader to pay attention or get lost forever and his All Star Superman brings 50s era comic tropes to the 21st century in a story of epic beauty. Anyway, yeah, I'm a fan.

The shoot happened over 20 minutes in his midtown hotel room. Grant was gracious and patient and willing to experiment. I showed up with no concept whatsoever except I knew experimentation would be needed. Grant is a striking looking fella' and clearly a great subject and the interesting patterned wallpaper and mirrors in the room provided me with the rest. The photo at the top is the one that will be in the book. I think the viewer can interpret it several ways and I like that. I have my own interpretation, based upon his work and the often meta qualities, but I think it best to leave it vague.

See the Graphic NYC profile of Grant Morrison, featuring my photos, Chris's interview-based essay and art from his comics work here.

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