Saturday, September 17, 2011


Back issue browsing again. This is Animal Man #26 by Grant Morrison with art by Chris Truog and Mark Farmer.
So here is the route to success as a comic book writer: start out as a Brit writing for 2000AD, then go to America and get an obscure DC character, do something completely new with the book and then rock star fame awaits you.. Alan Moore did it with Swamp Thing, Neil Gaiman did it with Sandman and here is Grant Morrison coming to the end of his 26 issue run on Animal Man.

The story here is, well there isn't really a story. This issue is a conversation between the writer and his character. Buddy Baker is the animal powered hero of the title who has crashed through into Morrison's real world, or vice versa. The result is the sort of bizarre story that Morrison has became infamous for. The author tells his character that he's not real and that everything that happens to him is made up, and Baker insists again and again that everything that has happened to him including the recent deaths of his family is all painfully real. Morrison punctuates this talk fest by having colourful costumed villains turn up from time to time to beat up Animal Man while the author turns to the camera and speaks directly to the readers.

It is all very Meta, as they say in post-modern literary circles. Morrison's run on Animal Man was pretty interesting stuff including one very famous and weird story called the Coyote Gospel. At the end of this particular issue Morrison is kind enough to the next writer to press the reset button and gives his successor a clean sheet. For some reason I have kept just this single issue from the run. The bizarre concept must have impressed me at the time.

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