Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Super, and Not-So-Super

The new, and typically half-thoughtful/half-drug-fucked, book by frequently amazing Scottish comics writer Grant Morrison is Supergods, a look at the history and philosophy of superheroes--something he knows a lot about, having written acclaimed runs of Superman, Batman and X-Men, among others. (My own personal favourite among his works is his Doom Patrol series--a funny but ultimately sad, surrealistic take on superheroic cliches--and its long-lost offshoot, Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery.)

Anyway, to Supergods. Here's the excellent US cover:

This uses the artwork by Frank Quitely from page one of Morrison's All-Star Superman series. Most comics (and movies) which retell the beginnings of various superheroes do so at wearisome length. Morrison knew that everyone reading a Superman comic already knew those basics, and summed them up in one page and four panels, getting it out of the way so that the fun stuff could start.

Click for bigger version

And here's the UK cover.

I can see why people are spending extra to import the US version.

Next post: an uncanny similarity spotted by Welsh correspondent Miss Disco.


Jonathan Walker said...

Love Doom Patrol, and also The Invisibles. Am indifferent to the mainstream superhero titles. I have read one interview with Grant Morrison where he seemed to be seriously suggesting he had been abducted by aliens, despite the interviewer asking repeatedly, 'Are you sure it wasn't the drugs?', but I imagine he considers his public persona to be a variety of performance art. Will check out the book when I get a chance.

Brian Busby said...

Looking at the images, before reading your fine post, I assumed that the UK cover was a promotional poster. Something simple to catch the eye - uninspired and uninspiring.

JRSM said...

JW: You may be right--after all, this is the man who tried to get all of his readers to masturbate simultaneously in order to prevent 'The Invisibles' from being cancelled, however that was supposed to work.

Brian: I hand't thought of that, but yes--it does look like a poster or an ad, rather than a great cover.

Ian Koviak said...

that's how they should have tried to save the AIGA's 50 Books/50 Covers competition.

JRSM said...

With a superpowered punch to the face?

Ian Koviak said...

no, with simultaneously masturbation.

Stuart Bache said...

Neither of them are great, although when next to one another the UK cover is very, very poor.


Chip Kidd should have been the man to design it.