Comic book author Grant Morrison posits the view that superheroes – and the utopian / idealist future they often represent – are an antidote to the more commonly-held view that the world is doomed in this entertaining discussion with Herald & Times Group Arts Editor Alan Morrison at the Edinburgh International Book Festival.
The ‘go-to guy’ for the industry when they are wanting to reboot or reconstruct a well-known character, Morrison has written a history of the medium in his new book Supergods, which examines the heroes through their classic beginnings, then on through what he calls their teenage and adolescent phases; to the present day, when they are in their 20s and have a sexy new girlfriend in the shape of Hollywood.
Early on during the writing of Supergods, Morrison decided to weave his own biographical tale into the narrative. With a passion for comics and a fascination with real-life magic and paganism – not to mention being one of the highest-regarded writers in the field – the end result is a book which looks at heroes from several angles.
Taking questions from the floor, Morrison covered the impact of Hollywood and new technology on the comic industry, the difference in archetypes of Superman and Batman, and the sexual fetishism behind Wonder Woman.
With an obvious expertise in and passion for the medium, his view that superheroes – rather than simply being two-dimensional characters in spandex – are creations we should aspire to and learn from, was also a compelling one.