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I love Grant Morrison, but...


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#1 jaynova

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:39 PM

Morrison book spoilers follow...

Here's the link to the interview I'm referencing.

Rolling Stone interviewed Grant Morrison, and in the interview, Grant makes some valid points about Alan Moore. In fact, the title of this post isn't quite fair because I don't really take issue with what he said about Moore; what I take issue with is this:

"We know Alan Moore isn't a misogynist but fuck, he's obsessed with rape. I managed to do thirty years in comics without any rape!"

So that wasn't an implied rape scene in Hellblazer when the father and his friends invade the daughter's room? And I supposed Lord Fanny's rape, shown twice in the Invisibles, doesn't count? You could make the case that Ragged Robbin's rape doesn't count because it was a false memory. However, you can't write off the Crazy Jane was raped by her father off panel, and then by a stranger in a church on-panel.

Maybe I'm being nit-picky because I've read a lot of Morrison in the past year,so it's all fresh, but still...that's a lot of rape for someone who doesn't put rape in comics.
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#2 Lou K

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 06:02 PM

You have a point there, JNova.

So does GM to an extent, Alan Moore seems to always have something like that in his comics.
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#3 Christian

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 09:41 PM

It doesn't sound like you actually have a problem with Morrison's comment about Moore, but that you have a problem with Morrison wearing blinders and taking the moral high ground.
But, his comments about Moore are spot-on. It's gotten pretty bad with Moore.
I don't think of a Grant Morrison comic and have a rape scene come to mind. More and more, I've been finding that rape scenes have made an appearance in a large chunk of Moore's comics.
We've even had a conversation right here on this site during Neonomicon about the subject. A lot of people are noticing a trend.
It's certainly not helping Moore's creative reputation, at this point, at the very least.

It's like Chris Claremont's "strong women getting mind-controlled by villains" trope that has ended up making people roll their eyes at a lot of Claremont's work by this point.
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#4 jaynova

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 10:12 PM

View PostChristian, on 15 March 2012 - 09:41 PM, said:

It doesn't sound like you actually have a problem with Morrison's comment about Moore, but that you have a problem with Morrison wearing blinders and taking the moral high ground.
But, his comments about Moore are spot-on. It's gotten pretty bad with Moore.
I don't think of a Grant Morrison comic and have a rape scene come to mind. More and more, I've been finding that rape scenes have made an appearance in a large chunk of Moore's comics.
We've even had a conversation right here on this site during Neonomicon about the subject. A lot of people are noticing a trend.
It's certainly not helping Moore's creative reputation, at this point, at the very least.

It's like Chris Claremont's "strong women getting mind-controlled by villains" trope that has ended up making people roll their eyes at a lot of Claremont's work by this point.
Oh, don't get me wrong...Alan Moore's stuff these days is like if it's not League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, I'm not interested. I looked at the Neonomicon a few weeks ago, and it was disgusting. I couldn't find any reason for the extended group rape scene, and I think it's a misunderstanding of what makes the Lovecraft Mythos scary. And I can't think of anything in the last ten years that Morrison has done that has had any sort of rape (Though that might be because he switched places with Kind Mob and KM is writing comics now...)
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#5 TimC

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 10:36 PM

View Postjaynova, on 15 March 2012 - 10:12 PM, said:

And I can't think of anything in the last ten years that Morrison has done that has had any sort of rape
Batman.
Spoiler

And Neonomicon is deserving of a more thoughtful reading, to put it mildly.

#6 Christian

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 11:36 PM

No, I really don't think it is.
The ending of the book saved it from being worthless, but it's certainly not near Moore's best work.
He wrote it because he needed the money, and it shows. I'm not saying he was playing the "hack" either, as I understand he actually faced real pressure to pay the tax-man. Sometimes the real world does truly interfere with the creative process, as Kafka so brilliantly expressed in some of his fiction, and I understand that.
Jay's points are valid about Lovecraft though. Yes, he was full of neuroses, including a fear of sex, but those neuroses are what makes Lovecraft's horror work for so many. It was "unspeakable" and "blasphemous" for a reason. That's the point of Lovecraft. To take away the neuroses is to, basically, invalidate Lovecraft's horror.
Besides, isn't everyone tired of the Lovecraft pastiches by this point?
It's been going on, fullblown, since the 1970s (at least), and nearly every horror writer has dipped into it at some point in their career now.
Look, I'm a fan of Lovecraft. I'm one of the people who actually thinks he was a good writer. But, the fact remains that the people who say that he was a terrible writer do have some merit, and yet we have people literally building cults around Lovecraft's cobbled together mythos, all these years later.
The Courtyard was, at least, superior to Neonomicon.
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#7 Cunning Man

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 01:45 AM

Animal Man's wife almost gets raped too, but I only mention that for the sake of completeness.  Morrison is an interesting writer, but a bad bullshitter.  He is wearing blinders about his own work in this case, I'd agree.  I can't agree about having had enough Lovecraft pastiches.  The way they're done, sure.  I'd take another Evil Dead 2- a Necronomicon, reanimated corpses, spirit visitation, over the top gore, dimensional vortex, insanity, invocation, giant hair-whitening monster; whether you want to call these elements alone or combined Lovecraftian -over another Neonomicon any day.  The latter was much more of a divergence from H.P.'s fiction. [ Spoiler : Cthulhu is not Rosemary's Baby and Leng is not the fucking fourth dimension! ]  It might not deserve more readings, but it could sustain them, particularly in light of some of Kenneth Grant's writing.  
Rape in Moore's work does not seem obsessive to me.  Some reactions to it certainly are, and I could guess they're made for various reasons.  This subject is maybe ironic on the heels of his most recent tirade about how he counts on the strong moral fiber of his fans to decide what to do where Watchmen prequels are concerned.  I'll still read what he writes unless he seriously goes off the deep end because he's one of the most aware and intelligent artists working today.  And he did address the rape in his work thoughtfully in that webchat I linked to in another thread.
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#8 Avaunt

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:18 AM

View PostTimC, on 15 March 2012 - 10:36 PM, said:

Batman.
Spoiler


Personally I am also against rape, without worring particularly who does it to whom. And if a person sets out to disagree with someone like Morrison does with Moores recent behaviour. while it does look a little rich if they themselves have recently done same, it doesn't make their message any  less correct.

Something that makes me really angry is Terry Moore et al with with their "Women who are laughed at may assault and murder at will, but rape is the unforgiveable act". It just pretty much rates as a particularly brutal assault to me, no different except in degree to many another assault brutes make on innocents. There is never any excuse to brutalise people, and weighing the one kind against the other is abhorrent to me. Or, you know, I could make a case that you can't compare a woman changing her mind after she gets into bed with a bloke, to , say, three guys kicking a gay man into a coma.

In a related topic, I was astonished to read that many feminists mounted a campaign against Karsa Orlong, because he raped women as he came down out of the mountains. What part of barbarian savage did they miss?. Did they just gloss over his intent to "Kill thousands of ( lowland adult males ) Children" so they could fixate on a couple of rapes?. Is rape worse than being stabbed to death with a sword?.

But they seriously said it was his raping that was reason that he should never have been written. The mind boggles at enthusiasts.
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#9 Christian

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 09:34 PM

I suppose there's always the case to be made that one might rather wish to be killed than to be raped.
You have to live with the memories and feelings that go with rape, while with murder, it's all over.
It's always been the case in war, where people are blowing each other up with big machines, that you shouldn't be raping people, so it's arguable that it's been an inherent code within warfare.
A lot of older cultures saw rape as the ultimate indingnity, when tribal blood was so important. You can come in and try to slaughter my village, but you better not be leaving your foreigner's seed with my kinsmen.
Remember in Celtic countries (just as one example), the female warriors wished to be killed by the invading soldiers instead of being taken as sex slaves. The dominance elements were far worse, being owned by this strange person in the most intimate way, over simply being granted death.
You can just apply it to comic books. If Superman and Luthor are fighting over the fate of the Earth, if Superman accidentally kills Luthor, he's going to feel bad about it, but it's what had to happen to save Earth...yet, imagine if Superman beat Luthor and bent him over and went at him.
Yeah, people might accept that Superman did what he was forced to do by having Luthor die, but no one is going to accept Superman raping Luthor.
Me, personally? I'm against both.
But, if someone's coming at me with a knife, saying they're going to spill my entrails, and I'm holding a gun, I'm really going to have to use that gun.
You can, at least, make a case for murder, you can't ever make a case for rape.
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#10 Cunning Man

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 10:41 PM

Hyde rapes the Invisible Man to death.  So... I don't know what.
Hyde's an extreme, unhinged personality and Moore's been determined all along to make his characters sexually alive or active.  Who would complain about that?  I don't mean did Griffin have it coming for what he'd done.  I mean, are we supposed to be upset when books don't tell us how to act, or don't omit behaviors we shouldn't adopt?  Such an event be read as a warning toward moderation.  What does it mean about us if we don't see it that way?
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#11 Christian

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 11:45 PM

If you're replying to my comment about Superman and Luthor, it's a totally different scenario.
Hyde was unbalanced and visceral.
Superman represents high ideals.
Regardless of my giving Mark Millar ideas for his next DC project, showing Superman raping Luthor after beating him...while, I admit, I do find it a little bit amusing thinking of this scenario...is just morally objectionable.

I don't think this topic is an argument against the legitimate use of rape in a comic book. Regardless of what Morrison's drug-addled brain lets him remember, he obvioulsy has used rape as a plot point too.
If an author feels the need to use rape (or murder, or etc.) that's at their behest.
It's more of a question about Moore's over-using rape.
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#12 Cunning Man

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 02:14 AM

View PostChristian, on 16 March 2012 - 11:45 PM, said:

If you're replying to my comment about Superman and Luthor, it's a totally different scenario.

No, I didn't mean that.  In the Hyde example I found an instance of both rape and murder indistinguishable as violence.  It was in response to the distinction of rape and murder that you drew, and the conceivable consequences or lack thereof determining to some extent the nature of each.  Just a technical point, and not extremely relevant, but a lead-in to my ideas about reader reaction.


View PostChristian, on 16 March 2012 - 11:45 PM, said:

I don't think this topic is an argument against the legitimate use of rape in a comic book. Regardless of what Morrison's drug-addled brain lets him remember, he obvioulsy has used rape as a plot point too.
If an author feels the need to use rape (or murder, or etc.) that's at their behest.
It's more of a question about Moore's over-using rape.

Legitimate use and over-use must be the same discussion, right?  It's a question of degree: zero is right, or some, or a lot.  Maybe it depends on the story's events and character motivations, but here we drift into moral relativism.  I was just saying it's an opportunity to acknowledge that as we read we can consciously create our attitudes to what we're presented.
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#13 Avaunt

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 03:37 AM

View PostChristian, on 16 March 2012 - 09:34 PM, said:

I suppose there's always the case to be made that one might rather wish to be killed than to be raped.
You have to live with the memories and feelings that go with rape, while with murder, it's all over.


You make some cogent points. Especially the one about having to live with the effects. Many people who have suffered a savage beating which left them crippled might  say immediately afterward, they had rather been killed.


I just think that someone living without the sight in one eye, and a massive dent  in their forehead and scar from their hairline down to their chin, inflicted with a sustained beating, has a lot more to live with, including the dominence aspect,  than a woman who decides she doesn't want sex  after getting in bed with a guy does.   ( the guy I  am thinking of as my example was crawling along  on his hands and knees asking the three guys who beat him with their fists and a brick in the first place,  "Help me, I can't see, I am blind" and they laughed, pushed him over onto his back and spat in his face. We know this because they bragged about it and were caught because someone told the police they were doing so, shades of how rapes are compounded by rapists then bragging about it. He came close to dying, and if people lift their hand quickly anywhere near him, he cringes, something like seventeen years later. )


Rape is rape, and I will make clear that I feel ( that it is obvious ) it ought to be prosecuted just as harshly anytime, and  if the one has added assaults or beating, then there should be the two crimes prosecuted. I hate to hear someone charged with "Aggravated rape" that is bullshit, what they mean is a charge of rape, and and another of assault. We can have no quibbles on the topic and men controlling their actions so all women, always feel at least as easy at the idea of saying "Please stop" as they feel  saying "Please start" has to be one of the aims for men.

I just don't like it  being granted sacred status. I am against anything being granted sacred status, because it is always a slight of hand motivated by a lobby group, everything can stand on its own merits, when everyone is honest.
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#14 Christian

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:24 AM

View PostCunning Man, on 17 March 2012 - 02:14 AM, said:



View PostChristian, on 16 March 2012 - 11:45 PM, said:

I don't think this topic is an argument against the legitimate use of rape in a comic book. Regardless of what Morrison's drug-addled brain lets him remember, he obvioulsy has used rape as a plot point too.
If an author feels the need to use rape (or murder, or etc.) that's at their behest.
It's more of a question about Moore's over-using rape.

Legitimate use and over-use must be the same discussion, right?  It's a question of degree: zero is right, or some, or a lot.  Maybe it depends on the story's events and character motivations, but here we drift into moral relativism.  I was just saying it's an opportunity to acknowledge that as we read we can consciously create our attitudes to what we're presented.

True enough.
I found the usage of rape in Neonomicon to not be effectively used.
Over-use of any trope by an author is eventually going to dilute the author's creative intent.
Look at the eye-rolling over Ellis using nano-technology from a few years ago. People made jokes about his next story would mention nano-technlogy, and in every instance, they were right. Ellis seems to have, thanfully, moved on (or I think he finally has).
Or, my example of Claremont using the "strong woman mind-controled by villain" plot ad nauseam.
It ends up where the author finds himself being made fun of by readers. It's no longer effective.
Compare that to Claremont's usage of the trope in "Dark Phoenix Saga", which most routinely consider a classic of comics. He hadn't over-used it by that point.
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#15 Christian

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 04:30 AM

Avaunt-Your point about the effects of extreme violence or attempted murder are true.
The victims also have to live with the memories of what some fellow human being did to them.
I was thinking of making allowances for that in my point, but felt the message was long enough.
It's another case where someone may feel that dying is a more humane option.

It really ends up being a subjective view though, in the end. Humans tend to be highly resilient animals.
I remember seeing a woman who was a model who got acid thrown in her face by some psycho stalker.
Her face is beyond repair. It's basically melted. It's so fucking awful.
Yet, she was on the talk show talking about the miracle of life and how much she cherishes every day.
And, this is a model. Someone who was used to attention and getting by on her physical appearance. It was all taken away from her, and yet she seems to be grateful that she isn't dead.

As far as "sacred status", people tend to be concerned about the things closest to their own experience. A rape victim or someone who knows a rape victim will probably feel there's much more of a problem with showing rape, while someone whose child was killed may feel the same about child violence.
The conversation was never meant to be about "censorship".
It was always meant to be about Moore's creativity, and whether Morrison is a hypocrite.
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#16 Avaunt

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Posted 17 March 2012 - 05:19 AM

I suspect it is more that Morrison was a drug-crazed hippy, and we can't blame him if his memory is full of holes.  :(

Though, seriously, how did he form the accusation, given his own history of rape work?.

That is humans for you.

Talking about drugs, I was sent to clean an apartment yesterday. Someones younger brother had been staying in their apartment, apartment sitting. With the idea of keeping their tropical fish and houseplants alive for three weeks, while elder brother  took a trip through Aspen and other Northern winter wonderlands.

Younger brother not only let both fish and plants die, he seemed to have used  every surface in the entire house as a surface to sniff cocaine off. It was positively everywhere, including all over the dishes in the un-used dishwasher for some reason. I suspect the guy flung a bag or two straight up in the air, to get the ROOM in the mood or something equally strange. And I kid not, he had hookers in for orgies*, and many of the surfaces had sweaty buttock imprints smearing the cocaine around. The windows  facing the driveway had a perfect impression of a naked short womans face, make-up smeared, and large breasts, the whole oily outline having collected cocaine out of the air. More than a dozen small plastic bags littered the floor, with, I guess, an aggregate level tea-spoon of coke that could have been collected by someone who wanted to. He also had the key for the elder brothers  boat down at Orakei Marina, and did the same in the boat.

Elder brother let me into the apartment and casually said "You can take any of  the coke you find with you, as a tip, mate". He treated it as a run of the mill thing!. Far more angry about the fish and plants!.

* this came to light because, meeting one of the other apartment dwellers in the stairwell, and finding out it was this neighbours 17th birthday, he invited him in for a "birthday treat" of hookers. No drink or coke though, because, you know, that would be wrong.
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#17 slinker

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:05 AM

Morrison drawn by Quitely


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#18 dogpoet

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 12:22 PM

View PostCunning Man, on 16 March 2012 - 01:45 AM, said:

The latter was much more of a divergence from H.P.'s fiction. [ Spoiler : Cthulhu is not Rosemary's Baby and Leng is not the fucking fourth dimension! ]  It might not deserve more readings, but it could sustain them, particularly in light of some of Kenneth Grant's writing.
Belated but, isn't that the whole point of Neonomicon? Moore's big on his chaos magick since he hit 40 (he can call it whatever the hell he wants, but it's chaos magick), and there's been an increasing movement in that over the last twenty or fifteen years to co-opt Lovecraft's imagery. The whole comic seems to have a lot more to do with Asenath Mason and her predecessors in this foolishness than it does with Lovecraft.

#19 Christian

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 01:55 AM

I'm not sure if it's really a misunderstanding of Lovecraft on these guys part, so much as their attempting to sell a wholly elitist and openly fascist mentality to a bunch of people whose political views otherwise tend to lean towards the Left.
The fact that Lovecraft felt that the breaking down of hierarchy under a liberal society was opening the door to a lot of "scary things"...like free love or non-white races!
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#20 dogpoet

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 11:17 AM

The liberal society was more of a postwar thing, long after Lovecraft had croaked.
I'm not sure that occultniks are automatically and inherently left leaning, either. Elitism and feelings of superiority are probably a big part of the appeal for a lot of people, and a few flavours (the Astaru pagan thing springs to mind for a start) tend to take the ideology into downright toxic territory. Whatever you can say about Moore, at least he isn't that obnoxious about his magickal posturing.




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