From one of the most acclaimed and profound writers in the world of comics comes a thrilling and provocative exploration of humankind's great modern myth: the superhero.
The first superhero comic ever published, Action Comics #1 in 1938, introduced the world to something both unprecedented and timeless: Superman, a caped god for the modern age. In a matter of years, the skies of the imaginary world were filled with strange mutants, aliens, and vigilantes: Batman, Wonder Woman, the Fantastic Four, Iron Man, and the X-Men - the list of names is as familiar as our own. In less than a century, they've gone from not existing at all to being everywhere we look: on our movie and television screens, in our videogames and dreams. But what are they trying to tell us?
For Grant Morrison, arguably the greatest of contemporary chroniclers of the superworld, these heroes are powerful archetypes whose ongoing, decades-spanning story arcs reflect and predict the course of human existence: Through them we tell the story of ourselves, our troubled history, and our starry aspirations. In this exhilarating work of a lifetime, Morrison draws on art, science, mythology, and his own astonishing journeys through this shadow universe to provide the first true history of the superhero - why they matter, why they will always be with us, and what they tell us about who we are... and what we may yet become.
"Grant Morrison is one of the great comics writers of all time. I wish I didn't have to compete with someone as good as him."
©2011 Grant Morrison (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Morrison is ideally suited to the task of chronicling the glorious rise, fall, rise, fall and rise again of comic-book superheroes.... [T]his is as thorough an account of the superhero phenomenon as readers are likely to find, filled with unexpected insights and savvy pop-psych analysis - not to mention the author’s accounts of his own drug-fueled trips to higher planes of existence, which add a colorful element.... [T]hose who dare enter will find the prose equivalent of a Morrison superhero tale: part perplexing, part weird, fully engrossing." (Kirkus)
"When Mr. Morrison puts care into his close readings, his prose can soar: a philosophical passage in which he breaks ranks with writers he considers to be 'missionaries who attempted to impose their own values and preconceptions on cultures they considered inferior,' and identifies himself with anthropologists who 'surrendered themselves to foreign cultures' and 'weren’t afraid to go native or look foolish,' is among the book’s most engrossing sections." (The New York Times)
“With a languid and pontificating tone, John Lee narrates Morrison’s long reflection on the history of comic books…From the birth of Superman to the contemporary comic book landscape, Morrison identifies some of the key moments within the world of comics and identifies how the publishers, mainstream culture, and historical events changed the way people think about comics today. Lee’s British accent and cool attitude work in unison to create an image of Morrison that resonates with his public personality.” (AudioFile)
Part Memoir and part examination of the growth of the comic book industry this book is comprehensive. Although, one would have to have an interest in Morrison's specific career to get through this. But he's one of comic's best writers so that shouldn't be an issue for most with an interest in this subject.
this is a kind of personal history of comics. on the whole, it is a fun trip down memory lane (for us older comic book fans). in parts funny, personal and insightful,, but you'll also have to forgive Morrison for his occasional self promotion and polemic.
Grant Morrison is a legend. This book is the summation, in his own words, of his years of hard earned wisdom in the comic book storytelling field. He's delightfully engaging and his book is a must read for all those serious about comics fandom.
Copyright does not protect the idea for a game
This book is clever and fun. The comic history stuff from the 90s to present is amazing. The battles with Lord Alan epic. The early history whacky and fun. A great read.
The chapters are miss numbered on audible & the narration lacks the beatnick enthusiasm Morrison posses--but still fun and in keeping with the story
A fine listen.
Gentleman Person. Cardigan Champion. Hobbyist Enthusiast.
YES, Morrison is so smart, his ideas are dense yet well delivered, I could listen a half dozen times and still be totally engaged.
Morrison's take on the importance of certain characters and why they have endured or faded, why they were important than and now.
I like Grant's child like quality at times
you get to find out what he was thinking what he wrote what he wrote and why.
when he writes Arkham .
I like that he had the balls to kill big names in his books
when he talks about the Superman and X-men titles and their 9/11 links.......creepy, get those books its cool as hell just to see them in that light.
Say something about yourself!
What I expected: I don't like to write reviews based on my dashed expectations of a book, but I feel like I was led on a little bit here. Look at the very long title. I cannot be faulted in expecting a book that examines the cultural relevance of superheroes and how they have enriched the world.
What I got: While I did get a little bit of cultural history, everything seemed to be based on how they related to the author. The book is mostly autobiography: how the great comics of the past made Grant Morrison a great writer, and how Grant Morrison's great writing made the comics of today great.
Morrison's writing is indeed very good, and I know he believes all of his ideas will change the world. Still, I'd rather marvel at the miraculous feats of imaginary heroes.
Ex-military high school math teacher.
I thought this would be more of a philosophical, sociological and anthropological look into the world of comics. It was only partly so. The tangents into the author's own life and his years of finding himself in the fever of drugs and his own sexual identity did nothing but detract from the book.
I'm headed for the escapism of fiction. I have read nine of the Jim Butcher Dresden Files, and enjoyed every one of them. Number ten sounds like it too will be a winner.
Narration was fine.
Yes, it has some great historical and sociological aspects as the author walks his readers through the decades of comics and describes the changes they have gone through as influenced by an ever changing society.
Say something about yourself!
At last I have proof of just how screwed up Grant Morrison really is! This is a fascinating look at the history of superheroes (and the drugs that inspired them) from his own twisted perspective.
"Part biography, part comic book history."
I knew of Grant Morrisons work on Batman and Superman but really was not sure what this book would be like. I am pleased I bought it as it is an insight into the writer, the history of comics and recent superhero cinema but above all its a philosophers view. Sounds pretentious - well its not supposed too. I have now revisited Grant Morrisons comics and graphic novels and also a number of films which the author discuses in some depth and details how the genre has developed. Didn't like Unbreakable first time round - after reading this book and seeing the film again I realise its a bit of a gem.
I would challenge any reader, comic collector/reader or not, not to enjoy this book. I would ay it will enlighten you but mostly it will make you think, At the end, you may just doubt that there are no such things as super heroes.
I liked it. Grant Morrison is great writer. Ok I wasn't too impressed with the writings of a drug induced coma half way through but that too help in the way the writer shows his passion and eagerness to get right to the core of superhero worship.
I still gave this book 5 stars as if there is a similar book out there, I have never see it. And I am sure there isn't going to be one which is so inspirational
"A must for comic fans"
Superb. Part autobiography, part superhero deconstruction. Great writing and decent narration (although, as an American, he does struggle with some of the British references, making Govan sound like somewhere in Middle Earth and rebranding boyband Bros as Bro's).
Narration niggles aside, this is wonderful, inspiring stuff, as Morrison (creator or several seminal milestones in modern comics history) revels in his deep knowledge and infectious passion for the superhero genre.
His own life history merges and mingles with the evolution of the comics artfor, as art and life cross over and over until the boundaries between reality and imagination become beautifully blurred.
"Part biography/part superhero history"
Potted superhero history
This is a factual book rather than fiction but I particularly found the descriptions on how certain visual aspects of comic books were created interesting, it made me think of stories that I'd read in the past in a whole new light.
I haven't listened to any other John Lee narration but I thought his tone suited the book really well.
No, I found it good to dip in and out of.
Once it settled, this history / memoir / celebration / call-to-arms was enthralling. Interesting, funny, moving, and genuinely inspirational. Reawakened my love of Grant Morrison. Unsure of the voice reading at first, it was masterfully executed. Writing and reading very Hunter S Thompson in places, if you like that sort of thing, which I do.
"Great mix of History and personal biography"
I really would have loved if Morriosn had read this himself but I suspect his Scottish accent would ahve been difficult for many people. John Lee does a fine job anyway.
The best way to describe this books is that it is the history of comics through the eyes and experiences of the author (who is a very well known and accomplished comic writer) rather than an objective outside view. I'm a fan of Morrison so this isn't an issue for me, but it may be for those with no interst in Morrison's life, particularly the more esoteric magick sections. Personally, the biography passages where my favourite parts.
Great book, well read.
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