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)
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.
I grew up on Golden Age Radio, and while I love to read, I typically consume more books via audio thanks to a job that lets me listen while I work. As an aspiring writer, I try to read a great deal of non-fiction in addition to a variety of fictional genres. I especially love history, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and old-style gothic horror.
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.
Graphic designer and University professor. I love comics and to be always learning something new!
Morrison gives us an amazing insight and fresh points of view into comics.
Incredible research and understanding of the birth, gold age and several stages on the comic book heroes universe. He includes also his autobiography that helps to keep track at the beginning but becomes some tedious at the end.
If you like comics, heroes and even the comic industry itself, this is your book. You won't regret it.
Grant Morrison is a brilliant comic book writer. He's work is always at a cutting edge, engaging and fun.
This historic look at the medium form his perspecitive was entertaining, interesting and informative.
If you love (or loved) comics, you'll get a kick out of this book. Well worth the time to feed your inner geek.
There is nothing that could have improved on this book unless it would be to get a new writer.
I will never subject myself to Grant Morrison prose again.
The reader did his best he could with this job.
There are some interesting moments in the first few chapters after that nothing. It also helped to explain why Morrison's comic books are so confusing and scattered. The man gets his ideas from mushroom induced trips. That actually explains so much.
This is a self gratifying trip written by a drug inspired narcissist.
I prefer sci-fi, fantasy, and comics, but I'll take anything with a good engaging story.
It was never boring.
When he talked about his trip to Kathmandu
When he talked about his trip to Kathmandu
Awesome book if you enjoy comics.
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