Monday, December 15, 2008

It's a kind of magic

For a long time now I've enjoyed the works of Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. Just finished Top Ten and The Invisibles and I can't say any thing's changed, those guys are still bloody brilliant (these were hardly their most recent offerings, so it was about time I got around to reading them). Why mention these two scribes in the same breath? First, I rank them as the two best comic book creators ever, which counts for a lot I'm sure (Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis aren't far behind, what is it about being British that predisposes you to being an amazing comics writer? I don't know). Secondly, they both believe in magic. Literally. Not that there's anything wrong with that (I say condescendingly). Hey, I believe in God -- broadly speaking that's a little more acceptable among the general populace, but when you think about it, not that much different (of course there are differences and any self-respecting spiritualist would probably balk at being associated with the perceived evils of the institutionalization of worship, but for the sake of argument lets try to build bridges and not burn them) -- so I can see where they're coming from.

Did you survive the structure of that last sentence? Good.

I always mention the magic thing, but I haven't figured out what I'm trying to say when I bring it up until now. The thing about these guys world view is that they have a faculty of imagination which is stunning, thrilling, untouchable in its potency and I want some. You tell someone you believe in God and that's pretty pedestrian, but tell them you believe that magic is real, well that's a horse of a different colour (mainly because practitioners of magic are more marginalized than religious groups). Alan Moore worships an ancient roman snake god (I'm not sure if he's being ironic though). Grant Morrison believes after a wild trip in all senses of the term he was (sort of) spirited away by benevolent aliens and so The Invisibles contains semi-autobiographical snippets of his life (including that experience) and was intended as a sigil to help spearhead the human race in a more positive direction. That kind of audacity doesn't just grow on trees you know. I'm convinced that because of their chosen paradigm, Mr. Moore and Mr. Morrison are able to make creative leaps that most of us can't even dream about. And I'm so jealous.

note: in the interests of full disclosure both men have qualifications for what they mean by magic, but I'll let you find those out for yourselves.

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