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Supergods: Our World in the Age of the Superhero (Anglais) Broché – 26 juillet 2012
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Description du produit
Revue de presse
"Magnificently idiosyncratic new history of the genre... Supergods is packed with intriguing nuggets of insight, and it will be fascinating to see how the trends it discerns play out... What was it they said about the geeks inheriting the earth?" (Daily Telegraph)
"Supergods is perhaps the most satisfactory potted history of the American comic book industry I've ever read (and I've read just about all its competitors) while also offering a brilliantly incisive, if very personal, appreciation and analysis of the most important comic books or graphic novels - call 'em what you will - to be published in the past 30 years" (Guardian)
"Part manifesto, part memoir, part idiosyncratic spiritual/philosophical tract... Morrison knows the genre and loves it deeply, and both that knowledge and that love shine through... an often funny and sometimes very moving account of Morrison's life as seen through the lens of his relationship with superheroes, which began in childhood" (Katherine Farmar Irish Times)
"The author shows a deft turn of phrase while appraising his fellow creators...Supergods proves an entertaining introduction to newcomers" (Metro)
Présentation de l'éditeur
In 1938 Action Comics #1 introduced the world to Superman. In a matter of years, the skies of our imaginations were filled with mutants, aliens and vigilantes. Batman, Wonder Woman and the X-Men - in less than a century they've gone from not existing at all to being everywhere we look. But why?
For Grant Morrison, possibly the greatest of contemporary superhero storytellers, these heroes are not simply characters but powerful archetypes whose ongoing story arcs reflect and predict the lives we live. In this exhilarating book, Morrison draws on history, art, mythology, and his own astonishing journey to provide the first true chronicle of the superhero.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com
Then somewhere along the line as Morrison switches into autobiography it becomes a series of painfully dull stories of "I got high, wrote a comic and everyone loved it because I'm great. Got high again."
If you want to read about Morrison's 'creative process' then you might enjoy this. If you want to read about the history of comics, their position in society or anything beyond self aggrandisement then skip this book completely.
For me, a huge fan of comics and superhero comics, the book was great fun to look at the inauspicious beginnings of the genre, the creators Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel and Bob Kane and the oft forgotten Bill Finger, through its various incarnations through the years. Morrison goes through the book chronologically and devotes the first chapter to an extensive look at the front covers of "Action Comics #1" and "Detective Comics #27", the first appearances of Superman and Batman respectively, setting the tone of the book as an in-depth look at Morrison's two favourite characters in comics.
He divides the evolution of comics into different "ages" from the Golden Age, Silver Age, Dark Age, and Renaissance Age (which we're currently in), and I won't go into detail as to every age but suffice it to say for those who believe Morrison wasn't detailed enough, I found him more than adequately explaining the relevant heroes and writers of the time in the context of the era and its effect down the line on future writers, innovators and characters.
Morrison could quite easily have written a memoir of his own life in this book but chooses to occasionally throw in tidbits of his autobiography amidst the intricate pontificating upon superheroes. We find out about his modest childhood and his journey into comics through endless writing and drawing and sheer persistence before landing a job with 2000AD and from there to DC's "Animal Man". There are some gossipy bits thrown in like an anecdote of Glenn Fabry biting Karen Berger's ass during a party welcoming the British Invasion of writers and artists to America, as well as a glimpse into why Morrison's relationship with Marvel soured following the dissolution of "New X-Men" (it also might explain why Marvel didn't allow Morrison to use any of the covers of their comics for reproduction in this book, unlike DC who did) though Morrison's breakup with protégé Mark Millar is ignored (unlike in the documentary about Morrison "Talking with Gods" where he says if he was in a car and saw Millar on the street, he'd change course and accelerate).
Then there's the vast wealth of information scattered throughout the text like a shotgun that fires genius like buckshot onto the blank page. Morrison stayed up writing for 50 hours straight before ransacking his teenage dream diaries to get into the mindset and create the nightmarish imagery to write "Arkham Asylum", a book he wrote in 1 month. He gave to Neil Gaiman a book with a story called "The New Mother" by Lucy Lane Clifford that set him onto the path of creating "Coraline". Jim Lee is a Princeton Physics graduate. He also provides an explanation for Warren Ellis' series "Planetary" which I'd read recently, baffled - it's an abstract reckoning between "good" imagination and "bad" imagination. He also explains the even more baffling "Final Crisis" book he wrote a few years ago - it was a story of a bad story devouring a good one. Who knew?
One of the best chapters in the book is "Hollywood Smells Blood" which goes into great detail about Batman's on-screen adaptations which for me began with the Adam West TV show but Morrison goes back to 1943 when Batman had his own TV serial. This part of the book was utter hilarity and showed Morrison's strengths as a comedic writer in the description of these early serials. One of my favourite passages describing Robert Lowery's Batman of 1943: "This wrinkled costume he wore would be unable to stop a lit cigarette let alone a slug from a .45. With his pitiful fighting skills, which relied on clumsy haymaker punches and off-balance lunges, Lowery's Batman could expect a crime-fighting life span of three weeks, with a career ending abruptly the moment any half-trained yellow belt tae kwon do novice punched him in the head." (p.333)
And his teardown of Joel Schumacher's Batman films is equally hilarious.
Morrison occasionally lost me such as when he described in painstaking detail his journey to Alpha Centauri where he saw beings of another dimension and spoke with what we call Gods. He really does believe this happened and I totally respect him for it, but I feel the story loses some of its impact when he begins it by telling you he swallowed a ton of hash before the aliens stepped from the walls. Some might also criticise his views on comics such as his excellent interpretation of Alan Moore's "Watchmen" which he does not hold in the same high regard as many of his peers do - he felt it was too self-referential and knowing.
As long as this review's been, I haven't tapped the surface of the content of this book. I'll just say that any comics fan would love this book as it's written by one comics fan for others. It's full of knowledge and views on comics that are well worth reading, it feels like you're eavesdropping on the most interesting conversationalist you'll ever meet. And his writing style too is of such shockingly high quality, you'll be astonished of his vocabulary and descriptive abilities.
I was glad also to know that my favourite of Morrison's books - "All Star Superman" - is also his favourite and his anecdote of meeting the real-life Superman is also included here. He finishes the book with a powerfully inspiring message of hope and optimism that I dare anyone to feel cynical about, it's so purely expressed and beautiful. So I'll end it here, urging you the reader to pick up this book and see the superhero through Grant Morrison's eyes.
In Morrison's own words that end this book "There's only one way to find out what happens next..."