Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Vote More

Newsarama is doing one of those pointless "favorite artist/writer/whatever" polls. These polls are always pointless. Still, I want you to go vote for one of your favorite writers.

Okay, so that's not entirely true. I want you to go vote for one of my favorite writers. Who may or may not be one of yours. You see, Paul Cornell of Lex Luthor's Action Comics and Knight & Squire is in the running in round 1a. And he's up against Grant Morrison.

Now, Paul Cornell is currently losing by about a thousand votes. So what I say here won't make much difference. But it will make my position abundantly clear. I assert that Grant Morrison is overrated, and that Paul Cornell is one of the best writers in comics today.

It is true that Morrison is "known" and that he writes a lot of stuff that's "hip" and "edgy." But you know what he also writes? A lot of stuff that you need some sort of philosophy degree to enjoy. And even when you do enjoy it you only seem to enjoy it on some sort of intellectual level.

You know what kinds of comics Paul Cornell writes? Viscerally fun super-hero comics. Stories about brain-eating super-gorillas and iambic pentametering clones of British monarchs. Paul Cornell's comics don't try to do whatever it is that Grant Morrison's comics do. Paul Cornell just writes comics that are amazingly entertaining.

So if you want to vote for a slightly mad Briton, vote for the guy who has written for Doctor Who. Because Paul Cornell deserves it for that alone.

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At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I voted. And I'm sorry! They paired Cornell up with possibly the only guy I'd pick over him. And I did. It was painful (especially after the recent Action annual!), if that's any consolation.

But I have to ask, do you really not find Morrison's stuff viscerally exciting? That puzzles me, because most of his stuff seems positively dripping with excitement. He's the only comic writer who's gotten an authentic, audible "Yeah!" from me while I was reading. I mean, I actually care, emotionally, about Batman now! That is no small feat!

I do enjoy the intellectual exercise of reading a Morrison book, but I wouldn't be willing to put the effort in if it wasn't so much fun in the first place. His characterization and storytelling are my reason for reading, and they're so awesome that I'm eager to stick around for the subtext. I'm not saying you're wrong or anything, it's just... really? :) You don't get that excitement from Morrison?

(Of course, if your answer is "nope", that's cool. Sorry for my rant!)

At 9:51 PM, Blogger Diamondrock said...

Please not that I never once mentioned excitement. There's no doubt that Morrison's work is exciting. For me, excitement and fun don't always go hand in hand (though I feel that in Paul Cornell's work they do).

My issue with Morrison's work is that his stuff always seems like a vanity exercise in the service of something greater than the comics themselves and the entertainment they are supposed to provide.

He's built something within the Batman comics over the past few years but heaven help if I don't know what it is. There are layers upon layers of meta-whatever in there and it makes my head spin.

I suppose maybe I'm not smart enough to "get" it. But I don't think that's the case. I think that more than anything I just want to read Batman comics that are about Batman. Morrison's done a lot with the Batman comics over the past few years... But not much of it has really felt like Batman to me.

Paul Cornell, on the other hand, has been hitting my sweet spot. He's zeroing in hard on the core of the characters he's writing and the world's they live in (whether it's Lex Luthor's world of super-villains or Knight & Squire's wacky DC Britain). And those are the kind of stories I wish I could see more of from Batman these days.

This is all, of course, my own personal opinion. I think Paul Cornell's stuff is more fun than Grant Morrison's. You can certainly disagree (as I imagine you will). But the joy of this is that we all still get to read the comics we like. Everybody wins!

At 11:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, yeah. That's pretty clear, and actually answers my question. I felt the need to comment because everything you said about Cornell is exactly what I'd say about Morrison (which is why I'm glad to see Cornell following up on Morrison concepts lately), but I guess I shouldn't be surprised by differences of opinion on the Internet. :)

Thanks for the response!

At 5:27 PM, Blogger Scipio said...

Hear, hear.


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