Cover

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Contents

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Acknowledgments

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pp. vii-viii

This book would not have been possible without the advice and support of my friends and colleagues. Craig Fischer, Roger Sabin, Will Brooker, and Gene Kannenberg Jr. generously gave their time to read the manuscript and offer feedback. Joseph Witek, Jason Tondro, Steve Holland, Randy...

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Introduction: A Union of Opposites

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pp. 3-23

At first glance, Grant Morrison might appear to be an unlikely subject for a scholarly study of comics. In a time when graphic novels have finally gained entry to the classroom, the art museum, and the New York Times Book Review, he continues to work on periodical comic books; in a medium where memoirs...

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1. Ground Level

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pp. 24-51

The reconciliation of mainstream and independent sensibilities that has been central to Grant Morrison’s career was initially made possible by the unique topography of the British comics industry in the 1970s and 1980s. British comics had never been dominated by superheroes the way American...

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2. The World’s Strangest Heroes

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pp. 52-91

In 1986, DC Comics editor Karen Berger traveled to London to recruit new talent from the British comics industry (“Afterword”). DC had already hired Brian Bolland, Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore, and other creators away from 2000 AD, with dynamic results on comics like Moore’s...

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3. The Invisible Kingdom

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pp. 92-135

By the early 1990s, DC Comics had cultivated six series—Swamp Thing, Hellblazer, Sandman, and Shade, the Changing Man, along with Animal Man and Doom Patrol—based on obscure superhero or horror properties and aimed at mature readers. All of these series except Doom Patrol had been...

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4. Widescreen

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pp. 136-180

After spending the middle years of the 1990s writing for Vertigo and 2000 AD, Morrison returned to a superhero genre transformed by the freefall in the American comics market. The collapse of the speculator bubble shuttered stores, devoured distributors, and drove publishers into bankruptcy...

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5. Free Agents

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pp. 181-220

Closed-circuit television cameras record a balding, middle-aged man in unsparing detail as he buys transsexual porn and picks his nose. More cameras track a military scientist as he strolls through a research facility on his way to euthanize his animal test subjects, unaware that they have broken...

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6. A Time of Harvest

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pp. 221-250

While Vertigo completed Morrison’s troika of genre-bending miniseries with the publication of Vimanarama, his next project returned to the more conventional territory of the DC universe of costumed superheroes. February 2005 saw the debut of Seven Soldiers (2005–06), a project that sought to...

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7. Work for Hire

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pp. 251-284

While Morrison was rehabilitating the superhero in Seven Soldiers, he was also becoming increasingly central to DC Comics and to superhero comics in general. Although he had already worked on DC and Marvel’s leading franchises in JLA and New X-Men, he spent the second half of the decade...

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Afterword: Morrison, Incorporated

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pp. 285-292

No matter what direction his comics take, which genres they inhabit or which methods they pursue, Grant Morrison never limits himself to one style for long. Since Final Crisis he has worked on a mixture of sequels and new projects, corporate properties and creator-owned series, demonstrating...

Notes

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pp. 293-304

Bibliography

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pp. 305-315

Index

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pp. 317-323