Posts from 30th August 2011

Aug 11

Message In A Bottle City

FT2 comments • 765 views

On holiday last week I read Grant Morrison’s Supergods. It’s an odd book: a cocktail of blazing-eyed fandom, autobiography and critical history. It’s great at the first two of these, quite poor at the third – a possible problem since the critical history (of superhero comics, and the wider idea of the superhero) is what the book’s built around.

The good stuff first: Supergods is at its best when Morrison is intoxicated by comics, which he is a lot. He riffs creatively on the contrasting covers of Action Comics 1 and Fantastic Four 1, but his best material here is less concrete. Talking about his boyhood favourites – John Broome’s Flash, Weisinger-era Superman, Roy Thomas’ Avengers, Kirby’s New Gods, and Starlin’s “cosmic” Marvel stuff – Morrison’s writing goes into thrilled meltdown. He talks in the acknowledgements about the hard process of editing the book but these sections read like sheer first-draft enthusiasm. I can’t think of anything I’ve read which captures so well the mind-exploding power of comics when you’re the right age to really get hit by them.


JIMMY NAIL – “Ain’t No Doubt”

FT + Popular102 comments • 8,931 views

#678, 18th July 1992

“Ain’t No Doubt” plants its emotional flag in territories claimed and mapped by Phil Collins – that master of gangrenous wrath and bitterness lurking below blokery’s rumpled jacket. It’s break-up pop of the shabbiest kind; lies, quarrels and wilful miscommunication played out raw in front of us. On TV Nail played hard bastards, for laughs or drama or both – some of the intrigue of his pop career must have been seeing a more sensitive element in him, but I doubt the straight-talking, bullshit-calling narrator of “Ain’t No Doubt” came as much of a shock to the fanbase.