Grant Morrison is one of the most iconic, accomplished writers in comics today. Beyond having written The Invisibles, All Star Superman, New X-men, Final Crisis, The Filth, and many more, he has also been the focus of a documentary, Talking with Gods. Further still, he wrote the enlightening book, Super Gods: What Masked Vigilantes, Miraculous Mutants, and a Sun God from Smallville Can Teach Us About Being Human. Recently Morrison has delved into Indian mythology, and spearheaded the publishing company Graphic India. I was lucky enough to hear him speak about it.
Morrison explained that comic books are woven into the fiber of America, which is undeniable considering both the past, with books like Archie, and Action Comics, and the current popularity of comics in the main stream. Similarly, manga and Japanese culture are married in an equally long and storied history. Being a fan of mythologies from all over the world, Grant wanted to provide a comic medium for less exposed myths and cultures, and chose to tackle India, starting with 18 Days. It’s an undertaking of immense magnitude. 18 Days, beautifully illustrated by Mukesh Singh, is based on the Mahabarata, which is the world’s greatest epic, says Morrison. It’s multitudes bigger than the Bible and the Iliad combined, and tells the tale of the end of the previous age of man, which leads us into the current age. He describes it as being similar to the Lord of the Rings, but with people which act like people, and not archetypes. 18 Days, all about the massive war between two sides of the same family, has been coming out for some time, but is far from done. It’s well worth reading, and worth catching up on if you haven’t checked it out yet.
Graphic India has more irons in the fire than just 18 Days, though, and Morrison spoiled us with both images of the artwork, and the premise of his newest project, Avatarex. This book, unlike 18 Days, is set in the modern world. It’s about a hero, Avatarex, who has been dormant in space for thousands of years, as the Earth has deteriorated into the chaotic, struggling planet it is today. The book ties directly back to 18 Days in that he was a hero from that time, and has now awoken to save mankind. He’s full of bluster and bombast from a bygone era, and doesn’t understand the complexities of the world he’s found himself needing to save. The first issue just came out, so now’s the time to get in on the ground floor. Morrison also teased that Avatarex may be the founding member of a wider spanning super team.
It seems that Graphic India is definitely a company to keep your eye on, as the future promises to be full of new titles, some of them crossing over and tying in to one another. To wrap up the panel, Grant Morrison waxed philosophical for a moment, as he is wont to do, and said this.
“When I first starting coming to Comicon, just after the Civil War, the convention was held in one building downtown. San Diego has long been a military town, and I saw this one man dressed as Green Lantern running from a group of Marines. He was carrying the torch for all of us. But now, as technology has paved the way to the future, the nerds have inherited the Earth. We’ve won. The world is ours. So the question is: What do you want to do with it?”