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The Religious Affiliation of
Grant Morrison
comic book writer


Scottish comic book writer Grant Morrison is one of the comic book industry's most popular and respected writers.

With regards to his religious beliefs, Morrison identifies himself as a practicing Chaos magician. In addition to his magickal beliefs and practices, Morrison's belief system incorporate a number of esoteric beliefs. See, for example, his interview here:
http://www.comicbookresources.com/news/newsitem.cgi?id=2662

Grant Morrison is noted for his well-balanced, well-written, sensitive portrayals of religious characters in his comic book writing, and for his insightful and intelligent handling of religious themes. The devout Sunni Muslim character Sooraya Qadir (the mutant known as "Dust") in the X-Men line of comics is one of the better known devoutly religious characters created by Morrison.

From: Daniel Robert Epstein, interview with Grant Morrison, posted 12 December 2006 (http://the-woodshed.livejournal.com/100937.html; viewed 9 May 2007):

This interview is from March of last year.

DRE: What religion did you grow up with?

GM [Grant Morrison]: Nothing [laughs]. My dad was an atheist and my mother was a lapsed Catholic so I didn't understand any of it. I live in Glasgow which is a city torn apart by sectarian violence but somehow, in my naivete, I grew up without grasping any of the alleged difference between Protestants and Catholics. I went to school with Baptists, atheists, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims while some of my friends went to a segregated school that only accepted 'Catholics'. I didn't really question it for some reason and I had no idea I was watching bigotry and separatism in action. I used to go to Sunday School but that was for the free orange juice.

DRE: I read that you felt you had a miserable adolescence.

GM [Grant Morrison]: My childhood was great, then adolescence was awful. I was isolated from people. I went to an all boy's school which was a big mistake because I wasn't gay. I hated it because I didn't know any girls and I lived in a tiny house above a supermarket with my mother and sister for more years than is healthy for a young man. I just sat and read comics and listened to records, all Morrissey-like, until I was 19 when I got a band together and got out. Though I think if I hadn't had that intense horrible time on my own, I just wouldn't be writing for a living today. Making comics got me through my teenage years and disciplined my wayward energies very effectively.

From: Rebecca Salek, "Spirituality In Comics", on "Sequential Tart" website (http://www.sequentialtart.com/archive/dec03/tth_1203.shtml; viewed 5 January 2006):

For many people. December is a month which contains celebrations of religious, spiritual or cultural significance. For many people. December is a month which contains celebrations of religious, spiritual or cultural significance. In recognition of that, this month the Tarts pick out what they consider to be the best representations of spirituality in comic books...

Lee: The best treatments of spirituality and of religion don't necessarily equate to the best written stories about spirituality or religion. I have always been interested in fiction that uses religious text and principles to set up conflict and drama, though I hesitate to call it the "best treatment" simply because practitioners of that faith may not appreciate such uses of their religion. My enjoyment of these works comes from my interest in world religions and the impact they have on the cultures that follow them.

But this enjoyment only comes if it is the author's intention to elucidate about a particular religious practice, to question the deeper meaning behind religious dogma, or to hold up a mirror and reflect the superficial aspects of the religion back to the reader. There must be substance to the story, after all. And truthfully, it doesn't matter whether an author is stringently challenging the basic tenets, and casting aside pretensions to dig for the kernel of truth, or updating religious allegories for modern audiences, the authors who write the best stories are those who have the clearest understanding of that religion.

I have consistently found that the best religious stories are by Vertigo. There seems to be a tradition of intelligent treatments of religious themes amongst the writers typically associated with Vertigo, including Neil Gaiman, Alan Moore, Mike Carey, Garth Ennis, and Grant Morrison. Ranging from examinations of the relationships between religious figures (as with Carey's Lucifer) to psychedelic religious pop (as with Morrisons' Invisibles) to angry iconoclasm (as with Ennis' Preacher), Vertigo proves that there is no one way to incorporate religion as either a primary or secondary element into stories. They have proven that if the stories are well written, then the audiences will come.

As for breadth and reach, there is no group that is more thorough. In addition to the more commonly received treatments of Christianity, Judaism, Norse, and Egyptian religions, Vertigo stories have also covered Navajo, Aztec, and Shinto religions. One can imagine an unspoken competition amongst Vertigo's erudite British writers to provide the most obscure doctrine or to bring forth the most forgotten Gods of yore.

Either way, I win.

From: "Religion in God Loves, Man Kills: Using the clergy as a bad guy" forum discussion page, started 2 September 2003, on "Captain Comics" website (http://www.captaincomics.us/forums/index.php?showtopic=754):
Chris Fluit
Sep 4 2003, 01:36 AM
I haven't seen too many positive portrayals [of Christian clergy] in comics recently, but Claremont has shown both positive and negative pastors. Non-Christians like Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison and J. Michael Straczynski are others who are fair in their portrayals of Christian characters.
See also: http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000072787&start=30&tstart=0

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Webpage created 5 January 2006. Last modified 1 May 2006.
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