Have you spent significant time with Grant Morrison? I feel like every major comic book writer has at least one unique/odd/eccentric Grant Morrison story. Apologies if this has been asked before!


I have spent time with Grant often, mostly short visits at events and such.

You really won’t get anything bad about him from me, I have never experienced anything bad from him, and in fact, I think the world of him as a writer and a person.

Grant and Mark Millar were two of the earliest pros championing me to work in comics. I was a huge fan of them both at the time I was doing a parody column, and these two guys used to call each other up (they were friends back then) and read the column to each other doing all the voices. They went out of their way, both of them, to be helpful to me and to tell people to read my work, and I was an absolute NOBODY to them.

Grant specifically asked for me to write the All New Atom, I am told.

One of the nicest moments recently was at SDCC just last year, we were behind the curtain waiting to go on for a DC panel, and Grant gets this big smile when he saw me, and gave me a huge happy hug, which I wasn’t expecting, and he said that he had JUST read my ACTION COMICS stuff from years before and that he loved it, and he said I wrote Lois and Clark’s marriage together the best that he had read.

He said, “Why can’t we have that, why can’t they be married like in your stories, that was absolutely lovely!”

So, I almost cried, I mean, I didn’t expect it at all, he’s one of my heroes, he wrote my favorite Superman ever, and I just was almost unable to speak, and then we had to go right onstage for the panel and I was still trying not to cry!


I have nothing bad to say about Grant. 

Oh, wait, I have one thing. He said that he felt Atom didn’t quite work because I was trying to be him. I understand why he thought that, but I wasn’t at all.

I was trying to be Steve Gerber. :)

But that’s the closest thing I’ve got to a bad thing to say about Grant Morrison. Comics would be vastly less interesting without him and he’s encouraged endless numbers of creators and done amazing stories. I love him!

EDITED TO ADD: A poster below asked why I insisted I ‘have nothing bad to say about Grant,’ when the OP actually didn’t seem to be fishing for bad stories. That’s a fair point, I guess I read the OP’s statement incorrectly. 

Truth is, I don’t have any weird stories about Grant, either. Except he made me laugh until I almost peed at a DC dinner by imitating Sean Connery’s voice. It was spot on!

I love Grant Morrison’s work, and hearing that he’s a nice guy in real life makes me very happy.

I know Gail’s nice, too, of course :-)

Happy Birthday to The Transformers!

According to sources, today is the thirtieth anniversary of the first broadcast of the original Transformers animated series.

I’ve blogged before about how influential Transformers has been to my life, and whilst I’ve focused more on its history as a comic, it was almost certainly the cartoon that got me interested in the franchise. In the UK, it was broadcast as part of ITV’s children’s programme The Wide Awake Club (later to be known as WAC-a-Day) on a weekday morning. As a result, I was frequently late for school as my mum would let me finish watching an episode before we left.

As a little kid, I definitely loved the show more than the comic. I read the comics with the cartoon characters’ voices in my head - easy enough when it’s the stoic and noble Optimus Prime, but trying to match the monotone cartoon-Soundwave with the verbose comics-Soundwave was much trickier (to say nothing of the disconnect between the frankly stupid cartoon-Dinobots and their much more eloquent and intelligent comic versions). As much as I adore the comic books now, and even as an older child, I can’t deny it was the ‘toon that got me hooked.

So let’s raise an energon goodie to the show that started it all (er, if you don’t include the toys, I guess). Happy birthday, Transformers. And many more.

Me Grimlock offer birthday beverages.


Neil Gaiman’s 8 Rules of Writing, a remake of this post. Source.

Want more writerly content? Make sure to follow maxkirin.tumblr.com for your daily dose of writer positivity, advice, and prompts!

I really need to get better at the first rule. And the second, for that matter.

Weekend Top Ten #130

Top Ten Batmobiles

Inspired by the reveal of Ben Affleck’s Batmobile from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, this week I’m celebrating my favourite examples of Batman’s many sweet rides.

  1. The Animated Batmobile
  2. Dick Grayson’s Flying Batmobile
  3. Batmobile ‘66
  4. Sweet 1970 sports car Batmobile
  5. 1940s bat-head Batmobile
  6. "A Better Batmobile"
  7. 1950s bubble-cockpit Batmobile
  8. Burton-era Batmobile
  9. The Tumbler
  10. Fisher Price Imaginext Batmobile

That Fisher Price one really flies. It’s a very cool toy.





The Iron Teacher in The Hotspur British story paper, 1948.

The Steam Man of the West

The Iron Teacher’s brusque personality makes him tough to love.

this is what is missing from Britain’s schools

Urge to spend rest of day writing Iron Teacher fanfic.

I wish MY teacher could kill an alligator with one punch :-(

Doodles for my Daughter: Rescue Bots Bumblebee

Transformers Rescue Bots is one of my daughter’s favourite shows. She loves all the characters, and we’ve started buying her the toys. What thrills me about this - as a thirty-year Transformers fan - is that I didn’t really bring her to it, she came to it herself. We bought her cousin a Heatwave toy for his birthday a year or two ago, and she fell in love with it - to the extent that she’d pick up an ordinary car and instruct me to “make it a robot”, or “find the robot”. She didn’t understand that ordinary car toys don’t transform - for that, you need to be cool. You need to be a Transformer.

Anyway, using the Transformers Rescue Bots Bumblebee toy as a guide (rather than the character model used on the show), the other day I scribbled this little picture of one of her favourite ‘Bots. Emilia, as you can (hopefully) tell, provided the colours. She’s two, by the way.

I drew her a Chase, too, but that was from memory and not very good so I shan’t be posting that one any time soon.

David Heslop Does The Ice Bucket Challenge

Yes yes yes, it’s me me me. I was challenged over a week ago by fellow CITV-er Matt Bowen, and I’ve finally managed to do it, and put it up online. Apologies for it taking so long, but finding the time to douse yourself in water when you’re either working, sleeping, or looking after a toddler is actually quite difficult.

Apologies also for it looking, well, rather wet. I’m afraid I cut myself out of the picture a little bit, bending a bit too low and covering my face with the bucket. But I assure you, I did pour it over my head - it just seems to have run down the sides rather than down my face. If it’s any consolation, for those out there who revel in my discomfort, most of it landed, ah, in my lap.

Oh, and I’m being serious about the bucket being filthy. There was actually sediment and stuff floating round the bath afterwards. Basically, don’t come anywhere near me for a few days, lest you catch something threatening.

Oh yeah, and this is where I donated: MNDA. If it’s good enough for Sherlock, it’s good enough for me.

Weekend Top Ten #129

Top Ten Recent Redesigns of Superhero Costumes

I’m trying to go with designs from ongoing series - or, rather, designs that are supposed to last, rather than just be a one-off, hence no Clown at Midnight. And I’m keeping them as recent as I can - hence no Catwoman or Iron Man, despite them being hugely iconic. And New 52 Batman would have made it, but the quality of that design is dependent on who draws it - basically, Capullo and Burnham knock it out the park, but it can look very busy with some other artists’ interpretations.

I’ve tried to put who designed the costumes in, too, but I’m not sure how accurate I am… it’s sort of ending up with “the artist who drew it first”, which I know isn’t how superhero costume design always works. So apologies if I’ve got credits wrong and offended anyone, and please feel free to correct me.

  1. New 52 Batgirl of Burnside (Stewart/Tarr) 
  2. Damian Wayne Robin (Quitely)
  3. New 52 early-years Superman (Morales)
  4. Stephanie Brown Batgirl (Garbett/Scott)
  5. New 52 Spoiler (Nguyen)
  6. Gwen Stacey Spider-Woman (Rodriguez)  
  7. Captain Marvel (McKelvie)
  8. Ms Marvel (Alphona)
  9. Batwoman (Ross/Williams)
  10. Miles Morales Spider-Man (Pichelli)
Weekend Top Ten #128

Top Ten Films & Shows I Want on Amazon Instant Video

Hopefully @AmazonVideoUK will see this! As a subscriber to Prime Instant Video, I’ve found it brilliant for watching classic series (especially Batman: The Animated Series) and catching up on recent movies. Also, it’s great to get stuff like Shaun the Sheep or a good collection of Disney movies for my daughter.

But obviously there are gaps in their archive. And so here are ten films or TV shows that I’d like them to include. Fingers crossed!

  1. Transformers Rescue Bots season 2 
  2. Transformers: Prime
  3. Frozen (2013)
  4. Sports Night
  5. The Simpsons
  6. Broadchurch
  7. Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
  8. Star Wars: The Clone Wars (series)
  9. Batman (1960s series)
  10. Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom series 6 & 7

Stan Lee, 1968:
” … And we talk it out. Lately, I’ve had Roy Thomas come in, and he sits and makes notes while we discuss it. Then he types them up which gives us a written synopsis. Originally-I have a little tape recorder-I had tried taping it, but then I found no one on staff has time to listen to the tape again later. But this way he makes notes, types it quickly, I get a carbon, the artist gets a carbon…so we don’t have to worry that we’ll forget what we’ve said. Then the artist goes home…or wherever he goes…and he draws the thing out, brings it back, and I put the copy in after he’s drawn the story based on the plot I’ve given him. Now this varies with the different artists. Some artists, of course, need a more detailed plot than others. Some artists, such as Jack Kirby, need no plot at all. I mean I’ll just say to Jack, ‘Let’s make the next villain be Dr. Doom’… or I may not even say that. He may tell me. And then he goes home and does it. He’s good at plots. I’m sure he’s a thousand times better than I. He just about makes up the plots for these stories. All I do is a little editing… I may tell him he’s gone too far in one direction or another. Of course, occasionally I’ll give him a plot, but we’re practically both the writers on the things. “

(via comicbookartwork)


(via neil-gaiman)

One of the things I love about Jack Kirby, is how unique his art was. I’m certainly no comics expert, but when you look at, say, Fantastic Four and compare it to other books published in the early 60s, it’s incredible. What a talent.