Barton Fink in outer space
Release Date: OUT NOW!
Publisher: Legendary Comics Writer: Grant Morrison Artist: Frazer Irving
Multiversity is Grant Morrison’s fond farewell to the DC Universe, then this creator- owned mini- series shows that DC’s loss is indie comics’ gain.
Named after real- life black hole the Great Annihilator, on the surface it’s the story of struggling screenwriter Ray Spass’s encounters with Max Nomax, the supposedly fictional protagonist of his latest blockbuster script. But dig deeper and familiar themes emerge.
Continuing Morrison’s fascination with not so much breaking down but completely shattering the fourth wall, the constant shifts between Max’s interstellar milieu and Ray’s increasingly surreal reality evoke Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective. And while issue three’s surprise revelation conjures up the playful spirit of The Multiversity: The Just’s haunted comic, the wry asides about Hollywood’s renowned shallowness channel Morrison’s own recent experiences as a scribe- for- hire in Tinseltown.
He also has some fun with his long- standing rivalry with Alan Moore, as issue one’s early segue between the singularity’s vast depths and a seemingly bottomless sinkhole at Ray’s LA house pays a neat tribute to Watchmen’s iconic opening scene. But while Dave Gibbons was confined to a rigid grid structure, here Frazer Irving adopts a more organic style of layout, and his fluid linework and muted colours bring Morrison’s brilliant metafiction to stunning life. Stephen Jewell
He had high expectations of those candles.