June 22, 2011
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Grant Morrison’s new book Super Gods is coming out in a few weeks. I realized that I had not yet posted my Master’s thesis on this site dedicated to the work of Morrison. It was a long process, but it is something I’m rather proud of. I’m particularly excited to read this book (send me an advanced copy to review, please…) in order to see how Morrison’s own view reflect the conclusions I drew from his work. Morrison is always most convincing when he speaks for himself, though.
So, here goes.
Superheroes and Shamanism: Magic and Participation in the Comics of Grant Morrison
Comic creator Grant Morrison is an adamant practitioner of magic, and in particular, the creation of sigils. A sigil is the infusion of abstract symbols with the goal to make manifest the creator’s particular desire. This thesis will discuss how Grant Morrison infuses his writing with his particular beliefs in an attempt to bridge the gap between fictional stories and reality. Morrison openly discusses the shamanic events in his life and writes about superheroes undertaking similar metaphysical journeys. As Morrison’s magic and the medium of comics allow the reader to become more easily “lost” within a fictional world, the relationship of fiction and the reader becomes increasingly malleable. This relationship of fiction and reality may seem abstract, but the comics support the connection by including the concept of textualization – where the reader associates himself or herself with the protagonist, becoming part of the narrative. The post-structural nature of Morrison’s work allows for a unique relationship between the author, diegetic worlds and readers. The stories become participatory events, engaging the reader and the comic community. Readers participate with his texts on extremely personal and intricate levels, and through their group analysis, they discover new interpretations and secrets within the comic panels. The purpose of Morrison’s comics develops as his relationship with magic grows. Readers experience his early experimentations with creating magical narratives and see them change to constructed fictional world for readers to journey into, where they are able to take on the heroic qualities of Superman.
http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=bgsu1302288940 Download it here.