Sunday, May 25, 2008

Morrison on R.I.P. and Beyond

IGN posted a pretty extensive interview with Grant Morrison the other day, and it's full of great nuggets like:
Morrison: The scripts are very detailed, as are the descriptions. But things go wrong. Like in the first issue of Batman RIP, the Joker wasn't supposed to have any blood on him at the end, because he's in an asylum cell having just had a fantasy that he projected on a Rorschach blot card. And the colorist didn't quite get it, so there's blood all over the place, [laughs] and a lot of people didn't understand that scene. Which is quite a simple scene, but a scene that people went online trying to explain in some of the most outlandish ways. But it was a coloring error. There shouldn't have been blood. It should have just been the Joker having a fantasy. The doctor shows the card to Joker, the Joker's sitting in his cell and he suddenly realizes that something interesting is up.
That coloring error completely changes the meaning of the scene, obviously. I interpreted it to mean that Joker killed the doctor (because what else could have possibly caused the blood), but apparently not. This color mistake points out the problems with authorial intent. When the writer is not the artist, the meaning of a work changes, and which is the "correct" meaning: the intended one never printed or the interpretation of the printed story?

Here's what Morrison goes on to say about the Black Glove:
There's a kind of pyramid of influence. At the bottom you have the Club of Villains who are working with the Black Glove. Then you have the Black Glove organization, which is a group of very wealthy people who we meet in the upcoming issue. And then above that you have the identity of the Black Glove, who is a person.
That explains the confusion about whether or not the Black Glove is an organization. Pretty much matches what I suspected.

When asked where fans should go back to his previous issues and look for clues, Morrison says,
Oh God – you've got to look at a few of them. I think you should definitely look at the three-parter where Batman is in the chamber, the torture story. That one's got some major stuff in it. The Club of Heroes has a lot of stuff in it. Pretty much everything. [laughs] I want everyone to go back and buy all of them. It all ties in. The difficult thing has been to try and lay red herrings, because to me the answer is so obvious that hiding it has been the real challenge.
If the answer--and by answer, I assume he means the identity of the Black Glove--is obvious, maybe it is Alfred or Bruce Wayne himself. Or maybe not.

An interesting interview, no? He goes on to talk a bit about Final Crisis and his plans to stick with Batman for yet another long story after "Batman R.I.P." You can read the whole interview starting here.


Chad Nevett said...

Last night, I spent an hour skimming through Morrison's run and have become even more convinced that the Black Glove is Bruce Wayne. I'll do a more detailed post later this week (hopefully).

The weird thing is, I'd like to be right for the sake of being right, but I also want to be wrong, because... well, it's kind of a sucky solution.

One thing that did amuse me was if Alfred turns out to be the Black Glove, in nearly every appearance during Morrison's run, he's been wearing white gloves. Almost certainly unintentional and part of the character's normal dress, but still.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to be impressed by a company that screws up the coloring on what's supposed to be their main event miniseries written by their star writer.