MorrisonCon Symposia Includes ‘Future Of Third Millennium’, ‘We Love The Dead’, Occult Rituals
First announced back in January, MorrisonCon is designed to be a stylish and forward-thinking antidote to the chaos and commercialism of the traditional comic book trade show. Curated by Grant Morrison and the Ignition Sequence (a collaboration of Isotope proprietors James Sime & Kirsten Baldock and iFanboy co-founder Ron Richards) MorrisonCon features no showroom floor, no merchandise dealers, and no lines. Beyond those unorthodox decisions, the organization has finally announced its programming slate for next month’s weekend in Las Vegas, and it includes symposia on decidedly Morrisonian topics like “The Future of the Third Millennium,” “The Sound of the Atom Splitting,” as well as some performance art and occult rituals based on Liberace battling Howard Hughes, and of course some nightclubbing. Guests like Jason Aaron, Jonathan Hickman, Gerard Way, Robert Kirkman, Frank Quitely, JH Williams III and Chris Burnham, and you can find out what they’re up to in the programming breakdown below.Friday
MorrisonCon kicks off in style with a new collaborative project – a one-off, never-to-be-repeated performance created especially for this event. Grant Morrison teams up with Gerard Way and James Dewees of My Chemical Romance for The Con â€” a thirty minute spoken-word piece with music. Part short story, part history, part occult ritual, as Howard Hughes faces Liberace in a duel to the death for the soul of Las Vegas!
NINTH GEAR ENGAGE
MorrisonCon invades the Hard Rock Hotel’s famous subterranean Body English nightclub. This after-hours bash in the hotel’s legendary underground private club features exotic DJs, dancefloor amazements, brain-blurring cocktails, and even more of Grant’s unannounced surprise special guest personalities from the worlds ofcomics, music, film and beyond.
MORRISONCON INAUGURAL AWAKENING
MorrisonCon and it’s featured guests roll out the welcome mat to all attendees with the Inaugural Awakening of a truly uncommon kind of happening. Get to know the convention’s stars and designers, learn the secrets behind the MorrisonCon Experience and tap into the enigmatical origins of this unique weekend-long seminar, make a connection with fellow visitors… and keep your eyes peeled to spot all the unannounced MorrisonCon surprise special guests.
GRANT MORRISON & THE FUTURE OF THE THIRD MILLENNIUM
Grant Morrison is dreaming about the world of the future again, and he is not alone.
Join Grant on a transcendental journey into the future of all things Morrison, starting with an in-depth expose and look into what awaits us in the pages of 2012′s most anticipated new creator-owned series, HAPPY! with Darick Robertson. Then venturing forth into tomorrow to uncover the inner workings of Grant’s collaborations with artist Chris Burnham and discover what mad future lies in store for them. Travel to the unseen and unlock the secrets of his long awaited maxi-series MULTIVERSITY, which focuses on ten unexplored worlds in DC Comics’ universe, revealing scenes from his collaborative chapter with artist Frank Quitely, PAX AMERICANA, for the first time anywhere. But where this exploration into the world of Morrison projects of tomorrow will take us only Grant knows… what surprising other secrets and future collaborations might our mystifying host have in store for us?
Featuring: Grant Morrison, Darick Robertson, Frank Quitely, Chris Burnham
THE EMPTY PAGE: MORRISONCON WRITERS ON WRITING
It has been said that an author’s greatest nemesis is a blank page. MorrisonCon’s talented wordsmiths discuss their processes in transforming the empty page into the masterpieces that we have come to love. This group of comics innovators exposing the aspects of comics writing and the comics business that we as readers never get to see and delve into the depths of the creative process at your behest.
Featuring: Grant Morrison, Robert Kirkman, Jonathan Hickman, Jason Aaron
MEETING OF ARTISTIC MINDS
An exploration of visual communication, crossed influences, storytelling advances, graphic design, and art history. Artist Jim Lee sits down with our collection of maverick art innovators to ask the questions only another artist would know how to ask and to explore these creators’ thoughts on what’s come before – from Sandro Botticelli to Salvador Dali’ to Jean Giraud Moebius to Jack Kirby – and to speculate on what’s coming next in the world of comics and beyond.
Featuring: Jim Lee, JH Williams III, Frank Quitely, Darick Robertson, Chris Burnham
THE SOUND OF THE ATOM SPLITTING
Music is the life blood of art. For many working in creative fields, it provides both the muse and imagination lubricant that helps the words and the paint flow. As both musician and author, music is the medium as well as inspiration. Assembling a conglomeration of fellow musical MorrisonCon guests, we investigate the musical muse, how the creation of a narrative form such as comics compares to the creation of musical structures, the challenges of translating melodic sounds to the printed page, and also talk about what albums we’ve been rocking out to lately.
Featuring: Grant Morrison, Darick Robertson, J.H. Williams III, Jimmy Urine (Mindless Self Indulgence) + special guests
CELLULOID HEROES: COMICS’ LOVE AFFAIR WITH HOLLYWOOD
Even a casual glance at mainstream media will reveal the passionate embrace between Comics and Hollywood. Grant and his special guests will explore the history of this love affair and the controversial links between these sister industries. How must the narrative form be reinvented for the four-color page and for the silver screen? Our guests take an unflinching look at the challenges of translation between mediums and uncover the possibilities for innovation. Hey, Comics and Hollywood – Get a room already!
Featuring: Grant Morrison, Darick Robertson and special guests
WE LOVE THE DEAD
Robert Kirkman has truly tapped into human nature’s darkest fears and intense escapist cravings with his celebrated series, THE WALKING DEAD, and is leading the cultural wave that is the zombie zeitgeist. Countless psychological studies, essays and articles have explored humanity’s horror fascination, and here Kirkman and his fellow panelists shed further light into the origins of the genre’s attraction… and how delving deep into the world of telling dark tales of terror and ever-increasing suspense for years has influenced their everyday lives.
Featuring: Robert Kirkman
CREATION MYTHS: SCIENCE, RELIGION & MAGIC
Jonathan Hickman and Jason Aaron are architects of worlds of science, magic and myth. Bringing their unique and perhaps conflicting perspectives together, these two authors sit down to discuss the brink of human understanding and beyond. Is Arthur C. Clarke’s belief that â€œany sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magicâ€Â correct? Hickman and Aaron discuss how the theory holds up, and take an analytical journey through hard science to theoretical hypotheses to the work of the Gods. What inspirations are drawn from centuries of theological doctrines and the course of scientific discovery and how are they be applied to modern storytelling?
Featuring: Jonathan Hickman, Jason Aaron
TRIAL OF THE SUPERGODS
As day one comes to a close, use that last un-blasted brain cell to join our guests in some light-hearted trivial revelry. Master of Ceremonies, James Sime, will lead the festivities, taking our guests to task with your wiliest, wildest, or wackiest tests of trivia which can be submitted throughout the day in the MorrisonCon Salon. A perfect bit of madcap fun to cap off an intense day of creative energy!
SUNDAY MORNING HANGOVER BREAKFAST & SKETCH JAM
Recover from Saturday’s late night extravaganzas and stimulate the morning-after synapses with a leisurely early meal with one of the most talented newcomers in comics, artist Chris Burnham. This casual down-tempo interactive live sketch jam session features a breakfast for all attendees, a trancepop and ambient groove-inspired spacerock soundtrack to soothe your fried neurons, as well as Chris’ stream-of-conscious thoughts on art, hazy recollections from the night before, and Burnham’s gorgeous psychedelic art created before your very eyes.
Featuring: Chris Burnham
GETTING INTIMATE WITH GRANT MORRISON
How does Grant deal with the pressures that come with being the creative force behind some of America’s greatest icons? Which razor gives the closest shave without damaging your scalp? Who would win in a fight, Jimmy Olsen or Rick Jones? Which arcane books, obscure films and bad television we should be devoting our lives to? Grant has opinions about all of it. Bring your hardest, strangest, and most personal of questions for an utterly revealing session about what Grant really thinks.
Featuring: Grant Morrison
PAGE ONE, PANEL ONE: A COMICS WORKSHOP
Jung’s concept of the Collective Subconscious suggests that ideas live within all of us awaiting emergence. Participate in a collaborative comics workshop illustrating this theory facilitated by former Marvel talent coordinator, Bon Alimagno, in which you and some of MorrisonCon’s guests team up to act as equal creative colleagues to bring one of these shared ideas to fruition under a Creative Commons license.
Work alongside with some of the brightest minds in comics. Create live art together.
Featuring: Jason Aaron, J.H. Williams III, Chris Burnham, Bon Alimagno, + special guests
INSIDER TRADING: THE SECRETS OF COMICS BUSINESS
Publishing practices have long been the secrets of industry power brokers. Jonathan Hickman discloses insider knowledge to help creator owned upstarts navigate the evolving industry landscapes. Hear first hand their unflinching perspectives on ownership, freelance contracting, analog and digital distribution, intellectual property rights and foreseeing the unforeseeable.
Featuring: Jonathan Hickman
J.H. WILLIAMS III’S SUBLIMINAL WORLD
Sometimes a cigar isn’t just a cigar. J.H. Williams III shares how he imbues his art with deeper subliminal meaning and taps directly into our primal brain’s understanding of instinctual symbols. This visual dissection of the emblematic designs of Williams’ work will open the door to a larger Jungian world where your subconscious mind experiences images. Learn how myth and symbol are the very DNA of Williams’ gorgeous art and design.
Featuring: J.H. Williams III
FRANK QUITELY’S UNSEEN WORLD OF WONDERS
Peek behind the wizard’s curtain into the enigmatic mind of artist Frank Quitely, where weird and wonderful worlds are shaped in an alchemical reaction from script to pen and ink. Grant Morrison and Quitely discuss their unique relationship and explore the worlds they’ve created together; worlds that lie just beyond the limits of mere imagination.
Featuring: Frank Quitely, Grant Morrison
THE INVISIBLES AND THE PRE-APOCALYPSE
As the Mayan’s Long Calendar comes to an end on December 22, 2012, will the acceleration of invention, technology, and environmental disruptions bring about a long foretold ancient apocalypse and is humanity ready for the transformations that awaits us? Exploring The I-Ching, McKenna’s Timewave Zero Theory, Native American mythology, The Sekhmet Hypothesis and 2012 predictive technologies like Clif High and George Ure’s Web Bot Project, Grant breaks it all down and explores, demystifies and examines what it all means. Has his vision for this next stage of existence changed since he penned THE INVISIBLES? What advice can he offer for fellow prognostinauts in apocalyptic times?
Featuring: Grant Morrison
MorrisonCon tickets, which include access to all events as well as two nights at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, are still available.