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Ask Chris #264: Frankenstein Lives!

Ask Chris #264, background art by Doug Mahnke

Q: What Halloween-y monster fits into the second-most different narrative roles, behind Dracula? -- @crookedknight

A: First things first, you are right to put Dracula at the top of the list. I've been through this before, but for anyone just joining us who hasn't heard me go through it for five or six hours, Dracula is the best. He's been around long enough and often enough that everyone pretty much knows what his deal is just from hearing the name, and you can drop him into any story in virtually any role. He can be a villain, an uneasy ally, a shadowy figure manipulating things from behind the scenes, and even, occasionally, a globetrotting protagonist battling things even worse than he is. He can be bloodthirsty fiend, sophisticated devil, reluctant hero, or all of the above.

But given all that, it there's one choice for the spooky silver medal that seems so obvious that I was surprised I got this question. It has to be Frankenstein. Right?

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Ask Chris #263: Halloween In The Fortress of Solitude

Ask Chris #263, background art by Travel Foreman

Q: What's the best Halloween story starring a superhero that doesn't really fit Halloween? -- @krinsbez

A: As much as the two genres have been historically opposed to each other, there are an awful lot of superheroes that have pretty strong ties to horror. Characters like Batman, for example, have spookiness built right into the concept from the very beginning, right down to the devil-horns and the dark cape, whih are meant to terrorize a superstitious, cowardly lot of criminals. But when you get further away from horror elements, when you look at the characters that are rooted in sci-fi or pure superheroics, and you drop them into a spooky story, then you can get a pretty great story just on the virtue of taking someone out of their element.

So turn down the lights and let's talk about Halloween in the Fortress of Solitude.

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On The Cheap: Get Pretty Much Everything In Comixology’s Grant Morrison Sale, Especially Aztek

Aztek, DC Comics

This week, Comixology has a huge sale on Grant Morrison's work for DC and Vertigo, and as much as I like writing these columns and helping to turn people on to some good stuff, this is one time where I don't really feel like I can give a whole lot of direction. As you may already know, Morrison is pretty good at writing comic books, and his collaborations with artists like Frank Quitely, Howard Porter, Rags Morales and Richard Case has produced some of the best classics of the modern era.

But as tempting as it is to just say, "Hey, just because you love All Star Superman, that doesn't mean you'll really like The Invisibles" and call it a day, there is one thing that you should definitely be on the lookout for: the complete collection of Aztek: The Ultimate Man, one of the most underrated, under-appreciated superhero comics of the '90s, can be yours for five bucks.

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The Issue: Empathy for the Henchman in ‘The Invisibles’ #12 (1995)

TheIssue-Invisibles

Welcome to The Issue, a new feature examining some of the strangest, most interesting and most distinctive single issue comic stories ever to grace the medium. You know the ones; silent issues, sideways issues, backwards issues; the comics that try to do something different with the form, and stand out from the series they belong to.

As October is Villains Month here on ComicsAlliance, we're taking a look at an issue focusing on a character who is nominally one of the bad guys, though the story tries to unpack what that really means. The issue is The Invisibles #12, 'Best Man Fall', written by Grant Morrison and Steve Parkhouse.

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Morrison And Mora’s Santa Claus Origin Is ‘One Man And His Wolf Against A Totaliarian State’

Klaus, Morrison and Mora

When Boom Studios' Klaus was first announced, I wasn't sure that there could be any phrase in the English language that would be more exciting to me than "Grant Morrison and Dan Mora doing a Santa Claus: Year One," but here we are. With the book set for release next month, Boom has sent out a press release about the series that comes complete with a quote from Morrison himself, and while it might be the single most Grant Morrison sentence ever written --- it is a sentence about Santa Claus that contains the word "shamanism" --- it is also one of the most exciting.

Seriously: This quote starts by describing Santa's origin story as "one man and his wolf against a totalitarian state" and then just builds from there.

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The Evolution of Green Arrow: Best Green Arrow Stories by Decade

evo-greenarrow

Many of comics’ most popular heroes have been around for decades, and in the case of the big names from the publisher now known as DC Comics, some have been around for a sizable chunk of a century. As these characters passed through the different historical eras known in comics as the Golden Age (the late 1930s through the early 1950s), the Silver Age (the mid 1950s through the late 1960s), the Bronze Age (the early 1970s through the mid 1980s) and on into modern times, they have experienced considerable changes in tone and portrayal that reflect the zeitgeist of the time.

With this feature we’ll help you navigate the very best stories of DC Comics’ most beloved characters decade by decade. This week, we’re taking a look at the best Green Arrow comics.

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I Want To Make This A Performance: Grant Morrison Discusses His Plans For ‘Heavy Metal’ [Interview]

CA_MorrisonMetal

When it was announced last month that Heavy Metal magazine had signed Grant Morrison to serve as their new editor-in-chief, it seemed to be the exact real-world approximation of that comic cliche: a team-up that nobody anticipated, but that makes perfect sense when considered from the right angle.

Heavy Metal is a title that, in its '70s/'80s heyday, redefined the limits of comic book form and content, much as Morrison has eschewed conventional stylistic and genre constraints throughout his career. Today, the magazine's name is shorthand for a specific style of exploitative genre fiction --- usually involving some combination of sci-fi, sword & sorcery, swearing, and sex --- but owners Jeff Krelitz and David Boxenbaum have been vocal about their hopes to expand the Heavy Metal brand and reignite the revolutionary spirit that it originally embodied.

ComicsAlliance sat down with Morrison at this summer's San Diego Comic-Con to talk about his personal history with Heavy Metal, ask some questions about his plans, and get a glimpse into the approach he's bringing to his new role at the magazine.

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Supergoddesses: Morrison Speaks About Gynocentricity and ‘Wonder Woman: Earth One’

wonder_woman_earthone-spread-crop

I’ve been eagerly anticipating the graphic novel Wonder Woman: Earth One by Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette ever since it was announced back in January 2014 (as Wonder Woman: The Trial of Diana Prince). Now, with new details emerging in an interview with Morrison (who has just been named editor-in-chief of Heavy Metal) at Nerdist, the excitement is only building.

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Grant Morrison To Fly Through Endless Universes for ‘Multiversity Too’ and ‘Batman: Black and White’ in 2016

multiv-feat

At San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, DC announced that writer Grant Morrison has two new projects launching with the publisher in 2016. The first is a sequel to this year's acclaimed Multiversity. Called, of course, Multiversity Too, the new book will take the form of a series of graphic novels throughout next year. For the second project, Morrison will take the lead on a series of Batman: Black and White graphic novels working with various artists.

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Grant Morrison Named as Editor In Chief of ‘Heavy Metal’ Magazine

heavymetal-crop

Long-running comics magazine Heavy Metal announced this week that writer Grant Morrison will be its new editor-in-chief. Morrison begins his tenure as editor in February next year, and will work in an actual editorial capacity, rather than simply serving as a figurehead. He will also create new comics content for the magazine.

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