Not that I want this to turn into the all-Grant-Morrison-all-the-time blog, but…this is a blurb about “The Filth” I wrote for the Comics Journal a few years back (2004, I think?), just in case anyone’s interested.
Grant Morrison’s first two popular series — “Animal Man” and “Doom Patrol” — were notable for, of all things, their elegance. Dreamlike, addled, bursting with ideas, they nonetheless unfolded with an inevitable grace, akin to the best movies of Buñuel or David Cronenberg. Since then, though Morrison has largely forsaken his idiosyncratic sense of pacing, . These days he relies half the time on relatively conventional super-hero plots, and the other half on an aesthetic of one-damn-thing-after-another. The Filth is an example of the second of these, but if the whole isn’t quite the sum of the parts, the bits and pieces still form some of the trippiest debris floating through comics, mainstream or otherwise. Marxist assassin chimpanzees, psychic-defense toupees, porn stars spurting black semen, plus standard Morrison themes like pulp-comics-as-metaphor-for-reality and the sadness of pet owners — like, what does it all mean, man? Something about the deliberate destruction of utopias? The insanity lying beneath the surface of the workaday world? And is the Weston/Erskine art really meant to look like Hanna-Barbera’s take on H.R. Giger? Who cares? I’ll plop my money down as long as I can open the thing at random and find characters spouting lines like, “I learned to read the intestinal weather and correctly guess the lifestyle and habits of the people around me from their stifled farts.” Morrison doesn’t really do beauty that well anymore, but God (or whatever) bless him, he’ll always have dada.