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Interview: Grant Morrison Talks ANNIHILATOR at Legendary Comics

The writer talks about working with Frazer Irving to tell a story of a Hollywood screenwriter mixed with big Sci-Fi adventure.

Grant Morrison has been busy lately. We've just recently seen his long awaited MULTIVERSITY at DC Comics but this week he also has another new title coming out. This time the writer is telling a story at Legendary Comics.

ANNIHILATOR is a six-issue series and Morrison will be working, once again, with Frazer Irving. This is a slightly different type of story and we had the chance to read the first issue and talk to Grant.

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COMIC VINE: I just read the first issue. It’s amazing.

GRANT MORRISON: Thanks. This is one of my favorite projects. Because it’s not Marvel or DC, I really want people to check it out.

CV: How would you describe ANNIHILATOR?

GM: It’s a hard one. I’m really bad at doing the elevator pitch. I wish I was more like Mark Millar who can just nail this stuff. It’s about a Hollywood screenwriter. It’s making the idea of the deadline quite concrete. So if this guy doesn’t finish his script, he basically dies. His invention is actually a package of information from another universe. If he can write this story down fast enough, he will save himself from death. For me, it’s my Hollywood story. There’s the idea of having to do notes and having to be conscious about how stories are told, but at the same time, tying that into a big sci-fi adventure.

CV: What made you do this at Legendary Comics?

GM: Mainly because after I’ve done so much work at DC, I started branching out a little bit last year. I decided to a bunch of different projects at different companies. I have something coming out at BOOM!, an Image comic with Chris Burnham, and this one with Legendary. I thought, if I’m doing something with Legendary, let’s do something about Hollywood. I had this story I wanted to tell about my experiences in Hollywood and the people that I’ve met. I kind of fictionalized it and science-fictionalized it into ANNIHILATOR. It seemed really really appropriate and cool to do a story about Hollywood movie making with Legendary, who are obviously a very very successful Hollywood movie producing company.

CV: When did you know you’d be working with Frazer Irving again on this? Did that change anything you had planned?

GM: No, always I wanted Frazer to do the story. We worked together on KLARION THE WITCH BOY at DC and on Batman in particularly. I wanted a story that was tailored completely towards Frazer’s amazing strengths. This one was written specifically for him and I think he’s totally excelled on the work that he’s done with it.

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CV: Did you write the [real world] Ray Spass parts first or [fictional] Max Nomax?

GM: It was all about a writer who was stuck. I wanted to write about the people that create fantasies for the rest of the world to immerse themselves in—to see what goes on behind it. The Hollywood thing and the attitude towards young women and the way the whole Hollywood structure works was something I wanted to write about. Also the very dark underbelly of Los Angeles—the whole Satanic/Charles Manson/the Doors aspect of LA. I think LA seems very shallow if you’re not familiar with it, but underneath is this huge, dark bit of weirdness. That was what this story was about.

CV: How much of the fictional/Max Nomax world did you map out?

GM: I had it all worked out. The idea is a writer is writing a story about the ultimate criminal. It’s this guy that’s been exiled for committing the ultimate crime. We don’t quite understand who he is. This is my Dante’s Divine Comedy. Max Nomax is quite a Satanic figure so I think I’m kind of dealing with that stuff. I’m trying to almost do a fan-fiction version of Divine Comedy.

CV: As the two come together, can you tell us where their story will take place? The real or fictional world?

GM: Yeah, it’s the real world but I still have to write the story of Max Nomax. It’s kind of like The Shining in outer space. We get to see the entire movie script as it’s written and the whole story of Nomax and the black hole and the teddy bear character and the girl that’s frozen forever inside the giant egg. It’s dealing with an archetype of the anti-hero. I’m dealing with that dark man and the romantic hero.

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CV: Have you ever had any dreams or visions of your characters talking to you?

GM: Yeah, now and again. But it’s always other people’s characters. It’s always like Geoff Johns’ characters or Steve Ditko’s. My own characters don’t turn up in my dreams but other people’s do.

Be sure to check out ANNIHLIATOR from Legendary Comics. Issue #1 is on sale September 10.