Grant Morrison spent his early childhood in Govan and Corkerhill Scotland. His father was a World War II veteran who later became a pacifist and a prominent anti-war activist. Morrison's writing has been greatly influenced by his father's work as a member of the Committee of 100, an anti-nuclear group which carried out acts of civil disobedience. His parents divorced in 1970 however, Morrison kept in close contact with his father. He attended Allan Glen's, an all boys school to which he had won a scholarship, and eventually applied to the Glasgow School of Art, which rejected him. He was despondent until his father came to the rescue, giving him a typewriter with the message, "Son - the world is waiting to hear from you," taped inside the case. His first writing commission was for the Scottish science fiction comic, Near Myths. While he was at Allan Glen's school, Morrison helped to create a school magazine telling fictional stories with a group of friends from his year and the year above him ( including George Ballentyne ) called The White Tree. The magazine ended up only running for one issue, which Grant illustrated.
One of Morrison's first recurring characters was Gideon Stargrave, a 70's era British spy loosely based on Michael Moorcock's Jerry Cornelius, with heavy influences from JG Ballard's short story collection The Day of Forever. Morrison later recycled the character for his Invisibles series, renaming him King Mob. Within the meta universe of The Invisibles, King Mob actually writes the character of Gideon Stargrave, under the pen name of Kirk Morrison, making the character something of an avatar for Grant Morrison.
Morrison is a perpetual media darling, and he is not shy about giving an interview.
Morrison broke in to mainstream comics, writing for the now defunct British comics magazine Warrior. His early works included many stories for Marvel UK, including: Doctor Who, Zoids, and Spider Man. He wrote a number of stories for 2000 AD, including the magazine's first superhero Zenith, a reaction against the trend towards darker superheroes portrayed in Dark Knight Returns and Watchmen.
In 1988, Morrison was headhunted by Karen Berger along with fellow British imports: Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean, Jamie Delano, and Peter Milligan, for DC's new Vertigo imprint . Morrison's initial projects were reboots of Animal Man and Doom Patrol. The unusual nature of his stories led to a spike in the characters' popularity, and gave Morrison the leeway to tell stories that actually interested him. Under Morrison's guidance, Animal Man addressed real world issues of animal rights and what it means to be a vegan, and Doom Patrol became a darkly surrealistic superhero title that even today defies normal stylistic conventions.
In 1990 Morrison published his most commercial success with the original graphic novel Arkham Asylum, beginning his long association with the Batman franchise. The book was an instant best seller for DC and to date has sold more than 600,000 copies worldwide.
In 1994, Morrison started his most personal project and definitely one of his seminal works, The Invisibles. The series detailed the story of a number of super powered anarchists who battled to free humanity from oppression by alien gods. Morrison is on record, claiming that he got many of his ideas for The Invisibles from what he believed was an alien abduction. He later backpedaled, stating that it was a strange experience that sparked the series concept, and that an alien abduction was the easiest way to explain it. During the run of the series, he placed many of his personal experiences on the page, including: nightclubbing, learning martial arts, and traveling all over the world. Morrison claimed that the series was intended to be a magical sigil, the goal of which was to inject new concepts into pop culture, as well as to improve aspects of his own life that he was not satisfied with. According to Morrison, the spell had a price as whenever his King Mob character became injured or sick, similar things would happen to Morrison in real life. He defeated this by changing King Mob's storyline to make him healthier.
In 1997, Morrison launched his reboot of the Justice League of America, JLA. Morrison's first order of business was to return the "trinity" of Batman, Wonder Woman and Superman to the team. He wrote the series in a fast paced, visually expansive style similar to what Warren Ellis had pioneered in The Authority, which has become known as widescreen comics. During Morrison's run on JLA, the team battled everything from White Martians and renegade angels, to his revamped Injustice League. Morrison ended his run on JLA with the original graphic novel, JLA Earth 2, which reintroduced the Crime Syndicate.
In 2001 Morrison left DC to take over Marvel's flagship comic which he retitled New X Men, rebooting the franchise in the process. Morrison's stint on X-Men is considered one of his more controversial runs, as he radically altered many aspects of the book. He introduced many new concepts including the Weapon Plus program, Fantomex, secondary mutations, the drug kick, and portrayed Magneto as a senile genocidal madman. Morrison ended many long established X-Men tropes, including disposing with their superhero costumes, ending the marriage of Scott Summers and Jean Grey by involving Cyclops in a psychic affair with The White Queen, and once again killing Jean Grey, this time by giving her a massive, catastrophic stroke. Despite all the changes (that can be easily outdone), the series was still well received.
Morrison returned to DC in 2002 with The Filth, a limited series written as a widdershins version of The Invisibles. Morrison also completed the Vertigo series' We3, a Sci-Fi story with animal rights themes, Vimanarama, a combination of Indian tales with Jack Kirby styled story telling, Seaguy, a satirical spin on adventure heroes and Joe the Barbarian, a modern day fantasy.
His contributions for DC since 2005 have also been notable. His series All Star Superman has been critically praised many calling it a definite take on Superman in the modern era and inspired an animated film of the same name. He wrote the "megaseries" Seven Soldiers, a revival of the obscure DC property which included new takes on many DC characters spanning 30 books. He participated in the year long weekly series 52 along with writers Geoff Johns, Greg Rucka and Mark Waid with break downs by Keith Giffen. The series stared minor characters in the DC universe set in a year without Superman Batman or Wonder Woman.
Beginning in 52 Grant Morrison then began a radical redefining of the Batman franchise. The changes included the reveal of Bruce Wayne's son, Damian Wayne. The unifying of all of Batman's histories from the Golden Age to The Silver Age to forgotten stories in the character's history. While writing the New Gods themed DC mega crossover Final Crisis (a series with ties to 52 and Seven Soldiers and a reworking of an older pitch of Morrison's) the story became bound with his Batman storyline which saw the supposed death of Bruce Wayne. Wayne survived but further changes included Dick Grayson and Damian Wayne taking on the roles of Batman and Robin in Bruce's absence in the series Batman and Robin. Morrison completed that stage of the story in the arcs Return of Bruce Wayne and Batman and Robin Must Die which saw the return of Bruce Wayne as Batman. Morrison had then begun the series Batman Incorporated which sees Batman travel the world recruiting an army of international Batmen to battle the invisible enemy Leviathan. Due to DC's 2011 revamp the series was delayed, finishing the first volume with an extra-sized one shot titled Batman Incorporated: Leviathan Strikes! The second volume of Batman Incorporated began in May of 2012, being noted as the final installment of Morrison's Batman run.
In 2011 as part of the DC relaunch Morrison began writing the new Action Comics. The series showed the adventures of a young Superman as the world's first superhero. He penned issues #0 - 18.
Morrison is well known for his spiritual open-mindedness, and has often included his "experiences" in his works. Some of his methods include; Straight Edge (No drugs or alcohol), Psycho-actives, Meditation, Hypoxia, Voodoo Rituals, Hallucinogenics and Dream Interpretation.
Morrison is currently working on a new limited series for DC Comics, called Multiversity which will be exploring the various different worlds throughout the DC Multiverse. He is also writing Annihilator which has art from multiple time collaborator Frazer Irving.
- 1999 Lovely Biscuits (Oneiros Books)
- 2011 Supergods (Random House)
- 1989 Red King Rising
- 1989 Depravity
- Morrison has produced several music albums for various bands including: The Mixers, Jenny and the Cat Club, The Fauves, Super 9, and DHK.
- 1988 Favorite Single or Continued Story (UK), Zenith (2000AD #535-550)
- 1990 Favorite Graphic Novel (US), Arkham Asylum
- 1990 Favorite Writer (UK)
- 2000 Favorite Graphic Novel, JLA: Earth 2
- 2006 Favorite Comics Writer
- 2006 Favorite New Comic Book, All Star Superman
- 2006 Roll Of Honor
- 2007 Favorite Color Comic Book (US), All Star Superman
- 2010 Favorite American Comic Book Color, Batman and Robin
- 2010 Favorite New Comic Book, Batman and Robin
- 2011 Favorite Writer
- 2011 Favorite American Comic Book Color, Batman and Robin
- 2011 Favorite Reprint Compilation, Absolute All Star Superman
- 1990 Special Award For Excellence In Presentation, Arkham Asylum
- 2008 Best Single Issue Or Story, All Star Superman #8
- 2008 Best Continuing Or Limited Series, All Star Superman
- 2009 Best Writer, All Star Superman
- 2009 Best Continuing Or Limited Series, All Star Superman
- 2006 Best Finite Series/Limited Series, Seven Soldiers
- 2006 Best New Series, All Star Superman
- 2007 Best Continuing Series, All Star Superman
- 2009 Best Continuing Series, All Star Superman
Some characters Created