Taking his cue from the recent postings on Douglas Wolk’s fine chapters, from his new book Reading Comics, on Grant Morrison (parts I, II, III, IV) Noah Berlatsky comments on what he sees as Morrison’s ‘signature weakness’, namely his failure to think visually and to truly collaborate with the artists he works with. While I think Noah is, as usual, unduly harsh in his assessment — Morrison has, from time to time, worked with competent artists, and Frank Quitely is great despite his storytelling weaknesses — I basically agree. Way too many inferior artists on Morrison’s scripts: everything from the almost two decades old Animal Man stories to the current Batman work, and especially The Invisibles, suffer immeasurably from it.

I can’t help but wonder whether the frequently occurring, bizarre storytelling lacunae in Morrison’s work stems from his lack of visualization, rather than the individual artists’ shortcomings: I’m thinking of such things as Professor X’s unexplained escape from the gang of Quentin Quire in the X-Men story “Riot at Xavier’s”, the wierdly convoluted and muddled opening of the first Batman issue, where two Batmen are in play and the Joker is suddenly shot, or the bizarre sequence in the first issue of All-Star Superman where it appears that Clark Kent changes into Superman and saves a boy while his cup of coffee is in midair… or something like that. (Wish I could actually provide the examples here, but my comics collection is largely inaccessible, unfortunately). There’s lots of this kind of stuff in Morrison’s comics, no matter who draws them.

If you read Danish, here are my reviews of Morrison’s New X-Men and The Filth. Art, by Steve Yeowell, from The Invisibles – does it live up to the scripting?