MorrisonCon is coming to Las Vegas in September and three more comics stars will be announced as guests Tuesday — Darick Robertson (“Transmetropolitan”), Robert Kirkman (“The Walking Dead”) and Jason Aaron (“Scalped”) — for an event that is named after Grant Morrison, the comic book writer and author who is shaping the “once-in-a-lifetime event” that will be limited to 1,000 fans and sounds more like a TED Conference rave than an old-school, long-box convention. We caught up with Robertson, who lives in Napa Valley, to chat about his work and Morrison’s offbeat summit.
HC: One of the hallmarks of your field is collaboration — what’s a lesson you’ve learned about collaboration?
DR: Collaboration is all about honesty and mutual respect. It can be easy to lean on your co-creator and let them do the heavy lifting, but I found that when it comes to the highlights of my experience, the truest moments were when I had the courage to step up and bring my own ideas to the party. If I hadn’t, then Spider Jerusalem might not have had those glasses. Working with Grant, I am hitting a whole new level, as he enjoys collaboration as much as I do. I can tell his roots are in music, which I love as well, because “Happy!” is the first comic wherein I almost feel like I’m jamming along with someone, rather than being handed off a baton to run with. There’s a lot of back and forth, but I also feel trusted to do what I do well.
HC: If you look at your work from a decade ago and you look at your work today, what are some of the differences you see in approach, priority or simply in craft?
DR: I’ve really learned to trust my instincts as a storyteller and to be patient with the work. I spent so many years in the trenches hitting hard deadlines that my motto used to be “Sometimes good enough has to be.” And in many ways it will always be, as no one wants to overcook the meal or spend so much time in preparation you never deliver, but I’ve learned also that something good requires patience and bravery. Until the audience sees the work there’s always an insecurity there that maybe it isn’t all it can be, but if that’s the place the work is born from, it will at least echo the intention behind it. I have learned to draw from a place of creating the comic that I see inside my mind and not to worry by comparing my work to others. I just try to deliver the best work that I can create and hope it hits the mark. But until you let that arrow fly, you won’t know where it will land on the target.
HC: What are some of the things you have coming up that you’re most excited about?
DR: Everything I’m currently working on I am really enjoying. Wrapping up the final issue of “The Boys,” [there's also] a new co-created, creator-owned series with Cristos Gage for DC Comics … But I am especially loving “Happy!” as Grant has given me such an original story to work with and it hits a lot of my artistic strengths. It’s a very cinematic story and it flows very well.
HC: Is it possible that Grant Morrison is staging this convention as a trick to get everybody in one place to lure them into some sort of inter-dimensional trap?
DR: It might feel that way after the third round of drinks…
– Geoff Boucher
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