Friday, 18 July 2008

The Thought That Won't Stop Thinking

I was reading this geek-tastic Guitar Player interview with Marnie Stern when the following paragraph reached out and pulled me down into the page:

“Sometimes, I’ll do a really basic guitar line, add guitar parts on top of it, and then take away the basic guitar line, so I’m just left with all the other parts,” shares Stern. “With the main part missing, it sounds more interesting. It’s technical and noisy, but it’s also melodic. A lot of my songs really are pop songs underneath all the goop.”

Well now -- I take back my glib snark about the interview being geeky, cos te above description of Stern's working method brought some of the weirder elements of her music into focus for me. Like the way her songs sound intensely structured while also seeming to fly off in unexpected directions on a whim.

Weird photo of Stern on that website too:


But what does all of this guitar talk have to do with the comic book writing of this man:

--?

Good question!
One thing that I thought Sean Collins' reviews of Grant Morrison's work on Batman and Seven Soldiers pinpointed really well was the way that Morrison's comics constantly hint at huge amounts of information that's just off-page. The amount of between-the-panels detail in Morrison's later work is insane -- sometimes it's frustrating, sometimes it's downright thrilling, and I think Sean nailed that feeling in his posts.
Which makes me wonder: how often does Morrison construct his stories the way Stern crafts her songs, coming up with big plots, writing a whole load of crazy shit around them, then blurring the main plot away?
I don't know, maybe he never works this way, but it's a compelling thought all the same.
One or two more general pieces to come, then I'm going to dive in and do a few issue by issue readings of some of my favourite comics.

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