The following ramble was originally posted in the comments to this Factual Opinion post. It's addressed to a chap called Kenny, who had stated that Grant Morrison's comics were "all big ideas and weak execution" and that this made him "the anti-[Mark] Millar".
A lot of people seem to think that Morrison's all ideas and no execution, but... I just don't see it. On a bad day, maybe, but I'll let you in on a secret about Grant Morrison's best ideas: they normally belong to someone else. What he's good at is finding a new way to make some old Jack Kirby/J.L Borges/Michael Moorcock idea sing, and in that way he's actually way closer to Mark Millar than you're making out.
See, they make a pretty neat couple, Morrison and Millar, as Plok neatly pointed out in this recent post. The main difference between them is that Morrison wants to show how much you can still do with these old ideas, where Millar takes a great deal of joy in rubbing his cock on them*. Both valid approaches, for sure, but... yeah, in both cases, execution's the thing.
Now, I've ran out of patience with Millar recently, so I can't comment on his Fantastic Four or 'Old Man Logan' or whatever, but honestly? His execution is AT LEAST as on-off as Morrison's... probably even more so.
What's the difference between 'Batman: RIP' and All Star Superman, or Morrison's whole Batman run and Seven Soldiers? It's probably about the same as the difference between Kick Ass and Wanted, right? The ideas involved are similar, but there's a huge difference in the quality of the execution.
(Of course your opinion on the relative quality of these series may differ from mine, but that's only to be expected.)
And this isn't a new phenomenon in Morrison's work either: Arkham Asylum renders boring many of the same themes that seem super-exciting in his Doom Patrol run, for example.
So... yeah. You're wrong about Morrison's strengths as a writer, is basically what I'm saying, though obviously if his work doesn't do it for you it just doesn't do it for you.*There are exceptions though: Morrison's Dare would make much more sense if Monty Millar had written it, but so it goes...
Also: Big Beardy Alan Moore has a similar interest in other people's ideas, though unlike either of the two young rogues I'm waffling on about here, Moore's more interested in building a huge structure out of this junk in order to show how clever he is. Which is awesome!
I've changed the formatting a little, and have edited out the bit about me wanting to give Kevin Huizenga special man-hugs, but I stand by the rest of it. And in case anyone thinks I'm being flip with that last Alan Moore comment: I'm not! I really do think Moore's work is awesome, and some of it is even hugely affecting (V for Vendetta, Watchmen, From Hell, The Birth Caul..). It's all really perfomative, sure, but that's a quality I really like in my comic book authors. Moore's showy like an old school stage magician, while Millar's showy like a drunk bloke in a bar. Morrison? He's somewhere between the two, which is probably why he's my favourite British comics writer.