I loves me some Grant Morrison. Even when he's off-the-charts crazy and I can barely understand a single frame of his comics, I still have to applaud him for taking me someplace new. I barely understood any of Final Crisis, but the parts that I did, I thought were genius. Most of my beloved graphic novels were done by him: We3, The Invisibles, and Flex Mentallo. And although I had a hard time swallowing the conclusion to his Black Glove run of Batman, I loved every issue leading up the end. His run of the New X-Men is one of my go-to comics for a lazy Sunday afternoon.
I've also had a fair number of moments when I've wondered about Grant Morrison's sexuality. Case in point, this:
I'm trying to think of more homoerotic moments in mainstream comics and I'm having a hard time coming up with something. You could put that image in a Tom of Finland book and no one would notice the difference. Was this a scene in which the main character stumbled into The Eagle? Nope. It's our hero, Flex Mentallo. Happily strolling through the world fighting crime in leather wrist bands and a leopard-print bikini.
Grant Morrison has also admitted to spend a fair number of years doing drag for...fun? To prove that he could? Honestly, I think a lot of straight people would dress up in drag just for kicks if they weren't so worried about the gay stigma of it. And that's what's so great about Grant Morrison. He doesn't care about the stigma. He just wants to go someplace real and exciting and edgy.
It's in that spirit that I present Super Psyche, his interview in the latest issue of Playboy magazine. His description of Batman is priceless.
Gayness is built into Batman. I’m not using gay in the pejorative sense, but Batman is very, very gay. There’s just no denying it. Obviously as a fictional character he’s intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay. I think that’s why people like it.
Yes. Exactly. There have been jokes for years about the bizarrely intimate life of the 1960's Batman & Robin, but I have to applaud Morrison for not only understanding that the character is a very gay concept at his core, but for understanding that that's why people are drawn to him. Sure, you could make the case that Batman fits the stereotypically gay childhood: absent father figure, over-bearing mother (I'm looking at you Alfred); but Morrison goes beyond simple stereotypes. He knows that Batman just wants to hang out with the guys:
All these women fancy him and they all wear fetish clothes and jump around rooftops to get to him. He doesn’t care—he’s more interested in hanging out with the old guy and the kid.
But he doesn't stop at the gay under/over tones of Batman. He's got a lot to say about Wonder Woman as well:
William Moulton Marston, the guy who created Wonder Woman, was a noted psychiatrist. He’s the guy who invented the polygraph, the lie detector. He was one of those bohemian free-love guys; he and his wife, Elizabeth, shared a lover, Olive, who was the physical model for Wonder Woman. What he and Elizabeth did was to consider an Amazonian society of women that had been cut off from men for 3,000 years. That developed along the lines of Marston’s most fevered fantasies into a lesbian utopia.
Then he spilled the beans on the years he went in drag — which was apparently the inspiration for his character Lord Fanny of The Invisibles:
I didn’t look like a girl, but I looked like a good tranny, so it was okay. I did it for four or five years before I got too old for it. I still have some of the clothes, but they mostly got destroyed doing insane rituals and climbing hills in high heels and stuff.
That's it. I couldn't possibly love Grant Morrison more. He's my dream straight man.
Check out his interview and perhaps... decide to live a little more on the edge.