The moment I first heard about MorrisonCon from one of my readers I immediately wanted to go. Not only was the concept amazing, but anything with Darick Robertson, Gerard Way, and Grant and Kristan Morrison was sure to be a blast.
I had not actually planned to attend as a journalist, but as a friend and as such I had a very hard time figuring out how to write this piece when most of my time was spent having a blast entirely off record. However, such an event demanded a piece and so after about a month of thinking over it I finally figured out how to write it last night and set about preparing for it immediately.
From the beginning there were only two frames of thought on MorrisonCon, you either loved it as I did even if you could not afford it, or you massively despised it. I think this is the overall reaction to any great idea, and as such I was not deterred from my knowing that I was set to have a blast despite those various assurances that I would not get my money’s worth.
By the end of that weekend everyone I had spoken to, and have spoken to since all said the same thing. They’d do it again. I don’t think there is any clearer way to label the success of an event than that.
There were lots of reasons to enjoy MorrisonCon, be it sitting down with your favorite creator for more time than you’d ever get at a mainstream convention, or the amazing parties that were hosted each night in Body English. (The Hard Rock’s own underground cozy den of a club which featured a full bar, booths to spare, and even unisex bathrooms with exotic gilded faucet heads.)
My favorite part however, was one I had not expected when making my travel plans out to Vegas. Not only were there amazing parties, but there were amazing after-parties as well. Whether it be Friday night spent backstage with one half of My Chemical Romance via Mikey Way, Gerard Way and the ever killer James Dewees, as well as Darick Robertson, Akira the Don, Jim Lee, and Grant and Kristan Morrison, or the day after corralled in the center of the casino at my friends feet while Max Landis gave Gerard Way the full rundown of his time spent in Hollywood with my favorite “Freakshow” boys Jackson Lanzing and David Server while Mikey Way and I talked about AJ and Eve from WWE. That’s always actually been my favorite part of any convention, but there was something just so surreally perfect about doing it there surrounded by the gold and glitter of Vegas, while separating ourselves into perfect geeky intimacy.
I don’t think I’ve had a weekend so glamorous and yet entirely down to earth in my entire life, and it wasn’t just us. All weekend long people were wearing tee shirts by day and suits and gowns by night no matter if you were a fan or a creator. Kristan Morrison and I even found ourselves making tiny fashion presentations to one another throughout the weekend, each of her own fabulous outfits more fun and amazing than the next.
As exciting as the nightlife was, what really made it a convention of note was how much art was the theme of the entire weekend. Not only were there panels on it, but there were people drawing everywhere. Be they creators making works for fans, or fans simply too inspired not to just pick up their tools and go at it. Even the fashion of MorrisonCon was really about that artistic drive in each of us. I think that just comes naturally with being a Grant Morrison fan. Re-reading The Invisibles prior and seeing some these artists work on stage just reminded me of the kind of talent Grant chooses to bring his words to life. The level of talent there even inspired me to start working on my own faces to someday improve them to that level of talent I am currently so envious of.
Darick Robertson and I met through Jackson and David a couple of years back. I actually became a huge fan of his as a person and then decided after seeing some Spider Jerusalem urban brick art that I just had to read “Transmetropolitan”. Transmet is now my constantly declared favorite comic of all time and so when I heard he’d be working with Grant Morrison on “Happy!” I was ecstatic. I told Grant as much backstage that first night after his, Dewees and Way’s performance and he grinned happily and let me know how happy he was about it too. Darick helps brings things to life, and really felt like a partner and not just an artist for him on this project and he was really enjoying that. It shows in the work as well, “Happy!” is an amazing comic from two of my favorite creators and you should all be reading it if you aren’t already. Just make sure you’re alright with the word “fuck”, because it’s definitely in there, a lot. (It also has its’ own amazing theme song, which you can listen to Darick accompany with Magnolia Memoir below.)
Shortly after I returned home I received a facebook message from Henry Barajas explaining that he had been inspired by my Womanthology story I’d told at MorrisonCon and said that he and a small group of friends were planning on making a MorrisonCon Anthology. I loved the idea immediately as that was the perfect way to carry on this event. I was already planning to make art for this piece at the time as I had taken no photos while making the memories. The thought of having a full artistic work born from such an amazing experience spoke to me deeply.
However, as I replied to Henry, I actually knew the hosts of the event so I’d feel uncomfortable signing onto anything that wasn’t official. That said, I then offered the most logical course, to contact them and help make such a great idea official. Henry was delighted, and so I messaged James Sime right away and was ecstatic to receive confirmation from the Ignition Sequence team that yes, our anthology was a go. (By the way, if you attended MorrisonCon and would like to join us, the sign-up deadline has been postponed till November 25th, and we’d love to have you.)
In the end I suppose, the main reason why I ended up finding a way to write this article was to say thank you. Thanks to James Sime, Kirsten Baldock, and Ron Richards, thanks to Gerard Way, Grant and Kristan Morrison, and Darick Robertson, thanks to all the great industry peers, creators, and fans I hung out with, and thanks to Henry for taking this into overtime. If we all ever want to do this again sometime, you know I’ll be there. –N