Sequart Research & Literacy Organization, a publisher responsible for a substantial number of accessible and informative studies of significant comic creators and their work, announced this week the release of their latest book, The Anatomy of Zur-en-Arrh: Understanding Grant Morrison's Batman by Cody Walker. As a comics scholar, I've been familiar with Sequart's books for some years, and they are actually the publisher of my own upcoming book on magic in the works of Alan Moore. However, trying to assemble the Batman world of Grant Morrison? That's not a task I'd set for myself, so I'm relieved that Walker is doing that on our behalf.
The book sets out to investigate the entirety of Morrison's Batman-related work in a way that reconstructs its components as well as its influence on wider Batman mythology, no small task. For those of us who have puzzled over the little details in Arkham Asylum or even JLA as well as Morrison's many years on Batman that seem to have large implications, only to see teasing hints crop up much, much later or in different guises to remind us that our perplexity was well-founded, we've finally gotten a book on the subject.
The 272 page tome covers topics like the relationship between the Bruce Wayne and Batman identities, the role of Damian Wayne, the conflicts between The Joker and Dr. Hurt, Talia al Ghul's "terrorist" role, and even contains a detailed chronology (incredibly useful) of Morrison's Batman-related work. The extra feature that will be a big draw for readers is a complete and new interview with Grant Morrison on the subjects of the book titled "Grant Morrison Responds".
This study of Morrison's Batman work builds on previous books released by Sequart, though it also stands as a single-volume study, including Grant Morrison: The Early Years, and Our Sentence Is Up: Seeing Grant Morrison's The Invisibles and stands alongside the Sequart co-produced documentary Grant Morrison: Talking with Gods. Morrison was the subject of Sequart's first published book, actually, and so the new work adds to that substantial library already extant.
The experience of the book will be appealing to the educated fan since it is written in a conversational style, but it also contains footnotes and references to related materials that make it appropriate for a college-level study of comics, and Walker's previous credits include work as an essay contributor in other Sequart books as well as editing the volume Keeping the World Strange: A Planetary Guide.
The book is available in print as well as digitally in a number of formats, including print and Kindle, as of this week.