I see ... major transformation to the sons of humanity.
[W]e’re going to get a whole onslaught of
new thoughts, new concepts ... .
O.K., somewhat off the subject of comics: I touched on this a bit earlier, but I’m sure everyone has noted how much the theme of the millennium has run in and out of your work over the
past couple of years.
If someone were to force you at gunpoint to make predictions—
—what would you say the next four or five years hold for the human race?
For the human race? Wonder!
That’s a big question.
Yeah, I think it’s full of wonderful stuff, but that’s only me, and other subjective points say, "Oh, well, what do you want." Having survived a near-death experience last year, I don’t want to [be negative].
So now I actually think it’s really good. I mean, every day I hear new stuff, [about] new technology. And for all that technology has caused us trouble in the past, I think that united we’re learning to use it. You know, the thing I saw the other day, I found, was they’ve created anti-gravity in a laboratory.
Yeah, they’ve managed to levitate a sandwich, some grasshoppers, and a frog. And they’ve done this by using some kind of electromagnetic field, which is the point when you were a kid, you knew that was going to come to be.
So the nice thing: For the year 2000, we’re going to levitate a hundred people, one from every nation or whatever. Wouldn’t that be a great gesture? And they’re actually working toward this; they’re not just saying water in the corner. This is humanity, you know. [Laugh.] So to me that stuff is actually, I think—
It’s a much closer idea than it used to be.
Yeah, and I think things are going to be great. We’re going to discover nanotechnology, and then we’ll become like gods, you know. We’re ten years away from that. Americans are, anyway.
I mean, I see basically major transformation to the sons of humanity.
It’s amazing now, but my biggest concern is how are WE going to change once our millennium fever has run its course? How do you think the human race is going to react to the year 2000 having come and gone?
Well, what’ll happen is everyone’s going to sit down and think, "Well, we didn’t die [laugh], you know. Christ didn’t come; the aliens didn’t come, after all, so I forfeit," and it’ll be exactly the same thing that happened a hundred years ago when—
You know, back in the 1890s, people like Oscar Wilde and everyone were saying, "Art is dead. Culture is dead. There’s nowhere to go but decadence. Recombine all the elements of the old stuff, but no one will ever think of anything new." Ten years later, you had T.S. Eliot, Picasso, James Joyce—and those were all the people that [had] got over that hundred-year mark. And suddenly someone said, "We’ve got another hundred years, so we’d better do something."
So I think what’s going to happen is we’ll get over that mark and all the kids who have been born now and are pretty young now are suddenly going to take a look around and think, "What do we make our world?" And we’re going to get a whole onslaught of new ideas, new thoughts, new concepts, because it has to happen. And it always does, you know.
I mean, this is—this is what [the] millennium would be. We just caught the [hints] with the comet and all that, [of crossing] over the hundred-year mark. And most people in the past have thought, "Everything’s going to come to an end," and always once we get past that—and once the people who thought it was going to come to an end start getting too old—then the young people take over it all, you know. And it will happen again.
What do you think Grant Morrison’s going to do when 2000 has come and gone? Do you have any idea yet?
Hopefully just latch onto the new thing and have fun with it. Keep going, you know. I don’t know if I want to do comics. I think my big hero is John Broome, who did THE FLASH back in the ‘50s and ‘60s.
Broome’s a big influence on me. An idea of my own, in fact, that he did comics and then stopped, and he just took off—went around the world, went to Paris, was going [somewhere else], and he ended up in Japan where he started a successful business. And he did nothing like comics.
You know, I like that kind of idea—that you do your stuff and it’s good and then you get out before you become bored.
So you’re planning on becoming a travelling guru, or maybe going back to working full-time as a playwright?
Well, wherever I may.
You know, I’ve been offered—I’ve been offered some things. If I’m going to do crap, then I might do crap for a lot of money. [Both laugh.] And then that means I can do good stuff that isn’t making a lot, just doing a lot to keep me happy.
So, yeah, I’ll do something, but right now—up until the year 2000—I’ll just try and document it all in the comics.