The British Invasion is a term used to refer to a group of British writers who worked on American comic books in the 1980's. These include Alan Moore, Grant Morrison, Peter Milligan and Neil Gaiman. British writers changed the genre with a sensitivity to the use of language and tackling more mature stories, and deconstructing the superhero status quo. The British writers lead to Marvel Comics and DC Comics abandoning the comics code.
Prior to the start of the British Invasion, DC Comics had imported several British artists from the early 1980s to work on their comic books. Brian Bolland was at the vanguard of this influx. Others that followed included Dave Gibbons, Brendan McCarthy, Glenn Fabry, Steve Dillon, and Philip Bond.
The British Invasion itself is often cited as occurring in the wake of Alan Moore's successful run on Swamp Thing and his Watchmen series. After Moore had a falling-out with DC and swore to never work for them again, DC editor (later Vertigo Group Editor) Karen Berger recruited many promising writers (and artists) from the UK. The names primarily associated with the invasion include Jamie Delano, who was approached by DC as the writer of the Swamp Thing spin off Hellblazer; Neil Gaiman and Dave Mckean, who collaborated on the Black Orchid limited series, as well as the famous and acclaimed Sandman; Peter Milligan, who launched a new Shade, the Changing Man series; and Scottish creator Grant Morrison, whose pitch of an Animal Man series was approved. Later British creators to work on American comics include Warren Ellis and Garth Ennis.
While some "British" writers such as Chris Claremont (Claremont was born in England but spent all of his adult life in the United States) had already worked for American comic companies prior to Alan Moore, they are not associated with the British Invasion. One of the chief characteristics of the British Invasion group of writers that set them apart from others was their greater sensitivity to language. Before the British Invasions, writers in the American comic book industry were known as "ace storytellers but mediocre wordsmiths" because the "actual text" of their comic books were generally subordinate to the plot and storytelling. With his work on Swamp Thing, Alan Moore revolutionised the American comic book industry through his use of "precise, naturalistic dialogue." Another characteristic of the British Invasion is a move away from the superhero genre, although in this regard, Grant Morrison is an exception.
|British Invasion||Heroes from the United Kingdom|