“Multi-award winner writer Mark Millar has revamped the X-Men, launched a number one Spiderman title, brought Captain America into the 21st century and made Superman a communist.” And that’s all before his breakfast tea. Mark Millar is a the writer of some of the industry’s biggest selling comic books and is gaining momentum by the second. His films such as Wanted and Kick-Ass have taken us all by storm and we’ve fallen in love (or hate), with his foul mouthed characters and stories.
I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with Mark Millar a few weeks ago and ask him about his projects and bring up some of the questions that have been pressing on many of your minds.
First Mr. Millar and I spoke about twitter…and him mentioning that he’s only JUST started but has already posted over 1200 posts. Yes, Mr. Millar, twitter can be addicting. We then spoke about various things, one being the recent eBay auction he had. If you are not aware, Mark Millar auctioned off the name for Superior. The ORIGINAL name… he also did this for Nemesis and Kick-Ass.
Now I also have to mention that he asked what site this interview was for and when I said Comicbooked.com he IMMEDIATELY said— Oh I know that site!!! — so comicbooked fans— even the incredible Mister Millar knows you! Feel proud. VERY proud! I also have to bring it to your attention how amazing it was that he called me all the way from Scotland. That being said, his accent is VERY strong and hard to understand at times….especially when listening to the conversation again on a recording. This is something he warned me about. Oh yes, he was correct. So please excuse the sometimes shortened answers that I’ll be relaying.
Before I get into the auction, I’m going to start off with my favorite new piece of work from Millar which is Clint magazine. This magazine is now sold as a magazine in the U.K. “Why is a magazine so exciting?” you ask. Well, this is no ordinary magazine. Millar made sure that it incorporates both comics and recent happenings. He describes it as a “Maxium” type magazine, explaining that “All of the comics that I’d grown up with had gone away. The only one that was really left was 2000 A.D. and selling for a fraction of what it used to sell for and it’s because the retailer , newsstand and supermarkets don’t know how to market them and don’t sell them anymore. So what I did was get together with a bunch of friends but also who are known celebrities here in the U.K. or on television and threw a comic together. “
So, this is a comic that is available for the general public at book stores? Like a regualar “In Style Magazine??” He said, “It was always my plan to use this as a launch pad to get this into the hands of the mainstream audience. ..It’s a hybrid really. It’s a – nobody’s really tried anything like this before. It’s a cross between FHM and a comic book. It’s got Nemesis, Kick Ass 2, all at the same time as it reads like an issue of Esquire or FHM”
For those of you that don’t know, FHM is short for “For Him magazine” It’s a gentlemens magazine with loads of scantily clad ladies and lots of crude and amusing articles. So what Millar is saying is that he is happy to bring the UK a magazine that has comics AND chicks. He said “It’s something to walk into a supermarket and see it next to the guitar magazines and computer magazines; it’s so nice to see a comic book on the shelves.” When askes if we can get it here in the US he said that it had been so long since he had focused on his own country that he wanted to do something specifically for the UK. **Don’t worry folks you can order it in the U.S…I’ll have a link for you at the end of the article**
Next up we spoke about the naming of his character in Superior and how he came about using an eBay auction to choose the name. Now, Millar had done the same thing for Kick-Ass AND Nemesis….but since his new found fame…the question now weighs heavy on our minds: Why do you choose to auction off the name? And more importantly. Why are you auctioning it off for a charity?
Mr. Millar’s brother works for a special needs unit and has been raising funds for his research. Instead of Mark using his celebrity status and fame to gain money and momentum for himself, he decided to “steal the idea from Stephen King” and auction off the name of his characters. As he stated, it makes people feel special but also helps those in need.
Next I asked him about Kick-Ass 2 and what direction he’d be taking it. He went on to explain that Red Mist is switching to the villain. In staying true to the hero genre, where the villain starts as the heroes friend and then something terrible happens that he blames the hero for. He mentions how we saw Patty Oswald and so on in the Spiderman movies. “I wanted to take that and poke fun at the premise.” He goes on to say that Red Mist instead of having evil hench men will have more super villans and really play up the villain role. Hit girl will struggle with being normal rather than getting in trouble at home… something we can expect to be a problem for her I’m sure. Kick-Ass 2 issue 1 has been released so if you haven’t yet picked it up you better hurry because you are already behind!!
So, you’re saying that Millar isn’t thinking about only himself? Really? I’ve heard a lot of questions as to if he only writes comics for screenplays now…and wouldn’t that PROVE that he is only in this for himself now rather than his fans? Well, Millar gave me his short and sweet answer but hours later posted about it in his forums. To grasp the full extent of his displeasure you can read the following: http://forums.millarworld.tv/index.php?showtopic=95037
I want to thank Mark Millar for taking the time to speak with me. He is a great person and I look forward to more issues of CLiNT and to the continuing story line of Superior. Until Next time…
** As promised- a link where you can order Clint—- number 2 was released Sept. 30th in the U.K. featuring Hit Girl, Nick Frost and Simon Pegg and JUST released was issue 3 featuring Mr. Tarintino. Exciting stuff! http://clintmag.com/