Tagged: Mark Millar

Martha Thomases: Don’t Try To Dig What We All Say

In my daily perusing of the Internets, I came across this post. A short post, it says (with one little snip):

“Dear Old People (and this includes me), the kids today are not hip to your cultural references. This is not a failure of education. Things change. The end.”

It’s not about comics or the movies or television. If anything it’s about Baby Boomers and how insufferable we can be. The popular art that moved us must move you, or you’re ignorant.

This is not a new attitude. My mother, for example, loved E. Nesbitt and J. D. Salinger, so she thought I should read them. My high school English teacher thought that Fitzgerald and Hemingway were the greatest writers of the 20th Century, and skewed their curricula accordingly.

None of this was as insufferable as my generation has been.

In Hollywood, my generation has minded the television shows of our youth into (for the most part) wretched movies. Car 54, Where Are You?, which was an entertaining glimpse of the 1950s Bronx, was made into a terrible movie that abused my beloved David Johansen. See also: McHale’s Navy (here and here), I Spy (here and here), and more. Exception: The Addams Family was genius, and so was equally transgressive movie.

We also made smug jokes. Do you know Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings? These days, if someone tells that joke, that person must explain what Wings was.

In comics, the insidious influence of the Boomers is even worse. Every attempt to reboot a character for a modern audience is eventually derailed by continuity geeks who insist that everything fall in line with the way it was when they were kids. Sometimes, I’m like this myself. I liked the Supergirl who hid her robot in a tree. I liked super pets. I think they made the world a better place.

You know what else made the world a better place? Me, being young and cute and hopeful.

We need to get over ourselves. The Flash doesn’t have to be Barry Allen (that re-reboot robbed my adult son of the Flash he grew up with). Superman doesn’t have to be in love with Lois Lane, nor Peter Parker with either Mary Jane or Gwen Stacy. Those stories exist, and we can read them whenever we like.

In the meantime, there’s lots of terrific new entertainment that us old farts could learn from. Off the top of my head, there’s Sherlock, a brilliant new way to look at a classic character. There’s Copper on BBC America, a blueprint for the way the GOP wants to rebuild American society. There’s Cosmopolis, a movie that analyzes modern life from the interior of a stretch limo. And, love him or hate him, Mark Millar is taking major risks as he creates his media empire.

Now, excuse me. I have to go and watch Nashville again.

SATURDAY: Marc Alan Fishman, Rob Liefeld, Scoot Snyder, and Burning Down The House


How Should Comic Shop Owners Deal With Digital Comics? Start Drinking. (Really.)

How Should Comic Shop Owners Deal With Digital Comics? Start Drinking. (Really.)

A Kranz (wreath) of Kölsch beer.

A lot of pixels have been spilled recently about Dark Horse going day-and-date digital at a cheaper price point than the print edition, with many retailers feeling undercut. Mark Millar has said we shouldn’t be doing day-and-date at all:

I really think day and date release is a disastrous idea and makes no economic sense at all to comics as a business. It’s potentially ruinous for comic stores, and in the long term it’s not going to do publishers any favors either.

Brian Wood has a more nuanced point of view:

No sane creator, or publisher, wants to see comic shops hurt. We all have emotional connections to them, to the idea of them, and we count owners and employees as personal friends. We aren’t looking for digital to steal customers away from shops, but rather to be an additive thing, to be an additional source of income. To simply switch a current print consumer to a digital consumer does not solve any problems! It benefits no one at all. It will not save us.

So what will save us? In the words of Bluto Blutarsky: “My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.”

If you’re in comics, you’ve spent time in bars. (Oh, don’t deny it, the photos are all up on Facebook.) But the question is: what kind of bars? Do you spend it in old man bars where the average age of the customers goes up by one each year? Are the places dimly lit and crowded, but it’s still happening– or have you not been in that dive since you graduated? Is it a friendly place where you and your friends can hang out? Is there a decent beer list, or do they only sell stuff from the big players, without a hint of imported beer or microbrews? Does the person behind the bar know how to make a decent Harbor Light?

And really, why are you spending time in bars anyway? You can get booze cheaper if you buy it and drink it at home. Much cheaper.

This is where we are now with comic book stores– compare them to your bar on the corner. Maybe it’s a place you’d rather not be at all. Maybe it’s okay for some people, but it’s not the kind of place you’d take your mom on her birthday. Maybe it’s a family place, maybe it’s sports only. And just as some bars die out for a variety of reasons, so too do comic stores.

There are great comic stores out there– Challengers in Chicago, The Secret Headquarters and Meltdown in LA, and New York City has a bunch like Midtown and Manhattan and St. Mark’s and Jim Hanley’s Universe. Each one has a different vibe and feel, but they all know how to reach their customers and they’re all places you want to spend some time in.

Is your store a place you really enjoy spending time in? Or is it a place that’s survived because it’s the only way to get your weekly fix?

There are comic stores that have taken these lessons to heart and made them places you want to go to and spend money, even though you can get stuff cheaper elesewhere.

Millar to Ebert: ‘Kick-Ass Will Knock Your Jaw Off’

Millar to Ebert: ‘Kick-Ass Will Knock Your Jaw Off’

With the Chicago Comics and Entertainment Expo coming soon to the shores of Lake Michigan, it seems that the con has been given it’s first scandal. In a back-and-forth flame war posted yesterday on his message board, Kick-Ass writer Mark Millar got into a little wordy wrestling match, when fans started discussing the film’s upcoming premiere in the Second City.

A board member with the handle “Wanted2Vmt” posted, “Can’t wait to see this film flop at C2E2.  Who’s gonna see it when they can see Gaiman, a real writer, instead?” Mark Millar, known well for his Scottish rage, was quick to fire back, inciting a war of words with his would-be fans.

“There’s not a way Kick-Ass won’t take over the con in Chicago. Gaiman is a sissy fairy who writes for emo-goths anyways. Let those black boot wearing ninny’s go listen to their goblin king whine about his wee shiters… The rest of the real people will be having their asses kicked by our movie!”

As more fans chimed in, Millar kept firing insults left and right towards those who criticized his work. And when one fan quoted famous Chicago movie critic Roger Ebert’s review of Wanted, it set the Scottsman to a nova-like rage. The quote, “Wanted,… is a film entirely lacking in two organs I always appreciate
in a movie: a heart and a mind. It is mindless, heartless,
preposterous. By the end of the film, we can’t even believe the values
the plot seems to believe, since the plot is deceived right along with

Minutes later, Millar fired out a salvo of his own:

“First off all, that fat bastard wouldn’t know a good movie if it up and bit him in the goolies. He wrote “Valley of the Dolls” for f#@! sake!” Millar quipped. “And if Ebert can wheel his arse into a theater to see Kick-Ass I promise it’ll knock his jaw clean off!”

Roger Ebert, as shown in his recent Esquire exposé, had bones in his jaw removed due to cancer four years ago. While the cancer has stopped Ebert’s ability to speak, it’s only strengthened his desire to write. And as word traveled fast over the internet, it seemed Mr. Millar’s rants reached the north shore home of Mr. Ebert. Choosing his words wisely, Roger fired back a single post on his own blog close to the end of day:

“It seems without even trying, my mouth and I are at the end of a promised ‘arse kicking’ at the boot of comic book writer Mark Millar. Millar and artist J.G. Jones were the creators of the characters in 2008’s Wanted. Had the writer chosen to actually read my review instead of the pulled quote by one ‘Ben the Obiwomble” … he would have found that I rather liked his creation. Was it mindless? Certainly. But it reveled in it’s mindlessness. Not to jab an angry bear over this matter, but did Millar not think his teflon hide might be scratched a bit for trying to sell his fans on “the Loom of Destiny”? It seems without any reason, Mr. Millar is ready for me to turn a thumb down at his next film before it even comes out. By the looks of the trailers for Kick-Ass, I’m already preparing my suspension of disbelief to super-human like levels, ready to accept pre-teen samurai’s and ski-masked adolescents easily defeating shotgun toting thugs with ease. As far as Mr. Millar’s promise that my surgically removed jaw may be installed once again, if only to be blown off by seeing the film, I simply ask him to take the time to read my entire forthcoming review before firing his words off like so many a curved bullet.”

Millar’s final post of the day was near incomprehensible… demanding something to the effect of  a challenge to Ebert in a round of “Whiskey-Eyes”.

Mark Millar Wants To Make You Famous (By Making You A Bad Guy)

Mark Millar Wants To Make You Famous (By Making You A Bad Guy)

Scottish super-scribe Mark Millar has teamed up once again with Dynamic Forces to auction off a piece of comicdom. Just as he had auctioned off the name of the titular hero before on his creator-owned / Marvel published Kick-Ass, Millar again gave fans the opportunity (last week) to lend their name to his newly penned Nemesis‘ heroic main character via auction. With $8,400 raised and donated to his brothers school (a school for handicapped children, who are raising money to purchase a new school bus), Mark wants to help finish the job he’s started with another auction. This time though, the name won’t be for a hero… it’ll be for the secret identity of the title character from Nemesis, that being the book’s titular ‘first’ super villain!

Millar is both excited at the prospect of raising more money for his brother’s school, and truly appreciative at the outpouring of the fans’ hard earned cash.

“Can I just say a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the
first auction,” said Mark Millar. “The kids and staff at my brother’s
school were delighted and the $8,400 raised means a quarter of their
target has been reached already. I had chosen a good secret identity
for Nemesis himself, but it seems almost selfish not to auction this
now too and possibly reach the halfway line the kids need for this bus.
I’m amazed how much cash was raised the first time around, but am
hoping the auction to name the TITLE character raises even more. Dave
Lizewski loves the fact he’s the lead in the Kick-Ass comic, movie and
upcoming video-game and I’m hoping whoever wins this new auction is
equally delighted. A huge thanks to them for finding the cash in these
difficult times.”

Be sure to dig deep, and bid on your chance by visiting the auction.

‘War Heroes’ Optioned by Columbia

‘War Heroes’ Optioned by Columbia

After weeks of Mark Millar talking up Hollywood optioning War Heroes, Variety reports this morning that Sony has picked up the Millar and Tony Harris Image series. Michael De Luca, formerly head of New Line Cinema, will produce for Columbia Pictures.

A screenwriter is now being sought for the series, which is “revolve around an experimental military program that gives ordinary soldiers superpowers. When a small group of recruits break off to use these powers for a criminal enterprise, a hero rises from their ranks to prevent catastrophic results.”

The comic book has received critical praise and strong sales since its June debut.

Millar has suddenly become a hot Hollywood property after years of yearning to be a player. Wanted, which produced for Image with artist J.G. ones was a summer hit, earning $293 million and Universal has recently confirmed work on a sequel has begun.

His Kick-Ass, with John Romita, Jr., has become a major event for Marvel’s Icon imprint and production on the film version, starring Aaron Johnson and Nicholas Cage, began this month for a 2009 release.

Harris is represented in Hollywood with New Line Cinema slowly developing his Ex Machina, written by Brian K. Vaughn and published by WildStorm.

Millar and Harris Talk ‘War Heroes’ and Kirkman

Millar and Harris Talk ‘War Heroes’ and Kirkman

Laura Hudson (Publisher’s Weekly, Comic Foundry Magazine) interviewed writer Mark Millar and artist Tony Harris at Midtown Comics.

Along with discussing their new series, they also shared their thoughts on Robert Kirkman’s recent video concerning creators pursuing original characters.

MILLAR: "To me, it just seemed exciting, the idea of doing a no-holds barred super-hero war comic. I touched on a lot of this stuff in The Ultimates 1 and 2. And a lof of theses ideas I was going to bring in to The Ultimates 3 but we thought, we’re never getting away with this … We just thought, why not just go out and do our own thing? And he same thing happened with Wanted … That started off life as a proposal for DC Comics … We took risks that we wouldn’t have done with company-owned characters … Our time’s finite. We’ll always own Kick-Ass. We’ll always own Wanted … I do think there are a couple of good reasons for working at Marvel and DC. Kick-Ass would not sell … if we weren’t the Ultimates guy or the Civil War guy."

Go to Laura Hudson’s own blog to check out the full video interviews.

“Kick-Ass” and Matthew Vaughn Go Indie

“Kick-Ass” and Matthew Vaughn Go Indie

Filmmaker Matthew Vaughn recently announced plans to go the independent route with an adaptation of Mark Millar and John Romita Jr.’s gritty series Kick-Ass after studios balked at the ages of the characters and the level of violence in the story.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Vaughn has managed to raise $30 million on his own, with many crediting his fundraising success to the recent fortunes raised by another adaptation of a Millar project, Wanted. Thus far, the cast of the film is likely to include Christopher Mintz-Plasse ("McLovin" in Superbad), who is in negotiations for the role of the film’s villain, and Chloe Moretz (The Amityville Horror) who has signed on to play another pre-teen vigilante. The series’ main character has not been cast at this point.

From THR:


Vaughn first brought the project to Sony, which distributed his "Layer Cake," but the studio balked at the violence, which he refused to tone down. Several other studios expressed interest but demanded that the protagonists’ ages be upped. Vaughn, who most recently co-wrote and directed the international hit "Stardust," now is going it alone.

Production on the film is expected to begin next fall.

Mark Millar Churns the ‘Superman’ Rumors

Mark Millar Churns the ‘Superman’ Rumors

If you read this story in the Scottish Daily Record, you might think the next Superman movie is on the verge. After talking about the success of Wanted and other properties, Mark Millar essentially said he was doing a Superman movie and it was set for 2011.

"Since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to reinvent Superman for the 21st century.

"I’ve been planning this my entire life. I’ve got my director and producer set up, and it’ll be 2011. This is how far ahead you have to think.

"The Superman brand is toxic after that last movie lost $200million, but in 2011 we’re hoping to restart it.

"Sadly I can’t say who the director is, but we may make it official by Christmas.

"But fingers crossed it could work out, that would be my lifetime’s dream."

Kevin Melrose kept tabs on the claim as it spread through Millar’s message board, and seemed a little farther from reality with each passing day, culminating with "it’s not even close to happening yet."

There’s nothing new at all to grandiose claims from Millar that end up as bunk — this is the same guy who claimed Civil War was the best-selling comic of the past 15 years, then didn’t hold up his promise when proven wrong.

But there’s something about all this that really bothers me, as Millar seems to have a nagging habit of being reckless with the truth, if not outright pathological.

Take the claim that he’s "always wanted to reinvent Superman for the 21st century" since he was a kid. Except, he was a kid in the 20th century.