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Mark Millar

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The Steve Yeowell cover – featuring his and Grant Morrison’s Zenith, of course – to X-static #1, the fanzine in which the first of Martin Conaghan’s “interviews” with Morrison and Millar appeared.“The Best Thing Since Dark Knight, Possibly Better”: Shameless? Part 23

Continued from last week. Despite years of cold shoulders and rejection letters, Millar’s determination to write for the major players in the American comics industry never seems to have wavered. In particular, he continued to long… [more]

scan1“But The Bad People Haven’t Gone Away”: Shameless? Part 22

Continued from last week. The Spider wasn’t the only long-unseen British superhero to be radically reworked by Millar in Vicious Games. He also briefly laid claim to Tri-Man, who’d been a far more conventional example of the… [more]

scan1“Lots of People Dressed Like That in the Sixties”: Shameless? Part 21

Continued from last week. Fifteen months would pass until March 1992′s 2000 AD Action Special and the next of Millar’s superhero stories to see print. A stillborn revamping of the Sixties British superhero The Spider, it… [more]

Boix’s cover for 1977’s 2000AD #8, a prime example of the “slightly dodgy, anarchic material” which young Millar struggled to enjoy.“That Slightly Dodgy, Anarchic Material”: Shameless? Part 20

Continued from last week. The obviousness of Millar’s influences would become more and more of a problem as his work for Fleetway continued. Of course, 2000AD had been founded upon a deliberate policy of appropriating and… [more]

The cover to AARGH!, by Bill Sienkiewicz“A Worm Shouts a Magic Word”: “Shameless? Part 19

Continued from last week. Millar hardly made it easy for the reader to sympathise with his protagonist. Arthur Montgomery is as unconvincing as a type as he’s unsympathetic as a character, and it’s only in… [more]

by Simon Bisley“It’s A Rare Thing to be Ordinary These Days”: Shameless? Part 18

Continued from last week. In fact, it’s more than possible that Morrison actually had a considerable influence upon the format of Zenith: Tales of the Alternative Earths. Four years previously, he’d written his own series of… [more]

scan1From The Saviour to Judge Dredd and Zenith: Shameless? Part 17

Continued from last week. For a brief moment in early 1990, Millar’s career appeared to be unambiguously prospering. As of May, Trident had, in addition to The Saviour, added Millar’s The Shadowmen to their schedule. Though… [more]

scan1“Celibacy Being Such a Drag”: Shameless? Part 16

Continued from last week. It often appears that Millar is determined to deny any interpretation of his work that he doesn’t approve of. Yet as we’ve discussed, he repeatedly fails to produce comics whose political content… [more]

scan0001“The Evil was the Act of Violence…”: Shameless? Part 15

Continued from last week. Millar’s preference for deconstructing genre can at times make for routine and predictable comic books. For those who’d prefer more of close observation, ambition and innovation, and less of the bare bones… [more]

scan3“The Flat Earth Was Round”: Shameless? Part 14

Continued from last week. Where religion’s concerned, there’s nothing but Catholicism to be seen in The Saviour. Not only is there no mention of any other form of Christianity, but there’s not a hint of… [more]

scan1Absolutely Puerile?: Shameless? Part 13

Continued. But more than anything else, Millar’s depiction of a demon-dominated Catholic Church was a playful, and often deliberately silly, reflection of his personal experiences and tastes. Few comic book writers have ever focused upon… [more]

scan0001“A Sharp Fox, the Ultimate Huckster”: Shameless? Part 12

Continued from last week. “Half the country, and by that I mean living north of the M25, were victims of Thatcher’s modernisation program. My Dad lost his job when I was 15 and never worked… [more]

scan1“Now Everyone Hates Yuppies”: Shameless? Part 11

Continued from last week. There’s a sense in which The Saviour helps establish the limits of deconstruction. For Millar stripped away so many of the genre’s traditions that it ceased to be much of a… [more]

scan1A Superhero for the Reader’s Sake: Shameless? Part 10

Continued from last week. But even the most experienced and gifted of writers would struggle to make a success of The Saviour. It was far too ambitious and complex a project. In mixing so many genres,… [more]

scan1The History of the World?: Shameless? Part 9

Continued from last week. But despite its barnstorming high concept, The Saviour was, as Skidmore conceded, “hard to explain” (*1). Some of this was caused by the need to keep key plot-reversals under wraps. But… [more]

scan0001From Shazam to the Devil, from Brother Power the Geek to Jesus?: Shameless? Part 8

Continued from last week. It’s impossible to say how much the young Millar wrote or how often he sent off his work to publishers in the years before he landed the Trident Comics contract. His… [more]

SCAN1What if Superman was Really the Antichrist!?!: Shameless? Part 7

Continued from last week. The Saviour #1-6 (December 1989 to January 1991) Trident #5 (April 1990) The Saviour TPB Volume 1, Trident, 1990 (reprints all of the above except issue 6, with a Neil Gaiman… [more]

scan4“That Wicked Tongue Will Land You in Trouble Some Day”: Shameless? Part 6

Continued from last week. Shameless? will inevitably reference the way in which Mark Millar has discussed his own work. As such, it’s worth noting that his distinctive public persona turns out not to have been… [more]

scan1The Adolescent High Conceptualist: Shameless? Part 5

Continued from last week. It would take Millar almost a decade to develop a style that was as controlled and effective as his ideas were consistently intriguing. The first substantial evidence of this would appear… [more]

scan1Why are People so Frightened of Change?: Shameless? Part 4

Continued from last week. “Why are they so obsessed with continuity? A story is a story – nothing more, and yet people want to know which Earth Watchmen takes place on.” (*1) The adolescent Millar… [more]

scan1Mark Millar, Deconstructionist, Man and Boy: Shameless? Part 3

Continued from last week. From the middle of the Eighties to the decade’s end, the teenage Millar’s preference appears to have been for the breed of super-hero comics associated with the label of deconstruction. The… [more]

scan1On the Professional Pre-History of Mark Millar: Shameless? Part 2

Continued from last week. Only Mark Millar knows which twelve months of his life would most deserve the title of Annus horribilis. But from what he’s said in the press, the years of the late… [more]

scan5Shameless? The Super-Hero Comics of Mark Millar: Part 1, An Introduction

It’s too good a story not to be treated with suspicion. Asked to recall his first comic by Lee Randall of The Scotsman in 2009, Mark Millar declared that he could remember the matter “exactly”.… [more]

chitauriThe Avengers Versus the Space Lizard Conspiracy

May 4th was Avengers day here in the states, and I actually managed to see the film three times in the first 24 hours of its release.

starkMark Millar’s The Ultimates, Part 8: The Grand Exit

A word of advice before going into this series: ignore the “Death of Spider-Man” banner at the top and you’ll be just fine.