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Q & A With Kick-Ass Author Mark Millar

The Milla-Man on not knowing that Batman was real and working with Filipino talents
by Gelo Gonzales | May 31, 2012
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To say that comic book creator Mark Millar has achieved “the dream” would be an understatement. The Scottish writer and artist–famous for bestselling comic books like Civil War, The Ultimates, Kick-Ass, and Wanted–has been scribbling, doodling, and penning DIY comics even before he was old enough to comprehend that superheroes were fictitious.

“My brother told me that Superman and Batman were historical fighters. I didn’t know that they were made up. I thought that they were actually real people,” says Millar of his youthful fascination with caped crusaders. “I thought Superman was like George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, an American hero. He told me that they disappeared during the war and that on my 7th birthday I was going to get Superman’s powers. From that moment on, I was fascinated, and it never really left even though I didn’t get the powers.”

That fascination soon germinated into a full-fledged career when Millar replaced Warren Ellis as the writer of The Authority. Soon, Marvel and DC were knocking at the door. After working on a few of their titles, he was finally able to put up Millarworld, a pet-project that spawned a number of his originals, two of which have been adapted into blockbuster movies.

“I think it is the dream of most creators. Funnily enough, it wasn’t my dream when I first started out. My dream was to do DC and Marvel comics. And once I had done them, I thought it was interesting and I loved doing it, and it was my lifetime’s ambition, but I’m never going to own these characters and I’m also not contributing anything new to pop-culture,” he shares. It was this hunger for a comic book legacy that drove him into breaking from the worlds built by others, only to start imagined realities of his own.

But Millar has already inked himself into pop-culture whether he is aware of it or not. Wanted, which was translated into film in 2008, starred Angelina Jolie as a badass assassin with a flair for accuracy.

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And then there's Kick-Ass, the story of an ordinary kid bored with his mundane existence that decides to become a crime-fighter, was a runaway hit both critically and commercially, winning Millar more eyes and ears for his unique perspective.

There is a nice sense of truth and reality in Millar’s creations that is well-infused with graphic violence. Think: witnessing a train crash into a car stuck in the tracks. It’s painful yet hard to turn and look away. The way he splices the media and current events into his storylines parallel that of Marvel greats Stan Lee and Juack Kirby, as well as DC’s Jerry Siegel who “were very good at putting the superheroes in the world around them as opposed to making it too fantastical.”

And with his latest endeavor Supercrooks, Millar once again takes his fans through the highs and lows of what it means to be a superhuman in a very ordinary world; only this time he focuses on the bad guys. Together with Filipino comic book artist Lienil Yu and Pinoy comic book legend Gerry Alanguilan filling in the ink, Millar has written another title that is sure to surprise and broaden the expanse of what a hero should and shouldn’t be.

National Bookstore flew in the superstar comic book writer into the country for Milla in Manila, Komikon 2012, and a meet-and-greet book signing last May 26 and 27. We were lucky enough to sit down for a one-on-one with the gleeful Scotts-man for an exclusive interview. When asked about his reaction to all his success, his cheery reply was simple, “This is really cool!”

Really cool, indeed.

Check out the full video interview here and catch more of Mark Millar in the July 100 Sexiest issue of FHM.

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