Mark, I accuse you of wasting your talent. With the
likes of Swamp Thing, your Crisis work and to some degree, even
Saviour, you showed yourself to be a creator with wide interests,
subjects and themes. Why then has your work been stuck in one
genre for so long, and various promised departures from that
and creator owned series yet to appear?
Waiting For Tommy XXI
Interview with Mark Millar
The simple answer is that I think superhero books are what
comics do best and the proof is that they're consistently
the best-selling books.
quite a lot of titles right now and all bar one or two are
Superhero books. But I reject the idea that they're a narrow
genre with a limited number of themes. Superheroes are almost
a medium in themselves, ranging from children's stories to
romance to war to sci-fi. It's the one thing, besides humour,
I think comics do better than movies or books and, my God,
we don't need to feel ashamed or justify it. Superhero comics
also gave me my comics stiffy as a kid in the early eighties
and are the reason I'm working in the business, so it's probably
a means of feeding my inner ten year old too. There's just
nothing more satisfying than a good superhero comic and, right
now, we've got the highest quality of these books we've seen
in our history.
As for my more varied creator-owned books, there's no denying
that my Marvel work has distracted me from this, but these
books have been critically well-received in the comics and
mainstream media and, all being top 5 books, have made a lot
of money for the industry, the retailers and, of course, myself
too. So the benefits certainly outweigh the disadvantages.
think I've actually said this in public before, but the original
idea was that Vince (Frank Quitely) and myself were going
to follow up Authority with a creator-owned monthly at Wildstorm
and I had an eight issue and a four issue series in mind to
run at the same time. We took superheroes to a new level,
I think, in Authority, and the idea was that these creator-owned
books (where we'd have far more freedom) would take them to
another level entirely. Some of this appeared in the Ultimate
work, but the bulk of it has been saved for the books themselves.
I finish Ultimate X-Men very soon and the first of these projects
will appear several months afterwards. I've committed to some
big Marvel projects in late 2003, but I've asked for a window
in my contract to get this stuff off my chest while I'm still
burning to write it.
Do comics really do superheroes better than
the movies? What about Blade II, Spider-Man, Unbreakable
or even The Mystery Men?
MARK: Are you honestly
comparing Watchmen, Kingdom Come, Marvels, Animal Man,
The Authority and Powers with Mystery Men and Blade
2? Spidey was a really, really fun movie, but I'm not
going to watch that film HALF as many times as I've
re-read Dark Knight or Batman: Year One. It doesn't
even come CLOSE.
Here For Ultimate Spider-Man #1 KB Edition