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Waiting For Tommy XXI
Interview with Mark Millar
RICHARD: 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?

MARK: 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.

I read 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.

RICHARD: But.

MARK: 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.

I don't 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.

RICHARD: 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.


Click Here For Ultimate Spider-Man #1 KB Edition

Continued here...

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