Well that's clear. After all, your work on The Authority
clearly transgressed a number of socially acceptable boundaries
for a comic book that was published for all-ages. When DC removed
scenes of necrophilia and both racial and sexual insults, you
were not best pleased. Why?
Waiting For Tommy XXI
Interview with Mark Millar
This is interesting because Vince and I didn't use a single
violent image or curse word which hadn't appeared in the previous
12 issue. We were very, very meticulous about this because
we wanted to avoid censorship problems with what we new needed
to be a radical kind of book. You want to see exploding heads?
See Authority issue 2. You want to hear about sexual violence
on a continental scale, see Warren and Bryan's second story-line
and rape-camps in China. It was great stuff and part of what
made me feel like I was reading something different from Marvel
and DC books.
You want images or words that hadn't appeared in Authority
before? Poofs, faggot, pakis -- as well as the scenes of necrophilia,
anal rape and baby killing. none of this was seen in Ellis
and Hitch's run...
The baby-killing happened off-camera in much the same way
children were murdered or eaten (see Sliding Albion) off-camera
in the first 12 issues. Likewise, mild-cursing like 'poofs'
is allowed on prime-time television whereas words like 'piss'
and 'bastard' are generally banned until the 9pm water-shed
in the UK so I don't think there was a real difference in
tone. If anything, they used more BASTARDS and CHRISTS and
PISSES than we did because we had most of that stuff removed
from our scripts. Not that I'm keeping count, but I completely
reject the idea that we were given more freedom. Is off-panel
ANAL rape worse than off-panel VAGINAL rape? And the point
is that we asked repeatedly for a Mature Readers label because
the book needed it and they said no.
12 issues had an edge which JLA or Avengers could never have
and this is what appealed to us about the book. When we had
fun with this and attracted all the mainstream praise and
ever increasing sales, they asked us to keep doing a great
job, but to stop doing all the things which were making the
books such an outrageous success. It was crazy. To be fair,
though, Jim, Scott and John Nee were absolutely fantastic
for the bulk of our run. New York didn't get what we were
doing at all and couldn't understand the success, but the
guys at Wildstorm were shielding us and getting 90% of what
we wanted on the page. We knew the restrictions (and it wasn't
all-ages, btw), but asked repeatedly for Mature Readers and
even formally issued a request for this by means of a proposal.
But Paul knocked us back because it wasn't what he wanted
to publish. And that's fair enough.
running the company and it's his decision. No creator likes
to see their work hacked up (which is what happened in the
end), but the only thing you can do is walk away and work
elsewhere because you're a freelancer and they're management.
You can't even get in the ring and I'm cool with that.
it just wasn't what they felt comfortable publishing.