Mark Mil­lar

The Kings­man cre­ator on his new ta­lent search

Comic Heroes - - Heat Vision -

What spurred you to start this new ta­lent search? It just seemed like a nice thing to do. There used to be loads of easy places to start. But, es­pe­cially in the States now, it’s hard for peo­ple to start out with­out in­vest­ing their own money. If you’re self pub­lish­ing then you take a fi­nan­cial risk and you have to work for free. If you’re try­ing to get no­ticed by a pub­lisher you kind of have to do a four-is­sue se­ries or maybe put some­thing on­line. Even then you have to com­pete with so many other things. Marvel, DC and Im­age are bring­ing out a record num­ber of books. So my idea was to find peo­ple with good sam­ples, just com­mis­sion them and make sure that they ac­tu­ally get paid for their work.

Are you go­ing to be judg­ing the com­pe­ti­tion your­self?

I start at 6am most days and work till 7pm at night, but yes, I am ac­tu­ally go­ing to be judg­ing it with some pals. I’ll be re­ally in­volved. I love that though. There’s noth­ing more ex­cit­ing than look­ing on De­viant Art, or some­thing, and see­ing an artist you’ve never seen be­fore. You still come across some re­ally bril­liant folk who just haven’t found an out­let yet. Some peo­ple have been work­ing away for years and haven’t been no­ticed. So I wanted to say, “if you’ve never been in print be­fore, here’s an op­por­tu­nity to send me some sam­ples.” I’m gonna take four weeks and just wade through ev­ery­thing with a team of about eight pals. And you will be match­ing the writ­ers and artists to­gether? That’s the plan. I love the idea of putting tal­ented peo­ple to­gether. That’s when good stuff hap­pens. Is there an age limit? No, it’s open to lit­er­ally any­body! The only qual­i­fi­ca­tion is that they have to be good. You just want some­body who’s tal­ented. Steve Dil­lon was draw­ing for Bri­tish Marvel when he was 16 and Jim Shooter was writ­ing Le­gion of Su­per

He­roes when he was 13 but you could be any age. You could be 55 and have al­ways had a han­ker­ing to draw a comic strip. This could be your chance to get a paid com­mis­sion and be in print. How big will the event be? We’ll print up quite a lot of these things, prob­a­bly around 30,000 copies, so it’s a great place for your first stuff to ap­pear. It will be very high pro­file. I’m go­ing to do it ev­ery sum­mer, so this will be the Mil­lar­world 2016 an­nual. Which char­ac­ter are you most look­ing for­ward to see­ing some­one do some­thing new with? I think Kick-Ass will be good fun. I’m gonna put them all in there though: Kick-Ass, Hit Girl and things like Starlight and Chrononauts and Su­pe­rior. It’s all open. They’re pretty brand name char­ac­ters now, es­pe­cially when they’ve been in Hol­ly­wood films, and I think that’s quite at­trac­tive. I’m 45 now. It’ll be good fun to see some­body who’s 18 have a bash at writ­ing Hit Girl. Are you look­ing for­ward to get­ting out on your UK tour? Oh, I can­not wait. Hon­estly, I re­ally en­joy this stuff. It’s al­ways a re­ally fun time. The nice thing is that no­body ever waits two hours in a line to tell you they hate the book! It’s lovely to be out there shak­ing hands with peo­ple who en­joyed the book.

Tell us a lit­tle about Huck... For me it came to­gether when I went to see Man Of Steel. I love Su­per­man, but I re­mem­ber when Su­per­man kills Zod think­ing, “Su­per­man’s so­lu­tion was to snap a guy’s neck?” It’s like Mickey Mouse snap­ping a guy’s neck!

So I just thought, I’m go­ing to try and cre­ate some­thing that’s re­ally in­ter­est­ing and make it as up­beat as I pos­si­bly could.

I re­mem­ber, I did this vol­un­teer thing and there was this guy there who had learn­ing dif­fi­cul­ties. His thing was he’d do a good deed ev­ery day and that al­ways stayed with me. It was such a nice way of life and it seemed like such an in­her­ently su­per­heroey thing to do. This char­ac­ter is based a bit on that. He has no fam­ily, but he has these spe­cial abil­i­ties and he de­cides, “I want to do some­thing good ev­ery day, even if it’s some­thing small”.

I wanted to do a se­ries that was a bit su­per­heroey but also some­thing that felt a bit like For­rest Gump. Some­thing that would make you feel good about the world. One of my friends said “he’s For­rest Gump meets Cap­tain America”. That’s the setup line and it goes from there and just goes crazy. It’s go­ing to be an on­go­ing se­ries, but told in runs of six is­sues. Rafael Al­bu­querque is about half­way through draw­ing it at the mo­ment.

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