The Kingsman creator on his new talent search
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.