Perhaps presaged by Warren Ellis’s widely quoted musings on weekly comics magazines, Mark Millar has announced he’s teaming with Titan Books for CLiNT [sic], a new monthly comics magazine. Announced contributors include comedian Jonathan Ross, novelist Frankie Boyle, and journalist Steve O’Brien. and the mag will serialize Kick-Ass: Balls to the Wall the sequel to Kick-Ass. Planned for a September launch, CLiNT will be aimed at UK newsstands, but an audience in the US and comics shops is not out of the questions. Millar wrote on his forum:
I’ve formed a business with Titan here in the UK (who distribute pretty much every comic you can imagine to newsagents, Tesco, Asda and so on) and we’re going to produce a new monthly comic that’s aimed squarely at the mainstream. This isn’t aimed at comic stores (though I’m delighted if comic stores want to stock), but instead aimed at the huge potential of a UK mass market, the like of which hasn’t really been reached in a generation. Newsagents and supermarkets don’t really care about regular pros like me, instead looking for brand names like movie titles and television personalities. Hence the reason I’m launching this with the Kick-Ass sequel and people like Frankie Boyle and Jonathan Ross.
It’s going to be a massive venture and one aimed almost entirely at the UK. If people in the US want a copy that’s great, but this is being put together with casual British readers in mind, a combination of comic-books, interviews and features for 16-30 year old men. It’s obviously massively exciting and I’ve been secretly working on it for a little while with some people I’m very excited about. Some huge names coming down the pipe-line and the cream of UK journalist talent like Steve O’Brien on for features and interviews. All in all, very cool and I’ll talk about this in a little more detail closer to the time. But this is one of the reasons I’ve been spending a lot of time in London lately. I want to make this big, a cultural phenomenon and a showcase in parts for the UK talent I don’t feel has a wide platform anymore here.
“This is The Eagle for the 21st Century,” declares Millar, whose genre-busting Kick-Ass scooped the number one movie spot in America, and whose previous work includes Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie and Morgan Freeman. “I’ve worked on everything from Spider-Man comics to the Iron Man movie for Marvel in New York , but what really excites me is the gap I see in the UK market at the moment. There are absolutely no comic-books aimed at 16-30 year old guys and I think CLiNT has potential to make an enormous impact, bringing a new type of magazine to a new generation.
“I want this to be edgy and irreverent, the kind of thing guys will be passing around lunch-halls and common rooms, and there’s nobody I’d rather have creating new characters for CLiNT than Jonathan and Frankie. They’re both brilliant writers and will surprise a lot of people with this stuff. The last thing you’d expect from Jonathan, for example, is a vampire strip, but he pulls it off amazingly. People are going to love this.”
Although one might take exception to the idea that in the UK ” There are absolutely no comic-books aimed at 16-30 year old guys” — UNLESS YOU COUNT ALL THE ONES PUBLISHED BY MARVEL, DC, DARK HORSE, IMAGE, IDW AND SO ON — it is true that native Brit comics tend to aim at younger readers…except for 2000AD but…well, who’s counting.
While print magazines are about as lively as an oil-clogged turtle in general, the idea of a comics magazine is still an attractive one, especially with high profile (and talented) contributors. Sign us up, you crazy Scotsman, you!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.