Mark Millar's new Brit-Comic venture started this week, is it a revolution? Or is it pants?
Credits & Solicit Info:
Edited by Mark Millar
Written by Mark Millar, Jonathan Ross, Frankie Boyle, Jim Muir and Manuel Bracchi
Illustrated by John Romita Jnr, Steve McNiven, Tommy Lee Edwards, Michael Dowling and Manuel Bracchi
100 pages - £3.99
The UK comics industry used to be a glorious, varied landscape, but for the last 20 years or so, 2000 AD has been the only thing we've really had. You Americans were stealing all our top talent leaving us desolate, empty, forlorn. But even though he's one of those British writers you Yanks stole, Mark Millar has decided to do something about it, and is attempting to breach the gap between comics and the mainstream society in the UK with his new Comics anthology/Magazine hybrid, CLiNT.
It's an odd kettle of fish this magazine, it's got all the comics and stuff, but it's also full of lad's mag style features and articles, the kind of material you get in FHM and Maxim, but instead of nice airbrushed pictures of sexy ladies, we're getting comics instead, it's odd to see such mainstream populist articles about subjects such as 'TV's Hottest Mums' and interviews with famous people, alongside our secret little step-child medium.
The comics in this opening issue are a nice collection, you've got two stories that are reprints, the first issue of Millar's own Nemesis, with Steve McNiven's art looking better than ever on the larger page size, and the first issue of Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards' vampire-gangster-sci-fi series Turf (Check out my review of the Image Comics edition here). If you haven't read these two books before, it's definitely worth picking up CLiNT for them, because it pretty much works out at half-price, and they are damn good books.
If you have read those two books before, then you may want to think twice about picking this up, as they make up the bulk of the magazine, the other stories are fairly light. We get an 8-page preview of Kick-Ass 2: Balls To The Wall, which begins later this month in full issue form from Marvel/Icon, and it's a promising continuation of the first series, with Hit-Girl training Kick-Ass not to be so much of a pussy. The story will be serialised in 8-page sections in CLiNT every month, but I'm sure most of you will be more inclined to just pick up the comic. Romita Jnr's art looks amazing as well.
Rex Royd is a new serial from Scottish Comedian Frankie Boyle, and it's kind of a Garth Ennis take on Lex Luthor. People familiar with Boyle from his stand-up and TV appearances will recognise his signature shocking sense of humour, but I was rather impressed with the many twists and turns he and co-writer Jim Muir managed to pack into such a short space of time. I'm interested to see just where Rex Royd is going.
The final story is a 'Space Oddity', which I gather to be CLiNT's answer to Tharg's Future Shocks from 2000 AD, each month a different short story from different creators. This initial one, by writer-artist Manuel Bracchi is enjoyable, but a little slight, hopefully in the future, the creators will manage to make 3-page stories really count. I got a little chuckle out of the strip being introduced by BBC news reader Huw Edwards, it's a funny touch, and a nice surreal one. But could he take Tharg in a fight?
Overall, CLiNT is for me, as someone already fully ensconced in the world of comics, an interesting curiosity, and a valiant one, Mark Millar is really making a grab for the non-comics audience here, and I really hope it works. If I was a teenage boy today, CLiNT would really hit my sweet spot, it's got uber-violence and swearing in the comics, articles about interesting things like Murderers and MILFs and is pulled off with that usual Millar bravado and panache. It could be a failure, and a lot of the reviews I've read online have been negative, but then this magazine isn't for us, it's for people who aren't reading comics, and god knows there are too many of them. CLiNT is an oddy but a goody in my book.
Review by: Niam Suggitt