Comic book legend back home for talk

Mark Millar
Mark Millar

Comic book legend Mark Millar makes a rare appearance on ‘home’ turf this Friday for Book Week Scotland.

Mark, the creator of Kick-Ass and Kingsman, who also breathed new life into the likes of Superman, Fantastic Four and Spider-Man, will be at Wishaw Library as he talks about life taking him from Coatbridge to Hollywood.

He said: “I seem to do talks all over the world, but it is very rare to be doing one in Scotland, and being a North Lanarkshire boy I am looking forward to coming home.

“A lot of your time as a writer is spent on your own so it is good to get out and feedback from the people who are actually reading your work.”

Although famous for violent stories Millar has mellowed with the debut of his new character Huck last week.

He said: “In Man of Steel I felt we had gone down a worrying path when even Superman had gone dark so I decided to write about a nice superhero.

“It is actually partially based on an old man I met who did one good deed every day and so far the reviews have been the best I’ve ever gotten so people must like it.”

Mark has an incredible nine movies based on his work in production including his own books Superior, American Jesus and Supercrooks as well as Captain America: Civil War and a third Wolverine movie.

While the transition from page to screen necessitates changes Mark is always on set to ensure he is happy with what gets done.

He said: “I don’t mind when things gets changed, I am present when the decisions are made and if I did then I’d refuse to allow them to happen.

“For example when we were trying to cast the villain in Kingsman it was very tough, eventually we decided on Leonardo DiCaprio, but he proved unavailable and we wondered who else we could get.

“Samuel L Jackson came on board and when you get someone like that involved I was quite happy to change the story in order to accommodate him.

“Similarly in the Wanted comic book The Fox is black, but we had the opportunity to get Angelina Jolie and when you have the opportunity to get Angelina Jolie you get Angelina Jolie.

“In my mind I just see the movies as huge adverts for the source material, I hope that people will enjoy them and then be tempted to check out the comic books.”

Mark got his start at 2000AD in the late 80s, and is now trying to help the next generation through the Millarworld Annual 2016 with submissions closing at the end of the month.

He said: “I think it is harder now to get into the industry than it was when I started.

“At that time 2000AD would accept and feature submissions from new writers and that got my foot in the door, but that doesn’t seem to happen so much nowadays.

“I feel there is a certain duty to help the industry continue to grow and decided to look for six writers and six artists to be involved with the annual.

“I really wasn’t very sure what sort of response we would get, but we’ve had over 20,000 inquiries and over 1,000 submissions which makes the decision process very hard.

“There is so much talent out there and I want to do what I can to showcase that talent and get them paid for it.”

Mark’s talk starts at 7pm, it is free but ticketed, to book call 01698 524960.

Other events for Book Week include Inspector Gloria author Joseph Glackin and a Local Author Showcase at Motherwell Library today (Wednesday) and Saturday respectively, and debut novelist Terry H Watson at Bellshill Library tomorrow (Thursday).

For more information visit Scottish Book Trust