Tuesday, 12 March 2013
The Pre-History Of Mark Millar: "Shameless? The Superhero Fiction Of Mark Millar" Part 2
Sequart have just posted the second extract from "Shameless? The Superhero Comics Of Mark Millar". It's the first of a two-part look at what Millar appears to have thought and felt about comics in the years which before the publication of The Saviour in 1989. (You can find the extract here, should you be so inclined, and the first part here. Please do let me know your concerns. It's very much a work in progress, and should be treated as such!) Though I'm keen to avoid all but the most relevant and public aspects of his personal life, there's still a great deal that can be learned about Millar's future career from the influences and ambitions which he expressed during the second half of the Eighties.
Thankfully, there's a number of sources from the period which were written with no little or no eye to anyone beyond the UK's then-population of a few hundred active comics fans. These include letters to the fan press, his brief post-Watchmen correspondence with Dave Gibbons, his 1988 interview of Grant Morrison, and his contributions to Trident Comic's earliest press. Of course, all of these can be supplemented with the interviews and writings which have appeared since, and I'm also blessed to have had the chance to speak at length with the late Martin Skidmore, who edited The Saviour and Fantasy Advertiser, about the period too. To have so much material to draw from has been a tremendous help, and I believe it's helped to establish just how consistent Millar's inspirations and ambitions have been. (Mind you, some of the information that I've collected has been held back for the discussion of The Saviour itself, which means, for example, that I'll not yet be touching too much on the issue of the influence, or not, of Grant Morrison's Zenith and Doom Patrol.)
In closing, my sincere thanks go to Marco, who Tweets as @AikidoMarcoFord, for generously answering a plea I sent out on Twitter for Mark Millar's contribution to the letters page of 1986's Fantasy Advertiser #94. I'm tremendously grateful for Marco's help, the fruits of which will appear in next week's extract. Should you be in possession of any Millar material which isn't readily available, please do consider the possibility of sharing it with the blogger. That goes as much for old Judge Dredd daily strips from the Daily Star which are lining your attic boiler as it does for articles which have appeared in the press or odd corners of the net. (There are some issues of Tripwire that he wrote for that I've yet to be able to acquire, for example.) For all that we're used to thinking of the Net as sheltering our memories, there's a great deal that's either disappeared or was never posted there in the first place.