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August 21, 2013 11:15 AM   Subscribe

A history of CLiNT, Mark Millar’s attempt at launching a newsstand anthology comic, which ended this month despite its Lad Mag sensibility, celebrity creators such as Jonathan Ross and Frankie Boyle, and a recent reboot. The comic magazine joins the likes of Revolver, Deadline, Crisis, Toxic! and Meltdown in the great newsagents in the sky, though like many of those other short lived UK magazines it has spawned many spin off successes, not least the controversial Kick Ass II, which is now a movie minus its rape scene.
posted by Artw (62 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Huh. Somebody else remembers Meltdown.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:20 AM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


After the first round of googling I was beginning to doubt myself though.
posted by Artw at 11:25 AM on August 21, 2013


Was it called CLiNT because CLINT looked too much like CUNT in the font they picked?
posted by klangklangston at 11:25 AM on August 21, 2013


Huh. Is that where Meltdown Comics got its name?
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 11:26 AM on August 21, 2013


Ah, Miller.

I used to enjoy some of his work.

I think David Willis stopped me from ever taking him seriously, though.
posted by Mad_Carew at 11:27 AM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ah, Miller.

Millar.

I think David Willis stopped me from ever taking him seriously, though.

I'm not saying this isn't in some ways applicable.
posted by Artw at 11:31 AM on August 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've never read a Millar comic that didn't feel like what a twelve year old boy thinks is "mature content". Does such a thing exist?
posted by selfnoise at 11:33 AM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]




The Ultimates were awesome and if you don't agree, I'll tell Hulk you're dating Betty Ross.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:36 AM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


eww, who got Millar in my MeFi?

Interesting link, though from an outsider's perspective this magazine seemed doomed from the start.
posted by Think_Long at 11:37 AM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]




Title of this post should have been: This is my face when I'm cancelling your magazine.
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 11:40 AM on August 21, 2013 [8 favorites]


The Ultimates were awesome

Naah, they were shite, a bad ripoff of his own work on The Authority which in itself was a bad ripoff of Warren Ellis' work on The Authority.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:43 AM on August 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've never read a Millar comic that didn't feel like what a twelve year old boy thinks is "mature content". Does such a thing exist?

Red Son, which I've had to start recommending with a caveat to not read other Millar stuff.
posted by griphus at 11:44 AM on August 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


Naah, they were shite

The Ultimates gave the world Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, your argument is invalid.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:45 AM on August 21, 2013


the controversial Kick Ass II, which is now a movie minus its rape scene.

Speaking of which:
What you might not know, or may have forgotten, is that this infamous panel, such as it is, wasn't even particularly original. In fact, the "punchline," if you can call it that, was stolen wholesale from another, far better comic. That comic was Preacher #49
posted by MartinWisse at 11:45 AM on August 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


The back of the TPB for Wanted has a blurb from (probably) Wizard saying that the dialogue is "edgy and in your face" or something like that.

The dialogue in that book is almost literally the word "fuck" written in crayon over and over again, sometimes not even in the speech bubbles.
posted by griphus at 11:46 AM on August 21, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've never read a Millar comic that didn't feel like what a twelve year old boy thinks is "mature content". Does such a thing exist?

It's been a while since I read them, but I remember thinking War Heroes was pretty good (the three issues he put out, at least - it looks like that series might never get finished).
posted by jbickers at 11:46 AM on August 21, 2013


Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury

The kind of crap pseudo clever fanboy pandering we could do with less off.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:46 AM on August 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


The kind of crap pseudo clever fanboy pandering we could do with less off.

"Rest assured I was on the Internet within minutes registering my disgust throughout the world."
posted by entropicamericana at 11:50 AM on August 21, 2013 [10 favorites]


I actually appreciate the Samuel L. Jackson Nick Fury. I feel like if they had just gone with A Black Guy and SLJ didn't say, back in '02, that he actively wanted to play the character, the Avengers film/Marvel film canon would've had some grizzled white dude as Nick Fury and there were plenty enough grizzled white guys in that movie.
posted by griphus at 11:51 AM on August 21, 2013


And do I have to remind anyone of this?
posted by griphus at 11:54 AM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


His Superman Adventures work is pretty good, too. But yeah, Millar has long since decided to make his money pandering to thirteen-year-old boys...and pretty much no one else.
posted by kewb at 11:57 AM on August 21, 2013


Millar’s steadfast refusal to consider the potential ramifications of his work remains astounding, infuriating, irresponsible, and sad.

Yeesh. I mean, I get the idea that you may want the villain to do horrible things, but it's telling that rape is always the horrible thing. It seems that, for writers like Millar, women aren't even prizes for the hero, much less beings with agency; they only exist to suffer trauma to motivate the heroes.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:01 PM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]




Well, Millar also likes to use female characters who offer gratuitously nasty putdowns or to show what losers some of the male characters are, as with Betty Ross's rejection of Banner in volume 1 of The Ultimates*, the cheating and belittling girlfriend in Wanted, the African-American female manager in Wanted who mocks Wesley and makes joke accusations of racism against him, and Kick-Ass's high school crush (who plays out the old urban legend about the girl who rejects an ex with photos of herself fellating her new beau).

So women in his work also exist as trophies of masculine worthiness or as phobic figures. Millar writes for the entitled adolescent male. I'd even extend this to his take on the Wasp, whose main role in the story involves being the subject of Hank Pym's domestic violence (far worse here; it's repeated, and involves spraying her with insecticides), after which Captain America beats up Hank and then starts dating her. (Even Hit-Girl is basically the fantasy figure her father has made her.) That plays into the way he uses rape, too; the villains are just ruining the male protagonists' most prized objects.

* Even creepier, after seeing the cannibalistic, murderous Hulk in action, she's suddenly very sexually interested in Banner. Awful.
posted by kewb at 12:11 PM on August 21, 2013 [11 favorites]


The Ultimates gave the world Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury, your argument is invalid.

I love the idea of Samuel Jackson playing Nick Fury, and he looks pretty good in the posters, but I found him pretty underwhelming in the Avengers movie. Probably the least interesting of all the main characters.

Nick Fury's appeal is that he's about as old as Captain America without having spent most of that time frozen in ice. He's a James Bond superspy who has seen everything, is sick of this shit, and is completely unimpressed by you (for values of "you" that include Norse thunder gods).

Millar's Ultimate Nick Fury was more of a generic maverick spy director. And Whedon/Jackson's Fury was even more generic.
posted by straight at 12:14 PM on August 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


The only thing of his that I've read of Millar's was Red Son with seemed like an interesting premise that he didn't really do much interesting with.
posted by octothorpe at 12:26 PM on August 21, 2013


For a long, long read: Shameless? The Super-Hero Comics of Mark Millar

...links to the other 23 parts (to date) along the bottom.
posted by Artw at 12:31 PM on August 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


Elseworlds: An interesting premise that [they] didn't really do much interesting with.
posted by griphus at 12:42 PM on August 21, 2013


I dunno, Romita claiming the comic doesn't have a rape scene because he cut away from it as the zipper was coming down, is pretty disingenuous. Which is worse, Millar just not getting it or Romita getting it but pretending not to?

I don't think rape should be off-limits for comics, but I wish creators would be a lot more careful how they throw it around. Heck, Moore is one of the best writers in the business, and it's still disturbing how often he goes there.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:04 PM on August 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


It's not often I'm the first to something, but I hated Mark Millar back when he was writing godawful shit like Red Razors or Crusade for 2000AD. Plus he wrote Big Dave with Grant Morrison, which was supposed to be clever, provocative satire, but it wasn't. He's never been any good.
posted by liquidindian at 1:08 PM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


*sigh* Again with the Millar-Moore rape comparisons. Look, the basic difference between the two is that Moore will actually show the effects on the victim, depicting it as, you know, an actual crime, whereas Millar is lacking in basic empathy and just uses it to shock and/or offer an excuse for revenge. Which, unfortunately, is kind of par for the course for the comics industry, but Millar goes to that well a bit more often and blatantly. (And, of course, Garth Ennis seems to think that male-on-male rape is kind of funny.)

And, also, Millar can write well--Red Son, for example--which just makes his low-balling it even more inexcusable. He's a canny self-promoter who has unabashedly cashed in on appealing to the lowest common denominator in comics and film, which is pretty low. The death of this publication is no big loss.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:14 PM on August 21, 2013


I am perfectly fine with a "reboot" that alters ethnicity and even gender on original characters, but thus far the SLJ version of Nick Fury -- both in film and in what I've been able to stomach of the Ultimate line -- has been a reboot solely for the sake of color, and has done nothing to create a new and interesting personality. This is a huge disservice to SLJ as an actor (being that he's awesome), but also to the original character, who had one of the most distinctive personalities in the whole canon.

Millar's work with Marvel has generally consisted of "I'm going to make every character out to be a complete jerk and I'm going to ignore continuity entirely. Then everyone will think I'm edgy! Yay, me!" He's the worst thing that has happened to the company since Leifeld, and even Leifeld is at least rumored to be a super nice guy in person.

The concerns with Millar's attitude toward gender and rape are a far bigger problem than the rest of this, of course. It's sad that anyone even lets him near a computer or a pencil.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 1:37 PM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


You want me to really hate a villain? Don't show him raping someone. Show him being an asshole to a server and not tipping. Mr. Pink deserved to die.
posted by klangklangston at 1:45 PM on August 21, 2013 [12 favorites]


*sigh* Again with the Millar-Moore rape comparisons. Look, the basic difference between the two is that Moore will actually show the effects on the victim, depicting it as, you know, an actual crime, whereas Millar is lacking in basic empathy and just uses it to shock and/or offer an excuse for revenge.

Yes, and? Moore is unquestionably a better writer, and uses rape in a much more careful way. Does that mean that all of those stories neededthose scenes? If someone of Moore's caliber can't always make it work, most comic writers should just stay away from it. It's not "edgy," it's just unpleasant.
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:49 PM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


You want me to really hate a villain? Don't show him raping someone. Show him being an asshole to a server and not tipping. Mr. Pink deserved to die.

An SF novel I read years ago had a character trying to explain to a niece why he more or less defected to an alien culture during a war. She replies, "that's OK, it's not like you busted a union or anything."
posted by GenjiandProust at 1:51 PM on August 21, 2013 [6 favorites]


Was it called CLiNT because CLINT looked too much like CUNT in the font they picked?

According to the old Comics Code standards, the name "CLINT" and the word "FLICK" (and all variations thereof, e.g. "FLICKS", "FLICKING", etc.) were banned from use because they looked just a smidge obscene when rendered in the typical all-caps word-balloon/caption style. Bear in mind that mid-century comics were universally printed on cheap newsprint with exceptionally smear-prone ink.

Also, Mark Millar is a total CLINT.
posted by Strange Interlude at 1:59 PM on August 21, 2013


The comic magazine joins the likes of Revolver, Deadline, Crisis, Toxic! and Meltdown in the great newsagents in the sky

And Warrior.
posted by Grangousier at 2:12 PM on August 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


The reformed hoarder in me still gets twitchy over the almost complete set of Deadline that did not survive a "very adult decision" about what should be included on a cross-country move. I hate being a grown-up sometimes.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:28 PM on August 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


And Warrior.

Heh. Yeah, that's really the great grandparent of all of them.
posted by Artw at 3:02 PM on August 21, 2013




griphus: "I've never read a Millar comic that didn't feel like what a twelve year old boy thinks is "mature content". Does such a thing exist?

Red Son, which I've had to start recommending with a caveat to not read other Millar stuff.
"

Which was what got me started on Millar in the first place.

Be careful recommending gateway comics.
posted by Samizdata at 4:31 PM on August 21, 2013


I loved me some Deadline.
posted by larrybob at 4:37 PM on August 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only thing of his that I've read of Millar's was Red Son with seemed like an interesting premise that he didn't really do much interesting with.
octothorpe

Agreed. Red Son was an interesting idea with a poor execution. I feel like the idea is interesting enough that people overlook the blandness. I'd be interested to see if people who say they like it a lot still like it as much if they go back and retread it later, when the novelty should have worn off.
posted by Sangermaine at 5:11 PM on August 21, 2013


Again with the Millar-Moore rape comparisons. Look, the basic difference between the two is that Moore will actually show the effects on the victim, depicting it as, you know, an actual crime, whereas Millar is lacking in basic empathy and just uses it to shock and/or offer an excuse for revenge.

So I've never read anything of Millar's because I am not a 12 year old boy and the only thing I read of Moore's is the League of Extraordinary Gentleman, so I can't speak definitively on either of them. But I can definitely say that the LOEG did not need an attempted gang rape on Mina Murray just so Allan Quartermain can show how bad ass he is by saving her.
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:16 PM on August 21, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can imagine the look on the face of someone who saw Kick-Ass* and then read the book for the first time. It's...interesting.

*A movie I like!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:32 PM on August 21, 2013


I watched the movie, loved it, then read the book and, um yeah.

I liked CONDITION RED, I guess?

But yeah, somehow the movie has a humanity to it that's utterly lacking in the comic.
posted by Artw at 5:35 PM on August 21, 2013


I'd be interested to see if people who say they like it a lot still like it as much if they go back and retread it later, when the novelty should have worn off.

I've stopped going back to certain things I like for exactly that reason. Crisis on Infinite Earths I'll read over and over and over again. Preacher, I'm content with my memories of enjoying it overwhelming my memories of how incredibly problematic the whole thing is.
posted by griphus at 5:37 PM on August 21, 2013


In the cold light of day Hitman is actually the Garth Ennis masterpiece from that era.
posted by Artw at 5:39 PM on August 21, 2013 [3 favorites]


I enjoyed Red Son - Constructivist Batman! Obsessive POW Hal Jordan! Apparently it's largely all Millars own ideas, bar the Rick on the last page which came from Morrison and which, TBH, I never thought was all that good, so he deserves some credit for the rest that I thought was Morrisons.
posted by Artw at 5:57 PM on August 21, 2013


If you asked me right now what the plot of Red Son was I would totally blank. I think Superman becomes a totalitarian dictator but then stops? Or something? But the imagery and new take on the origin stories and character motivations stuck with me.

Plus it was nice to see a humanized Soviet Union in a superhero comic.
posted by griphus at 6:05 PM on August 21, 2013


It's pretty much that, but he overcomes various obstacles - Batman, Stalin, Lex Luthot - in an episodic manner. It's probably the best of his Me-and-Gwant period.
posted by Artw at 6:48 PM on August 21, 2013


You want me to really hate a villain? Don't show him raping someone. Show him being an asshole to a server and not tipping. Mr. Pink deserved to die.

So speaking of how Garth Ennis is so much better at everything than Millar:

In his second limited-series run on the Punisher, Ennis figured out how to make the reader really, truly hate the Russian: while on a bus full of ruthless mercenary bad guys, the Russian loudly gives away the entire ending to The Sixth Sense.

I kinda suspected that was the "twist" just from the commercials for the movie (never did see it), but wow. I had to put the book down in admiration, 'cause after that, the Russian really, really had to die.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:12 PM on August 21, 2013 [2 favorites]


In the cold light of day Hitman is actually the Garth Ennis masterpiece from that era.

Any comic that references the greatest war film of all time can't be bad. Plus his Hitman meets Supes on a down day was really very good.
posted by longbaugh at 12:02 AM on August 22, 2013 [3 favorites]




I find it odd for comics fans to be complaining about Mark Millar. They demanded and created him.
posted by Legomancer at 5:39 AM on August 22, 2013 [2 favorites]


I find it odd for comics fans to be complaining about Mark Millar. They demanded and created him.

It's true.
I said Rallim Kram in the mirror five times.
And I was wearing fishnets and my tophat.

It was the 90s, okay.
posted by Mezentian at 5:59 AM on August 22, 2013 [8 favorites]


A common misconception. Mark Millar is eternal and every literate civilization has recorded his visitations.

The ancient Israelites write of the great wrath of the Nephilim Mrk M'lr. The Bhagavad Gita speaks of the demon Maharak Malar, struck down by one of Arjuna's well-placed arrows. The Mayans predict the coming of Mxreq Mioulr, who swallows the sun in the opening days of the next b'ak'tun.

We have but summoned him yet again, and his works only reflect our own arrogance and hubris.

May his passing cleanse the world.
posted by griphus at 6:18 AM on August 22, 2013 [1 favorite]


I find it odd for comics fans to be complaining about Mark Millar. They demanded and created him.

Hmm. You know my theory that Watchmen was Alan Moores attempt to change what was possible with superhero comics forever and it succeeded only in the worst possible kind of monkeys paw kind if way? Millar would be a sort of evil homunculus that popped out of that.

But yes, Millar is very much Giving Then What They Want.

I would say in his favour that though he produces the kind of post-Watchmen "realistic" rape Grimdark that seems to be the only acceptable kind of comic to a particular kind of fan he's never really expressed that sort of sentiment himself - in fact he's very supportive of creators with outputs completly different from his own.

Also these days his rapey-grimdark stuff is pretty much confined to his own titles, so he's not trying to make Batman "more realistic" by having him off prostitutes or any shit like that. People who buy Millar books buy then for Millar and pretty much know what they are going to get.
posted by Artw at 6:50 AM on August 22, 2013


Oh, dear.

GenjiandProust: Moore is unquestionably a better writer, and uses rape in a much more careful way. Does that mean that all of those stories needed those scenes?

I'm reminded of the scene in Amadeus where the king complains that one of Mozart's composition has too many notes and Mozart angrily asks which notes his majesty deemed superfluous. I am by no means claiming that Moore bats a thousand (and, in particular, I've come to the conclusion that Lost Girls was largely a waste of time and talent on his and Melinda Gebbie's part), but we're talking about general justification for describing rape, in a genre in which murder (up to and including that of entire universes) is used rather casually.

nooneyouknow: I can definitely say that the LOEG did not need an attempted gang rape on Mina Murray just so Allan Quartermain can show how bad ass he is by saving her.

Badass? IIRC, Quatermain was on the verge of nodding off and only killed the rapists because he a) had a gun and b) they weren't expecting him to even be able to stand.

Artw: You know my theory that Watchmen was Alan Moore's attempt to change what was possible with superhero comics forever and it succeeded only in the worst possible kind of monkeys paw kind of way?

Well, Moore agrees with you; he's described his ABC line as a deliberate attempt to reverse that trend. I think that one of his enduring character faults is a naivete when it comes to his fellow comics creators; he seemed to intend Watchmen, in part, as a sort of example and blueprint of some of the possibilities inherent in the medium and even a sort of challenge to other creators to elevate their game. A few arguably have (Chris Ware's work often reminds me of Watchmen, at least some of the quieter moments), but more are simply content to lowball it and just rake in the cash.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:46 AM on August 22, 2013


I get a bit tired of it with Moore, TBH. For the most part its part of the plot rather than decoration and treated with a degree of seriousness but there's so much of it in his work - I got to the end of 1969 and just felt like he'd stuck a sexual assault in there because he had some pages to fill.
posted by Artw at 8:16 AM on August 22, 2013


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