This week's "Kick-Ass 2" movie won't just serve as the latest expansion for writer Mark Millar's mass media plans. It will also mark the end of one of his more old school methods of general public outreach.
Titan Comics and Millar today revealed exclusively to CBR that this month's issue of "CLiNT" magazine -Â the UK newsstand offering edited by Millar and featuring comics from him and his friends -Â will be the last. "CLiNT" #2.8 ships to UK newsstands tomorrow and to American comic shops on September 10.
The magazine launched in 2010 to much of Millar's traditional fanfare, and the writer described it then as his answer to British boys comics anthologies like "Eagle" and "2000AD." Aside from serializing his own Millarworld books such as "Kick-Ass 2" with John Romita, Jr. and "Superior" with Leinil Francis Yu, "CLiNT" also featured other creator-owned comics like Jonathan Ross and Tommy Lee Edwards' "Turf" and new strips by UK talent like comedian Frankie Boyle's "Rex Royd" and Monty Nero and Mike Dowling's "Death Sentence" which has since gone on to solo life as a Titan Comics offering. In its early days, the magazine also offered general celebrity and pop culture articles in the "lad mag" tradition, though it relaunched last year with a renewed comics focus.
Titan told CBR News that the magazine's end lays at the feet of both Millar and Titan developing other plans more in line with traditional comics publishing and with digital sales versus newsstand distribution. To that end, the publisher provided both Millar's farewell letter to readers and their own statement on their plans moving forward. Read both below.
Yes, this really is the very last issue of CLiNT magazine!
I remember coming up with the idea for this when reading a sports column by Jim White on a train to London, back in 2009. Jim asked why Roy of the Rovers and all those old British comics don't exist in our newsagents anymore - and, when I got to the other side, I asked Titan publishing kingpin Nick Landau the very same question. I asked him if he wanted to finance a new comic, aimed directly at the mainstream, and Nick and Vivian, being a gung-ho couple, were more than game, and excited about the prospect of a new British monthly - reprinting the best of American creator-owned and nurturing new home-grown talent. Three years on, we're very proud to have brought you guys Kick-Ass, Death Sentence, Superior, Hit-Girl, Rex Royd and all the various other odds and sods we've been running since we started.
Now, the purpose that kickstarted CLiNT - creator-owned stories by new and experienced talent - has morphed into our redoubled focus on individual comics: both in my Millarworld books and Nick's all-new Titan Comics line. We're going after where people want to read comics, and right now, in the UK and US, that's a split between the dedicated fans in the comic stores, and a potentially enormous mainstream market who pick up their books digitally. It's often been remarked that digital is the new newsstand, and I think that's an excellent analogy - your iPad is as handy as a grocery store ever was, and it's bringing in a whole new generation of people not lucky enough to live near a Forbidden Planet. Nick's Titan Comics empire has, as a result, expanded its comic output, with a focus on specialist stores and digital downloads, and in this issue you can get a look at all the plans they have for the coming years. I'm extremely proud to have worked with some of the best people in the industry since we started putting this together, four years ago, and feel Titan are onto something great, with what Nick has dubbed Phase Two of his grand plan: a wide range of American-format comics, appearing under the watchful eye of Ã¼ber-editor Chris Teather. If CLiNT was the supergroup, this is us returning to our solo careers, refreshed and reenergised, with new sounds and new purpose - and always with one eye on reforming for the big stadium tour not too far down the line!
CLiNT is, and was, a British comic that looked like no other - with contributors as diverse as Johnny Romita, Frankie Boyle, Dave Gibbons, Jonathan Ross, Tommy Lee Edwards, Ian Rankin, Muriel Gray, Leinil Yu, Jimmy Carr and Steve McNiven, plus interviews with basically anybody we just absolutely loved at that particular moment. A lot of that extra content is down to my co-editor on the book, Andrew James, who has worked so enormously hard since he took over and been an absolute pleasure to work with. A big shout-out to Ned Hartley, Marcus Scudamore and Russ Seal, too, as the co-editors and designers always did about 5000 times as much work on the magazine as I did, but somehow never got the credit. A big thanks to Nick, Chris and Viv, too, for taking a chance on something no-one really did anymore.
Oh, and before I go, I wouldn't be me if I didn't get in one final plug for an upcoming project, so let me just demand you all go see Kick-Ass 2 in cinemas this month (like you haven't pre-booked your seat for one nano-second after midnight); The Secret Service movie next November (directed by Matthew Vaughn and written by Jane Goldman); buy Kick-Ass 3 (in comic stores now) and Jupiter's Legacy, by the magnificent Sir Frank Quitely - and all the other Millarworld books that keep me in beer money. We're launching a Millarworld Universe in February 2014 with MPH, with art by Duncan Fegredo, so keep your eyes peeled for that in a month or two, as I begin my online pimping.
A final thanks to you, my invisible homies, as I type these final words. Thanks very much for still being here three years on, and I look forward to seeing you in the back at the next convention we all attend.
Titan Comics publishers Nick Landau and Vivian Cheung also had a few words marking the end of "CLiNT" and their plans for the future of Titan Comics:
"It's been a grand adventure... An adventure that began with Mark asking Vivian and myself if we wanted to publish a comic for the UK newsstand, one that would include the greatest of British and overseas comic book writers and artists - both existing and new - as well as his own stories... We enthusiastically embraced the idea, and then Mark broke the news - he wanted to call it CLINT.
For those of you familiar with British comics and letterpress printing, you'll know that the printing can often be coarse enough to fill in the letters on certain words, and that there were two banned words in comics: CLINT and FLICK - join up the L and I on each word and the fun begins....
Unphased, we agreed to the title - and suddenly people thought we had a Clint Eastwood fixation. That seemed kind of appropriate too. Oh, and the content got us banned from several supermarket chains...
CLiNT was launched to considerable fanfare - and now we fast forward to the present. Mark has built Millarworld into an empire and has a deal to work on the development of Marvel movies with Fox, amongst his many projects. We, as Titan, have spread our wings in many directions - into fiction, art books, more magazines and, most recently, with the launch of Titan Comics. We've all become very busy, and felt we had achieved the objectives we set out to achieve with CLiNT. Which is why this is the last issue...
But why is this the beginning?
Because CLiNT has spawned many comics through both the Millarworld and Titan universes, way more than we could pack into CLiNT itself... and you will continue to see us every month in these titles. A bit like CLiNT, but even more so....
So the beginning starts - or even continues - next month, with all the titles below.
Nick Landau and Vivian Cheung, Publishers
PS. Well, it's not really a PS, but something we should have started out by saying. We'd like to say a big thank you, first and foremost, to Mark, without whom CLiNT would not have existed, and who has been our guiding light all these years; to Chris Teather, who has worked long and hard to make this happen, along with his awesome team of Andrew James (and previous editors Steve White and Ned Hartley), designers Russ Seal and Marcus Scudamore, Darryl Tothill, Ricky Claydon and all the sung heroes who have appeared on our credits pages - as well as a few unsung heroes to boot...!"
To keep up-to-date with news from Titan Comics, visit our revamped website at www.Titan-Comics.com or join us on Facebook or Twitter.
Inside the final issue of CLiNTWe're keeping the pace high and the news and interviews hot and heavy! Don't miss the grand finale, which includes:
• Exclusive Kick-Ass 2 set report!• Exclusive Mark Millar interview - MPH and the next wave of Millarworld!• Exclusive new chapter of Death Sentence!• Exclusive previews of Titan Comics titles Chronos Commandos, A1: Odyssey, IT CAME! and Razorjack - including exclusive interviews with creators Stuart Jennett, Dave Elliott, Dan Boultwood and John Higgins!