From Titan Publishing, Millar, and British talents Jonathan Ross and Frankie Boyle, “CLiNT” promises to bring fans something they’ve been missing — a comic book disguised as a magazine. “CLiNT” features four serialized comic strips (including a preview of “Kick-Ass 2”), as well as interviews and features on video games, movies and television.
“It’s really secretly selling people comics,” Millar told MTV News. “My dad’s generation and my generation all read comics as children but my daughters generation, the boys in her class have never picked up a comic book. So I wanted it to be something teenage boys and young guys in their 20s would feel comfortable with, you know? Something that is a hybrid.”
Millar says that despite appearances, the magazines varied features are only a small portion of the whole product. In fact, the cover of the first issue actually jokes, “WARNING! Contains Comics!”
“What I wanted to do then was to make it something that people who’ve never picked up a comic, and you have to be honest with this, most people in the real world have never picked up a comic before,” he said, “it’s something that wouldn’t look too alien to somebody who’s never read a comic before.”
The first issue features an article on the Chinese Tom Cruise, “Hot TV Mums” and a story on Charles Manson, among other things. The comic side of “CLiNT” features the first installments of Ross’ 1920s vampire/gangster story “Turf,” Boyle’s “Rex Royd,” and Millar’s “Nemesis.” (Check out images from each of the series at the end of this article.)
With that collection of creators, could you imagine if those three had to work in an office together?
“I guarantee nothing would ever get done,” said Millar. “We’d just sit and talk to each other all day. It’s really just a bunch of friends doing a magazine. I made it so those guys could write stories and it’s just great fun.”
Although Millar is aiming mainly at the U.K. market, American’s can get ahold of “CLiNT” with a subscription — just don’t expect it to show up on your local grocery store shelves with the other magazines anytime soon. Millar is having enough trouble getting Brits back into the habit.
“Most sales are done through specialist comic stores which I love, I absolutely love and I go and support every week. I buy all my comics at specialist stores but when I was a kid you could buy comics anywhere,” he said. “There’s such an incredible network here to distribute your magazine. Every single person in the U.K. pretty much, lives within a ten minutes walk to a place that could potentially sell comic books.”
But for Millar, it wasn’t as simple as ten-minute walk to figure out how to actually sneak “CLiNT” into grocery stores.
“Comics are the wrong size, at the wrong price point, so what I did was I engineered the magazine to be very, very attractive to these people. I had the size of the pages blown up to magazine size, I had features about things that are very mainstream and at the same time trying to keep the comic strips to something that people who never read ‘Spider-Man’ or ‘X-Men’ would understand and I packaged it in such a way that it is like the other magazines on sale.”
So far, at least on the retailer end of things, Millar has succeeded stating that 70-percent of sales would be through supermarket chains. He also hopes that someone in the U.S. will follow his lead.
Like any creator, Millar wants the magazine to be a success — but not only for himself.
“It’s quite a unique experiment and hopefully it will work because I’m very passionate about British comics scene, which has been very, very depleted now for twenty years while everyone is working in the states,” he said, “Alan Moore and all the British comic writers who’ve been working in the states, I’d love to bring them back here.”
“CLiNT” #1 is on sale today, September 2, and Millar and fellow magazine contributor Jonathan Ross will be signing copies at 4:30 PM at WH Smiths in London’s Victoria station in the United Kingdom.
What do you think of the new comic magazine concept? Would you like to see comic books being sold in supermarkets again? Let us know what you think in the comment section or on Twitter.