Reading an issue of Mark Millar’s CLiNT magazine is like being exposed to an entire comic book universe’s-worth of premises and new ideas in one shot. It is the “Millarverse” complete, being transported to a self-contained alternate dimension of comics storytelling and related news items. One could only imagine what a CLiNT-like version made by Marvel or DC would look like, and why those distinguished publishers haven’t thought of the rather brilliant idea of grooming their fans through such an inviting tabloid.
Sure, there are magazines produced by the Big Two on the racks, but none incorporate the aesthetics of CLiNT: contemporary, in-your-face, design-savvy, dangerous. How do you get new comic book readers? Make comics look cool, package them in such a way that they would not look out-of-place at a bar or sticking out of one’s duffel-bag at the gym.
Oh, and then there’s content.
Certainly not all flash and swank, CLiNT delivers a variety of hard-hitting (if with the occasional dangerous smile) comic book stories that entertain and make you think. Serialized tales such as “Secret Service” and “Supercrooks” read as movies in miniature; read the set-ups for both in issue #1 (on stands now), and you will be intrigued enough to continue either in the magazine or their separate Icon titles. And “Secret Service” features Mark Hamill falling off a cliff and getting crushed by a snowmobile, so count that as your Tarantino-esque cameo of the month.
Personally, I was a big fan of “Rex Royd,” also introduced in CLiNT #1 — an insane, pretty much stream-of-consciousness pop-culture omlet of destruction by Frankie Boyle and Mike Dowling. But I’m weird. (you can read my review of the 4th comic in the issue, “Death Sentence,” as well as “Supercrooks,” here)
Lastly, a word about pricing. In the United States, a single 90+ page issue of CLiNT will run you $6.99: in it, you get 4 feature comics, plus interviews and articles. Two mainstream comic books will run you anywhere from $6-$10. Taking into account the decompressed storytelling that afflicts a number of comics — a malady that doesn’t impact any of the stories in the issue of CLiNT I read — you get quite a reading value with the magazine.
CLiNT #1, from Titan Publishing, is available now.