Mark Millar visits Buchanan Centre Library
St Ambrose pupil reviews former pupil's homecoming
Peter Donaldson, a sixth year pupil at St Ambrose High School, Coatbridge plans a career in journalism and was more than ready for the task of covering Mark Millar's visit and Q&A session at Coatbridge Library. The rest of this page is his.
Few, if any, empty seats remained in Buchanan Centre Library for the arrival of Coatbridge writer Mark Millar. The man behind the most successful creator-owned comic book franchises (and now major motion pictures) of the last 10 years - "Kick-Ass" and "Wanted" - was coming home to take part in North Lanarkshire's October festivals; Words 2011, the Books and Writing event and Works 2011, the arts festival for young people.
On what was easily one of the most in-demand nights of both festivals, Mark came to discuss several aspects of both his career thus far and of his writing as a whole.
A true Coatbridge success story and an asset to the town to this day, Mark often returns for events such as these; remaining involved with the community which means so much to both him and his career.
When asked what the town gave to him and to his writing, Mark recounted a weekly procession through the streets of Coatbridge, buying his comics from the seven retailers which stocked them. Playing superhero with his friends from a young age also developed his burgeoning appreciation for the art of comic book writing.
"I drew Spiderman's mask on my face about a week before my First Communion," he admits, "If you look closely at the photos, you can still see the black webbing around my eyes!"
With an industry as notoriously hard to break into as comic book writing, it can't have been easy for Mark to have achieved the success he now has. Upon being asked at a meeting with his careers advisor what his aspirations were, he was firmly told that "writing Spiderman" wasn't a "real job".
"I said [to the advisor], someone must be doing it!" he commented, "Robots don't write these things!"
Set on his course, Mark pursued his dream, inspired by British comic writers such as Alan Moore and Grant Morrison.
Mark also shared his experiences with comic powerhouses Marvel and DC, including his respectively pleasant and awful resignations with them both.
Now forging ahead with his own company Millarworld, Mark is focusing on his current projects. These include the books Nemesis, Ultimate Avengers, and a sequel to the immensely popular Kick Ass, as well as a film adaptation screenplay for the as of yet unwritten Supercrooks, to be directed by Academy Award nominated filmmaker Nacho Vigalondo.
However, busy and successful aren't the only two adjectives to describe Mark Millar!
An exceptionally down to earth, approachable, funny and likeable man, it is clear that he has a huge amount of time for the "disproportionate" creativity of Coatbridge, and for the town itself. Currently raising money via auction towards school trips for St. Bartholomew's Primary School, it is evident that Mark makes a clear effort to stay true to his roots, an admirable feat for someone with his level of success.
With so much in the pipeline for him, 2012 is going to be a big year for Mark Millar and Millarworld. Judging by his enthusiasm, and his writing style, Mark is going to meet it head-on.
You can see more pictures from Mark's appearance by following the link on the right to Flickr.