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Inside the mind of Kick-Ass creator Mark Millar

by Hannah Keegan. Published Wed 21 Aug 2013 11:54, last updated: 23/08/13
Mark Millar's sketches
Mark Millar's sketches

Mark Millar, the critically acclaimed creator of Kick-Ass has revealed his unusual and intriguing creative writing process that has lead to the comics and movies soaring success – take notes.

The much anticipated next installment of the film that Millar claims, “starts where other comics draw the line,” was released in the UK August 14th and has once again been met by outrage and applause.

The unapologetically violent, crude and mildly offensive comedy is completely reflective of Millar's own dark, sharp and brilliant humour. He indulges us in just how he creates the wicked comedy that leaves his audience paralysed with shock and laughter, step-by-step.

“I have a floor in the house to myself, where I get to sit in total peace and quite, like Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Between 9am and 6pm, nobody comes in, unless somebody’s died. And even then, I tell the family to text me. I do my doodles, and then I do post- its all over the wall. Most comics will be six issues per story. Doodles for one story can be 100 pages.

The average illustrator draws seven issues a year, while the average writer does 20 to 30. If I were an artist, I'd be too slow.” Millar said Modestly.

Describing where his ideas spring from Millar added “That's the beginning: the blank piece of paper. I start doodling, and think of little scenes. With Kick-Ass 2, the first scene that came to me was a dog wearing a mask. The guy in the mask with the dog is the colonel, played by Jim Carrey, an ex- Mafia leg breaker who became a born-again Christian.

You've also got Red Mist in the Himalayas trying to learn to become a bad-ass. In reality, I'd get bored, so he thinks, “This is getting a bit hard I’ll go to a club.” Its not like any other writing, as you think in visual terms. I love the free-wheeling aspect of the blank page – anything can happen.”

Post it notes scattering the room may seem some what amateur but it undoubtedly works for Millar, he said, “I have this system now: once I'm close to being happy with the order of things, I write little numbers on them.

Each note becomes a two or three- page scene. Sometimes I spend two weeks just looking at post- its.”

The stigma and controversy surrounding the film Millar believes is all part of its appeal, adding, “I try to be as active as I can with casting, costume, sets. I's my baby. In the first movie, I've got Kick-Ass masturbating in the opening scene and a little girl dropping a C-bomb.

Its the same with the ball-munching dog in Kick-Ass 2. You would never make a film out of that usually. It makes it different from Spider-Man 2. My philosophy has always been to start where other comics draw the line.”



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