There’s a new name in town that is due to set the comics world alight, CLiNT. Not a whole mag dedicated to the Man with No Name, but the self-proclaimed ‘Eagle for the 21st Century’, and, yes, that is with a small ‘i’.
It’s a joint venture between Titan Magazines and the prolifically talented Mark Millar, who’s possibly Britain’s answer to Stan Lee, or at least the worthy successor to John Wagner and Alan Grant’s phenomenal contribution to the medium.
Millar, of course, has revolutionised comics and films alike with his own interpretations of classic characters such as X-Men and Spider-Man as well as his own creator-owned projects, especially Kick-Ass, which has done just that.
Considering the wealth of great writers and artists that now come from these shores, there are a shortage of actual UK-based comics-related magazines published now apart from 2000AD. Crisis, Toxic! and Deadlinecame and went, but left a memorable collection of stories such as New Statesmen, Marshall Law and Tank Girl, produced by the fevered brains of top creators such as Pat Mills, Brendan McCarthy, Sean Phillips, Steve Dillon, Brett Ewins, Kevin O’Neill, and Jamie Hewlett.
Alan Moore has started his own eclectic brew of musings in Dodgem Logic. CLiNT, on the other hand, is heavy on comic material, interspersed with fun features and interviews. Not the easiest combinations.
Millar states that, “There are absolutely no comic books aimed at 16 to 30-year-old guys and I think CLiNT has potential to make an enormous impact, bringing a new type of magazine to a new generation.”
And so, what has been squeezed in between the cover sporting Kick-Ass and with stand-up comedian Frankie Boyle? I know, I know, a team-up you never expected to appear, but all will become clear.
Much of the material is being reprinted from US monthly mags, with the clear highlights being the first installment of Millar’s scorching hot property Kick-Ass 2: Balls To The Wall with John Romita Jr’s hand on the drawing board and the introduction to his new anti-hero, Nemesis, with the same deliciously gratuitous mix of violence and humour this time provided by Steve McNiven.
Vampires and gangsters collide with other major contributor, Jonathan Ross. So, the lifelong comics fan has finally penned his first strip, Turf. Set during the prohibition 30s, the gangland battles are made even bloodier with the arrival of the Dragonmir family from Europe.
Whilst a little verbose, in the Chris Claremont school of writing, it’s an intriguing blend of genres, especially with the addition of aliens crash-landing into the mix, helped considerably by Tommy Lee Edwards’ moody period illustrations.
This is a complete issue reprinted from the best-selling Image title, but in case you’re thinking there are no original strips, this is where Frankie Boyle comes in. He swaps one comic routine for another kind as the stand-up turns to comic book writer with his hard hitting billionaire hero with attitude, Rex Royd which is co-written by Jim Muir and illustrated by Michael Dowling.
Rounding off the strips is CLiNT’s own answer to Future Shocks short tales, with Huw Edwards’ Space Oddities. Yes, BBC’s very own newsreader fronts these self-contained tales with The Diner by writer-artist Manuel Bracci.
So much for the comics content, but in between all this fist and bullet action are a random selection of articles that are either humorous (Hot TV mums) or serious (a profile on Charles Manson and his planned murder spree of Hollywood stars), alongside interviews with comedian Jimmy Carr and Ren Wei, the man who dubs Tom Cruise’s voice in China. As I’m sure you’ll all agree, that’s one hell of a hybrid combination.
As Millar states in his editorial, “Kids have been crying out for a monthly like CLiNT. I sincerely believe it’s why there’s been so much crime lately.”
So, could he be fighting crime in the funny books as well as on the streets? Future issues and sales figures will prove if it’s a battle lost or won.
CLiNT’s an eccentric combination of strips and articles, like pepperoni pizza and chocolate chip ice cream. An acquired taste at this first sitting, but it could become an essential part of your monthly diet.