CLiNT Vol. 2 #1
Reviewed by Brant W. Fowler
Published by: Titan Magazines
Price: £4.25 (Approx. $6.66 US)
Rating: Mature Audiences
- Supercrooks Chapter 1 by Mark Millar and Leinil Yu
- The Secret Service Chapter 1 by Mark Millar, Dave Gibbons and Matthew Vaughn
- Death Sentence Chapter 1 by MontyNero and Mike Dowling
- Rex Royd: Invasion Chapter 1 by Frankie Boyle and Mike Dowling
- Maximum Millarworld movie round-up!
- Frankie Boyle and Mike Dowling introduce Rex Royd!
- 20 years of Lenore! Roman Dirge digs up the little dead girl!
- Who is Clint? An Investigation!
- Vern's Badass Cinema 101!
(read the full press release from earlier this week here.)
If that blurb wasn't clear enough, Mark Millar launched volume 1 of this anthology and news magazine in September of 2010, and for whatever reason relaunched it after a hiatus. I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a copy of the very first issue of volume 1 and really enjoyed it. I did not review that issue, but there is a review on CR of it by David O'Leary.
Comparing the two number one issues of volumes 1 and 2 respectively, just by looking at the covers you can see some growth in the design elements. The new logo, while not incredibly different, is more crisp and modern, and adds that comic element to it with the word balloon serving as the dot on the "i". (I personally choose to ignore the in-joke/inference of the logo, just for the record) Getting inside, we see the upgrade in design continues on to the table of contents page with a sharper and cleaner look. The design in volume 1 wasn't bad, but it was a bit cramped and didn't quite utilize the space available as well as the new version. So before we even get into the content, we are looking at a better designed magazine, and given that the first volume had no real glaring problems design or format wise, that's a great start that they've stepped up their game anyway.
As in volume 1, the magazine still features four comic stories, and starting with issue #2 the lead will be Hit-Girl. The Rest, as the remainder of the content is actually called on the TOC page, still contains articles, interviews, letters, etc. So as I said before, the format is largely unchanged. If you liked the format of the previous volume, you won't be disappointed. But in the publishing business, in all its various branches, as the saying goes, content is king. Does the content still hold up in this relaunch?
In volume 1, issue #1, as soon as you got past the TOC, you got the lead story. Okay, that's fine, and it's understandable why they would do this. They want it to be a comic magazine, so give it a comic story lead. But that does tend to negate a wider audience. They corrected that with this first issue of volume 2 by leading with a Millarworld Movie Round-Up section, which actually leads nicely into the main story of this issue, Millar's Supercrooks. The Movie Round-Up is, of course, about the status of the Supercrooks film. So there's a nice little interview about locations, content, updates and so forth from Mark himself. Following that up is a similar piece on another Millarworld property, American Jesus. The articles are very well done, very informative, and very interesting. No complaints here.
So then we get into Supercrooks. I have never read Supercrooks, so this served as a nice introduction for me. We get a full issue, and it's quite a good story if you haven't checked it out. The basic premise is a bunch of supercrooks who always rob the same areas, and inevitably get caught, get the idea to go abroad to a place where there are no superheroes. Pretty cool concept.
Next up is Frankie Boyle's Rex Royd. We again get a lead-in to the story with an article introducing us to the concept, which we didn't have in volume 1, issue 1. Rex Royd is... different. Not really my cup of tea, but it is unique, I'll give it that. It's not bad, mind you, just not my thing. Though there was a funny little jab at Watchmen in this story.
Following that, we get an article on 20 years of Lenore followed by a cute short comic story. That was a nice way to keep comic content flowing and also break up the full-length and more serious stories presented in the full issues.
Next up was Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons' Secret Service, another book I've yet to read. So again, if you're not familiar with some of these stories, this is a great platform to dip your toe in and see if they're cool enough for you. But getting back to Secret Service, this is a fun story. Very relevant to the times with tons of pop culture references, some unexpected humor that really does catch you off guard, and it's all wrapped up in Gibbons' gorgeous art.
I don't want to give the whole issue away. There are a few more articles, fan letters, and another solid comic story in Death Sentence.
Overall, the magazine flows very well and feels much more fluid and reader friendly than the one previous issue I was able to check out. The content is good, solid content, and the concept of the magazine itself still, as it always was, is a great idea and great way to introduce people to these independent comic stories without committing to buy each issue first. For what you get in the magazine, it is well worth the cover price. We're talking 100 pages of full-length comic stories, interviews, articles, fan mail and more. You can't really beat that.
I would definitely call this relaunch into volume 2 a success, and I would highly recommend picking it up. Great stories, great value. That's all we, as comic fans, ever really wanted anyway. And in that regard, a job well done with this magazine.
I also have to pass along a special they are running that, if you're a fan of the book or want to check it out, you should definitely take advantage of...
Special Offer: Subscribe to CLiNT and Save 20%, plus get a FREE signed Dave Gibbons 'The Secret Service' Art Card! Act now, only 200 available! To find out more visit - http://titanmagazines.com/t/clint/local-subscribe/
Brant W. Fowler / Writer, Letterer, Reviewer, Columnist, Podcaster, Partner/COO/Site Manager of Comic Related
Brant W. Fowler has been a professional comic book writer, editor, flatter, letterer and logo designer for several years, and has been a freelance editor for the past five years or so. He is one of the cast members and host of the Zone 4 podcast here at Comic Related, and he letters some of the webcomics on the site. You can see samples of his works and how to hire him at Gonzogoose Design and Just-Flats.net. And catch up with him on his forums right here at CR. Brant is also a member of the core operations team at Comic Related.
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