Comic Review – CLiNT #1

CLiNT#1

Let me start off by saying that I’ve only recently returned the bosom of comics buying. In the mid 80s to early 90s I was an absolute fiend for the damn things. Favourite titles were anything to do with Batman, most of the Vertigo titles, especially Hellblazer, Swamp Thing, Sandman and Doom Patrol, and UK mags such as Warrior, Deadline, and Revolver. But money got tight, I became a mom, life happened and my comics purchasing stopped dead. In the past year or so however, I’ve been introducing my daughter to comics, and as a result, trips to Forbidden Planet and GOSH! have had me renewing an old obsession. I don’t buy many right now, the lack of a good local store puts pay to that, but I do buy some.

Having managed to completely fail to get hold of any issues of Turf by Jonathan Ross, I was thrilled to discovered it would be reprinted in CLiNT, along with Nemesis and a brand new Kick-Ass 2, both written by CLiNT’s editor Mark Millar.

When CLiNT was published this week, there was a lot of chatter on Twitter as to where the hell you could buy the damn thing. Neither of my local newsagents had it, nor did the local Sainsburys, but I managed to stumble across a copy in the Winchester services branch of WH Smiths.

My glee at finding it was tempered by a frankly atrocious front cover and an editorial from Millar calling it a “boy’s comic”. So let’s look at the good and bad of CLiNT, because it’s a pretty mixed bag.

The Good…

…the comic strips themselves. Kick-Ass#2 is more of the same, tightly paced and written, immediately engaging. Nemesis is a fantastic concept, What if the masked avenger was the bad guy? What if the genius-level intellect with cape and gadgets was evil? . I’m very much looking forward to reading more, there’s no doubt that Millar is a talent.

Turf is a mixed bag, again, a brilliant concept, vampires in a gang war in Prohibition New York, with fantastic artwork. It is however hugely wordy with far too much exposition. It feels a bit like Ross has thrown everything including the kitchen sink at it, and no-one had the heart to tell him “less is more”. That may sound like I don’t like it, which isn’t the case, I just think his enthusiasm for it has got in the way of the best possible storytelling.

Frankie Boyle’s Rex Royd is… odd. Very odd. Not sure if it’s really good or utter dross, but I need to read it again. Probably several times over and I want to read the next chapter. So that’s a good thing, yes?

So we can say that the comics content works, two stories from an established talent, one from a media polymath and one from a filthy minded Scotsman. I’ve seen worse line ups. So it’s a win? Well….

The Bad…

…frankly, everything else.

The attitude of “it’s a boys’ comic” stinks. I don’t remember other UK titles labelling themselves in such a gender exclusive fashion. The magazine articles includes Charlie Manson’s Secret Hollywood Death List, Top Ten Hot TV Mums, and Herb Du Jour: The Secret Diary of a Celebrity Pot-Head. As a result the whole thing comes across as a weird mix of Nuts, Bizarre and 2000AD.

In one sidebar, where they talk about “wacky things people say during orgasm” much fun is made of a woman yelling “GOLDFISH” – turns out this was her safe word with her former boyfriend, but the new bloke didn’t realise and carried on leaving her sobbing in the corner by the end. Oh what larks!

By filling the magazine with a lot of really purile material, it pulls the excellent stuff down into the mire with it, which is a real shame. The reprint concept is an excellent one, and with demand for a second Kick-Ass movie high, having the new comic debut in a UK publication is another smart move.

Of course, I’m not the demographic for this, so maybe I should put up, shut up and just read the comics. But if this is the great white hope for UK comics, then it has a long way to go if it’s to be taken seriously.

And guys? That cover? REALLY CHEAP, REALLY CRAPPY.

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~ by moviegrrlreviews on September 4, 2010.

6 Responses to “Comic Review – CLiNT #1”

  1. The thing is, you ARE the demographic for it: you want to read the content. They simply haven’t understood that ‘people who read comics’ is a broad church, not populated exclusively by teen boys. Who probably have less buying power/advertising revenue potential than you do. Berks.

    (Incidentally I’m a ladyperson who is quite likely to fancy Hot TV Mums – but I have this funny suspicion that article isn’t quite aimed at me either. Sigh.)

  2. As pointsbright says, you *are* the demographic. So am I. We bought Deadline and Revolver, which were newstand adult comics. I read 2000AD every week when I was 14. CLiNT is a newstand comic aimed at adults.

    Women are never going to be proportionally represented in a comic’s demographic – we’ll always be the minority. The problem for CLiNT is women who *do* buy comics are more likely to be aware of gender politics, simply because they are doing something codified as ‘male’. So CLiNT is managing to alienate part of its demographic -not really what an adult newstand comic should do if it wants to survive for a whole year…

  3. Yeah it’s a shame someone felt they had to shoot for the Nuts audience with this instead of giving it a broader appeal.

    As a man in his early thirties who’s just making a return to comics as well, I think I can safely say CLiNT is not aimed at me. It’s aiming at least ten years younger and I think that’s a big mistake, because the twenty-somethings aren’t spending their disposable income on comics, and if they’re spending it on magazines then CLiNT has just set itself up to compete against a whole shelf of boobs. And beardy comics are never going to win out over boobs (for that audience at least).

    Also, if you want recent-history vampire stories, then American Vampire by Scott Snyder (and Stephen King… yes, that one), is very very good indeed: http://www.dccomics.com/vertigo/comics/?cm=15268

    (and yes, awful awful cover – and the name… are they trying to make it read like c*nt as a joke?)

  4. Great article and I agree completely. I really don’t feel Mark Millar was trying to please anyone but himself. As for the whole ‘boys’ comic vs comic for your dad comment, that was a bit childish on his part wasn’t it?

  5. I’m a thirty*cough* year old boy and I agree with everything you said. Woohoo, a silly interview with McLovin, the man of the moment (three years ago). Bring back The Eagle.

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