Book Review: Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie – Author Mark Millar

Well hopefully when you pick up this sharp little read, you’d have already seen the movie it’s referring to. The book in a sense is an overview and tribute. Chock full of color photos, production stills, set designs, drawings, comic rendering, actor profiles, script breakdowns and a whole lot more….it’s easy to say that the book like the movie “kicks ass”.

The book is authored by Mark Millar as so prominently featured on the cover, but I do have to say the real behind the scenes effort goes to the designer Martin Stiff. It’s easy to review books by Titan Books as they are always done so well. Each page is formatted in collage like style using “tons” of materials from the film itself.

The meat and potatoes of the book is the story that is told from Mark Millar who basically gives us a behind the scenes moment to moment run thru of how the story began, how it evolved and how it became a hit movie. Probably most would assume a sort of slam dunk and over night studio concept. Though this was the film that no studio wanted to take on requiring much more drastic measures to gain the interest that was needed. We are told about a viral campaign to get the Internet talking about it. We are told about a staged video to gain viral video interest and we are told about a first edition that achieved sales well over its expected run due to this effort. This is a superhero movie of a different beast.

An everyday kid with a dream just up and decides that he wants to be a superhero. The reality is pretty dead on as he gets his “ass kicked” and left in a hospital. Though its perseverance, drive and some additional help from his repaired body that set his character into motion. Even so, it’s the addition of real trained superhero Hit girl and Big Daddy that really make an impact.

Yes, all that and more is explained, drawn out and presented with a smattering of visual treats to help you onto the next page. In fact, the one thought that I couldn’t let go off when rummaging thru the pages was ……. will someone EVER create a worthy book based on the “HellRaiser” film series that is captured exactly in this way? I’m still waiting, and maybe hoping that the new Hellraiser coming out will spark a all inclusive edition like this.

But moving on, we are introduced to the actors, their characters and what it took to land the roles. In fact, the lead role as explained…. was almost held up for 2 years just to get the right match for the primary “Kick-ass” character. Hit-girl was dead on and well …..the ever so inspiring Nicolas Cage is really a slam dunk in any scenario (well in my opinion) . There is ALOT to look at here, so if you loved the movie, you’ll love the book. Highlights for me, were the tradeoffs between illustrative concepts and the film end results. Very cool and very sharp. A fine book indeed.

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