If you're face-pulpingly excited for the arrival of gritty superhero epic Kick-Ass next month, then you can help the wait go by faster with a new art book, crammed with Kick-Ass facts.
In Kick-Ass: Creating The Comic, Making The Movie, out now from Titan Books, Mark Millar takes us inside the process of crafting his super-violent, fucked-up take on superheroes in the real world. If you can get past Millar's typically hyperbolic tone, you'll find his revelations pretty fascinating — including the fact that Dave Lizewski might be Millar's most autobiographical character yet, with his dead mother and struggling single dad. Millar even thought about trying to become a superhero himself, as a teenager. But Dave's actually named after the winner of a contest. Millar also explains how the earliest drafts of Kick-Ass were only about the psychotic Big Daddy and his daughter Hit-Girl, but the story only took shape when he came up with a new main character, Dave. Oh, and you learn first hand why people who see Millar working on his early comic-script drafts think he must be a serial killer plotting a murder spree.
Just as fascinating, and easier to look at, are John Romita Jr.'s early designs for some of the characters in Kick-Ass, including a Big Daddy who looked a bit different:
Director Matthew Vaughn talks about how the studios all loved the idea of Kick-Ass but said no to making it, and explains the process of making such a big film without any studio support.
Also, you learn from the movie's writer Jane Goldman why Big Daddy doesn't swear, and yet his daughter Hit Girl swears like a sailor. (He made her watch a lot of action movies.) There are incredible amounts of detail layered on in this movie's world, and when you look at Romita Jr.'s individual illustrations that became Big Daddy's "villains wall," you realize just how much love went into this thing, and how insane everybody involved with it had to be to make it happen.
Most of all, you just get overwhelmed with the awesomeness of all the art, from storyboards to comic art to movie concept art to finished details that you won't notice in the actual film. The costumes, especially, undergo an epic journey from Millar's early scribbles to the colorful pastiches in the final movie. For people who are interested in the development of superheroes in comics and movies, most of all, this book will be a vital touchstone.