UK’s The List has a brief profile of writer Mark Millar, timed to the release this week of Fantastic Four #554, the first issue of his stint on the series with artist Bryan Hitch.
It’s mostly a typical article, noting that he still lives in Coatbridge, Scotland (“Despite being one of the most successful writers of comics ever”), and charting Millar’s rise to superhero-comics fame. But this quote, about Marvel’s Civil War miniseries, caught my attention:
“It was actually the most difficult assignment I’ve ever had. It’s the bestselling comic of the last 15 years, yet when I see it sitting on my shelf I actually feel a bit sick. I just think of how much time it took up and how much re-writing I had to do just to co-ordinate everything with the other writers.”
Is Millar and Steve McNiven’s Civil War “the bestselling comic of the last 15 years”?
Even presuming the statement excludes manga and European comics, the timespan takes us back to 1993 — the tail-end of the speculator boom — and covers Marvel’s Heroes Reborn, the heyday of Spawn, Malibu’s Ultraverse, Valiant’s moment in the sun, and other sales milestones of the era that I’m undoubtedly blocking from memory.
And then there are more recent markers, such as the Scholastic editions of Jeff Smith’s Bone selling nearly 2 million copies.
Yes, I realize Millar can get be a bit hyperbolic when promoting himself, but could Civil War be “the bestselling comic of the last 15 years” (caveats or no)?
Paul O’Brien, I’m looking in your direction.
Update: On his message board, Millar responds and makes a minor clarification:
Oh wait. It’s only the best selling American series of the last FOURTEEN years. Forgive me for rounding up twelve months (rolls eyes).
Yeah, 1993 was still an amazing time for sales and the crash didn’t hit until early 1994. But we sold over 2.7 million copies of our little seven issue series in the American editions alone (and that doesn’t even begin to factor in the many, many tie ins). The trade has been insane too (I just got my first royalty cheque 2 weeks ago) so Marvel made a LOT of dough. Nothing’s even come close since the mid 90s so the company were very pleased.
I love all those guys calling bullshit tho (“Fuck Millar! It’s only the best-selling series of the last FOURTEEN YEARS”). Even better is the Bone comparison, adding up all the issues of the series so far and comparing it to our seven issues. That’s just hilarious.