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May 09

Book Review: Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie

It is no secret that I loved the film ‘Kick-Ass’, we reviewed it very positively in episode 79 of the The Geek Actually Podcast. We also reviewed this wonderful book, ‘Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie’ by Mark Millar and published by Titan Press (ISBN 9781848564091) on that same show. I couldn’t just leave it there, this fine book needed an extra mention as it is a wonderful tie in to the movie.

On the most part, these kinds of books are kind of light weight, they are used as a promotional tool to sell more movie tickets, however with this book author Mark Millar (who is also the writer of the original comic that the film is based on) has put enough love and detail in to really satisfy the reader and film lover. He describes the journey from the comic panel to the motion picture screen in detail and has wonderful commentary from a lot of the key personnel of the film and comic, including Matthew Vaughn (the director), Jane Goldman (the screenwriter), John Romita Jr. (the illustrator of the comic) and Sammy Sheldon (the film’s costume designer) just to name a few.

Mark Millar was in an interesting situation, he had sold the film rights to ‘Kick-Ass’ before there was actually a comic book. When Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman started work on the script, ‘Kick-Ass’ the comic was also being produced. Mark Millar was informing the movie while the movie was also informing the comic. This book really has the inside track to the creation of the film (and comic) as it was happening. It starts with his inspiration for the comic, moves into the creation of the comic and then plows full ahead into the creation of the film. It even has a section at the end that talks about the future of ‘Kick-Ass’ sequels. It goes into detail, for example, as to why costumes differ so much on some characters (Big Daddy for example) and are almost picture perfect on others (Kick-Ass). When Big Daddy’s costume was being created for the film, John Romita Jr. hadn’t drawn it yet! It goes in to details on plot changes, like why the ending to the film was changed from the comic.

One of the interesting aspects of the book is that it sections on scenes that were cut from the final film (with photos), this gives us an insight into what to expect from the director’s cut DVD/Blu-Ray when it becomes available.

All the way through the book there are quotes and tidbits of information from the actors, filmmakers and the comic book duo of Millar and Romita Jr. This is a really good read, full of beautiful full page photos from both the film and behind the scenes, concept art, script samples and panels straight from the comic book. If you are a fan of the comic book, the movie, movie making or superhero films in general, this is a must have book.

You can buy the book locally from leading bookshops or online from Amazon.