Mark Millar Gets Press For Supporting Chuck Dixon On Cancel Culture

Mark Millar is launching a brand new comic book series, The Ambassadors, so what does that mean? It means a PR stunt or two, in order to get media attention. And today we have two of them. This is not new for Mark Millar, he has a history or successful media manipulation to promote his work and his career, and has a history of doing it better than anyone, even Stan Lee.

Mark Millar's New Netflix Comic With Frank Quitely & Travis Charest

One of his tricks is working with tame hacks, getting journalists with whom he is friendly in Scottish media, to write very positive PR puff articles about him, which then get picked up by other media and covered uncritically, usually involving charities his family are involved with that he raises money or publicity for. My favourite was when he got Scottish press to cover the fact, favourably, that he was not moving from Scotland to Los Angeles, even with his Netflix success. Though they somehow missed out that he said he was moving to Surrey in the South of England instead, something they may have not have been so welcoming of. He got Matt Bendoris of the Scottish Sun to run a story that a witch had blessed the release of the Magic Order comic, who previously wrote PR stories about Mark Millar moving to England temporarily (is it?), promoting his wife's cafe saying he'd have a major Hollywood movie premiere in the town (did he?), that he was too busy negotiating his Netflix deal to write a sequel to the Secret Service comic so Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goodman had to write their own sequel for the Kingman (really?). He's has similar from David Meike about boycotting Irn Bru, giving presents to kids at a local school where his family teach, Stuart MacDonald over being a genius and covering his wife's cafe.

You'll see similar at the Scottish Daily Record, with Ian Bunting writing for the Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, picked up by the  Record, about Mark Millar not moving to LA, setting up charities, selling Millarworld to Netflix for £25 million, and creating a "sold out" comic con event at the local school, winning a court case, a mural to his cousin, and ending up in hospital.

And then there's Andrew Bargh, who also written for the Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, picked up by the Daily Record, written about the Netflix sale, Millar spending his money in his home town to build thirty homes (did he?), taking 200 people to see Toy Story 4, organising a superhero fun run, paying for kids at the school to see a pantomime his family were involved with,

And then there's David Meikle, who has written uncritical puff pieces for Glasgow Live about Mark Millar drinking old Irn Bru cans, on Irn Bru bringing back the original recipe, and for the Daily Record on buying kids toys.

But all this goes back to Sanay Bosko, a journalist for the Scottish Sunday Times who got stories about Mark Millar writing gay Batman and Superman in The Authority on the front page of The Times, which so incensed Paul Levitz, but kicked off Mark Millar's career, and later ran stories that Eminem wanted to play the lead in a movie of Wanted, created completely fictitiously, but which got the property attention of United Features. It worked once, it has worked many times since.

He has sometimes extended that beyond the Scottish press, such as the likes of Blake Northcott for CBS for the fake granny tattoo story, though independently, the website decided to add a poll as to whether it was real or not.  She would later be employed by Millarworld in an editorial capacity.

So when Mark Millar pops up again today in the Scottish Times Newspaper (looking like the standard Times to everyone else online) it's his old friend David Meikle again who writes a piece in which Mark Millar "has bitterly attacked cancel culture" and was "speaking after claiming that Chuck Dixon, an associate and Batman writer in the United States, had been sidelined because of his Republican values." Except there is no evidence for that, DC are happy to publish the work of prominent Republicans like Bill Willingham, and relatively recently, Chuck Dixon finished a Bane series for the publisher and DC have just reprinted his Batman/Spawn comic book. Still, it's always a good excuse for why a publisher doesn't want to publish your comics anymore, rather than your work is considered old-fashioned, which most comic book creators, whatever their politics, go through. Sometimes some, like Peter David and David Michelinie, return to an old publisher like Marvel after years to create retro-style comics. You just wait for the wheel of time to revolve, and it always does. It's best if you want that kind of gig, however, not to go online and badmouth your old publishers at every chance you get in the interim. Which is something Chuck has done, claiming that Marvel and DC are intentionally trying to destroy American comic books.

But maybe the press coverage from friendly journalists is enough to get Millar a boost for The Ambassadors, from the kinds of YouTube channels that like that kind of statement, though? Like his "comic book readers don't like woke" headline in The Spectator?  The right dog whistle in the right ears? Because no one does this better than Mark Millar…

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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