Bleeding Cool has made a small cottage industry in exposing Mark Millar's fake publicity grabs every time a new comic comes out. Turns out we were all part of his plan.
In a message board post, he wrote what he calls his Golden Secrets For Comic Creators. A couple are a little misplaced – many publishers aren't covered by Diamond's FOC for example – but he did talk openly about his habit of playing the media.
There's no shame in people buying your book. There's no dignity in losing money. As a professional creator you want to do as much of this and less of other jobs as possible to keep a roof over your head. There's literally a couple of hundred books out there every week competing for shelf-space with you and if you're not working at the Big Two in particular it's really easy to be ignored. So marketing is essential here and if you don't have a marketing department at your disposal you need to get creative in these other ways and do it yourself. If you look at our Kick-Ass launch you'll see the big viral we created to get people talking about the book…
If you look at Nemesis you'll see the big fake Times Square ad we got out there…
What's beautiful about this is that you get not only the first story out there but usually within a twenty-four hour news cycle you will get the gag exposed and thus get two news-spikes in the same day, the cost minimal to nothing. As your career progresses you will hopefully have mainstream attention and movie rights to help sell your story in the mainstream for launch (which goes everywhere and is the best friend you'll ever have in selling your books), but in the meantime just have a little fun with this stuff as every person talking about the outrageousness of your marketing is essentially advertising your book.
Naturally he didn't link to Bleeding Cool – I've been covering even more examples for decades,
The lies that Eminem was to star in a movie version of Wanted, and the journalists he used to get that story momentum.
And The Outhousers did similar with his faked "Hollywood actress" teases for Empress.
Turns out I've been part of Mark Millar's plan all along!