Comic Publishers

April 1, 2010

Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie

Title: Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie
Author: Mark Millar, with contributions from Matthew Vaughn, John Romita Jr., Jane Goldman, and interviews with the cast and crew
Publisher: Titan Books (Titan Publishing), February 2010
Price: $19.95 USD, for 176 full color, glossy pages.  Paperback.
Misc: This is a behind the scenes look at the creation of the comic book and movie versions of Kick-Ass.  It contains some plot spoilers.  It also contains violent imagery, some nudity, and harsh language.

Kick-Ass is a pretty unique project. The script for the film was being written alongside the comic book scripts…even before John Romita Jr. was attached to be the artist. Everything was built up together, growing organically, and all out of love for the work. The process behind creating both the comic and the film is fascinating, and the book presents all the juicy facts in a dynamic fashion so you’re not just reading walls of text.

The book chronicles the creation of Kick-Ass, from Millar’s scribbled plot notes to Romita’s character concept designs; from finding the perfect cast to developing their perfect look; from writing the script to getting it made. Not only does the book follow each detail of the making of the comic and the making of the film, it also follows the story of Kick-Ass. If you don’t know anything about the story and you pick this up, be prepared for a few plot spoilers.

Here’s an excellent story from Millar about finding a studio to make the film:

Matthew [Vaughn] said that he was very confident with [the script] though, and he took it to a studio he has a deal with, and they looked at it and said, ‘We really like it, but can you take out all the violence, all the swearing, and make it a more generic superhero movie?’ And he was like, ‘No, no, I totally believe in the material,’ which is amazing. The studio said, ‘Well, we’re not prepared to fund it then, because it’s a lot of money and we think it’s too much of a risk.’ He was furious at that, quite rightly, and he took it to some other studios and they all said the same thing. I asked, ‘What do you want to do?’ and he said – and this is one of the things that I love about Matthew, that he’s a total auteur, he’s got balls of brass – he just said, ‘Look, I believe in it so much that I’m just going to fund it myself. And I like the idea of these guys all having to come back later and say they were wrong.’ He said, ‘If these people like it, it’s a problem, but if they don’t, then usually you’re doing something interesting.’ So he raised the money, and there were some phone calls and meetings, and then we just started making the film, without a studio.

– Mark Millar on getting the movie started, on page 32 of Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie.

Red Mist and Kick-Ass, played by Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Aaron Johnson, with storyboards depicting the scene in the photo.

There is so much to be found in this book. Millar’s original plot development notes, John Romita Jr.’s character designs for the comic book and the film (with costume designer Sammy Sheldon, showing the differences between them, and noting the reasons for the changes), snippets of the script, pictures of important sets, photos and notes on each of the main characters, storyboards, interviews with the creators and the cast members, and more. Mark Millar takes the reigns and is the main voice of the book, but you’ll hear plenty from script writer and director Matthew Vaughn, script writer Jane Goldman, artist John Romita Jr., and many of the cast members.

Fun Fact from Kick-Ass: Did you know that the title character’s real name, Dave Lizewski, is an actual person? The name was given as a prize for a charity auction, won for about $3,000.

If you’re a fan of the comic, or if you’re interested in the film, you really need to get this book. I’m a sucker for behind the scenes stuff, and there are a lot of fantastic goodies scattered throughout 176 gorgeous glossy pages. I’d say $19.95 is an excellent price for a book like this, especially for how well it’s put together.

I came in knowing next to nothing about Kick-Ass, and ended being completely stoked about this film. My husband, who is very hard to please, found himself flipping through the book one morning and has decided that he too is now excited for this film. That’s the power of the book and its presentation as you really get a feel for the film by reading it.

Comparisons for Hit-Girl's (Chloë Moretz) costume, on pages 76 and 78, with commentary from John Romita Jr. and costume designer Sammy Sheldon.

Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie is littered with tons of quality photographs, and all sorts of interesting facts. The love Millar and everyone else involved has for the comic and the film is evident on every page. Titan has put together a perfect companion for the film. Kick-Ass hits theaters on April 16th, 2010.


A copy of the book was provided by the publisher for review.



  1. When I found out about that charity auction for the names I thought it was a pretty cool idea, he even did the same thing for his Nemesis book. This looks like a pretty cool companion piece and I’m really hoping that the film is a success because that book was just a fun read.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristin Bomba. Kristin Bomba said: New review is not a joke: KickAss: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie […]

  3. I thumbed through this book at my store and it looked…well… pretty kick ass!!

  4. Kick-Ass book is kick ass. Forgot to stick that in there. 🙂 But yeah, it’s a really fun read.

  5. just ordered it.

  6. Awesome! 🙂 That’s what I like to hear.

  7. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by girlg33k_Kris: New review is not a joke: KickAss: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie

  8. […] of the book Kick-Ass: Creating the Comic, Making the Movie Preview of the upcoming Kick-Ass action figure Reviews of Kick-Ass #7 + […]

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