CФMMIЭ МдЯK Continues to Bastardize Golden Age Heroes in “Not Daredevil Universe” (Interview, part 1)
Today we’re honored to once again talk to CФMMIЭ МдЯK, the legendary “Gay Space Communist” Brit, independent comic book creator, and veritable YouTube sensation. He has multiple projects on the horizon, including Not Daredevil Universe, which is scheduled to begin crowdfunding on New Year’s Day. МдЯK was kind enough to invite me over to his place during my European holiday, so it was the perfect chance to have another chat.
The Splintering: Hey Mark. Thanks for having me over to your place. This is a really big basement you have here.
CФMMIЭ МдЯK: …
TS: Okay, so… Let’s start with Not Daredevil Universe… like The Adventures of Kim Il Sung, this is yet another book where you repurpose public domain material to tell a new story. Will Not Daredevil Universe be more of the same, or is there more to the process this time around?
МдЯK: What you can expect when you sit down to read your copy of NOT Daredevil is indeed “more of the same” as you put it. More avant garde storytelling and more hilarious jokes wrapped in ironic pseudo intellectualism and all tied up in the fancy ‘meta’ bow you’d expect from a Commi3 Mark book.
For me as the creator putting the book together was a different and arguably more difficult challenge. When writing Best Korea I had thousands of images that I had to pick and choose from to build a story out of nothing. The skill was in making all these real images from different times and places fit together into some kind of narrative detailing a chain of events that never happened.
NOT Daredevil is more difficult. The pages of story already exist and have done for over 60 years. Each scene, caption, text balloon leads to the next one. The story is already “on rails” and the challenge is to tell a new story inside the original art, bursting with jokes that satirise the original Golden Age writing and comments on the state of modern comic.
I’ve actually started to notice this public domain adaptation thing as a pattern in my work. Another book I have written is yet another twist on this idea: American Evil is an alt history of the United States where every line of dialogue and every caption is a recontextualised quote from the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution or such.
The next book I am working on – Krishna Kid is also a kind of adaptation of a pre existing thing.
TS: Geez, it’s really dark in here. You don’t use this basement much, do you?
TS: You’ve already done a book titled NOT Daredevil, is Not Daredevil Universe the same book, or will it include the same material?
МдЯK: I launched a free webcomic in 2019 called NOT Daredevil which was the prototype for this series. I gave away over 1000 free digital copies of that book to make a name for myself and it worked. That version was 41 pages and featured the Origin of NOT Daredevil and a back up Silver Streak story. The Origin story is being re-used in NOT Daredevil Origins.
One of the features of the NOT Daredevil campaign is that as stretch goals are surpassed more and more stories from the public domain Lev Gleason back catalogue will be added to the books increasing the page count. One of those may indeed be that Silver Streak story.
TS: Your last project, Adventures of Kim Il Sung didn’t quite inspire the glorious communist revolution you had hoped. How do you intend to use Not Daredevil to get things back on track?
МдЯK: What do you mean? Kim Il Sung and Best Korea was a raging success. It ended up as the highest grossing Fumetti comic in IndieGoGo history raking in over SIX MILLION Korean Won. “Seven Figures Sung Lady”.
I was always conscious of writing the legend of Commi3 Mark, thinking about how I would explain “How did you end up as a world famous comic writer?” and I wanted the answer to be “My first book was a micro niche communist alt history fanzine printed at home in my shed”. All I had to do was prove to the fans, and myself that I could make and deliver a comic book. Which I have done. Now I can give them the book they have demanded from me since I arrived on the scene.
Who told you it was a failure?
TS: Uh, nobody. Look, I have some other things to do while I’m here in the UK, other interviews and all. So I’m going to go on and- can you get out of my way, Mark? Is this door locked?
МдЯK: You’re not going anywhere, yankee bootlicker. We’re going to keep going until I say we’re finished. Your readers can check out the next part of this interview very, very soon.
TS: No. No! We’re done Mark. Let me the fuck out of here.
МдЯK: Only after we finish… the interview….
TS: So I can leave when we’re finished?
TS: Goddammit. Fine.
МдЯK: Stay tuned for part two of the Commi3 Mark interview, comrades!