Scotland's superheroes are taking over the art world.

The doors open on July 3 for a unique opportunity to enter the world of comic book genius Mark Millar.

To tie in with Glasgow Comic Con this weekend, Glasgow Print Studio (GPS) is hosting an exhibition showcasing the work of Millarworld, some of the industry’s most talented artists and writers, from Mark to Rutherglen’s Frank Quitely as well as Goran Pavlov, Dave Gibbons, Sean Murphy and Leinil Yu.

Original prints and digital prints from recent work on Kingsman, going all the way back to Kick Ass and Wanted, will take over the gallery space until August 30.

Evening Times:

“For anyone who has read any of the books, there is something quite magical about seeing the paper it was drawn on,” says 45-year-old Mark, who grew up in Coatbridge and went on to write comic books for Marvel before setting up Millarworld.

“A couple of guys work digitally but most still use pencils, pens and ink. To see the fingerprints on the pages – if you’re a fan of the stuff you love it.

“The guys I work with are literally the best in the world. We’re lucky there is one in Scotland: Frank Quitely, who is terrific. He is probably one of the top three in the world. The other guys come from Eastern Europe, New Hampshire and South America.

“ Some of them I have never even met so getting to see their art hanging in Glasgow is a real thrill.”

Mark’s enthusiasm is infectious. He might be the writer of comic books that have been turned into films starring James McAvoy, Jim Carrey, Angelina Jolie and Nicolas Cage, but he is still a self-confessed fan at heart.

“There’s a definite curiosity with this stuff,” he says, referring to the work on show at GPS. “In the last 15 years comics have really crossed over from a niche market to the mainstream. So it is something people are really familiar with now.

“It’s not quite the same as a 15-year-old boy who would maybe come to this before, now it’s everyone. There’s a curio factor, there are loads of beautiful blow-up prints that people can buy.

“I’m just going as a fan myself.”

Evening Times:

The youngest of six, Mark fell in love with comics when he was just four years old. He was still at school when his mum died of a heart attack and his dad died four years later. By that time Mark was studying politics and economics at the University of Glasgow but dropped out.

Glaswegian comics legend Grant Morrison then took him under his wing and Mark joined Marvel, launching titles such as The Ultimate X-Men.

He has also worked on iconic heroes including the Fantastic Four, Wolverine and Iron Man and created his own characters.

“Growing up, Superman and Batman were my favourites,” he remembers. “As a kid the thing that really got me into it all was the first Superman movie.

“With the first royalty cheque I got I bought Christopher Reeves’ cape and the cat (Frisky) that was in the Superman movie – someone had stuffed and was selling on eBay.”

He gets a buzz every day from his work, spending half of the year writing comic books and the other half working on films. Mark makes a trip to the US once a year for work, apart from that everything is done from his base in Glasgow.

Thanks to technology he can make daily Skype calls to his agent or a studio head in Los Angeles and feels no need to move his partner and three children to California.

“It’s like a wee factory we do from Glasgow. I think a generation ago I would have had to live in the States but the technology now makes it so easy,” he laughs.

“The next two things I’m doing just now are books I wrote last year. They’re both sci-fi projects, Starlight and Chrononauts , and are hanging up in the exhibition.

“They are casting just now, getting the screenplay finished, then we will get into pre-production towards the end of the year. One is at Fox and the other at Universal.”

Comic books might have been a male dominated world for decades but in recent years that has changed dramatically – and for the better, he says.

Mark believes the industry is a much healthier place and conventions usually attract as many men as women.

“I have three daughters and I love the idea of them continuing the family business. I think they will,” he says enthusiastically.

A day doesn’t go by when Mark fails to get a buzz out of his work – from conversing with legendary comic book writer and publisher Stan Lee to walking onto film sets.

This has been his job since he was 19 and Mark says he couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

“ I have no other skills, it’s the only thing I can do,” he laughs.

“Stan Lee, who is 93, was me hero growing up and he’s still my hero now. The idea of Stan Lee emailing me is still kind of weird. Whenever I switch on the computer and I see an email from Stan it’s like getting an email from God.

“I get to meet lots of famous people and a many of my books have been turned into films. It’s exciting walking onto a set and seeing something that was in your head: suddenly someone has spent $100m on just making it all happen around you.

“But there’s nothing I enjoy more than switching on a computer with a blank piece of paper and starting work on a new project.”

Comic Art: Millarworld and Beyond, Glasgow Print Studio, Trongate 103, Glasgow, from July 3 until August 30. Visit