Oct 26 2011 by Robert Mitchell, Airdrie & Coatbridge
THE youngsters from St Bartholomew’s Primary will get a Christmas treat from former pupil Mark Millar after he auctioned off the chance to name a character in his new comic and movie.
A winning bid of $5100 means all the pupils from the Coatbridge school will be going to the panto at Glasgow’s SECC in December, and there should be enough left over to pay for more trips in the coming years.
Comic book creator Millar is launching The Secret Service title in 2012 and a movie deal has already been signed with Matthew Vaughn, the man behind Kick-Ass and X-Men: First Class.
After the Ebay auction Millar said: “This works out around £3000 which should buy the 158 kids and their teachers about two years worth of free school trips.
“I want the entire school to have free school trips for the next few years and we’re starting this Christmas. We’re going to book them all into the SECC panto last week of term in December.
“Couldn’t be happier about this. Huge thanks to the generosity of the guy who paid for this.”
Very few details have emerged about The Secret Service but writer Millar is creating it alongside artist Dave Gibbons, who illustrated the Watchmen comic which was also turned into a movie. Director Vaughn already adapted Millar’s Kick-Ass into a film and he is back on board for this latest project.
The comic will appear in February 2012 and the charity auction was for someone to be immortalised as the title’s super-villain. Millar has done the same thing in the past for other comics of his like Wanted, Kick-Ass, Nemesis and Superior. A similar auction is being held in January for another book called Supercrooks, which is also being made into a film.
Millar said: “I'm a former pupil at St Bartholomew's and have so many great memories of the place. I know there's not a lot of money in local government at the moment and I was sad to hear that the annual school trip for the children had been cancelled. By establishing this fund, I hope to have a pot the head-teacher can dip into every Christmas and take the entire school to a pantomime every year.
“This fund will cover tickets, transport and treats for the children and it's something I'd like to help with every year from now on. The school trips were a big deal to us as little kids and I'd love to get them up and running again."
The writer has praised his readers for their generosity in helping his old school, and St Bartholomew’s head teacher Christine Boyle is delighted, adding: “Everyone in St Bartholomew's is so grateful to Mark for his very generous gift. It is especially welcome as every single child will benefit and have a real treat to look forward to every year.
“This is really wonderful given the current financial constraints that the school and many families are experiencing at this time. Mark is remembered very fondly at St Bartholomew's and he is a real inspiration to all our pupils to keep working hard to achieve their ambitions.”