I grew up loving Frank Miller. From his book Ronin, a proto-Matrix, to his legendary run on Daredevil. His work inspired me. He also wrote and drew, in my mind, one of the greatest graphic novels of all time, “The Dark Knight Returns.” After DKR, he shifted his art style and did Sin City. When I first saw Sin City I was blown away. The style impressed me greatly. I wanted to draw just like that. Sometimes I still do.
When Robocop 2 and 3 came out I actually argued that the Frank Miller scripts were good despite how badly rewritten they were, and when you get down to it, it’s true. If you know how Miller wrote the sequels and how Hollywood rewrote the script, you can see my point.
But I digress….
Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns is basically Ayn Rand in graphic novel form. Like FOX News, he glorifies Reagan, showing how government tries to stop Bruce Wayne’s private war on crime even though Batman’s private business is doing it better than the police. It is Atlas Shrugged, but better written and has *THE* best fight between Batman, Superman and a one armed Green Arrow. I did not see the right wing plot when I read it because it beautifully captured the near insane voice of Batman.
Frank Miller reinvigorated himself with Sin City. It was highly stylized and pretty good. However, each story of Sin City got progressively worse. Frank Miller became like Metallica; he bought into his own hype and has out grown his current stage as a creative force. In the mid-90’s he did his last 3 projects that are worth mentioning, 1)Daredevil: The Man Without Fear, which retells Daredevil’s origin and streamlines in Frank Miller’s original run to fill in the holes that Stan Lee left, 2) Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot and 3) 300.
300 is important because Frank Miller did two things with it; first it was historically accurate, and secondly, like Metallica’s album “Loaded” he experimented with his style. Not successfully, like Metallica, bu I give points for trying. The problem is, he followed other people’s lead. I have no clue how much he had to do with the film re-write that made it a right wing, thinly veiled “Rugged individualism vs. the Muslim faith.” This marked the beginning of Frank Miller’s crappy years.
He did a sequel to DKN called “The Dark Knight Strikes Back.” It was unreadable. Then he shifted to Hollywood. He only cares about the money. That is why he did DKSB. Then he did “The Spirit.” I could not tell you what that movie was about. It was less comprehensible then DKSB. It shows Frank Miller is out of touch and is truly part of the 1%.
Back in the 80’s he nearly walked and used his clout to get himself better pay. When I heard this story, I thought he was being selfless to help his fellow less powerful creators. Now, upon reflection, and review, he did it for himself. When he tells the story in Miller/Eisner, it is all “me” and “I.” Just like why he “re-imagined” The Spirit for his film. He did not do a film that captured Will Eisner’s vision that was updated for a modern audience, he made something else.
This is why he does not get the Occupy Wall Street movement. He is too selfish and out for himself to care that most of America is really hurting. He writes incomprehensible comics that defy logic and just doesn’t care because he is making a crap ton of money. Just look at “Allstar Batman and Robin.” Or don’t. I don’t recommend it at all. Though, you should watch this! If you aren’t convinced that his writing has turned to crap, he previews the next two issues after that!
Frank Miller even is a pretentious artist. I had a friend who attended Joe Kubert and Frank Miller came to speak. He told me everything he said and my friend even asked for advice just for me, knowing how much I loved his work. Frank Miller said “Imagine the world as a black and white negative.”
After being told this, I spent too much time studying negatives.
Does this even make sense? Not really, it is something that some pseudo intellectual has-been would come up with to feed his ego and make a 19 year old look at negatives for a year.
Which brings me to his comments on the Occupy movement. Like all of his recent work, it is childish, self-involved and makes no sense. ““Occupy” is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the “movement” – HAH! Some “movement”, except if the word “bowel” is attached.” He rants. He shows his Neocon stripes by adding “Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy. Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you’ve been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you’ve heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism. And this enemy of mine — not of yours, apparently - must be getting a dark chuckle, if not an outright horselaugh - out of your vain, childish, self-destructive spectacle.”
What does that have to do with anything? Obviously, he is a neo-con who doesn’t realize that the Cold War is over. This is the 21st century, and he is still stuck in the 1970’s. Frank Miller, your time is done. I have said this in the past and I will say it again, some artists have a best by date, and Frank Miller is past due for being tossed out, because I drank his milk and he is making me sick.