Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's Frank Miller. Celebrate.

As if the bursting news blurbs of Comic-Con International could not be topped, shortly after a legend of the comic book medium dropped his own annoucement: Frank Miller will finally release “Holy Terror” in 2011. For more of the details on the actual project, simply read this press release over at CBR.

Now, Miller is one of those guys who has literally changed the face of the medium. His work has done so much in the areas of narrative and inspiration that I see it safe to claim Miller as one of the most notable shapers of modern day comic books. The man pushed the expectations and possibilites of the graphic lauguage with nearly all of his works, and more notably proved that super-heroes no longer needed to be childhood icons and could reach new heights in terms of depth and narrative. Frank Miller changed the game and inspired so many, yet now it seems everyone has turned against him.

I understand the anger and lack of enjoyment most have had for both The Spirit and All-Star Batman and Robin. I mean, I do not agree, but I can see that both projects upset people. The Miller they knew and loved let them down in not one but two instances. This of course leads to further hostilities for fans. It is a point most face and the main reason why “New Miller” is hissed at. Alright, so maybe to someone Frank Miller has done some mediocre work as of late. Maybe he is just a “crazy old man” as many forcfully type. Yet even though all of this animosity may exist for modern-day Miller, is it really necessary to condemn the man to the point where he should never create another comic book again? This is Frank Miller. The man who gave us The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City. We do not want him doing more work in comics? Really?

Honestly, it would not matter if “Holy Terror” was a masterpeice or not. Frank Miller has already proven himself in multiple ways. He has earned his keep in this medium and in this industry. Miller is one of the reasons we have the comics we do today. At this point it is not his duty to produce profound work. He has earned his green card to create and tell the stories he sees fit. Who are we to tell Miller no? Art is not the idea of being controlled and keeping to one’s self, and an artist has every right to express what he or she feels necessary, especially one of Frank Miller’s caliber. For fans and readers to demand Miller to quit...well...it seems to go against the idea of comic books being art.

And yes, I understand that the concept of “super-heroes versus Al Queda” may be offensive to some. I understand that real men and women are overseas actually combatting the threat. I can see how it may make some uncomfortable. But again, comic books are art. The idea of a superman fighting current day terrorists is one some have already come to ponder, and now Miller wants to express his thoughts on the idea. Miller, as the artist, has every right to do so. Plus, is this really the first time war or real-life villainy will have been exploited? Captain America fought Hitler, and Spider-man stood at Ground Zero. Both were examples of artists commenting on the times or a specific event using pop culture icons. Using the mold of a “super-hero”, Miller will do something similar to comment on the conflict of the Middle East. This is nothing new, and honestly I am glad someone with Frank Miller’s talent is choosing to do so. I want what he has to say.

So, lay off Frank Miller. The man is and always will be a comic book legend. We should celebrate the fact he looks to continue to produce work. Many of the legends no longer do so because of other engagements or are not physically capable . But, hey, we have Frank, and it looks like he still has a few stories to tell. I am happy.

1 comment:

  1. Good post.

    I love Frank Miller, he twisted my mind repeatedly when i was growing up. But i have a few issues with him in the last decade or so. He's continued to grow and change as an artist, and in all honesty i think that's taken him to a place where his voice has moved past working with other peoples characters.

    His attempts at writing Batman in the last 20 years have not been Batman, they've been a Frank Miller character in a cape and cowl. Which is fine, thats where his voice is. I'd rather he explore that and not write characters that don't fit his voice right now. Anything Miller does that's creator owned and original, i'll be first in line. Anything he does that's using Marvel or DC characters.....i'll have to be won over.

    For what it's worth, i love the hell out of THE SPIRIT. It's not the film i was expecting, and it's not the film i'd choose to make, but it's a lot of fun and i think it'll age quite well.

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