Alan Moore's surprisingly positive thoughts on Frank Miller, from 1983

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It is Sequential Art. Your point of view changes over time. :wink:


TBF in 1983 Miller hadn’t demonstrated the misogyny, homophobia, islamophobia etc he’d become known for.


My first thought on seeing the thumbnail: OMG, Robert Sapolsky AND Adam Savage? [click] Oh… just comic book guys.

He also wrote a pretty positive introduction for the Dark Knight Returns trade paperback in 1986, only to deride it as a fascist fantasy years later.


comic book guy GIF


In 1986, the idea that it was fascist wasn’t quite in the air (at least, not to 17 yr old me) but what we DID think about it (and remember, there were no internet think pieces to get it all analyzed 48 hours after it hit the shelves) was that its super violent grittiness was satire. It was over-to-top outlandish. It was, in my eyes and my friends’ eyes, deconstructing Batman. “See? Batman for real would be all fucked up and crazy and suicidal.” And back then, the libertarians were much more interested in poking the right wing for their moral represiveness, though the ‘bleeding hearts’ were always a target too (i.e. Joker’s psychologist).

We thought that about Dark Knight, we thought it about Sin City, and we KINDA thought it about Year One, though turning Selina Kyle into a whore (of course) was where it started to dawn on us that MAAAAYBE Miller wasn’t actually joking about that stuff.


Referring to Frank Miller’s politics as “Libertarian” has to be in the running for euphemism of the year and it’s barely a week into 2021. But I suspect this year will have a stiff competition for the most anodyne ways to describe fascism.

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Oh, they’re not, certainly not post 9/11

But back in 87 or so, it was arguably applicable. Debatably correct, to be sure, but certainly within reason.

Clearly, you don’t know modern libertarians.

Exhibit one, this arsehole

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Yeah, when it came out in 1986, it was something totally new. Using the exposition boxes for first person narrative was a Frank Miller invention that wasn’t well known then, and the artwork was also unique. Instead of the 16 colour palette, it used subtle colours and rougher inking. It was a jolt. And the story seemed to be more about consequences than pushing a morality, a pox on both houses.

Later stories exposed more and more of Frank’s right-wing tendencies, though he didn’t seem that racist or authoritarian, since Sin City had most people in power being corrupt monsters, but on a second reading it does do a lot of “what the world needs is a good guy to bitch-slap it around some” worshipping of Marv’s raw energy. Even the Marvel miniseries he made with Bill Sienkiewicz (Elektra: Assasin) shows the whole slathering worship of tough guy posturing.

It’s kind of a Richard Wagner thing now: an artist does something revolutionary, yet the “genius” is an amoral asshole. Screw Frank.


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