Archive for the 'frank miller' Category

more copying from S_D – ASBAR

Step 1: read this page from All-Star Batman & Robin #2. Much mockery ensued on Scans_Daily.

Step 2: My reaction to this page.

On reflection, I actually quite like this.

What we have here is a man who has never dealt well with emotion. He is fanatically obsessed with the death of his parents and spends his life trying to somehow un-do that death, a quest which is eternally doomed to failure. he desperately needs allies because he’s going mad trying to do it alone, but nobody else is nuts enough to “understand” him. He sees a young boy suffer the same experience that he did and instantly grasps at this chance to save him from going through similar torture as well as finally have a companion in his “war.” It is sad, it is pathetic and it is more than a little creepy. This emotionally stunted man-child feels that the only person in the world that he can relate to is a prepubescent boy. But he can’t be honest with the boy, because then the kid will have to go through the same years of suffering that he did. It’s the classic parent’s attempt to save your kid from everything you went through as a kid. He’s trying to be for Dick the thing that he wishes he’d had as a kid, the thing that he only found after years of torment – a cold, external force constantly driving you to work at some task, preventing you from thinking about your feelings. So he does his best to be that for Dick. Of course, being an emotionally stunted man-child, he’s not too successful at it… I suspect Miller is writing Dick as considerably different than young Bruce; considerably more mentally resilient and mature. The great thing about watching the two of them is that Dick is actually the adult here. Bruce is trying so goddamn hard and Dick sees right through him.

I wouldn’t say it’s breaking too many boundaries – I think it’s treading the same path as Watchmen and Miracleman and Animal Man and Dark Knight Returns (more deconstruction, psychologically investigating the reasons why someone would become a superhero). And I don’t think it’s consistent with the marketing for this book, or with Jim Lee‘s talents as an artist, or with the current need for superhero books to be “fun again,” or with my memories of DK2.

But putting all that aside and considering it as a piece of writing, I like it. We’ve seen hints of this in other writers recently (Devin Grayson especially), and it actually seems to be the most popular Batman/Robin interpretation on Scans_Daily, so I’m not quite sure where all the rage is coming from.

The emphasis on two deeply flawed men trying to relate to each other reminds me a lot of Preacher. I wonder what Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon would do with this assignment. At least, considering what I said before about Jim Lee being inappropriate (if this is really the psychological story that I think it is), I wish we could get art from Dillon, or Darick Robertson, or somebody along those lines.


on the virtues of Frank Miller (i.e. Sin City)

sin city 1

Posted in Scans_Daily, but what the heck, I’ll put it here too.

Minrho just asked why Frank Miller gets any respect in the comics world.

Now, there are a lot of valid points to be made in the debate about Frank’s sanity and his worldview.

But when it comes to the ability to put ink on a page…

y’all better recognize.

Now, Frank’s page compositions are almost always just that – page compositions, where the page as a whole is an artistic unit. Therefore I’ve provided good-sized thumbnails of everything, so you can get the “from a distance” view as well as the closeup. (Incidentally, part of the reason why Frank’s pages work this way is because he was one of the first Americans to really carefully study Japanese comics, particularly Lone Wolf and Cub, in the 1980s.) (And it goes without saying that he worshipped Will Eisner.)

Look at the lighting:
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Look at the composition, the placement and angle of all the white and black elements:
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I love how he can say so much with a silhouette (notice also the composition, etc, of course):
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He gives us absolutely everything that’s important and absolutely nothing that’s not. Another brilliant lighting panel – look at the way Hardigan’s hand emerges from the darkness… So much is implied with so little!
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The reduction of everything to its most fundamental quality. Iconography:
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God, that page just literally looks sharp.

Look at how he visually represents the mental state of a man being hung, swinging on the end of a noose:
sin city 9

Addition, subtraction; positive space, negative space; text, image; form, content: This is one of my favorite pages of all time.
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I’m not saying he’s the greatest comic artist ever. Chaykin and others have played with lettering. Mignola has almost as good an eye for where to put his ink. And Eisner invented all of this back in the fifties.

But give the man his propers. Motherfucker knows his way around a page.

Frank Miller v. Wizard

Didn’t there used to be some kind of disagreement between Frank Miller and Wizard?

Oh yeah. He RIPPED a copy of the magazine IN HALF in the middle of his Harvey speech. Used phrases like “this rag, this bible written by Satan,” “this monthly vulgarity,” and “this load of crap.” And threw it in a trash can.

Now look who’s a “guest of honor,” “comic book royalty.”

Wizard hasn’t changed in the four years since that speech…

Leigh Walton talks comics and maybe other arts. (RSS)
He also works for the very excellent publisher Top Shelf Productions (which does not necessarily endorse the views and opinions, etc, herein).


Header by me. Contains an interpolation of the final panel from All-Star Superman #1 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely. Speaking of which.