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When should Frank Miller have retired?

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Initial post: Sep 17, 2012 10:45:56 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2012 11:12:38 PM PDT
Since he has plainly forgotten everything he ever knew about drawing and writing and is beyond a self parody when should Frank Miller have retired? I suppose it depends on how much you like Sin City and 300.
For me the decline started with his 2-3 year trip to Hollywood in the 80's and his involvement in the godawful Robocop sequels. When he came back he had lost some of his intensity and focus. Maybe the drinking was already taking it's toll. Plus the all the success and praise going to his head. Maybe he started using cocaine in Hollywood as well.
But I never got into Give Me Liberty/Martha Washington and didn't care for Hard Boiled or Elektra Lives Again (spoiler: she didn't for very long). I love the first Sin City but it is sexist and derivative of Mickey Spilane etc. So I would say he should have retired by '98 at the latest. For those who like 300 he would have ended on a high note for those who don't he would have still spared us the travesties that followed.

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 10:52:27 PM PDT
Heres a link to the Guardian article where Alan Moore denounces Miller and his work for "the last 20 years."
And here's this interesting point raised by Chauncey Mabe:
Moore goes on to add that while he hasn't "paid attention" to Miller's work in 20 years, he considers Sin City "unreconstructed misogyny," while "300 appeared to be wildly ahistoric, homophobic and just completely misguided." Is it impolite to inquire how he arrived at those opinions, as Sin City and 300 were somewhat less than two decades ago?

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 10:56:44 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 17, 2012 10:59:30 PM PDT
I never really got much into anything he did after the 80s either. I think the only reason anyone has a positive opinion of him anymore is because of All-Star Batman & Robin (which is extra strange since they never even bothered to finish it) and I think that whether they admit it or not they only feel that way about that series because of Jim Lee. people have proven that they will still eat up anything Jim Lee works on no matter how terrible it is. I'm sure someone will be here soon to condescendingly explain to us how his modern work is secretly genius satire that we just can't comprehend with our tiny minds though.

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 10:58:43 PM PDT
I should ask how many people liked Big Guy and Rusty? I thought it was fun but haven't read it since it came out. I really liked the Daredevil Man Without Fear Miniseries but it was padded and the first issue was mostly redoing old material. But I thought Miller and John Romita Jr. were a good match. But that was the same time as Batman/Spawn and Robocop vs. Terminator, 2 of the worst things Miller ever put his name on.

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 11:00:40 PM PDT
Blue Subie says:
i concur: i enjoyed Batman: the Dark Knight Returns. but then, for me, after 1986 its all a vomit-filled alcoholic blur...

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 11:01:39 PM PDT
oh yeah I remember that Batman/Spawn. Batman was just completely insane and called everyone punk like every other panel then the story ended with Batman stabbing Spawn in the brain with a batarang for no reason even though they had just teamed up together. very strange.

Posted on Sep 17, 2012 11:24:57 PM PDT
The stabbing with the batarang may represent Miller's self loathing for agreeing to work for McFarland in the first place combined with loathing of McFarland and all he represents and a desire for Miller to lobotomize himself to erase the memory of their faustian collaboration. He later admitted that he regretted supporting Image. Obviously Neil Gaiman does to. Don't know about Dave Sim. I would think Alan Moore wouldn't have done it it if he hadn't been forced to by the failure of his Mad Love press and his desire never to work for the big 2 again.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 18, 2012 2:57:28 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 18, 2012 2:57:54 AM PDT
Nicos says:
I love Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot AND Hard Boiled. Reading them again honestly makes me wonder how much of it was Geoff Darrow contributing to the writing aspect. It is certainly quite different from everything else Frank Miller ever wrote. I haven't read any of Shaolin Cowboy for comparison though.

Posted on Sep 18, 2012 2:18:52 PM PDT
Jose de Leon says:
October 7, 1998. When the last issue of 300 was published. He's basically been a different and far diminished creator since.

Posted on Sep 18, 2012 11:21:40 PM PDT
I'd have to agree with you Jose. I really like 300 in spite of it's historical inaccuracies and xenophobia. I even own the movie in spite of Zach Snyder's massive misogyny and compounding of the inaccuracies of the original comic. Won't be picking up the prequel "Xerxes" I think it's called though. I enjoyed the Sin City movie but think it would have been better with just the Marv and Yellow Bastard stories. They could have saved the big fat kill and paired with dame to kill for for the sequel. That would have given the whole Dwight ark. Hope they don't adapt family values or hell and back. Hey Nicos do you think Pixar would be a good choice to adapt Big Guy and Rusty? The cartoon didn't seem to find a following. Anyone following the news about the Daredevil movie reboot? Should we get our hopes up?

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 20, 2012 12:34:07 AM PDT
Nicos says:
Actually I don't think Pixar would be a good choice for a Big Guy and Rusty movie. They would probably do a really good job on the characterization and dynamic between Rusty and the Big Guy, but I don't think they would do a good job with the rest of it. Part of the appeal of the comic was the juxtaposition of these two really streamlined and sleek robots against these insanely detailed monsters and carnage. Plus Pixar has gone on record saying they are only interested in working with stuff they create anyway. Personally I think they best option would be to follow in the book's idea of Japanese and American cooperation and have Americans write it and get a Japanese animation studio to animate it.

After your post I went and watched some of the clips from the show on Youtube. I actually thought that animation studio did a pretty good job getting the look of everything right. The technical details looked good and the monsters were sufficiently gross enough. Plus you had Tim Curry as a mutant spider-headed guy, which is always a plus.

Posted on Sep 20, 2012 12:19:03 PM PDT
Mad Love says:
After Batman Year One he could have called it quits and it wouldn't have bothered me at all.

Posted on Sep 23, 2012 11:34:37 PM PDT
Speaking of Batman Year One has anyone seen the animated adaptation? I heard it's really faithful and well done. I think they're working on Dark Knight Returns. I finally saw Dark Knight Rises a couple of days ago. I was very impressed with the script, acting, stunts, and consistency of tone. Didn't seem to reference Miller's work directly but the dark intensity and deliberate seriousness of it is in line with Miller's Batman. Interesting how they used the Occupy movement for a major portion of the plot, (although taken to extremes beyond even Miller's worst fears). Mabye the next Daredevil movie can have an Occupy Hell's Kitchen movement.

Posted on Jul 25, 2014 9:56:30 PM PDT
I have to agree with the general 'end of the 80s' consensus here. But it's hard to impose a completely strict cutoff: 'Elektra Lives Again' was great, I thought the first issue of Give Me Liberty was excellent, though it drops off atrociously after that. And Sin City was as dull as ditchwater overall, but I liked 'That Yellow Bastard'.

But yeah... That's it really.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 26, 2014 9:52:58 AM PDT
Why in the name of Omniputous did you dig up a two year old thread just to post the equivalent of "Me too."?
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Discussion in:  Comics forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  15
Initial post:  Sep 17, 2012
Latest post:  Jul 26, 2014

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