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  1. #1
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    Default READING LIST: The Essential Frank Miller

    With the new "Sin City" flick hitting theaters this weekend, CBR runs down the ten most important Frank Miller comics of all time.


    Full article here.

  2. #2

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    Nice to see someone actually respecting the works of Miller for once, like him or not he made a huge impact on comics. I think Moore is a semi-senile old bastard myself but don't have any illusions on how high quality and important his own works are either.

  3. #3
    It was me, Dio! Billy Batson's Avatar
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    No Big Guy and Rusty or Hard Boiled. Boo.
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    How does All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder not make this list?

  5. #5

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    Good list.

    Disagree with his politics all you want (and I do disagree), but Frank Miller surely produced some impressive comics. I also agree with the exclusion of his post-2001 work from this list.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cgh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Batson View Post
    No Big Guy and Rusty or Hard Boiled. Boo.
    As much as I love Hard Boiled, it didn't have the lasting influence of these works. It's like asking why Bad Boy (that thing he did with Simon Bisley) isn't listed. Fun reads though for sure.

  7. #7

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    The thing I remember about Nuke was that he was an American super-soldier slaughtering civilians by the hundreds and thousands in Central America. Given that this story came out at the same time that Reagan was waging his genocidal wars by proxy (with American training), arming death squads and contras in places like Nicaragua and El Salvador, the political comment on the nature of American foreign policy was far more direct and relevant. Nuke was a sympathetic character only in that he was a drug-addled sociopathic monster, created by his masters to do their dirty work.

    It's a shame that in his dotage, Miller has become a racist, reactionary twit - the very things he used to fight against. But the greatness of her early work is undeniable.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ViewtifulJC's Avatar
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    include all his DD except his actual run on the book as writer/artist with Klaus Jenson

  9. #9
    A Fan Old and New Fred Nunez's Avatar
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    Frank Miller is THE guy my friends and I looked up to growing up, For me personally there are a few stories that made me want to write comics and Frank created half of them. I get that as time has gone on Frank has become a bit...out there and hey I don't blame people for not liking it i haven't for the most part my self. Regardless of any personal issue people may have with the guy there can't be a person who reads comics that can say Frank Miller isn't an Icon, the kind of creator that inspires others to try to do the best work possible. Frank Miller is that to me, he is a creative force that forever changed the way I look at comics.

  10. #10
    Senior Member banky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViewtifulJC View Post
    include all his DD except his actual run on the book as writer/artist with Klaus Jenson
    The Death of Elektra (by extension the entire Elektra Saga) is the peak of his Daredevil run as writer/artist. It's a good list and appropriately omits the work which has not fared as well over time (Hard Boiled, ASBAR.

    Not too take Miller's side on anything political - but he's always had a conservative, borderline reactionary slant which informed all of his work. There was a good collection of interviews (1983-2003) that pretty much confirms this.

  11. #11
    Senior Member FanboyStranger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banky View Post
    The Death of Elektra (by extension the entire Elektra Saga) is the peak of his Daredevil run as writer/artist. It's a good list and appropriately omits the work which has not fared as well over time (Hard Boiled, ASBAR.

    Not too take Miller's side on anything political - but he's always had a conservative, borderline reactionary slant which informed all of his work. There was a good collection of interviews (1983-2003) that pretty much confirms this.

    I kinda disagree with this. In his classic works, Miller had a very pro-labor message, something that bore out in his attacks on the comics industry in general, be that the Words and Pictures pro-zine that he edited in the late '80s or "The Creators' Bill of Rights", that damp squib of a document that Miller, McCloud, Sim, the "Moore Circle", Zulli, etc, signed in the late '80s . There's also the case of Frank leaving DC in '87 with Moore, Chaykin, and Wolfman-- the biggest writers in the medium at the time-- over DC's proposed ratings system, something that had been pushed across American media by right wing interests. When one looks at his seminal '80s work, you find a distrust of political extremes in general, be that the arch-liberal Ken Wind (Elektra: Assassin) or the right wing President in Give Me Liberty (or DKR, for that matter). There was always a distrust of authority in Miller's work, but it really went right-wing after 9/11, although I'd also argue that's mostly from a foriegn policy standpoint. (He hasn't, to my knowledge, slagged organized labor, which he tended to support in the past, so much as the amorphous "Occupy" movement, mostly for being amorphous.)

    Perhaps you could argue a consistant libertartian viewpoint, but I'd argue that the reactionary element cuts both ways. In the Reagan years, Miller appeared liberal simply by questioning the status quo. Post 2001, there's clearly a sea change in his thinking, mostly directed towards Islam as a political force.

    I think that fuels a reductive analysis of Miller's ouvre in general. For example, despite the problematic elements in his work, the internet meme "Frank Miller thinks all women are whores" falls apart when people actually delve into his works rather than form superficial assumptions. His politics also fall prey to these assumptions. It's hard to read a right-wing agenda into Ronin, DKR, Born Again, Give Me Liberty, Sin City, or even Robocop vs Terminator when you look at those works closely. It seems easier to me to regrugitate memes than actually grapple with those works.

    If you want to argue post-2001, I think you definitely have a point, but previous to that, Frank's what I would term a "raging moderate". Simply by virtue of being American, he can be painted as "conservative", but he's mostly left of center throughout the '80s and '90s by the standards of American politics.
    Last edited by FanboyStranger; 08-23-2014 at 01:11 AM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Minerboh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by megaharrison;439998[B
    ]Nice to see someone actually respecting the works of Miller for once[/B], like him or not he made a huge impact on comics. I think Moore is a semi-senile old bastard myself but don't have any illusions on how high quality and important his own works are either.
    With all due respect but it is not the readers or the industry that doesn't apprieciate Miller's work. It is Frank Miller himself that doesn't respect his own legacy and by expasion, his fans.
    Otherwise, he would finish All Star Batman years ago.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Minerboh's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jude Terror View Post
    How does All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder not make this list?
    Because he didn't finish it.

  14. #14
    It was me, Dio! Billy Batson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Minerboh View Post
    With all due respect but it is not the readers or the industry that doesn't apprieciate Miller's work. It is Frank Miller himself that doesn't respect his own legacy and by expasion, his fans.
    Otherwise, he would finish All Star Batman years ago.
    Wasn't Lee the one who didn't finish it?
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FanboyStranger View Post
    I kinda disagree with this. In his classic works, Miller had a very pro-labor message, something that bore out in his attacks on the comics industry in general, be that the Words and Pictures pro-zine that he edited in the late '80s or "The Creators' Bill of Rights", that damp squib of a document that Miller, McCloud, Sim, the "Moore Circle", Zulli, etc, signed in the late '80s . There's also the case of Frank leaving DC in '87 with Moore, Chaykin, and Wolfman-- the biggest writers in the medium at the time-- over DC's proposed ratings system, something that had been pushed across American media by right wing interests. When one looks at his seminal '80s work, you find a distrust of political extremes in general, be that the arch-liberal Ken Wind (Elektra: Assassin) or the right wing President in Give Me Liberty (or DKR, for that matter). There was always a distrust of authority in Miller's work, but it really went right-wing after 9/11, although I'd also argue that's mostly from a foriegn policy standpoint. (He hasn't, to my knowledge, slagged organized labor, which he tended to support in the past, so much as the amorphous "Occupy" movement, mostly for being amorphous.)

    Perhaps you could argue a consistant libertartian viewpoint, but I'd argue that the reactionary element cuts both ways. In the Reagan years, Miller appeared liberal simply by questioning the status quo. Post 2001, there's clearly a sea change in his thinking, mostly directed towards Islam as a political force.

    I think that fuels a reductive analysis of Miller's ouvre in general. For example, despite the problematic elements in his work, the internet meme "Frank Miller thinks all women are whores" falls apart when people actually delve into his works rather than form superficial assumptions. His politics also fall prey to these assumptions. It's hard to read a right-wing agenda into Ronin, DKR, Born Again, Give Me Liberty, Sin City, or even Robocop vs Terminator when you look at those works closely. It seems easier to me to regrugitate memes than actually grapple with those works.

    If you want to argue post-2001, I think you definitely have a point, but previous to that, Frank's what I would term a "raging moderate". Simply by virtue of being American, he can be painted as "conservative", but he's mostly left of center throughout the '80s and '90s by the standards of American politics.
    His depiction of urban youth in DKR seemed like some right wing fantasy when I read it. At least the gang members with unintelligible slang heavy speak weren't black, but it was still some nonsensical urban fear vibe I got from it. And Batman's whole "Don't tread on me" attitude toward Superman seemed pretty right wing. Not party line Republican, but right wing. The anti-government militia in the woods kind of right wing that doesn't use currency or pay taxes. Due process? Who needs it. I know they're guilty. Time to kill them, because the legal system is too kind what with their need for evidence and whatnot.
    Last edited by dupont2005; 08-23-2014 at 02:47 AM.

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