Sunday, 5 December 2010

Frank Miller



Frank Miller.
American.
DoB: 1957.
Artist/Writer.
Career Highs: Daredevil - The Dark Knight Returns - Ronin - 300 - Sin City.

Unlike Alan Moore or Neil Gaiman, Frank is not a comics book creator who is known for his love of prose. Not that he doesn't write, and has written some of the best comics that the industry has seen because he has, but his talent is more in what he doesn't say in terms of text and dialogue and what he does say with his stark and potent drawn images.
Frank is another one of those "clever clogs" , like Will Eisner and Hergé, that are capable of both writing and drawing their stories. He is another graduate of the late 70's early 80's school of graphic arts creators that helped to transform the comic book landscape.

His cinematic almost film noir art style was at first view highly original and very exciting influenced as it was by the likes of Will Eisner and Alfred Hithcock, Japanese Manga and European artists like Jean Giraud (Moebius). It was also bitingly "real" and full of pictorial violence all of which caused a deal of moral outrage from certain sections of the comic reading public and consequently his stories sold in droves.

Initially, after some brief spells of working for some smaller comic publishers, Miller started work on Marvels Daredevil. It is now, although he no longer works on it, a series that he will always be linked to.
He re-defined the format of Daredevil from the run-of-the-mill-man-in-tights to a dark New York city filled with filth and crime and random, brutal violence. It was so realistic that you could smell the car fumes and sweat.
From the pages of Daredevil came a character of his own creation - Elektra. A female ninja type warrior woman who Daredevil falls in love with and who ultimately meets her fatal, violent end. Elektra was/is a magnificent creation and in many ways her character has outgrown, or at the very least matched, her comic book paramours.

After leaving Marvel, Miller joined DC where he continued to plough his own field whilst constantly pushing the boundaries. His min- series Ronin is an overlooked masterpiece and were it not for this story I seriously doubt that what followed, and all the critical acclaim that went with it, would have happened at all.


Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. 
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all words and art are copyright © of  Russell C.J. Duffy the Essex wastrel from the purple side of the beast

3 comments:

Doug said...

I'm a fan too, but you left out Grendel. Didn't he write that as well? That was kind of grand.

C.J.Duffy said...

I have to confess to not being familar with Grendel. I guess I need to catch up!

Doug said...

It came out one of the times I was in college. Pretty weird and exciting as I recall.