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Spirits of things that never were
December 19, 2008 6:51 AM   Subscribe

According to the majority of critics who have seen it so far, Frank Miller horrifically butchered Will Eisner's legendary comic The Spirit with his upcoming Sin City-esque film adaptation opening next week. In order to make the pain about a thousand times worse, here's an in-depth story about how there was almost a chance two decades earlier for Brad Bird, director of The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, to have done an animated version with the help of future founder of Pixar John Lasseter.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (76 comments total)

 
Great read. Thanks for the post.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:01 AM on December 19, 2008


Is anyone surprised? I mean, Frank Miller has had a couple of decent stories in the past, but in general he has an extraordinarily limited range.
posted by CheshireCat at 7:02 AM on December 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


As a Eisner fan and Spirit collector, it is as I feared.
I'll probably go see it, just out of morbid curiosity. Everything from the teaser to every trailer after that, just seemed off, for lack of a better term. Not so much with the femmes fatales, but more with the Spirit himself and especially The Octopus.

I'm afraid to read the Pixar/Spirit collaboration story, because I might start crying like a little girl at work.

Denny Colt, we hardly knew ye.
posted by willmize at 7:07 AM on December 19, 2008


Damn. Damn, damn, damn. I discovered The Spirit from the Warren magazines back in the day, and later worked for Wally Wood, who did the "Spirit goes to the Moon" sequence in '52. Has Jules Feiffer weighed in on this? I bet he's pissed, too.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:11 AM on December 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


I have low expectations and am not aware of the original comic, so I am still holding out hope. It won't offend me at all if he doesn't get "The Octopus" correct.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:14 AM on December 19, 2008


Not surprising, exactly what I imagined would happen. Frank Miller only knows how to do one thing, and that's flashy brutality. Whoever gave him the go-ahead to do anything with the Spirit must have been either out of their mind, or didn't know a single fucking thing about the Spirit.
posted by interrobang at 7:26 AM on December 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


I was holding out hope for this because Miller seems to be a clear Spirit/Eisner fan at least.

But yeah, he always seemed like the wrong person to me, and isn't this his first directorial solo after "mentoring" under (of all people) Robert Rodriguez?

I mean I like me some zombies too, but that's a heavy hand to learn under.
posted by rokusan at 7:29 AM on December 19, 2008


But will it be better than this was? It almost has to, right?

Right?
posted by joelhunt at 7:32 AM on December 19, 2008


> Whoever gave him the go-ahead to do anything with the Spirit must have been either out of their mind, or didn't know a single fucking thing about the Spirit.

Given that this is Hollywood we're talking about, I wouldn't say this is an "either/or" situation.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:34 AM on December 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


Miller seems to be stuck in the graphical gimmicks of Sin City, which I don't think fit The Spirit at all. While I admit that I haven't read much Spirit, I've always been under the impression that he's kind of a 'happier Batman' and the trailer makes him seem more like 'Batman in Sin City'.

Plus he got the color of the suit wrong. Seemed like a basic mistake that could bode ill for the movie.
posted by graventy at 7:36 AM on December 19, 2008


Watchmen Babies in V for Vacation.

Shitty adaptation at 11.
posted by mandal at 8:00 AM on December 19, 2008 [9 favorites]


According to the majority of critics who have seen it so far

Do they happen to look like... this?
posted by dobie at 8:04 AM on December 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love The Spirit. Maybe more than any other comic I have read. I love Eisner's strange sense of humor. I love his cinematic sensibility. When I started writing, I constantly felt Eisner creeping into my work, and it always made it better.

I'm just going to pretend this is an unrelated project that has some coincidental parallels with Eisner, and enjoy it for the abomination it looks to be. A really lunatic, bouncing off the walls movie is a rare and wondrous thing.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:05 AM on December 19, 2008


I discovered The Spirit from the Warren magazines back in the day, and later worked for Wally Wood, who did the "Spirit goes to the Moon" sequence in '52.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 10:11 AM


Did you work for Wally Wood? What did you do for him?

I'm not going to see this movie or even waste my time with it on DVD. I really enjoy the old Spirit comics. This movie seems like a huge waste of two hours of my life. I'd be better off sitting on my couch thinking about myself.
posted by marxchivist at 8:07 AM on December 19, 2008


That last link is fascinating. Thanks!
posted by Greg Nog at 8:16 AM on December 19, 2008


I discovered The Spirit from the Warren magazines back in the day, and later worked for Wally Wood

I...I...I...

(holy crap!)

...Also, uh, yeah, the Spirit movie, whatever. I'm kinda jaded about bad adaptations at this point, you know?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:20 AM on December 19, 2008


i didnt know this was based on a comic book. from the posters, for some reason i assumed it was some sort of xmas themed movie, gone awry.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 8:28 AM on December 19, 2008


I can't believe anyone thought this would work out. It sounded terrible before they started shooting and it looked terrible from the minute stuff started appearing online. I'm reminded of when I heard De Palma was going to be shooting an Ellroy novel. Please, Frank Miller, just go away after this. Okay?
posted by Manhasset at 8:30 AM on December 19, 2008


Oh, god, is the Octopus going to be the grown up version of Ebony, back to get revenge?
posted by kimota at 8:30 AM on December 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think Brad Bird could make a better Spirit than Miller, but that's still quite a stretch from saying it would be good. Nothing of Bird's that I've seen even hints of his ability to take on the Spirit. and nothing I've seen of Miller's suggests any ability whatsoever.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:38 AM on December 19, 2008


I'll be seeing this on opening day, as part of a Christmas tradition: Chinese food and really, really bad movies. Eragon, for example. I "can't wait."
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:39 AM on December 19, 2008


Everything I've seen about this movie depresses me to my core. While I don't want to wish ill upon Miller's ridiculously wrong take on The Spirit, I wish ill on Miller's ridiculously wrong take on The Spirit.
posted by cheap paper at 8:53 AM on December 19, 2008


Some clips here... the acting seems somewhat 'mannered' to say the least and it appears to have been edited with a chisel.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:56 AM on December 19, 2008


The nanosecond I even heard about this project, I gave up all hope. Frank Miller has more than proven himself to be little more than a one-note hack, gleefully riding the coattails of a long-past-the-sell-date success.

Once I saw the ads, I knew I was right. What a puddle of unimaginative codswallop. The Spirit deserves so so much better than to look like a Sin City outtake reel.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:08 AM on December 19, 2008 [2 favorites]


Okay, maybe the thing is terrible, I don't know. But the three linked reviews are from those powerhouses of respectable film criticism Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and some guy who sent an email to Harry Knowles. However, New York magazine calls it "quite charming."

I'm not saying it's good or bad--and believe me, nothing I've seen so far suggests that it'll be that great--but I think I'm gonna wait until reviews come in from a few more reputable sources.


Metafilter: Not at all as misogynistic as feared.
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:14 AM on December 19, 2008


Yeah this looks ok, but it's no Bugsy!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:36 AM on December 19, 2008


The problem is that Miller has only one schtick: shock brutality. The problem is that "shock" doesn't hold up over time, so he has to keep going more, and more pointlessly brutal.

Sin City is an excellent example of this. The first book (originally unnamed, now called "The Hard Goodbye) was brutal but it had something going for it beyond shock brutality. But then he kept churning out book after book, and the stories kept getting weaker and weaker while he turned the cussing/sex/gore knob up to 11.

We see it in his gawdawful Batman reboot, he didn't actually have anything interesting or creative going on, he just turned up the cussing/sex/brutality and expected people to praise his amazing creativity.

Add to that the fact that Miller is not a director and anyone who expected The Spirit to be worth watching is a twit. The absolute best we can hope for is some good visuals and a movie to join Showgirls when we want to mock something for being awful.

Its a shame Miller has thrown away his creativity. His initial reboot of Batman was fantastic, and his stint on Daredevil was great. Post Sin City he's turned into a rather boring one note show.
posted by sotonohito at 9:42 AM on December 19, 2008


How many people who're upset about the movie have either (1) seen it or (2) read the original comic? My sense is that it will no doubt be a silly mess with unbelievable characters and a complete lack of subtlety, but in this way, it will probably be way more interesting and unpretentious than the typical superhero movie--and who better than Frank Miller to direct The Spirit less in the spirit of Touch of Evil and more in the manner of The Happiness of the Katakuris?--or merely as ridiculous as the original Spirit.

The Spirit is one of my favorite comics and one of the top twenty or so most significant comics in American comics history. It's visually intricate, good-natured, bouncy, but it is also the following things: intellectually flat, completely unbelievable, cheesecake, totally uninterested in the psychologies of its characters, garish and one-dimensional, and racist. A few things to think about: first, it was a comedy; second, it wasn't a comic book or a graphic novel, but a Sunday comic strip, a form not known for its moral or intellectual complexity, and in some ways closer to the universe of Garfield and Mary Worth. Miller's recent work may be disappointing--and many of the posters and previews for The Spirit have seemed annoyingly serious--but he clearly understands the mix of ridiculousness and visual complexity that formed the core of The Spirit.
posted by kensanway at 9:46 AM on December 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


I read an interview with Miller a few months ago; he described his version of The Spirit as an homage. That's when I gave up all hope, 'cause there's no fucking way that Miller could capture the essential innocence of Eisner's character, in tribute or otherwise.

Oh, and Guy_Inamonkeysuit, mind if I stand over there next to you and soak up any residual Wood goodness? That guy was a master, and I'm intensely jealous of your chance to study at his feet.
posted by lekvar at 9:51 AM on December 19, 2008


Oh, and kensaway, it sounds to me like you're basing your comment on the comic strips. I'm mostly familiar with the comic books, which are much more meaty; the cheesecake is still there, but the books are deeper on just about every level. Not so much racism, either.
posted by lekvar at 9:55 AM on December 19, 2008


Well, it sounds like Samuel L. Jackson had fun.
posted by Artw at 9:56 AM on December 19, 2008


I want to create a graphic novel about a ballerina with severe psoriasis and a villain whose a supernaturally glib incubus who insidiously destroys art by offering faustian bargains to artists. The incubus will offer the ballerina a cure for her disfiguring condition in exchange for her ability to dance. She accepts, and continues to try and dance but any sense of grace is gone, technically she is executing the motions but there's a jerkiness, a lack of fluidity. Here's the kicker, no one notices that she can no longer dance, she becomes very successful, she wonders if she can really dance and it's just a question of perception. She dances in front of a mirror and seeing her clumsy movements feels a deep sense of shame as she realizes that all the success she has is undeserved and part of the incubus' spell. Eventually she finds a way to get out of the bargain a loophole in the contract which says "So long as you are fair of face you'll never be able to dance with grace" she burns herself with acid, and sure enough she can dance properly again. The spell broken predictably the world once again turns on her. The last panels are of her dancing alone in her basement, then her on her toes perfectly en pointe, then of those toes on a stool, then of the ballerina hanging herself. That's step one.

Step two is getting the graphic novel optioned, get this Jessica Alba will play the ballerina, the incubus will be played by Martin Lawrence... in a fat suit. Instead of psoriasis she wears glasses. This time, the loophole is... you never said anything about... ice dancing. Martin Lawrence falls in love with Jessica Alba and trades his infernal immortality for a human heart, he also loses the fat suit because he was only fat because he was a demon, I guess. Then they skate together.

I figure this is the best way to make a million dollars.
posted by I Foody at 10:11 AM on December 19, 2008 [4 favorites]


FRANK MILLER IN DOING SOMETHING TRITE AND CRAPPY SHOCKER!
posted by Legomancer at 10:14 AM on December 19, 2008


CBR review:

Clearly, Frank Miller would never intentionally create a movie that desecrates Will Eisner's prior work. Miller reportedly took the director job because he couldn't imagine anyone else touching Eisner's revered franchise. Still, if Miller's mission was to emulate Eisner, he failed miserably. If his mission was to provide an exciting new take on the Spirit, then he fared marginally better. Viewers unfamiliar with the comics might enjoy "The Spirit" as an entertaining popcorn flick. Fans of Eisner's work, however, are in for a major disappointment and should brace themselves for a cheese-fest more along the lines of "Sin City" or even "Starship Troopers" than the original comic book series.
posted by Artw at 10:43 AM on December 19, 2008


I've been sort of dreading and anticipating this since I first heard about the project. From everything I've seen it looks like Miller just decided to fit the character into the Sin City universe and for some reason that feels just entirely wrong.

Still, I'll see it, though my fear is that it will be just awful enough to suck and not bad enough to be fun.
posted by quin at 10:44 AM on December 19, 2008


That ain't it cool review is terrible. I have no doubt that the Spirit is worthy of snarky mockery, but even if the movie is as bad as he claims, it still deserves a better review. Critics have to have their writing held to a standard as high as the work they are criticizing or else they are hypocrites; writing is an art just as much as filmmaking is.

And, although writing a long review of that review is probably beating a dead horse, I feel that I cannot simply say that and walk away without being a hypocrite myself. So here are my reasons for finding that review dubious, to say the least:

-If you're going to tell me about why the Spirit is bad, don't write five paragraphs about other unrelated movies that are good. The fact that you liked Wall-E does not surprise me or tell me anything about the many failures of the Spirit. Meandering amuses no one.

-Avoid fake conversations, as they demean their writer as much as they do the people they mean to mock. While I have no doubt that Frank Miller and his cast produced an inferior work of cinema, I also have no doubt that they went in with good intentions that they were unable to fulfill because of a lack of talent or foresight. On the other hand, you set out to belittle someone acting in good faith, and to do so, you wrote clunky, rude and unfunny dialogue.

-I automatically do not trust any reviewer who claims that Battlefield Earth is the worst movie they have seen. That is not because BE is not bad; it is because to pick that as the worst film is to show a lack of imagination and also a lack of an understanding of what film is. From his own description, it sounds as if he enjoyed the film in a way, and as if he had a sort of communal experience with it. While that does not redeem BE as cinema, it does redeem it as a cinematic experience. Any film that causes you to laugh, whether at it or with it, has produced something and every year there are dozens of poorly made, poorly acted and ill conceived movies which do not produce anything, not a single laugh or emotion or anything other than tedium. Or there are films which are enraging - if a movie has created a very strong feeling of dislike in you, well, it's legit to hate it.

Telling me that Battlefield Earth is the worst movie of all time makes you look uneducated and smug, because it tells me you just want to hate on something that everyone has agreed you can mock. But if I were to tell you that I despised Fight Club, I hope you understand that I feel that way because my experience with that movie was wholly negative and frustrating, from the time I sat down in the theater seat to the dozens of pointless circular arguments I've had about it with well intentioned and intelligent people over the years. I literally cannot think of a single redeeming part of my experience with that film, and I don't mention it to get clapped on the back for my wisdom and humor, because saying that will not ever get that response.

-Finally, anyone who sets out to watch bad movies is an idiot. I need to be careful on this point, however, as many people accuse me of liking bad movies, and indeed, I have for several years hosted a very similiar movie night of "bad films". However, I have never approached it with the intent to show poorly made movies - I have always tried to show B-movies. And there is a vast difference.

There's great about the experience of cracking jokes with your friends, and it is certainly easier to do that when the film is cheesy. But if you pick a movie that's just terrible, its not even fun to crack jokes; it saps your energy entirely. The key is to find a certain type of movie, which will be both fun as cinema and also fun as a cinematic experience. That's why I tend to pick movies that could have played in a Drive-In: they don't take themselves seriously, they might be inept but they throw in enough titilation to keep you interested, and they won't be done so poorly that nothing in them will ever happen. A good b-movie, like the original Death Race 2000, will be enjoyable to watch as a film but also fun to watch with your friends. Its a movie thats better off watched communally, unlike a very well made film, which might be better to watch alone, when you can better focus on it and when there are no distractions.

But it sounds like he just wants to watch movies he can heap scorn on. Which means he is destined to watch a great many movies which will have no redeeming values whatsoever. Yes, they will be inane and create many oppurtunities for sarcasm, but they will also be repetitive, insulting to the viewer and more than likely tedious. He is likely to end up watching a great many films which are not just badly made, but bad to watch, and I have to say, it sounds like he deserves to.
posted by Kiablokirk at 10:51 AM on December 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


Thatl;s basically every AICN review ever, except movies are always the best thing evah!!!! or the most terrible disaster evah! like this one. That said, AICN liked Phantom Menace, so if they call a movie out you know it's in trouble. It's like a videogame magazine giving something less than 8 out of 10 or something.
posted by Artw at 10:57 AM on December 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Me, I'm wondering if CAPAlert will like it as much as they did Sin City ("dragging man by car with face against the pavement ", "translucent nudity", "axe to forehead murder, graphic", "manually ripping male private parts off a man" - Score: 0 out of 100).
posted by Artw at 11:02 AM on December 19, 2008


The first time I saw the trailer I thought it was a sequel to Sin City.

Grow another style, man.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:06 AM on December 19, 2008


Really, Frank Miller sucks? He's a one trick pony? All of his female characters are whores?
I'm going to go against the grain here and disagree with all of these statements. The last two are outright untrue, the first seems to be some kind of reasoning for dog-piling.
Honestly, this movies looks entertaining to me. I'm going to watch it.
posted by P.o.B. at 11:17 AM on December 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've always said that someone should have taken Miller and broken his fingers irreparably after he finished the Dark Knight Returns. And never, ever, EVER let him get hold of a movie camera.

That sound you hear? That's Eisner spinning in his grave, poor bastard.
posted by ninthart at 11:32 AM on December 19, 2008


I want to create a graphic novel about a ballerina with severe psoriasis and a villain whose a supernaturally glib incubus who insidiously destroys art by offering faustian bargains to artists. The incubus will offer the ballerina a cure for her disfiguring condition in exchange for her ability to dance. She accepts, and continues to try and dance but any sense of grace is gone, technically she is executing the motions but there's a jerkiness, a lack of fluidity. Here's the kicker, no one notices that she can no longer dance, she becomes very successful, she wonders if she can really dance and it's just a question of perception. She dances in front of a mirror and seeing her clumsy movements feels a deep sense of shame as she realizes that all the success she has is undeserved and part of the incubus' spell.

(Until the second paragraph I thought this was an extended metaphor for Miller going from comics to movies)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:37 AM on December 19, 2008


marxchivist, I worked for Wood in the 70s. I was a background artist, but I also did some writing and coloring and so forth. It was tremendously educational and very stressful! I learned to draw partly by copying Wood's riffs out of old MAD paperbacks... so getting to work for him was pretty cool. He was a patient, soft-spoken man who had deep psychological issues. He never met a problem that was too big to run away from, including life... I am now older than he was when he shot himself. He married my then-wife's mother, and later abandoned her. So I have very mixed feelings and memories of that time of my life.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:23 PM on December 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I personally look forward to Miller's adaptations of Lil Abner, Gasoline Alley, and Nancy.
posted by Eideteker at 12:35 PM on December 19, 2008


Hmm. Only if Whoopi Goldberg plays Nancy, though.
posted by Iosephus at 12:53 PM on December 19, 2008


Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, together for the first time since the Colour Purple.
posted by Artw at 1:06 PM on December 19, 2008


"but it is also the following things: intellectually flat, completely unbelievable, cheesecake, totally uninterested in the psychologies of its characters, garish and one-dimensional, and racist."
Well, now that you put it that way, I can definitely see why Frank Miller would be interested in adapting it.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 1:59 PM on December 19, 2008


All of his female characters are whores

I'm so sick of hearing this, it's just not true. What about Robin in DKR? He wrote one female character who wasn't a whore. That's more than zero!

Also, How could anyone familiar with his most recent work think that this wasn't going to be a godawful trainwreck?
posted by Ndwright at 2:31 PM on December 19, 2008


There's also Martha Washington.
posted by Artw at 2:34 PM on December 19, 2008


Christ, you comic fanboys are a bunch of toolboxes.
posted by ghastlyfop at 3:31 PM on December 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oddly enough, there are multiple female characters in Sin City that aren't whores.

I know, I know, CRAZY!
posted by P.o.B. at 3:31 PM on December 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ok, so...not being a comics enthusiast...can somebody calmly explain to me the Frank Miller hatred?
posted by ghastlyfop at 3:37 PM on December 19, 2008


Ok, so...not being a comics enthusiast...can somebody calmly explain to me the Frank Miller hatred?

Basically, he wrote (and illustrated) one of the greatest comic books ever...and then completely failed to do anything remotely as good. Nothing's as frustrating as squandered talent.
posted by Rangeboy at 5:06 PM on December 19, 2008


Right - what I know about Frank Miller: he did an updated, highly respected Batman thing, he wrote Robocop 2, he wrote (illustrated?) Sin City (and got a co-directing credit because Rodrieguez thought he deserved one because of the visual fidelity to the source material), and wrote (and illustrated?) 300.
posted by ghastlyfop at 5:12 PM on December 19, 2008


ghastlyfop: He also did a run on DareDevil that is very well regarded. I don't think he illustrates, but he does pencils for layouts sometimes.

And his brain got eaten.
posted by Sparx at 5:54 PM on December 19, 2008


Yeah, as others said - he started out as a great fresh voice in comics, and then eventually became a sort of parody of himself. It's a sad, sad tale.
posted by Artw at 7:00 PM on December 19, 2008


As far as I know he hasn't got a crazy-ass message board full of sycophants, like other comics brain-eater victims, so he;s got that going for him.
posted by Artw at 7:02 PM on December 19, 2008


Not to nitpick, but no one has specifically mentioned why they hate Frank Miller. Is there something specific?
I haven't read All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, but from what I've seen and heard it is a laughable peice of crap.
Everything I have gotten my hands on and read I've thoroughly enjoyed. Such as all of Sin City, his other Batman stints, Hard Boiled, Ronin, 300.

I'm not his biggest fan, but I don't understand the negativity towards him and I think of him to be an overall talented guy.

ghastlyfop - Here is a complete list of what he's done.
posted by P.o.B. at 7:27 PM on December 19, 2008


Basically, he wrote (and illustrated) one of the greatest comic books ever...and then completely failed to do anything remotely as good.

That's not quite how it happened for a lot of comics fans. After his ground-breakingly intense Daredevil run and a couple of years *before* Dark Knight Returns, Miller wrote and drew Ronin. Still under-appreciated today despite Miller's worldwide fame, Ronin was an amazing comic - a blast of bizarre genius mixing the best of US, European and Japanese styles into a new brew, beautifully drawn and with a story so far out of left feld it left most other early 80s comics in the dust. Scenes have stayed with me for decades.

To me, Ronin accounts for a big chunk of Miller's reputation as a giant of modern comics. It's a shame so many folks who claim to be fans have never read it.

But yeah, after the first Sin City stories, he started spinning his wheels, throwing up blood and bullets with not much else of interest. We wouldn't have cared if his early stuff hadn't been so goddamn good.
posted by mediareport at 9:18 PM on December 19, 2008


intellectually flat, completely unbelievable, cheesecake, totally uninterested in the psychologies of its characters, garish and one-dimensional, and racist

Thank you. The Spirit was the catalyst that helped a callow young Alvy Ampersand realize that not only did he not have to like the canonical classics of the genre, it was okay if he didn't. Awesome to look at, but fuckety fuck did it bore the shit out of me.

I don't think he illustrates, but he does pencils for layouts sometimes

His gig on Daredevil began as penciller only, working from scripts by Roger McKenzie. They soon shared plotting credits, and then Miller took over both chores, teaming up with inker Klaus Janson, whose style became more dominant as time passed. Janson also inked DKR, and you see a lot of echoes of his angular chunky style in Sin City, etc., as well as Goseki Kojima and Hugo Pratt.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:25 PM on December 19, 2008


Well, it sounds like Samuel L. Jackson had fun.

He'll do anything for a paycheck. Those are his words.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:03 AM on December 20, 2008


I just had an apocalyptic vision that Frank Miller will one day transmogrify into a real-life George Liquor. I don't know why.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:08 AM on December 20, 2008


I remember that Miller was once seen on a par with Alan Moore with The Dark Knight, Daredevil, Ronin etc.. that was a long time ago. Whilst Moore has kept up a similar level of invention over the years Miller really does seem to just be a lazy self-parody now.

Apparently he's going to ruin Buck Rogers next.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:25 AM on December 20, 2008


Ronin would make a good movie.
posted by sebastienbailard at 7:03 AM on December 20, 2008


For the record, he's a lovely man in person. He's also done a lot for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
posted by dejah420 at 5:55 PM on December 22, 2008


UI like to imagine him as being perfectly charming, lovely and reasonable, but every so often he's shout "WHORES!".
posted by Artw at 6:03 PM on December 22, 2008


God help me, but I frickin' loved All Star Batman and Robin. The stuff in the first trade anyway.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:16 PM on December 22, 2008


TBH That's not going to make people look at you funny as much as loving The Dark Knight Returns Again would.

Heretical Opinion: I didn't like Ronin all that much.
posted by Artw at 6:35 PM on December 22, 2008


"There's been nothing picked up. There was a series I did with Frank Miller called Martha Washington, which in fact is longer than Watchmen, it's about 500 pages. Frank's enjoying a certain amount of success in Hollywood and I wouldn't be surprised if something happens with that. I think that would make a great movie. People misunderstand Frank, they think he's very grim and right-wing, but he's got his tongue very firmly in his cheek. Martha Washington is a war story but it's quite satirical and I think has a strange resonance with what's happening in the world today."

Dave Gibbons on the possibility of a Martha Washington movie.
posted by Artw at 4:11 PM on December 23, 2008


...Which, I suspect, is why Sin City and 300 worked. They were like having the comics happening up on the screen. The thing that people liked about it was there. With The Spirit, what the reader responded to is Eisner's lightness of touch and mastery of story, his humour and his humanity -- and a world that looks like Eisner drew it. The moment that it's obvious that that isn't there it almost doesn't matter what is there instead. According to Gaiman's Law, the more Sin City looked and felt like what people like about Frank Miller's work on Sin City, the more successful it was going to be with audiences, but the more The Spirit feels like Sin City and not like Will Eisner's The Spirit, the less successful it's going to be.

Neil Gaiman on The Spirit
posted by Artw at 10:52 AM on December 27, 2008


Interview with Frank Miller

Highlights:

Q: "You're working on the graphic novel "Holy Terror, Batman"?

A: "Yes. It's about 40 pages from finished now; it's 122 pages. [Batman is] fighting al-Qaida."

and

"When the U.S. was attacked at Pearl Harbor, we didn't just declare war on Japan, we declared war on Germany. It was an international fascist effort. And so when I said that the attack on Iraq made sense, it was the same way we had to attack not just Afghanistan. Instead we had to attack the center of Islamofascism."
posted by Artw at 3:14 PM on December 28, 2008


So apparently Miller knows as much about mid-20th century history as he does about making good comics, then?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 12:49 PM on December 29, 2008


Incognito, a sort of anti-Spirit from Ed Brubaker and Sean Philips.

(If you haven't been reading Criminal by Brubaker and Philips then you really need to pick them up).
posted by Artw at 11:01 PM on December 30, 2008


For Your Consideration...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:26 PM on January 2, 2009


Keep it up guys, the carcass is still one piece.
posted by P.o.B. at 5:18 PM on January 2, 2009


The we shall have to kick it apart using a gigantic boot...

I AM THE LAW!
posted by Artw at 5:27 PM on January 2, 2009


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