Let me start by just saying that yes, I do, like so many international comic and graphic novel fans really admire and acknowledge the debt and impact of the work from FRANK MILLER since the eighties with the legendary industry changing DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, his work on DAREDEVIL, ELECTRA, and the brutal noir inspired SIN CITY series to only mention a few.
The guy is a living legend garuanteed. Fact. But here is the question: how do we take it when perhaps even some legends of the comic world-and film and fiction world for that matter-possibly lose their way?
I am thinking of his recent views concerning the Occupy Wall street movement, which was unecpected and sad to hear and before that one of his more recent comic works-HOLY TERROR, which has recieved a good number of mixed reviews for how it portrays certain political views.
When we look up to and take inspiration from artists like MILLER, ALAN MOORE, GARTH ENNIS, KIRBY, LEE, NEIL GAIMAN, and many others it can then eventually be uncomfortable to watch them seem to really change over time, from the icons we knew, or thought we knew through media perception, into some more unbeleivable even shocking character.
In the last couple of years MILLER has produced some work and films that do possibly reflect a lower standard from the great man. It could be that I and others are judging him too critically, reading too much into his quite pulp inspired action retro work. It could be argued that his work has always been admired more for visual strength than the credibilty or political correctness of the narratives. A FRANK MILLER comic is usually very unique, with a certain style, approach and attitude. That is fine. You know what you get. It could be now thought that more of his own views are gradually appearing in his work than previously before. Does this affect how we read his amazingly visually composed comics and films? Should it?
People change over time. Even our beloved heroes in art, music, film. Picasso, Dali, Van Gogh. Many rejected some of their earlier works or distanced themselves as time passed to the sad dismay of their fans. Artists move on creatively often. I will always admire much of MILLER’s previous work but right it may be difficult to appreciate it so easily.