Tag Archives: Frank Miller

POLARIS watched 300: Rise of an Empire

15 Mar

300_Rise_of_an_empire_Banner_Int_Inedito_b_JPosters

300:  Rise of an Empire….and blood….lots of blood….

themistocles

“Blah, blah, blah, blah FREEEEDOOOOOMMMMM!!!”

So it’s finally happened.  For years now we’ve been hearing about how there was going to be a sequel to the surprise hit 300.  Which, of course, begged the question of what was left to tell.  We already got the Battle of Thermopylae in all its gory glory and the very last shot is that of the Battle of Plataea which finished off the Persian invasion once and for all.  For this installment we get what was more or less going on at the same time, but on the water elsewhere.  And it is GLORIOUS.  This movie easily falls into the category of “historical fiction,” and fiction it is – because while they do hit the major points of what was going on, they take some generous liberties for the sake of streamlining the story and making an entertaining film.  Not that I’m complaining.  I actually really enjoyed the movie, and while it’s not as game-changing as the first one was, it was a worthy successor.

300-rise-of-an-empire-12-alkhall-bar-none-booze-revoze

“I am a God-King! You’d better believe it’s this big!”

First of all, if you enjoyed 300, you’ll enjoy this film.  If you hated it, you’ll probably hate this film for much the same reason.  It’s clear that the filmmakers looked at what was most loved about the original and said, “more, more, more!”  Innovative camera shots, color schemes and lighting…More!  Slow-mo action sequences so as to not miss a single frame of swords slashing through flesh and blood…More!  A man buffet of six-pack abs…More!  Gushing Continue reading

Marvel Omnibus reprints are coming!

4 Mar

by Mike Hansen

Amazing Spider-Man Omnibus 1 cover by Alex RossI’ve been waiting for an opportunity to share some news about Marvel collected editions, now that I’m a researcher on some of them. Just a few minutes ago, Marvel Senior VP of Sales David Gabriel announced that some of Marvel’s most requested Omnibus hardcovers are being reprinted:

For now we’re going with: Uncanny 1 FF 1 ASM 1 DD. Miller 1 These will start to appear in the June previews.

Daredevil by Miller & Janson Omnibus red-black coverTranslation:

Uncanny X-Men (by Chris Claremont, Dave Cockrum, & John Byrne) vol. 1, Fantastic Four (by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby) vol. 1, Amazing Spider-Man (by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko) vol. 1, and Daredevil by Frank Miller & Klaus Janson will all be reprinted this year.

This is a Big Deal because most of these have already been reprinted before (unlike most Marvel Omnibus volumes, which tend to appear and disappear: and if you missed it, you’re paying big bucks for a secondhand copy).

Fantastic Four Omnibus 1 cover by Alex RossI’m excited for a couple of reasons: One, because these four contain the most memorable and iconic material that Marvel has ever published; and Two, because these are some of the best-quality books that Marvel produces: the reproduction on the classic material is usually stellar, and the packaging (paper, binding, size, etc.) is of very high quality. Plus, since these are among Marvel’s earliest Omnibus volumes (from 2005-2007), this is an opportunity to pay a reasonable price for a better package (as these printings will have sewn binding that allows the book to lay flat without gutter loss, unlike some early printings).

Uncanny X-Men Omnibus vol. 1 variant coverThis is why I dig the Marvel Masterworks Fan Site: you never know when something cool is going to be announced to fans.

Save your pennies…

(My only question is: which covers are they going to use? The last time these were offered, both versions were reprinted – but the most recent Omnibus reprint (New X-Men by Grant Morrison) used completely different cover art…)

Why a sequel to Watchmen? (Answer: $$$)

26 Dec

by Mike Hansen

Cover art for the 1987 U.S. (right) and U.K. (...

And then there was world peace, and they all lived happily ever after, The End (Image via Wikipedia)

Looks like it’s happening. DC’s throwing some high-level artists on Watchmen spinoff projects, and the general consensus is that it might be interesting, and that even the people who are complaining about Watchmen sequels (or prequels, or whatever, Who Cares) are gonna buy them. (I really need to find more comics to praise on this site, because it’s hard to keep up with complaining about the news coming from the comics world…)

I’m not surprised that DC is doing more Watchmen without Alan Moore; what surprises me is that it took them this long to pull the trigger. After all, Marvel didn’t touch Elektra after Frank Miller left Daredevil – until they decided they could make money off the character. Publishers that own characters will always put exploitation of their property before giving the creators the respect and control of their creations. (I wonder if Marvel’s ever going to pay Jack Kirby‘s heirs for all of the reprints of his work – not to mention all of the comics by others featuring his creations…)

The problem with sequels is that they’re rarely as interesting as the original vision, Chris Claremont’s first X-Men run notwithstanding. The more dependent a project is on previous material by other authors, the more I wonder why it even exists (from an artistic standpoint: obviously, with company-owned material, the reason is simply To Make Money).

Sure, in the Continue reading

Fast Facts for Frank Miller (and Friends)

23 Nov

by Mike Hansen

The Dick Knight by Richard Pace

"The Dick Knight" by Richard Pace - click to make bigger

(Artwork by Richard Pace – check out his fine blog!)

Lots of things to talk about, but so little time this holiday week!

So, for those spending the United States’ Thanksgiving holiday with friends and family, here are some fun facts for those people who just LOOOOVE to start political arguments with their “loved ones”…

Newser is calling Frank Miller’s nemesis Al Qaeda “all but defeated”:

Al-Qaeda is on the brink of defeat, shriveling even faster than US officials had predicted in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death. The group now consists of just a few hundred fighters, with only two “high-value” targets left on the CIA’s list—leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, and his No. 2, Abu Yahya al-Libi, the Washington Post reports.

“We have rendered the organization that brought us 9/11 operationally ineffective,” one US counterterrorism official said, adding that al-Qaeda lacked “any of the world-class terrorists they once had.”

Perhaps Miller would agree with Continue reading

HOLY TERROR and Propaganda vs. Storytelling

16 Nov

by Mike Hansen

Official presidential portrait of Barack Obama...

Can this guy be in a comic book without it being one-sided propaganda? (Hint: YES) (Image via Wikipedia)

There’s a really interesting discussion going on over at the Marvel Masterworks Fan Site forums (in which I’ve participated a bit) over Frank Miller’s Holy Terror and whether it, or Miller, are offensive.

My post there today ended up being much longer and more time-consuming than I’d intended, so there probably won’t be as many site updates here today. I’m going to be lazy and just share some of what I posted there, since I do think it’s worth further discussion (either there or here, whatever you feel like).

Unlike Miller’s comments section (or most comments sections on the ‘net), this thread has inspired a lot of great ideas and points of view about politics and propaganda. And the discussion has broadened into whether comics and other popular media are appropriate tools for depicting polarizing/political figures, or groups of people (like, say, Muslims), and whether said depictions are inherently biased.

From my last post:

Yes, Alex Ross’s Bush/Obama paintings are obviously ridiculous, editorial works that fit perfectly with his approach to superhero cover art and his work on Uncle Sam (the American Dream vs. the cynical, imperfect reality). Ross works in symbols and iconography; I don’t see why anyone would be offended by an artist having a point of view in his work, especially when it’s making a statement about a public figure. To me, that’s the beauty of free speech in America: any public figure deserves all of the praise and criticism people convey in their editorial work, because they’re asking for it. No other country has the same absolute guarantee of this sort of criticism, and that’s the one thing I value about America more than any other.

But editorial cartoons aren’t comic-book stories. The Continue reading

Why is Everybody Pickin’ on Poor Ol’ Frank Miller?

15 Nov

by Mike Hansen

Frank Miller at the "X-Files: I Want To B...

(Image via Wikipedia)

I’ve said what I have to say, and I meant every word.

But one superstar creator doesn’t understand the reaction to Frank Miller’s nasty rant. Mark Millar posted,

Politically, I disagree with his analysis, but that’s besides the point. I wasn’t shocked by his comments because they’re no different from a lot of commentators I’ve seen discussing the subject. What shocked me was the vitriol against him, the big bucket of shit poured over the head by even fellow comic-book creators for saying what was on his mind.

Obviously, it’s within their rights to exercise the First Amendment as much as it was within Frank’s to make the original point. But there’s something so distasteful about that cyber-mob mentality that revolts me. It’s not just that I like the guy, that his body of work is among the best the industry has ever seen. It’s the GLEE I’m seeing from some people and, worse, the calls I’ve seen to boycott his work because his perspective on a point differs from yours and mine…

..I just hate a mob. I think it demeans us. I also hate a bandwagon and would urge my fellow left-wing readers to boycott Miller no less than HP Lovecraft, Steve Ditko, David Mamet or any other writer who might not share my personal philosophy, but [whose] work I’m happy to have on my shelves.

(more in the link.)

Mark Millar has cultivated a public personality as a Nice Guy, with a rah-rah positive, let’s-all-get-along diplomacy that’s won him a lot of work and connections. It’s an admirable thing to see in such a talented and high-profile comics creator. But I think he’s missing the point here.

Usually, when I see blindly ignorant stupidity on the internet, whether it’s Frank Miller’s dumbass comments or (say) over half of the 7000-plus comments in response, I just ignore it. But Miller is not just another average Joe typing into the internet void; he’s FRANK MILLER, one of the few comics creators whose name is recognizable outside our little comics world, and someone who in a lot of the public’s mind represents Comics. And when he says something this stupid, this angry, this bizarre, and this personally insulting to a whole lot of people, he’s going to be called out on it.

It brings me no pleasure to speak against one of my comics heroes. I proudly have nearly all of his work on my bookshelves (except the execrable Holy Terror, which I look forward to removing from my home). But when Miller is making Comics, and all of us in it, look bad, he deserves a response. On the other hand, Continue reading

Frank Miller: The Dennis Miller of Comics

14 Nov

by Mike Hansen

Miller at the 1982 Comic-Con

Frank Miller in 1982, when his greatest works were still ahead of him. (Image via Wikipedia)

I haven’t seen this big a left-to-right swing since [insert your own stupid Dennis Miller obscure reference here].

A week ago, Frank Miller wrote some ignorant bullshit about the Occupy Wall Street movement, in a post entitled, “Anarchy.”

A lot of folks have called him out – just check out the comments below his post for a taste.

Ty Templeton had the cleverest response: a comic strip letter from a master cartoonist to a writer who can barely be bothered to do comics – certainly not any great comics – anymore. Here’s a taste:

Ty Templeton Frank Miller Funnies

It would be so easy to tear Miller’s retarded rant to pieces, but why bother? Anyone on the planet with access to Google can decimate its entirety in seconds.

I’ve loved almost all of Frank Miller’s work. Virtually everything he’s created since becoming the writer on Daredevil over 30 years ago has been a masterpiece (excepting his two pointless Spawn cash-grab stories). I still remember when I was assisting his editor at Dark Horse, Diana Schutz, and opening the FedEx box containing the entirety of Sin City: Family Values – it was such a rush and a privilege to be one of the first to read it, to experience a master of raw communication at work. But that seems like a long time ago now.

It was even a treat to see Miller at play, doing masterful, stupid comedy in his “Lance Blastoff” strips and The Spirit film. But I don’t see that in Miller today, either.

How did Miller go from creating works of genius like this:

Frank Miller CBLDF

to obvious, pointless junk like this?

A Nice Thought by Frank MillerSuicide bombers are bad? Really? That’s the best Miller can accomplish these days?

If Miller really had balls, Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: