The real “Frank Miller” question…

So, here’s the thing. The comics world has been pretty much focused on Frank Miller this last week because of a post he wrote regarding the OWS movement. Here’s just a snippet, or read the whole thing here.

Everybody’s been too damn polite about this nonsense:
The “Occupy” movement, whether displaying itself on Wall Street or in the streets of Oakland (which has, with unspeakable cowardice, embraced it) is anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment. “Occupy” is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.

Since the post went live, all I’ve seen is comics fans asking “How could Frank Miller – the man behind 300, The Dark Knight Returns and Sin City – be such a right-wing douche?”.

I think the real question is: how could you be surprised?
Haven’t you read Holy Terror?
Let’s be honest here folks: Miller’s work has always been ambiguous at best.

The thing that gets to me is the reactions. Miller’s a cantankerous old shit, there’s no doubt (as are other heroes like Moore… yes, I said it). But people are talking like they’re going to stop reading his stuff because of this latest lunacy from him.

C’mon folks. His latest comments don’t mean that The Dark Knight Returns is any less fantastic – or disturbing. Here’s the thing: your favourite comic book authors are not necessarily who you think.
I still remember when I finally first met Neil Gaiman at a signing down in Sydney. The dude is – for better or worse – my literary hero. Words cannot describe how excited I was. But when I got to the front of the line (fairly early too, mind you… I’d been camped out for hours, so it wasn’t like Neil had been signing for very long) the dude was a dismissive, miserable old bastard. He basically kept talking to the person in front of me, as I told him my name, signed my book, then handed it off to me without once looking in my eyes. I found the whole thing heart breaking.

But it made me realise something: Hero worship seriously sucks.
The Miller case is no different. No matter what you think about Frank’s latest comments, that shouldn’t invalidate his work, particularly stuff that might have been done in his (slightly) less cantankerous days.

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