Frank Miller: He gets it
I’ve blogged previously about graphic novelist/illustrator Frank Miller’s renegade commentary on patriotism and al Qaeda’s jihad. The L.A. Times has a new profile of Miller today with news of his latest projects–and more fodder that will set the 9/10 Hollyweirdos’ teeth on edge:
MUCH has been made of Miller’s politics in the wake of “300.” The deliriously violent and stylized sword film is based on a Spartan battle in 480 B.C., and although Miller wrote and drew the story for Dark Horse comics a decade ago, in film form it was received by many as a grotesque parody of the ancient Persians and a fetish piece for a war on Islam. Miller scoffs at those notions. “I think it’s ridiculous that we set aside certain groups and say that we can’t risk offending their ancestors. Please. I’d like to say, as an American, I was deeply offended by ‘The Last of the Mohicans.’ ”
Still, Miller gets stirred up about any criticism of the war in Iraq or the hunt for terrorists, which he views as the front in a war between the civilized Western world and bloodthirsty Islamic fundamentalists.
“What people are not dealing with is the fact that we’re going up against a culture that finds it acceptable to do things that the rest of the world left behind with the barbarians in the 6th century,” Miller said. “I’m a little tired of people worrying about being polite. We are fighting in the face of fascists.”
The director of “300,” Zack Snyder, chuckled about the portrayal of Miller as a conservative on the attack or a “proto-fascist” as one pundit called him. “I don’t think he really has politics, he just sees the world in moral terms. He’s a guy who says what he thinks and has a sense of right and wrong. He talks tough and, after Sept. 11, I think he’s mad.” Snyder said Miller is a throwback and that he approaches his art with a bar-fight temperament, like a Sam Peckinpah. “His political view is: Don’t mess with me.”
Apparently, Miller’s Batman vs. al Qaeda comic book has stalled in the face of “squeamishness by executives at DC Comics and its parent, Warner Bros. Entertainment, in sending a franchise character on a blood-quest after terrorists.” No surprise there.
Miller describes the plot and assails the lack of pro-American, anti-jihad backing in his industry:
“Our hero’s key quote is, ‘Those clowns don’t know what terror is,’ ” Miller said. “Then he sets out to get the guys.”
With the hero as terrorism avenger, Miller is pointing to the days of comics in the 1940s, when Superman, Captain America and the Human Torch were drawn taking punches at Hitler or Hirohito.
“These terrorists are worse than any villain I can come up with, and I think it’s ridiculous that people in entertainment are not showing what we are up against here…. This is pure propaganda, a throwback, there’s no bones about it.”
Miller also said he relishes a backlash. “I’m ready,” he said, “for my fatwa.”
That’s the spirit.