Now we know all about everybody, and we're not just judging a movie or a book or a comic, we're judging the politics of the guy who created it, the sex life of the woman who directed it, or the daily attitude of the artist who drew it. The work no longer exists in a vacuum; the author is not only not dead, he's fucking omnipresent.
The latest guy to bring his personal awfulness to his fans is Frank Miller. Miller's been... off since 9/11; like Dennis Miller and a few other people, the attacks that day seem to have personally unhinged him. Miller spent most of the last decade working on an anti-Islamic comic book that was to be called Holy Terror, Batman, but ended up using a generic superhero character for the book.
But Miller wasn't doing just anti-Islam stuff, and while some of his work irked fans recently, I think his All-Star Batman and Robin run was actually a wonderful bit of satire that throws the finger to all of Miller's copycats in the comic book world.
This past week Miller got the attention of the comic book world again with a blog post about the Occupy Wall Street movement, a blog post that was not only incredibly misinformed (it seems as though Miller has literally no idea what the Occupy movement is about), but also returns to his personal obsession: Islamo-fascism. For reasons that are unclear. Here's the text:
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.
“Occupy” is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the “movement” – HAH! Some “movement”, except if the word “bowel” is attached - is anything more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves.
This is no popular uprising. This is garbage. And goodness knows they’re spewing their garbage – both politically and physically – every which way they can find.
Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy.
Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you’ve been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you’ve heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism.
And this enemy of mine — not of yours, apparently - must be getting a dark chuckle, if not an outright horselaugh - out of your vain, childish, self-destructive spectacle.
In the name of decency, go home to your parents, you losers. Go back to your mommas’ basements and play with your Lords Of Warcraft.
Or better yet, enlist for the real thing. Maybe our military could whip some of you into shape.
They might not let you babies keep your iPhones, though. Try to soldier on.
There's a lot that's funny in there. Occupy has nothing to do with the War on Terror, and is supported by many vets (including Scott Olsen, who was assaulted by Oakland police). Frank Miller has never been in the armed forces at all, so his 'man up and join the army' schtick is pretty funny. And the whole 'rapists' thing - it's weird, like Batman's inner monologue is now Frank Miller's inner monologue.
But whatever. He's an idiot. I'm a huge supporter of the Occupy movement, and I think it's this country's best hope to survive a period that looks to be difficult and dark. But unless Miller puts this stuff into the mouth of Daredevil, I don't really care. Where I will come at Miller's politics is when he inserts them into his work, like the pedantic, juvenile and fairly offensive nonsense that is Holy Terror.
Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics, put it best when he tweeted this:
BTW, No matter how batshit Frank's political rant may be, that's a great silhouetted drawing of him on his blog.
And that's what it comes down to, right? I've read Miller's work and I know from it which way his politics lean (hard, hard, fascist right). But if the guy's art remains up to snuff, I don't care what he says. That goes for every single entertainer and artist - I'll keep judging Brett Ratner on his movies, not on his use of the word fag. Luckily both lead me to the same conclusion!