iFanboy Video Podcast

iFanboy #213 – Spotlight on Frank Miller

Show Notes

When you talk about the most important comic book creators of the last 30 years, indeed, of all time, you have to include Frank Miller in the discussion.

From his early work at Marvel Comics revitalizing Daredevil and his superstar making turn on Wolverine to his industry altering work on The Dark Knight Returns, Daredevil: Born Again, and Batman: Year One to his creator-owned work like Ronin, Sin City, Martha Washington, and 300 to his controversial return to DC Comics with The Dark Knight Strikes Again and All-Star Batman & Robin The Boy Wonder, and to his side trips to Hollywood with Robocop 2 and 3, Sin City, and The Spirit, Frank Miller has never failed to shake-up the comic book industry over the course of his career.


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  1. Frank Miller is one of my all-time favorites. His Daredevil run, Born Again, Year One, DKR, and the Martha Washington books are some of the best comics that I’ve ever read. 300 was also very impressive.

  2. I’m surprised you guys haven’t done an episode about him before.  I guess it just seems like you have since so many of his books have been discussed.

  3. Martha Washington should get a show sometime when the crew has all read it. It’s one of the best dystopian comics out there, plus it’s really funny at times too. I’ve heard Gibbons saying he would like to see a movie made, would LOVE to see Give Me Liberty done properly as a film!

  4. That Absolute-sized Martha Washington Omnibus that Dark Horse put out a few years back was great. I had only read issues here and there before that and I was surprised who well the story holds together considering the span of time it took to complete. 

    If anyone’s a fan of Martha Washington I’d really recommend The Ballad Of Halo Jones by Alan Moore. It’s very much in the same vein and was the best thing he ever wrote for 2000AD.

  5. frank miller is my most favorite creator in the comics medium,period. His DKR made me have an interest in superheroes, his 300 made me want to be a better artist. he’s the reason that I want to make comics!!

  6. @conor  I’m with ya on pretty much all those things you liked that no one else did.  I defend the Spirit and All Star B&R pretty often. 
    But seriously when my friends and I were all getting into comics after high school the one thing we ALL read was DK returns. Whenever a new person in the group finished it, we’d have a whole nother day of discussion about it, it was great!

  7. Also as you can tell im a big fan of the DD run of Miller.  As a huge Bullseye fan you can’t get much of a better version of the character. 

  8. only reason i saw sin city was because of Rosario Dawson, and then i ended up liking the movie.

  9. I should really read more of his work besides Dark Kinght Returns and Born Again.

  10. I keep meaning to read Born Again. I do love me some Miller Classic.

  11. LOVE, LOVE these episodes focusing on a single creator. Another great one, guys.

  12. Has anyone read Hard Boiled?

  13. Great episode fellas!  @ed209AF:  I have read Hard Boiled and it is pretty good.  The story ends rather abruptly, but is worth the price of admission for Geoff Darrow’s art.

  14. Love the dude, but it really pissed me off when he bailed on the NYCC last year at the last minute 🙁

  15. shut your whore mouth, lol. good one conor.

  16. I love Allstar Batman and Robin for being so balls out crazy. BTW, from what I’ve read, hasn’t Jim Lee taken the blame for ASBR? I thought I had read the scripts were done and it was Lee who got busy. (Might not be true, just speculating) 

  17. I loved Dark Knight Strikes Again, i thought it was a great DC universe story, yes the art is different but once you realize that its done in hyper style on purpose its actually enjoyable in my opinion. Very underrated book i believe

  18. All-Star Batman and Robin completely fits in with Millar’s take on the character. It’s the same Batman from DKR, DK2 and Batman/Spawn – taken as it’s own universe or continuity it all makes sense. People can question whether they like or dislike any of these stories but he does have a strong grasp on what he believes Batman to be and gives us the same one each time.

    The problem is that other people have been writing the “Miller Batman” for decades and newer readers expect that Millar will incorporate how those writers refined his template into his new writing. Millar has always gone his own direction and that’s why he’s one of the most interesting writers we have in comics.

  19. That pic of Frank Miller is super crazy. It fits some of his later work I’m reading. CRAAAAZY stuff, man.

  20. I’ve never understood what’s so special about Frank Miller, and it’s not because I’m being purposefully contrary – neither does it make me “a dick” 🙁

    One of my favourite writers is Morrison, his genius and impact on the comics scene can’t be denied either, but it seems to be perfectly acceptable for the many people who don’t think Grant is all that to say so. But any time I’ve said the same about Miller people are like “Dude, you literally CAN’T say you don’t like Frank Miller”. Weird.

  21. Great episode, guys!

    To a few of you: I’ve read Hard Boiled and was underwhelmed. The art was great for what it was, but the story didn’t really hold up for me. It was interesting, but I’ve seen many better versions of what Miller and Darrow were going for. It’s one of the few tpbs that I’ve actually sold back after buying. I’d recommend borrowing it or flipping through it in a store, just to see the Darrow art. Even then, while I appreciate what Darrow does, at least in Hard Boiled all his hyper-violent detail is ultimately depressing to me. There’s a lot of detail to look at, but do I really want my eyes to be picking over a bunch of dead bodies and drug users? His talent is served better else where.

    But don’t get me wrong, I usually love Miller!

    I think Dark Knight Strikes Again is the most underrated comic post-2000. I hated it when it came out and stopped reading after the first issue. But when you take it all in and understand it on its own terms, it’s fantastic and a worthy successor to DKR. For all the accolades wide-ranging things like Civil War, the Ultimates, and New Frontier get, I think DK2 did so many of the same things better, and did them first. I think behind the scenes DK2 has been hugely influential to how comics have done post-2000, from everything to its political sensibilities, to its loose cartooning, to decompression.

    Other than that, I think more people need to find and read Elektra Assassin. That work deserves to rank alongside DKR and Watchmen, imo.

  22. Every New Year’s Day, I nurse a well earned hangover and read DKR cover to cover. I do not make plans, and if I am away from home, I take it with me. It’s just how I prefer to start my year.

    I cannot overstate how important Frank Miller is (and will always be) to me.  He is every bit as influential as the boys say he is.  Anyone who says otherwise is (as Conor put it) simply incorrect. The guys nailed it when they said that the biggest problem with his recent work is that it just doesn’t meet the expectation.  Though I still cling to the hope that he has (at least) one more industry-rocking piece of work in him.  

    Also, anyone interested in Miller who’s looking for a meaty, in depth look into who he is and what his process is like should try to track down the Comics Journal Collected Interviews volume featuring Miller. I have no idea if it’s still in print (doubt it), and it’s probably expensive, but it is worth a read if ya wanna know more about him.

    Great show fellas.

    @ed209AF: Yes. It’s story is somewhat forgettable. But Darrow’s art alone is worth the Amazon price.  

    @Jurassicalien: I think you’re right. Not sure if it was when iFanboy posted the article announcing the “finishing touch” issue, or elswhere.  But I definitely recall Lee saying that.   

  23. For starters, GREAT SHOW 🙂

    I love Frank Miller, read his Daredevil stuff, more of that dropping in my mailbox soon,, Still want to read all the other stuff (ofcourse), but that’s going to take some time.


    I like shows in which you guys focus on one creator, what about doing Alan Moore next time?

  24. @ragcage  Alan Moore was the first one we did.

  25. @conor  Oops, got to check that out then

    BTW, i’ve been wondering for quite a while now, What is the song of the intro/outro music called?

  26. @ragcage  That’s listed in the end credits. It’s a song called “Never In” by  The 101, which is a band that does not exist anymore.

  27. Montpelier crime at a glace-

    Year Murder, Man-Slaughter Forcible Rape Robbery Aggravated Assault

    2009 0 2 1 10


  28. very enjoyable episode! boob giggle, fist snigger, wizard fingers, and substance too… it had it all.

  29. @boosebaster  PLEASE! You’re on the internet show. I can point you right now to a video review tearing apart the nuttiness that is All Star Batman and Robin. You’re trying to pass the haterade from Morrison to Miller, when they both have gallons of the stuff in both their basements already.

  30. it had it all except stripping from conor dayum! josh and conor could rock the black and white i think, ron may need to go goth… again…

  31. @VichusSmith I have literally NO idea what you just said…

    I can tell you very plainly however that I’m not “trying” to do anything (whatever your allusion is included). I simply don’t understand why some people get a “You can’t dislike my work or you’re a twat” badge and some people don’t. If someone says they don’t like Morrison, it’s fine. Or Bendis. Or pretty much anyone. With Miller and maybe one or two more, it’s not fine. I have been told repeatedly by people over the years that I’m not allowed to dislike TDKR and that I must be stupid or that I don’t get it. And within 2 minutes of this show starting, told that I’m being contrary and a dick (I know it’s not meant to be taken totally seriously but I reckon Josh kind of means it!).

    Where Miller is concerned, I like him as an artist more than a writer, I like 300, and thought the three or four volumes of Sin City I read were pretty decent. I think Batman Year One is OK but have been meaning to read it again and see if it grows on me, but I detest The Dark Knight Returns passionately and can’t understand why it is so well regarded. I think that’s all I’ve read out of his stuff.

    There’s no hate for Miller here, just a sort of bemusement about the whole thing.

  32. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    @boosebaster  You can feel free to not like the art of whoever you want. You’ve mapped out your reasons. 

  33. OK, let’s see if you understand this.


    Everyone gets crapped on. Remember the film adaptation of The Spirit? Exactly how much back-patting did Miller get for that? Where is all this protection Miller is getting these days? He has big big critical hits, but recently he’s done some nutty stuff, and If I’m correct, it starts with The Dark KNight Strikes Again.

    And now, some Miller-shitting-upon


  34. Paul Montgomery (@fuzzytypewriter) says:

    Easy does it, folks. 

  35. Great show.

    I still love a lot of what Miller did in the past. But now? I could live without the comics and the films. He’s just too damn crazy, he has the Jeph Loeb effect where the past work is amazing but present day it’s all crap. 

  36. i like Frank Miller <hides or high-fives depending…>

  37. I loved this episode. I was just looking through old episodes a few weeks ago to see if you guys had already done a show on Frank. Oh by the way Conor my friend Ben and I are two of the 4 other dudes that enjoyed The Spirit. Who knows who the other 2 guys are though.

  38. @CronyC  I’m one of the other two guys
    Loved the show!  I have been on a kick with Tim Seeley and Bendis lately, so it’s good to remind myself why I would even give those guys a chance.  You guys are right, Sin City did broaden my horizons.  My reading evolution: Anything with the Joker in it, which lead to Batman the dark knight returns, which lead to sin city.  So, yeah…he was a large influence for me. 

  39. I think maybe my point of contention and the confusion I caused revolves around me not liking The Dark Knight Returns rather than not liking Miller – I should have been clearer. I didn’t mean he doesn’t receive criticism (especially today), but I have found in the past that work in particular seems beyond it.

    Josh’s comment merely picked at an old wound – someone will one day have to explain to me this fascinating concept of “you only like X because” or “you only hate Y because”. If anyone’s mind really does work like that then you you are alien to me. The only question I pose myself when “deciding” if I like something is “do i like this?”. What is my primary emotional gut reaction to it?  

    It’s the same thing if I talk about an album I like and someone says in a snidey voice “Yes but you only say that becuase you blindly love everything they do” – despite the fact that there are an awful lot of bands I’ve adored and who I think have turned to shit from one album onwards. We’d all love the Star Wars prequels if our minds worked like that.

    I guess at the end of the day – offhand dismissing of opinions isn’t cool. I can’t stand The Beatles either. Understand and respect their place? Sure. Possibly would see it differently if I was 30 years older? No doubt. But I’d rather not be forced to listen to any of their drivel ever again please.

    Paul I don’t think there’s any reason for concern, Miller obviously inspires passionate debate that’s all!

  40. @VichusSmith  The guys just flaming.  Why would you post that here?

  41. @boosebaster  Yeah, “imagine” What drivel. 🙂 You might have to just hang around some more like-minded people, because if I was you, I would not ang around people whose opinions make me crazy.

    I like a diversity of opinions, but if I knew a person who absolutely would not be open to criticism of what they liked, I’d have to head in the other direction.

    Opinion is a wild and insane thing. On one hand you have emotionional reactions, and on the other hand you have criticism, which is an attempt to be objective and judge on technical aspects and not so much about how an albumn, for instance, shaped your childhood. When two opposing emotions meet, or when emotional reaction meets criticism is when, I guess, the conflict is born.

    In other words, that’s the internet!

  42. @vadamowens  Post what? The video? I’ve been listening/watching iFanboy for years now. The link was anothe opinion. So what?

  43. I’m not sure how the length of your ifanboy posting is relevant, but this site (as I’m sure you’re aware) has intelligent and fair discourse about the pro’s and con’s of comics and creators.  The  video that you posted has none of that. It’s just pure hate and flaming.

  44. *the length of time you’ve been posting on ifanboy, rather

  45. No mention of Elektra Lives Again, with possibly the best Frank Miller artwork (and Lynn Varley’s colouring)?

  46. Shut your whore mouth Mr Flanagan
    Shut your whore mouth indeed!

    Can you guys do one of these on Steranko?

  47. @vadamowens  You are being a bit much, dude. The video I posted is goofing on some very odd points of Frank Miller ASB&R issues, and I think a lot of people would agree. 

    It’s not “hate.”  Calm yourself. BTW, I didn’t see you schoolmarm the dude who brought up “people don’t hate on Miller as much as they do Morrison” in the first place.

  48. @vadamowens  My length of time here sort of shows that I didn’t come here for the first time in my life just to say bad stuff ’bout Frank Miller and then go running off into the shadows.

  49. Why did you guys omit to mention the Elektra Lives Again GN novel? Easily Miller’s best art of his career and one emotionally gripping tale and the pinacle of his DD stuff. I’d almost take it over DKR!

  50. @VichusSmith  I was never upset or had lack of calm.  It was an honest question.

  51. …and you answered it, so thank you for responding.

  52. @vadamowens  Oh. Well. Guess we just got off on the wrong foot. 🙂

  53. I feel like this makes me a bad comic fan but I’ve never liked Frank Millers writing. I realize, and don’t argue, how important he is to comics but that doesn’t make me like him. I’ve read Sin City, Batman Year One, 300, some of his Daredevil stuff and, while I think the stories are interesting, I can’t get over how bad I feel all of the writing is. I don’t know what it is that everyone else sees that I don’t, and I’ve honestly tried because I keep reading stuff he’s written and I power through it but I dont.

    That being said he’s an amazing artist.   

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