Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Most Batshit Man in the Building

Continuing on with our Wondercon theme, this afternoon I attended an hour-long talk with Mr. Frank Goddamn Miller. And Jesus Harold Christ on pop-sickle stick, was that man insane. I’ve only heard of his insanity, never heard or watched him speak before, but it was truly a sight to behold. However, I didn’t take proper notes like I did with Morrison, so I’m doing this from memory. So I might not be able to convey the full breadth and depth of his insanity. Much of it was in his general presence.

What also struck me slightly odd about the whole set-up was that there seemed to be a concerted effort to keep Miler “separate” from the audience and above the fray. Many of comic-book writers I saw this weekend worked hard to get some rapport with us geeks in the audience. Panel sessions which guys like Grant Morrison, Mark Waid, Peter David, Greg Rucka, and even Kevin Smith participated in were almost entirely composed of Q&A, so there was at least an attempt to engage the audience. With Miller, he spent most of his hour being interviewed by a member of the Comic Book Defense Fund, with only about 5 to 10 minutes of questions. Yeah, I know the “When the next Sin City comic coming out?” questions might have gotten annoying, but a little more interaction would have been nice. Guys like Morrison and Rucka were everywhere inside and outside the event. Miller came, spoke, signed some autographs downstairs, and left.

Which isn’t to say that Miller was rude or a jerk or anything. He did share some interesting insights along the way. Especially about his disdain of the media, as evidenced in his Dark Knight Returns books, and his disdain for Hollywood, as evidenced by Robocop 2 & 3. For the record, he really does sound like a drunk Dr. McCoy when he speaks.

Some info:

Yes, he is planning on writing another Sin City story. He doesn’t know when it’s coming out. The film Sin City 2 will be made up of the “A Dame to Kill For” story, along with a few his short stories (possibly the “Blue Eyes” stuff), as well as some original material, telling about what happens to Nancy immediately after “That Yellow Bastard.” Preferably it involves more of Jessica Alba dancing. As a side note, he considers “That Yellow Bastard” the most romantic story he ever wrote.

Unlike some of the DC folks, he’s perfectly comfortable with the idea of Batman being a dick, because “he’s our dick.” As he said, if you’re in a dark alley, beset by thugs, you’d want Batman with you. “It’s not like you have to take him out to dinner,” he added. Miller also said he thinks the reason why Batman is such a dick is because “he’s smartest man in world, and he sees guys he who can fly and are really strong, and he’s pissed he can’t do that.”

He said the All-Star Batman and Robin is, at its heart, the story of Robin, rather than Batman. He also said him and Jim Lee would keep the title going as long as the fans wanted it to continue.

He doesn’t have much use for “humanizing” the DC characters whenever he writes them, as he did in “Dark Knight Strikes Again.” “I wanted to show what makes Atom really cool is that he can get really small, not anything about his wife. I wanted to show what makes the Flash really cool is that he runs really fast, not anything about his wife either.”

And **sigh**, he said the next project he plans on releasing is the long-rumored “Holy Terror Batman!” which, in his words, is a pure propaganda. The story, also in Miller’s words, is “Batman kicking Al-Qaeda’s butt.” Apparently al Qaeda has invaded or is attacking Gotham, and its up to Batman to save the city. Though why al Qaeda would invade Gotham is beyond me. Though maybe Osama bin Laden has been hiding in the Batcave all this time, perhaps behind the giant penny.

He said he has about 120 of 200 pages inked already. Miller said he was doing the story because Superman and Captain America both punched out Hitler, so why shouldn’t Batman do the same sort of thing. He added he wish more of the entertainment industry would get behind similar efforts.

So yeah, that’s Miller. He maybe fairly off his rocker, but he has created some interesting stories in his time. Hopefully, he’ll continue to do so.


JRennoldz said...

Batman vs. Al Qaeda.......BRILLIANT!

Um, wait maybe not. He was kept away from the fans because DC feared he'd go into a beserker rage if he got one more GODDAMNED BATMAN (it never gets old does it?) comment. Dude sounds like the real-life Batman: a pure madman. He has done some incredible work though so I give him his props, from 10 feet away!

Great personal touch.

Melanism said...

10 years from now when Frank Miller has stopped writing comics for the Big Two, he'll do an interview for some obscure comic website and he'll reveal that every Batman comic he wrote after The Dark Knight Returns was just a test to see how far they would let him go with one of their three biggest properties.

We'll discover that the limit was when he suggested to DC that he should do a "Brokeback Arykam" with Two-Face concealing a homosexual affair with...Harvey Dent.

toothpick said...

you know, i would have thought Miller to be the last person to use comics for propaganda. unless he's just being ironic.

he has disdain for the media and hollywood yet he wishes more entertainment would feature people punching out al qaeda members?

PlatonJK said...

miller is the man, i gotta figure out how to rip footage from dvds so i can show you his spiel from the daredevil DVD extras(yea i bought it, i still dont know why)

when he talks its like hes reading a comic he wrote out loud.