Thursday, April 23, 2009

Artist Spotlight - Frank Miller

You may know him from his recent work on films, but I had a front row seat to watch Frank Miller take the world by storm starting in 1979.

While the "seat" was typically in my room at my parent's house, it was the time of my greatest interest in comic books. That means I was ripe for the thrill ride that Mr. Miller brought to Daredevil in the early 1980's and then in a stream of other writing and artistic endeavors ever since.

Likely, you are familiar with his most recent work on Sin City, 300 and even RoboCop, all of which were either followed by stupendously stylistic screen adaptations or writing stints on comics that followed-up on movies he'd written (as was the case with one of the RoboCop films).

His is a rather prodigious body of work in the comics field and beyond, and you can check it out yourself in a bibliography I found on

Frank Miller's work can be characterized simply as dark and violent. It is his seemingly simplistic execution that makes it work effectively. With an uncanny ability at using stark dark and light and spot colors to set a dramatic mood he follows up with rapid-fire pacing and sparse dialogue to move you through in unexpected ways. If there is one criticism, it is the unnatural flow of conversation that can detract from the storyline. But the visual presentation tends to carry it through and the violence, while often gratuitous, lends a gritty and over-the-top action feel. This is the style that has carried-over so well in his Sin City and 300 films.

Frank was responsible for my introduction to the ninja and his treatment, again violent and exaggerated, was based more on the historical archetype than on the contrived and overused versions usually presented over the past 25 years. He also helped cement the rough-and-tumble presence of a lesser known character that has since exploaded on the popular consciousness, and now stands on the verge of his own movie: Wolverine.

So without further blathering, I'll move on to the good stuff so you can see his art work for yourself.

A small GALLERY of Frank Miller Art pulled from the Internet
All art and copyrights are the property of their respective owners

Next up: Jack Kirby

Cheers! - Jason

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