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He’s one of the most influential comics creators of all time (and my personal favorite, might I add), but Frank Miller has kept a pretty low profile since the critical and box-office failure of his adaptation of Will Eisner’s The Spirit last Christmas. He’s reportedly continued to work on scripts for his Jim Lee collaboration All Star Batman & Robin, the Boy Wonder and the sequel to the Sin City film adaptation he co-directed with Robert Rodriguez; and of course there’s his long-gestating graphic novel that may or may not be about Batman fighting al Qaeda and may or may not be called Holy Terror, Batman! But whatever he’s been up to, he’s been up to it incommunicado, turning down requests for interviews.
That’s why you may be surprised to discover where he has been publicly speaking, albeit in brief snippets: the blog of neoconservative pundit and military historian Victor Davis Hanson. Hanson and Miller have been friendly for years, with Miller using Hanson’s work on ancient Greece as a reference for his Eisner-winning comic 300 and Hanson returning the favor by providing an introduction for 300: The Art of the Film.
Miller’s comments at Hanson’s online hangout were first widely noticed this week, when the cartoonist and director responded to a Hanson post complaining that pervasive liberal influence and cultural decadence had driven him away from the bulk of American popular entertainment. Miller’s comment-thread response encouraged Hanson to take heart, noting the talents of several Sin City, 300, and The Spirit stars, as well as action-franchise leads like Matt Damon, Daniel Craig, and Harrison Ford. Miller went on to invite Hanson to a get-together with the Friends of Abe, a group founded by actor Gary Sinise as a sort of support system for conservatively inclined Hollywood talent.
Doing a little detective work, Comics Commentary’s Rodrigo Baeza dug up several more comments from Miller at Hanson’s blog. The topics range from the casting of Gabriel Macht in The Spirit‘s lead role to how “horrible for my country [the then-pending election of Barack Obama] will be” to later asking that people at least give Obama a chance before freaking out to railing against anonymous commenters. (Click over to Baeza’s blog for a best-of collection.)
Agree or disagree, Miller’s comments (and indeed his very choice of venue) provide an interesting insight into the current state of mind of a comics giant who’s been working at more and more of a remove from the ebb and flow of comics culture.