How today I came accross two gigantic truths about Frank Miller, one by an artist and another one by a colourist.
Although I value Frank Miller’s outstanding contribution to American comics and all the classic works his legacy has given us, I am not an unconditional fan of his. Some weeks ago I was wondering which books by him I actually have and this list turned out:
Batman: Year one (DC Comics); Batman: El regreso del
señor de la noche (Ediciones Zinco); Wolverine (Marvel Comics);
Daredevil: Condenados, Daredevil: Elektra, Daredevil: Born again
(Cómics Forum); Daredevil: Man without fear (Marvel Comics); Daredevil.
Visionaries: Frank Miller vol.1 (Marvel Comics); Elektra lives again
(Marvel Comics); Elektra: Assassin (Cómics Forum); Give me liberty
(Norma Editorial); Martha Washington goes to war (Norma Editorial);
300 (Dark Horse);
plus nine Sin City titles (Dark Horse and Norma Editorial).
Also, I don’t know what I’d make of it today, but back in the day I didn’t like issues 1 through 3 of Ronin. That’s about it,
I don’t think I’ve read much more than that.
As the list shows, I haven’t followed him for quite some time now, so I can’t say about DK2 or DKIII. Hell, I’ll probably never read those, as I’ve never read any Before Watchmen (I’m not comparing, remember: I haven’t read them). Nonetheless, as far as the part of his work I know is concerned, I reckon Michel Fiffe absolutely nails it when he says:
“Miller built his technical skill via Neal Adams & Gil Kane. Like Kirby, he nailed the basics and went from there: Moebius/Kojima (RONIN), Pratt (DKR), Muñoz (Sin City), Kurtzman (300), Feininger & Watterson (DK2).”
It’s sad that so many readers don’t know who Kojima or Muñoz are, that’s some basic comics culture you really should get ahold of no matter where you come from. It’s a big world, Charlie Brown, and there’s more to it than the U.S.A.
So. Apparently Miller doesn’t draw as well as he used to and some people have been making fun of it, which, again is sad and something your mom should have taught you about, especially if age and/or health have anything to do with it. Anyhows, Fiffe reblogs the absolutely astounding recolouring
of recent Miller art, by James Harvey, who does an awesome work along the lines of “Frank Miller’s recent work is good, but DC have no idea what to do with it” and in turn quotes his friend Julian Dassai, whose theory you just have to embrace:
“[Miller’s] work is dynamic and, in some cases, verging on abstract. Trying to color his stuff with representational lighting and rendering is pointless, whereas a flat, graphic approach (or just leaving it in b&w) allows the energy to jump off the page”.
Looking at the delivered ‘evidence’ I could’t agree more. I mean, I hadn’t seen those covers before, for Heaven’s sake, what on Earth is that? 90′s Image colouring? DC completely fucked it up. Editor’s contribution here? An utter level of artistic ignorance. Which is pathetic given the fact that comic-books are supposed to be an art industry.
As I said, I don’t think I’ll ever read DKIII. However, if recoloured the right way, as Harvey’s phenomenal approach shows, I just might give it a chance.
Give the man the job. He’s damn well earned it.