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    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2011
     (10347.21) all honesty a person has a right to say what they want even if they say it in an incredibly ignorant and stupid way. My motto has always been "While I disagree with what you have to say, I will defend to the death your right to say it". Also let's face it, Frank Miller doesn't have any real power over this and he's just one voice of most likely many who are saying "get a job, you stupid hippies who don't know shit about how this world works" (shall I redirect you folks to the beginning of the Occupy Wall Street thread? I've been guilty of it myself).

    As for the boycotts and anger towards Miller, I think it's totally justifiable for many people. As Argos says, free speech DOES go both ways.

    Me, I stopped reading him about ten years ago when, after reading his classics like Dark Knight Returns and Sin City and a few others, I realized that his art style hadn't changed at all in the time since his classics and his writing just got more testosterone-filled to the point where it seemed like he was compensating for something. To me one of the thrills of comics is seeing an artist's style change throughout their career. I didn't feel like I was getting that with Miller and the writing didn't make me feel like I should stay, so I left it at that.
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2011
    @oldhat A thing that occured to me just as I nodded in agreement to the comforting thought regarding Miller's lack of influence. After 300 turned up in cinemas, nationalist, fascist and nazi fora were brimming with avatars, sigs and all kinds of internet tribal markings made from bits and pieces cut from the promo material and the films themselves. Back then, I could write it off as misappropriation. After reading that rant, I can't.
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2011 edited
    @nygaard, on that same end I'm sure that if I write a POD novel where the main themes were strength, culling the weak and not tainting the land with foreign weaklings, even with being not as known as Miller I'd probably get a few good sells from some right-wing nutbars. These are the themes that appeal to them and it's not hard to get them riled up. I'm not 100% sure that was Miller's intention, but I can see how it would seem so in the context of his comments. That said, Miller still strikes me as just a voice preaching to the converted, not a leader. Hence, no power.

    And on the note of that following I should say that I'm most disappointed in the comments on that blog. Both sides are being jerks, but what gets me is when someone politely responds with something along the lines of "Hey Frank, I'm afraid I have to disagree with you" there are ten replies to that comment that start off with "Fuck you, you bleeding heart liberal".
  1.  (10347.24)
    Heh. That's part of the reason I took the discussion here, and nowhere else. It's an actual discussion on this board, and the usual internet screaming is... frowned upon. By forced internal parasitic invasion.
    • CommentAuthorSolario
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2011
    The following is just me musing aloud, so I make no guarantees than I won't change my mind later on, BUT:

    Free speech is far too overvalued compared to informed opinion. I'm not saying it's unimportant or that we shouldn't respect it, but it's instrumentalistic at best; it has no inherent value. Free speech only means something, if you do something worthwhile with it. The reason it's protected is because whatever is worthwhile is open to discussion and mostly everyone can say something worthwhile at times, no matter their intelligence, empathy or whatever. However, I don't think any rationally-minded individual would consider, for example, what a lunatic like Charles Manson says as having an equal amount of value as what someone like, I don't know, Stephen Fry. Doesn't mean they can't both say something intelligent and stupid, but we can usually tell when it's one or the other.

    @James Cunningham, I disagree with your interpretation of the ending of DKR. It's not about rehabilitating criminals - they're still criminals, they just commit the crimes that Batman tells them to. If he went away, they would find another strong and charismatic leader, who would want to command them. They're depicted as being amoral and just do whatever their alpha male tells them to. They don't learn anything, they don't change, and they aren't rehabilitated. It's the ending of A Clockwork Orange on a large scale.

    In regards to it being even-handed criticism, I think DKR is a lot more nuanced than his later work, but it's still predominately a conservative work, in my opinion. He shots widder than just the right, certainly, but Reagan is at worst depicted as being a little clueless and the primary non-supervillain antagonists are psychiatrists, diplomatic government officials and young people (this last group could arguably not count, seeing as Carrie is depicted in a positive light). It's not quite as black and white, as it becomes later on, but it's still not pretty. At least when people like Grant Morrison writes Batman, he tries to do something about the uglier, fascist elements of Batman.

    All of this doesn't stop me from enjoying it, as a visceral story, but the politics in and behind it are dubious at best.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeNov 16th 2011
    I actually really like Dark Knight Strikes Again, it's not brilliant or anything, but it's a lot of fun. All-Star Batman is pretty bad though.

    Millergate is what happens when people you admire for their creative output turn out to be a disappointment. Lots of people have opinions you may find objectionable, but when someone whose work you've enjoyed turns out to be an ass, that can be a bit of a shock.
  2.  (10347.27)
    I can separate the man's personal beliefs from his work, so the comment itself barely registers. I think lots of outlets are using it as a cheap way to get hits/troll their comment sections over the weekend, but that's a whole other cup of tea.
  3.  (10347.28)
    Richard Pace:

    Heh, that comic is really making the rounds online, I actually linked it into Around the Net thread without realizing it was here (didn't even notice this whole thread).

    And I don't know... I generally don't want to know the artist behind his or her work, since far too often it turns out that's he's a total knob. I just can't separate artist from his work, and I can't really support problem behavior by paying for it. From this debacle on, Frank Miller is in the same category for me as Orson Scott Card, whom I do actively boycott.

    He has the right to say the revolting stuff that he does, and I have a right to say that I think he's waste of space and not support his lifestyle and agenda with my money. This is how free speech works...
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2011
    @Vorn I read a little bit about the Card/Shadow Complex connection, and it looks like Card licensed the series from Chair, meaning that Chair owns the IP and therefore is the ultimate end of profits. Card would not have seen profits from the game due to him being a very peripheral member of the creative process. The game itself was surprisingly poorly written by Peter David, and filled with absurd conspiracy theory cliches, worse even than Assassin's Creed. The gameplay was awesome and I would buy a sequel if it were offered.

    I guess one could draw a tangential point about creative boycott due to a writers political or ethical beliefs. While I sympathize with Vorn's evident inability to turn off both empathy and disgust while reading a writers work, it should also be remembered that one does not often wholly agree or disagree with another person's beliefs, and deciding which belief is the one that kills that creator for you seems arbitrary.

    Boycotting Miller is easy, too, because he hasn't produced anything of value since The Hard Goodbye.
  4.  (10347.30)
    "He has the right to say the revolting stuff that he does, and I have a right to say that I think he's waste of space and not support his lifestyle and agenda with my money"

    Actually, the more I think about what boycotting someone really consists of, the less I object to it. Like Vornaskotti, I've always believed in spending conscientiously (I think of it as "voting with my money"), but perhaps hadn't considered that extending to creative individuals as well as companies and organisations.

    In Frank Miller's case, we know full well that he's using his platform as a well known creator to use comics as vehicles for propaganda, communicating the idea of combating terrorism with war. That's definitely not something I want to support financially - directly by buying Holy Terror, or indirectly by giving him revenue from his other comics.

    Like Solario, I think that the value of free-speech is that it should provide an open environment in which informed discussion of all kinds can evolve, and good ideas can be separated from bad ones by people who care to listen and think carefully to all sides. Free speech without informed choice as an end result is culturally impotent, just as informed choice without free-speech to fuel it would be!
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2011 edited

    True, technically, but there's always the issue of using Card as a marketing vehicle for a game, which is of course extra value for him in the form of publicity. Nowadays, in digital markets, that's hard currency. I'm also very underwhelmed about the game studio's decision to do that. They where complaining, that there's people of many nationalities and ideologies making games. Yes, of course there are, but would they have chosen a vocal Klansman or a known pedophile to be the "marketing name" for their game? How's a raging homophobe different from that, exactly?

    Boycotting is not only about money, it's also about public awareness and image, which is hard currency. It is also a sliding scale and a very personal one at that. While Card blazed through it with the accelerator down, Miller managed to crawl over with his latest rant, after trying really hard for some time. You are also right, boycotting him is pathetically easy, since after Sin Cities he hasn't done anything I would've even wanted to read.

    There is of course the "why do something inefficient that doesn't matter a much" point, which is fallacy in my opinion. If you can do only a little, it's not any kind of an excuse to do nothing.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2011
    For me, boycotting is part of using my right to free speech through action. As of others have said, sure Miller has a right to an opion, and to voice it, just like various companies and businesses had the right to donate money to the Yes on 8 campaign to make it so that LGBT people couldn't have same sex marriages in my state. Doesn't mean I have to continue to support those people.
  5.  (10347.33)
    When you give positive attention to or pay an artist who in his or her life supports things you consider objectionable or vile, you are supporting that stance. Art is not separate from the people and from the times it's created and in the times the artist lives in.

    H. P. Lovecraft was a good old-time racist and as I've heard it, he had a special dislike for the Finnish immigrants of New Providence area. Why won't I boycott him then, like Millar suggests. Well, if the money I give to H. P. Lovecraft has some bearing in today's politics, I think we have bigger problems than xenophobia, with the laws of causality breaking the bounds of perceivable logic, and all that.

    In a nutshell: the money and positive feedback I give to people like Miller or Card may and will go, right now, into supporting causes which I find repugnant and... well, fucking evil. Hence: no money or goodwill for you, gentlemen.
    • CommentAuthorandycon
    • CommentTimeNov 17th 2011
    I know I am probably just trying to justify why I like some asshole artists as opposed to others but I have always felt that someone like Lovecraft, in my view, wasn't as vocal about his prejudices as someone like Card or Miller is today. Yes it's in his fiction enough to know that it was probably something he truly felt as opposed to just 'his characters were racist', but he never went to the telegraphs to rage about foreigners and those who supported them calling them poofy dandys, he kept those thoughts to himself and the few people he wrote private letters to. Miller and Card on the other hand are kind of forcing their views on you in public forums and saying that if you don't agree with you then they have no time for you.
  6.  (10347.35)
    There's very much of being a product of their times with Lovecraft and Robert E. Howard.

    A deep reading of their extended biographies makes a reader thing both their racism and bigotry were softening as they matured. IIRC, Lovecraft's wife was Jewish.

    I would hope Miller gets the help he needs to arrest his downward spiral, but I suspect he's more likely to find a new audience much in the same way Dennis Miller did.

    I used to really admire Frank, back when he gave the impression he was standing up to Marvel and DC. In hindsight I suspect it was just posturing on his part.

    I do feel for Bob Schreck, who now has Miller and HOLY TERROR dangling around his neck in his position as EIC at Legendary. Bob's too nice a guy to have this sort of bad luck and I think he's too loyal to probably do the proper sort of damage control.

      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2011
    "Awright, you combat-happy joes, take ten!", as Sgt Fury might say.

    Frank Miller HAS been a satirist throughout his career. He's also gotten in trouble for that over the years. (Notably, the Village Voice asking "Is Batman A Fascist?" after DKR and the story "Robohomophobe" in A.A.R.G.H! {Artists Against Rampant Government Homohobia, a benefit book for gay rights in Englandland back in the fooking Eighties})

    So Frank Miller doesn't like suicide bombers. Who does? He doesn't like hippies, either. That's his opinion. At least he HAS an opinion and it's his GODDAMN God-given right to do so. If, in fact, you DO NOT AGREE with Mr. Miller's opinion, (any relation to Dennis, btw?) feel free to not support him in his (admittedly increasingly misguided) creative endeavours. (Also, people have been complaining about a decline in his work SINCE HE LEFT DAREDEVIL. THE FIRST TIME. So there's that.)

    Personally, I'll never forgive him for directing THE SPIRIT, the movie that made Jonah Hex "acceptable". AND DON'T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON JONAH HEX.

    MY point is, if indeed I have one, is that Frank Miller's opinions on current events will never overcome the shame of directing THE SPIRIT. I don't think he needs "help" (what might that "help" entail, anyway? "Frank Miller In Sensitivity Training" is a helluva comic idear.) and I don't think he needs or even wants "support". If he wants to be left alone, he's well on his way, though.

    @asanaside - I always thought that All-Star Batman was the Dark Knight Batman when he was a "boy" - the over-the-top portrayals of everyone from Batman on down, the terse, somewhat stupid dialogue, the emphasis on violence ... it's just that Jim Lee made it look like an Archie comic with cross-hatching and Miller apparently wasn't edited as much.
    • CommentAuthorVerissimus
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2011
    Nobody's saying Frank Miller isn't allowed to have opinions, but people aren't obliged to respect those opinions. And if he calls the protestors thieves and rapists and spoiled ipad babies or whatever a lot of people aren't going to like him.
  7.  (10347.38)
    Frank Miller's opinons express are a wonderful example of one of the lesser observed things about Free speech; One is entitled to dig themselves a very, very deep hole for themselves with the words they choose. It's the balance, if you will. We need the counterpoint of people like this to weigh and balance what society wants. Frank Miller's ideology is clear in his little rant. It's a buffer. Most people still Mein Kampf not because they want to be like Hitler or understand them but because they want to absorb the point of view and realize why it was so askew.

    Please, also consider this other phenomenon in the form of an image...

    Alan Moore has never been shy about expressing his opinions or observations, but he has gone out of his way to avoid hollywood glamourization. I do have to wonder about what goes through his mind when a simple idea he and others had when they wrote 'V' has literally been taken to the streets. Man, I love life!
    • CommentAuthorflecky
    • CommentTimeNov 18th 2011 edited
    @ World: I was furious earlier reading this as a knee jerk reaction.I've not read his "rant" yet so i will be careful as to what i say.

    Maybe it's my age and that comics mean the world to me.If you where a kid in the seventies and eighties there was not the amount of quality reading there is available now for us to rip apart,compare to other works,judge,say "I think this is crap and so it must be"

    Millers early work came along when there was a lot of stagnant dross on the comic scene.If you where there then you will know what i mean.He infused a bit of excitement into a media that was pretty bloody awful.

    Fooksake,can anybody remember how he waged a one man defence of Jack Kirby?I admired him like hell for that.

    Like an arsehole everyone has a opinion and sometimes they both stink.

    Yeah,The Spirit was probably one of the worst films i endured.Yet reading Born Again,The Dark Knight,Year One,Ronin, etc where highs in my comic reading history.

    I've calmed down a bit so will look at the bigger picture.I will get back to this when i've absorbed the information etc.

    And i will do my best to keep my judgemental oversized stupid childish ego at bay.
  8.  (10347.40)
    While reactions to the rant go on for ages, the actual article that started the whole mess takes less than 1 minute to read.

    Try not to let it disappoint you too much when you realize the person who did those things is very likely in the past. I've called the rant "crazy" a couple of times and have yet to see any reason to view it as the product of a mind that has a grip on much of anything. I'm not trying to be insulting, it's just that the article starts off disconnected from reality and then goes completely off the rails.