Frank Miller, the legenday comic artist behind Sin City, 300, and The Dark Knight Returns unloaded on the Wall Street protesters in a recent blog post, and plenty of his fans are firing back.
First, the blog post. In a long statement posted on his website, titled "Anarchy," Miller says he has decided to say what others are "too damn polite" to say:
The “Occupy” movement, whether displaying itself on Wall Street or in the streets of Oakland (which has, with unspeakable cowardice, embraced it) is anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment. “Occupy” is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America.
“Occupy” is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the “movement” – HAH! Some “movement”, except if the word “bowel” is attached - is anything more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves.
The diatribe goes on in a similar vein. Miller, if he's lucky, may find himself credited with adding the exhortation "wake up, pond scum" to the vernacular. And he pivots into a favorite topic, which he covered, to no small amount of controversy, in his recent graphic novel Holy Terror: Islamist terrorism. Miller gleefully called that effort "propaganda" in the grand tradition: "Let's keep in mind that, back in the forties, Superman punched out Adolf Hitler." But critics saw a crude, simplistic narrative that flattered anti-Muslim stereotypes and lumped the innocent faithful in the same category as terrorists.
For fans who don't share his politics, including writers and comic book artists, the anti-Occupy screed is only the latest letdown. "So we've reached the point where 'Insane, even for Frank Miller' is a thing," the journalist Spencer Ackerman tweeted.
The comic industry tribune Bleeding Cool gathers the responses of Miller's contemporaries. They are genuinely unimpressed with his latest. Bleeding Cool also highlights one of Miller's own Batman comics, which seems to suggest that the superhero is ready to make the one percent pay their fair share ("You've eaten Gotham's wealth ... your feast is nearly over," he intones), then offers a revised version, using Miller's rant instead.
The artist's fiercely expressed political views have not yet cut into the appetite for his work, though. An original 1986 drawing for his Batman series sold earlier this year for $448,125. And he's slated to come out with a new comic and a novel, 300: Battle of Artemisia, in 2013.