No stranger to controversy with such works as 300 and, most recently, Holy Terror, Frank Miller has waded into the political fray with a tirade against the "Occupy" movement that blasts the protesters as "a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists" that "can do nothing but harm America."
In a blog post that blew up over the weekend, garnering the attention of everyone from the comics community to Entertainment Weekly to the New York Daily News, the creator who nearly 25 years ago wrote the influential Batman: Year One -- "You have eaten well. You've eaten Gotham's wealth. Its spirit. Your feast is nearly over." -- unleashed on the "pond scum" engaged in nationwide protests aimed primarily at perceived economic and social inequality.
“'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," Miller wrote. "[...] In the name of decency, go home to your parents, you losers. Go back to your mommas’ basements and play with your Lords Of Warcraft. Or better yet, enlist for the real thing. Maybe our military could whip some of you into shape."
Yes, Lords of Warcraft. Miller's rant somehow dovetails into a favorite subject of his, the War on Terror, with the 54-year-old artist advising the aforementioned "losers" to come to their senses and fight the real enemy.
"Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy," he continued. "Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you’ve been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you’ve heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism. And this enemy of mine — not of yours, apparently -- must be getting a dark chuckle, if not an outright horselaugh -- out of your vain, childish, self-destructive spectacle."
Miller characterized the Occupy movement as "anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment." However, in a belated response to io9.com's survey asking Batman writers how the Dark Knight would respond to Occupy Wall Street, Miller, through a representative, wrote, "Batman would respect the First Amendment," which was later amended to "Batman believes in the First Amendment and decorous behavior."
Criminals are a cowardly and indecorous lot, it appears.
While his screed burned up Twitter over the weekend, it probably didn't come as a big surprise to those who've followed his work, the most recent of which is Holy Terror, is long-gestating revenge fantasy created in response to 9/11. Still, his comments generated plenty of response from creators and readers alike.
"Frankmillerink.com is a great link if you like absolute bullshit," said Batgirl writer Gail Simone.
"I just don’t expect that from a guy who wrote Year One, the best cape comic ever: a work of careful thought, psychological nuance, beauty," novelist Joe Hill, writer of Locke & Key, tweeted.
"I think Frank Miller saw them filming the giant fight scene for Dark Knight Rises in NY & confused it for [Occupy Wall Street]," Shade artist Cully Hamner tweeted. "No wonder he was pissed...!"
"Instead of yet another Republican debate I would pay money to see Frank Miller, Steve Ditko and Harlan Ellison debate the issues of the day," writer Christos Gage said.
However, Ty Templeton had the most elaborate response, breaking out a special "Frank Miller Funnies" edition of his Bun Toons webcomic. See the full strip on Templeton's website.