Alan Moore on Frank Miller's unhinged Occupy rant

Comics's most awesome bearded wizard, Alan Moore, responds to Frank Miller's bizarre Occupy rant, in which the Sin City/300 creator tells off protesters for taking to the streets to protest banksterism and corporatism when they should be joining his fight against Islam.

“Well, Frank Miller is someone whose work I’ve barely looked at for the past twenty years. I thought the Sin City stuff was unreconstructed misogyny, 300 appeared to be wildly ahistoric, homophobic and just completely misguided. I think that there has probably been a rather unpleasant sensibility apparent in Frank Miller’s work for quite a long time. Since I don’t have anything to do with the comics industry, I don’t have anything to do with the people in it. I heard about the latest outpourings regarding the Occupy movement. It’s about what I’d expect from him. It’s always seemed to me that the majority of the comics field, if you had to place them politically, you’d have to say centre-right. That would be as far towards the liberal end of the spectrum as they would go. I’ve never been in any way, I don’t even know if I’m centre-left. I’ve been outspoken about that since the beginning of my career. So yes I think it would be fair to say that me and Frank Miller have diametrically opposing views upon all sorts of things, but certainly upon the Occupy movement.

“As far as I can see, the Occupy movement is just ordinary people reclaiming rights which should always have been theirs. I can’t think of any reason why as a population we should be expected to stand by and see a gross reduction in the living standards of ourselves and our kids, possibly for generations, when the people who have got us into this have been rewarded for it; they’ve certainly not been punished in any way because they’re too big to fail. I think that the Occupy movement is, in one sense, the public saying that they should be the ones to decide who’s too big to fail. It’s a completely justified howl of moral outrage and it seems to be handled in a very intelligent, non-violent way, which is probably another reason why Frank Miller would be less than pleased with it. I’m sure if it had been a bunch of young, sociopathic vigilantes with Batman make-up on their faces, he’d be more in favour of it. We would definitely have to agree to differ on that one.”

Alan Moore Responds to Frank Millers ‘Occupy’ Rant (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

(Image: Alan Moore, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from fimbrethil's photostream)


    1. Moore’s snake god is Glycon, quiet possibly the mid-second century invention of Alexander the Paphlagionian (“False Prophet”), and Moore himself admits that the god’s probably a fraud.

      I think “waking with a mouth full of spiders one morning” is much more likely.

  1. This seems spot on.
    Alas, the Occupy movement seems to be conflating the a-hole bankers and investment “experts” and government nit-wits who got us into this mess with the top 1% (wealthy people). Of course there is overlap, but these are not necessarily the same group. 

    1. You are mistaking the agents of our demise for the perpetrators. The last thirty years of Washington consensus policies (strong dollar, free-trade, anti-union, financial deregulation, tax breaks for the 1%), have created a country where the median individual has stagnant income, high debt, and exposure to repeated asset bubble crashes. These policies were passed for the direct benefit of the wealthy at the expense of everyone else.

      And when shit hits the fan, the 1% isn’t bailed out because the gov’mnt is incompetent, it is because they own the politicians (through campaign donations) and officials (through lucrative career options).

      Yes, the 1% slogan is overly broad in targeting blame. It’s more likely the top .1% or .01% that have their hands on the levers of government, but the 1% certainly benefits more from the top .01%’s policies that the average asshole. And that’s enough to piss me off.

      1. Which de-regulatory acts are you referring to in particular? Not arguing… just curious.
        By the way, as I see it, bailing out unscrupulous businessmen at the expense of the nation at large = government incompetence.

        1. S&L Crises:

          ENRON & Sub-prime:

          “By the way, as I see it, bailing out unscrupulous businessmen at the expense of the nation at large = government incompetence.”

          Please, handing out money to powerful friends is certainly one of the things we can expect our government to do properly. 

          To say it’s just government incompetence is misleadingly vague. It hides the conscious political decisions made to make explicit the implicit government guarantee of bank debts. It isn’t just incompetence, it is the financial industry’s close ties to decision makers and regulators.

          But sure, lets reduce it down to government == incompetent. That way we don’t have to worry about the massive fraud that was perpetrated against the people and covered up in a smoke cloud of “government incompetence”.

          1. Thanks for the links.
            I don’t think I did try to reduce it down to “government = incompetent” I mentioned that as a contributing factor. I also agree that a simple-minded reduction of blame is not particularly useful. 

          1. The Glass-Steagall Act, in fact, was fatally holed below the water-line thirteen years earlier, when Bankers Trust was authorised to underwrite commercial paper.  Chase followed suit in 1987, then J P Morgan underwrote securities in 1990 (my ex-employer – there was much champagne quaffed on that day, I can assure you …)

      2. Yes, the 1% slogan is overly broad in targeting blame.

        I never really interpreted the 99% vs. 1% slogan as “all the people at the top deserve blame,” but rather as “our economic policies are designed for the benefit of the people at the top at the expense of everyone else.”

        Whether everyone at the top supports current policy or not, the fact remains that the playing field is not equal. To point that out does not demonize all rich people any more than the civil rights movement demonized all white people.

        1. This seems like more misleading conflation to me. “Our economic policies” is a phrase that covers a lot of ground. 
          Yes, bailing out incompetent and unscrupulous businesses at the expense of the population at large is a detestable economic policy. 

          1. “Our economic policies” is a phrase that covers a lot of ground.

            Yes it does. The problems are deep-rooted and numerous.

            Yes, bailing out incompetent and unscrupulous businesses at the expense of the population at large is a detestable economic policy.

            Detestable, but hardly the extent of the economic injustices currently taking place. The top 1% pay a much lower effective tax rate on their wealth than the rest of us, for example.

    2. I disagree. If the movement was trying to speak to the government, would there not be an occupy DC movement? Wouldn’t the encampments be at city halls?

      if you’re going to insist on misunderstanding, don’t even pretend you’re paying attention. 

      1. If the movement was trying to speak to the government, would there not be an occupy DC movement?

        Well, two things:

        1. There is an Occupy DC movement.
        2. The government pretty much works for Wall Street nowadays, so if you’re going to take this to the top that’s the logical place to start.

          1. You left out “…and Occupy movements everywhere.” Why should citizens have to leave their jobs, homes and families and travel to the nation’s capital every time they have a bone to pick with the government? Martin Luther King Jr. may have led a march on Washington, but most of the protests in the civil rights movement took place in the deep south where the most egregious civil rights violations were actually taking place.

            The idea that any legitimate political protest must take place in the presence of our political leaders is just plain silly. We live in an age of near-instantaneous global communication. Just because you’re not physically standing at your congressperson’s door doesn’t mean you can’t send them a message.

          2. brain, but when the original protests that the others are supporting were held at Wall Street and FR Banks, and decidedly not at the manifold local congressional offices?

            Groups of people can do anything, and I’m sure people are individually doing lots of things, but limiting discussion of the movement as something between the people and the government is misunderstanding.  This is between the people and the people.

            The gov’t is a tool of one side, or of both sides. Not the source of the problems or the solutions, but a tool. 

            (this is a reply to your comment below, as the thread refuses to let me reply)

  2. Alan Moore wrote a comic book in which the protagonist deliberately uses Stockholm Syndrome to convert a woman to his cause. I don’t think he has the right to accuse anyone of misogyny.

    1. Does Stockholm Syndrome only happen to women?

      If it had been used against a male character would you have accused the author of misandry?

      1. Sure. And whatever other bad words I can come up with. People who have to subvert the mind of man to promote their causes deserve everything they get. You cannot create freedom by undermining it in the place where it starts.

          1. In a very real sense, he is. Alan Moore isn’t some hired man. He’s an auteur. What he does is a choice, a deeply personal choice. And when a man of his independence chooses to invest himself in a mindfuck fantasy, you gotta’ wonder why. Given all the available options, why that one? Where does that come from? “V” is Alan Moore’s mind given full reign.

            I think it’s funny that so many people are willing to judge Frank Miller by his work. “Well of course he thinks that, just look at the fascist themes in his comics!” I don’t even know that much about Alan Moore beyond his work, but it surprises me not at all that someone below posts that “Alan Moore is an actual magician (in the hermetic/NPL/mindfuck tradition, not in the bunny-out-of-a-hat sense).” Well of course he is. Just look at the themes in his comics.

          2. ernurous, No, he really isn’t.  Just think of a minute: Which of the characters in Watchman is Alan Moore? Rorschach? Silk Spectre? Dr. Manhattan? Ozymandias? 

            Confusing the author and his characters is a common mistake and most easily made,  when the character’s despicable.  Doesn’t make it more true, though.

            *Some* characters are obvious statements about the author’s personal views and/or fetishes, yes.   Heinlein comes to mind.

            But those are usually corroborated by non-fiction statements by said author.

            In this case Frank Miller’s, whose latest ramblings are right from the pages of his last works. 

          3. Rorschach is clearly the moral center of “Watchmen”. The only one who “gets it”, and whose goals are ultimately realized. No surprise. He’s essentially V with a different mask. Moore likes this character.

          4. ernunnos

            i am more inclined to say that ol’ ink face is a look into the back and white outlook for the authoritarian/Randian “superman”. And given the request he makes of doc Manhattan at the end, i am reluctant to claim he got the outcome he wanted…

        1. Given that Moore has stated that “V” was not a hero, I think your premise might be flawed.  Moore has stated that the theme of “V for Vendetta” was contrasting fascism versus anarchy.  “V” acts as a catalyst to overthrow evil, but he himself knows he is too angry, too violent and too flawed to survive and fix the system.  He is an anti-hero and is presented as such. 
          Likewise, Moore has always expressed surprise at how well Rorschach was received.  

          1. “I am shocked, shocked to find that people are identifying with my protagonist.”

            Given that both Rorschach and V are of a piece (uncompromising, violent men who were victims of abuse, and turn to abuse themselves, proclaiming themselves judge, jury, and executioner – and are ultimately successful) I think that’s a little disingenuous of him. He knew what he was doing when he wrote them, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s gone to that well multiple times.

        2. Rorschachisnt the moral centre of the book. In the documentary In Search of Steve Ditko (well worth the watch) Alan Moore recounts the fact that he based Rorschach on Ditkos character Mr.A who was created by Ditko as an objectevist hero. Moore tells an anacdote about how Ditk called Rorschach an insane version of Mr.A this is followed by Moore laughing because as far as hes concerned both characters are quite mad.

          Rorschach int the moral center because hes quite mad. In fact all the characters in Watchmen are meant to show us just how terrible it would be if superheros existed. This according to Moore was the inspiration. Personally I think he did this far better in MarvelMan. Watchmen is meant to be a cautionary tale, its oral that the road to hell is paved  with good intentions. Rorschach damned himself to insanity with his drive to just help people in need while Ozmandiaz murders millions to create a fleeting utopia.

          On V for Vendetta, it always seemed to me that V was a monster.That the political attacks were done not to create a better world but just as a smokescreen for a man to murder those he hated. I mean its in the title V is only there for his personal Vendetta it just so happens that the people he wishes to ill happen to be in a corrupt government.

    2. This. And let us not forget how in Watchmen one of the only two female characters falls in love with her rapist.

      1. Unless I’m deeply mistaken, Watchmen was a commentary on some of the frankly creepy stuff that was played entirely straight in superhero comics(a bunch of unaccountable ubermenchen who do whatever they deem necessary to protect a society too weak and decadent to protect itself, what could possibly go wrong?) in the form of a superhero comic that played those overtly creepy elements straight; but turned up to 11.

        1. While I am a fan of his, there is a level of creepiness in a lot of his work. After a certain stage it becomes hard to explain away and easier to assume that he likes making slightly creepy art.

          It in no way compares to the kind of dumb nastiness that Miller produces of course.

        2. Bingo! We have a winner! It’s always nice to see others who get the subtext of Moore’s work and don’t take it at face value. Watchmen had a lot to say about society and human nature, but was also commenting a great deal on the entire, effed-up concept of superheroes and some of the inane ideas behind them. 

        1. The idea that women secretly enjoy being raped, or that if rape is inevitable they should “lie back and enjoy it,” as the saying goes, is a timeworn misogynist position. Seeing this grotesque lie come to life in Watchmen was very disturbing to me.

          “But wait,” you’re saying, “Alan Moore wasn’t taking that position himself; it was Silk Spectre’s complicated character flaw that produced that situation.”

          True, but, Silk Spectre is just ink put on paper by the hand of Alan Moore. Out of any possible character flaw he chose to go with the one that has no correlation to how the extreme majority of raped women would actually feel and plays into harmful and established sexist stereotypes. So personally I can’t give him a pass on it with the justification of “that’s just how her character is.”

          I mean, with that logic, couldn’t you defend literally any example of anything in media that  would considered sexist, racist, antigay, anything? Would you say it was a complicated character flaw that Mickey Rooney’s Asian character in Breakfast at Tiffany’s spoke with an exaggerated cartoonish accent, had buck teeth and looked like Mickey Rooney? If not, how is that different? 

          1. Because context.

            EDIT : okay, that’s a bit short. The actual difference between using a sexit/racist/whatever trope to make a point and just using it because you’re a lazy and/or racist writer is explained here by Film Crit Hulk, taking as a case study the difference between Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs and the videogame Arkham Asylum.

            tl;dr ? I’ll try to sum it up. Artists can use different tools to convey meaning. Some artists choose to use uncomfortable tropes, such as rape, and even the idea that rape can be enjoyable for the victim (as does Straw Dogs). In my opinion (and “Hulk”‘s), this can be acceptable when used to make an interesting point and forces you to think on, say, the misogynistic nature of media discourse.

            It is, however, totally inappropriate when used reflexively or just to sound “edgy”. Which is how Arkham Asylum uses the word “bitch”, for instance.

            In my opinion, this position has a lot of merit, because as a feminist, I think you can learn a lot from careful, contextualized exploration of sexist tropes.

            However, if you find it unacceptable, that’s on you. And I’m not trying to defend Moore, because that particular aspect of V for Vendetta made me a bit uncomfortable as well…although much more in the movie than in the graphic novel. I haven’t read Watchmen yet, though I plan to.

          2. First off, Silk Spectre’s reaction to the Comedian talking to her daughter did not strike me as a woman who had at all enjoyed being assaulted. Her later admission to Laurie that there had been consentual sex seemed to reveal a deep manipulative streak in her relationship with the Comedian. I think Sally’s forgivness of what Eddie had done was a lot more about her nostalgaic streak and rose-tinted hindsight than having secretly wanted to be raped. Her feelings on the matter were reprehensible to her daughter, who was a far more central character and whose perception is easier to follow.

            Secondly, who cares what a mysogynist reading the book thinks? Fuck that. Worrying about how something may be perceived or used by a jerk is a horrible way to self-censor.

          3. May I just say, I’ve been reading discussions of this topic since the last issue of Watchmen first went on sale (that’s 24 years ago) and yours is the most concise and to-the-point take on it I’ve seen in all that time.  Kudos!

          4. I never got the impression that Silke Spectre enjoyed being assaulted.

            Also, the Comedian tried to justify his attempt to rape he with the same excuse (“She wanted me to do it!”) and got beat up right away.  Doesn’t really imply to me that the author actually condones this trope.

            They are all messed up characters, remember?

            Also, this happened in a 1940 context – making excuses for rapists was much more common and accepted bad than, so I cannot even attest bad writing. 

          5. Gees, people. Seriously. If your reading comprehension and story analysis skills didn’t get beyond high school level, then please do us all a favor and stop reading Alan Moore. And, even better, stop spewing out moronic, overly subjective interpretations of his work. The very idea that there’s any misogyny in Watchmen is absurd to the extreme.

      1. Alan Moore’s actual opinions are invalidated by character flaws and our personal disagreements with the principles and circumstances in his fiction, didn’t you know?

    3. I’ve seen this comment pop up a few times in relation to V. I got the feeling that rather than Stockholm syndrome V was trying to create a forced empathy for a character who couldn’t synthesize her own because she was forced to live in a constant state of fear and denial of what the government was doing.

      1. “My totalitarianism is acceptable because I’m countering those other totalitarians!”

        Frankly, I’m surprised these two would even feud. They both write protagonists with totalitarian designs. Maybe one is left, and one is right, but they’ve both wrapped around to the same point. The point where they know better, and the choices of the little people in their worlds don’t matter. I suspect this may be one of the cases where the worst religious wars are between people whose doctrinal differences are difficult for outsiders to even see.

        1. Stockholm syndrome is your interpretation.  There are others.

          It might be useful to look at the situation as a criticism of the notion of free will as it applies to politics.  Like Bob Dylan said, “You gotta serve someone.”  And there’s always a reason why.

          1. Which others don’t involve kidnapping and torturing a person to bring them around to your way of thinking?

          2. OK, last try.  Obviously none of the interpretations can ignore the fact that, in the story, V kidnaps and tortures Evey.

            Do you remember what motivated V to become a terrorist in the first place?  Did you pick up on the fact that V doesn’t think of himself as human?  Did you pick up the hints on what he does think he is?  Can you really not see the relation of all this to Evey’s kidnapping?

          3. Every kidnapper and torturer has his reasons. Most abusers were themselves abused. So?

            I gotta’ wonder: What if it wasn’t Alan Moore we were talking about? What if it wasn’t kidnapping and torturing a young lady that the plot hinged on? What if the author was, say, Frank Miller, and the essential plot point was the brutal beating of a gay man to show him the error of his evil lifestyle? For which the protagonist shows no remorse, no inkling of doubt, much less repentance, and through which, he somehow realizes his dreams and desires?

            Still feeling understanding and nuanced?

        2. You know, I have read V for Vendetta more times than I can count, and not once have I ever gotten the impression that Moore has unreserved admiration for V or his methods. Evey rejects his violence, and he has Eric Finch (one of the most admirable characters in the book, and in many ways the book’s moral center) call V a monster and kill him.

          Indeed, Moore makes exactly the point you do: When fighting something monstrous, it is entirely possible to become monstrous yourself.

          (I’m also kind of amused that V’s torture of Evey, while awful, is the big deal, and not the fact that he, you know, killed a bunch of people.)

          This point is made clearly in the text, and Moore has said it himself multiple times in multiple different forums.

    4. And “Christians” wrote the bible which has far, far worse, but most Christians I know do not endorse actually stoning people and/or turning people to pillars of salt. I’m writing a comic that has ghosts in it. I don’t believe in ghosts though.
       Do you understand?

      1. No, Christians wrote the part of the Bible that contains a direct renunciation of stoning by the main character. Even if you want to take the Bible as a whole, it’s a long and complex story that shows the evolution of the relationship between its principle characters. There is no such renunciation of brainwashing in Alan Moore’s work. No such complexity. In fact, it’s presented as ultimately successful and justified, not as a mistake to be overcome, or an earlier dispensation to be discarded. Man uses terror and brainwashing to achieve his goals, dies happy and fulfilled. The end.

        1. Actually, the “he who throws the first stone” bit was almost certainly interpolated into the Christian Bible later — assuming Jesus was a real person, this was not actually something that he said.  And you’re considerably underestimating Moore’s work in which it’s actually pretty easy to find all the depth you insist is not there.  Got an axe to grind or something?

          ref: A kid gloves treatment of the “first stone” dilemma on Christianity today:

          1. Christians wrote it. It doesn’t matter when, or even if it’s literally true. It’s part of the story, the philosophy they were trying to promote. There is no analogous part of the story in Alan Moore’s work.

            So at the very least, it’s not a good analogy.

            Perhaps there is a better one. Perhaps you can come up with another story where the protagonist does something, and ultimately reaches his goals, overcomes his obstacles, and ends up satisfied and successful, with no hint of regret, which is still somehow a refutation of his methods. But the Bible re: stoning is not one of them. In fact, it’s pretty much the exact opposite.

          2. Re: the first stone. SOME Christian wrote it, but it’s not part of the original gospels stories. Most people agree that adding entire passages to stories can change their meanings or the likelihood of certain interpretations; you certainly can’t claim the original authors of the gospels intended to include the story because they didn’t. It also raises the possibility that MANY passages of the new testament have been added or revised, possibly quite changing the meaning of the whole thing from the intentions of the original authors. “It’s all Christians, dude,” is not a serious rebuttal.

            Re: the matter at hand. Maybe (and by “maybe” I mean “completely bloody obviously”) V is not intended to be an entirely sympathetic character in the first place.

          3. Entirely? Was there any part that was supposed to be sympathetic? I mean, it’s realistic. The abused often turn out to be abusers themselves. That’s just depressing and normal. But given the political themes – Which, face it, are pretty damn ham-handed. This is a guy whose politics were forged in Thatcher’s England, not exactly a recipe for subtlety or restraint. – it clearly wasn’t just intended as an isolated examination of the perpetuation of violence.

            Nah, there’s more than a little “Mary Sue” in V.

          4. – it clearly wasn’t just intended as an isolated examination of the perpetuation of violence.

            Not “isolated,” no.  It’s examined in relation to the larger themes of the book. 

            Whatever, if you’re going to shit talk the author based on your own shallow reading and not even cop to the fact that you might be missing something then this is a pointless conversation.  Your mind is clearly already made up.

      2. Both of those were in the non-Christian bits of the book. Christians wrote the bits about that fellow who gets nailed to a tree and that other fellow who gets knocked off his horse on the way to Damascus and decides to tell everyone else about the guy on the tree and also to stop it with all the buggery, already, God’s very upset by that.

    5. There isn’t much that exists in the comics universe that isn’t misogynistic to some degree. It’s systemic and ingrained in comics culture. It’s still pretty easy for me to say Moore’s comics contain less misogyny and homophobia than Miller’s.

      I like V for Vendetta. Maybe I’m just looking at it through a different lens. V “converts” Evey by putting her what he went through. It’s an analogy for “walk a mile in my shoes.” And V was inspired by a gay lady. 

      Am I excusing some misogynistic themes because Moore has done what few have done in making a lesbian character an inspiration for the protagonist rather than a suicidal psycho? Maybe so.

    6. Moore has been very clear and open about the moral ambiguity of V, both in the book itself and in other commentary. Indeed, one of the critical themes of the graphic novel V for Vendetta is to ask the reader to look at what V does and ask if it is worth it.

      Miller has been very clear that he sees no moral ambiguity whatsoever in his work. He demands to be judged by it.

    7. May be I’m being totally off the wall here but the issue is that Miller stands by, promotes and revels in the actions of his unpleasant characters while Moore quite clearly does the opposite? I find it perplexing that you are unable to grasp the fact some authors may write about things they don’t expressly condone or enjoy, and that they may support some aspects of their characters but decry others.

      try this –

      – ‘Hey Frank, do you reckon those muslim %#&@ should all be lined up and shot by Navy Seals?
      – ‘Heck yeah!’ *guns fire, eagle soars out of explosion in front of flag*

      – ‘Hey Alan, do you endorse kidnapping as a way to win over the ladiez?’


    8. You don’t know what you’re talking about. If Evey had been a victim of Stockholm Syndrome, she would have been turned into a devoted follower of Norsefire (the fascist ideology of the government) because that’s who V was pretending to be. 

    9. Anyone accusing Alan Moore of misogyny is laughably unfamiliar with his works. Try going back to his Swamp Thing days. His writing from that time period leaves no doubt whatsoever as to his views, although I wouldn’t expect any simpleton Frank Miller fans to be able to read any of that and fully understand the subtext.

    10. I think this is a misreading of what happens in VfV. What happens  to Evey mirrors what happens to Finch. They both arrive at states in which they are able to reprogram themselves – Finch through the aid of hallucinogens, and Evey though the ‘assistance’ of V (‘anything that can be done chemically can be done by other means’). In classic BB-friendly terminology, they are breaking down their reality tunnels.

      Whether V is right to do this is open to debate, but he’s not merely ‘converting’ Evey. Indeed shortly after her experience V offers to kill her tormentor (murder being a major component of V’s MO) and she refuses to take that opportunity. I think this is a very important scene.

  3. But… but… I don’t understand. This appears to be a disagreement, but no one is insulting his opponent or questioning his intelligence, sanity, and/or sexuality! This seems almost… civil. I’m scared!

    1. Did you read Miller’s original rant? It was nothing but insults. And not witty ones, either—more along the lines of the stuff you read in YouTube comments.

  4. i never thought, ever, ever in a bajillion years thought that alan moore would be the voice of reason. i’m not complaining, just shocked pleasantly.

  5. “I’m sure if it had been a bunch of young, sociopathic vigilantes with Batman make-up on their faces, he’d be more in favour of it.”

    There’s irony in there but I just can’t put my finger on it.

    1. For context, I believe Alan Moore was referring to the book 300 rather than the film. Moore has previously criticized the book for having a Spartan refer to Athenians as “boy-lovers” considering the Spartans’ well documented proclivities. I believe Miller’s normal defense for the line is that sure, Spartans got their man-boy love on, but that doesn’t mean they were up front about it and not hypocritical.

      On a side note, my absolutely favorite criticism about the *movie* 300 was that it’s “the most homophobic gay porn ever created.”

    2. The Persians were made out to look like sexy-time freaks of nature, it seems obvious that Miller and co. were trying to make them appear as bad/barbaric/deviants and so on, in contrast to the good, just and “civilized” people of The West.

        1. I’d just be content if he’d leave history alone period,  and stick to honky revenge fantasies.  I’d hate to see what he’d do to Native Americans if he decided to make a gorefest about Custer’s last stand…..

        2. You mean real-life Persian people don’t look like orcs?

          Orcs have hairy jowls and ears, at least. 300 featured a million Greeks and Persians and not a single body hair. Somebody has a subterranean sexual agenda.

    3. He did cut out the institutionalised Spartan homosexuality completely. The Spartans had a training system where a young boy was taken under the wing of an older man  who also had sex with him. They weren’t like other Greek units who used gay relationships to strengthen the bonds between warriors in battle but such relationships were a facet of their training.

  6. Frank Miller has obviously never seen Godfather Pt. II or he’d know that those who’re willing to fight and die for a cause rather than money can win.

  7. I don’t understand this part of Mr. Moore’s statement: 
    “Since I don’t have anything to do with the comics industry, I don’t have anything to do with the people in it.” 
    This story begins with:
     “Comics’s most awesome bearded wizard, Alan Moore”
    What am I missing?

    1. Alan Moore is an actual magician (in the hermetic/NPL/mindfuck tradition, not in the bunny-out-of-a-hat sense). He also writes comics, but not in what’s called “the comics industry” (aka Marvel and DC, mostly).

      Oh, and he has a beard.

  8. I’m pleased that Alan Moore is calling out Frank Miller’s work for what it is, I’ve always been under-impressed with his stories, but then again I fall on the wrong side of his demographic.

    1. Maybe I fall into his demographic, but I was really put off by the Sin City movie, enough to not want to see 300 at all.  I haven’t read any of Moore’s stories yet or seen any movies based on them. Does anyone have any recommendations for where I could start?

      1. Daredevil: Man Without Fear, Batman: Year One, Batman: Dark Knight Returns are all great superhero stuff by Frank Miller.  Ronin is non-superhero, worth reading but nothing groundbreaking.  The Sin City movie is the three most popular Sin City books pretty much exactly (like each scene in the movie represents a panel in the comics) so you may not be into that.  300 is a gorgeous looking book — every “page” was a painted two-page spread.  The hardcover is double-wide to accommodate this without splitting across two pages like the original issues did. But 300 has a lot of historical problems, Miller really misrepresents who the Spartans were and why Leonidas did what he did.

        I can’t think of any other decent Frank Miller off the top of my head.

      2. What Moore did with Swamp Thing was nothing short of masterful.  Absolutely brilliantly done.  I read all the compilations from the beginning of his work on the series to the end and I was even more floored than I was with Watchmen.  If you read anything in the next couple of months, make it those compilations.  I was intrigued by the first book when I picked it up at a used bookstore, and by the time I got  to the last book it was a case of mind…blown.   Batman, the Justice League, John Constantine, even Darkseid makes an appearance, and all wrapped up in incredible storytelling.  My one regret is that I don’t think I will ever read anything better by a comic writer.

  9. Throw in Dave Sim’s famous women-hating rant, and the comic author community looks little different than the Tea Party and a tin-foil-hat fest. Just with better art on the signs.

  10. I read the Wikipedia article about Glycon. He was depicted as a serpent with long blond hair. There is some speculation that the god may have been a trained snake in a mask or a hand puppet. His worship fell out of favor in the fifth century and he was not heard of until his next manifestation in 1947, when he appeared on television under the name of “Ollie”.

  11. “Maybe I fall into his demographic, but I was really put off by the Sin City movie, enough to not want to see 300 at all. I haven’t read any of Moore’s stories yet or seen any movies based on them. Does anyone have any recommendations for where I could start? ”

    @Rich Keller-

    Never, and I mean never, watch any movie that is based on an Alan Moore book (I’m including V for Vendetta in that too,…read the book though). I don’t know what your reading tastes are, but I think his best work is probably “From Hell” (the annotations in the back alone are worth buying the book. A good starter Moore book would be his  “Swamp Thing” run which has been collected in hard cover. “Promethea”and “Top Ten” are great books too.

    1. Thanks!  I’ll take a look for “From Hell” the next time I’m at the bookstore. They had “Lost Girls” there the last time I looked. I didn’t want to see “V for Vendetta” after reading about the differences between the film and the book.

  12. The concept of super-heroes, whether in comics or other forms, is a right-wing concept. It always has been.

    1. I’d say more “libertarian” than right-wing, but either is fine as long as people recognize that they belong in the realm of fantasy.

      The genre can also be appropriated to sneak in some left-wing messages from time to time. The X-Men frequently face challenges that are thinly veiled allegories for various contemporary civil rights issues, for example.

      1. The general idea that to solve our social problems we need a “super” hero instead of just ourselves, is the right-wing-ness of the concept. 

        It is the idea that our society is massively flawed and it is because of human nature and therefore we can’t fix it, so we need to wait for a being of superness to come into our lives and fix it for us or lead us into fixing it.

        The fundamental concept of the left is that we are the ones that need to rise up and fix our world is us.

        1. The general idea that to solve our social problems we need a “super” hero instead of just ourselves, is the right-wing-ness of the concept.

          Also the premise of most Ayn Rand stories. But I get the idea.

          The important thing is to remember that the superhero thing doesn’t work in the real world. I think Alan Moore realizes that better than Frank Miller. In “Watchmen” one of the unintended consequences of a world with superheroes is that the nuclear standoff against Russia was pushed closer to the brink than it ever got in real life, and the book ends with the slaughter of millions orchestrated by a guy with a supersized ego. Hardly a testament to how much better we’d be off in a world where grown men and women fight crime in masks and tights.

          1. Having been raised in a very left-wing household, I always read comics through a left-wing lens. Marvel comics in particular always seemed pretty left wing: no killing, sympathetic villains who are not necessarily “bad” and hardly ever evil, a scepticism of nationalism while also acknowledging the need for community and forms of group identity, violence breeding violence, solutions based on compassion and intelligence, etc. But that may have just been me reading into it what I wanted to.

            Indeed I always thought that Miller was taking the superhero to its logical (if overly literal) extreme: they’re psychos who are only discernible from the villains by their own particular brand of psychosis. Turns out Miller was just expressing his own puerile fantasies.

            My favourites growing up were Spider-man and X-Men, they seemed pretty left-wing to me. Spider-man’s arch nemesis is the CEO of a Big Pharma corporation, he’s pilloried by the tabloid media, chased by the authorities, struggles to pay the rent, his moral choices are never cut and dried and often have unintended consequences. He’s hardly the embodiment of an ubermensch: perfect in every way.

            Certainly the ‘gritty’ 80s started to change that ethos, the death knell for me was the Punisher making the leap from being the antithesis of a Marvel hero into a lead character with his own book. The letters pages of Punisher comics were particularly disturbing! 

            Most disturbing of all was the fact that many seemed to think that superheroes were real, or wouldn’t it be great if they were real.  It’s fantasy and allegory people!!

            But as I said before, people see what they want to in fiction, which is a reason why it is so powerful. I’ve been told that Doctor Who is right-wing and that Monkey Magic is racist. I think that Doctor Who is left-wing and Monkey taught a whole generation of kids in Australia about tolerance, so there you go.

      2. Anyone can be an X-man/mutant no matter what class of society they hail from — that comic book represent ‘powers given to the people’. Before that, most superhuman powers were a genetic (Superman) or economic (Batman) legacy, and therefore, instrinsically right-wing. So you have Stan Lee to thank for the democratisation of comics. I don’t expect that this means the man will get much more respect around here, but there it is, you have Stan Lee to thank for pretty much everything admirable about comics.

  13. All I know is Miller insulted me after waiting an hour for him to sign a comic for me by asking, “Is this for your boyfriend?”  I guess possessing ladyparts means that I cannot like Daredevil. Its been almost ten years and I’m still a bit salty.

  14. Cory, I’d swap out the link to Badhaven–which doesn’t link to the source of the quotes that they use–to a couple from Honest Publishing, Part 1 and Part 2 (the part that contains his comments on Miller), or to the Bleeding Cool post that links to them. 

  15. I appreciate Moore’s “real-life” views on Occupy, and find Miller’s “real-life” comments on the same to be xenophobic, juvenile, and borderline insane. By bringing a critique of Miller’s work into the discussion however, Moore opens himself up to the same, and muddies the issue.

    Taken purely on their opinions about the Occupy movement and ability, or lack thereof, to express them clearly and rationally, I have no trouble at all siding with Moore. He’s got it right, imo. What V or Batman would say is perhaps beside the point.

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