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Tuesday, December 31, 2013 

Artifice website chooses easy target for accusations of politicization

The Artifice website wrote about politics in comics. They cite mainly Grant Morrison's take on Animal Man as a great example of the writer putting what may be his personal politics into his comics writing. Yet when it comes to Holy Terror, they seem to have quite the opposite opinion about Frank Miller:
That said, while Morrison may avoid the trap – for the most part – of converting Animal Man into a political diatribe, other authors have been less able to avoid such accusations. Perhaps the most infamous example is Holy Terror, a graphic novel that it’s writer, Frank Miller, expressly admits to being a propagandistic examination of terrorism and Islam in general. It is fair to say that the critics did not like it, and upon reading it, it’s not hard to see why. It’s brutal stuff, and as with any work given the label “propaganda,” it’s message – that Islamic terrorism (and apparently Islam generally, given that the author doesn’t go to any trouble to make a distinction) is a terrible, real threat to the freedom and security of the United States – is about as blunt as you can imagine.
Some leftist still has a problem with a book that's already at least 2 years old? And what a cheap, easy target he's choosing for calling a diatribe. What about all the leftist politics that make their way into comics far more mainstream than Holy Terror ever was? Including - but not limited to - Peter David's insult to opponents of the mosque that could've been built at Ground Zero, Mark Waid's propaganda, Ed Brubaker's attack on the Tea Party, among other lefty stunts of recent? How are those not diatribes? In fact, what if Animal Man is a diatribe and the Artifice writer doesn't have what it takes to admit that?

He also accuses Miller of not making distinctions without even acknowledging the content of the Koran and the verses that condone violence, and calls the book "brutal" without recognizing the subject matter is very serious stuff. I'm not saying Miller doesn't have flaws even on an issue like this, but when a buffoon like the writer for the Artifice fails to critique based on more valid points, it's clear he didn't write this up for sincere reasons. And citing critics as not liking it without being brave enough to admit the majority of detractors were leftists is another minus. I don't think it's fair at all. What he needs to look for is an exact reaction from a lot of the audience. He continues to say:
This isn’t the first time Miller has allowed his political views to enter a story, either; a less recent example would be his work on All-Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, and his depictions therein of the killings of corrupt cops, the near-veneration of Batman’s violent and morally dubious vigilantism as “justice” and the characterisation of Wonder Woman as a brash, violent, hypocritical straw feminist whose assessment of her own powers and place in the world borders on narcissism – and really, given how unsubtle that last critique is, it’s pretty easy to theorise where Miller stands in regards to feminism, all in all. Miller has, in the past, received his fair share of accolades, but these works brought a lot of criticism, and even the most charitable amongst us would have to call them controversial at best.
I won't argue about Miller's depiction of WW, as I think it wasn't right to tear down on her under the excuse this was an alternate universe take on a classic heroine. But if he has a problem with that, what does he think of Brad Meltzer after he penned that 2004 atrocity, Identity Crisis, or Geoff Johns for writing up at least a few acts that could be construed as insulting to women, like the nasty treatment of Linda Park West in the Flash at the time Johns came up with a new Reverse-Flash? Why should just Miller be the controversial writer/artist here? Some cheap shots he takes.

Still, it's not like Holy Terror and Miller's opinions on Occupy Wall Street have affected his career much, since he's still in the business, getting another of his Sin City GNs picked for movie adaptations and even a TV series, and even drew a cover for Detective Comics. (Though in all due honesty, I'm not happy he had to do a job for an issue whose story contributors include Meltzer. Ugh.) This probably suggests most leftists have come to terms with how Occupy wasn't worth all the fuss, and see no point in resenting Miller for what he thinks of it anymore.

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