Tag Archives: frank miller

20 YEARS AGO: 1991

MUSIC

Primal Scream – Screamadelica

My Bloody Valentine – Loveless

Blur – Leisure

Nirvana – Nevermind

Pixies – Trompe Le Monde

FILM

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (dir. James Cameron)

Silence Of The Lambs (dir. Jonathan Demme)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze (dir. Michael Pressman)

Barton Fink (dir. Joel Coen/Ethan Coen)

Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey (dir. Peter Hewitt)

COMICS

– “The Hard Goodbye”, Frank Miller’s first Sin City story, begins its serialization in Dark Horse Presents #51.

X-Force #1 by Rob Liefeld & Fabian Nicieza sells 4 million copies, making it one of biggest-selling comics of all time.

Bone by Jeff Smith begins.

X-Men #1 by Chris Claremont & Jim Lee sells 8.1 million copies, making it the biggest-selling single issue from an American publisher, a record it still holds.

Sandman #19 by Neil Gaiman & Charles Vess becomes the first comic to win a World Fantasy Award; it remains the only comic to do so, as the rules for the award were changed soon after to disallow a comic from winning again.

TV

Twin Peaks airs its final episode on June 10, 1991.

– Greg

30 YEARS AGO: 1981

MUSIC

New Order – Movement

Depeche Mode – Speak & Spell

The Replacements – Sorry Ma, Forgot To Take Out The Trash

Echo & The Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here

The Cure – Faith

FILM

Raiders of the Lost Ark (dir. Steven Spielberg)

Mad Max 2 a.k.a The Road Warrior (dir. George Miller)

The Evil Dead (dir. Sam Raimi)

Superman II (dir. Richard Lester/Richard Donner)

Escape From New York (dir. John Carpenter)

COMICS

– Frank Miller takes over writing & art duties on Daredevil #168, which also introduces the character Elektra.

– Los Bros. Hernandez self-publish Love & Rockets #1.

Uncanny X-Men #141/142 feature the fan-favorite “Days Of Future Past” story arc by Chris Claremont & John Byrne.

Weirdo (edited by R. Crumb) debuts.

Nexus #1 by Mike Baron & Steve Rude is published by Capital Comics, an early salvo in the independent/creator-owned comics boom of the 1980s.

70 Aspects Of Batman: 19


BILL SIENKIEWICZ

From Wikipedia:

Boleslav Felix Robert “Bill” Sienkiewicz [pronounced sin-KEV-itch][2] (born May 3, 1958,[1][3]) is an Eisner Award-winning American artist best known for his comic book work, primarily for Marvel ComicsThe New Mutants and Elektra: Assassin. Sienkiewicz often utilizes oil painting, collage, mimeograph and other forms generally uncommon in comic books. Sienkiewicz broke into the comics business at age 19[5] with an art style heavily influenced by Neal Adams’ work.

In addition to his work in comics, Sienkiewicz has also worked in numerous other media. In 1995, he illustrated the Martin I. Green biography of Jimi Hendrix, Voodoo Child: The Illustrated Legend of Jimi Hendrix. The following year he provided the artwork for the Bruce Cockburn album The Charity of Night, and went on to provide album covers for RZA‘s Bobby Digital in Stereo (1998) and EPMD‘s Business as Usual (1990).

Sienkiewicz hasn’t done a huge amount of Batman work, unfortunately. He did contribute some interior pages to Batman #400, an anniversary issue that featured various artists:

He also wrote and drew a story for the original Batman:Black & White miniseries. In the last decade or so, Bill has drawn various covers for the Dark Knight (most recently for the Batman: Widening Gyre miniseries written by Kevin Smith), and has inked random issues here or there.

He also painted the below cover for a movie adaptation that didn’t deserve his talent:

And drew some sketches based on a movie that was worth his talents:

Bill Sienkiewicz: one of the most original, influential artists that comics has ever known.

G.

20 YEARS AGO: 1990

MOVIES

TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (d. Steve Barron)

HOME ALONE (d. Chris Columbus)

WILD AT HEART (d. David Lynch)

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS  (d. Tim Burton)

GOODFELLAS (d. Martin Scorcese)

ALBUMS

DEPECHE MODE – VIOLATOR

PIXIES – BOSSANOVA

HAPPY MONDAYS – PILLS ‘N’ THRILLS AND BELLYACHES

MORRISSEY – BONA DRAG

THE LA’S – THE LA’S


COMICS

SPIDER-MAN #1 by Todd McFarlane

GIVE ME LIBERTY by Frank Miller & Dave Gibbons

Cable debuts in the pages of NEW MUTANTS #87.

Frank Einstein A.K.A. Madman debuts in CREATURES OF THE ID #1.

AKIRA by Katsuhiro Otomo concludes after eight years in the pages of Young Magazine.

G.



DC launches new Earth One line of graphic novels

Speaking of Batman…

So DC’s giving the whole new reader-friendly line of comics another shot. This time it’s called Earth One. Can it succeed where All Star only partly failed (All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, I’m looking at you). Well, I don’t know either way, but find out more here!

G.

70 Aspects Of Batman: 12

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DAVID MAZZUCCHELLI

From Wikipedia:

David Mazzucchelli (born September 21, 1960) is an American comic book artist and illustrator. His early work was in superhero comics for Marvel Comics and DC Comics, although he later embarked on a series of acclaimed alternative comics projects.

Mazzucchelli received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and started working in comics in the early 1980s. He started at Marvel Comics where, after a few various issues, he became the regular artist on Daredevil. He developed his skills working with writer Denny O’Neil and culminated his work on this title with the popular and critically acclaimed Daredevil: Born Again story arc, written by Frank Miller (now collected in graphic novel form). Mazzucchelli began as a traditional superhero artist but over the span of his time on Daredevil, his work gained in confidence and employed expressionist techniques.

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Mazzucchelli’s first Batwork was featured in World’s Finest #302 from 1984. This page showcases his earlier art style which, as mentioned above, is much more in keeping with the superhero comic look of the time. After completing Daredevil: Born Again, Mazzucchelli’s style had developed from that displayed above into the dynamic minimalism that would come to characterize his work from then on, as seen in Batman: Year One.

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Written by Frank Miller and serialized in Batman #404-407, Batman: Year One chronicled the first 365 days of Bruce Wayne’s war on crime, as well as the future Commissioner Gordan’s struggle with corruption in the ranks of the Gotham City Police Department. Year One became an instant classic, thanks in large part to David Mazzucchelli’s sophisticated artwork. Its seen as a seminal Batman story, both in its own right and as a precursor to Miller’s Dark Knight Returns, and was a huge influence on the film Batman Begins.

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Year One would also be the last time Mazzucchelli would draw Batman and his universe, apart from the two Who’s Who entries below:

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And, aside from a story in Marvel Fanfare #40, that was pretty much the extent of Mazzucchelli’s mainstream career; in 1991, he began his creator-owned Rubber Blanket and from then on his work could be found sporadically in publications like Zero Zero and The New Yorker. This month his graphic novel Asterios Polyp was published, and has been garnering rave reviews.

Oh, here’s the almost-obligatory Black And White statue….

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G.

P.S. More Mazzucchelli here.

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70 Aspects Of Batman: 1

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So here’s a new feature: 70 Aspects Of Batman.

As you may not know, this year marks the 70th Anniversary of creation of Batman, The Dark Knight, The Caped etc. Batman first appeared in Detective Comics #27, cover-dated May 1939. To celebrate one of my favorite fictional character’s anniversaries, I’ve decided to share with you, the loyal Noising Machine reader, 70 different artistic interpretations of this guy throughout the rest of this year. These will include both entries on accepted Batman greats (Neal Adams, Frank Miller), relatively unsung heroes (Norm Breyfogle, Graham Nolan) and great artists who may have only drawn Batman once, but I like ’em so here they are (Katsuhiro Otomo). There definitely will not be any of the likes of Jim Lee, Michael Turner or Ed Benes though, so you can rest easy. Anyway, for this inaugural edition of 70 AOB, what better place to start then at the very beginning, with Batman’s “creator”…

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BOB KANE

(Bob Kane pictured right)

Now here’s the thing about Bob Kane: HE WAS AN ASSHOLE. For decades, he had a contract with DC Comics that allowed him to have his name on any and every Batman story they published, regardless of who actually wrote and drew them. He also downplayed and/or outright ignored crediting contributions made by such creators as Bill Finger and Jerry Robinson to the Batman mythos. Basically, he created Batman to cash in on the success of Superman, who DC had premiered a year earlier.

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As writer Bill Finger recalled: “[Kane] had an idea for a character called ‘Batman’, and he’d like me to see the drawings. I went over to Kane’s, and he had drawn a character who looked very much like Superman with kind of … reddish tights, I believe, with boots … no gloves, no gauntlets … with a small domino mask, swinging on a rope. He had two stiff wings that were sticking out, looking like bat wings. And under it was a big sign … BATMAN.”

Finger took this initial design and suggested modifications, substituting a cowl for the mask, adding a cape and gloves and instigating the color scheme change to gray and blue. He also came up with the name of Batman’s alter-ego, Bruce Wayne, by taking the last names of Scottish patriot Robert Bruce and Revolutionary War general “Mad” Anthony Wayne and combining them. He also wrote the script for Batman’s initial appearance in Detective #27.

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If this seems more like a Bill Finger post than a Bob Kane post, that’s because Bill Finger seems like a better human being to me. If there was any justice, the byline that’s still found in Batman comics today would read “Batman created by Bob Kane & Bill Finger” instead of “Batman Created by That Butthole Bob Kane”.  Kane was all too happy to take the attention and accolades during Batman’s initial success in the 40s, his 60s resurgence thanks to the Adam West TV show and the hoopla surronding the Batman feature films of the late 20th Century. He died in 1998.

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Still, I think one can and must judge work on its own merit and not by whether its creator was an asshole, as hard as that may be. Thus, while Bob Kane was a gloryhound who trampelled over others to get undeserved credit, he still did commit the first rendition of Batman to paper. And in his own stiff way, he lent the early Batman stories a sense of atmosphere that could be described as gothic or proto-noir. Like this:

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That’s a good, evocative picture. But yeah, for the most part most of the stuff you like about Batman probably came about in spite of Bob Kane, not because of him. And in real-life, I bet Batman wouldn’t even like him that much.

G.