Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)
Miller, Frank

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(1957-    ) US writer/artist with an impressive list of ground-breaking and phenomenally successful Comic books and several Cinema scripts to his credit. FM utilizes a distinctive fragmented narrative technique and, by skilful manipulation of the visual and verbal elements of the comic-strip medium, tells tightly plotted multi-level stories that deal with both the springs of violence and its effects. His work treats small tragedies and great events with equal perceptiveness and insight, and displays an expert control of narrative pace and scope. FM's recent artwork has also proved influential: from a somewhat wooden depiction of the human figure in his work of the early 1980s, drawn with a strong but indecisive line, he has developed, in his 1990s Sin City series, a very forceful "bleached out" style of b/w drawing in which line is almost entirely absent. These pages pack a powerful emotional punch and have tremendous vitality.

FM's first published work was for Marvel Comics's Daredevil; this was later re-released in three collections: Child's Play (graph coll 1986), Marked for Death (graph coll 1990) and Gang War (graph coll 1992). He went on to produce two landmark apocalyptic dramas for DC Comics: Ronin (#1-#6 1983-1984) and the revolutionary Batman story The Dark Knight Returns (#1-#4 1985-1986; graph coll 1986). The phenomenal success of this latter led FM to begin writing scripts for several established comic books and short series, including DaredevilBorn Again, drawn by David Mazzuchelli (1960-    ) (Daredevil #228-#233 1985-1986; graph coll 1987) – Love and War, drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz (graph 1986), Batman – Year One, drawn by Mazzuchelli (Batman #404-#407 1987; graph coll 1988), Elektra Assassin (#1-#8 1986-1987; graph coll 1987), with painted art by Sienkiewicz, Give Me Liberty (#1-#5 1991-1992; graph coll 1992), drawn by Dave Gibbons (1949-    ), Hard Boiled (1990-1992), drawn by Geoff Darrow, and a collaboration with Walt Simonson on a series tied to the Terminator movies.

FM's other work includes Elektra Lives Again (graph 1990) and the hard-hitting Sin City series, into which he has injected a noir PI with great intensity. The series first appeared in Dark Horse Presents (#51-#53 and #55-#59 1991-1992) and then in book form as Sin City (graph coll 1992), Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (#1-#6 1993; graph 1994), Sin City: The Babe Wore Red and Other Stories (graph coll 1995), Sin City: The Big Fat Kill (#1-#6 1994; graph 1995) and That Yellow Bastard (graph 1996).

FM worked on the screenplays for Robocop 2 (1992) and Robocop 3 (1994). [RT]

Frank Miller


This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.