This is not a column about politics.
I’m sure occasionally my politics have crept in from time to time, it’s just the way editorial columns go. This time however, it may be a little more overt than usual so be warned. I should also mention that this is an editorial column and my thoughts and views aren’t necessarily those of Comic Book Daily, its writers, editors, sponsors, pets or whatever.
I’m sure by now a lot of you have read or heard Frank Miller’s blog on what he should think the Occupy “insert name of city/street here” protesters should be doing. In short he doesn’t like them too much and thinks they should join the army to fight “Islamicism” (is this even a word?) and al-Qaeda.
There is a lot in this blog post that has got a lot of people up in arms and are now looking to kick Frank Miller in his teeth.
Which brings up a question for me.
Can you separate the man from his work?
Comics, like any pop culture medium, has it’s share of guys who will say things that some of us don’t agree with. John Byrne, Neal Adams, Dave Sim, Alan Moore are the first ones that come to the top of the list and I think it’s safe to say that all of those creators are very much at the top of their classes when it comes to talent.
But then they go off and say something that sounds absolutely stupid (to some people) and it kind of tarnishes a lot of things.
Take Dave Sim for instance.
I love very big chunks of Cerebus.
And then Dave had to come out and share his views on women.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for freedom of speech. I feel that every one of the above mentioned creators have the right to say whatever they damn well please. It’s part of being in a free society. If Creator X came out and wanted to tell everyone about how “Hitler had a good idea”, I would argue against it until I’m blue in the face but I wouldn’t ever think about putting in place laws to stop him from saying it.
In the case of Sim and I, we have two VERY different views on women. Both of us are entitled to them. But then for a while after his views were published, it’s all you can think about when you read Cerebus. Every time a female character showed up, you’d try to read into it more than there probably was.
And eventually I just couldn’t read the book anymore. I’ve kept my trade of High Society but it hasn’t been cracked open by me in years.
And due to his recent blog, I’m not sure I’ll be able to pick up a Frank Miller book for a while either. Holy Terror is not to my tastes and his art seems to be straying farther and farther from what I like about his work but right now even the idea of picking up The Dark Knight Returns is kind of foreign.
Which is a little weird when I reveal the following.
BRENT’S THOUGHTS ON POLITICS WARNING!
In regards to the Occupy movement, Frank and I have very similar opinions, especially in terms of the group that “occupies” Toronto. My opinions are not nearly as drastic as Miller’s, I don’t think many of the protesters are rapists or thieves. Dirty hippies perhaps or kids that have no real clue what they are protesting against would be more in line with my thought pattern. I think a lot more good could be done for their cause if it didn’t involve camping on public property.
I also wouldn’t suggest to any of them to sign up for the military to be shot at.
Because that’s the reality of the blog entry.
Frank Miller would like these kids to sign up for the front line of the “War on Terror” and the truth is when people go to the front lines in a war, they get shot at and a lot of them die.
Mr. Miller, I’m sure you’ve probably met a solider or two in your time. I happen to know a few including one or two who spent a tour or two in Afghanistan. I have no shame in saying that I can not do what these people do and everyday I’m thankful that they do their jobs. In fact, the day you posted your blog happens to be Remembrance Day in Canada. A day where we reflect on those men and women that we lost as well as give thanks to those who serve in the forces today.
According to your Wikipedia entry, you’ll be turning 55 in January so for me to suggest that you put your money where your mouth is and sign up would be a little stupid.
Your country has an organization called The USO. They do a lot of good work with your armed forces and one of the things they do is get celebrities from all walks of entertainment to visit the troops, especially those in hospitals.
I can tell you that there are a ton of guys and girls over there right now who love comics and wouldn’t mind you dropping in for a chat and maybe a quick sketch.
Before you start sending over a bunch of guys to die for your cause, maybe you’d like to climb down from upon high and make a few of those who are already fighting for your country, smile first.
Or maybe go the Steve Ditko route; believe in your ideas and philosophy to the utmost and let your work do the talking.
*Note: I’m going to be a special guest on Geek Hard this Friday evening! We’re going to talk comics, wrestling films and more. The show starts live at 7pm eastern standard time at Realityradio101 . Please tune in… it’ll help my self-esteem.