There are far more important things to be writing about (and hopefully I’ll get to at least one of those things later on today), but I needed to have a public WTF?!? moment about this, from the San Francisco Chronicle:
Frank Miller, who changed the way people looked at comics with his noirish 1980s Batman graphic novel “The Dark Knight Returns” and his “Sin City” series, says he’s started work on a book where the caped crusader will “kick a lot of al Qaeda butt.”
“Not to put too fine a point on it — it’s a piece of propaganda,” Miller told a group of about a thousand fans this weekend at the WonderCon comic book convention in San Francisco. “Batman kicks al Qaeda’s ass.”
Miller says the book will be called “Holy Terror, Batman.”
Holy Terror, Batman?!? This can’t possibly be good. It just seems like these issues are too fraught, to complicated, and too rife with opportunities for racism, ignorance, and oversimplification to be fodder for this sort of comic book. It’s not even as if he’s going to try to take a nuanced look at the issues; he’s not hesitant to say that it’s going to be propaganda, punto, and we all know how nuanced and balanced propoganda is! As another comic book artist says in the article,
“A standard-issue treatment would show them as another crew of generic swarthy bad guys, and there will, of course, have to be a ‘good Arab’ or two to prove the comic isn’t prejudiced. I’m guessing an Iraqi commando on our side,” Gonick said. “But if Miller gives them the real characteristics of al Qaeda — that is, really depicts the details of their religiosity — he could get into trouble.”
I know next to nothing about Frank Miller, but having much enjoyed Sin City, I’ve got to say, I’m a little disappointed. Not that Sin City is some sort of model of progressive or leftist thought. It’s one of those things that’s fucked up eight ways to Sunday, but that I still enjoy. I think you’ve just got to suspend your principles a wee bit now and then to enjoy much of anything in entertainment these days.