Comic book authors Alan Moore and Frank Miller are mentioned so often in a single breath, one may be tempted to forget how far away they are from each other aesthetically, politically, and intellectually. Both are frequently credited jointly for their ‘deconstruction’ of the superhero genre, with fans and critics citing Moore’s Watchmen and Miller’s Batman: The Dark Knight Returns as key works that established the viability of the adult-themed graphic novel and the politicized superhero figure. But while Moore’s work from that era continues to bear up under repeat visits, Miller’s visceral and formally brilliant Dark Knight Returns tends to show its reactionary right-wing politics more clearly as time goes by, its infatuation with semi-fascist mythologies of violence growing even more pronounced in Miller’s later work.
At this point, both authors seem increasingly removed from contemporary politics and comics, Moore’s latest project Neonomicon having been received with bewildered indifference, and Miller’s atrocious Holy Terror being discussed only in terms of its beyond-offensive islamophobia. But while Moore’s anti-corporate politics seem to gain relevance as well as credence over the years, Miller’s raging homophobia, misogyny and general insanity cast an increasingly negative light over his back catalogue. In what seems like a somewhat delusional attempt to either get some public attention or vent some built-up rage over the universal panning of his latest book, Miller recently wrote a short piece decrying the Occupy movement. Coolly demonstrating his total awesomeness, Moore responded to Miller’s piece in this recent interview:
I think that the Occupy movement is, in one sense, the public saying that they should be the ones to decide who’s too big to fail. It’s a completely justified howl of moral outrage and it seems to be handled in a very intelligent, non-violent way, which is probably another reason whyFrank Miller would be less than pleased with it. I’m sure if it had been a bunch of young, sociopathic vigilantes with Batman make-up on their faces, he’d be more in favour of it. We would definitely have to agree to differ on that one.
In this short interview segment from a few years back, Moore (predictably) shows us how far ahead of the curve he usually is, although he talks about the “0.000001%” rather than the single percentile that has now become the standard term to indicate the ruling capitalist elite.