The art of creating comic books and the craft of making films are very much dependent on range of trades to complete a finished work. Creating a comic book, like making a motion picture, is ultimately about telling a story. The nature of the comic book and motion picture industry puts a certain amount of pressure on an author of a work to see his or her vision though to the end of production. Comic books like the motion picture medium require many roles to complete a project. Simply look at the title pages on any comic book and you see credits for a writer, penciler, inker, colorist, letterer, editor and editor and chief. The same can be understood as you watch the credits roll at the end of a movie. There are many roles to play in the final production of such works. But there are a few authors in the profession of comic books and in film making that have made a point to control the process by establishing close visionary relationships with collaborators in this process.
Will Eisner, considered a founding father of comic art had noted. “The comic book form has suffered greatly because the discipline has been broken into an assembly line process. The best work is done by one author”.
Frank Miller, a student of Will Eisner, has taken this idea to heart in his own professional work in the comic book industry. Miller like Eisner is at his best both an author and an artist. This has allowed him to explore his own vision of what the comic book medium can produce. Utilizing the franchised characters in the big two publishers, Marvel and DC, Miller was able to establish a popular fan base and eventually transform the medium. Collaborating with ground breaking artists in the field allowed Miller to explore and expand the traditional art of comic book story telling. Very few artists in the field are able to comment on pop culture, social morality and politics as Miller has. When he found the industry codes to confining to his vision, he had the distinction to move to the independent publishers to explore new ground breaking work. As an artist Frank Miller is always looking in new directions for storytelling and by its very nature film making has become his most recent pursuit. As film director Miller will face many challenges in defining his own authorship throughout the process. His success will be found in continuing his close collaboration efforts with artists in the field that can share his vision and produce a signature work.
Eisner / Miller: a one on one interview by Charles Brownstein (Dark Horse Books) (2005)
Amazing Heroes #69 (Fantagraphics) (1982)
Amazing Heroes #99 (Fantagraphics) (1982)
Amazing Heroes #102 (Fantagraphics) (1982)
Batman: Black and White #2 (DC Comics) (1995)
Captain America #241 (Marvel Comics) (1968)
Captain America #255 (Marvel Comics) (1968)
Comics Interview #2 (1983)
Incredible Hulk #268 (Marvel Comics) (1962)
Marvel Fanfare #18 (Marvel Comics) (1982)
Marvel Team-Up #100 (Marvel Comics) (1972)
Power Man and Iron Fist #74 (Marvel Comics) (1972)
Spectacular Spider-Man #60 (Marvel Comics) (1976)
Spider-Woman #32 (Marvel Comics) (1978)
Star Trek #5 (Marvel Comics) (1980)