Imagine prom, 1986. The Senior Prom King is pretty cool, has done some pretty revolutionary things for the town. Everyone loves him. The future looks pretty bright, and that’s exciting. With the help of this Prom King, and some others, the school is doing better than it ever has, at least by general consensus.
The same town, 2001. The Prom King has stuck around the town since he graduated in 1986, and has done some good to strong work over the years, depending on who you ask. He decides he wants to recreate Prom 1986, and the town says “sure” and lets him. He attempts, and it fails pretty hard. People ask “what the hell happened to our Prom King?” but they drop the question pretty fast. Like, he bombed here but he’s still the 1986 Prom King, so they generally pretend it didn’t happen. They still worship him.
Now cut to 2010. The Prom King’s been developing an idea for some years now, an idea that’s his response to 9-11. So he runs around town and posts intensely Islamophobic propaganda everywhere. He takes massive shits around town and then sticks his Islamophobic manifesto into them like a flag. The propaganda condones torture, stereotypes all Muslims as terrorists, perpetuates general racism and Islamaphobic sentiments. Essentially, it’s America post 9-11 incarnate. It’s panned by townsfolk but once again most conveniently ignores how incredibly gross and offensive it is. Because he’s the 1986 Prom King, he did revolutionary stuff back then, and that’s what’s important, right? So everyone pretends this debacle didn’t happen and they still worship him.
In 2015, he decides to try to recreate Prom 1986 again. The town, completely ignoring the fact that he’s a reprehensible person and just objectively bad at his job, gives him the okay once again. So many in the town are so excited for him to return to his greatest moment nearly 30 years ago. His peers talk about how inspirational he is, how great he is. Never mind that he’s a terrible human being. ‘Prom 1986 was the shit, man.’ They give him public handjobs, some blowjobs for good measure, and pat him on the back because 1986 god dammit. He’s taken on a co-Prom King–someone who went to school some years after he did–and that may help the Prom 1986 #3 not completely fall apart. But that doesn’t matter, really. Because, once again, he’s a militant Islamophobe who hates Muslims and has openly admitted, both in his propaganda and in public discussion that he views Islam as evil comparable to the Nazis. The buildup to Prom 1986 #3 is huge, and it releases to universal acclaim.
The Prom King of 1986 is Frank Miller. He’s a shitty human being, and yet, and yet, barely anyone in the industry will call him out. So few comics’ fans will call him out. Instead they’ll pat him on the back and give him whatever he wants and tell him he’s such a goddamn inspiration. To hell with that. The industry likes to pretend it’s so inclusive, yet we can’t even tell a militant Islamophobe to fuck off.
The fact that Frank Miller made some good comics in the 80s and arguably 90s is irrelevant. He’s appalling. Fuck Frank Miller. Don’t support this man, and don’t support his bigotry. Especially not because of some 30 year old legacy. You can like his work, you can read his work, but you can’t ignore that he’s an awful human being. And when I see people who know what he’s said, who know that Holy Terror! exists, when I see people who know these things ignore them in favor of the past, it drives me nuts.
Plenty of authors have done and said awful things in and outside of their writing (looking at you, William S Burroughs). And if you want to keep reading their work, that’s your prerogative. But the reaction to Frank Miller ranges from embarrassing (watching him publicly masturbate with The Dark Knight 3: The Master Race) to appalling (watching people pretend Holy Terror! and a number of his interviews never happened). If you want to read his work, support him by buying it, then at the very least openly come to terms with the fact that Frank Miller is unabashedly Islamophobic, and speak up. But we as creators and as a fanbase cannot champion him and not think critically about his behavior. And what it says about us when we remain silent.