Comics Beef: Frank Miller, Alan Moore Duke It Out Over Occupy Wall Street

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The Guy Fawkes mask, used in Alan Moore’s V for Vendetta and an early symbol of the Occupy movement. Photo: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Two legendary graphic novelists — Frank Miller, creator of The Dark Knight Returns and hard-boiled Sin City, and Alan Moore, who wrote Watchmen and V for Vendetta — are finding themselves on opposite sides of a pretty gaping ideological divide regarding Occupy Wall Street and are expending a good amount of vitriol on the subject online. Frank Miller, trending evermore militantly to the hard right since 9/11, started the spat off with a post to his blog on November 7, a choice excerpt of which follows below.

“Occupy” is nothing but a pack of louts, thieves, and rapists, an unruly mob, fed by Woodstock-era nostalgia and putrid false righteousness. These clowns can do nothing but harm America. “Occupy” is nothing short of a clumsy, poorly-expressed attempt at anarchy, to the extent that the “movement” – HAH! Some “movement”, except if the word “bowel” is attached - is anything more than an ugly fashion statement by a bunch of iPhone, iPad wielding spoiled brats who should stop getting in the way of working people and find jobs for themselves. Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy.

He even trashed their love of Lords of Warcraft, which ostensibly might be hitting a little too close to his own audience. But in his deconstruction of Frank Miller’s 300, the Guardian’s Rick Moody describes how this hard-right mentality is in the DNA of every recent superaction-meets-superhero film: “Might is right, the global economy will be restored, America is exceptional, homely people deserve political disenfranchisement, and so on.” While Miller’s diatribe was not explicitly directed at self-professed anarchist Alan Moore it also sort of was, if you consider that Occupy Wall Street protesters were, after all, flashing V masks right from the start of the original Zuccotti Park sit-in. Speaking to on December 2, Moore lashed back.

Well, Frank Miller is someone whose work I’ve barely looked at for the past twenty years. I thought the Sin City stuff was unreconstructed misogyny, 300 appeared to be wildly ahistoric, homophobic and just completely misguided. […] I heard about the latest outpourings regarding the Occupy movement. It’s about what I’d expect from him. It’s always seemed to me that the majority of the comics field, if you had to place them politically, you’d have to say centre-right. […] So yes I think it would be fair to say that me and Frank Miller have diametrically opposing views upon all sorts of things, but certainly upon the Occupy movement.

As far as I can see, the Occupy movement is just ordinary people reclaiming rights which should always have been theirs. […] 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 why Frank 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.

Although, if V isn’t a “sociopathic vigilante” with a mask (rather than makeup), what is he?

Comics Beef: Frank Miller, Alan Moore Duke It Out Over OWS