Home Culture Politics Frank Miller unloads on Occupy Wall Street

Frank Miller unloads on Occupy Wall Street


In case you were not on Twitter or Facebook in comics circles this weekend, Frank Miller, evidently tired of being asked when SIN CITY 2 would go into production, decided to set up a diversion by airing his feelings on the Occupy Wall Street movement in a calm, reasoned editorial that did not contain ad hominem attacks:

Everybody’s been too damn polite about this nonsense:

The “Occupy” movement, whether displaying itself on Wall Street or in the streets of Oakland (which has, with unspeakable cowardice, embraced it) is anything but an exercise of our blessed First Amendment. “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.

This is no popular uprising. This is garbage. And goodness knows they’re spewing their garbage – both politically and physically – every which way they can find.

Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy.

Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you’ve been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you’ve heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism.

And this enemy of mine — not of yours, apparently – must be getting a dark chuckle, if not an outright horselaugh – out of your vain, childish, self-destructive spectacle.

In the name of decency, go home to your parents, you losers. Go back to your mommas’ basements and play with your Lords Of Warcraft.

Or better yet, enlist for the real thing. Maybe our military could whip some of you into shape.

They might not let you babies keep your iPhones, though. Try to soldier on.


While the post drew positive reactions from Andrew Breitbart’s Big Hollywood site, most comics folks were left bemused by Miller’s piece. For instance, Sam Henderson wrote on Facebook:

Frank Miller not dating well makes me wonder if I’ll still find the Jerky Boys funny when they come up on my Spotify shuffle.

Comics journo Teresa Jusino entitled her piece Helping An Old Man Continue to Feel Relevant

Ty Templeton said it with pictures: (click for the whole thing.)

We could go on and on, but you get the picture. Interestingly, it was not Miller’s first response to the OWS movement — earlier in the week, i09 had asked various Batman writers what Batman would think of OWS, and Miller’s publicist replied:

Batman believes in the First Amendment and decorous behavior.

The outburst comes, of course, soon after the release of HOLY TERROR, an anti-terrorist tale which many have found heavy-handed in its anti-Islamicism if by heavy-handed you mean a totally gonzo screed.

If comics were looking for their very own Ed Anger, they just found him.

Meanwhile, when is SIN CITY 2 coming out, anyway?


  1. Sigh, Ty: you expressed my feelings towards FM perfectly.

    I completely believe FM has become insane and should have medication.

  2. Mostly I find myself wondering how Miller makes this jibe with his presumably unchanged views on the first amendment? Apparently he does not value freedom of religion and freedom of assembly as much as freedom of speech. Those are first amendment rights, too, Frank! Stop cherry-picking the first amendment, please. I haven’t read Holy Terror yet, and I’d still like too. I hope I end up enjoying it more as a Frank Miller comic than a Jack Chick tract, but I have a sinking feeling.

  3. Someone get Frank on Twitter, stat! He could have broken that rant up into 140 character bursts and run it for a month, which would have drawn even more attention to HOLY TERROR which is, I assume, his point. I mean, isn’t this about the time he would have gotten the first sales figures from HOLY TERROR?

  4. I always find a weird contradiction when someone whose work I admire espouses viewpoints that I totally disagree with. In this case I’ll just focus on Frank’s work. No one is really listening to his commentary anyway.

  5. Uhm. Well, I would have to guess Frank hasn’t heard about Scott Olsen, the IRAQ WAR VETERAN who was injured at the Oakland protest. http://news.yahoo.com/ex-marine-injured-oakland-protest-makes-public-statement-042842782.html

    OMFG! What will Frank do when he hears the news that someone who did “get their butt whipped into shape” was actually part of the protests! Frankey head ‘splodey!?!?!?

    The idea that someone “manned up” to fight for this country in an illegally justified war would come back and say that the rich fat white bankers who bankrolled that effort need to be reckoned with I’m sure does not fit into the bubble Miller has placed himself in.

    Pretty sad Frankems. Pretty sad.

  6. My first reaction was:
    Frank Miller sounds like Archie Bunker forty years ago. Instead of hippies, it’s OWS.

    Then I got to this point:
    “Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy.”

    That’s when I wondered if Mr. Miller realizes that this country has a lot of domestic problems, many caused by the Wall Street.

    Terror isn’t just a far-away problem. The last revolution spawned the SDS, the Weathermen, and the Black Panthers. What happens when people start firebombing branch banks and corporate offices?

    The last revolution was generational. This one could be class-based. Those tend to be more successful. Especially if those “hippies” retirees, who have a lot of time on their hands, start organizing…

  7. William, if you scroll down about ten comments, you’ll see “Beverly”. She discusses her situation in the comments, and why she is part of OWS.

    Oh, and the very first comment is actually quite good. Why is someone who is so against corporate comics also against OWS?

  8. The amount of rape around OWS sites is 1000% higher then normal. There are also growing bio-contaminates around the sites because people are going to the bathroom outside and leaving piles everywhere. While calling everyone there rapists is ridiculous, his views aren’t inaccurate. The violence, especially against women, is growing around these sites. He is also right that they aren’t working, or they would be fired for sleeping in a park like a hobo instead of showing up for work. Just a little perspective and devil’s advocate.

  9. Scott Olsen is hardly the only one. By any stretch of the imagination. The OWS movement has had a strong and visible veteran presence since day 1. I figured ever since I heard he was working on Holy Terror that unfortunately Miller, like Mamet before him, had gone over to the dark side and gotten all xenophobicly paranoid, gobbling up reactionary right wing tripe and pushing further afield of the reality spectrum to the point where he is selectively filtering out any new information that doesn’t fit into the stark black and white worldview his own artwork seems to have instilled within him. His pot is now so cracked it’s a frying pan.

  10. “… that the rich fat white bankers who …”

    In all fairness, I’m sure there are some rich fat black and asian bankers. Dishonesty knows no racial barriers.

  11. @ Brandon:

    “He is also right that they aren’t working, or they would be fired for sleeping in a park like a hobo instead of showing up for work.”

    This is very curious. Many of these people have lost their jobs. In some cases, there are no jobs to take their place. So why does every critic say they should “get a job” or “go back to work”?

  12. Frank’s entitled to his opinion, but I don’t like the jab at basement-living folks who like to play MMORPGs, considering he’s a millionaire who got rich by entertaining basement-living folks who like to read comic books.

  13. I agree that his tone is harsh but it seems that he’s being taken to task more for his opinion than his harsh language. But because of his opinion, he’s crazy, he has head up his butt, and I’m sure that we’ll get the equal of his comments (or worse) in response to what he said. Personally, I have no problem with the peaceful protestors but there are individuals that are giving the movement a bad name, just like the Tea Party.

  14. Much of FM’s output in the past two decades has explicitly consisted of the top 0.1% keeping the inherently criminal lower classes and swarthy others in line. Those top 0.1% are inherently good by superior breeding and are therefore above the law.

    The only emotion of value is fear, fear of the other and the rabble. The only way to compensate for this all consuming fear is to inflict sufficient violence upon the other that they are terrified to the point of submission. This should work because the rabble and the other are all cowards. But the worst fear of all is that the other is actually not going to back down and actually has more gumption than you have.

    In this context, OWS is FM’s worst nightmare, rabble who wont be terrified into submission, who are willing to face down the riot squads unarmed. As a result he must try to instill fear the only way he can by writing in as a vituperative fashion as possible. Of course, given that FM has virtually no standing with OWS it has no effect, rendering him impotent. I don’t think impotence sits well with him.

  15. “The amount of rape around OWS sites is 1000% higher then normal. There are also growing bio-contaminates around the sites because people are going to the bathroom outside and leaving piles everywhere. While calling everyone there rapists is ridiculous, his views aren’t inaccurate. ”

    —yes, the Right in this country is sooo concerned about “bio-contaminates” and women’s rights. what a bunch of nonsense.

  16. Kudos to Frank Miller for speaking his mind and ignoring the yoke of political correctness.

    I think the OWS folks have as much right to lawfully protest as do the Tea Partiers or anyone else.

    The problem with OWS is they have elements who clearly don’t mind breaking the law. These anarchist wannabes don “V” masks and yearn to destroy a “corrupt” system, yet, based on the OWS interviews I’ve seen to date, they appear to have no cogent idea what they would replace that system with.

    That’s like demolishing your house because you’re not happy with it, and then realizing, “Dang, NOW where am I going to live?”

  17. Don’t use obscenities to describe Miller or any commenter, or the comment will wind up in the moderation bin.


  18. R. M-

    I have yet to see in person a single OWS participant wearing the Guy Fawkes mask. Maybe not everything you see and hear on television is accurate or representative of you know, reality.

    I’d be all for Miller speaking his mind on this, but it isn’t just his tone and his opinion, but the combination of those elements with his absurdist, ideology infused characterization of the movement that is prompting such a strong reaction. His injection of religious extremism and conflating of military service to both a more enlightened world view and an implicit denial of the principles fostering OWS’ continued existence is like a child trying to draw a rainbow but mixing all the colors together – it all comes out looking like shit. Any point he could have about the need for OWS to reform itself, to police itself better, to provide better protection and better security for those who decide to participate was lost the minute he started implying OWS is serving the goals of Al-Qaeda.

  19. @R. Maheras: perhaps unlike the Teabaggers it’s because they understand that there is not one fantastical idea to solve the mess we’re (I’m in Belgium but the American mess triggered our mess) in.

    And if you’ve read V for Vendetta: the guy in the mask is the GOOD guy of the story

  20. Here here R. Maheras.

    I could see myself totally getting behind the “movement” but the problem is that I don’t know where it’s going. If OWS had some kind of goal or concrete plan or ANYTHING concrete, other than, “we hate our situation and the evil guys on Wall Street used highly immoral but legal means to rob average citizens of their hard earned money.”

    My message to the OWS people is this, create a mission statement and some kind of goal and you will be welcomed by the rest of the population. Because, as some mentioned above, the next thing we’ll be seeing is useless firebombs in banks and other financial institutions. You can’t get from here to there if you don’t know where “there” is.

  21. “These anarchist wannabes don “V” masks and yearn to destroy a “corrupt” system”

    Right, true patriot movements consist of people who wear tricorner hats, carry assault weapons, and think the president was born in Kenya.

  22. @ Russ Maheras
    “These anarchist wannabes don “V” masks and yearn to destroy a “corrupt” system, yet, based on the OWS interviews I’ve seen to date, they appear to have no cogent idea what they would replace that system with.

    That’s like demolishing your house because you’re not happy with it, and then realizing, “Dang, NOW where am I going to live?”

    If you really want to use that analogy, then I would respond by saying that the OWS protesters view it more as realizing that the “house” (i.e. the current economic system) is no longer fit for human habitation and should be condemned. Better to tear the structure down and suffer some temporary hardship as we rebuild than to continue living in the house and perish when it inevitably collapses.

  23. William Owen — I’ve seen the “V” mask at least four or five times in different crowd shots of OWS activities, but since OWS activities are occurring in hundreds of locations, the fact that you, personally, haven’t seen one doesn’t mean much. You may also have not seen any arsonists in your OWS activities, but there were sure a few in the OWS crowd in Oakland.

    Like I said: Peaceful protests good; violent protests bad.

  24. I have been selling off old Graphic Novels on Amazon lately, because I’m trying to simplify, simplify, and wanted someone else to have them since the ones I am selling are unlikely to get read again.

    I had a moments hesitation about my SIN CITY books. This makes me feel better. Not that I think the man should reflect on the man’s work. the work stands alone (since that’s what I always say about Sim),
    but, like I said… I was on the fence.

    I’m off the fence now. Listed.

  25. @Brandon: No, he’s painting in broad strokes. I live in a nice neighborhood in Berkeley, and on my walk to work each day, I pass a number of houses with “We are the 99%” signs in their front yards. These are not the homes of unemployed people, or people who live with their parents. In fact, they’re people raising small children.

    On a recent visit to Napa, I was surprised to see there was actually an Occupy protest going on there. Everyone involved was at least 60 years old. Encountered a similar protest last week in the very affluent North Berkeley – again, all senior citizens.

    Are there some shitheads out there? Of course there are. It’s a shame they’re coloring people’s perception of the protests as a whole.

  26. DAK — Hmmm… sounds like anarchist-speak to me.

    Personally, I think the house doesn’t need tearing down. It just needs a new, more skilled contractor — one who can stay under budget and do the better job fixing up the place.

  27. “Don’t use obscenities to describe Miller or any commenter, or the comment will wind up in the moderation bin.


    Why not? Ridiculous people should be called out in ridiculous ways for acting ridiculous.

  28. People have read a Frank Miller comic, right? Because the only reason I can see you wouldn’t be suprised at this is that you haven’t read a Frank Miller comic ever.

    I mean, he’s written some great comics but he’s never exactly been subtle about his beliefs.

  29. R.-
    I never said there weren’t people wearing the mask. But I have seen several hundred people at OWS and at related events and never once saw the mask. You saw a handful of pictures showing a handful of individuals news organizations have chosen to show you using a striking image with historical and media connotations, but you are using that small segment of the group to springboard into a larger critique on their ability to play through an endgame of their movement and enact changes, which I am refuting by saying that the image is clearly not ubiquitous enough to reach that conclusion.

  30. Hey russ, when the atmosphere is such that public spending has stopped and business spending has stopped it’s up to government to spend to keep the economy moving forward. Cutting spending during a recession is about as smart as cutting taxes during a war (or two). Instead of cutting funding for food stamps and medicare, how about we raise taxes on people who just end up hoarding their money anyway? Maybe the problem isn’t we spend too much, maybe it’s we charge too little for admission.

    For a generation the workers of this country have given the top tier record low taxes, shocking pay increases, golden parachutes, tax abatements, dangerous deregulation, delegitimized unions, and employment incentives out the wazoo. In return we’ve watched our savings be cut in half by wall street swindlers who gave themselves a billion dollars in bonuses for it, watched everything from manufacturing jobs to high education tech jobs be sent overseas, and haven’t seen a real increase in wages since the late seventies.

    That’s not to say they don’t create jobs, they do… in China.

  31. Miller’s rant can be boiled down to a few words: “Get off my lawn, you hippies!”

    What happened to the Frank Miller who railed against Jerry Falwell, the religious right and censorship? You know, the defender of free expression? He’s become a cranky old man at 54.

    This is a bit sad for me, because 30 years ago there was no bigger Miller fan than yours truly. His run on “Daredevil” was (and still is) astounding. It reshaped superhero comics for a decade or more. I began losing interest when Frank made “Sin City” his life’s work, and “300” and the incoherent “Dark Knight” sequel did nothing to restore my faith.

  32. Cheese — Personally, I don’t care if the tax rates for the very rich increase. I don’t have a dog in that fight.

    I do care that government spending is out of control, and that the U.S. hasn’t had a frickin’ budget in going on three years.

    Re: Jobs in China. You wouldn’t want one of those. The pay sucks, and the one legal “union” is pretty much impotent figurehead organization pushed around by the government.

    OWS should be occupying Capitol Hill or Pennsylvania Avenue, not public parks around the U.S. that are nowhere near where economic policy is actually decided.

  33. Raising revenue would negate the need to reign in government spending. Government spending equals government contracts equals jobs.

    What specific government spending programs and services (jobs) do you think we should cut to make up the nearly $90 billion the American people are giving the wealthy every year via the Bush tax cuts?

    If you believe economic policy is written in Washington and not in a Wall St. board room, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.

  34. i was never much of a fan of miller’s work, always seems to be churning out, over and over again, the same type of grim & grit stories, but figured to each his own, after reading those comments, guess i’m not much of a fan of this guy as a person.

  35. Okay, if I can follow Frank’s thinking here. He subscribes to the myth that the Terrorists Hate Us For Our Freedoms. Now he is saying the terrorists love it when we exercise our freedoms?

    Either the terrorists are really confused, or little Frankie is.

  36. Cheese — You can’t have it both ways. On one hand, you advocate government spending to create jobs. On the other hand, you say that the government doesn’t control economic policy. If the government is so impotent, why did we spend a trillion dollars to attemnpt to stimulate the economy in the first place?

    Here’s my problem with the government spending stimulus money on government jobs, such as teachers, police, etc. — that stimulus money only lasts a year or so. Then what? The only way to keep those people on the payroll long term is to raise taxes enough to cover their salaries — something that is impossible to do in the current financial climate we are in. In short, creating (union) government jobs, as this administration keeps advocating, is no way out of this economic mess. The only way out is to create jobs in private industry that are self-sustaining.

  37. He’s right in the fact that the Occupy crowd is mostly made up of ex-hippies or hippie wannabees. They are simply protesting for the sake of protesting and appear to have no goals, no plans and no agenda of any sort. The message they seem to be sending is “please arrest me so I can feel like a real protester”. The whole thing is pointless and stupid, in my opinion. I have a feeling that I’m in the 99% of Americans who hold that opinion.

  38. The OWS protesters have brought the conversation to the streets and made it such that corporate media can no longer ignore their side of that conversation. If they have accomplished nothing else,…this would be sufficient.

  39. Yeah Miller has been taking crazy pills for the last few years, but out of loyalty for his awesome body of work in the 1980’s I kept getting his books. But Holy Terror sucked and was filled with anti-Muslim propoganda. Space Aliens please abduct FM again and put his real brain back in!

  40. The only way out is to create jobs in private industry that are self-sustaining.

    Practically everyone would prefer that the private sector produce jobs, but that hasn’t been happening for the past decade. From 1999 to 2009, the private sector produced about 1.1 million jobs, while about 2.4 million public sector jobs were created. Among the causes of the current economic malaise are a lack of demand

    One of the lingering effects of the 2007 housing crash and the ensuing 2008 stock market crash is a lack of spending among those who are holding on to decent jobs, and the obvious lack of available disposible income among those who have found themselves either unemployed or underemployed. Ken Lansing, an economist at the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, found in July that since the the recession began in 2007, Americans spent $7,356 less per person (in inflation-adjusted dollars).

    and debt problems:

    Looking across the world, the underlying problem is that borrowers–households and governments–have taken on debt that they can’t afford to pay back, given the current rate of income and economic growth. In the U.S, too many homeowners are struggling with mortgages that far exceed the value of their homes and cannot be repaid from their current incomes. In Europe, Greece and perhaps other countries have issued bonds that they cannot pay back unless growth unexpectedly skyrockets.

    Down the road the same principle of matching growth to debt allows us to perceive potential financial crises to come. Young male college graduates, for example, have seen their real earnings plunge by 19% since 2000, with young female college grads experiencing a similar decline. Meanwhile education borrowing has soared, suggesting that we are on the verge of a student loan crisis, where young grads simply cannot pay back their mountain of debt.

    The lack of jobs is not due to government regulations or uncertainty caused by government policies. I read this sort of material several times a week, but I manage to get out of bed and go to work anyway. Good thing I’m in an oil boom state.


  41. Miller’s comments sound like they were lifted from speeches by Kim Jong Il and various Iranian Ayatollahs against dissent in their countries. Gazed into the abyss a bit too long, has he?

  42. I never said Govt. was impotent, I said it’s policy was written by industry insiders (Goldman Sacks CEO and now Fed. chairman Ben Bernake, for example).

    Yes, some ARRA funds were spent to reinforce municipal budgets to allow for police and teachers to keep getting paid. As I mentioned before, in deep recessions like this when Business isn’t spending, people aren’t spending, it’s up to government to spend until business and consumer confidence comes back. That’s when local municipalities can collect their own funds and pay their own way.

    This isn’t the first time we’ve handled financial situations like this. There’s a proven way to handle it and if we didn’t have small but vocal lunatics on one side of the aisle screaming for the completely dismantlement of the federal government, the grown ups might actually be able to get some things done. Things that would not include privatizing the police departments, ‘cuz that sounds like a great idea. In Iraq, Blackwater kills civilians on a regular basis, I like how you advocate bringing that same corporate reasoning to America.

    The path to individual freedom is not paved with corporatism.

  43. Reinforce “some” municipal budgets? That’s all the president talks about regarding his newest jobs bill: Jobs for teachers, policemen and firefighters.

    And while his union supporters love such talk, the reality of adding such long-term costs (including benefit and retirement packages), if permanent, will later have to be borne by local, state or federal governments. But the only way to pay for such costs is to raise even more tax revenue. And since most governments are currently broke and taxes for constituents are already at a breaking point, it’s likely such funds will have to be borrowed.

    The bottom line? Adding public sector jobs is a costly, vicious cycle, and is not a realistic solution to long-term job creation.

  44. Hey Miller , I’m going to enjoy watching your next projects BOMB like that half assed movie “The Spirit” that you ruined. Way to cut your fan base off , For your sake you better hope that GOP brats buy your crap up at ten a head. Because non of your old fans will ever throw you a cent again.

  45. someone needs to get frankmiller up to speed..time has overlapped him perhaps,,till then..fuck frank miller lol..put that on a tee..

  46. Well, there’s no reason why a gifted comic book writer also has to be able to argue coherently (referring of course to FM, not to the TyBunny). That said, is the Occupy ‘movement’ much more than a gang with more pretensions than the Bloods or Crips? Grabbing a piece of the commons by force with the intention of holding it ‘forever’ – which was what Susan Ursel was arguing for in court last week – is the action of a gang or mob, and reasonable people don’t sit still for high-minded moral lectures from gangs and mobs.

  47. I don’t care how much I like his work,I will never buy or read any of it ever again. Or do I not have the right to do that Frankie?

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