Geof Darrow drew this as the cover for his beautiful miniseries Hard Boiled, with Frank Miller writing. It’s terrific. It’s got that schizoid thing that Miller uses so often (fragmented dialogue, overlapping trains of thought, heavy irony about consumerism), but it works very well with Darrow’s ultra-clear, incredibly busy linework as a running counterpoint, rather than Sienkiewicz’s sloppy-gorgeous visual evocations of the same ideas, which are just as effective as direct expressions of the same lines of thinking. This and The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot (just as good) are both well worth the purchase price­—they look short, but believe me, you’ll spend much more time poring over the artwork than you will reading the dialogue.

Probably no one is going to tell you that Dave Gibbons isn’t a fabulous artist, but most people think his magnum opus is Watchmen, when, for my money, you just can’t beat his and Frank Miller’s absurd reworking of Atlas Shrugged as an SF satire, Martha Washington. Let me be clear: I hate Ayn Rand. She was an idiot and she’s done irreparable harm to American conservatism. But her shitty novels make great sci-fi as long as you pull all the forced speeches and goofy straw-man caricatures out of them, and Miller, for all his quirks, is a pretty astute satirist.

I understand why people hate Frank Miller. I think his blog post on Occupy Wall Street was stupid and poorly informed and very obviously the work of someone who lived in New York during the Taxi Driver era and doesn’t seem to understand that the city and its youth culture have changed drastically. I’m sorry he kind of lost his shit after 9/11, both for him and for myself and other comics fans, who lost a great satirist who zagged when a lot of people zigged and now have to deal with an elder statesman who’s gone predictable, conservative baby boomer nutsoid like a depressingly huge number of racist grandpas across the country. But it’s not easy to hate Reagan and hippies, and Miller did it well for a long time.

I still think he’s a brilliant, vibrant, worthwhile artist who does really compelling work even when it’s in the service of ignorant tripe like the story in Holy Terror, a page of which I’ve posted here.