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Warren Ellis WOLFSKIN

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Escape of the Living Dead


Jason X

Nightmare on Elm Street

Friday the 13th

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Alan Moore's Writing for Comics

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From the Desk of Warren Ellis

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Frank Miller

Artwork & Info on Frank Miller's Robocop || Buy Frank Miller's Robocop

Considered by many to be one of the primary architects of the modern comics era alongside the likes of Alan Moore and others, artist and writer Frank Miller is the innovative creator of Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, Elektra: Assassin, and numerous other influential works.

Miller got his start in comics in the late 1970's with a variety of short story work for titles at several companies including now-defunct publisher Gold Key's Twilight Zone (Twilight Zone #84 cover-dated June 1978 is often cited as Miller's first work), DC Comics' Weird War Tales, and Marvel's John Carter Warlord of Mars.

The creator got his first shot at a major character as artist on Marvel's Peter Parker: Spectacular Spider-Man title in 1979, but it was his stint on Daredevil beginning later that year -- first as artist, and then as writer/artist over the next two years -- that was to catapult the creator to prominence. Miller's realistic and sophisticated approach to the title layered the characters and their conflicts with emotional complexity, maturity of theme, and a level of heart, soul, and intelligence not often attempted in mainstream comics previously.

This effort was well-received on a mainstream comics scene eager for change. The comics industry itself was in a period of rebirth during this same period, as comic shops began to spring up around the country in the wake of the early results of the direct market (non-returnable) distribution model. And with these shops came a professional community ready to embrace its adult readership. Efforts like Miller's Daredevil were exactly what that readership was looking for.

Miller explored and refined his approach to sophisticated characterization and plotting combined with an unmatched understanding of the mechanics of comic book storytelling on a number of noteworthy titles throughout the early to mid 1980s, including the Wolverine mini-series and Elektra: Assassin at Marvel, and Ronin at DC, but it was his landmark 1986 effort Batman: The Dark Knight Returns and Batman: Year One from the next year which have had the most impact on modern comics. Miller's character-driven Batman tales of politics, corruption, and the conflicts of the human spirit stand to this day as hugely influential on comics as a whole.

Having redefined one of comics' most important icons, Miller next turned much of his attention to his own creations, including the pulp/noir crime comic Sin City, the science/cultural/political fiction saga Give Me Liberty with artist Dave Gibbons, and the densely visual futuristic feast of Hard Boiled with Geof Darrow.

With these and other comic book efforts underway, Miller made a foray into storytelling of a different kind with credits for screenplay and story for the Robocop 2 (1990) and Robocop 3 (1993) films. Miller's filmography also includes credit for his creation of The Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot upon which a 1999 animated series was based, and a handful of film cameos including an appearance in the 2003 film Daredevil.

In the meantime, Miller's various comic projects continued with numerous mini-series, including several Sin City and Martha Washington sagas, Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot (1995) and the historical epic 300 (1998). Miller then made his eagerly-anticipated return to Batman with The Dark Knight Strikes Back in 2002.

Most recently, Miller's talent for tempering larger than life characters with equally large passions, obsessions, and flaws has been rediscovered by Hollywood. The 2003 Ben Affleck / Jennifer Garner starrer Daredevil was to a great extent drawn from material Miller created in his tenure on the comic title. The 2005 movie Elektra also has Garner playing the title character, who was originally created by Miller in the Daredevil comic series. The 2005 film Sin City is based on Miller's highly-regarded creator-owned comic book. And the 2005 release Batman Begins appears to be influenced by both Miller's Batman: Year One and by the look and feel of his Dark Knight Returns.

At Avatar, Miller is closely overseeing the transition of his original Robocop stories and concepts to the comic page for the Frank Miller's Robocop comic book mini-series. Miller is also providing covers for the series.

Artwork & Info on Frank Miller's Robocop

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