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Frank Miller: ‘The 1940s-style Gentleman Needs To Make A Comeback’

Frank Miller by Gavin Bond for Playboy

For anyone who still had a little doubt in his or her mind about whether Frank Miller — the man who wrote and drew Sin City, which is basically all about tough guys fightin’ over dames (and also lady ninjas hanging out with prostitutes) — is nostalgic for a perceived golden age of dudeliness, look no further than his new 20Q interview in Playboy.

One of the interview’s wrap-up questions is about whether Miller prefers an old-fashioned ideal of masculinity, and Miller answers that he’d like to see “the 1940s-style gentleman” make a comeback.

“I believe it’s a biological function of men, because we tend to be larger than women, to be protective of them,” Miller said. “If I were to try to zero in, comic-book-like, on when masculinity went awry, I’d say it was when Rod Stewart sang, ‘You are my lover, you’re my best friend,’ rather than allowing there to be two people in his life who served two very important functions.”

Too bad, ladies. Frank Miller does not want to be your best friend.

Here are some additional highlights from the interview:

On whether he stands by Holy Terror

“Why not? I felt the response to 9/11 was tepid, if not disgusting. It’s almost as though they killed 3,000 of my neighbors and we spent the next bunch of years apologizing for it. Since superheroes have a tradition of fighting fascism, why not do it one more time? I don’t know where anyone got the idea it was anti-Islamic.”

On whether there’s a stigma to being a comics artist:

“I’ve always liked being one of the naughty boys. People like to refer to comic books as graphic novels or sequential storytelling, all kinds of crazy words. ‘Graphic novels’ sounds like we’re porn. I like the term ‘comic book,’ because it sounds like something you fold up and put in your back pocket. I like the goofiness of them.”

On whether he likes Batman more than Superman:

“Batman and Superman are dead opposites. I love Superman. Do I love Batman more? They’re not people. They’re only lines on paper.”

On how he feels about Holllywood:

“I certainly do not regard working in Hollywood as a step up from comics, by any means.”

On other people’s movie adaptations of his comics: 

“When people come out with movies about characters I’ve worked on, I always hate them. I have my own ideas about what the characters are like. I mean, I can’t watch a Batman movie. I’ve seen pieces of them, but I generally think, No, that’s not him. And I walk out of the theater before it’s over.”

For the full interview, including the story of how director Robert Rodriguez convinced Miller to make a Sin City movie after Miller’s terrible Hollywood experiences with the Robocop franchise, click here.

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