Friday, September 19, 2008

THE SPIRIT
























Since Will Eisner and Frank Miller were my two favorite cartoonists as a lad, I'm not sure how I'm supposed to feel about this. On the one hand, nobody needs to prove their Eisner-fan stripes less than Frank Miller does. I wouldn't even know who Will Eisner was if not for Miller. This is a guy who used to take up space in his top-tier Marvel book to plug a strip that had been defunct for 30 years. It's just disappointing that he appears to have made a movie that's less about the Spirit comic than about Frank Miller's late-period preoccupation with boobs, blood and bad dialogue. Like practically everything he's done post-1980's, the trailer leaves me scratching my head; it seems like a bad parody, and I can't tell if he's joking or not.

I should have known it might turn out like this after having read Eisner/Miller, the book-length cross-interview that Dark Horse published a few years back. In parts you just had the sense that the two of them were on separate wavelengths. Like the following passage where Miller is about to talk about Sin City: Family Values.

EISNER: The book I'm working on right now is about a family that immigrates from Eastern Europe in the 1930's and struggles to make a living in the garment district while keeping their traditions alive.

MILLER: Oh yeah, my book deals with a lot of the same themes. These two hot chicks get it on with each other and then go around shooting everybody with uzis.

Okay, I might not have exactly transcribed that word for word, but it's not far off.

4 comments:

daveednyc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
daveednyc said...

[crap, it posted before I was done]

Meh. I admit, I'm a total comic/graphic novel neophyte (never heard of Spirit), but I don't have a clue as to why this film is being made. Is it me or does look like a bad mash-up between Sin City and Darkman?? This has the stench of franchise-mongering studio execs around it...

Thing is, as you said, this is a 30-year old, defunct title. That's a hard sell to the fanbase of adolescents that is expected to line up for tickets regardless of whether the films sucks. (To wit: the recent Fantastic Four movies).

But it has a couple of fanboy hooks that I bet the studio is hoping will lure them in. Frank Miller as writer-director, plus a bevy of the latest spank-bankers, including Scarlett "It has nothing to do with my boobs -- I'm an AHKTRESSS") Johansson. Much can be overlooked with the right amount of cleavage. Coming soon: Maxim "Special Edition" promo with Eva Mendez on the cover.

Kevie said...

How I hate that ad campaign. Eisner drew unbearably sexy chicks, but never in such an obvious, leering kind of way. Thank you for reminding me that the horrible ad campaign might be a price Miller had to pay to get the film financed.

daveednyc said...

I believe it was a price Miller was more than happy to pay:

"And of course there are tons of women in it. There have to be — it’s The Spirit. They’re all in love with him, and he’s in love with all of them. You might say he’s a bit of a slut."

I don't even wanna know what the casting sessions were about...