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CSBG Archive

Frank Miller’s Back Pages

Every day this month I will share with you the first (at least as far as I know) U.S. professional work by a notable comic book creator. Here is an archive of the creators who have been featured so far.

Today’s featured creator is Frank Miller!

Enjoy!

Frank Miller is one of the most famous comic book creators in the history of comics, as his recent work as co-director of the film Sin City (adapting his Dark Horse Comics series) and as director of the film The Spirit (adapting Will Eisner’s comic book series) have placed him firmly within the mainstream consciousness. Even before that, though, Miller was very famous for his work on the series 300 (adapted into a hit film a few years back), Batman: Year One (the inspiration for the hit film Batman Begins), Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Daredevil: Born Again and his initial run on Daredevil. And that is only a PARTIAL list of the notable works by Miller!

But when Miller first broke into comics in the United States when he was barely 21 years old in 1978, you would never guess that this guy was going to be such a superstar.

In June 1978, he had his first two comics published, one for Gold Key and one for DC Comics.

The DC Comics work appeared in Weird War Tales #64, written by Wyatt Gwyon…

His Gold Key work was in Twilight Zone #84….

Very soon he got his first Marvel work and soon after that he was working on Daredevil and, well, the rest is history.

19 Comments

Curious about the ending of that Weird War Story!

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 5, 2011 at 7:15 am

Huh, that is soooo far from his current style of art. Even when he did the art on the early Daredevil issues.

If you hadn’t said that these were done by Miller, I wouldn’t have recognize the artist.

My guess is the soldier dies the day after D-Day.

I (and a number of others, including inker Bob Almond) always wondered if this Hostess ad from 1979 is another early example of Frank Miller’s artwork.

http://tomheroes.com/Comic%20Ads/hostess%20ads/spiderman_demolition_derby.htm

Brian s Phillips

March 5, 2011 at 8:27 am

I can see the “early Miller” in the Twilight Zone stories if you look back at his early Daredevil and Peter Parker stories. The Weird War story was inked by Danny Bulandi, himself a talented Filipino artist, but like most of the filipino artists of the day, when he embellished someone else’s work, they tended to make it “their own.” Fun seeing these early works!

Very cool. Miller is one of my favorite artists and I agree that these pages look nothing like his work.

“Wyatt Gwyon”?

Wyatt Nawot?

It’s funny, but I didn’t see the credits box in the first story and as I’m looking at the art and marveling at how unlike Miller it looks I thought, “It almost looks like he’s being inked by Danny Bulanadi.” I then looked back and saw the credits and now when I look at it, it doesn’t look much like Bulanadi’s work at all to me! I would have much preferred THIS Bulanadi to the one that was so heavy handed on all those Marvel’s in the ’80s.

I don’t see much of Miller at all in the second story.

I was hoping to see some pages from that John Carter Warlord of Mars story he did (I think the last issue of the series).
Still, very interesting to see the changes in style.

Wow, Miller was actually a decent artist back in ’78. I wonder what ever happened to cause him to come up with that rubbish style that he has been churning out since he became a megastar???? And before all the Internet heroes kick up a stink, you can’t fault Miller’s storytelling ability but be truthful, his art leaves a lot to be desired.

Loving this column so far. You can see some of Miller’s signature style poppin up just a bit in that second story.
It’s amazing he was this good right away. I guess that’s why he’s a legend.

re:XBen…I read that particular Weird War tale (it was issue 64; he also had one in issue 68), and after 33 years I suppose it wouldn’t be a problem if I spoiled the ending (if I am remembering it right ^_^).

It ended with the miscreant getting killed, because the Devil kept his word. He didn’t die on D-Day, but unbeknown to him, the op he was on wasn’t D-Day, but an assault on the beaches to test the Germans’ defenses prior to D-Day.

Oops.

I remember seeing some fan art that Miller did several years prior to this story, and that was quite good too; less Goseki Kojima influence, more Mickey Spillane.

Nomis Rekik… You just answered your own question… He became a megastar. That’s what happened. :)

ARTISTS have seven lives.
who could believe the clone of neal Adams on Moon Knight would produce so many cool works he inspire many artists on his own.
who could believe the guy who pasted xerox of his friends in TORSO would became the head honcho writer of Marvel.
and the list goes on. beware of the youngs and the interns, they became older and sometime acheive better things than you.

never seen these before, loved the Twilight Zone strip. I wonder if anyone saw his potential back then?

[…] Last week, in the month-long My Back Pages feature (where I spotlight the first U.S. professional work by a notable comic book creator), I featured Frank Miller’s first comic book work from 1978. […]

Is there any chance you can post a cover scan of the Twilight Zone issue? Gold Key didn’t put their issue numbers on the cover, so you can’t tell what issue is what # without looking inside at the indicia.

I too wondered about that 1979 Hostess ad. Anyone confirm it yet?

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