Graphic Novels Spotlight: Frank Miller

by Bill Jacobs and Sean Ahearn, Learning & Research Services

Graphic novels are often characterized by the superheroes popularized in modern films. While superhero stories are an important genre in the medium, it is home to a very broad range of storytelling genres and themes.

UML’s Graphic Novels collection of more than 1,000 volumes includes newspaper comic strips, Japanese manga, European bande dessinée, and alternative American comics, in addition to superhero stories. Along with high-flying, wall-crawling, planet-saving scenarios, there are detectives tracking down lost library books, demon-fighting ronan, and wine tasting competitions. Many of the unusual story lines are woven into commentary on deeper issues, such as racial history, mass media, and philosophy. Some graphic novels avoid the fantastic entirely, and instead tell mystery stories, autobiography, and graphic essays.


Frank Miller is best known for dark comic book stories and graphic novels such as Daredevil: Born Again, The Dark Knight Returns, and Sin City. Image credit: pinguino k / Flickr


We at UML hope to pique your interest in some of the many characters that are a part of our Graphic Novels collection. We begin with the legendary comic book artist Frank Miller.

Miller debuted as a comics artist with Marvel’s Daredevil: The Man Without Fear #158 and quickly rose to the top of Marvel’s creative team. Taking over as the series author with issue 168, Miller single-handedly resurrected the dying title in the 1980s with dynamic and atmospheric art and a fresh story line, Daredevil: Reborn. The introduction of assassin/love interest Elektra won readers over and brought new life to the man without fear.

In 1986, Miller changed the comic book genre forever once DC comics granted him creative authority over Batman in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. This card stock, square bound miniseries opens on Batman returning to the streets of an apocalyptic future Gotham after a hiatus taken due to the death of Jason Todd, the second robin. Now 55, Bruce Wayne’s alter ego is weathered, taking on a dark and gritty persona. The Dark Knight Returns pushed a dark character to be forefront as protagonist, becoming the primary interpretation of Batman and influencing many other modern comics.

Daredevil Visionaries [Vol. 1] / 2000

Miller’s darkness only grew when he began the “neo-noir” comic Sin City, now solely for mature audiences. Readers are taken into the depths of Basin (Sin) City, where crime is rampant and our protagonist is anything but merciful.

Batman: The Dark Knight Returns / 2002

Frank Miller’s depth and impact on graphic novels has been a testament of the growth of the medium itself. No longer just for kids, Frank Miller has taken a once light-hearted and comical platform to gritty, sexy, and violent destinations, allowing the series to explore the many subtleties and extremes of human existence.

Sin City [Vol 1]: The Hard Goodbye / 2010

Check out Daredevil: Man without Fear, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, and other Frank Miller comics from Richter Library. Search the catalog to browse music, video, and print resources related to these graphic novels.

Save the Date: Upcoming Events at UM Libraries


The University of Miami Libraries are hosting and co-presenting several events in 2016. Please mark your calendars for the following event(s) and stay tuned for what promises to be a series of stimulating talks and presentations.

January 14, 2016 | Arva Moore Parks Presents George Merrick, Son of the South Wind

6 p.m. | Otto G. Richter Library
As UM kicks off the 90th anniversary celebrations in 2016, Miami historian and University trustee Arva Moore Parks will present her latest book on Coral Gables’ founder and UM visionary George Merrick. Parks’ presentation at the library, co-sponsored by Books & Books, is in conjunction with the official opening of The Pan American University: The Original Spirit of the U Lives On, an exhibition of historical materials from the Libraries’ unique and distinctive collections reflecting the University’s enduring connection to Latin America and the Caribbean.

January 27, 2016 | Firsts at UM

4 p.m. | Newman Alumni Center
A conversation with President Julio Frenk and Miami historian-author and UM Trustee Arva Moore Parks about the University’s history, milestones, and unforgettable moments. UM Libraries will be presenting an exhibit about the University from its archives. Visit for the complete list of inauguration week events.

Featured events are free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, please contact or call 305-284-4026.

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UM to Host First Academic Art Museum and Library Summit

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (November 30, 2015)—The University of Miami will host the inaugural Academic Art Museum and Library Summit this January, bringing together fourteen pairs of library and museum directors from North American academic institutions to address opportunities for deep intra-institutional collaboration. The summit will focus on the ways that new pedagogical models and technologies are transforming the work of the academy, and the potential for art museums and libraries to engage more fully with faculty, students, and each other.

The two-day summit, which will take place January 27-29 at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables, will bring together leaders from Arizona State University, Duke University, Oberlin College, Princeton University, Skidmore College, University of Georgia, University of Miami, University of Michigan, University of Notre Dame, University of Oregon, University of Texas (Austin), University of Wisconsin, Vassar College, and Yale University, all of which are recognized for the leadership they provide in the fields of academic museums and libraries.

The summit, whose participants represent both private and public institutions of varying sizes from across the nation, will open with a keynote address by Daniel Weiss, president of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and include sessions led by other distinguished speakers with a profound knowledge of and commitment to excellence in the museum and libraries fields. The agenda will allow the invited teams of directors to engage in interactive, participatory programming designed to facilitate the mining of rich collaborative opportunities. The invitees will propose topics for discussion and develop ideas for a collaborative project on their home campuses in advance of the summit.

“Working together, libraries and museums have the capacity to harness the enormous potential to create strong collaborative networks, share resources, and foster dynamic interdisciplinary scholarship,” said Jill Deupi, Beaux Arts Director and chief curator for the Lowe Art Museum. “We are so proud to host this first summit, which has the critical mission of addressing new and innovative ways that students and faculty seek to integrate library and museum collections into their learning and research agendas,” she added.

“Changes in pedagogy and research occasioned in large part by the digital revolution suggest fertile ground for developing shared practices and strategies across the GLAM sector (Galleries, Libraries, Archives, and Museums),” said Charles Eckman, UM’s dean of libraries and University librarian. He added that “we are deeply grateful to the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation for their vision and generosity enabling the University of Miami to host this path-breaking summit.”

The Academic Art Museum and Library Summit is being co-organized by the University of Miami Libraries and Lowe Art Museum, with the Association of Art Museums and Galleries, the Association of Research Libraries, and the Coalition for Networked Information. It is being underwritten with generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Samuel H. Kress Foundation.

“We are pleased to support the Academic Art Museum and Library Summit,” said Donald Waters, senior program officer for Scholarly Communications at the Mellon Foundation. “Mellon actively supports collaborative and cooperative efforts such as this one and believes that institutions with diverse but complementary talents that work together are more likely to come up with creative solutions to shared problems than if they worked separately.”

“Academic libraries and museums,” said Max Marmor, president of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, “share a common mission to collect, preserve, and steward cultural collections in the service of education, research, and scholarship. Thanks in part to new and emerging technologies, they have rich opporutnities and compelling reasons to collaborate ever more closely in pursuing this shared mission. We at the Kress Foundation are grateful to the University of Miami for hosting this inaugural summit, which is intended to foster new partnerships in this promising arena.”

The University of Miami’s mission is to educate and nurture students, to create knowledge, and to provide service to the community and beyond. Committed to excellence and proud of the diversity of its University family, UM strives to develop future leaders of the nation and the world.

The Lowe Art Museum (, a unit of the College of Arts & Sciences, is located on the campus of the University of Miami at 1301 Stanford Drive, Coral Gables.

The University of Miami Libraries ( provide faculty, students, researchers, and staff with the highest quality access to collections and information resources in support of the University’s mission to transform lives through research, teaching, and service.

DVD Picks: Forgotten Movies of the 90s

by Terri Robar, Learning & Research Services

Everyone remembers the blockbusters, the award winners. But there are so many other movies, perfectly good ones that people enjoyed, that fall out of the collective memory. We thought that it would be nice to rediscover some of those from the 1990s. This list also includes early films by actors who went on to star in the blockbusters.

The following films are a part of Richter Library’s DVD collection. In addition to the thousands of DVDs spanning comedy, drama, sci-fi, horror, documentary, and other genres, UM Libraries also houses film-related materials such as screenplays, soundtracks, musical scores, and original book titles. Search the catalog to browse music and print resources related to these films.

Buffy Cover

During Prohibition, two gangland bosses struggle for control over a city, with one of the boss’s lieutenants caught in the middle.

Natives of a small, isolated town defend themselves against strange underground creatures which are killing them one by one.

Cameron falls for the most beautiful girl in school. However, she is forbidden to date until the most hated girl in school, her ill-tempered older sister, goes out too.

Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins is a decorated war hero who returns home to work as a private eye. His job of finding a missing socialite puts him between the white power elite and the vibrant black commumnity of Central Avenue. As soon as Easy and his trigger-happy friend Mouse find Daphne Monet, trouble follows.

When a promised job for Texan Michael fails to materialise in Wyoming, Mike is mistaken by Wayne to be the hitman he hired to kill his unfaithful wife, Suzanne. Mike takes full advantage of the situation, collects the money and runs. During his getaway, things go wrong, and soon get worse when he runs into the real hitman, Lyle.

Lenny Nero sells dreams and hustles nightmares available on small disks that are viewable via a compact headpiece that makes every sensation immediate. Nero replays scenes of happier days with Faith Justin, who has run off with sadistic Philo Gant. As he attempts to win Faith back, he hooks up with an old friend, Lornette “Mace” Mason, and the two of them are caught in a deadly fantasy of conspiracy, murder, and betrayal.

After two ruthless drug dealers commit a brutal mass murder in Los Angeles and are forced to flee the state, their beautiful accomplice begs to go home to Arkansas and unwittingly leads them into a trap.

A cable installer, raised on television sitcoms, wants life to look like “My Three Sons.” And when he meets a single guy, he sees his chance for some serious male bonding.

A stewardess, a street-tough gun runner, a lonely bail bondsman, a shifty ex-con, a stoned-out beach bunny, and an earnest federal agent converge in a quest for a missing half million dollars.

Daryl Zero is a genius as a private investigator but a basket case in life. Steve Arlo is Zero’s smooth-talking front man and beleaguered gofer. Their search for a shady tycoon’s missing keys uncovers blackmail, revenge, and murder. But when love zeroes in on Zero, the world’s greatest detective suddenly doesn’t have a clue.

When Hank, Jacob, and Lou find $4.4 million inside a crashed plane in a nature preserve, they quickly come up with the plan to keep the money safe until the plane has been found by others and the dust has settled. As new ideas of using the money arise, however, the trusty atmosphere between the unequal partners slowly dissolves, and intrigues are spun.

Tracy Flick, a straight-A go-getter is determined to be president of Carver High’s student body. Popular teacher Jim McAllister decides to derail Tracy’s obsessive overachieving by recruiting an opposition candidate. Mr. M. never imagines that stopping Tracy is like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube.