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.
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.
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.
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.
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.