Comic Art Friday: Mourning (over comics) becomes Elektra

I’ve long been on record as opining that Frank Miller singlehandedly ruined three of my boyhood comics heroes.

Miller ruined both Batman and Daredevil by forcing both characters down the road to inky-black insanity, a path that pretty much every writer who’s scripted either character since has felt compelled to continue. (And yes, I do understand that Batman — the 1960s TV series notwithstanding — has always been a “dark” character. But he wasn’t a psychopathic nutjob until Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns rendered him that way.)

Miller ruined Will Eisner’s The Spirit by shoehorning him into what stands as one of the most embarrassingly inept comics-to-film adaptations ever devised. Seriously, what WAS that movie?

And, through his potent influence, Miller shoved the entire superhero comics genre into the depths of grim-grittiness — a fall from which the medium has yet to recover.

Basically, with a few strokes of his pen, Frank Miller drained the fun out of comics.

Elektra, pencils by comics artist Noah Salonga

But he did create Elektra.

And for that, I have to give Frank Miller credit.

But not forgiveness.

Interpolation: SSTOL reader and Friend o’ Swan Ben Herman wanted some background on Noah Salonga, the artist responsible for the Elektra drawing seen above. I’ll share what I know.

Noah is among the veritable plethora of talented artists creating comics (or, as they’re known there, komiks) in the Philippines. His work has appeared in the U.S. in such titles as Dynamite Entertainment’s Red Sonja and Xena: Warrior Princess; Harris Comics’ Vampirella; and Marvel’s Mighty Avengers and Agents of Atlas.

Some years back, I owned another beautiful example of Noah’s art, that one featuring Lara Croft, Tomb Raider. I’ve always regretted selling that piece. I was thrilled recently to replace it at long last with this amazing artwork.

And that’s your Comic Art Friday.

Explore posts in the same categories: Cinemania, Comic Art Friday, Hero of the Day, SwanStuff, Taking Umbrage, Teleholics Anonymous, That's Cool!

2 Comments on “Comic Art Friday: Mourning (over comics) becomes Elektra”

  1. One of the only works written by Frank Miller that I have ever really enjoyed is Batman: Year One. I think it is incredible, and I have lost track of how many times I have read it.

    But, yes, I agree with the majority of your sentiments. Miller’s writing has typically been much too dark, his superheroes quite often straying into insanity and/or fascism.

    Most of the artwork that Miller has done that I actually like was inked / finished by someone else, such as Klaus Janson, Josef Rubinstein, and Bob McLeod. Those three gentlemen never receive enough credit for what they contributed to Miller’s work in the 1980s. Miller inking himself really is not my thing, especially in the last decade and a half. And during that same timespan, we’ve also witnessed Miller descend into neo-Conservative insanity. Oh, yes, as for The Spirit movie, do not get me started!

    On a more positive note, I like this week’s artwork. You didn’t tell us who drew it, though. I had to follow the link to CAF to learn the artist is Noah Salonga. What can you tell us about him?

  2. Thanks for sharing your perspective, Ben. I agree totally with your point that Miller’s pencils have often been better served by being inked by others, including the talents you mention. At least, that was true before Frank went completely off the rails.

    I’ve added some notes about Noah Salonga into the body of the post. I’d actually intended to include this information from the get-go, but a squirrel ran through my office and I forgot. đŸ™‚ Kudos for the catch!

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