Following a public uproar over a decade old comic called ‘Holy Terror’, The Thought Bubble Comic Con has publicly cancelled Frank Miller off its program. Once the undisputed king of modern comics, Frank Miller has a somewhat controversial career that includes being accused of “misogyny” for his popular Sin City series, and branded an “Islamophobe” for his Holy Terror graphic novel that was originally developed as a Batman versus Al-Qaeda terrorists in the wake of 9/11.
Back when his appearance was officially announced for the November UK convention, the salt flowed on Twitter.
I’ve been attending Thought Bubble since 2010 when I first started self publishing. In that time, I feel like the festival has played an important role in the amazing growth and diversification in comics. It can continue to do so only if it fosters a safe and inclusive atmosphere
— Edward Ross (@edward_ross) July 27, 2021
I was so looking forward to @ThoughtBubbleUK, it’s the only con I go to every year, but if they’re inviting Frank Miller that’s a hard pass from me. Do better, Thought Bubble.
— Kitty Dorkling 💙 Nye Bevan was right about Tories (@KittyDorkling) July 28, 2021
The UK’s best comics event should have no interest in the likes of Frank Miller’s bigotry stinking it up, OR any of his fans. I urge Thought Bubble to reconsider which parts of this industry they want to showcase.
— ✨hamish steele✨ (@hamishsteele) July 27, 2021
In unrelated news, everyone of those complaining on Twitter find it necessary to list “preferred pronouns” in their Twitter bios. Could there be any correlation between those who virtue signal their preferred pronouns and the easily triggered, emotionally immature, adult-children who require public safe spaces? I’ll let you decide. Predictably, the U.K. comics convention soon announced that it would no longer be hosting Frank Miller as a guest in response to backlash from attendees and other guests.
A statement from us.
— Thought Bubble Festival (@ThoughtBubbleUK) July 28, 2021
Instead of standing by a creator who gave comicdom some of most the substantial books in the last 30 years, you’ve elevated the unfounded claims of easily triggered, emotionally immature, adult-children who require public safe spaces@ThoughtBubbleUK doesn’t deserve Frank Miller https://t.co/jf7bapAEwW
— Bleeding Fool (@BleedingFool) July 30, 2021
Presumably, the campaign to cancel Miller was launched by little known indie publisher ShortBox Comics, a Patreon supported webcomics publisher launched by Zainab Akhtar (and chock full of titles of a certain Tumblr aesthetic). ShortBox been pressuring the convention behind the scenes for weeks to drop Miller, and it seems they could be the main reason for the public dust up, especially since they took credit for it. And as expected, the preferred pronoun Twitterati were oh so thirsty for the outrage.
Loathe to see shitty industry golden boys take priority once again. You’ve done more good for comics – especially UK comics – than Frank Miller ever could. I really thought Thought Bubble was better than this.
— 🐑 Bex (@Schnumn) July 27, 2021
What seems to be lost on these pearl-clutching “comic fans” are the comments that Frank Miller himself shared back when his ‘Holy Terror’ graphic novel came out. While at the San Diego Comic-Con International, Miller was quoted as saying, “I was raised Catholic and I could tell you a lot about the Spanish Inquisition but the mysteries of the Catholic Church elude me. And I could tell you a lot about Al-Qaeda, but the mysteries of Islam elude me too.” Does that sound especially “Islamophobic” to anyone? But after the critics insisted that the book was anti-Islamic, Miller eventually walked back his confident remarks years later and confessed that he regretted Holy Terror, saying, “I don’t want to wipe out chapters of my own biography. But I’m not capable of that book again.”
Your apologies don’t matter to these clowns, Frank. They will never forgive you anyway.
Thankfully comic book publishers like Marvel, Dark Horse, DC, Oni Press, Legendary Comics, Last Gasp, Eclipse, and of course DC Comics had long ago forgiven the legendary creator who is still best known for classic stories such as Daredevil: Born Again, The Dark Knight Returns, Batman: Year One, Sin City, and 300. In fact, DC Comics has continued to hire Frank Miller as recently as 2019 for a third sequel to his seminal Batman story, Dark Knight Returns: The Golden Child. And the San Diego Comic-Con even inducted Miller into the Eisner Awards Hall of Fame (after his previous 12 Eisner Awards).
But even with an industry that still praises and hires him, these fragile babies can’t stomach the thought of being in the same room as a talent that once made Islamic terrorists the villains in his poorly received graphic novel over a decade ago.
On second thought, it’s clear that the Thought Bubble Festival doesn’t DESERVE Frank Miller.