Frank Miller tells his darkest story: When death came to get him

So Silenn doesn’t just record your life, it saves it. Did she help you more than she let on?

Miller: Correct.

Thomas: That’s the kind of guy he is. But I won’t be able to do it alone.

Frank, were the troubles you encountered something that built up gradually over time? You mentioned that alcohol has helped your creative process. Was that always part of it?

Miller: There were many years early in my career when I didn’t drink at all. I mean, I can barely afford food. Wine is expensive! I’m not a psychologist, but my self-discovery makes me think that the attention I received in the comics world contributed to that. Going to far away places and becoming the most famous person in the aquarium is definitely very heavy. It creates certain situations that make it much easier for me to enjoy what is already within me.

You are a rock star in the comic book world. In your early years, you even looked like a rock star with your long black hair.

Miller: [Laughs.] It all fell out.

But you’re living that lifestyle, traveling the world. Thousands of adoring fans want your autograph at these conventions.

Miller: It was a combination of events, because the comic book industry was revived again. I will appear with Alan Moore [creator of Watchmen and V for Vendetta]and it would be like the Beatles meeting the Rolling Stones.

Thomas: It certainly changed the comic for the rest of its time. Frank needs a little protection. He will stay with everyone until he is too tired. Or he will let certain people not really have his best interests at heart.

Do you have a hard time saying no, Frank?

Miller: Sometimes it’s really easy, but it depends on the person asking.

Are you addicted to more than alcohol? Do you feel like you have to use other drugs or other stimulants?

Miller: Not really, no. I find that addicts tend to focus on one thing they like and that becomes their dark lover.

Fans noticed a physical change in you. You lose a lot of weight and seem to age a lot after a few years. Did you realize this was happening at the time? Or were you not aware?

Miller: Okay, here’s the scary part. I did Are not. One of the things that happens while in your cup, so to speak, is that you become surprisingly self-aware. You are aware of your moods, emotions, desires. But your rat mind is taking over.

Thomas: It was definitely scary, because it was so sudden. We have to react pretty quickly because it’s really… I think the body catches up to express it on the outside before it’s too late.

Did you fight with Silenn and your family when they tried to warn you about what was happening? Do you accept criticism the way you did when Neal Adams said to you as a young artist, “You need to redraw these images?”


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