Frank Miller’s comics career is a long and storied one, with “Sin City” being one of his most individual creations. Here, in his own words, is his journey toward creating the series — and its unlikely jump to the silver screen.
“I grew up on Superboy comics, and then Spider-Man and that sort of thing, and after a while they started to seem kind of juvenile to me and I lost interest. But I kept drawing. Meanwhile, what I was reading were things like Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler. So the two loves merged into doing crime comics, which I thought was just an absolute natural and would go over big.”
“I moved to New York, was told to go back home. ‘We don’t need you. Go pump gas. You’re from Vermont. We’ve got news for you: You’re not drawing guys in tights.’ So I had to learn how to draw guys in tights, and I put them into as many crime situations as I could. And then after working in comics and gaining some notoriety and then working in Hollywood, I sat down and decided I would just please myself, and I would do the one comic book that could not possibly be turned into a movie. And it ended up being ‘Sin City.’ Then [Robert Rodriguez] shows up.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
Y’all come back now
Of all the intense characters in the “Sin City” universe, vengeful stripper Nancy, played in both films by Jessica Alba, might be his favorite — thanks in large part to Alba’s performance. He’s found it so inspiring, in fact, that he’s eager to get to work on a third film. “The original working title for Jessica’s story was ‘Nancy’s Last Dance,’ because she had been the abused victim, she had been through the wringer, and she had ended up as many women in her situation do, which is an exotic dancer,” Miller says. “This time, she turns into something quite else. And I’ve already got her next chapter planned, so please show up for the second movie.”
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter@nedrick.