Frank Miller is one of the most famous creators in comic book history, lately more for bad reasons than good ones, and now he’s taking his name recognition as far as a comic book guy can by launching his very own independent publishing company. Called FMP, or Frank Miller Presents, the indie label has been secretly in the works for a long time, and the plan is for it to publish “two to four titles a year”—with “a mix of Miller’s creations and new works.”
This comes from The Hollywood Repoter, which says FMP will be run by former DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio, who is serving as publisher, and Frank Miller Ink CEO Silenn Thomas, who will be COO. In a statement, Miller said that his “one true passion and creative calling” has always been “investing in artists and the future of comics,” and he thinks FMP will be “fertile ground for storytellers and new creations.” The plan, as he explains it, is to “cultivate a fellowship of artists and writers to mentor, collaborate, and push forward not only each other but the art form as well.”
FMP isn’t taking over the publishing rights to any of Miller’s old books, but the first two projects the company has announced are follow-ups to the Rōnin and Sin City (the former originally published by DC and the latter by Dark Horse). The new Rōnin, subtitled Book Two, is presumably a continuation of Miller’s story of a disgraced samurai waking up in a post-apocalyptic New York, though we don’t have any real details, while the new Sin City is called Sin City 1858 and will be some kind of Western take on the mega-violent, trench coat-obsessed neo-noir comic that inspired the movie of the same name.
Now, it’s hard to talk about modern Frank Miller without at least acknowledging the… dark turn that he took in the last twenty years. A few years after 9/11, he pitched DC on a Batman comic that would’ve involved the Dark Knight going to the Middle East to murder Islamic terrorists, with that story—sans any official connection to Batman and not published by DC—eventually coming out in 2011 as Holy Terror. The book was criticized for, you know, everything, and Miller went on a rant about Occupy Wall Street that same year that seemed to indicate that the guy who once wrote a Batman comic where he basically says “eat the rich” had taken a turn to the right.
Miller has since walked back that attitude a bit, telling The Guardian in 2018 that Holy Terror is “bloodthirsty beyond belief” and that, while he’s not comfortable going back and “erasing books” that he wrote, he says he wouldn’t be “capable” of writing that one again. He also said “I wasn’t thinking clearly” when pressed on his Occupy Wall Street comments. So, you know, take from that what you will. Either way, Batman: Year One still fucking owns.