Frank Miller (comics) - Career

Career

Setting out to become an artist, Miller received his first published work at Western Publishing's Gold Key Comics imprint, on the licensed TV-series comic book The Twilight Zone drawing the story "Royal Feast" in issue No. 84 (June 1978), and "Endless Cloud" in No. 85 (July 1978).

One-time Marvel editor-in-chief Jim Shooter recalled Miller going to DC Comics after having broken in with "a small job from Western Publishing, I think. Thus emboldened, he went to DC, and after getting savaged by Joe Orlando, got in to see art director Vinnie Colletta, who recognized talent and arranged for him to get a one-page war-comic job". The Grand Comics Database does not list the job, which may or may not have been signed; Miller's first listed work is the six-page "Deliver Me From D-Day", by writer Wyatt Gwyon, in Weird War Tales No. 64 (June 1978). A two-page story, however, written by Roger McKenzie and titled "Slowly, painfully, you dig your way from the cold, choking debris...", appears in Weird War Tales No. 68 (Oct. 1978). Other fledgling work at DC included the six-page "The Greatest Story Never Told", by writer Paul Kupperberg, in that same issue, and the five-page "The Edge of History", written by Elliot S. Maggin, in Unknown Soldier No. 219 (Sept. 1978). and his first work for Marvel Comics, penciling the 17-page story "The Master Assassin of Mars, Part 3" in John Carter, Warlord of Mars No. 18 (Nov. 1978). Miller had a letter he wrote to Marvel as a comics fan published several years earlier in 1973 (The Cat #3)

At Marvel, Miller would settle in as a regular fill-in and cover artist, working on a variety of titles. One of these jobs was drawing Peter Parker, the Spectacular Spider-Man #27–28 (Feb.–March 1979), which guest-starred Daredevil. At the time, sales of the Daredevil title were poor; however, Miller saw something in the character he liked and asked editor-in-chief Jim Shooter if he could work on Daredevil's regular title. Shooter agreed and made Miller the new penciller on the title. As Miller recalled in 2008,

When I first showed up in New York, I showed up with a bunch of comics, a bunch of samples, of guys in trench coats and old cars and such. And said, 'Where are the guys in tights?' And I had to learn how to do it. But as soon as a title came along, when Gene Colan left Daredevil, I realized it was my secret in to do crime comics with a superhero in them. And so I lobbied for the title and got it".

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