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Occupy Comics: Graphic Novel Heavyweights Go Head To Head Over Occupy Wall Street

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Alan Moore supports Occupy Wall Street. Frank Miller does not.

CREDIT: Flickr / Matthew Cunnelly

Two of the biggest names in comic books have weighed in on the Occupy Wall Street movement—and their conclusions couldn't have been more different.

Alan Moore, the author of graphic novels including “Watchmen”and “V For Vendetta,” recently affirmed the goals of the Occupy demonstrators in response to a heavy-handed critique of the movement by “Sin City”and “300”author and illustrator Frank Miller. Miller had excoriated Occupy demonstrators for what he framed as unworldliness and irrelevance in a wandering, disjointed blog post published in mid-November.

This is no popular uprising. This is garbage. And goodness knows they’re spewing their garbage—both politically and physically—every which way they can find.

Miller, whose work is characterized by extreme stylized violence, wastes little time in introducing Islam—his favorite target, according to reviewers, since the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001—as a more pressing foe than corporate America.

Wake up, pond scum. America is at war against a ruthless enemy.

Maybe, between bouts of self-pity and all the other tasty tidbits of narcissism you’ve been served up in your sheltered, comfy little worlds, you’ve heard terms like al-Qaeda and Islamicism.

Moore, known for the brooding deconstruction of superhero myths Watchmen,responded to Miller's critique in an interview with Honest Publishing.

I think that the Occupy movement is, in one sense, the public saying that they should be the ones to decide who’s too big to fail. It’s a completely justified howl of moral outrage and it seems to be handled in a very intelligent, non-violent way, which is probably another reason why Frank Miller would be less than pleased with it.

Moore pulled few punches in the response, calling Miller's influential “300,” which was adapted into a hit 2006 film, “wildly ahistoric, homophobic and just completely misguided.”

Graphic novels have increasingly served as political manifestos or commentary in recent decades. Imagery from Moore's “V For Vendetta,” for example,has been embraced by members of the hacktivist collective Anonymous, some of whom now wear Guy Fawkes masks to demonstrations. In other instances, as in the queer comics scene, comic books can serve to introduce minority or underrepresented characters to a mainstream audience in a non-threatening medium.

Moore has also joined the ranks of Occupy Comics, a project to document the ideals and experiences of the Occupy movement in graphic form. Occupy Comics has a Kickstarter page to raise funds.

Jon Christian is a reporter with Campus Progress. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_Christian.

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