The March meeting of the Marylebone Library Graphic Novel Club discussed Frank Miller‘s work as both author and artist of Ronin, the story of a demon slaying Samurai who is thrown into a future where the world faces a threat of its own creation. To focus our discussion we considered Pradmod K Nayar’s literary review The Biotechnological Uncanny: Frank Miller’s Ronin, which argues that “the text offers a vision of techno-capitalism through the aesthetics of the uncanny”. Nayar describes Miller’s art as ‘primitive’ while at the same time classifies the work as a ‘classic’ of Graphic Novel Literature.
Although we recognised that information now moves more quickly and that it may take less than 100 years for something to become a classic, we would still expect the work to be a first to champion an idea and maintain a timeless attraction to readers everywhere. When compared to Kazuo Koike‘s Lone Wolf and Cub which is clearly an influence and certainly a classic, however Ronin falls short. Miller has been much more successful at capturing the zeitgeist in his authoritative work the Dark Knight Returns although we did consider his other works including Sin City, Daredevil and The Holy Terror.
Our next meeting will be a jaunt to Victoria Library on 2 April, for a tour of the graphic novel store and a look at some of the new titles purchased in our two end of year shop visits to Gosh! Comics. The next group discussion meeting will be on 7 May, back at Marylebone Library, with a visit from the author of Omniscience, Christophe Bruchansky.