Frank Miller is one of the few "auteurs" of the superhero genre. Like some Hollywood directors, he manages to put his mark on the stories about "the men in tights" despite the strict format of the genre. The psychology of the characters (Batman has a deep trauma, he should see a therapist, but instead, he acts out his absurd violent fantasies) and the detailed "gory" violence of Miller have been used by many others and have triggered a new form of comix.
Born in Olmie, Maryland, Miller grew up in New England. His made his debut in 1978 with contributions to Gold Key's The Twilight Zone. He soon also drew for DC anthologies and Marvel titles like 'Spectacular Spider-Man' and 'John Carter: Warlord of Mars'.
Miller first claim to fame was his run on 'Daredevil', which he took over from Gene Colan in 1979. Miller put his mark on this series with his own film noir style and the introduction of new characters like Elektra. He drew and (co-)wrote it until 1983. In 1986, he returned to the title, this time only as the writer, working with artist David Mazzucchelli on the storyline 'Daredevil: Born Again'. Miller worked with Bill Sienkiewicz on the graphic novel 'Daredevil: Love and War' that same year, as well as on the mini-series 'Elektra: Assassin' for Epic Comics.
While working on 'Daredevil', Miller also did a 'Wolverine' miniseries with writer Chris Claremont and created his first own graphic novel series, 'Ronin' for DC in 1983-84. Also for DC, Miller created 'Batman: The Dark Knight Returns' in 1986, starring an older and retired Batman. With this series, Miller redefined the character and introduced more adult-oriented storytelling to superhero comics. He also returned to the character's origins with 'Batman: Year One', another collaboration with David Mazzucchelli.
Miller left DC after a dispute over creator's rights and began a collaboration with Dark Horse in the early 1990s. He worked with Geof Darrow on 'Hard Boiled' and with Dave Gibbons on 'Give me Liberty', featuring the character 'Martha Washington'. He additionally took on writing screenplays and worked on the second and third 'RoboCop' films. A comic book version was made with artist Juan Jose Ryp, called 'Frank Miller's RoboCop'. In 1993, he returned to 'Daredevil' once again by retelling the character's origins in 'Daredevil: Man Without Fear' in cooperation with artist John Romita Jr.
Frank Miller began working on his famous 'Sin City' series in 1993. This crime noir title became Miller's main project for the rest of the 1990s, and was mostly published under Miller's own imprint Legend. He also collaborated with Darrow again on 'Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot', which was also adapted into a television series for Fox Kids. He additionally wrote several scripts for Todd McFarlane's 'Spawn'.
In 1997-98 Miller worked with Simon Bisley on 'Bad Boy' for Oni Press and with his wife Lynn Varley on '300', a re-telling of a Greek war. By 2002, Miller began a new collaboration with DC and produced 'Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again'. In 2005, he scripted 'All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder' for artist Jim Lee.
Several of Miller's graphic novels have been adapted to films. Adaptations have been made of 'Sin City' (2005) and '300' (2007) and it was Miller's tone and stories that were the base of the 2003 'Daredevil' film. Miller himself has co-written the screenplay for two 'Robocop' films and he directed his own adaptation of Will Eisner's 'The Spirit' in 2008.
The War on Terrorism inspired Miller to create his heavilly criticized graphic novel 'Holy Terror' for its anti-Islamic propaganda. Originally intended as a 'Batman' story, Miller eventually created a new superhero called the Fixer. The book was released by Legendary Comics in 2011. In that same year, Miller also alienated some of his fans with his rants on Occupy protesters, whom he called thieves and rapists, on his personal blog.