Thanks to Frank Miller and gang, I was one of the many comix makers who went to the big IMAX screening of 300 in NYC last night. I took SBX who was feeling low because earlier that day she received sad news that her Aunt had passed away in England. What better way to cheer my girl up but to bring her to a movie featuring near naked men with six-pack stomach muscles wearing nothing but sandals, swords, cod pieces, and capes, and watch 300 Spartans slaughter a million hyper-realized adversaries? She was game. We sat with peers Paul Pope, Chip Kidd, and John Cassaday, and when the lights dimmed, we sucked in our breath and crossed our fingers.
When the credits finally rolled, we exhaled and all looked at each other. I asked SBX what she thought? "Awesome." I looked at Paul and asked him what he thought. "Incredible. It's Manga on film." I agreed and suggested he see SHOGUN ASSASSIN, a huge influence on Frank's work. We all looked towards Chip, and before I could ask him what he thought he blurted "All it was missing was cock!" We all laughed and reminded Chip that it was Rated R and I thought to myself, "300, the movie, has more cock in it without ever once having to show it." And, that sums up my feelings for this movie. I caught myself from tearing up during some of the battle scenes when the Spartans showed no retreat, and every time Gerard Butler's King Leonidas grimaced and yelled and stomped and thrusted, I was right there with him, chewing my teeth and sneering at Xerxes and everything he represented. I felt the presence of a sword and shield in my possession for almost the entire movie experience.
See, I read 300, the comic book series, when it came out and dug it for its vistas, battle poses, and insane costume design, but I didn't really grasp the "historical" nature of the story and felt the script wasn't connecting with me like how Frank's super-noir SIN CITY and/or MARTHA WASHINGTON parody had [not to forget his awesome franchise perennials: DAREDEVIL, BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT RETURNS, and BATMAN: YEAR ONE]. Perhaps, 300 took too much artistic liberty and I wasn't prepared for Frank's romanticized version of the legendary tale? That was 1998, and, over 10-years later, I've changed a lot and my needs to enjoy a story has changed with it. Instead of reportage and historical accuracy, I seek emotional truths. This is a credo I've engaged in my personal work the past year-and-a-half as I revisit my avatar, BILLY DOGMA, via web-comix at act_i_vate with stories like "Immortal," and now, "Fear, my dear." I need to re-read 300 the comic book to see if the emotional truths film maker Zack Snyder captured in green screen technology was ever evident but the movie itself sent my emotions soaring as the basic ideas of freedom and what men will do for it and at what cost was operatic, epic, and profound.
"Remember us." Indeed.
Afterwards, SBX and I walked across the street to OLLIE'S for some Chinese food with 4_eyez, leborcham, purvision, ebess, and jahfurry, and we talked about 300 and what was next for Frank Miller.
RONIN - THE MOVIE.