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Jeff: And pretty much the two pinnacle--considered in most comic circles pinnacle pieces of comic fiction have been your Dark Knight Returns, of course, and the Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. And many people compare the two, both the dark visions of superheroes and real world, and I was wondering just to--what are your thoughts on the comparison of Dark Knight to the Watchmen?

Frank Miller: Oh, I think that the two books were bound to be tied up together and compared a lot. For one thing, as it is that--all of us are really good friends. But beyond that, there was something in the air--I mean, something that could be shaken up with all these old superheroes, because they were really getting stale. I mean, for goodness' sakes, Batman was deputized. How wrong is that?

Jeff: Yeah.

Frank Miller: And then, ultimately, the differences between me and Alan as writers shone through. I mean, I like to joke that when it comes to superheroes, Alan Moore provided the autopsy and I provided the brass-band funeral.

Source: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4704766

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The A.V. Club: Is it true that you originally wanted to do crime comics when you started your career, but you were pushed toward superheroes as the only legitimate form of commercial comics?

Frank Miller: Absolutely. Color me stupid, but I came in with a bunch of samples of guys in trenchcoats and old cars and stuff, and they looked at me like I was crazy. I had to learn to draw the muscles.

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Neal Conan: To be both Bruce Wayne and the Batman, does one or both of them have to be crazy?

Frank Miller: Well, my own personal theory is that everybody's crazy, but I would say not really. And as a matter of fact, Batman and Bruce Wayne are both characters who believe in sanity and, you know, in a sane world, but they believe that it only makes sense when you force it to. So there's a touch of the fascist in them, and there's a--he saw all sense ripped out of his life when his parents were murdered in front of his eyes, and he has come back and said, `I'm going to make the world make sense.' That's Batman.

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The A.V. Club: So you actually consciously set out to change things in the comics industry?

Frank Miller: Well, I set out to remark upon them. And seeing how all these heroes had been castrated since the 1950s, and just how pointless they seemed to be... In this perfect world of comic books, which was what it was back then, why would people dress up in tights to fight crime?

The A.V. Club: Because there wasn't anything bad enough going on back then to justify that extremism?

Frank Miller: It was just a bunch of goofy villains. It was 1985 when I started working on this, and I thought, "What kind of world would be scary enough for Batman?" And I looked out my window.

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