In 1997, Frank Miller did this book called Tales to Offend. It was an extra-sized one shot, rather than a graphic novel, and featured three stories. One of the stories was Daddy’s Little Girl, a Sin City tale about a sadistic couple and brutal violence. The other two were about Lance Blastoff, Frank Miller’s take on Buck Rogers.
It isn’t exactly a straight take on the character at all. Lance is brash, loud, and offensive. He’s Buck Rogers after making his way through a crooked mirror, eight or nine packs of smokes, and probably homelessness. The two stories are ’90s-era pop psychology and political correctness versus an unbelievable level of super tough guy machismo. Think of every role Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, and Clint Eastwood ever did being ground up into bits and reformed as one being, and then that one being being force fed a diet of trashy movies and old EC books.
I don’t think that it’s Miller’s best work, but it is one of the relatively few times he’s done an out and out humor book, so it’s pretty interesting to see. It’s also one of the things he’s done that I can’t seem to find reprinted or collected. Daddy’s Little Girl made it into “Booze, Broads, & Bullets,” a collection of Sin City one shots, but Lance has faded into the ether.
I hadn’t even actually read the story until last week, despite having heard about it off and on for years. I love that Miller’s space ships still look like big body Cadillacs. Also nice is how the story is told in pages of two panels a piece until the last two. The “CHOMP” on the next to last page is a total cartoon bit, and I mean that in the best possible way. Lance Blastoff would fit right in on [adult swim] nowadays, I think.