300 was a graphic novel, written and illustrated
by Frank Miller with painted interiors by Lynn Varley. The comic
loosely depicts the Battle of Thermopylae and the events leading
up to it from the perspective of Leonidas I, king of Sparta. The
comic was particularly inspired by the 1962 film The 300 Spartans,
a movie that Miller watched as a young boy.
Every page of the comic was illustrated as a double-page spread.
When the series was gathered into hardcover form, the individual
pages were twice as wide as a normal comic. Miller's art style for
this project was similar to his Sin City
work, although the addition of consistent color is an obvious difference.
300 was initially published as a monthly five-issue
comic book series by Dark Horse Comics, the first issue published
in May 1998. The issues were titled Honor, Duty, Glory, Combat and
Victory. The series won three Eisner Awards in 1999: "Best
Limited Series", "Best Writer/Artist" for Frank Miller
and "Best Colorist" for Lynn Varley. The work was collected
as a hardcover graphic novel in 1999.
The film 300 is effectively a shot-for-shot adaptation
of the graphic novel.