May 6, 2008

Comics Worth Reading -- glamourpuss


Not much else to say.

Last night, before bed, I read Dave Sim's new comic book, glamourpuss.

Dave Sim, to the uninitiated, is the creator/writer/artist of a 300 issue/26 year long run on a comic book series called Cerebus, a critically acclaimed series of monumental proportions.

glamourpuss is his follow up.

And, after reading it, I can't figure out if glamourpuss is a monumental mess or a work of genius. It is either the most absurd or the most ingenious comic ever made.

Essentially, the comic is Dave Sim musing about what this comic will be. Graphically, he starts out drawing photo-realistic black and white drawings of fashion models and ruminating on how he could do a comic about those images, since in a fashion magazine he really only gets a small amount of reference images for the same person. He shifts gears into talking about Alex Raymond and Al Williamson and their art styles, and he begins copying panels from their non-science fiction work (mostly, panels that seem to look like fashion models) and uses the speech balloons to continue his ruminating. It shifts gears once more, this time to present a story about glamourpuss, using a half dozen fashion magazine photo references to draw teh character, and then shifts back into musing and ruminating and ruminating and musing about art, the glamourpuss series, and life.

Think of it like this: if David Lynch and the editors of seventeen magazine got in a room to create a comic book, this is what it would be.

And it works. The traces and wisps of the story of glamourpuss and her twin sister, SKANKO (yes, i thought twice before typing it), are wound together with Dave Sim's own ideas about art and copying the masters, which is bookended by satire about fashion magazines.

I do not recommend this for everyone. I'm not sure if I recommend it to myself. But I will be buying issue #2.

For those wondering how Dave Sim's "seeming" "misogyny" play out in a comic book about women, I didn't see it. I did see some very biting satire of the fashion industry, which is mostly women. And there was the whole through line of, when asked what he was going to do after Cerebus his answer always was, "cute teenage girls in my besst Al Williamson photo-realism style", which he is essentially doing here. This book has a LOT images of beautiful women. But honestly, this book seems to be more commentary about his art and his reference material.

~ Ben

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