Fashion Beast was a ten-issue comic created by Alan Moore and Malcolm McLaren -- the impresario behind the Sex Pistols, who "invented Punk as a Situationist prank." The project began as a screenplay written at the time that Moore was writing Watchmen, and was never produced. Thirty years later,
Moore Antony Johnston re-adapted the work for comics, and last September all ten issues were collected in an amazing graphic novel, which I have just inhaled.
Fashion Beast is one of those wonderful collaborative projects where you can see each of the collaborators' talents shining through, but which nevertheless feels like a single, seamless whole. It's the story of Doll, a woman pretending to be a drag queen; and Jonni, a man pretending to be a butch lesbian, and the work they do in the house of Celestine, a celebrated and mysterious fashion designer who is horribly deformed and never leaves his gloomy room at the top of the enormous studio housing his staff.
Jonni, Doll and Celestine play out an apocalyptic, highly sexualized retelling of Beauty and the Beast, shot through with McLaren's love/hate for fashion and subculture; Moore's ability to tease magick out of the dark; and the 1980s, cyberpunk world of an unending nuclear winter, mass conscription, and a world divided into teeming streets of ratlike pickers and high, serene towers of brutal oligarchs.
As is always the case with Moore, the story and its people are never subservient to the ideology or the social commentary: first and foremost, this is a savage and rending love-story that is impossible to look away from. It's only after you finish that the sly jabs at power, sex, fashion and bohemia are realized, intermingled with the blood and the tears and the moments of fragile triumph.
Even if you read the ten singles when they were published, the collection is worth having just for Moore's introduction, which sheds a lot of light on his relationship with McLaren and the circumstances that produced this remarkable and unlikely story.
Robbo writes, “Lloyd Kaufman is best known as the uber super epic producer/director who runs Troma Films, creators of such cinema icons as ‘The Toxic Avenger’ and ‘Surf Nazis Must Die.’ Lloyd is also a die-hard advocate for Net Neutrality and he has posted an article to the Huffington Post entitled: Innovation And Our Better […]
When ex-CIA agent Tom King teamed up with a group of extremely talented writers to reboot Marvel’s “Vision” in 2015, he had a lot of material to work with — the character had begun as a kind of super-android in the 1940s and had been reincarnated many times, through many twists and turns: what King & Co did with Vision both incorporated and transcended all that backstory, in an astounding tale that Ta-Nehisi Coates called “the best comic going right now.” With the whole run collected in two volumes, there’s never been a better time to see just how far comic storytelling can go.
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The Black Friday Mac Bundle 2.0 is one of the Boing Boing Store’s best-selling Mac bundles yet, and it’s about to come to an end. If you don’t get your copy now, here’s what you’ll be missing:This bundle comes packing 9 top-rated Mac apps in one package, at the hugely discounted price of just $23.99. […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]