Friday, 26 April 2013

Fashion Magazines

Glamourpuss #13 (May 2010)
Art by Dave Sim
(from the 100 Hour Internet Tour: Comicon, 2 February 2008)
...I went to the KW Bookstore to look for used fashion magazines when I was first doing the pages that became glamourpuss. They had about four or five COSMOs and I thought, well, okay this is all that I'm going to need. Then I flipped through them and my reaction to virtually all of the pictures was "skank...skank...skank...". Literally every back issue they had, I found one photo that was in the Raymond/Williamson tradition. So then I went to the big rack of new fashion magazines and it was pretty much the same thing. "Skank...skank...skank..." Then I picked up GLAMOUR and there was a whole photo layout that was in the Raymond/Williamson tradition -- and which I decided to use to illustrate the impossibility of doing a narrative from a fashion layout in No.1... and about a half-dozen other photos that were at least usable. Then I found a few more in ELLE and MARIE CLAIRE (the French version), so it's been an education process. And ultimately led to the idea of Skanko, glamourpuss' Evil Twin Sister. One Skanko shot per issue -- and still trying to stay on the side of my own view of decency. 

One of the points of it is "not too much flesh showing" which is why I lean toward Rip Kirby and away from Flash Gordon and Williamson's EC Science Fiction stuff. Too much flesh. That's not something you'll hear very often, but you'll hear it from me a lot. I'd rather see a pretty girl with a bit of leg showing wearing a beautifully put together Chanel suit than a pretty girl in thong underwear sprawled out like a dog licking itself. I'd certainly much rather draw it.

But, one of the eye-popping sections of Tom Robert's ALEX RAYMOND book is the section on how he does a Flash Gordon page and there's a nude model for the Dale Arden panels. I understand the THEORY -- if I can see the undraped figure and get that right, I can put the clothes on in pencil and then ink and it's going to look more accurate. Was it necessary? I really doubt it given both Raymond's drafting ability and natural drawing skill. Doing a comic strip with a pretty girl standing three feet away with nothing on but the radio. Well how much is that girl an artistic raw material and how much is she a fringe benefit?

Of course I've never bought the idea that a doctor is really able to examine every square inch of a naked sex-bomb teenager during her annual check-up without really noticing that she's a sex-bomb teenager. Talk about your Impossible Thing to Believe Before Breakfast!

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