Glamourpuss #3

Glamourpuss' thesis--yeah, this comic really does have a thesis--is a discussion of the artificiality of fashion magazines and their celebration of exclusivity and consumption transferred onto the insular, hard work of classic comics illustrators, thereby highlighting the good, old fashioned craftsmanship and genius of those guys in contrast to the less savory aesthetics at work in say, Vogue. As suggested before, anybody who reads Glamourpuss and wants to still dismiss Dave Sim as simply "misogynist" doesn't really get it.

The previous issue #2, made a really complicated read because of the way the extended, depressed rants of glamourpuss weirdly matched-up with Sim's history of photo-realism, but in #3, the text is more direct and immediate and there's not as much information as much as half-committed speculation that Milt Caniff shook Alex Raymond's hand too-hard on purpose because Raymond ripped off his shit. Sim wisely teases the reader by explaining the photo and breaking it down into smaller parts before he cites his evidence of Raymond's art-jacking but it doesn't go much beyond this creepy, fan-boy speculation which, when juxtaposed with poor fashion parodies, makes for an undercooked read.

Issues #1 and #2 functioned on multiple levels of meaning and worked through their contrast and counterpoint. The covers of both issues were full of "The Onion" by way of "The National Review" fake headlines, but the jokes on the inside were darker as well as more sympathetic. If you came to the issues looking to laugh at fashion and the dumb women obsessed with it, you'd close the book by page two, sorely disappointed. Issue #2's inside cover rant on the fundamental health issues of a certain kind of birth control and the problems glamourpuss suffers in therapy were made palpable, in a satirical but humane parody of a Cosmopolitan style article on depression ( A minor problem before, this issue's overall crappiness highlights Sim's moronic inability or disinterest in differentiating high-end fashion magazines from more conventional women's magazines like Cosmo or Allure).

For issue #3 though, Sim's pretty much contextualized old comics and photo-realism and so, he gets all fan boy on us instead and for whatever reason, falls totally on the side of mockery and moral outrage when it comes to the fashion stuff. The cover and the inside don't contrast or conflict; exactly what's advertised on the exterior's found inside and it's mainly ugly and not even that informative.

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