Thursday, May 1, 2008

glamourpuss arrives!

Yesterday saw the debut of glamourpuss #1 and I just wanted to write up a little blog entry about it. As those of you who read my blog regularly or semi-regularly remember, I've written a couple of entries on glamourpuss up already when I first heard that this would be Dave Sim's (Cerebus) next project and when he sent out the preview copy to retailers in March.

The actual issue is exactly like the full preview issue he'd sent out, which is great other than I don't get anything new to read or look at until glamourpuss #2 in July (this will be an on time bi-monthly title). For those reading this that haven't read my previous entries on glamourpuss, here's what glamourpuss is about: glamourpuss is Dave Sim's forum for his musings on photorealistic comic artists like Alex Raymond, Stan Drake, and Neal Adams with some satire / parody of the fashion industry on the side. glamourpuss doesn't have a regular narrative with regular characters, rather Sim is drawing women in the style of photorealistic comic artists of yesteryear, but I think that because of the the way Sim is producing this comic it is unlike anything els out there and also works on the level of being a history lesson of sorts on great artists from the comic book and comic strip medium (and the art is beautiful). I'd recommend picking glamourpuss up just as an examination into the creative mind of one of this mediums most eccentric creators (Dave Sim of course).


Von Allan said...

I really don't know what I think about this. Personal feelings on Dave Sim aside, the Making Of glamourpuss (sic) video he released on the comic's official website really gave me pause.

I hesitate because I really question how his method, especially when he's not using his own photography, is "art" (as high or low brow as that can be). I think I'd feel differently, at least to some extent, if these inked tracings (and I don't know I can describe it otherwise) were based on his own photos. If he hired a model, set-up the photo shoot, and then interpreted the photos in ink from there would seem to be a different thing than just snagging a photo from a fashion magazine. 'Course, perhaps that's part of the whole thing he's parodying. I dunno.

I do know it leaves me unsettled. And not in a way that makes me want to purchase the comic. I'll flip through it but that's about as far as I'm willing to go.

Ralph Mathieu said...

I can understand your being conflicted (somehow I don't think that's the word I was going for) on Sim's new approach to the way he's doing his art. I admired that Sim was being so honest about what does sound like just tracing photographs, but I'm thinking it's not as easy as it sounds.

I wonder what other artists think about the way Dave Sim does his art, especially those artists that are photorealistic artists and or who use photos heavily in their craft?

Von Allan said...

Again, it's really hard to say and I can only (of course!) speak for myself. I certainly use photos in my own work (less so comics, more so paintings) but I'll generally change things up. With this one, for instance, I totally changed the player's uniform colours from the source photo. That sits better with me instead of just trying to represent, in paint, exactly the same thing that the photo does. However, that's not to say that this is what Sim is doing.

In Sim's case, I think an argument can be made that's he's doing more. He's not just tracing a photo. He is interpreting the tracing in ink. And Sim is a very good inker and he brings a lot to the table. (as an aside: it's actually fascinating to compare some of how Sim inks here compared to the digital inking process on All-Star Superman. I certainly prefer the former). And there's definitely more at play than just tracing. How he composes the final image on the page, what typography he uses to bring across any parody, and on and on all go into making what he's doing art.

But I also think it's a bit of a dead end. I can't imagine trying to do a comic in this fashion. One would need the extensive use of models and the resulting photo reference. Then again, Alex Ross does extensively use photo-reference for each and every panel and it does work for him. With Ross, I think it's fair to say that he interprets (or "pushes") most of the photos further than Sim is doing in glamourpuss. Which is funny to say since I'm really not that big a fan of Alex Ross, either.

See? I can basically argue myself in a corner here. I can see merit in approaching a particular drawing problem in this fashion. Particularly a problem that's proved unsolvable in another way. For me, personally, I just don't think it's the end unto itself.

Happy New Comics Wednesday 7/18/18 - Life of Captain Marvel, Magic Order #2 (we still have #1 too!), conclusion of Infinity Countdown, Justice League edition!

 Hope all of my friends going to the San Diego Comic-Con this week have a GREAT time!