Rich Kreiner’s post reminded me, and probably many other people who’d forgotten, of the existence of Dave Sim’s comic/magazine hybridÂ Glamourpuss. Â It’s an odd little exercise, isn’t it? Â I read the first few issues, as much as anyone can read the thing. Â It’s sort of nominally a parody of women’s fashion magazines, except that the parody is flimsy at best (as the cover image alongside Kreiner’s post indicates, Sim’s idea of subtle satire these days is to name a lady sex columnist “Skanko”) and the illustrations–fashion photos traced and inked in imitation of Alex Raymond–are presented more or less straight-up. Â Since the thing sells in comic book shops, not your grocery store checkout line,Â it’s not clear at whom the parody, if that’s what it is, is aimed: almost nobody who reads a Dave Sim comic is likely to be very familiar with Cosmo or Glamour, so Sim’s pokes at the vapid, pseudo-progressive content of fashion mags resonate with no imaginable reader. Â On the other hand, as long as Sim keeps his publication away from people who know women’s magazines, maybe no one will notice how toothless his parody is. Â Feministing does more bloody eviscerations of this material in its sleep.
The weird thing is that Sim has spent the past ten years or so, ever since the drugs ate his brain for good, going on and on about how much he abhors all things feminine. Â Yet his first project, post-misogynistic-heel-turn, is an effortful, not especially vicious pastiche of the most stereotypically feminine pop-cult extrusion he can find. Â More than anything, Sim’s work on Glamourpuss reminds me of those evangelical Christian guys who go “undercover” at gay pride events across the country so they can take photos and report breathlessly on all the terrible, terrible sodomy on display. Â There’s one dude who comes out here to San Francisco for every single Folsom Street Fair. Â They’re not protesting or anything. Â They’re just, um, gathering information. Â Lots of information. Â Just so the folks back home are aware of the level of sin out there. Â They have great photos.
Everybody knows these guys are gay. Â Even their congregations know. Â What I’m saying, I guess, is that Glamourpuss would be more fun if Sim would just admit that he’s honestly fascinated by the stuff he claims to be satirizing or exposing or whatever. Â If he’d come clean about loving shoes, makeup and blowjob tips as much as he loves Alex Raymond illustrations, we could have an awesome comic, or whatever it is, here.