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    Fashion Beast # 1 - Alan Moore, Malcolm McLaren Facundo Percio


    Fashion Beast # 1 - Alan Moore, Malcolm McLaren Facundo Percio
    wraparound cover / portada doble
    Fashion is such a part of our everyday life that we often forget its implications. Beyond colors, cloths or brands, fashion seems to stand for something else, something of the performative order, something that helps define or redefine the individual… Slogans such as “clothes with attitude” or “express yourself with your attire” have long been inscribed into the world of fashion. 


    Fashion Beast # 1 - Alan Moore, Malcolm McLaren Facundo Percio
    the crumbling building / el edificio ruinoso
    But aren’t these notions deeply entrenched in our own personal world? And ultimately what are the repercussions? Surely, Alan Moore and Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols) set out on this creative voyage decades ago to answer these questions or, at least, to provoke a certain reaction in the reader. Originally intended as a film, this original script staid in limbo since 1985, and only now it has been adapted to the ninth art by Anthony Johnston and illustrated by Facundo Percio. Our story begins in a dystopian reality, in a rather peculiar city overruled by Celestine, a most influential fashion house.

    Now one of my teachers (who was a close friend of Heidegger, a very prestigious philosopher) used to say that, in his opinion, fashion was a perpetual state of indecision. And the fashion industry certainly thrives on indecision, on our feelings of uncertainty (“should I wear this or that?”), of inadequacy (“does this make me look better?”). This is the well-known phenomena of “I’ve got nothing to wear” when, in fact, the closet is about the burst due to the amount of clothes stored in it. It is the same irrational indecision that forces us to throw our clothes in the garbage because suddenly, magically, they aren’t cool anymore and we need to buy something new. And the vicious circle will never stop, and we’ll always keep on buying something new, not because we need it but because it’s new.

    In the first chapter of “Fashion Beast”, we get to know the protagonists. Some of them live together in the same crumbling building. In a sequence of several pages that combines onomatopoeias, sounds and voices, there’s a rhythmic feeling, a cadence, which no doubt would have been accompanied by a Sex Pistols song had this been turned into a movie in the 80s. Inside this building we see a couple of young gentlemen that have no problems in dressing or undressing in front of each other, a black man of rather peculiar tastes, a boy who wishes to be a girl, and a girl who wishes to be a boy. All of them are, purportedly, “indulgers in promiscuity and sexual perversion”. 
    Fashion Beast # 1 - Alan Moore, Malcolm McLaren Facundo Percio
    some of the protagonists / algunos de los protagonistas

    Nevertheless, are they truly perverts? When the girl dresses up as a boy and the boy dresses up as a girl, they’re both subverting the cultural hegemony of the heterosexual norm. This is performativity at its best. In Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology, acts are “the mundane way in which social agents constitute social reality”. Id est, as a man I wear man’s clothes on a daily basis. But what happens when we talk about transvestites? For Judith Butler a drag queen synthetizes “the mundane way in which genders are appropriated, theatricalized, worn, and done; it implies that gendering is a kind of impersonation and approximation”. In different times, in different civilizations, what is demanded and expected from men and women greatly varies. There is no such thing as being a man or a woman, but there is such a thing as learning how to behave like a man or a woman in any given context. For Butler “gender is a kind of imitation for which there is no original”. Indeed, rules about gender are not set in stone, and yet, as a society, we are obsessed with the heterosexual normativity. 

    As a transgender individual, Doll denies his masculine condition and when he dresses up as woman and puts on some make-up he is subverting the symbolic order. But he’s not the only transgressor: Tomboy, a girl who wears boy’s clothes and displays a macho-like brashness confronts Doll. Elegantly dressed, Doll spends the night in a mysterious club that receives only 100 visitors each night. Every visitor is dressed up in a unique and unusual way, and in a city devoted to fashion it couldn’t be otherwise. What secrets are hidden in this club? We’ll find out in the second issue.

    I wasn’t really familiar with the work of Facundo Percio, but I really liked the way he focused on the old building and how he arranged the panels there. The design of the machines on the next page is very fetching. As everyone gets ready to go to the club, the artist manages to create a sense of simultaneity; aided, no doubt, by the flawless visual transitions suggested in the original script.
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    La moda está tan presente en nuestra vida cotidiana que a menudo olvidamos sus implicancias. Más allá de colores, texturas o marcas, la moda parece significar algo más, algo del orden performativo, algo que ayuda a definir o redefinir al individuo... slogans como "ropa con actitud" o "exprésate con tu atuendo" forman parte del mundo de la moda desde hace tiempo.

    Pero, ¿estas nociones no están profundamente enraizadas en nuestro mundo personal? Y, en última instancia, ¿cuáles son las repercusiones? Seguramente, Alan Moore y Malcolm McLaren (Sex Pistols) se embarcaron en este viaje creativo hace décadas para responder estas preguntas o, al menos, para provocar una cierta reacción en el lector. Originalmente concebida como una película, este guión original se quedó en el limbo desde 1985, y sólo ahora ha sido adaptado al noveno arte por Anthony Johnston e ilustrado por Facundo Percio. Nuestra historia comienza en una realidad distópica, en una ciudad bastante peculiar dominada por Celestine, una influyente casa de moda.
    Fashion Beast # 1 - Alan Moore, Malcolm McLaren Facundo Percio
    dressing and undressing / vistiéndose y desvistiéndose

    Uno de mis profesores (que fue amigo cercano de Heidegger, el prestigioso filósofo) solía decir que, en su opinión, la moda era un estado perpetuo de indecisión. Y la industria de la moda ciertamente tiene éxito gracias a esa indecisión, gracias a nuestra incertidumbre ("¿debería ponerme esto o aquello?") y nuestra inseguridad ("¿Con esto me veré mejor?"). Se trata del bien conocido fenómeno de "no tengo ropa que ponerme" cuando, de hecho, el closet está a punto de reventar por la cantidad de prendas allí almacenadas. Es la misma indecisión irracional que nos obliga a botar nuestra ropa a la basura porque repentinamente, mágicamente, ya no es "cool" y necesitamos comprar algo nuevo. Y el círculo vicioso nunca se detiene, y siempre seguimos comprando algo nuevo, no porque lo necesitemos sino porque es nuevo.

    En el primer capítulo de “Fashion Beast”, conocemos a los protagonistas. Algunos viven juntos en el mismo edificio ruinoso. En una secuencia de varias páginas que combina onomatopeyas, sonidos y voces, se siente un ritmo, una cadencia, que sin duda habría sido acompañada por una canción de los Sex Pistols si esto hubiese sido una película en los 80. Dentro del edificio vemos una pareja de jóvenes caballeros que no tienen problemas en vestirse o desnudarse frente al otro, un hombre negro de gustos bastante peculiares, un chico que desea ser una chica, y una chica que desea ser un chico. Todos ellos, presuntamente, han cedido a la "promiscuidad y la perversión sexual".
    Fashion Beast # 1 - Alan Moore, Malcolm McLaren Facundo Percio
    indulgers in promiscuity and sexual perversion /
    los que ceden a la promiscuidad y la perversión sexual

    No obstante, ¿son realmente pervertidos? Cuando la chica se viste como un chico y el chico se viste como una chica, ambos están subvirtiendo la hegemonía cultural de la norma heterosexual. Y vaya que eso sí que es performativo. En la fenomenología de Edmund Husserl, los actos son "la manera mundana en la que los agentes sociales constituyen la realidad social". Por ejemplo, al ser hombre me visto a diario con ropa de hombre. Pero, ¿qué sucede con los travestis? Para Judith Butler un "drag queen" sintetiza "la manera mundana en la que los géneros son apropiados, teatralizados, vestidos y realizados; implica que el género es un tipo de personificación y aproximación". En épocas diferentes, en civilizaciones diferentes, lo que era demandado y esperado de los hombres y mujeres variaba en gran medida. No existe tal cosa como ser hombre o ser mujer, pero lo que sí existe es cómo aprender a comportarnos como hombres o mujeres en un contexto dado. Para Butler, "el género es un tipo de imitación sin un original". De hecho, las reglas sobre género no están escritas en piedra, y aun así, como sociedad, estamos obsesionados con la normatividad heterosexual.

    Doll es un sujeto transgénero que niega su condición masculina y cuando se viste como mujer y usa maquillaje está subvirtiendo el orden simbólico. Pero él nos es el único transgresor: Tomboy, una chica que se viste como jovencito y actúa con una cierta arrogancia de macho, confronta a Doll. Elegantemente vestida, Doll pasa la noche en un misterioso club que recibe sólo 100 visitantes por noche. Cada visitante está vestido de un modo único e inusual, y en una ciudad dedicada a la moda es lógico que así sea. ¿Qué secretos se ocultan en este club? Lo averiguaremos en el segundo número.

    No estaba familiarizado con el trabajo de Facundo Percio, pero realmente me gustó el modo en el que se enfoca en el viejo edificio y cómo arregla las viñetas. El diseño de las máquinas en la siguiente página es arrebatador. Mientras todos se alistan para ir al club, el artista logra crear un sentido de simultaneidad; ayudado, sin duda, por las impecables transiciones visuales del guión original.

    Originally Published at http://artbyarion.blogspot.com/2012/10/fashion-beast-1-alan-moore-malcolm.html

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    About the Author - Arion


    Arion, who is either from Chile or New York (it’s not really clear) writes a blog that the Outhouse steals on a regular basis.  Arion is by far the nicest of all the staff writers and the most well behaved only having been banned from one country.  One thing we really appreciate about Aroin is that he writes his reviews in English and Spanish and we hope someday he’ll translate this blurb for us.  We’re not so good at languages, just look at how well we write in English if you need proof.  You should bookmark Arion’s blog -  http://artbyarion.blogspot.com – and actually look at it.  There will be a quiz at the end of every month.

     


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