Fashion Beast – Alan Moore – Guest Review

Title – Fashion Beast

Author – Alan Moore

Published – September 2013

Genre – Graphic novel

Not a fan of graphic novels myself I couldn’t pass up a review copy of the new Alan Moore when I share the house with someone who has a number of groaning shelves full. So a guest review post seemed a good compromise! Sue

I’ll start by admitting that I’m something of a fan of Alan Moore and also a usually grudging admirer of Malcolm McLaren’s work.

And I love comics. Always have. So this should be right up my alley, which is why it found its way into my to-read pile when Titan kindly sent it to Novel Heights. Hence this guest review.

The introduction to this edition is interesting in itself, written by Moore reminiscing about the few meetings he had with McLaren around this project. But that sets up what follows as a load what-ifs and might-have-beens. This started life some decades ago as a screenplay for what would have been a McLaren produced movie – ideas for which ranged from Surf Nazis to Fashion Beast. They chose Fashion Beast and Moore completed a treatment for the movie that never happened. That screenplay was found recently and the decision made to turn it into a comic. All of which makes for an interesting juxtaposition as Moore usually has his comic books made into movies rather than his movie being made into a comic…

Unfortunately, for me at least, things go downhill after the introduction. I’m not sure what I was expecting other than that the combination of Moore and McLaren should be producing something outrageous – something that would challenge me. Fashion Beast singularly failed to challenge my expectations. The art is superb, deep rich colours paint the late twentieth-century cold-war dystopian-future/past beautifully. If you see what I mean. It’s all very dark.

It’s a cliché to say that nothing is what it seems to be, but luckily I don’t have to use it because pretty much everything here is exactly what it seems to be. There is a twist, but it’s not important… Perhaps it should be, but it isn’t.

In summary, I still strongly believe that Moore is essential reading, but if you’re new to comic books and love crime fiction, go with From Hell, or V For Vendetta, or Watchmen or League of Extraordinary Gentlemen… Anything but this.

And I still wish they’d made Surf Nazis instead.

Score – 3/5

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