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Fashion Beast

Alan Moore, Malcolm McLaren and Antony Johnston (authors), Facundo Percio (Illustrator), Avatar Comics (Publisher)

> Review by Diana Guild

Alan Moore lives up to the hype in this dystopian mini-series about human connection amidst intense social rivalry and cultural fascism. In an alternate-history England, where the masses are equally as numbed to the rule of a conformist elite as to the plight of the disadvantaged, the pursuit of fashion reigns supreme. Designers and models live lives of extreme fame and privilege, adored by—and subsequently alienated from—the common people, who emulate each new trend with a religious fervor. Every starry-eyed boy and girl (or gender-queer person, such as our protagonists) dream of joining the ranks of a famous style house and pulling themselves out of obscurity, but realizing that fantasy comes with a steep price. An allegory on modern Western society’s obsession with celebrity and material status over things of import, such as seemingly endless war and human rights, as well as a study of the particular type of malaise brought on by celebrity, Fashion Beast also casually explores the concepts of gender roles, sexuality, social conservatism, and beauty—taking the “eye of the beholder” expression to a whole new level. A Victorian goth, steampunk-influenced look ties the dark tones of the tale nicely with the art.

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