From the creative mind of Alan Moore comes Antony Johnston’s adaptation Fashion Beast, an incredible spin on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. It’s as weird, surreal, and bizarre as any Moore story, but most importantly it makes me feel deeply unsettled. Moore is a master of suspense and unease, and “Fashion Beast” highlights those aspects of his writing without going too far over the edge as he has in the past. The book centers around a cross dresser known as Doll who wants nothing more than to be apart of show biz. Doll is able to bear a striking resemblance to any woman, which undoubtedly comes into play. The beast himself, Le Patron, is a fashion designer for his own company, Celestine. Le Patron is hideously disfigured but he is still able to design incredible clothing, at least that’s what I gather. “Fashion Beast” is as dark and twisted as any of Moore’s work from the 80s.
WRITTEN BY: Alan Moore, Malcolm McLaren and Antony Johnston
ART BY: Facundo Percio
RELEASE: October 3rd
Issue #2 begins as Doll is fired from her job at the coat-check station, which he left unattended and was subsequently thrown into chaos by another character we’ll call Tomboy; a boy pretending to be a girl pretending to be a boy, confusing I know. After being fired, Doll learns that there are auditions for Celestine models that same night, where any model suited to Le Patron’s tastes, male, female, or in between, will be hired. After a quick audition, Doll is sent back to try on something Le Patron designed himself, and low and behold none other then Tomboy is doing the fittings.
If you’re used to Moore’s work, you’ll be able to appreciate the story’s slow build, but there is no action at all in this issue. Alan Moore is known for his incredible writing skills and command over the medium, and “Fashion Beast” proves that he can make almost anything interesting. I’m not into fashion in any way, shape, or form, but the mysterious nature of the book is engrossing enough to keep me reading. The book, despite being mostly dialogue, doesn’t feel slow at all. I continually found myself being drawn deeper into the pages and constantly wondering when the tension would break. Its uniqueness largely comes from knowing this is an adaptation of Moore’s screenplay, which alone makes it a historical event in my eyes.
“Fashion Beast” has a lot of different themes and motifs going on, pulling on an almost Shakespearean style of storytelling with all the gender bending. There are many references to a deck of Tarot Cards, and though I love when Moore bring magic and divination into his work, it’s unclear as to where this fits in.
Facundo Percio art is absolutely stunning. The detail he puts into the characters gives life to the pages. There are many characters in the story and Percio gives them each an oddity adding to the layers of intrigue. Percio’s paneling is perfect, creating sense of story flow and narrative. This is how comics should be made.
I have to say Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite Disney creations, and I’m very excited to see Alan Moore’s twisted story come to life. Despite the lack of action so far, “Fashion Beast” will definitely cause a stir in the comic book industry.
Reviewed by -GreenBasterd and Lonmonster