Sep
18

Pedro Reviews Models, Inc. #1

Posted by on Friday, September 18th, 2009 at 09:38:25 AM

Models, Inc. #1Models, Inc. #1
“Models, Inc. pt1” by Paul Tobin & Vicenc Villagrasa
“Loaded Gunn” by Marc Sumerak & Jorge Molina

Reality television has probably taught me more about modeling and fashion than any other source. Maybe it’s this skewed vision that makes Models, Inc. feel like such a throwback to times past. I feel like Tobin’s story takes place in a world that hasn’t existed in ages. Even though several aspects of the story — like Chili Pepper’s outing — are obviously modern, Villagrasa’s art evokes the Mod 1960s, when the idea of modeling was more fresh, glamorous and fun. The book has none of the eating disorders, fierce competitiveness, or other aspects that seem to populate the seedy underbelly of modern modeling. It’s a decision that fits the tone of the book, even if I wasn’t fully engaged with the plot. I didn’t connect with any of the characters as they felt too light. Only three of the characters seemed to have any conflict and Millie being accused of murder was the only conflict I was remotely interested in. The art itself was adequate, but one of the two inkers was clearly stronger and detailed than the other. I did enjoy Tobin’s dialogue, which kept the characters, especially the models, from being flat. But I’m not sure that’s enough to make me come back to see what happens next.

I’ve seen every season of Project Runway, and I love me some Tim Gunn. He does a great job of being sophisticated, knowledgeable and helping others find their vision. For the first half of the backup, Sumerak nails these first two aspects easily. At a superhero fashion exhibit, Tim explains to museumgoers the power of fashion and the aesthetic beauty of the Iron Man outfit. Just like he does on television, the character of Gunn connects with the audience and conveys why fashion is so important to him. However, the moment he dons the Iron Man outfit, he turns into a quippy superhero. We still get a fantastic moment where Gunn gets distracted by the overpowering yellow of the A.I.M. agents’ outfits, but it’s almost ruined by a shoehorned “Make it Work.” Thankfully, the story ends so soon after that the quips don’t overwhelm the parts that do work. However, if you don’t watch Project Runway, there’s nothing for you here besides some old dude talking about fashion and then schooling some A.I.M. agents.

Online comparisons of Models to Marvel Divas also hurt my reading experience. Both books are perceived to be aimed at women, though I am loathe to compare the two, since they clearly have nothing in common besides having a female cast. I enjoyed Marvel Divas, Sex and the City knockoff and all, more than Models. Divas did everything right, from quality art, to characters with interesting conflicts. It gave me just enough depth without being too overwrought. Divas is a stupid name for a great book.

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