Put on you Sunday best, because it’s time for “So You Want To Read Comics”, our weekly feature where we take a single topic and then offer up some comic book recommendations for new readers, based on that topic. This week we’re taking a look at something that is a passion for many, while also being the bane to their existence for just as many others. That’s right, we’re talking fashion.
Fashion has existed as long as humans have tried to adorn their bodies with external items. It’s a consistent presence in our society while somehow being something completely different year to year, if not day to day. And, while fashion is something that has many opinions and approaches to it, it’s often used to historically differentiate eras. It’s the recording of fashion that has often led it to be used in such a historical way, this has been done via painting, poem, prose, photograph, movie, television show, and of course comics.
One of the best things about comics, in fashion terms, is how long certain books run and how long certain characters have existed. You can go back and see how Lois Lane dressed in 1993, in 1964, all the way back to 1938. Not only does this offer a glimpse as to how some things were used as fashion, but what these creators thought was fashionable at the time.
So let’s take a look at some comics perfect for aspiring and established fashionistas everywhere.
Writer: Jason Latour
Artist: Robbi Rodriguez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
So here’s basically everything you need to know about Spider-Gwen. It takes place in an alternate universe where Peter Parker isn’t Spider-Man, instead the powers go to Gwen Stacy, who then becomes Spider-Woman. Okay, that’s out of the way, why is this a good comic for people who like fashion? Spider-Gwen is one of the newer reimaginings of the Spider-Man archetype and thus has the benefit of being the most modern. The creators use this position to give the universe that Gwen lives in its unique look. Rather than making all the characters look as broadly appealing as possible, they’re given distinct personalities that are expressed through their clothes and style. As an added benefit, the styles you see here in this comic are styles you’ll see in your day to day, which means this will go down as a wonderful representation of the modern world, when it’s not so modern, which is one of the key characteristics of fashion.
Writer: Stan Lee
Artist: Stan Goldberg
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Millie The Model is a comedic book that follows Millie and her friends’ misadventures in the fashion/modelling industry. Believe it or not, but Millie The Model, actually predates characters like Spider-Man, Wolverine, Iron Man, is canonically part of the Marvel Universe, was written by Stan Lee himself at one point, and was created by Ruth Atkinson who was one of the first female creators in the comic book industry. Now, to be fair, a lot of this comic is going to be dated and that includes the fashion here. What this comic has going for it is that it captures moments in time that were monumental and incredibly glamorous for the world of fashion with a similar approach as something like The Devil Wears Prada or Just Shoot Me, while also featuring art that will appeal to lovers of retro styles and old clothing catalogs. Essentially, Millie The Model is a comforting and lighthearted time capsule that uses fashion and modelling as the vehicle to take you there. Unfortunately, there isn’t a large selection of these comics available digitally, but the few that are available are worth a read.
So, are these recommendations properly dapper? Do you have any suggestions of your own? Let us know in the comments section below.