With Further Ado #076: Comics in Vogue – Literally

It’s so nice to see some comics popping up in unusual places.

The Italian edition of the fashion magazine, Vogue, features the work of a comic artist on its latest cover instead of the traditional photograph of a model or celebrity.  This January they have several variant covers, and one features a wonderful Milo Manara illustration. (Don’t worry, it’s G-rated.)

Milo Manara may be better known overseas than domestically, but he’s still a giant in the comics industry. Many of his works are a bit risqué for most Americans, but there’s no denying that he’s a fantastic illustrator and excels at drawing beautiful women.  This cover is another stunner.  Kudos to Vogue for also giving credit to his model, Olivia Vinton.

One could argue that Vogue borrowed this idea from Marvel, as they featured several Manara covers a few years ago. Infamously, his Spider-Woman cover was deemed too provocative by some folks. 

But in reality, this idea was sparked by a totally different idea.  Emanuel Farneti, the Italian Vogue editor-in-chief, made a pledge (along with several other international Vogue editors) to focus on sustainability. Specifically, to “preserve our planet for future generations” and show respect “for our natural environment.” 

And this is his way of putting his money where his mouth is, at least for one month. Instead of the usual photo shoots (which usually involve big crews, air travel, generators), he decided to hire artists to depict the clothes.

I’m not sure if it’s a revolutionary awareness-building idea or a just a cheap stunt, but I hope other Vogue editors, and magazine editors in general, jump on the bandwagon, especially domestically.   Can you imagine a Paul Gulacy cover for Harper’s BAZAAR? Or a painting by Joe Jusko gracing the cover of Allure?   

And having participated in so many photo shoots over the years (although typically not as glamorous as fashion shoots), I know there is a lot of waste. So I’d agree that Farneti does have a point.

Sunday Funnies

While Sundays used to be a big day for comics via traditional newspaper Sunday Funnies, it isn’t usually the case today. I have to make a concerted effort to keep up with Prince Valiant each Sunday, in fact. But more and more I’m an outlier for even reading a traditional Sunday Newspaper.

And while the NY Times isn’t usually the place for Sunday Funnies, sometimes they’ll sneak something creative into the book section. And this past Sunday, they had an engaging short story, told as a full-page comic, in the Opinion sections, which they have branded as the Sunday Review.

I Needed the Discounts, by Connor Willumsen, is a cautionary tale about a woman who increasingly gives up her  personal information, and privacy, for escalating discounts on mundane products.  I loved it and one could almost make the case that it is essentially an EC story for 2020.  Or maybe it has more in common with a classic Twilight Zone episode. You can read the whole thing here.

You can never read too many comics, and I’m looking stumble across even more comics in unconventional places all through 2020.