Pick of the Week

April 30, 2008 – Glamourpuss #1

What did the
community think?

Avg Rating: 3.5
iFanboy Community Pick of the Week Percentage: 0.5%
Users who pulled this comic:

Size: pages
Price: 3.00

Love him, or hate him (and he’s given many people many reasons to hate him) Dave Sim is one of the most fascinating creators in comics. You may have heard of him from his 300 issue epic tale, Cerebus, which ended a couple of years ago after more than 20 years of publishing. People tend to lump Sim in the crazy corner of comics creators because of comments and themes he’s made in the pages of Cerebus that I won’t get into here (if you know about them, you know what I’m talking about. If you don’t, well then look it up). But it’s important to note that Sim is a pioneer and stand up example of self publishing. He is a comics creator who took his creation and made it happen, published it himself and in doing so, inspired many other independent creators to do their own books as well. Without Sim, we wouldn’t have gotten Strangers In Paradise or Bone or many other independent books.

After one finishes such a huge project like Cerebus, it’s hard to imagine how one follows that up. Since Cerebus finished, Sim has been collecting the epic letters pages and publishing them, as well as other Cerebus related materials. Until today. Today we are finally treated to his next project, Glamourpuss and my god, it’s amazing.

Sim describes Glamourpuss as “Cute Teenaged Girls In My Best Al Williamson Photo-Realism Style.” If that doesn’t make your head scratch, than I don’t know what will. Now, given Sim’s opinions of women (see that thing I won’t get into in this review), one would think immediately, “This is going to be interesting…” and I’ll admit, I cringed, waiting for the one comment, scene or something that would cross the line. But that’s not what this book is about. This book is a mad genius look at an era and style of comics that has often been ignored, or at least threatened to fall off the radar in the annals of comics history.

You see, in the 1950s there was a comic strip called Rip Kirby by Alex Raymond, and in the panels of that strip, Alex Raymond developed and grew the photo realistic style of comics that would later be adopted and mastered by Al Williamson, John Prentice, and Neal Adams. By using the tools of the comics trade, Raymond and the other artists made comics that were so finely illustrated, that they truly deserved the term photo realistic. For some bizarre reason, Dave Sim began researching and looking into this art style, and has been teaching himself to draw like these comics masters. By tracing original panels (and honestly admitting when he does) and then using the skills and tools (such as pens, pencils and brushes), Sim presents to us an artistic journey of a type of comics that simply doesn’t exist. Unlike Cerebus, this isn’t a sweeping tale of fiction, rather a non-fiction journey of an artist, learning about the artists before him and developing his trade within the rules and confines of a style. Sim is pushing himself like very few artists do these days. It’s daring, risky and crazy at the same time.

Glamourpuss #1 is Sim’s personal narration of the origins of this project, including interviews, research and examples, combined with a mini story of a character called “The Self Education of N’Atashae” where he utilizes the style he’s been honing. The subjects of the books are a little older than his original description, as the fashion magazines of the 1960s that he is using for photo reference were of women in their early 20s, but the subject is still the same “Cute Girls In My Best Al Williamson Photo-Realism Style.” By using fashion magazines of the 1960s as photo reference, Sim is creating a world of haute couture, with dialogue and stories that are biting in the criticism of fashion today. This is the sort of comic that reminds you what mad genius looks like.

I will freely admit, this book is not for everyone. At all. But for those that are interested in the creative process of making comics, specifically the artistic endeavors of a style such as photo realism, then this is a must read. For those into kitsch and camp, there are aspects that will scratch that itch as well, but it really is minor in comparison to the artistic endeavor that Sim is working towards and that we are along for the ride with.

Your follow up work can be the most important work of your life, and if you ask me, this was a hell of a follow up. Bravo, man. Now if only the next issue would come sooner than 60 days!

Ron Richards
Best single page ever in this book…

Did you read Glamourpuss #1? Add a comment and tell everyone what you think!


  1. Ha! I knew it was going to be Glamourpuss. I called it on the forums earlier today. The iFanboys are like clockwork. Still…Glamourpuss was terrific.  I was debating rather to pick this up or not, but flipping through it in the store convinced me. Fascinating read. 

    My POW is DC Universe Zero. Great set up for the coming year. Finally we see where some of these plot threads are headed from Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman, JLA, Flash, DotNG, etc. I am genuinely excted for EVERYTHING going forward from DCU Zero. 

  2. As I was standing in front of the new comic rack today looking at issue #1 of Glamourpuss I was thinking to myself "is Ron going to go there with this book for his POW?" I pulled the book, although I have yet to read it, and what ended up happening? Ron went there! I am looking forward to reading the book and hopefully I will end up with just as much joy and excitment as you.

  3. I knew it would be this book too, especially after reading it. I mean, there just isn’t anything else out there like this right now. That’s NOT to say it’s brilliant, and I agree it isn’t for everyone, but it’s one of those things-if you are into creating art and all that entails, how could you not find something interesting here?

  4. Despite his craziness, I really think Sim is a genius.  Cerebus was mostly fantastic(until said craziness took over) and I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes.


    @ron I found this earlier today and though you might find it interesting.  A nice little what if. 

  5. I didn’t pick this one up, and I’ll be honest, probably won’t.  It just doesn’t seem all that interesting to me.  However, I am glad there’s an audience for it because I appreciate when an arstist/creator takes a chance and does something no one else does. 

    I’m still pondering my pick of the week this week, but I’m leaning toward Immortal Iron Fist because it was just action packed and tons of fun to read.  Go kung-fu action!

  6. Definitely April 30th, not April 1st … I read this book and I understand that for serious Sim Fans that this book is pretty cool and anything new from Sim is going to be instantly grabbed up into their grubby (not that I think that all Sim fans are grubby) little hands and devoured for what it is worth, but to be honest I find it a little shocking to see this as the pick of the week. Moreso I look at this and as a fan, a retailer, and a struggling story teller, I am a little perplexed as to how this can be a series. But, it’s your pick and I gotta respect the pick.



  7. This book was crazy.  Nothing like I thought when I got it.  I will pick up issue #2 to see what else he can do with a book like this but that might be it.  I had a feeling it would be th pick when I started reading it.

    Did anyone read Hellen Killer?  Or The Two books Radical Publishing put out for only a dollor?

  8. I was actually thinking if writing a review of this book, but you said everything that needs to be said about it. This book is most certainly not for everyone. I don’t even think it’s for most people. But it’s just such a fascinating journey into the mind of the mad genius that is Dave Sim, that i was enthralled with it from start to finish. This was definitely my POW, although it was a fairly small week for me. But this was just so original and so unlike anything else I have ever read in a comic, or anywhere else for that matter, that I couldn’t see anything else topping it this week. I have no idea where Sim is going to go with this series, but I can not wait to find out.

  9. Heck, I knew Ron would pick this (called it on Monday!) and although I haven’t read it yet, I am so excited for this book. Not to promote another podcast (’cause obviously iFanboy is where we should always go first!) the guys from Comics Geek Speak had a great interview with Dave Sim back in February for those who are interested (its still on itunes). Dave Sim gave some interesting information on where he plans to take this book, specifically also how he is going to honor or spotlight other artists in the photo realism style. 

    Can’t wait to hear Conor and Josh’s reaction to this pick! 

  10. In thinking about the premise, I have to ask:  is this an ongoing?  Like, is he going to eventually tell a story with characters, or will this be a collection of his art process and musings forever and ever?  I’m just curious.

  11. but… but… Dc Universe had Spartans! And New Avengers had more Skrulls! How could this be? Well, I didn’t actually read this (my shop didn’t get it), so I guess I’ll just have to figure that it was better than Spartans and Skrulls.

     Seriously though! Spartans! 

  12. Let’s see a book that Ron has been hyping for weeks becomes his pick of the week, color me shocked. Shocked I say!

  13. I saw the iFanboy twitter feed that said that Glamourpuss was 90% likely to be POW. I saw it and said, "oh Boy, those are big odds. Hope they’re right." Sure enough, Glamourpuss #1!

  14. We know our boy pretty well.

  15. Didn’t pick this up, and still don’t plan to– but rock on, Ron.

    Best book I read this week, by a country mile, was Fraction’s Thor book.  I’m not a huge Thor fan, and have never been a big Fraction thing– I dropped Iron Fist a few issues ago.  In fact, this was the first Fraction book I’ve actually really enjoyed.  In fact, I LOVED it– the art, the two stories, the characterization of Thor– that book was awesome.

  16. I read Glamourpuss about 3 months ago as a preview copy at my LCS.  Usually, I’m an easy mark for any comic property… but … I really couldn’t "feel" this creation.  I felt it was more of a vanity piece by Mr. Sim rather than a story told via sequential art.  I think I would have liked it better if it was labeled as a Sketchbook or a few issues were collected and called a coffee table book.  Know what I mean?

    I am very curious to see how sales play out for this.  I expect issue one to sell gangbusters (Indy Gangbusters that is) but I want to see how the follow up issues move considering this is a unique experiment by Mr. Sim.

     Please don’t misread my statements, I love Mr. Sims past work.  I just don’t think I was the target audience for this one.  🙂

     the Tiki 

  17. I agree with Jim.  This book probably isn’t my thing, but that’s why I like this site so much.  There’s no way I would’ve even heard of it unless Ron brought it to the forefront.

    My pick was Green Lantern.  There are a couple of 2 page spreads that just put it over the top.  I know the previous issue was Josh’s pick, but this issue was just amazing!   

  18. I just finished the book and was wondering why it had all of the stuff generally reserved for a Trade included in issue 1. Tell me a story and do it in an interesting way. Don’t tell me your inspiration for the story. That’s like having the Director’s commentary as the movie. Maybe he is trying to do the whole meta-story as the story, but it didn’t seem that way. I suppose when you are your own publisher and editor why in the world would you not turn into a self absorbed ass.

    Wow. That felt good to get out. Having said all of that, I’m going to buy the second issue because i know he is capable of doing good work. I just hope he does.


  19. I have been a big Fan of Sim’s for the last decade, so I will not contend that this review is in any way unbiased, but I thought this book was brilliant.  I thought this was one of the most interesting first issues I’ve ever read.  The art is fantastic.  I for one don’t really know what this series is going to be about, as to whether there is going to be a storyline and whatnot (I hope so) but I loved the approach to this first issue… I certainly can’t remember it ever being done before.  I’m looking forward to the next issue to see where this goes.  BTW, the cover to my copy is totally different then the one you have shown here.  I like yours better!!

  20. Long time listener, first time poster…

    What did David Sim ever do that Conor won’t even buy the Pick of the Week comic?  Seriously, what did Dave Sim ever do, but recite his opinion about the roles of gender.

    Do you only buy books from creators that agrees with your opinion?

    This is a topic, I’m sure you guys can do a great job with on the video podcast.  I’m not trying to tell anyone who they should and shouldn’t like or what they should and shouldn’t buy, but why not address this and even get Mr Sim with you, he seems keen to do interviews lately.

     I’m not saying Mr Sim is right, but it seems like some arrogance coming from Connor when you guys wouldn’t even address or knew what he had said or written.

    Regardless, love your show.  -bh 

  21. I agree with bwhancock. It’s a tough line to draw and very hard to seperate the creation from the creator. I don’t always agree with Mr. Sim’s views, especially about women, etc. but i love his work and i think his art and what he is doing is remarkable. But where do you draw the line? I personally don’t know. It’s easy to criticize someone for ignoring this because you don’t agree with his politicks, but should you…criticize?…should you ignore it? If i were a woman , considering some of Mr. Sim’s statements, i probably would avoid this like the plague. If Dave Sim was a fascisist, marxist arnachist as an American am i obliged to avoid him? Can i love his work but not like him as a person? Liking his work, does that make me bad? Sheesh…when did comics have to get so philosophical?

  22. As an artist myself with lofty aspirations of one day self publishing, I want to agree with Ron. But as a lifelong Marvel Zombie and event whore, Avengers was my PotW. The Spider-Woman revelation was the first thing so far in Secret Invasion that had me going back to look at every single previous issue of New Avengers and all of her involvement in Civil War. And Cheung’s art is fantastic as always.

  23. @bwhancock – It’s absolutely my right as a consumer to choose not to support an artist that I find objectionable.  I didn’t get into the specifics of what he said (which I do know, it was Josh who didn’t) because that’s not what the show was about and to do so would have been to sandbag Ron’s Pick of the Week.

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