PROJECT RUNWAY AND MODELS INC #1

September 8, 2009 at 1:26 pm By:

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As a whole I hate reality television shows. They seem to showcase and celebrate the worst characteristics of our society. However there is one exception: Project Runway. The show starts out with 16 contestants and each week they are given challenges where they must create garments that fit some sort of criteria; last week they were instructed to create a “beach” look. The winner wins immunity (or some other prize like their winning look being featured in a magazine or on television) and the loser is booted off of the show. The final winner gets a bunch of cash to start their own line and various other prizes (car, vacation and the like).

Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn are the two main faces of the show: Klum acts as judge and Gunn acts as mentor. Either one of them gives the challenge but Gunn is the one who critiques the progress of the contestants roughly halfway into the show. I know, you think it is just some stupid show about fashion. But you would be wrong! The show is affirming and encouraging, it celebrates the talent of the contestants. Sure the judges are honest when something doesn’t work but they are constructive with their criticism. You get the feeling that they genuinely care about the contestants and want them to do their best.

models-inc_01-fc_var-gunnProject Runway is not your typical reality television show. Let’s take all the Gordon Ramsay shows for example. I have only seen bits and pieces of that show, but every time I do Ramsay is yelling at someone and making them cry. He is tearing them down instead of building them up. That is definitely not a show I would want to participate in, much less watch.

So why this long rant on the positives of Project Runway? What does any of this have to do with comics? Well I will tell you! I love Tim Gunn. He is the heart of Project Runway. He makes the show for me. He gives it that sweetness that the other reality shows lack. This week will see the release of Models Inc #1–its release is timed to coincide with when the newest episode of Project Runway will air (10 pm on Lifetime) and it is the start of New York Fashion Week. 

Tim Gunn will have a back up feature where he dons the Iron Man suit to fight crime. I saw him on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and he seemed thrilled to be in a comic book. He also spoke very highly of Phil Jimenez who does the variant cover of Gunn with the Iron Man suit. Models Inc will bring together the models of the Marvel Universe. And there are quite a few of them, like Millie, Chili, Jill Jerold, Patsy Walker (aka Hellcat) and Mary Jane Watson (that chick who hangs out with Peter Parker sometimes). Millie recently made an appearance in Age of the Sentry, which I thought was an underrated book. But aside from that she really hasn’t had a presence in comics in decades. I’ve read a couple of older Millie the Model comics and I found them cute and fun.

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I am curious how Marvel will handle this book and how it will compare to Marvel Divas. Carlton Hargro reviewed Marvel Divas a while back on this here blog and he endorsed it if you are a fan of Sex and the City. He wasn’t the only one who compared the book to that show. Honestly, I haven’t read Marvel Divas because of all the comparisons. I hate Sex and the City. A lot. A whole lot. It makes me angry. So I really hope that Models Inc doesn’t go that route. And I hope that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I am really hoping for lighthearted entertainment. And I wouldn’t mind if they threw in some fashion plates for giggles. Despite the direction writers Marc Sumerak  and Paul Tobin take with this book I am at least sold on the first issue if for no other reason then Tim Gunn fighting crime using the Iron Man suit.

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