Saturday, June 30, 2012

SpyGal - Marvel puts on Lipstick and cries into it's Appletini

Oh golly. Oh wow.

Yep - it's an official Marvel publication. Commissioned by Benefit to promote their brand of chintzy, nudge nudge wink wink cosmetics and skincare ("The Porefessional", "Primpcess", "Finding Mister Bright" etc.). It came packaged in a (non-Benefit) purchase from an Australian retailer called Bellabox. Sadly, ahem, it does not appear to be sold separately.

More horror after the break!

There are many levels of confusion regarding why on earth this hellish thing exists. Firstly - does Benefit believe they have a large following who would enjoy/read a comic book? Are they trying to tap into a nerd market? Did anyone read this thing before they slapped a Benefit logo on it?

And Marvel - what on earth? They didn't even have the decency to hide behind a Marvel sub-category. Cmon, guys, you can do better. Marvel Slingbacks. Marvel Appletini. Marvel Balayage. This was a golden opportunity missed.

We have a clear indicator, from the get go, that all is not well in this particular dollhouse. Her phone is a compact, she appears to be naked under the coat and can fit a functional crossbow under her sleeve. Lady, if your (fitted, ladies) coat can fit a crossbow, you ain't got the right size. Guurrl.

Also I suspect she's still single on account of the ceramic cat collection. And perhaps pink pinstriped wallpaper. And what's happening with her head? She has the face and expression of a 1950s garden party dress model.

Hang on - the opposing crime organisation is called Yuck? Oh brother. Also - look, if you're going to create a comic engineered towards women, you need to get the clothes right. At least. And this dress not only makes Tim Gunn weep, but defies physics. She's hurtling across the panel for gods sakes, what is possibly keeping that dress in place?

And hey, more to the point - even the most shallow and facetious amongst us would cringe at the dialogue in this. It's agonisingly bad, and crippled by it's blandness. It isn't so much a comic adventure as a storyboard for a rather wacky commercial.

And the ultimate crux of the matter is this - the whole thing was done by men. Written, drawn, inked, pencilled, everything. And the accessions they've made for writing for the "female eye" are stupefying. a.) the women are so modestly covered it may as well be winter. There is also a startling lack of porn posing and ass shots. b.) The "ladytalk" reads like it's come from an overheard conversation between two housewives over a picketfence in some creepy idyllic small town. These men have never heard a modern, young woman talk. Never, ever, ever.

But what I find bizarre is that Benefit allowed this. They assumedly have buildings upon buildings of ladies who at the very least are aware of what sounds right coming from themselves and what doesn't. Couldn't they just lend Marvel a handful for the afternoon it took to make this thing? Did no one want to volunteer? Did the PR department present their idea and the assembled room stared at them in perplexed non comprehension? Did they get to the front door of Marvel headquarters and flee in clicky stiletto-y terror at the sight of the gigantic Modok in the foyer? I demand an explanatory behind the scenes comic.

And then the back cover is in an entirely different art style. WHY. My head hurts.

This is a misfire in so many ways. Why would anyone think this is a good idea? Benefit - no. Back in your box.


  1. I would say I'm disappointed, but... yeah, this was pretty much what I was expecting when they announced it.

  2. I fucking LOVE Phil Noto and he rarely does interiors these days so I'm asuming he got crazy dollars for this.