While comic-book legend Alan Moore was creating hunky, nude and blue Dr. Manhattan for Watchmen in the 1980s, he was also working on a movie script about a queer cross-dresser. Engaged by punk pioneer Malcolm McLaren, famously the manager of The Sex Pistols and New York Dolls, Moore crafted the 1985 screenplay for Fashion Beast, a gender-bending take on Beauty and The Beast set in a dystopian future.
Sadly, it was never filmed.
Now, almost 30 years later, Fashion Beast has been dusted off and adapted by writer Antony Johnson and artist Facundo Percio as a ten-issue comic-book limited series from Avatar Press.
Says Moore of the adaptation:
“Since Malcolm McLaren first suggested that I write a screenplay based on his notion of marrying the strange and isolated life of Christian Dior with the fable Beauty and the Beast, I’ve often wondered what such an unlikely concept would have looked like had it been properly realised. Now, albeit in a different medium, I finally get to find out…
It’s an odd tale, in its subject matter and in the mode of its telling, and I like to think that Malcolm would be very pleased to see another of his startling and incendiary ideas brought so intriguingly into existence.”
Above, check out a preview of Fashion Beast #1, which hit stores Wednesday. In it, we meet protagonist Doll Seguin, a cross-dressing coat-check girl and nightclub performer who (not coincidentally) dances to McLaren’s tribute to New York’s drag-ball scene, “Deep in Vogue.”