“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” - Coco Chanel
This project is a restoration and reprinting of the 1980s series FASHION IN ACTION created by John K Snyder III. This comic starred a high-priced, and stylishly dressed, all-female protection agency and was set in the far future. It was an intriguing breath of fresh air that was a prime example of the best in 1980s independent comic storytelling!
It's the year 2086, and the 2080s haven't changed much from the 1980s - except of course for the jetpacks, Mars colonizations, and rocket-fueled cars. Frances Knight and her squad are "the world's highest priced and best dressed celebrity protection agency." They guard the world's rich and beautiful and make their base in the refurbished Statue of Liberty.
Fashion In Action square off against the diabolical team of the coldly manipulative Dr. Cruel, and his accomplices, Boss One - a henchman just happy to be involved - and the violently unpredictable Roxanne, Frances Knights' most psychotically devoted fan. Dr. Cruel plots to use the robot clone of a late night talk show host to turn the world's elite into gorillas during a snuff star's celebrity-filled wedding! Will they succeed? Will Frances defeat Roxanne? And will they look absolutely amazing doing so? Fund this project and find out!
FASHION IN ACTION was a back-up feature in TIMOTHY TRUMAN'S SCOUT #1-8 (1985-86) and then appeared in two full-length solo books, FASHION IN ACTION SUMMER SPECIAL (1986) and FASHION IN ACTION WINTER SPECIAL (1987). It was originally published by Eclipse Comics/Dean Mullaney and edited by Cat Yronwode.
Fashion comics had fallen out of favour by the 1980s, but this comic was an attempt at breathing new life into the genre, including content such as paper dolls in the back pages that showcased the designer fashion-influenced diverse cast. The characters of FASHION IN ACTION were different in appearance, personality, and background, which spoke to the readers who found this a refreshing change of pace.
FASHION IN ACTION took inspiration for its style from pop culture. This included a mix of popular music, designer runway fashion, films, and advertising. Below, see some of the unique influences the characters Roxanne and Frances Knight had in their creation.
As seen below, influences on Frances Knight include Bowie, The Man in the Hathaway Shirt, Annie Lennox, and Frances Farmer. Influences on Roxanne include Stephen Sprouse designs.
"Your characters don't have to prove or declare something, because all the human qualities are a foregone conclusion." - Dee Cameron, 1986
"You have created a cast of characters that have real feelings. The ladies, though they are well trained in security, are not superheroes. They can be and have been injured." - Mike Grant, 1986
"Your stories explore the uses of action, horror, glamor, and violence in a positive way, pointing out the absurdity of the violence and the awesome qualities of costuming and hardware. The drawing is first rate. Your work is a wonderful excursion into a realm of beauty and fancy" - Laurence Kemp, 1987
Timothy Truman, creator of SCOUT, stated at the time: "Every one of the characters that John is developing in the story has their own personalities - they're all colored differently - just like real people, not like Barbie dolls"
John Ostrander, writer of DC's Suicide Squad, and Grimjack is writing the foreword and states: "John K. Snyder III's Fashion In Action was a unique strip when it first came out and is still a striking visual story today. I'm proud to be asked to do an intro for the collection. So many things ask for your support today but this is one that, I think, really deserves it."
I have previously restored and reprinted two archival comic collections, the 1940s series NELVANA OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS and BROK WINDSOR. This experience showcased to me that there is an audience eager to read the comics that have slipped through the cracks of history. I want to bring attention back to the comics that should have left an impact, to make them accessible to the modern reader. FASHION IN ACTION is a comic that I feel strongly about, that highlights how comics were being written that showcased strong, interesting women throughout time and how fashion in comics was present even after the fashion comic genre faded away after the 1970s. It's important to me to remember our past, and to showcase this past with such an engaging series, and a passionate creator, is a deep honour for me!
Back in 1985, I set out to create an entertaining series that would reflect the times we were then living in by projecting it onto a futuristic society where the cult of celebrity and personality would become the status quo. It only seemed natural at the time to cast a group of strong-willed women as a symbol of reason and security in the middle of an ego-driven world full of social and political unrest. It was a creatively rewarding experience that was born out of the height of the creator-owned alternative market of the early/mid-80’s, but was a short-lived series that I have always hoped for the opportunity to re-introduce and return to and continue.
It is a pleasure to invite you to join Hope and I in bringing the Women and World of FASHION IN ACTION back to the twenty-first century, where they have always belonged.
FASHION IN ACTION is a 7" x 10.5” hardcover in full-colour, approximately 150 pages.
The book will feature an article by Trina Robbins on the history of paper dolls, an introduction by John Ostrander (co-creator of Amanda Waller and the 1980’s SUICIDE SQUAD), an article by Martha Thomases (creator of DAKOTA NORTH), and an article by creator John K Snyder III on the history of the creation of FASHION IN ACTION.
Collecting the first full-length story featured in SCOUT #1-8 and the SUMMER and WINTER specials. In addition, the paper dolls, pinups, concept sketches, original house ads as well as a special gallery section featuring our guest artists.
Megan Lavey-Heaton (VALOR, NAMESAKE, SECRET LOVES OF GEEK GIRLS) will be providing the book design along with John K Snyder III.
The book will also include behind the scenes extras, original advertisements, and never before seen concept art and photos!
Restoration will involve a meticulous process of utilizing portions from all existing materials--original art, film positives and color greylines, black and white copies and the printed material itself to re-create and enhance the original look of the series. Almost all of the original art and color material is ready to use, some minor re-coloring and art-retouching will be done as well to create the best possible version of the series to date while retaining it's original appearance.
John has had previous experience restoring his work on another series he co-created (along with Timothy Truman and Michael Price) in the late 80's for Eclipse Comics, LEO KRAGG: PROWLER. This collection is currently available from Chemo Press.
What do we have lined up for you as thanks for helping us restore this lost treasure? Well, obviously the book itself! The book is available as both a digital (PDF/epub/mobi) and a physical edition. Both are offered at a lower level in limited quantities as a thank you for early funders!
All funders above $5 will receive a download code for the book from comiXology!
In addition we have some other very exciting LIMITED EDITION items including:
Original pages from SUICIDE SQUAD (1989) featuring Amanda Waller!
These two pages are from John K Snyder III's collection and were pencilled and inked by him in 1989 for issue #31 of Suicide Squad, written by John Ostrander and Kim Yale.
It features the origin story of Amanda "The Wall" Waller. Each page is 11x17 inked and pencilled on duotone board and includes a signed copy by John K Snyder III of issue #31.
Kickstarter/Self-publishing One-on-One Workshop!
In this level you'll receive up to two hours of Skype or telephone advice on starting a Kickstarter dependent on your project, along with email communication from Hope Nicholson. Basics of budgeting, printing, fulfillment, and marketing will be discussed for your project.
Original eyeshadow and blush duo!
Created by Dandizette Cosmetics in Winnipeg, the cosmetics are handmixed and made with no irritants. The colour blend was created specifically for this Kickstarter influenced by 1980s fashion at the time.
The eyeshadow is: "A plush, warm purple with hints of pink and bronze sparkle that cools down and deepens when applied over primer. It works for a fun, everyday subtle look, or smokes out for a sexy, bold eye in the evening."
And the blush: "A bold fuchsia blush that is perfect for a daringly sculpted cheek, while also easily blended down for a soft, petal pink rosiness."
The eyeshadows and blush will be loose powders, and packaged in a screw top jar.
Secret Loves of Geek Girls!
Missed out on the last Secret Loves of Geek Girls Kickstarter? No worries, you can now pick up an editor-signed copy and e-book of the original Bedside Press printing before the Dark Horse edition comes out in October, along with Fashion In Action!
Secret Loves of Geek Girls is over 200 pages of true stories and comics about love, sex, and dating from leading women in the fandom industry!
John K Snyder III's Women In Historical Action Art!
15 different pinups of historical, forward-moving women. Each piece of art is painted by John K Snyder III during the month of this campaign, which is also Women's History Month. You receive the original artwork of the woman which measures at 5.25 x 7.25, as well as a full print, as shown below!
At the end of the campaign, funders will pick their top 5 choices, and selections of the artwork will be made in the order that they funded.
Women featured will be: Coco Chanel , Willa Brown, Hatsheput, Pauline Johnson, Tula, Jackie Ormes, Wilma Mankiller, Shirley Muldowney, Wu Zetian, Helen Keller, Dr Jane Wright, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Trina Robbins, Sarah Bernhardt, Holly Woodlawn.
John K Snyder's Pong-Punk Art!
6 different pinups featuring a blend of 1980s musical influences and pop-culture of some of our favourite comic book heroes! These pieces are inspired by 1980s record designs and measure 12.24 square, the size of a record album! Each piece is hand-created by John K Snyder III specifically for this campaign.
At the end of the campaign, funders will pick their top 6 choices, and selections of the artwork will be made in the order that funders pledged
Paper Doll Dossiers
8 different paper dolls ready to cut out, featuring your favourite FASHION IN ACTION heroes and villains! All paper dolls are printed on cardstock and will come packaged in a foil-printed dossier.
Original art and high-quality art posters from guest artists!
Below is a list of the guest artists we have providing pinups of our FASHION IN ACTION characters for the campaign! We will have either high-quality limited edition poster prints, or traditionally inked artpieces available from our guest contributors.
Jen Bartel (Jem & the Holograms)
Kevin Wada (She-Hulk)
Sara Richard (My Little Pony)
The funds will go towards the creator John K Snyder III restoring the original issues, the contributors who will be writing articles and drawing art to promote the project, printing of the book, and shipping of the book to Kickstarter backers.
This is for a print run of 1,000 copies.
John is an accomplished comic book creator, illustrating DC comics such as Doctor Mid-Nite, Suicide Squad, and Green Lantern. He has also illustrated Leo Kragg: Prowler (Eclipse), Grendel (Dark Horse), and cover art for Harlan Ellison’s Phoenix Without Ashes (IDW).
Hope is the owner of Winnipeg based publisher Bedside Press, which focuses on niche comic and fandom-related books, including The Secret Loves of Geek Girls, Brok Windsor, and Nelvana of the Northern Lights. She is currently a consulting editor on the upcoming Margaret Atwood graphic novel series Angel Catbird, and is writing a book on feminist comic book history for Quirk Books.
Risks and challenges
Having previously completed two reprint projects (Nelvana of the Northern Lights, Brok Windsor), and two anthology projects (Moonshot, Secret Loves of Geek Girls) I am well-equipped to handle any publishing challenges that may emerge. John K Snyder III, the creator himself, will be handling all the restoration himself and he is a skilled artist with decades in the industry.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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