Model Operandi #1

William Gatevackes

Voluptuous female protagonists and other stereotypes abound in this comic.

Model Operandi #1

Publisher: After Hours Press
Contributors: Artists: Dennis Budd and Joe Caramangna
Price: $5.99
Writer: Joe Caramangna
Display Artist: Dennis Budd and Joe Caramangna
Length: 88
US publication date: 2006-09

Comic creator Chris Eliopoulos calls Model Operandi in his introduction "a fun, rollicking ride, with gunfights, action and giant boobs." And he’s right, especially about that last part. The book has breasts of all shapes and sizes, but most of them are varying degrees of big.

Yes, people, we are in "Good Girl" art territory, and unabashedly so. For those of you unfamiliar with this terrain, the Good Girl genre is almost as old as comics themselves. These types of comics feature voluptuous female protagonists and have spawned artists such as Adam Hughes, Terry Dodson, and Frank Cho. Most Good Girl stories sacrifice story in favor of art and art in favor of the bust size of the female. Model Operandi is a rare example of a comic of this genre that has a fairly complex and entertaining plot.

It appears the book was intended as a three issue limited series, but instead it was combined into one comic. It focuses on a supermodel named Legsy Diamond (yes, that is the character’s name) who is the target of an international plot involving Interpol, the CIA and her estranged father. The plot has many various twists and turns and the story holds up well on its own. Budd and Caramangna, who share both writing and art duties, create a slew of characters, but each character becomes an individual both in the way they speak and the way they are drawn.

There is a great deal of humor in the issue. Most of it works to good effect, but it does at times take an unnecessarily ribald turn. The female protagonist is named Ann Lezbee. Think of occasions when she might be addressed by her last name followed by her first. If that is not enough for you to get an idea of what the creators are going for, they also have her constantly smoking a cigar, wearing camouflage and army boots, and sporting a modified she-mullet. The creators are not exactly subtle with the stereotypes they are slinging at us, are they?

While this and other sexual innuendo doesn’t really take away from the story, it doesn’t really add to it, either. The comic would have been as much of a success if they went an alternate route. After all, the creators drop references to Les Miserables and Napoleon and Josephine in the book. They could have come up with something better, something sexy without being stereotypical.

Let’s be frank here. Model Operandi isn’t Shakespeare. It isn’t Citizen Kane, either. But if you can get past the Good Girl art and the risqué part of the writing, you will find a good story which keeps your interest and delivers what it promises. Not a lot of comics do that these days.





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