By Christopher Harrity
Originally published on Advocate.com May 21 2012 8:51 PM ET
A spoonful of the NOH8 campaign, a hint of the Make a Wish program, and a thick splash of Comic-Con are all in the mix in Philip Bonneau's project: Heroes + Villains. It is a photography series, exploring adults reconnecting with their childhood imagination and pretending to be either comic book characters, fairy tale characters, or even Saturday morning cartoon characters.
One of the rules of the project is to keep the materials and props limited to what any imaginative kid could assemble. Towels for capes, table knives for claws, etc. Bonneau has designed the project to have four phases:
Issue #1 – Marvel Comics Universe – Focus on Introduction to Character Concepts & Visual Style
Issue #2 – DC Comics Universe – Focus on Classic Art Motif and Narrative Photography. Introduction to environment.
Issue #3 – Comics/Cartoons/Fairy Tale – Focus on High Fashion Art and Modern Art Motifs.
Issue #4 – Comics/Cartoons/Fairy Tale – Black/White Photography of Models 65+ of Age.
Bonneau is currently putting together issue #3, which will be produced this fall in Atlanta. He says this issue is for anyone who was told to conform to societal expectations. "This show allows for the models to embrace the chance to be those characters they were denied and is proof you can be anything you want to be, if you have the confidence to be yourself," he says.
"What I am seeking through Kickstarter is assistance to have this project fully funded as I head into Issue # 3’s production...Up until this point I have been predominantly my own hero in putting together this series for each showing. I’ve worked with what I had available to me. Through inventive uses of everyday items, a very limited budget and an incredible support group, the Heroes + Villains showings have been able to come to life."
Bonneau added, "There are 35 models currently signed up for Heroes + Villains Issue #3. The models are as diverse and eclectic as the characters they will portray. They are straight, gay, male, female, black, white, Asian, lean, not-so-lean, ages 24-60, and have all enthusiastically joined this endeavor because they believe in the message it brings. Heroes have always risen above the norm to make a difference in the world."