Sunday, March 18, 2007

Boobs on Boobs

Paperghost is my new hero. You've got to read the comments to Meltzer's post. Most folks on Brad Meltzer's MySpace don't have a problem with the cover from hell, aka PG's Breasts Attack! After all, most don't want to upset the man they go there to worship. One or two even wondered why all the protests were from men. Well, this woman is doing her protesting here and on other blogs because I'll be damned if I join MySpace just to comment in that thread or on any other of Brad's posts, even when I want to give him kudos. Which I did once and discovered I needed an account to do so. feh. I don't want a MySpace account.

Of course, the comments, mainly from one Randy, remind me of why I stopped visiting the DC Comics message boards. Randy's too dark user pic has a man, presumably him, holding a baby, which I hope isn't a girl or his, because he won't likely instill a proper sense of independence and empowerment in her judging by his comments in response to Paperghost.

Randy had this to say:
"See, whereas you're looking at Wonder Woman's ass, Power Girl's boobs and Supergirl's mid-section, there are some readers like myself who prefer to ignore that sort of stuff to watch Wonder Woman rescue abused women (Wonder Woman #5) or Power Girl recruit new members of a team she believes in (JSofA #1) or Supergirl try to figure out her place in the world (Supergirl #12)"
Wow. Someone who reads comics just for the words, is that what we're to believe? Sheesh. As Paperghost asks:
"Would you see Superman drawn with his Supernuts hanging out?"
When the discussion ends up in a laughable debate as to whether or not the art is good (the fact that it's anatomically awful is viewed as a subjective opinion by some of these people) among the other issues under discussion, then I'm doubly glad I'm not on MySpace.

And it's sad that people don't get the real issue. They defend PG's large breasts, not understanding that it's fine for PG to have those giant melons. The problem is that they do not appear to be attached to her body except possibly by glue and in the wrong place. There are plenty of women endowed with enormous breasts who have generously shared nude photos of themselves online. Of course, that won't help artists like Turner who would then need to figure out how high the lift when the breasts are stuffed into spandex which presumably has a built-in bra, probably with an underwire, or else they would likely hang to her waist or lower.

I've said many times here that I don't mind cheesecake provided I get to see my share of beefcake. But same as I wouldn't like seeing a male character's package protruding from his abdomen, I'd prefer to see the females portrayed realistically. Male characters look silly in short pants, even when they are young like the original Robin, unlike females who have legs showing up to their ass. And that's fine. But when Wonder Woman, who is currently a dignified character (all silliness from the past is forgiven if not forgotten), has her ass sticking out of her bathing suit style outfit when normally, the pantyline comes down a bit lower, I call that gratuitous. There is no comparable display of male anatomy to make this fair or reasonable.

I don't want to be rabid here. I like sexy art, and normally, I don't mind a little extra flash of skin. But it's getting to be ridiculous and yes, demeaning, when it's so poorly executed, is unfairly and unevenly distributed between the sexes, and comes when DC, especially Don DiDio, is wondering how to reach more female readers. Covers like that JLA 10 isn't the way.

Oh, and Paperghost provided a link to this wonderful analysis of the anatomical impossibility that is PG on that cover.


  1. Ahhh...Michael Turner. The new Liefeld.

    I like to draw. Hands and feet aren't REALLY that difficult. Turner annoys me, because all of his women are waifish. Power Girl is NOT WAIFISH!!

  2. Power Girl might have a thin waist, relative to the rest of her body, but I always thought of her as full-figured, with a roundish face. She seemed the anti-waif to me, so that's a good point you made.

  3. Here's something tho. :O I'm not attracted to rly buff men. I like thin, slender men :) (I do :O) And a lot of women do :O But if we did that, ppl would say "it's not realistic, b/c to fight crime you need muscles".


    To fight crime, you wouldn't have a soft pornstar body either and as you build muscle, your chest wouldn't hang out like fluffy pillows either >.<;;;

  4. Anonymous5:50 AM EDT

    "Male characters look silly in short pants, even when they are young like the original Robin, unlike females who have legs showing up to their ass."

    Do they really look any sillier than female characters, or are we just socialised to see silliness as sexy on women?

  5. Sure, cultural standards and socialization affect our views. But personally, I don't find men's legs, or boys' for that matter, all that much fun to look at. I think women's legs are far better to look at. No matter what, we are products of our upbringing and we respond to such art accordingly. I don't mind the females in bathing suit type bottoms, but it's always nice when one is in spandex pants or a skirt.

  6. I'm with SallyP! Hands and feet aren't that difficult. I make it a point to almost always include them in my drawings. Even more so after being exposed to what must be hundreds of Michael Turner images where he cuts the body off at the knees to avoid drawing the feet.

    Or hides the hands. Or both!

    And yes... Paperghost is a hero. I was reading his assault on the Brad Meltzer board and just laughing like a child on the first day of summer vacation. He's a tireless crusader and he's making those poor guys look like monkeys. They don't know what to do about it.

    I love how he just keeps hammering!

    And yeah... Ami's also got some good points. When I draw super women, I think of athletes. Tennis players... surfers... gymnasts... martial artists. There are lots of body shapes and types represented in those disciplines... but they all share the common denominator of being fit and firm and capable.

    Turner and J. Scott Campbell (whose art I actually like) look at strippers and bikini models and porn posers for their inspiration and that's ridiculous. Although I think Turner might have some sort of optical damage that grotesquely distorts everything he sees into stretched out gumby dolls.

  7. I used to read comics for the words, but I got tired of seeing my favorite characters say, "Duuuuuuuuh..." all the damn time.

  8. The really sad thing is that Brad Meltzer said on his blog that he asked for a couple of "reductions" before that cover got to press. I don't know how much pull a writer has in something like that, but I remember seeing a copy of the cover where they even LARGER and more gratuitous than they already ended up being.

  9. It's really not the size so much -- I expect her boobs to be enormous -- it's their, uh, location, as if they're sitting in front of her, on a shelf.

  10. I hesitate to bring this up because it's in defense of people getting castigated here, but I think the some of the high breasts might come from these guys referencing women in the pornography industry who have breast implants. As a man who looks at more than his fair share of pornography, it seems fairly reasonable when you look at some of those women and how their breasts behave.

    I'd also like to say thanks for making your points without making me feel like a bad guy for enjoying Michael Turner's stuff. I didn't really like his Supergirl and wasn't rabidly jacking off to her as other bloggers say I must be. I liked Turner's work on Batman/Superman. Those Godfall covers he did seemed real neat too.

  11. Interesting point re: the porn influence, Andrew. You may be right. I don't see much porn (actually, I see none), so hadn't thought of the connection.

    I've liked a lot of Turner's art, which is why this disappointed me so much.