Posts tagged comics
Posts tagged comics
5th and final page of my Fantastic Four samples.
Another FF sample page done, one more to go!
After witnessing the Four Freedom Tower under-go a confusing transformation, Ben is whisked away by some unknown force.
From the moleskine this morning, warm-up sketch of Captain Marvel. (Who is currently sporting the most rad hairstyle in all comic-dom.)
I have 1 1/2 pages of my Fantastic Four samples to go, after I complete them I’m thinking of doing a few Captain Marvel ones since I haven’t got any female characters in my current portfolio, and they are my strongest point as an artist.
If I ever got to draw a Kelly Sue Captain Marvel story, I think I would DIE. She’s so talented and her Captain Marvel is so great.
Another iPad sketch.
Fantastic Four sample page 2. I finished the first page back in November, but since then have been overwhelmed with other projects to finish and haven’t had much time to finish these Marvel sample pages.
My schedule is finally freeing up a little now, so more Thing being awesome.
I never uploaded the final coloured version. Here is Blue Lantern Madoka, original pink version and blue version tweaked in Photoshop.
Is this a mindset you’ve encountered frequently?
Quite a bit over the past few years, mostly on forums. Either people who read manga don’t ‘get’ Western comics, or Western comic fans thinking that manga is just ‘girlie comics.’
I remember one forum poster (who is actually a published comic artist) personally telling me to ‘stop reading Western comics and get back to reading manga,’ because ‘manga is for girls and Western comics are for boys.’ Mostly I can ignore that kind of thing, but sometimes it’s tiring defending what you like and why.
The main bookshelf in my office as of 5 minutes ago after I stocked my main bookshelf with some more of the manga I ordered during a New Year’s sale. (〜￣▽￣)〜 It’s now packed again.
I’m one of those weird creatures that adores manga as well as Western graphic novels. I love both and I don’t get how people can love one and vehemently hate the other. To me it’s all just comics filled with gorgeous art and wondrous stories.
WOW. An e-mail. For the writer who has handled this character for the better part of 10 years. An e-mail.
This is the shittiest news I’ve heard in a long time. Gail will rise above this though, she’s one hell of a talented lady.
‘Please, the Hawkeye Initiative is about drawing Hawkeye smut, nothing to do with with showing the disparity between the genders. There’s nothing wrong with that, but lets not call it something it isn’t. ‘
I did write a reply which some people wanted me to make re-bloggable, so here it is with some elaboration on why we need things like the Hawkeye Initiative.
Firstly, the Hawkeye Initiative is all about showing disparity between the genders. It was created solely for that reason, and of course to have a laugh at the industry’s expense at the same time. What better way to show the difference between the depiction of women in the comic media then by swapping the genders of the characters being presented?
In most cases, people won’t recognize things like the presentation of women in the media until the tables are turned. This initiative isn’t the first time someone has used it to illustrate such a disparity either. Some examples:
Breakdown of ‘if men posed like women’
While this initiative may not seem like much to you, it means a lot to many of us who are sick and tired of women depicted as nothing in comics other than a walking set of breasts. (Or asses, or both.)
Yes, it’s all in good fun and is pretty much just us having a laugh; and some people may be doing this for less than noble reasons. But that doesn’t negate the gender disparity issue this initiative is making fun of. Just yesterday when I shared my Hawkeye drawing on Facebook I was met with comments like:
‘Sex sells, so of course women are presented this way in comics.’
‘The guys are half naked too so maybe you should complain about that instead.’
‘You want to take the sexiness away from comics, prude.’
Comments like this usually arise when the representation of women in the media comes up, but there-in lies the problem and what I feel is a miscalculation of the comics audience. People say that ‘sex sells,’ but I’d like to at least think that quality comics featuring realistic and relate-able characters and their stories is worth far more to the average reader than how low cut Catwoman’s costume is.
And even if it is the case that ‘sex sells’ to the lowest common denominator of your buyers, is that worth the numbers of readers who will drop the books who start overly sexualizing women for no reason? The comics market, and the audience has changed. The fact that publishers are still sticking to an unsubstantiated prehistoric paradigm who assumes that their audience is just a bunch of sweaty virgins who will throw money at anything with a pair of breasts is insulting, to me and to their ‘target audience.’
Comic sales have been dropping steadily over the years, in 1966 the biggest selling title of the year as Batman from DC comics, they sold just under 900,000 copies.
In 1969 it was Superman, with just over 500,000.
In 1995 Marvel sold over 300,000 copies of Fantastic Four volume 2, #1.
In 2009, the highest selling comic was DC’s Blackest Night issue #3, which sold exactly 140,666 copies.
These days it’s phenomenal for a comic to break the 200k mark in sales, and there has been a steady long-term decline, with a small improvement in 2000 due to things like selling trade paperbacks and all of the comic book movies that had come out at the time.
Some of our comics are moretitillating than ever, so if ‘sex sells’ then why aren’t we selling more comics?
For that matter, why aren’t comic publishers like Zenescope and Big Dog Ink comics whose entire business model is based on the idea that ‘sex sells’ constantly out-selling the publishers like Marvel, DC and Image?
In 2011, Diamond’s final sale figures list the first company that wasn’t Marvel or DC to make it into the top 1000 best selling comics list for the year was IDW at 102 with ‘Godzilla – Kingdom of Monsters’ selling 71,700 books. Next, Image made it to 120 with ‘Spawn,’ selling 67,900 copies.
In fact, Zenescope first appears on the list at 487 for ‘Grimm Fairy Tales’ volume 9 with a mere 2,300 sales.
Gail Simone has pointed out that suggesting that we hate sex in our comics and want to ‘take the sexy’ away in comics is ridiculous, and it’s not what we want at all. I love sex in my comics and can enjoy seeing sex in comics, but my enjoyment comes down to how it’s presented.
Take these two examples of sex and ‘sexy’ female characters from two books that have come out in the past year or so. Catwoman #1 from DC and Conan the Barbarian #3 and #10 from Dark Horse.
In the first issue of Catwoman there was that infamous sex scene. I for one wasn’t bothered by the idea of a sex scene, especially one between Bruce and Selina. I think they’re a highly sexually-charged couple with a lot of potential for some hot and steamy rendezvous, but like most people who had an issue with this scene - I didn’t like the way it was presented to us.
For starters these scenes are about the male gaze. Selina is usually posed in ways to make both her buttocks and her breasts visible to the reader, even when it makes no anatomical sense.
Even in the last climactic panel when we assume they’re actually ‘doing it,’ we cannot even see Bruce’s face. We don’t know if he’s enjoying it, from what we can see it looks like he’s just sitting there not engaging with Selina at all. Like the viewer he seems like just a spectator, or another inanimate object for Selina to pose all over.
Not to be crude, but nothing ruins my lady boner faster than a guy who looks like he doesn’t even care if he’s having sex with me or not. For it to be hot for me, it has to be hot for him too.
Conversely, let’s look at a couple Conan and Belit’s sexual encounters. One thing to know about Belit, is that like Selina Kyle – this woman is sex on legs. She usually doesn’t wear much, at all… funnily enough Belit can usually be seen wearing more clothing just before sex than when she’s casually walking around her ship. However there is a huge disparity between the way Belit and the way Selina are both drawn from panel to panel.
During a lot of the sex scenes drawn by Becky Cloonan the emphasis is on touching and facial expressions. You rarely get a full-body glimpse of the couple, but the moment is still intense and you get the sense that the pair is a tangle of sweaty bodies and body parts.
In a later issue in a scene drawn by Declan Shalvey we have a clearer view of the couple in the throws of passion, and yet again we can see a lot of unbridled passion and intense need from both Conan and Belit. Conan isn’t just laying there like a dead fish, nor is Belit posing for a viewer she doesn’t know is there. Both characters are right there with each-other in the moment, not taking a second away from each-other and not being distracted by anything other than their (shared) passion.
For further reading on the disparity between the presentations of gender in comics I highly suggest reading Kelly Thompson’s, ‘It’s Not Equal.’ Especially before you’re about to spout something like ‘men are also objectified and idealized in comics.’
And lastly, think about this - the entire blog and idea of The Hawkeye Initiative wouldn’t exist for you to have an opinion on if such silly comic covers and pin-ups didn’t exist in the first place. So if you really feel that strongly, take your anger out on the industry that’s helping fuel blogs like this.
I think these sites do something hilarious, something I’ve tried to do my whole online history, which I think of as ‘mocktivism,’ that is, activism by mockery. You showcase how absurd something is, you…
Gail yet again showing everyone how awesome she is.
I have a couple of people yesterday ask me to make my reply to the anon calling the Hawkeye Initiative ‘smut’ re-bloggable, I will in my next post and I’ll add a few more of my thoughts. In the mean time read this Gail post over and over, because holy moley she gets it.
Given that the definition of smut you’re referring to is ‘pornography’ and there is none on this blog what-so-ever, I’m just going to assume you chose the wrong word to illustrate your argument.
The Hawkeye Initiative is ALL ABOUT showing disparity between the genders. What better way to show the difference between the depiction of women in the comic media then by swapping the genders? In most cases, people won’t recognize things like the presentation of women in the media until the tables are turned. This initiative isn’t the first time someone has used it to illustrate such a disparity either. Some examples:
Breakdown of ‘if men posed like women’
While this initiative may not seem like much to you, it means a lot to many of us who are sick and tired of women depicted as nothing in comics other than a walking set of breasts. (Or ass, or both.)
Yes, it’s all in good fun and is pretty much just us having a laugh; and some people may be doing this for less than noble reasons. But that doesn’t negate the gender disparity issue this initiative is making fun of.
And think about this, the entire blog and idea of The Hawkeye Initiative wouldn’t exist for you to have an opinion on if such silly comic covers and pin-ups didn’t exist in the first place. So if you really feel that strongly, take your anger out on the industry that’s helping fuel this blog.
So something has emerged recently, called ‘The Hawkeye Initiative.’ This is a fantastic blog where artists submit re-draws from comic pages and pin-ups featuring highly sexualized women and replace them with Hawkeye. This is a perfect way to show the disparity between the way the genders are presented in comics.
I wanted to do one of my own during my break today. This is David Finch’s original of Vampirella:
You can do this re-draw with pretty much any David Finch drawing featuring a woman. It’s upsetting and I think reflects on the industry as a whole. Finch’s artwork is very solid, he has a great sense of composition and texture; it’s just such a shame his depictions of women are so ridiculous.
Practicing my digital inking on this Supergirl and Robin piece because I’m inking my current comic project digitally. I picked up Brian Haberlin’s ‘digital inking tutorial’ CD while I was at SDCC and I don’t regret a single cent, worth it for the inking brushes alone.
You can buy the copy I got for myself here for $24.99 instant download.