Friday, March 23, 2007

How to portray women in comics.

I came across a couple of good pieces looking at how heroines of comics are drawn and put out there. They focus on the Power Girl work by artist Michael Turner, as seen down the blog.

Oh well, boys will by boys. Ain't they cute?
Here is a look that pulls up some of the boys, who are fans, who are trying to jump to the images defense and to the defense of similar work.

But to me the more important part is the closer look at the quality of drawing.

If you want to look and review it again, please do. I had trouble focusing, the point of focus is obvious, and it seems to have thrown of my ability to see the amazingly severe and scary physiological flaws in how the female form is shown.

If you look, you will notice that her breasts, while gigantic, are also, if real, firmly embedded in her ribs and the body cavity. And for that matter her right arm is very messed up and built..I don't know how to describe it. Then the classic and continuing problem with these like works. Where does she keep her internal organs. With that waste how can she have intestines, a stomach, kidneys, AND a liver? More to the point how can they in any way be healthy.

There are oddly "built" women. But this is a hero, a power house, a force to be reckoned with. And her we have a sickly fainting prone model with comedy implants.

Now Power Girl has been drawn well endowed for years now. And a well endowed hero ain't bad. But artists in the past had a habit of drawing her as a full figured woman as well, as if they studied the human form and in drawing her realized that for proportion sake she would needed to be bigger overall. And that has lead to a tall and muscular female figure. But in the past so many years, she has been shrunk and the artists are grabbing the mags fulls of models and that is where she is again. Small, vulnerable, shy, but often the breasts stay fully inflated.

I miss that old power girl.

But, really, she is only gone as long as the artists stick to the ribless/rib sticking out style. Come on artist, do some research...outside of porn.

The other piece.
Sexy, Not Sexist

It is a look at the same Power Girl image and a comparison to an Adam Hughes cover of Wonder Woman. It does celebrate WW beauty, but it also shows her as a living breathing being. She also seems much more real, with expressions and active eyes.

And that is the crux. These heroines are attractive. And there is nothing wrong in celebrating it. But looking at the two images side by side you can see the difference. One's a dull weak form, the other living active being. They are both selling some sex to an extent. Just one is also mocking.

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