Sunday, 31 August 2014

Marvel's Artists, Aren't

It seems I've gone on a bit of a Spider Woman web crawl today. (Pun totally intended) For those of you who haven't been drawn into the controversy (another intended pun), Marvel comics unveiled their new Spider Woman comic a few weeks ago. The cover depicts Spider Woman in a highly sexualised and physically impossible to get into pose.

This poses (I just love puns) several problems. First being that it really isn't necessary to sexualise women in any form of media.

Don't get me wrong, sexy poses (containing any gender) in artwork is perfectly fine and I do love looking at sexily posed drawings of people irregardless of what gender they may be. Saying that, is a comic (which is being marketed towards teens) really an appropriate place for what is basically soft porn? I don't think it is. Misogyny runs rampant in graphic novels and games and it's high time it goes away. Basically what we need is less misogyny and highly sexualised women and more depictions of strong women who are more than capable of kicking ass without the need to wear cleavage enhancing clothing that's so tight it looks like it was painted on.

The second problem, as I alluded to above, is that due to the artist's hang-up on making his drawings "sexy", the anatomy is so messed up it quite simply doesn't exist. Some of you will no doubt say "It's artistic license. The artist doesn't have to make his drawings anatomically correct." You do have a point, if that's what you're thinking. However, when you're drawing in a realistic style (which is the style Marvel's comics are typically in), then you do need to keep the anatomy fairly believable.

My web crawl was started when I saw a post on The Oatmeal where the artist drew Spider Man in a "male equivalent" provocative pose. ( This (obviously tongue-in-cheek) drawing highlights how ridiculous it would look if Spider Man's "assets" (hehe) were similarly on display for all to see.

A link in the comments of The Oatmeal's Facebook post led me to this gem ( where an artist gives a professional critique of the drawings in the comic. Her red-lines (click on the image gallery to see them all) give a very good look at exactly where the artists went wrong and how to fix their mistakes and proves that you don't need to sacrifice anatomy to draw women. Her sketches are still sexy, but it's more of a "that woman can kick my ass" type of sexy and less of a "this woman is only here for my sexual kicks" kind of way.

Finally, in the comments in The Mary Sue article, I found this rather amusing link ( which proves once and for all just how much of a monstrosity the "roof pose" really is.

Not so sexy now, is it?

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