Classic Blog: Ooh, Drama!

CLASSIC POST: Originally posted 29th December, 2008.

In my years online,  I’ve been in many arguments about various things. Over time I learned that it wasn’t worth getting worked up over. Instead, it’s more fun to point and laugh.

A few hours ago, I received an email from Livejournal, where I have an account that I use to post comments and message some friends that I don’t know anywhere else.

A couple of weeks ago, I added a comment to this Livejournal post, after searching for assistance on comic drawing (ultimately I came up with the advice “try harder” and “don’t be lazy”).

Bimbo 1It’s nippletastic.

So this post shows some very chauvenistic pages from a book on how to draw Superheroes. When they talked about women, it was almost exclusively through a “sex appeal” lens. Nevermind that a stick thin woman wouldn’t make any kind of super anything, especially when you compare it to the men on the pages. On that last link, anyone else find the “keep it real” box ironic?

So, the comments were full of people complaining about how man-centric superhero comics are, and how women need to be taken more seriously and drawn realistically. You know, with muscles sometimes, and not always beautiful… maybe even with a hint of *gasp!* body fat! One woman even took it upon herself to redo the comic pages with the sexes reversed. A masterful rendering (and it took me about 20 minutes to find it too).

So, anyway. I added a comment to the end of this thread.

I came here on a search for help on drawing comics myself, like many of these people that have recently commented irrelevant things. I thought these scans were going to be helpful… then I started reading them. I found myself verbally expressing my distaste for BOTH the men and women, but particularly the women, in the pictures. This is why I don’t read comic books. I love many webcomics though, because most of the ones I read tend to draw real people.
Fortunately, as I started reading the comments, I realised that these scans were posted BECAUSE they were dehumanising to women. And that made me happy. Females that like comics need to take a stand on this. Men that just draw their masturbation fantasy woman and call it realistic need to take a good look at themselves.
This has galvanised my desire to make a comic that’s actually directed more at girls than boys. Do you think there is much of a market for teenage girls to read fantasy comics?

It was the 16th of December. I forgot about it until today, when I received this charming email:

Nattington, I have to say your post is probably one of the most self-centered pieces of garbage on this entire thread. The scans above were intended to help those who enjoy drawing superheroes or comics related as such. Your entire post simply states that you don’t have an imagination, and don’t have a single bit of interest in enjoying misconstrued reality, which is pretty much all that superheroes are about.
“Dehumanising to women”????? So all of the make-believe women in the world should retaliate against these fantasy (fantasy means ‘not real’ by the way) stereotypes shown above?
The drawings shown above are all related to the traditional sense that has been superheroes or superhero comics for a long time now. It’s an art form that has been passed down and enjoyed for quite some time as well. If you don’t like it, well then I truly do hope you make your own comic that satisfies your distaste in the current comic trend.
“Men that just draw their masturbation fantasy woman and call it realistic…”? No, it’s simply ‘realistic’ in the traditional idea of drawing people that have the same muscle groups…etc that real people have, only lifted out of proportion to make them ‘super heroes’.

Figure C: Superheroine “Nipplerella”

That’s all this is: fake. Make-believe. Fantasy. If this situation was a little different, you might be perfectly reasonable in whining about how unreal and ‘dehumanising’ the scans are. But because these were intended to be superheroes who ARE NOT supposed to be realistic in our proportions, I don’t see why the hell you bothered posting that in the first place…

This was posted as a comment in the thread, but has been screened. Here is the link, if it happens to go public.

Bimbo 2
What is this one meant to be doing, exactly?

So… somebody thinks I’m full of crap for thinking women should be respresented as real people? I think this guy also did not recognise that I would also love to see more normal looking men in comics also, instead of big beefy, godawful monstrosities that are depicted on these pages. There’s a difference between a bodybuilder and an athlete. Body builders are strong, sure, but they do not make good superheroes, because big muscles are cumbersome, and the body cannot be flexible.

It isn’t my fault that comic artists don’t think that people like reading about superheroes that look like real people. Maybe male comic geeks like to imagine themselves as these enormous super-strong towers that kick butt and make love to sultry, throwaway women. But I am not a male comic geek.

If there is something the internet has taught me, it’s that girls can be geeks just as easily as boys. The only difference is that there isn’t enough geekdom catering the female demographic. So, a lot of girls have turned to manga and anime, because they have people with normal looking bodies. Some have special powers, without having to look stupid.

Why do few girls read superhero comics? Because they are made by males, for males. They will never garner many female readers until they begin to cater for them.

I like comics. Comics made by normal people, about normal people. Until these normal people extend to superheroes (which I like the idea of, sure), I’m going to continue to criticise the generations of comic artists that read these books and think that women need to be boobular and dripping with sexuality, with three inch waists, nonexistent muscles and lips that could be used as a floatation device.

My apologies, whoever you are that wrote that comment. I’m very sorry I struck a nerve and that you think that your comment was the voice of reason in this matter. It may be fantasy, but it’s still disgusting to look at. If you were a female, you’d probably understand. Unless you bought into the whole women-as-sex-objects-are-now-women-with-“sexual-freedom” thing that’s going on in rap music video clips nowadays. In which case, I would pity you.

Natalie out.

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