A Tale of Two Asses: Why Can’t Comics Learn?
Let’s walk through the scenario - A large comic publisher seems to have an opportunity or desire to expand their readership to include more women and thus increase revenue. They issue a cover that shows one of their female characters in a highly sexual pose with a distorted ass.
You may think I am discussing this week’s web explosion over Milo Manara’s variant of the first issue of Spider-Woman. But I could just as well be discussing the 0 issue of Catwoman from two years ago.
I love how the Addams Family has ZERO slut-shaming. Like… honey you can dance naked and enslave someone with your womanly charms if you want to, I don’t fucking care, but so help me you’re going to get a college education first.
The Addamses are what every family should aspire to be like (you know; without the dismemberment and electric chairs as play time). Honestly, have you ever seen more unconditionally loving and supportive parents than Gomez and Morticia? And not just with the kids, but with each other. I think what’s especially unique about them is how open they are with everything. They don’t treat their children like children. They treat them like they treat everyone else; direct, and to the point.
It’s creepy how many good examples of parenting and romantic relationships there is in these characters, especially considering they are supposed to be the antithesis of the stereotypical American nuclear family.
Personally, I’m not offended by Milo Manara’s Spider-Woman cover. Spider-Woman is supposed to be super-bendy and is often crouching and sneaking around, just like she’s depicted in the instantly-infamous Manara picture. If it were Storm, or Captain Marvel, it’d be out-of-character and I’d have to agree that she was being needlessly cheesecaked.
That said, it is still kind of ridiculous and worth calling upon the Hawkeye Initiative to poke some fun at it.
To the haters who are exasperated by Manara using a pose similar to one he used in an adult comic, heads up: Artists use and reuse variations of their favorite poses all the time. It doesn’t, in any way, cheapen his remarkable craftsmanship.
To everyone who is all OMG HER SPINE IS BROKEN LEARN TO DRAW, I say
Artists have taken liberties with human anatomy to express their love of it since the dawn of time.
This is a female fertility figure from about 35,000 years ago. Now, THAT’s what Marvel should riff on for their next series of variant covers!
I agree, But still don’t like Manara. that X-women comic he did made my jaw drop when i walked by it in the comic shop. All of the women had their mouth open like a moaning blow up doll. It is just so cliche, played out, dull, expected/obvious.
And to be fair to Ishtar (the female fertility figure) she is offering up her breasts to the world to nurture it, and in early mesopotamian culture sex was seen as spiritually healing, so if you found Ishtar’s form sexy she wouldn’t take offense. This culture was also matriarchal, whereas marvel comics is a patriarchy that typically engages in sexual objectification….not sexual healing or worship like Ishtar.
But one thing we can all agree on, is that this cover has brought about one of the best Hawkeye Initiative entries ever.
Gail Simone’s half of Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman was what I bought the issue for (Gail writing Wonder Woman and Oracle again? Yes please…more of this).
But i loved the second story by Amanda Deibert, it was fantastic and so necessary. Cat Staggs art was great too…slightly JH Williams-esque
Reminds me of my librarian friend who said that a Mother once demanded books for her young son that would teach him about feminism …..but none that feature female protagonists because he won’t read those. Ugh….