not enough hair
I dunno, maybe Power Boy prefers a shaven haven.
"On my world, it means hope"
Please, No More Subway-Sandwich Thighs!
I want to talk about a comic art convention I see from time to time that really gets up my nose. Now, when I say convention, I mean an accepted technique or practice in the field rather than a gathering of gloriously enthusiastic nerds in costume. In this instance, I am talking about a particular drawing shortcut that is accepted as “solid” and “professional” in the industry that I find teeth-grindingly lazy and bizarre. I call it “Subway Sandwich Thighs”. As illustrated below:
As you can see, the thigh and the calf are sandwiched together, mid-air, without anything pressing against the underside of the calf to make it that way. Legs do not work that way, not even in bendy women. We cannot bend our legs and make them do that in mid-air. For that to happen, we need to put our weight on our bent legs, kneeling on the ground. It is the weight of our bodies that pushes the two parts of the legs together. Usually, the legs splay to the side, so that they aren’t pushed together too hard. We often sit on the side of our butts after about three or four minutes, cause that shit is uncomfortable.
As an experiment, go in front of a mirror, and try to bend your leg as much as you can, pressing your heel to your buttock. Do not use your hands to press the foot and buttock together – just check how close you can get naturally. If you’re a guy, I really want you to try this.
Now, stand there and imagine flying for more than ten minutes in that position. It fucking hurts, doesn’t it? It’s tight, it’s unnatural. It’s the sort of thing a dancer does for two seconds before leaping away into another pose. It is not a natural position to take.
I half-jokingly wonder if artists employ it because it evokes the mental imagery of a woman splaying on top of a man during intercourse, straddling him. It can display the buttocks in a pleasing way, and it also makes much of the crotch. But it’s the most ridiculous bloody drawing convention outside of the Rubber Spine thing, and I’d be more than happy if it died a quiet death.
Here are some gymnasts, naturally flexible people, bending their legs in the middle of routines. Notice their aren’t squishing the two halves of their legs together:
Here are some women kneeling. Just for reference for later corrections:
And now, some corrections:
Okay, enough of me picking on JSC. Here’s the nitty gritty of the matter, and a hat-tip to stylistic choices:
Thanks to tumblr’s downscaling, the red text is: Leg too long, No pelvis all butt, heel goes where? and Where leg go? as well as “This looks odd but my body is really like this”.
The anatomy I’ve done isn’t perfect, but I think I illustrate my point.
The Anatomy of a Fuck Up:
So what’s happening here? Why are people making this mistake over and over? The reason is twofold.
One: Mistaken anatomy.
When these artists draw their stuff to arse-up, face-down, no-time-to-fart deadlines, they don’t have the leisure I do to stop and think about how a woman looks when doing these poses. So when they have to think about a woman flying mid-air, they think about a woman kneeling, rather than an actual woman with her leg in the air. They just transfer the kneeling leg position to the upright position, even though the human muscles, tendons and body mass DO NOT ALLOW for that to happen. With kneeling positions, they just go ahead and trundle out the shortcuts they learnt earlier in the piece, without thought to how heels and butt-cracks work.
Two: It’s Not Important.
In most situations, accuracy of a woman’s anatomy is not important in a comic book or graphic novel. A female character must be alluring above all, so certain anatomically impossible conventions get the wave and are never fixed. Other people learn these “shortcuts” and that it’s okay to draw like that, and it keeps on happening. FOREVER.
I’m not saying don’t use sweeping lines for style. I’m just saying let’s not have utterly ridiculous anatomy going on. These women characters take up so little space already. Draw them as the leg is supposed to look and suddenly they have legs and tendons and physical signs of strength. I guess that isn’t sexy enough?
One of my favourite blogs highlights and explains something about how women are drawn in superhero comics that has bugged me for a while but I couldn’t put it into exact words. Almost all of these pictures have also been on this blog before. Artists do this with a lot of other stuff with women too, such as with breasts, where they create cleavage with clothing or poses where there should be none because their references are from pictures in a different context from what they’re drawing (and they seem to hate having characters wear bras).
This is a really good point. What’s more, I have a striking comparison for you.
One of my better paintings (and hence one that you’ve probably seen before, as I use it everywhere shamelessly) is of a male falling angel. It is meant to symbolise the often painful and hurtling processes of sexual desire. So, yes, the man/angel is supposed to look sexy. Let’s take a look at his legs:
Now, I had never drawn or painted a man in this position before, so I looked at a bunch of references when it came to doing his legs. They are not perfect, especially around the feet, but I am an amateur. I did this for fun - no one was paying me. And you know what I didn’t end up with, when I decided to do this whole one-bent-leg thing? Subway sandwich thighs. Because I actually checked what people’s legs looked like when they do this pose before I tried to paint it.
It’s not the artistic equivalent of rocket science, and it’s certainly not too much to expect.
A new page of Chester 5000: Isabelle and George.
Guys, if you don’t read Chester 5000, you are missing our on the cutest, most poignant steam-punk erotica ever.
*flials about Isabelle and George*
Every damn year.
I need to learn how to draw a decent Batman pic.
So what you’re trying to say is that
womenpeople prefer well-drawn pictures of their favorite superheroes over really shitty indie comics about boobs?
Are we supposed to feel sorry for the person whose humor comic featuring a disembodied pair of breasts on the cover is getting passed over?
this feels like it should be a parody but it isnt and that’s hilarious
maybe try not being sexist unfunny douchelords next time
HEY, WE DO A HUMOR COMIC ABOUT [SOMETHING THAT LOOKS EXTREMELY SEXIST] HEY WHERE ARE YOU GOING
No, no way is this a serious complaint (I said to myself). No one’s that un-self aware. This has got to be a parody about gross “indie” comics skeeving up the con atmosphere, and the schadenfreude we’re totally intended to feel at their failure.
So I went to the OP’s tumblr to check context and.
This was just supposed to be a comic about how hard it can be for the unknowns to find their audience. Anything else you see is your own interpretation of the page.
They are serious.
That is more hilarious than any punchline actually in the comic. I’m honestly crying with laughter right now.
^ YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING, LMFAO
AHAHAHAHAHA. The answer lies in the comedy, I cannot even. Check your story, check your audience, stop acting surprised. I’m completely unable.
They’re not trolling?
I *really* thought this was an aces comic about how skeevy shitlords get exactly what’s coming to them and will never understand why.
It is HILAIRE that it’s actually a comic BY a skeevy shitlord who doesn’t understand why people don’t want anything to do with his sexist shit!
Kill him and eat him in front of the others. It’s the only way they learn.
Reminder that Iron Man wasn’t “A-list” before his first movie.
Erm….How was Iron Man not “A-List”? He has several solo titles and is one of the main protagonists in the Avengers…. Iron Man is pretty much the definition of “A-List”
See the bit where I said “Before his movie”. He wasn’t, he really wasn’t, one of the top names before a) Ellis and Granov’s Extremis arc/reboot and b) his first movie.
Until that point he was moderately successful, within comics, but certainly wasn’t a huge hit, and crucially, very few people outside of comic readers had any idea who he was.
Reminder that Black Widow had a solo film in production before the first Iron Man movie, and the reason it was cancelled was her gender.
One of my best friends has been an Iron Man fan his whole life, and he was STUNNED when the movie was green-lit, because Iron Man wasn’t A-list. We MADE these characters A-list, by loving their movies.
In another world, very close to this one, Black Widow is THE name to beat in comic book movies right now. I want to live there.
Ant-Man is getting his own movie
Daredevil had a movie
Ghost Rider has had 2 movies
Punisher’s had 2 movies (recently, in total he’s had 3)
Blade’s had 3 movies and a TV show
These are all “A-listers”?
I bet you most people had no clue who Blade was before the movies made him a success.
They invented a white dude out of whole cloth in the movie series in Coulson, and now he’s in video games, a live action series, an animated series, and in the comics.
Captain/Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Spider-Woman, Black Widow, etc all have more of a comics history and name recognition than Coulson who didn’t even exist 6 years ago. People act like who gets a movie is like some sort of sports draft, and they’re being picked by their college/comic accomplishments, rather than these are fictional characters who are popular if there is the will to write them well & promote them.
"Would be awfully nice if those 12 million female comic fans would buy a book once or twice too."
Oh you mean like this? The chart that shows Fun Home, Persepolis and Hyperbole and a Half consistently selling graphic novels? And books like Smile and Dork Diaries best sellers in the kids arena?
You people just don’t get it, do you? You walk around a con and see it about 45% women, see the online audience for comics about 45% women and get a sample of 24 million people about 45% women and start making up reasons why this number has nothing to do with the reality you’ve been ignoring for years.
Having just been to a comics festival consisting of 150,000+ people of every age and gender, eagerly reading and buying comics, I find the idea that women are somehow innately opposed to buying material in the comics format more ludicrous than ever.
Huh, yeah, I suppose I did get a comic book for Christmas (Hyperbole and a Half). I didn’t notice because there was no misogyny or objectification of my gender. This is despite the fact that I have reviewed Hyperbole and a Half the webcomic as a webcomic - again, because I’ve had more positive encounters with these, and ore encounters with female creators. And again, webcomics are often viewed as ‘not as serious’, or the ones made by men somehow get taken more seriously.
See, anything that isn’t overtly off-putting to women by being woman-hating, is subconsciously recategorised as ‘not a proper comic’.
And that’s when I unfollowed the white man who reblogged this.
Sure, we could all be kinder, and I don’t like sexism against men either - I think it just serves to reinforce gender stereotypes - but where systematic and wide-spread oppression exists ‘Girls are stupid’ exists in a wider context where it is genuinely thought by many people including those with the most power that women are not as clever as men, are not as capable as men, as not worthwhile as men. And this is reflected in the wages we are paid for doing the same work, in the promotions we are not offered, in the roles we are not given, in the type of books we are told we are capable of writing, in the fandoms we are discouraged from taking part in, in the public spaces in which we cannot feel safe, in the more wide-spread domestic violence we receive, in the way we are blamed for the violence that is perpetrated against us.
And the same goes for racism, homophobia, transphobia, biphobia, ableism, and the rest.
When you ask us to rename your crimes against us and treat them as something that you suffer equally in you are asking us to forget that we suffer so much more greatly than you, systematically, and overwhelmingly at the hands of those with greater privilege than ourselves: you.
No, it is not the same when a woman says ‘Boys are stupid’ as when a man says ‘Girls are stupid’. Neither are good, but they are NOT the same and it is NOT OK to ask us to pretend that they are.
If you genuinely believe the above comic then you are sexist and you are racist. And if being labelled with that term bothers you, perhaps you should do something about it. Trying to silence those who use that term against you (which is what this comic aims to do) will not make those terms apply to you any less. If you don’t want to be considered sexist or racist, you need to start by admitting that inequalities exist, and whether you want to or not, you benefit from some of them.
Posting comics like this is NOT how you change the world and make it a better place. Posting comics like this IS harmful and UNKIND in and of itself. The fact that you don’t find it so merely illustrates your privilege in not generally suffering as much as those whose complaints you wish to treat as if they were the same as your own.
Both lol and awesome.
On Saturday I came across an article on The Mary Sue reporting on Tess Fowler who had spoken up about some creepy treatment she’d received years ago at a convention. As I read the article, it seemed familiar to me. Not the specifics, but the tone. I thought it sounded very…
Welp, I can’t keep pretending and keeping my head in the sand anymore. X-Men is off my pull list.
The number of people I’ve seen wringing their hands over the impact this could have on Wood’s comics-writing career makes me sick. He ruined Scherbina’s work environment with his lies, eventually resulting in her leaving the industry, but it’s somehow fair that he should be shielded from the potential consequences of the story coming to light.
I’m taking a positive, from this: a lot of people are now talking about this and giving it time and making decisions as illustrated above to vote with their feet. That’s not to minimise the blowback or the inertia of some people who want to say that shit like this will just ‘blow over’ (for who, exactly?). But there’s something in the air: change.
I said it after Nine Worlds and I’ve only seen more evidence of it since. In discussions like this. In the response to problems at World Fantasy Con, in people I know organising other cons who are making a conscious effort to do so differently.
The tide has changed. To all those men out there who think it hasn’t: be careful, or you’ll be left washed up on the beach.