Surviving the World

A Photocomic Education by Dante Shepherd

Lesson #1433 - Cheesecake

The sexualization in comic books has always been present, of course, but it's gotten particularly ridiculous lately - the recent Catwoman cover that you may be familiar with, the re-characterization of Starfire, the promotional Avengers poster where Black Widow is the only one to show off her butt and chest . . . a necessary pose in superheroics for superwomen, apparently.

My suggestion to these artists? Stop working off whatever still reference photos you rely on, and take sample pictures of yourself in as near close to your desired pose as possible. You know why? Because just posing a few times like above, thrusting my non-existent chest out and my somewhat-but-not-really-existent butt out while spreading my legs, just like most non pin-up cheesecake art seems to show, is FRIGGIN' PAINFUL. I think I need a backiotemy to fix my spine. Anyway, then you'll get a sense that your desired pose is not really realistic.

There've been a number of great responses lately to artists who've been producing work like this - of particular note is the "Strong Female Characters" by the excellent Kate BeatonMeredith Gran, and Carly Monardo - but sometimes you just don't see how ridiculous the character structure is until you see it in an actual picture. So there you go. It looks ridiculous and terrible and why would you want to be an artist where you consider that your serious work?