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Hey, this blog doesn’t exit anymore.
Well, it does. But it all got moved over to PsychoAndy.com, because it makes more sense for me to have all my stuff in a single location.
So update your bookmarks and re-subscribe over there, because this site will be gone before 2013 is.
In case you weren’t aware, I have a tumblr account, now. I tend to use it a lot, mostly for comics- and art-related subject matter (You now, the kinds of things that interest me).
So DC Comics released their solicitations for September the other day, and they’re doing a neat little gimmick; all the comics will be numbered #0, and will be focussing on the early days and/or origins of the characters and teams. This is good, since it’ll be a full one year since the “New 52″ relaunch, and readers still have a lot of questions about what happened before the #1 issues of each of the DC titles.
One of the things about releasing solicitations is that the covers for these comics also get released, and the Internet seems to be up-in-arms about one in particular. Can you guess which one? It’s DC’s most prominent female character that isn’t Wonder Woman!
That’s right — It’s Catwoman, as depicted by Guillem March. You may remember a similar controversy last year, when the last page in CATWOMAN #1 depicted Catwoman and Batman doing the nasty on a rooftop. And all of a sudden, this character as drawn by this artist is coming up in the news, again.
I’ll cut the commentators some slack on this one — This actually IS a nigh-impossible pose, with some impossible anatomy going on. Selina Kyle’s clavicle and shoulders seem to have no relation to each other, and her neck would likely have to be snapped in two to be in that position.
But, seriously? Who cares?
Superhero comics are all about the fantastic. EVERY SINGLE MARVEL OR DC CHARACTER EVER has been drawn at some point doing something that is anatomically impossible. And I’m not talking about flying or being made of plastic. Go look at 100 Marvel and/or DC comics, and you will find at least one panel in each one of them where the artist shortcutted anatomy and drew something that just does NOT work. These are illustrated cartoons, not photographs (except in the case of guys who trace over photos, like Greg Land, where it’s simultaneously both). Comic artists are hired to draw 20-22 pages of art, with an average of 4-7 panels on each page. That’s an average of over 100 images per month, and does not include the covers.
Go draw 101 images in the next 30 days, with no anatomical errors. Then get back to me.
Plus, if you can buy radioactive spider bites giving somebody superpowers but can’t buy that Catwoman may be more agile than most people who don’t parkour around rooftops every night, or might able to dislocate her shoulders on purpose (like Jim Carrey!), then I’m going to question how seriously I should take your argument.
So, okay. Then there’s the people complaining that CATWOMAN #0 is exploiting the female form. That’s fair enough — The cheesecakey nature of Guillem March’s art is never something he’s hidden (even in the 16 months previous to Catwoman #1, where he was drawing GOTHAM CITY SIRENS, featuring Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, and…Catwoman. And drew them ALL super-sexy). But Catwoman’s whole THING is that she’s super-sexy, and uses that to distract cops and security guards while she’s out cat-burgling. So, actually, hiring someone like March to draw this comic is kind of perfect.
And then there’s the “women in comics are drawn as sexpots while men are drawn at ideals” crowd once again bringing up that whole argument. I would like to direct you to a couple of former Marvel Comics colorist Christina Strain’s deviantART journal entries. The first is from the summer of 2008: http://CeeCeeLuvins.deviantart.com/journal/Feminism-misdirected-236490193 and the second from early 2009: http://CeeCeeLuvins.deviantart.com/journal/Women-in-Male-dominated-industries-233582102 — The long-and-short of it is that Christina is a woman who works (or worked) in comics for nearly a decade, and in that time she colored some VERY sexy art (including the alternate cover to Uncanny X-Men #500). And she’ll be the first one to say that EVERYBODY in comics is drawn ridiculously — Women are sexpots and men are musclebound tanks. And if you look around, you, too, will notice that NOBODY IN REAL LIFE LOOKS AS IDEALIZED AS THEY DO IN COMICS. Even steroid-riddled professional wrestlers look fat next to their comic book counterparts. And when you can make a guy like Dave Batista looks fat, you’re no longer dealing with anything that even resembles reality.
And, perhaps my favorite, are the people arguing that this is going to be “the first thing” that new readers are going to see, after they’ve decided they like Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Catwoman in the upcoming THE DARK KNIGHT RISES movie. And those new readers MIGHT be turned off by an even SEXIER Catwoman drawing.
And to those people I say: Who are these theoretical “new readers” you’re talking about? The last 23 years (since 1989′s BATMAN) have taught us that COMIC BOOK MOVIES DO NOT BRING IN ANY SIGNIFICANT NUMBER OF NEW READERS. They raise awareness of the characters and concepts, but most people who aren’t already in the habit can’t be bothered to remember to go into the same store once a month to plunk down 3-4 dollars on a 20 page funny book. The only people they’re going to be attracting to go to comic stores are the people who are going already.
Their PR people will never say this, but DC doesn’t give a shit what the FEW newcomers the movie MIGHT bring in to comic stores think of Mr. March’s depiction of Catwoman’s ass. DC Comics is positioned as an IP machine for Time-Warner, and as long as their cartoons and movies and action figures are making a profit, they’ll never go out of business. And DC’s cartoons and movies and action figures are HIGHLY profitable.
On top of that, TDKR comes out in July. CATWOMAN #0 doesn’t come out until September. So this will not be “the first thing” that any of them see.
Superhero comics are not high-concept art. They’re silly, campy, mindless entertainment to help us escape the bullshit of real life. Don’t treat them like they’re anything more than silly stories on funny-colored bits of paper. I don’t, and I ran a comic book store for two years.
Look, this all comes back to the point I made about CATWOMAN #1. Look at the #0 cover. Does that cover appeal to you? If so, buy the comic. If not, don’t buy the comic. As a little kid, I didn’t buy Barbie dolls, because they didn’t come in wrappers that appealed to me. And what more is a comic book cover, really, than a wrapper for the contents?
(And, perhaps the best part of this whole thing is, Guillem March isn’t even drawing this issue. He only did the cover.)
I’ve been playing quite a bit of the Mega Man game series, lately. This morning, I had an epiphany.
Dr. Wily is a moron.
Don’t get me wrong: He’s a brilliant (fictional) mad scientist. His skills and proficiency in engineering is without match. No mad scientist has ever created as many varied creatures as Dr. Albert W. Wily, and certainly not in the quantity that he has.
In the 10 Mega Man games from the original series, Wily has created around 80 different Robot Master bosses (MM2-10 and Mega Man & Bass — Dr. Light created the MM1/Powered Up!! Robot Masters), plus dozens of regular enemies to fill each of the Robot Masters’ stages. But only one of Wily’s creations has what it takes to stand up to Mega Man.
Also known as “Mets” and “Hardhats,” the Metool is unique amongst the enemies in the Mega Man games. Mega Man can only damage a Metool by shooting its face or feet. A shot to the hardhat portion of the Met will bounce off, with a “tink!” sound effect, indicating the weapon’s uselessness. When it is hunched into its hardhat “shell,” a Met becomes COMPLETELY invincible. Nothing can harm a crouching Metool. Even the mighty Sniper Joe, who hides behind an invincible shield before assaulting you with a barrage of shots, pales in comparison to the Metool.
So, given all that, why do I think Wily is a moron?
BECAUSE HE DOESN’T MAKE ALL OF HIS ROBOTS OUT OF THE SAME MATERIAL AS A METOOL’S HARDHAT!
If Wily REALLY wanted to destroy Mega Man, he would have enough COMMON SENSE to make everything he built as INVINCIBLE as the Metool!
But, because he isn’t that smart, Mega Man will defeat Dr. Wily, again and again.
Since everybody and their mother is talking about this — and a couple people have asked for my opinion — I figure I’ll throw in my two cents.
The controversy is this:
Apparently, people are surprised Batman and Catwoman have sex with each other.
Because, you know. It’s not like it hasn’t been well-established that Batman, under his Bruce Wayne disguise, sleeps around with more women than James Bond. And it’s not like Catwoman wears a skin-tight fetishwear outfit ALL THE FREAKING TIME. And it’s not like Batsy and Catwoman have had an ongoing attraction to each other since the Adam West TV series.
Oh, wait. All of that exists. I must’ve temporarily forgotten.
Yet, a lot of people (particularly feminist comic readers) are crying foul.
So, okay. Let me take a step back, and try to figure this one out.
Maybe they’re afraid that comic readers are still children. Well, that’s naïve. I ran a comic store for 3 years, and 99% of our customers were males between 18 and 35. So those people have an argument based in myth.
Maybe the people complaining are of a more wholesome variety, and they don’t want to see that in their fiction. I can respect that, but then why would you read Catwoman, a series ABOUT a cat burglar? The premise of the series is that she’s a criminal, so I’m debasing that argument, too.
Maybe some of these people are new readers who are not familiar with the established concepts of both heroes. Those people, sure. I can understand their being surprised.
Except when the cover looks like this:
If you bought Catwoman #1, with THAT cover, and you’re SURPRISED that there’s sexual content? Then I’m sorry, you’re an idiot.
The cheesecake cleavage, the seductive eyes, and the dribbling, shiny… jewels… over her chest all suggest that this is going to be a more mature title. And look at the bottom. See that “Rated T+”? That means there’s going to be questionable content in the book.
To me, that cover says, “This book is for people who want to look at drawings of sexy girls in suggestive poses,” the same way that a Barbie doll’s box says “This toy is for little girls.”
Do *I* like the content? Not particularly. But I’ve also seen a lot more offensive material, in comics with far less warning on the cover.
The issue at hand is that people have deluded themselves into thinking that just because they like comics in general, that they are the target market for all comics, and that’s plainly not true.
Just because I liked the late 80s/early 90s Ninja Turtle action figures doesn’t mean I was going to enjoy late 80s/early 90s Barbie dolls. They’re both toys, but even before I turned 8, I was discerning enough to realize that I wasn’t the target market for Barbies. Comic readers need to be equally as discerning.
I don’t read a lot of Frank Miller comics, because I find them dark and depressing, and too rough for my tastes. Despite being a male between 18-35, I am not the target market for Frank Miller’s work. But I don’t think comic stores should stop carrying SIN CITY, or that Dark Horse should stop keeping it in print. Other people like it, and that’s okay.
The moral of the story is to get over yourself, and realize that just because you like a particular kind of product doesn’t mean you’re going to like all of them. And you can vote with your dollars. If you didn’t like the overabundance of sexual content in Catwoman #1, then don’t buy Catwoman #2.
I’m not going to.
My apologies for the overall lack of updates, lately. I’ve been busy working on the Hawk & Croc Relaunch for this September ( http://www.HawkandCroc.com coming soon! ), as well as concentrating on some freelance design and illustration gigs. There’ll be more inanity from me soon enough, I’m sure of it.
Alright, did NOBODY else see this coming? Did you all think that Netflix was going to keep both of their streaming and DVD services at dirt-cheap prices forever? Because if you did, you CLEARLY don’t think enough.
This is the way that entertainment companies operate. They offer a service. And then they tie in another service with that first one, for either free or a small additional fee. And once enough people are using the second service, they break it off, and charge full price for it.
And, quite honestly? From all the people I’ve talked to about it, there are VERY FEW PEOPLE who use both the streaming and DVD rentals on an equal level. Everybody seems to have a preference between the physical media or the digital one.
If you ask me? Most people should ditch the discs and stick with streaming. Now, obviously, this model doesn’t work for everybody. But stick with me, here: The more people using the streaming service, the more attention will be put into it. More movies and TV shows will be added to that service. And if you absolutely have to rent a DVD to see a movie AS SOON as it comes out, run down to the grocery store and get it from a Redbox machine. Or, heaven forbid, GO INTO A BLOCKBUSTER!
But, seriously! If you’re all up in arms that Netflix is changing their pricing structure, You need to reconsider your priorities. We’re talking about movies, kids – Those things that distract you from actually contributing anything to society. It’s not that big of a deal. Netflix doesn’t owe you anything. They offer a service, and you can choose whether or not to use them. Flipping out and typing messages in all caps on Facebook isn’t going to fix anything.
Use your head. Dummy.
Remember about two and a half months ago, when I said I officiated a wedding? Here are some photos from that.
There were more relatives and friends than the dozen or so of us that are in these photos, but I didn’t want any of them to be offended by my smarmy captions.
As always, click the photos to make ‘em bigger.
This is not all the custom I’ve worked on… I still have another whole box to put up, and a handful that I’m working on, right now. Plus there’s all the ones I’ve done as gifts and/or sold off. But while I’m in the midst of arranging these, I thought some people might like to take a look at most of the custom figures I’ve made that I still have.
Click the images to make ‘em bigger!
I woke up this morning to something that’s probably pretty common: apparently, overnight, my cup of water somehow got knocked over.
This didn’t seem like a big deal, until I realized that it was my Thor Super Big Gulp cup… which is like a liter of water.
And even worse, it got knocked over… towards my comics. Fortunately, only one comic box was affected, and due to the brilliant way they’re constructed, only one comic was damaged… and it’s a pretty recent issue, so replacing it will only cost about five dollars, max. But let this be a lesson to all you comic collectors out there! Bag (and maybe even board) all your comics!
Polybags should only cost about five-seven bucks per pack of 100, unless your local store is gouging you. And for the price of that five bucks, you will have to replace 100 fewer comics, thanks to things like spilled drinks.
MOST of my stuff is at least bagged; I don’t think adding backing boards to your comics is 100% necessary, although there are lots of collectors who swear by it. But at least bag your comics; that’s why I only had one damaged comic!
(Also, fortunately, I live in the desert, so the air will dry out the box itself without too much of a problem.)
This could’ve been MUCH worse, but was a good reminder that we should all take great care of our paper products!