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Male Gaze Comix

Totenkindly

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Yeah, so this happened.

A Spider-Man comic book illustrator lashed out at a Tumblr user who edited his cover to be less sexual. It unearthed a brewing culture war.

It's interesting to see the various comments from either side about it.

But frankly Campbell is a flake. I remember when he was the "new big thing" because I think he won a contest or something (I could be off there, it's been many many years, maybe it was Gen 13 he came in on? Again... so many years ago), and ended up trying to start his own book (Danger Girls -- sexy girl spies) but flaked out because he couldn't keep up with the publishing schedule. He started because he was drawing pin-ups, and ongoing claim to fame again seemed to be from drawing pin-ups even when he got some high-profile assignments. I haven't really paid much attention to him until this bit, so maybe he's improved a bit since then.

But seriously -- it does make you wonder if he knows any women in real life or if he is only watching models and social media influencers. He's good at pin-ups, I suppose. I'd rather have Terry Moore or a Chris Bachalo or a host of other artists draw women. Even Adam Hughes could do pin-ups at times, but generally they still seemed like real women and mostly respectable. This kind of crap from Campbell -- seriously, 95% of women don't look like that, and sitting like that when you're supposedly alone drinking coffee in your house? Seriously? That's a pose just meant to get google-eyes. it looks impossibly uncomfortable -- the way she's sitting on her leg, the inverse locking of the arms, the hip/waist/torso tilt. Geez.

a968fffadaaaa5c4e3ac8484e53655fa


I mean, whatever he wants to draw -- fine. But at least own it. At least MJ on the right has actual human proportions.

All I can remember is that he's the same guy who basically tried to transition from being a pin-up artist to a comic-book artist and kept flaking out, and he's still insecure. Again, look at Adam Hughes as a counter example, he owns his work and feels like he's trying to improve as an artist regularly.
 

John Catstentine

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Yeah, so this happened.

A Spider-Man comic book illustrator lashed out at a Tumblr user who edited his cover to be less sexual. It unearthed a brewing culture war.

It's interesting to see the various comments from either side about it.

But frankly Campbell is a flake. I remember when he was the "new big thing" because I think he won a contest or something (I could be off there, it's been many many years, maybe it was Gen 13 he came in on? Again... so many years ago), and ended up trying to start his own book (Danger Girls -- sexy girl spies) but flaked out because he couldn't keep up with the publishing schedule. He started because he was drawing pin-ups, and ongoing claim to fame again seemed to be from drawing pin-ups even when he got some high-profile assignments. I haven't really paid much attention to him until this bit, so maybe he's improved a bit since then.

But seriously -- it does make you wonder if he knows any women in real life or if he is only watching models and social media influencers. He's good at pin-ups, I suppose. I'd rather have Terry Moore or a Chris Bachalo or a host of other artists draw women. Even Adam Hughes could do pin-ups at times, but generally they still seemed like real women and mostly respectable. This kind of crap from Campbell -- seriously, 95% of women don't look like that, and sitting like that when you're supposedly alone drinking coffee in your house? Seriously? That's a pose just meant to get google-eyes. it looks impossibly uncomfortable -- the way she's sitting on her leg, the inverse locking of the arms, the hip/waist/torso tilt. Geez.

a968fffadaaaa5c4e3ac8484e53655fa


I mean, whatever he wants to draw -- fine. But at least own it. At least MJ on the right has actual human proportions.

All I can remember is that he's the same guy who basically tried to transition from being a pin-up artist to a comic-book artist and kept flaking out, and he's still insecure. Again, look at Adam Hughes as a counter example, he owns his work and feels like he's trying to improve as an artist regularly.

yeah, tbh i just viewed the original as the transistional work of a pin up artist trying to break into comics. totally unrealistic but not really any different than some stylistic disney choices between their fairy tale movies in the old days. there's a certain aesthetic appeal but it can be immersion breaking if your expecting something different. I was like that with cell shaded vg at first, and more simplistic animation style in cartoons. but like I grew out of it; and i can appreciate the differing aesthetics.I like the tumblr redo too; it would be preffered for me to be engaged in the comic outside of a pin up exhibition. :shrug:

Im really not looking forward to this culture war. sexy comes in pretty much every shape and size apart from fascists lol people let artist make pin up mj, let a fan make non pin up mj:(
 

Doctor Anaximander

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even the MJ pose on the right doesn't look super comfortable. Like, wouldn't her legs fall asleep after sitting in that position for too long? But it is an improvement on the left.

I'm all for less idealized depictions of women in comics and super hero media, though I'd like to see that extend to males too, some of whom look hilariously roided out. It all sets an unrealistic physical ideal that most young people will never be able to attain, and will only feel more inadequate for failing to live up to.
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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even the MJ pose on the right doesn't look super comfortable. Like, wouldn't her legs fall asleep after sitting in that position for too long? But it is an improvement on the left.

I'm all for less idealized depictions of women in comics and super hero media, though I'd like to see that extend to males too, some of whom look hilariously roided out. It all sets an unrealistic physical ideal that most young people will never be able to attain, and will only feel more inadequate for failing to live up to.

I definitely get that this isn't the point of this discussion at all (it's not really about what I think), but just as an observation, I find MJ on the right to be much more attractive than the one on the left, which just looks really artificial. I'm curious about how a lot of men got the "idea" (I'm sure it goes deeper than that) that the woman on the left is more attractive. Porn? Airbrushing in magazines? Celebrity plastic surgery? Why would I be programmed differently, especially since lots of people like to talk about how "objective" these things are?

I guess I wonder what the hell is going on here psychologically/socially.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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I definitely get that this isn't the point of this discussion at all (it's not really about what I think), but just as an observation, I find MJ on the right to be much more attractive than the one on the left, which just looks really artificial. I'm curious about how a lot of men got the "idea" (I'm sure it goes deeper than that) that the woman on the left is more attractive. Porn? Airbrushing in magazines? Celebrity plastic surgery? Why would I be programmed differently, especially since lots of people like to talk about how "objective" these things are?

I guess I wonder what the hell is going on here psychologically/socially.

They’re both depicted a bit too porny for my tastes but I prefer the right one
 

Julius_Van_Der_Beak

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They’re both depicted a bit too porny for my tastes but I prefer the right one

The microjaw inverted tear-drop face is still a bit much, I agree. Also, you're right about the pose being awkward. I don't think anyone would hold a cup of hot coffee with their legs like that.
 

John Catstentine

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MJ never struck me as the kind to really wait up on Peter PArker while he was out spidermaning, she always seemed like she would have a lot going on...
 

EcK

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I prefer the less 'sexy' one, which looks like a real (attractive) human woman. The sexed-up original makes no sense - not believable at all.
Same reason i get annoyed by 'bikini armor' in RPGs. It's bullshit and breaks immersion.
 

Doctor Anaximander

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This chick tried to recreate the original pose

Mx5GAGU.jpg


But it’s not perfect. Even here, she’s still posing a bit more naturally and relaxed than MJ in the original art.

But uhh otherwise nice job :wubbie:
 

Totenkindly

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Wasn't this like 12 years ago?

Yes, the original art was from 2009.

Apparently the social media floof was recently, which is why it is back in the news. Otherwise it might have stayed dead.

I definitely get that this isn't the point of this discussion at all (it's not really about what I think), but just as an observation, I find MJ on the right to be much more attractive than the one on the left, which just looks really artificial. I'm curious about how a lot of men got the "idea" (I'm sure it goes deeper than that) that the woman on the left is more attractive. Porn? Airbrushing in magazines? Celebrity plastic surgery? Why would I be programmed differently, especially since lots of people like to talk about how "objective" these things are?

I guess I wonder what the hell is going on here psychologically/socially.

Maybe it's also more of an artistry problem -- basically comic book artists who instead of learning how to draw from various sources (including other art forms and just natural drawing) instead learned how to draw from looking at lots and lots of comic books. Leading to distortions of human form or accentuation of certain traits. You aren't actually seeing 'people' in their natural form any more, you are seeing people a few steps away from people as far as what the human body actually looks like. Kind of like a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, rather than a copy of the original.
 

John Catstentine

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Yes, the original art was from 2009.

Apparently the social media floof was recently, which is why it is back in the news. Otherwise it might have stayed dead.



Maybe it's also more of an artistry problem -- basically comic book artists who instead of learning how to draw from various sources (including other art forms and just natural drawing) instead learned how to draw from looking at lots and lots of comic books. Leading to distortions of human form or accentuation of certain traits. You aren't actually seeing 'people' in their natural form any more, you are seeing people a few steps away from people as far as what the human body actually looks like. Kind of like a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy, rather than a copy of the original.

You can totally see that. In the Early 90s in one of my schools a lot of the straight boys got really into collecting marvel cards. Then in the early aughts, comics started coming out where the characters, men and women were just impossible. The men were like impossible roided mountains of muscle and the women were waspy almost insectile proportions. It was almost like the illustrated uncanny valley was being drawn by someone who had looked too deeply into a lovecraftian lingerie catalogue. I totally believe it's from learning how to draw people by just basing the character models on previously existing animation instead of actual people...
 
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