Rat Creature (ratcreature) wrote,
Rat Creature

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how to draw female comic characters (according to Wizard)...

brown_betty asked for examples "to illustrate the exactly how and why female comic characters are illustrated differently than the male." And I thought, really, what's better to illustrate these things than the books teaching the style in the first place?

A while ago I posted some scans from Wizard How To Draw series on drawing female superheroes (here and here), and I thought I'd post a bunch more from the first book of the series on "How To Draw: Heroic Anatomy".

There's 19 large page scans behind the cut...Collapse )

ETA (11 April 2010): Thanks to LJ's new comment option I can now freeze the post without deleting previous comments. I'm sorry I'll be missing out on some interesting comments, but I'm sick of getting offensive, sexist drivel dumped in my journal in a years old post.
Tags: books about comics, comics, comics: how to draw, comics: meta, drawing, drawing books, scans, scans: drawing books
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This helps alot
Really hope I just didn't type a double negative title.

The sheer stupidy is just to much to bear that I'm hoping I manage to leave something coherent because I seriously want to hit all of you in the face with a brick repeatedly... Okay I'm ready deep breath.

I like to say this, it's fantasy things are exagerrated. I'm aspiring artist more accurately a comicbook artist I own about 10 'How To' comic anotomy books similar to these. What I can't take is the hypocrasy and man hating feminist that know nothing of the genre, in all seriousnes what is with the constant spamming of basically "OMG it's NOT REALISTIC". No way!? Did Superman tell you that after his battle with Lex Luthor of coarse it isn't! It's targeted at hormonal social recluses/ that nerd you turned down in highschool.
But I'm not reaching you am I? I'm not nailing the spike of what I'm trying to say through this rage into your forhead? Comics with plain looking girls vise versa like the one's you leave out of your little social circles don't work not action comics anyway. Because superheroe comics are not about real life, real life sucks that's why most of you have a facebook/myspace and pretend your opinion matters. Their windows into a world where losers are givin an opportunity of greatness.
If reality ever made it's dirty contradicting fingers into comics Batman would be your typical celebutant rich boy, Superman a mass mudering dictator of earth and Wonderwoman would of stayed in her feminest paradise.
It's like your treating this as real world guide to female anotomy!



January 11 2010, 13:05:21 UTC 9 years ago

This is funny in a bad way, and I'm a straight guy... I have to say the best female form in the whole thing was the one Turner drew where she's lying down. at least she looks like she isn't suffering back problems.
OTOH, it is upsetting, yes. But it's nothing to go crazy over. The comic people are targeting their main fan base by drawing women like that: men.
Though a lot of those women are fairly boring clones...and Jim Balent? When has any person ever rolled with their legs and arms pointed out??
As an artist I also have to wonder why they all wear high heels...doesn't seem like it would be easy to fight anything in those.
First of all, this is not a comment to downrate anyone or what have been said...but I think a lot of people are out of context. As someone stated further in the comments, this is NOT reality, the artists in their are not force-fedding you the image of what a woman or a guy should look like. They are talking towards the drawing itself!
I don't either want to make assumptions but I don't think a lot of the people who flamed this article actually ever lifted a pen to draw. This guide is really helpful as tips for proportions. They are obviously exaggerated but the real proportions are there...7 and a half head for a female 8 and a half for a guy...the rest is just sprinkles...And as someone else stated, this is about superheroes with supposedly superpowers so it is normal that they look over exaggerated in every way possible, big breasts, accentuated curves for the back, the "S" shaped back...We know nobody can stay like this for hours in real life but that is the point. It is not real. Nor realistic.

Also, the article and the artists as well are clearly not trying to put this as "A guide on how the perfect Man and Woman should look like". It is clearly on a drawing and art state of mind, not reality. It frustrates me to see that even a drawing on a piece of paper can cause that many reactions. Most of us a confronted with violence in the media, at work, in schools, school shootings, racism, exclusion, poverty and the list could be long about the flaws of society.

And don't get me wrong, I am definitely not defending the hypersexualisation (sorry if the word is wrong but I am french) of women in our society, I participate in an anti-rape group and activism towards equality between men and women but this, is really least of a concern...You will agree with me that the majority of comic readers, I am sorry if I offend anyone, are majorily masculine, in between the age of 13 to 35 probably still living in their parents basement and don't really take those kind of figures as models...Plus, besides the look, comics actually give sort of good values(except some cases obviously), by example, justice, equality, not to steal, not to be violent (even though more than never, violence is the way of resolving the problems), acceptance etc.

The looks are just shiny...recreating on paper what can't be done in real life...The point is to dream, step out of the ordinary.
There is no man flying in between buildings in red and blue stockings nor a woman flying in an invisble airplane or a guy with metal claws at the tip of his hands. It's food for thought. Fantasising. And don't try to take this out on me, everyone fantasise. It's part of the human being...

I'm sorry for the book but these were my two cents...I draw an awful lot and this guide was really helpful. Too bad people can't see past the images and see the technique and the work involved in this.

Last thing, this is my angry comment: If you hate those comics and the image of woman displayed like this so bad, go out and take actions on parents that dress their little girls like street workers, people who horribly display their child as meat for the eye in shows like "Toddlers and Tiaras" on TLC. THIS is disgusting. Live images of REAL little girls and parents showing them off as they were meat on the market.
Go burn down magazine buildings like Cosmo and such that try to dictate how thin a woman should be. These are drawings FFS. Not tengible stuff that is in your face every freaking day.
This culture (i.e. comics and such) are relatively marginal compared to what we are shown everyday in publicity and in the media.
Like I said earlier, I am for the equality of men and woman and against the abuse of sexual image of woman in society but geez...calm down, those are only drawings.

Whoa! I remember reading some of these in Wizard as a teenager, way back in the '90s, I can't help my self reading! I remember when my mother told me to bought her a plus size gowns for my cousin's debut, and luckily I found the Linsner's chapter on Women, I rent it! It is partially scanned for my initial rent when I first bought the book, but still worth reading for. Now I have a collection of this books! Better post the pictures of my collection...I'll be right back to post my pic!
I think that the anger about the way that the women comic book figures is hypocrytical. Both men and women are subject to steryo types. If you don't like it don't read it. You are perfectly free to make your own comic books that depict women and men exactly how you want. But you don't, you just critisize other people it's just about control...
Hey I found this article and its pretty cool, does any one know what this book is called?
I give the title in the post. It is called "How To Draw: Heroic Anatomy" the first of so far four books of that Wizard series.
i've actually been at work all night bored off my ass trying for hours to figure this stuff out. i've got more than a page and a half drawn up just from looking at this stuff for 20 mins. the two features i could never get right were the eyes and lips. but now i got a pretty good idea, thank you


February 12 2010, 22:15:42 UTC 9 years ago

Getting offended by the artist's perspective on how to draw women is absurd. It is "his" perspective, this doesn't make it real or for the most part entirely false. There is some truth in his guide, like the person a few posts above me pointed out: Women being around 7 1/2 heads tall is correct, though of course they could be 8 as well. But that isn't the point, the point is their is some truth to the guide.

If anyone becomes offended with the guide, then they have to be offended with american culture. Because for the most part this is how a mass majority view women, why do you think its done that way? Because its appealing. If it wasn't aimed towards a majority then it would never had been done this way.

Truth be told, the last time I seen art that really captures women is the renaissance era. Women consists of more than just big breasts and unrealistic S shapes. Most artists can't capture the essence of a woman because they believe that breasts = woman. Nothing really to get offended about, its absurd. I guess men should get offended how marvel draws men too. Since they are usually super muscular.

None the less, if you want a change to how women are viewed then it has to be changed in society first. There is nothing wrong with wanting to have women captured in the proper manner but until things are changed they'll keep doing art work that appeals to the multitude.


February 24 2010, 20:27:08 UTC 9 years ago

I think Ian Churchill read that chapter on "Sex Appeal". I swear that girl with the hair in her mouth looks just like his Supergirl.
Eyeliner and everything.
You know, I read this post years ago and ended up having such a rage blackout over some of the comments to it that I could barely breathe.

It never would have occurred to me that four fucking years later people would still be commenting to it saying that there's nothing wrong with any of this and that women are man-haters and stupid for being offended. I just, really? Part of me is seriously hoping that you've attracted one actually mentally ill person who can't stop commenting.

In any case, I wanted to throw my two cents into the arena: thank you for posting this. I recently got back into comics (*shakes fist at Adventure Comics and Red Robin*) and have been devouring back issues of Birds of Prey and Catwoman. It's utterly sickening to me that even in these titles with awesome, well rounded characters who happen to be women, they're still all about the ballon-boobs, pouty lips, and cookie-cutter faces. I've had to walk away from more than one issue because I just couldn't stand to see one more panel drawn like that.

This shit matters. Thank you for posting.
Unfortunately I think it is really many people. I get emails every now and then too. And actually as I screen anon comments to deal with trolls and spam there were some that I haven't unscreened. Though the worst IMO are the ones with complete reading comprehension fail, who thank me for posting such great tutorials that "helped" them draw women.


9 years ago

Girls commenting here should read this... I know they wont feel happy but at least they will have the point of view of another female comic fan.
Pardon my language, but the woman who wrote that article is a FUCKING MORON.

She says in the article that "The core of this argument seems to be whether or not superhero comics being for boys is a bad thing," which is so completely missing the point that it's not even funny. This has nothing to do with that; it's about fucking artistic integrity and the incredibly negative nature of modern societal norms. The view that teenaged boys see females as nothing more than sex objects is incredibly harmful to both women and men; it turns both sexes into nothing more than one-dimensional, animalistic beasts -- as if humans are completely controlled by their "instincts." How can anyone who lives in the real world believe that?

And why, exactly, should comics that are "aimed at men" be drawn any differently than those "aimed at women"? Gender is not a goddamn dichotomy; it's a spectrum, or, perhaps, a pool -- undefined, undefinable. -- But no matter what our identity is, we all visually see the world in the same way, don't we? A square is a square is a square, no matter who looks at it, no matter what label people give it. And that's the thing: the figurative art of most comics is based in reality -- it's based in accurately portraying the human body -- so how the fuck can you say that any of the above illustrations are accurate? They're caricatures and exaggerations; women who look like that are one-in-a-billion in the real world, just as those male illustrations are unreal, also.


And can I just say? WE'RE NOT UPSET ABOUT THIS BECAUSE "THIS ISSUE IS NEW TO US." IT'S NOT FUCKING NEW. We all grew up with this shit. We're upset because IT'S WRONG. And saying that "for me, it’s a part of the scenery I can’t get too worked up over" -- that you're desensitized to this issue -- IS NOT AN EXCUSE. IT MEANS YOU'VE LOST SIGHT OF REALITY, OR GIVEN UP ON IT.

It just -- oh my god, I'm so overcome with rage at the moment that I can't form coherent thoughts.



April 11 2010, 05:54:21 UTC 9 years ago

are you guys all retarded? like have you seriously ever read a comic in your life?

- first off if you have read a comic, why are you all arguing about how "unreal" they appear to make their women? i mean c'mon how real is it for people to shoot lazer beams from their eyes, but thats just the point, ITS NOT REAL! so what if she is contorted into an unusual pose, its not real life.

-secondly, not a single one of you have the kind of reputation in comic art as these fine artists in the book.

- not to mention that if you don't like their art, then pay them no mind, who are you to judge them?

personally i enjoyed this book and i believe that it has helped me become a better artist... before reading this book i couldn't draw women worth a crap, they all looked like men with mullets, but now when i over exaggerate their feminine side they actually appear like women on the paper. EVER NOTICE HOW UNREAL ANIME LOOKS? these kind of styles are *ABSTRACT* forms of art

*Abstract- thought of apart from concrete realities, specific objects, or actual instances: an abstract idea
are you guys honestly enraged by this book because its not showing REALITY? if we drew our comic books and heroes depicting real life, and the way that actual humans looked like..... LOL *(heres a lil fun fact for you, Percent of noninstitutionalized adults age 20 years and over who are overweight or obese: 67% (2005-2006)*

so going off that statistic almost 7 out of 10 comic heroes would be overweight, and that does not mean muscle mass by the way lol, who wants to read about a couple of chunckers dueling it out?

my gratitude to you boys who have enough sense to understand that comic books are not supposed to portray real life, duh

(statistics found at:http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/overwt.htm)
Hi there sockpuppet. Yes, I can see that the comment directly above is also from you even though you did not bother to sign it, since I log IP addresses of anon comments and the two have the same posted a few minutes apart.
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