Rat Creature (ratcreature) wrote,
Rat Creature
ratcreature

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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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*head is so very desky* ARG!

So, lemme get a few things straight here (since I'm too pissed off to go into furthur detail than that):

1) WTF about any of those absudly muscular men says "grace" to these people?!
2) WHY is there no section on sultry men?
3) WHY are there no mentions of men in the "Sex Appeal" section?
4) NO human's body could possibly curve into several fo those positions.
5) WHY is there so much more emphasis on the face and hair of the women than the men? They talk about the eyes alone in several places!
6) WTF is up with these jerks pointing out how very feminist-friendly their art is when it totally fucking isn't? "Don't overpose! That's bad. Just bend them in crazyily uncomfortable and unnatural positions. Don't ever let the women have correct posture, either. We all know women's spines are curved in a natural 's'-shape that doesn't allow them to stand up straight!"
7) Best of all, HOW can they think a skimpy bikini leaves anything to the imagination?

WHY?WHY?WHY?WHY?
I have honestly no idea why they think these things. You know, in the book about "Character Creation" they have a section on "Super Men" (mostly about muscles) and "Super Women" (mostly about boobs") as is expected, but what what threw even me (and my expectations wrt women in Wizard publications are so low I thought I couldn't be surprised anymore) was that in the other chapters "Costumed Vigilantes", "Brutes", "Armored Villains" and "Sidekicks" not a single woman is to be seen, they are in the chapter titled "Vixens" (which funnily enough despite its title features examples of the smallest breasts I have seen in Wizard and the "vixen" is fully clothed with no skin showing anywhere but in the lower half of the face, as the artist in this chapter stresses that "slinky sexy super-chicas need to look good, but that doesn't mean they have to look like they're at the beach"). The only chapter on character archetypes featuring both men and women is "Acrobats". And okay, I can see that the stock character "brute" isn't typically a woman, but sidekicks or costumed vigilantes? Incidentally the only clearly black character in the whole book is in the "Brutes" chapter as well, right next to the gorilla villains...

apey1013

12 years ago

ratcreature

12 years ago

apey1013

12 years ago

Anonymous

8 years ago

lord_dingsi

12 years ago

ratcreature

12 years ago

Anonymous

10 years ago

are u serious?

Anonymous

10 years ago

Re: are u serious?

Anonymous

10 years ago

Re: are u serious?

Anonymous

9 years ago

You're wonderful for posting this.
Thanks.
A lot of people have said a lot of things I wanted to say, and more intelligently than I could manage. Still, THIS is why, when I was six years old and my mother called me "cute", I'd pitch a fit until she never told me I was "cute" again. If I was cute, I couldn't be badass, and I wanted to be badass.

You know, I have to write up a model of an ancient Greco-Roman curse for one of my Classics courses this semester, and I think Wizard Magazine's going to be my target.

*curls up in a corner to listen to the Spice Girls*
You know, I have to write up a model of an ancient Greco-Roman curse for one of my Classics courses this semester, and I think Wizard Magazine's going to be my target.


Heh. Good luck with that. *g*
Hello. I was browsing my way around LJ and found this. Dude. I'm appalled.

Thanks for posting, though. It's helpful to be reminded of why I roll my eyes and get annoyed at comics even more these days.
Yeah, it is really helpful that Wizard was kind enough to provide such a concise and clear overview of the rage inducing things...
I... I know I should be angry. Enraged, something. Mostly, though, I look at it, and I feel *tired*. I feel like, we've fought this so much, so long, and it's still here. Still ingrained into the culture.

I have to remind myself that things *are* better than they used to be. I have to tell myself that. I have to remind myself that giving up and hiding in a corner *won't* change anything. Won't make anything better for me or for other women.

But there are days I *wish* for the isolationist lesbian colony on Mars. Or maybe Pluto. Pluto's far enough away. And I like men, honestly. I'm engaged to one I love very much. *sigh*
Well FWIW I don't really feel angry about this anymore either. I mean, I didn't read superhero comics for the longest time because of their sexism and other ideological problems I have with them, and just stuck with European and alternative US comics (which can of course also be sexist and appalling, but there's a larger variety of styles and genres), but in the end fan pimping on LJ got me into superheroes after not having read more than half a dozen in my first two decades as comic fan. And I made a decision beforehand to mostly just ignore what makes me unhappy, as I was fully aware of all the problems I'd have before getting into it.

Anonymous

9 years ago

Deleted comment

Heh. Ya know, that's exactly what I always say when someone trots out the old "but the guys are exploited too! In their spandex with the bulging muscles." No, the guys are drawn as chaste power fantasties because that's who the fanbase wants to BE and the women are drawn as impossible supermodel sexpots because that's who the fanbase wants to DO. The Other is just so obvious in that mode of thinking.

raptorinblack

11 years ago

ratcreature

12 years ago

Deleted comment

Wizard writer 1: "It's a shrinking market out there. How can we get more people into comics? Girls, for insance?"

Wizard writer 2: "I don't know Ben. Say, is that new drawing guide where we assume in the narration that none of our readers or potential comic book artists willing to learn from our advice are female ready yet?"

Wizard writer 1: "Uh huh."

Wizard writer 2: "Does it have some awkward basement-dwelling-looser humor that shrieks I have never felt the soft caress of a woman other than my mother?"

Wizard writer 1: "Does it ever!"
Yeah, they are kinda hopeless, aren't they?

Are they ever

sylv_

12 years ago

Re: Are they ever

ratcreature

12 years ago

::saw you linked on bookslut::

::read::

::grimaced::

::friended you::

hoping that's okay.
I'm thrilled when people friend me and give reading my LJ a try. :)
1. While many males have NO NIPPLES WHATSOEVER and can be drawn as unclothed shapes without genetalia, most females are nipped out in binikis even while posing as shape models. Because females never lose their sexuality, while comic book males are eunuch-like.
2. A barely-muscled female I can deal with, but the female superheroes section has ribcage showing! Maybe becaue they are contorted and skinny?
Thanks a lot for posting. It was cathartic to rage over.
while comic book males are eunuch-like.

It's probably all those hormones that they need to take for those muscles that make their dicks shrivel up and die... *g*

Re: Two Things

cmwinters

11 years ago

Re: Two Things

lodo_bear

9 years ago

*SCREAM*

He likes "cute" eh? I'LL show the mutherfucker cute! Chauvinist piece of scum.

*so unhappy*
Maybe it'll help to read some cool comics to clean your palate?

you don't know what your talking about.

Anonymous

9 years ago

Anonymous

12 years ago

what the hell man?

Anonymous

9 years ago

Oh, man. I remember reading some of these in Wizard as a teenager, way back in the '90s. They did a "how to draw" feature every month, and it was almost always about drawing either fight scenes or women in bikinis.

Adam Hughes is a hell of an artist, and his pencils here are gorgeous. Too bad every line of his sub-Maxim nudge-nudge text makes me throw up in my mouth a little. Would it have killed him and the Wizard editors to cut the cute stuff and actually tell people how to draw? Jim Balent and Michael Turner are, of course, unsalvageable. Turner's entire career is built on drawing "hot" women, so why is he still so bad at it? His lines are harsh and angular, his faces are squinty afterthoughts, and he seems to have no idea that women have things like ribcages. Don't tell impressionable fourteen-year-olds how to repeat your terrible mistakes, Michael!
Well, I found the chapters that are not dealing with human "anatomy" much better overall, like stuff on pacing or dramatic tension or inking tips. I mean my expectations for Wizard publications wrt women are so low that it didn't suprise me at all.

And Linsner's chapter on Women that I partially scanned for my initial rant when I first bought the book a while back says even less about drawing, he just rambles on for four pages about what he finds hot. The chapter is seriously bizarre, more so than Hughes', IMO:
http://pics.livejournal.com/ratcreature/pic/0003ff38
http://pics.livejournal.com/ratcreature/pic/0003g190

morchades

12 years ago

ratcreature

12 years ago

xoverau

12 years ago

Anonymous

12 years ago

I can't help but think that the underside of some of these guys' drafting tables are awfully sticky. :(



Yeah, it's kind of depressing how logic, anatomy and the requirements of the characterization/story all seem secondary. I mean, I like eye candy as much as the next person (like for example those gratuitous splash panels with Flash collared and/or chained when that doesn't even happen in the story itself work quite well with my own kinks...), but some moderation would be nice, and probably give the occasional porn pose more impact too.
Le sigh. I guess it's not new or anything. When I stand in a comic shop wondering what title I might pick up, I start by filtering out the ones with tits and guns on the covers. And then I have four titles left and it's easy.
I guess if I employed that method I'd safe a lot of money....
*sigh*

I don't know whether I should laugh or cry... I'm honestly a Witchblade fan, mainly because I got into it through the TNT tv series, but actually reading the chapter by Mike Turner gives me the heebiejeebies.

It's like "We know your wife is an underwear model, Mr. Turner, but most New York cops do not. No, not even the women."
I liked the tv series, but never tried the Witchblade comic. Personally I usually go for just ignoring the aggravating parts in a comic or tv series as long as there's enough stuff I like. They don't always make that easy though.
Sigh. One irritatedly expects slurs on fat women, culture being what it is, but I really looooove the part where all nipples point in the same direction and all breasts are the same fullness. Because, women don't actually need to wear bras to achieve that kind of shape! Wonderbras are just a scam!

Don't get me started on the part where even eye shapes are different if you're female. Yeah, my eye's a different shape. We call that the STINKEYE.
Well, I'm actually not as pissed off about the eyes and such, because the thing is that these visual shortcuts to make a face look "female" and the clues to the character type from the way the eyes are drawn work in part because they've become part of the stylization and visual language of Western mainstream comics. Which is kind of depressing in that it is of course sexist, but in the same way that outside of comics many women wear make-up (though I never have) but few men do. OTOH it's also kind of like the huge eyes and non-existent noses in manga, which annoy me to no end because I don't like the look, but not because they're ridiculous from a realism standpoint. When I draw in comic style myself female eyes get visible eyelashes, male eyes don't (though I don't go the route of the complete eye make-up and sultry bed-room eyes), it's just one of those things. I mean Daisy Duck has eyelashes, Donald Duck doesn't, same for Minnie Mouse and Mickey Mouse. No matter the realism level of a Western comic style it's nearly constant.
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