Rat Creature (ratcreature) wrote,
Rat Creature

  • Mood:

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
← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →
I believe the above typo says it all. Yes, breasts certainly are a very touch subject. Unless you're a Wizard reader. @_@; Thanks for posting this, even though I nearly broke my eyes with all the eye-rolling.

May I friend you?
Heh, yeah. That was a nice Freudian slip.

And sure, I'm thrilled when people friend me, though I don't friend back automatically, and I don't make any promises to be consistently interesting. ;)


October 11 2006, 10:11:49 UTC 12 years ago

wow this is pretty much the most disgusting thing i have ever seen, why is it that in comics the woman have to be porn stars? and why do my have to be big slabs of beef? there is a difference between subtle sex-appeal and sluts and there's a difference between well muscled men and a guy on staroids. these go way beyond what's right and it's steryotypes like this that turn people off from comics. A story is just as baddass with a realistic (but still very pretty) woman instead of a skank. It's insultive and comic artists should be encouraged to draw characters that apeal to both genders, if you want to draw skanks there are always openings in the porn industry
Oh...dear. That's really rather upsetting, and gets worse as it goes on.
Oh good grief. Would all of you angst ridden, anger filled, disgusted and offended people get over yourselves. I agree that this article shows that most comic book artists have no idea about what real people look like. Especially how real women look. I was even a bit taken aback by some of the things that were written but come on it's COMIC art. I believe that most of the commentary in these articles was written with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

The comic companies are not looking for realism, they want the surreal, they want something that will take the readers out of the dull boring everyday life that they suffer through. Stories that are impossible, characters that are impossible. They are fantastical in proportion because they are not real.

So what if all the male heroes make Schwarzenegger look like a 5 year old boy? Yes all the women in comics are the misogynists idea of the perfect female body. So what? It is fiction. If the poor boys reading the comics don't figure out that real women do not look like this at least that will keep them from adding to the gene pool.

Now, before you get all upset about how I have no respect for women. Just put that thought out of your mind. I'm married to a wonderful woman who is shaped like a real woman and I find her sexy just the way she is. I have two daughters whom I will protect to the death. I was raised to treat women with dignity and respect. I know that women are not just objects to drool over or to use and abuse. So don't bother calling me a neanderthal or anything like that.

My rant is about people who forget that fiction is just that, Fiction. If you want comics that have real looking people find companies other than Marvel, DC or Image. But never forget that You are getting all worked up over fiction.

I'm not posting anonymously because I don't want to be know. I just don't have a Live journal account.
Yeah well, considering how I actually like a lot about superhero comics (and not just as "default comic genre, I collected comics for two decades already without reading more than a handful of superhero comics when I first got into superhero stuff, seeing how I'm not in the US) I'd rather that genre wasn't misogynist.

And of course I'm "getting worked up" over fiction. First, that's what fans do. I care about comics, I'm invested in them, so of course I'm angry when they suck. It's my hobby, I spend most of my free time on fandom stuff, just as I assume people who build scaled models of historical battlefields or whatever will get worked up over that, when I couldn't care less. And second, just because racism or sexism and the like happen in fiction doesn't mean the attitude isn't real or worthy of objection.

Especially in an medium where fans and creators are in such close contact as in comics it just makes sense to be vocal about your preference. I mean, I *am* their audience. I am the kind of customer they like to have. I collect, I have subscriptions rather than buying just now and then, I spend a ridiculous amount of money every week on their products, so I refuse to go along with their silly preconception that all of their audience is male. It's just not.

Re: Comic Books are FICTION!


11 years ago

I found this on a Google search for drawing tutorials, and after reading all the comments, and being a LiveJournal user myself, I thought I'd post...

First of all, concerning Mike Turner: do not insult an artist for his personal style. Just because he draws unrealistic women, does not mean that he is a bad person or a bad artist.

Secondly: you forget that this is fantasy; it isn't real. Just because something appears one way in real life, does not mean that it has to appear that way in our fantasies, as well. That's the point of fantasy altogether: to escape reality and the ordinary. Fantasy is dependent upon each individual's imagination.

Just because they do not draw the average woman, does not mean that they are yelling at you, "You're not good enough!" I know the following will anger a lot of you. Just hear me out.

Even if people are stupid enough to bash women for not looking like these drawings (i.e. they are silly enough to be unable to distinguish the fantasy from the reality), that does not mean that you are "under attack" for being what you are. The rare few people who are idiotic enough to deny you for not being a super heroine are the ones who aren't good enough for YOU. You are not being called inferior, you are feeling inferior. There is a very large difference.

I am a woman. I am a bisexual. I am attracted to these fantastical women immensely in most cases, in particular the Turner and Lisner women. However, I know the difference. I do not expect women around me, or myself, to ever look like this, nor do I think that it is a healthy thing to aspire to. All of the men I know and have known in my life, even though they, too, are attracted to these girls, understand this as well. We aren't perfect. We have properly proportioned rib cages and we have internal organs. Our breasts are subject to the forces of gravity. I weigh about 115 lbs, I'm 5' 3", my waist is 26" in diameter, and I have B-cup breasts. Compared to the 105 lbs, 5' 9" height, 19" waist, and DD-cup breasts of the average comic book heroine, I'm short, flabby, flat-chested, and pathetic.

But I do not feel inferior while looking at them. Art depends solely upon one's own imagination. I idealize my men and women when I draw. Certainly not to that extent, but I am not about to personally attack, insult, accuse of some sort of intellectual crime, or try to boycott an artist because they don't do what I think should be done.

Once again, I apologize if I've insulted any of you, but this the way I see it. I could understand being upset over a comic book that says outright that everyday women are worthless; but even if there was such a book, I would still stand until the very last moment to defend that artist's right to create his tale the way he wants to. Because I want to preserve the freedom to create mine the way I want to. If you don't like the book, don't read it. If you don't like how Marvel, etc. women are drawn, then don't draw them that way. It's as simple as that.
And I apologize for elaborating on a similar point that was posted above. I didn't see it at the end there.

Re: It's a matter of opinion.


11 years ago

Re: It's a matter of opinion.


10 years ago

Good god.

I just saw this... and I think I've lost five years of my lifespan.

Oops? ;)

I recommend reading some great comics, that works well as an antidote and restores faith in the medium.


12 years ago

I was going to draw a woman according to these instructions, but I just discovered my digital tablet's pen somehow warped at the top and now the eraser won't work and it's $70 to replace the pen and I'm going to go over here and cry now.
That sucks about your tablet. Maybe it's a sign from above to refrain from drawing them like that? ;)
Here via scans_daily and... huh. I can't say I'm particularly surprised, but it is somewhat disappointing. If anything, I'm surprised that it's so blatant and they didn't even try to use a 'draw women in lots of varying ways, but this one is kinda the best'. Guess all that can be hoped for is that the industry will gradually become a bit less sexist. Thanks for posting these, though.
I think part of it may be that these chapters were, afaik, for the most part originally columns in Wizard published over several years, so even if there was a change to be less blatant about the sexism you wouldn't necessarily see it reflected. But yeah, I found it appalling too. I think the main problem is that apparently whenever they did a piece on "drawing women" the only thing coming to their minds was the question of their sex appeal, whereas women characters are often completely absent in other chapters.


12 years ago


12 years ago

Deleted comment


February 12 2010, 06:25:03 UTC 9 years ago

high five!
Y'know, I could live with this--the blatant sexism, the complete contempt for women as characters or anything other than sex objects, the fact that the spine-snapping poses they show off women in are the same as they used to force women into a few centuries ago, etc...

I could accept it. If they just out and out said, "We are in this business to make money. We will most effectively make money by pandering to the desires of pubescent boys and grown men who are still pubescent boys inside because they make up the majority of our readers."

So it'd still be despicable and wrong. At least it would be honest. But instead, they say this:

I fear there are more artists out there who merely wish to pander to the masses than those who wish to create very attractive, yet very three-dimensional and believeable feminine comic book characters. --Yep. And you're one of them.

The Scarlet Witch and the Wasp are powerful women in the Marvel Universe. Adam Hughes... had nothing to do with any of this. Honest. -- Powerful? Not the way you draw them. And as for that last bit, what are you, feeling guilty?

...when I think of sex appeal, the word sensuality springs to mind. In fact, I like to think of it more as "sensual appeal"... sensuality can be much more elegant... -- It's just like in the morning when my dog runs up, with big eyes and her ears down, looking extra-cuteand I know it means I'm gonna be finding crap on the floor somewhere.

...it's body positioning that makes this piece so appealing... By focusing on the female form itself and not just a woman's assets... By leaving it up to the imagination... less revealing in terms of what you show of the actual body... It has more of a natural and realistic curvature to it. -- Wow, he is really laying it on thick. Why doesn't he just hold a big sign up above his head saying "NOT A PERVERT" in neon lights and jump up and down?

Mystique is one of my favorite characters because her natural form is very appealing. Even with all the action scenes she had in the "X-Men" movies, there were never any blatant shots portraying her body in any type of gratuitous way. -- I... am not even going to touch that one. Was Turner watching the same movie I was?

Indicate the muscle masses in the arms, but try not to overemphasize them... (Yes, I know--a woman can have well-defined muscles and still be feminine-looking! So I better not recieve any letters from angry female bodybuilders, okay?) -- o.0 ... The sheer arrogance is unbelieveable.

We all know that breasts come in many different sizes, and one size is no better than the other. Nor do larger breasts on a character make her any less intelligent than characters with smaller breasts. Shut. Up. I am not brain dead, nor will I cry if you suggest that my size isn't the "best" one. (patronizing, lecturing, *grumble, grumble*)

AAUUGGHH! Would it kill them to admit the truth?! Because their condescending, half-hearted, one-line afterthoughts that attempt to appease any female readers (or discerning male ones) really just says to me that they know what they're doing is completely shitty, and they're trying to cover it up (and cover their asses).

Or maybe this is just me. After all my number one pet peeve is people insulting me, and then adding on, "but, y'know, no offense meant," and expecting me to accept that. An insult straight out I can handle calmly; it's when some asshole tries to tack on a disclaimer that I start having visions of ripping open jugular veins with my nails.

Because that's more than just being generally offensive. When people (like the above) try to tack on a freakin' disclaimer, a sop to PC concerns to distract from the real "screw you" message, all it really says to me is that they think I'm either a complete idiot to buy their pathetic little "apologies" or that I'm bright enough to see the insult, but too spineless to speak up and tell them where to shove it.

And that is where I move from frustrated and disappointed in society in general to utterly fucking FURIOUS. You want to objectify and demean my entire gender? Fine. That's your right. But don't you DARE try to justify it.
Yeah, the same thing pissed me off a lot as well.They know they're doing sexist shit and at the same time try to pretend it is not sexist with those partronizing and condescending disclaimers.


12 years ago


12 years ago



I find the comment on not drawing anime-style amusing, seeing as how some anime artists draw much more realistically(proportion-wise) than...than that weird glob of muscle.
Well, the not drawing in anime style is one of the few pieces of advice in these chapters I really didn't mind, since I personally can't stand the way maga and anime are drawn, and for the most part detest the bleedover in styles that sometimes happens.


12 years ago

I'm disgusted--and yet, this is so telling as far as supposed gender equality goes. Our society is so fucked-up when muscular women are "unfeminine" and women must always be drawn as being "soft".

(I seem to remember commenting at you before. Hi!)

And yeah, the sexism is disgustingly blatant. OTOH, at least with these examples they so conveniently provided, even dense readers can't really misunderstand the problem.
To be fair... as a female comic artist (or wannabe artist, or student, whatever) I can't draw men convincingly to save my life (or rather, I can only draw one type well: the pretty girly boy), and I've noticed most men who draw women have the same problem. Try to get fanboys to understand that most women have wide hips - all they can manage to draw is ugly men with gigantic breast implants - the legs are either slim as a boy's or with awkwardly placed muscles, and their hips are so narrow giving birth would be impossible. It's a sad fact that most people who draw cannot possibly draw the opposite gender convincingly. We draw what we know... and judging by their production, most comic artists aren't very well acquainted with the female form, or are too distracted by the breasts to take a good look at the rest. Of course, the real pros don't exactly have this problem - if anyone should be teaching the fanboys to draw sexy girls it should be Milo Manara. The content is sexist, sadly (or at least the things of his I've seen), but his women look gorgeous, have different body shapes and aren't posed quite so unnaturally when compared to your standard comic heroine. The man handles anatomy (and line!) so gracefully this looks like garbage in comparison.

Mind you, I am not saying the comic book industry is not inherently misogynist (well, duh) - I am just saying sexism isn't the only thing to take into account here.
lole lole icon love!
I think the super heroic men section is cool, the perfect lone villian type rather then the sit in the chair villian whilst the robot army does it all
Yeah well, as you may have noticed (or perhaps not if you only read this entry) I have posted scans from that chapter as well in a previous entry, which was when I first discussed the book in my LJ here, among them that very page you posted and onother one from Terry Moore's chapter, so it's really not as if I'm set out to misrepresent the series. I rather liked several chapter from their third book on graphic storytelling, which I have posted in excerpts as well.

Re: The other side of the story


10 years ago

← Ctrl ← Alt
Ctrl → Alt →

Comments for this post were locked by the author