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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No wonder the Bride of Frankenstein is so angry at the end. It's ridiculous how the scale of gender, or more accurately in this book, "sex" is tipped in a very unbalanced way.

Not overposed my ass.
I cant find that book anywhere in my country...Is there any way if You could post more pages cuz it's really amazing and easy to learn from...please...all the best
I have a couple of other excerpts posted from this series, but I don't have the time or interest to scan the whole books. You could try a search of torrent and pdf book sites, there are a lot of drawing book scans out there, it's quite likely someone else already scanned this series.



February 7 2009, 19:36:13 UTC 10 years ago

umm. breasts aren't turned over teacups plastered to a woman's chest. and even sultry women have pupils, not hollow white dead space on their face. this guy must be a necrophiliac since he draws his women to look dead. that's probably the only way he can get any. and if any man had that much muscle, it would be even harder for him to fight, run, or leap tall buildings. a human skeletal system, even a "lengthened, more regal" one, couldn't support that musculature. and the laws of physics still apply; the downward force of gravity is proportionate to your mass, which his superheroes have a shit-ton of.

Why do people who think they know things, but actually don't, feel like they have to spread their ignorance with the rest of the world? Its people like that who make our planet terrible.



February 20 2009, 07:39:48 UTC 10 years ago

Can I just point out to everyone crying 'sexist' here that the representation of males above is just as unrealistic and objectifying as the representation of women?

This is because 'basic training' is a book on how to draw COMICS that, by definition, feature exaggerated and highly stylized drawings of both men and women. Comics aren't supposed to be realistic.

Yes, I wont argue that the above women have bodies that simply wouldn't be able to exist in real life with double-D breasts and 18 inch waists. However, in the examples above, Daredevil has wrists that are bigger than my thigh, a six pack you could strike a match on and an impossibly masculine square jaw.

Long story short, there's nothing 'sexist' about the above for the simple reason the men are as unrealistic as the women. Most men could mainline steroids and spend every waking second in the gym and we'd never even come close to Superman or Batman's physique.

Long story short, the women have impossibly big breasts, impossibly tiny waists and wear a postage-stamp sized costumes...but the men have slab-sized pecs, eighty-inch biceps and wear spandex costumes that look like they've been sprayed on.

Check out the mens' cocks. Or lack thereof.

Yeah, it's sexist, pal. Muscular does not equal sexually objectifying.

Yaaaawn, when will you losers come up with some NEW strawmen? This one is ancient.
Let me note that I haven't seen the whole book, just the pictures posted on here.

Superheroes in comics are always exaturated.

Plus all the poses that are posted on this page are natural, so I don't know what that's about.

If you guys never seen girls with that kind of body, well just know I'm one with that kind of body.

I agree that the Frankestine girl looks wacky, but the other girls seem pretty normal to me.
what the hell do supermen always have frekin knickers and thights on!!
are the people who draw them gay? why not give them boxers OR TROUSERS!!!
it puzzles me it really does.

I ve gotta draw super heros for gcse art, and i tell you, there will be no knickers! lol
Its officially known, ev en though not many people admit it, that teenagers look at the sort of things illustrated above, and well, probably get off on it.
but the thing about this is, the above is
1- (men) creepily big abs ect, just makes them look ugly
2- (women) Unrealistic figure
3- (costumes) its like frekin spandex, if you saw a 5 billion ton man with 5 billion ton abbs wearing spandex busting out of the water on tv, 1- you would boke and 2- you would burn your eyes.

Its ok for people to look at this and probably "get exited" or find it attractive, as it is not disrespectful to women or men as THERE NOT IN ANY WAY EVER GOING TO BE REALISTIC!
comics like this should be 18s,
comics should have more realistic figures.
I myself dont read comics, as there too well, just too plain
1- sick cause of the man abs
2- porn like because of the girls
and im not a pron watcher.
so DC, MARVEL and w.e else, GET REALISTIC!



May 3 2009, 17:39:09 UTC 10 years ago

Reading the other comments, I can tell people are disgusted by this. I can't tell the specifics though. Are people angry because they think this is degrading to women, sexist, unrealistic or the wrong focus for the comic book industry?

I didn't see anything wrong with Michael Turner's portion. He said the complete opposite of "draw boobs". He shared some real insight to what he felt was sexy. I am assuming the issue with his section was that people don't like sex appeal mixed in with comics.

As for male anatomy portion, I would expect that a guy who can lift a building would be big. If comic book artists started drawing males as normal sized people, it would be unrealistic in a different way. No one can win an argument like that.

Another note: Jim Balent was NOT the right choice for that last section..
Are people angry because they think this is degrading to women, sexist, unrealistic or the wrong focus for the comic book industry?

Yes. All of this. It's not either the one or the other. Except that few object to it being "unrealistic" in the sense of not making sense in RL, which clearly superhero comics don't in general, but unrealistic within the fantasy premise. E.g.a non-invulnerable, human woman fighting crime (like say Huntress) would wear body armor (like Batman does), not a bare midriff exposing her more, especially not after having been shot in the belly in the past, iirc. That kind of costume is clearly ridiculous and just there because someone wants to use action adventure as porn, when it would be much more sensible to buy and sell porn for porn purposes, and do eye candy only within the limits of what makes sense for the story telling.
I don't see why people are in "rage" just because of few pictures. I don't find them sexist or offensive in any aspects because it is how the artists likes his men or women to be. So why it is wrong to draw things the way we like?

I have to admit that when I first saw those drawings on Michael Turner's section, I was amazed. I mean he got a talent. Sure some of his comments or ideas might seem sexist to you, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't mean it. He is just saying how an ideal woman looks like in his eyes. So why all the hate just because some people like to draw the way they want their characters to be?

And from what I've seen, these kind of poses usually used for covers, to attract people to it. While I have to disagree on establishing laws on how men and women should look like in comics. I see them as guidelines, not strict rules telling me how to draw women in my comic strips. The great Stan Lee said it himself in How To Draw Comics In Marvel Way (amazing book!).

For example, I like the open bright eye more than the sexy one. Why? Because it is the way I want my girls to look like. Seriously people! You need to chill. Stop getting mad over couple of drawings that you find them sexist. It is a matter of opinion like many users before me said.
I find it unbelievable to imagine an overly buffed out guy. "Trenin" who is apparently "A god!" doesn't even seem believable. I went and checked out some Greek drawings of Zeus and you wouldn't believe that the most womanizing god in Greek Mythology is more portrayed as what seems to me as a horny old goat! NOT Arnold Schwarzennager from his T-1, T-2 "Glory Days"! Honestly, I'd rather see a more realistic side of the male anatomy. Instead of showing me America's take on Zeus, show me Raiden and Solid Snake of Metal Gear Solid! They are more toned than buffed!

As for the female, I'm too sickened to make a comment. If you are having trouble drawing a character for whatever you're doing, draw them based on their personality not on a damn swim-suit/undergarment/lingerie magazine! If my female character was to have a dark, morbid feel about her, then she will be drawn as such in my perspective, NOT to appeal to the mass majority of horny comic book nerds that can't handle a girlfriend or a relationship! But that's just my take on this. However, in Michael Turner's part of "Sex Appeal" I find it funny that his character figures for that part have a wierd resemblance to Laura Croft or that's just the hysteria of sexism of American comics being shoved down this country's throat!
If comics looked more realistic, then I'd expect the women to be more androgynous in terms of dress (more combat boots and army uniforms, less skin or no skin at all), be short-haired (because it's more practical that way), muscular hands and would look more like an actual female fighter than a feminine fighter who prances around in tights and a Playboy body.

On the other hand, if they taught you artistic realism, then it's a good thing.
I have talked to many people about this including my band mate and my girlfriend and we all agree that the style of art is provocative and slightly vulgar but that is the Mythology of it. I mean, think about it. If you saw a guy the size of "Raiden" pick up a truck and chuck 200 yards you would not be able to believe that as much as a God like figure doing the same action.

And as for the other side of things. We all agree that sexism is present but have you ever seen a fat chick in spandex? Not a pretty sight at all! And that's just it. It's meant to be aesthetically pleasing to our eyes not make us question it's realism. If it was meant to be realistic then no one would have superpowers and it would be an animated cop/detective show/comic. And as for the person who is angry about the sexism of comics but claims she likes comics, look at your logic real closely please. If all comics are sexist and provocative and you hate that how could you possibly like comics? If you don't like it don't read it. The fact that it is art means you cannot change what they are going to do because art is meant for one-self. If you want to do something "artsy" for other people get into a design field and stop bickering and bashing on other peoples work. It's sickening.


June 22 2009, 09:40:37 UTC 9 years ago

You know, it's kind of amazing how over time one goes from accumulating mostly agreement to the kind of paranoid, hyperbolic resentment of your observation seen on the last couple of pages. It's kind of depressing, in a way.

(To be fair, the only comic book heroine I really like in the superhero genre is Oracle. Maybe followed by Kitty Pryde, Vixen and Storm. Thing is, all of these characters have actually had some kind of violence committed against them in the comics that took them out of the running for a while. It says something about American males, I think, that they're unable to confront. If they didn't feel threatened by a woman commenting on women, regardless of fiction--and, if they had two brain cells to rub together, considering that people have been commenting on people in fiction since the Ramayama was composed--perhaps maybe they'd agree. Yeah, it would be nice if women looked more like women, and had individual characteristics--she has a charming laugh, she's a great dancer, she's a really crazy, funny gal. It would enrich their life a little. Instead, we get these nihilistic shells of men who prefer to consort with their left hand in quiet places, who are generally brutish and off-putting and unrefined.

A Moroccan poetess once declared that to look upon an ugly man was a sickening thing. What they don't realize, it seems, is that boorishness is just as repugnant as anything their narrow little minds can cook up.)
While I tend to agree that comics have become more aesthetically exhorbinant than may need be to blur the line between reality and fiction, I have a few counterpoints to what seems to be a mostly negative view of popular western comics... and here they are...

- About 200 years ago and for a long time before then... you know, when SLAVERY was still around (much moreso than these days), it was still preferable for women TO BE "plump," and fair skinned, it indicated wealth and attractiveness via the fact that curvier, fair skinned women didn't do manual labor in the sun all day and had the cash to eat three squares, (rich). Nowadays... tanned, skinny, "bitches," get all the attention, 'cause that, presently, indicates wealth and attractiveness. Ergo, in those olden' times, painters painted "more realistic," women according to modern/feminist thought, when truthfully, that was just as misleading and elitist as is modern aesthetics. Unfortunately, even then, there were a large amount of women UNDERfed, UNDERprivelaged and TANNED and NOT sought out to be "artists models". My point being that aesthetics have, and will continue to, change with time. For those of you angry that your body type is not the predominant "fashion," of the times and are not the ideal of the common modern life-partner, I'm sorry,truly... neither is my body type for the current trends... but I still have a mate. Artists, however, are entitled to interpret their vision of a more hyperbolized and/or personalized version of their version of sexuality/reality now more than ever.

- For those who think that SOLELY the female body in comics is exaggerated for the purpose of sexual exploitation, you need only look at those comics again with a purely unbiased view to see that men are just as unfairly represented. While you may think that comics in the popular vein represent the female sex as an object, what those same artists THINK is attractive about men to their counterparts, (gay, straight, whatever) are equally accentuated in their opinions and artwork of what is most culturally or personally attractive about the male sex (strength, figure and character...?). While the artist bends to commercial viability in order to feed his/her family, women and men alike, it is not the duty of every artist to ensure sexual equality but to get their story's moral, which may be very separate from sexual equality, to the most commercially viable venue possible such that it reaches the maximum amount of people possible... that is what SALES is all about. While we all wish we as a people were enlightened enough to look past the physical, very few of us are able to. There will always be people that disagree with the status quo. There will always be a majority influence. There will always be a dichotomy between the two.

I have a few more counterpoints, but this thread is old and I am tired of defending logic and historical proofs. As a last thought I understand that the only feminist arguement left is that this has always been a male dominated world and is governed as such... I do not disagree. However, I am tired of the amount of criticism and complaints and the lack of any real ACTION by any person of any race, creed or sex to peacefully and openly rectify their peoples reputation, powerlessness/fulness and/or flaws. Art may be judged and discussed, but you will never kill it's ideals, whether you disagree with any one facet of it or not...

anon. I don't have an acct. but my name is dave
I'm quite honestly surprised at how deeply all of you looked into this, especially ratcreature.

It's comic book art. Things are going to be over-exaggerated. ESPECIALLY women. I mean, honestly, examine the ratio of guys:girls who read comic books, and who have read them since they started. Of course the artists are going to try to appeal to guys, because the comics will sell more. Of course those guys are overly muscular. Because it's a comic. Of course that lady is going to be bending in an unnatural way. Because it's a comic.

Essentially, what I'm trying to say here is:

Get over it.
You are honestly telling a comic book fan not to look "deeply" into comics? You realize how ridiculous that is, yes? Unless you are one of those people who like to lecture random others about the validity of spending time on their hobbies in general. I wouldn't BE a comic book fan if I didn't want to pay attention to comics.

I won't selectively not pay attention to comics's sexism, while otoh spending a lot of time making sense of continuity and timelines, discussing theories about how certain superpowers work, being interested in creators, style and history, drawing fanart and reading fanfic.

Re: Take a chill.


9 years ago

Re: Take a chill.


9 years ago

Re: Take a chill.


9 years ago

Re: Take a chill.


9 years ago

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