Saturday, February 21, 2009

Comic books and boobs


What's up with comic book boobs?

No, not just the absurdly big ones, although they're part of it.

Are there any comic book artists out there who draw more than one kind of boobs?

There are tons of artists who draw the absurdly big ones, as I'm sure you've noted. Too many of them look remarkably like they were modeled on fake boobs, at that, but that's not the point here either.

There are a few who draw the cutesy little poky boobs.

There are the fewest still, it seems, that draw them in the average range.

But having lived a long life in which I've spent more of that time than I ought to have observing women's breasts, I have to say that if there's one thing that's clearly true. In the real world, breasts vary greatly and regularly in size and shape. It's part of what keeps them interesting to keep observing, I think...

But is there even one comic book artist that draws them with variety?

Seriously. I'd like to hear an answer of just one, and it has to be a real variety, not just someone who happens to draw Power Girl with larger breasts than Wonder Woman.

12 comments:

Victor Gischler said...

I approve of any blog post about boobs. Perhaps we should check ut She Hulk boobs and see how they compare. I'm just saying ... you know ... for the sake of getting to the bottom of this.

Victor

Neil Sarver said...

Thanks for stopping in. I've neglected to comment on Now it can be told... film edition, there or here, and I must say I'm having difficulty staying not excited. I'll probably comment more...

But, yes, I must also approve of boob posts, otherwise I suppose I wouldn't write so dang many.

As it goes, John Buscema's She Hulk has some of the finest boobs in the medium.

In fact, perhaps I should stop off for comics on my way home...

Ed Howard said...

Few artists draw more different kinds of female body types than Jaime Hernandez.

He also happens to be one of the greatest artists in the medium, which helps.

Neil Sarver said...

Yeah, I was afraid someone would say something like that. Man, I have picked up "Love and Rockets" dozens and dozens of times, because I like the look and want to like it, but, man, I find myself sawing at my foot to make the boredom end every time... and I only have a few more feet left.

Ed Howard said...

I'll admit it can be a hard series to get into, because both brothers started a bit weak before getting into their best material, but at the same time you can't just pick up a later book because so much of it is dependent on knowing the characters and their histories. But I think Jaime Hernandez's Locas is one of the most rewarding experiences in comics, and the big brick of a book collecting most of his material from the original series is well worth the commitment to reading it all. It's a book where the emotional undercurrents of the story just keep accumulating the more you read. To me, it's often funny and engaging and deeply moving, and every time I think he can't possibly top the beauty of his images, he does.

And his later work, soon to be collected as a second big brick called Locas II, is even better.

On the other hand, if you're someone who finds non-superhero stuff boring, maybe the recent paperback collection New Stories #1 would be a good starting place: there's a really fun Golden Age superhero parody by Jaime plus a bunch of goofy absurdist short pieces by Gilbert. It's also a good starting point because it requires virtually no background knowledge of any characters, though it doesn't really capture the complexity of the brothers' longer form stories.

Neil Sarver said...

I'm certainly open to and enjoy non-superhero comics... I love, love, love "Black Hole" and at least love "Box Office Poison", so I'll definitely put "Locus" on my list. You've more than intrigued me.

r_sail said...

I dunno, I'm hard pressed to think of a comic artist that draws more than one body type, let alone variations of minor details within that body type.

And, in fairness, comics are about getting the work done, and many a pro will tell you than defaulting to bad habits, proven tricks, and what one knows best is very much a reality and product of the deadlines.

And and in other fairness, the guys who repeatedly blow their deadlines really have no excuse.

Neil Sarver said...

Well, first of all, in real life, I mean to be complaining about body types, male, female, etc., and not just boobs. Boobs just make a convenient target, standing out in front as they do.

In fairness, there are a few people I should revisit, not the least of which would be Sean Phillips, who definitely does people who look different generally.

I'm not sure I buy your reasoning. It sounds like a cop-out to me. I could use the same excuse for not bothering to write an interesting story or drawing faces that look different... Michael Turner already uses that shortcut.

At some point a person has to make a decision whether they are making something interesting or not, and, I guess my problem is that too many people are meeting deadlines instead of creating something interesting.

r_sail said...

I absolutely agree with your last point. like, one hundred and fifty fucking percent.

I think most people are just trying to meet a deadline, get a check, rinse and repeat. It's sad. My love of comics has dwindled quite a bit due to this. But, I dunno, I don't see most comics as 'art.' Which is largely my problem with them these days.

My favorite artist, Ashley Wood, doesn't even seem to have heard of the word "deadline" but continues to make work that I find interesting.

Jason Shawn Alexander is a great example of someone doing interesting work... both as an artist and an illustrator. His people vary greatly as needed by the story. But then, he uses models. And he gets the lead time on a series that he needs to do good work and meet his deadlines.

But in general, I don't think most of the comic fan base care about this sort of thing. This is a group of people that will skip over silent panels and pages. This is a group of people who will call for your mandatory retirement from the industry because you tried and failed to entertain them personally. So, it's about the work getting done on time. How much effort can you put into something that won't be appreciated? I guess that comes down to the person, and whether or not you're doing the work for the paycheck in it or the art of it.

I dunno... it's hard to encapsulate the entirety of my thoughts on the matter in a blog comment.

Neil Sarver said...

I don't know. I find the argument about art vs. not art tedious overall. I certainly don't require capital-A Art from my comics, but I enjoy it when it comes.

But then I'm not sure I care that much for the concept of capital-A Art as a whole. I think it creates a mostly false line between capital-A Art and lower-case-a art that most people aren't really qualified to judge.

But ultimately, my frustration is that I'm not asking for anything like capital-A Art, and I the fact that people make a fuss over it, fucking pretentious nutbags with dumbass ideas about Art and lameasses with even dumberass ideas about art. I think both diminish the value of their own preferred work.

I just want shit that's interesting. Clearly, based on the crap on the shelves, there's a huge group of comic book readers with no interest in interesting at all. I'm not sure I understand why not, but clearly that's it... Just repeat the same kinds of stories with the same kinds of art... Blah, blah, blah!

Ed Howard said...

I find the negativity about the state of comics here puzzling, I have to say. While there's certainly a lot of crap out there, as there always is, I would say this is probably the best time ever for high-quality comics in large quantities. There's more great stuff out there than I can ever find the time to read, more great new books coming out all the time -- and that's even before factoring in the resurgence in brilliant classic comic strip reprints. The Big Two are doing less interesting work than ever, for sure, but at the same time dozens of smaller publishers have become more prolific with more great material than ever. I have no complaints about the state of comics today, and I think the increasing prominence of comics on bookstore shelves can only be a good thing for the artform as a whole.

And yes, the art discussion is tedious. I tend to solve that particular problem by just saying that everything is art -- some of it much better art than others, of course.

Neil Sarver said...

Actually, I do agree in principle. I know there are many, many things I'm interested in and enjoy when I get the chance. There are many, many things I'd totally pick up if I had the money.

And that's not even mention the wealth of older material being reprinted in volume.

You are absolutely right about the overall state, which does make it all the more disappointing that, as you say, "The Big Two are doing less interesting work than ever", but I also don't think the whole state of the comic industry should be judged by them, by any stretch.

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