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I Don’t Read Comics Much, And Here’s The Reason Why

Just started reading a new Tumblr called Boobs Don’t Work That Way (thanks Amal!), which is just image after image of badly drawn female anatomy, mostly from comics. Looking at the way male artists depict women, particularly in the breast area, gives the impression that they’re drawing with one hand and playing with their dicks with the other. That’s really the only explanation for this type of bullshit. Why in the world would I want to look at something like that?

Granted, the image of the X-Men’s Rogue above is well drawn and pretty except for the random, unrealistic boobage in the middle. Ugh and Ugh again, people.

14 thoughts on “I Don’t Read Comics Much, And Here’s The Reason Why”

  1. monique says:

    This is why I say that when women take over the comic industry, they need to draw scary, unrealistic dicks on EVERY SINGLE MALE CHARACTER. It’ll be gross, but maybe then they’ll get the point.

  2. Lori S. says:

    Sequential Tart did a whole series of (very funny) articles on Bizarre Breasts back a few years ago. It’s worth looking up.

  3. Skye says:

    It’s just such a shame. That’s beautiful face and hair for Rogue, but then they had to go and include the ridiculous boobs that don’t make any sense for her character, even if the anatomy could be explained.

  4. tinfoil hattie says:

    My brother used to draw comics like these. I couldn’t stand it. He pretends to be such a “feminist” but loves R. Crumb (most woman-hating comic “artist” ever to be born) and always, ALWAYS drew women with huge breasts, waspy waists, etc. No matter what the subject matter of the particular comic, his women were always some variation of “Rogue.”

  5. Jennie says:

    @monique: Take a close look at the cover of Red Hood and the Outlaws #2 and you’ll see that someone has started doing just that.

    My thing other than the ridiculous anatomy is the ridiculous costumes. They’re basically leather/lingerie and would be completely useless in combat.

  6. SisterCoyote says:

    Jennie —

    Somewhere in my archives I have a comic from an issue of Dragon magazine with a woman, sitting at a tavern table, wearing a chainmail bikini with arrows poking out all over it. She’s commenting to her companion “I’m glad I was wearing my armor.”

    So, yes. Women’s armor is almost always drawn as something that would be completely useless in battle. Which is annoying. Somewhere on the internet (alas, I have lost the link) are a series of drawings showing men wearing costumes cut and styled similarly to those superwomen are expected to wear.

    1. Skemono says:

      I don’t know if this is the one you’re thinking of, but there’s this page (and the link therein to a previous post of theirs) showing men drawn in female superhero costumes.

  7. Puma says:

    I don’t dispute the facts of the central topic: Common portrayals of female anatomy in comic art are an idealized depiction in form and frequency significantly out of proportion to occurrence in reality.

    However, some comments here imply a failure to recognize that while naturally occurring instances of such endowments are much more rare than comics indicate, they are not completely absent. My household contains not one, but two, individuals blessed/cursed with overall figures of such curvature they make the Rogue character and its “random, unrealistic boobage” look like an underdeveloped child.

    1. Layogenic says:

      I’m going to put my balls on the line here, so feel free to stomp them, but I assume you mean large breasts. Not, as depicted in this art form, large, spherical, gravity-defying boobs that stay in place with a strap of clothing no matter how much running, punching, fireball-throwing etc. that the endowed performs.

      The issue isn’t “well-developed curvature verging on the unlikely.” It’s “grotesquely ‘idealized’ clones of physically impossible female anatomy.” And this picture is one of the least offenders in that regard, which is saying something.

      …and I AM a comic reader.

  8. Digital Coyote says:

    I know there are people who look like how the women in these titles are idealized–so it’s not haterade or shade I’m throwing–but the push for female characters to be more cum rag than competent disturbs me. More boobs, less story, but somehow the boobs are necessary to keep the story going? This is why I gave up on comics when I was still a teenager. I check in periodically to see if anything’s changed and I’m always disappointed. Knowing that the major producers couldn’t care less if or why I’m bothered by their product (because we all know their entire customer base is and always has been male *snorts*) saps my motivation to try to look for the “diversity” they’re claiming to have. DC’s reactions to the woman in the Batgirl costume at ComicCon are the icing on a foul-tasting cake. I thought moving media would offer an acceptable alternative but, alas, the disease is endemic to video gaming and there are more than a few titles I can’t be bothered with because of the same duckery (sic).

  9. Ryan says:

    I think there are a few reasons superhero books are presented this way but my best guess would be editorial pressure to appeal to their main demographic and get that money. There of course are some artists whose bread and butter is committing egregious crimes to female anatomy. This isn’t true of all comic books though and I urge you to take a look at some that don’t fall into the ‘superhero’ category before you write off the entire medium as yes, a majority of them subscribe to the male gaze unironically. I would recommend some of the following books:

    Y: The Last Man [Agent 355]
    The Walking Dead [Michonne]
    100 Bullets [Dizzy]
    Preacher [Tulip although she certainly does use her sexuality as a weapon]

    Granted, these books take on a subjectively more ‘mature’ tone than superhero fare but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy well-written superhero books, as well. I just wanted to provide a dissenting opinion that there are books out there that don’t present completely unrealistic women purely as sexual objects.

    HOWEVER for an interesting foray into sexism in comic books, I highly recommend checking out Women in Refrigerators.

    1. Layogenic says:

      Agent 355 is a much-loved character of mine, but I think you might have a hard time selling a series wherein a male author tells women how they’d think, act, and feel when all the men are gone on this blog.

      Michonne is textbook Tough Black Woman–she’s expected to live through every atrocity that a man writing with one hand can think to throw at her without any sort of reaction, growth, change, or really even personality. Also while making sure the spotlight stays on Rick Grimes, because Walking Dead is drek.

      Never read 100 Bullets.

      But Preacher? Preacher, man? Really? The white British male fantasy about white US cowboys? Tulip knows how to shoot but she is in the story exclusively for Jesse’s manpain. Not exactly flattering.

  10. Luffy says:

    @ Lyogenic: I agree with most of what you have to say about what the real problem is. However, there is still a huge problem with the overuse and abuse of this titilized representation of woman, however well done it may be, in comics and animation. I watch a animated series called One Piece and cannot stand how cookie cutter every female character is. How they act and the roles they play might break some traditional gender stereotypes, but all except to female characters are tall, skinny, and curvacious with little or tight fitting clothes. In contrast, all male characters are unique in how they are drawn and in what they wear. It almost makes me want to stop watching. Its as if the male characters are the only ones allowed to be individuals.

    Also, I think this belongs here.

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