Panel Of The Week – 10/6/10

This week’s offering from guest pencils by Celia Calle in Madame Xanadu #27 is gorgeous and gives me a chance to talk about context in comics.  But first, here’s the panel:

So under normal circumstances this would be a total example of the always frustrating brokeback pose*, however in context it totally works.  First of all, this character, unlike most superheroines, IS a model.  So it makes sense to me that she’s posing and strutting and trying her best to strike poses that are exaggerated, dramatic, sexual, and even controversial.  Her JOB is to make people look at her body, and better yet, to make them yearn for it (and whatever she happens to be wearing/selling/etc.).  This pose (though still pretty much impossible) makes SENSE for her in the context of who and what she is and her purpose (at least what we know of it).

Secondly, the clothing.  That is clothing fit for a MODEL, not for a superhero, and again, that’s what she is.  And I love those clothes, they are crazy hott.  Thigh highs? SEXY.  Miniskirts? SEXY.  I think there’s this perception that women that complain about portrayals of women in comics don’t like anything sexy…so wrong.  We just want the sexy where it belongs and used in moderation so everything and every woman does not look exactly the same.  This is a good example of where it belongs.

You also can’t compare this image to more realistic imagery as the artist is working in a crazy exaggerated style (one that is a great fit for the story inside I think) but one that is obviously not based on any kind of reality.

Beyond the “controversy” what do I like about this?  Well, it’s just cool looking – the limited color palette is gorgeous, the stylized exaggerated forms are crazy cool, and the perspective is striking as well.  It’s really interesting to me and actually reminds me a little of a more dramatic but not quite as polished version of Stuart Immonen’s art for Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. I wish we had Calle on a regular book that would call for this kind of stylized exaggerated style, it would be a fun read.

*the brokeback pose in comics means a character that is twisted in such a way (usually to show both her tits and ass at the same time) as to make her back look broken.

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  1. Brandon’s avatar

    Actually nah there really Very large population of America who is uncomfortable with anything Sexually attractive and reactionary in anything related to woman regardless of context of said images and deeply want to believe despite the Sex pot singer that Woman simply hate sex and that the natural order of life! lol . Many woman too lol probably why the twilight was so popular .Subculture may differ ,but mainstream White America is a puritan reactionary conservative culture lol so people hating sex has a lot to do with it and being more comfortable with display and depiction of violence and warfare. And the perception of woman as fragile beings . (There more sex in movies and television than comic books but these are “Real people “ In “Proper setting “being whored out , opposed to fantasy which under American mores is evil and corrupting the minds of people.

    (Well they specifically refer to White Anglo-Saxon woman/northern Europe an not Latina Mixed Indigenous descendants or African Americans it not the same for us ,)

    The idea of Not wanting sex is deeply rooted in the Christian puritan culture and deeply believable at least by the mainstream white american culture there is a deep desire to believe that Sex is a Male thing and everything arising from the male power like a Hollywood movie , while white Woman are Sexually passive demure creature and it upheld by the society . Subculture may differ but mainstream is mainstream
    . Taylor Swift is more believable than Angelina jolie or Lady gaga (These aliens lol in comparison). Taylor Swift Girly demure doesn’t exude Sexuality in the same

    . Except for the occasional lady gaga or Madonna that run against the norm. There also in American Anglo-Saxon culture the idea is that man are presented as Ideas to aspire to , while woman must be presented visually objectively (This actually in comic codes lol.. ) So to present a woman as an idea is consider socially dangerous or detrimental to society or perverted and evil and ultimately negative in all cases (Which increases the criticism of fantasy heroine , that regardless of the personality or the fantasy they are judge solely based on how realistic they look . Super Man Batman , Spiderman Hulk , any male character never are judged by there visual realism ,but by there personality and the nature of there fantasy
    .(Tendency to treat woman as children to and associating all sex with some sort evil male-violence.)Also very Christian lol.. so the Criticism comics probably has alot to do with that and it association with a white male audience making them very easy target .

    but yeah context manner ,but audience manners to .also like alot of Japanese comic most people don’t complain about weird outfit Bouncing brast and outrageous things because it a completely different art culture ( has nothing to do with gender in this case since woman enjoy the same thing . Japanese lore is filled with raunchy jokes and comedy pretty open about sex , like the Sun goddess strip tease . Then there the whole edo pireod with the Super Erotically charged painting of people getting it on as high art . From Lesbian to Homosexuals )

    .so tend view design complaints regarding (when it come to costume or character, as relative to the particular target social audience and there social beliefs , social norms and demands opposed to anything socially universal or anything relating to gender . Because two woman from two different culture will have more in common with men in there society than woman in another culture .

    . There was one character who was consider a powerful female symbol for woman in Brazil and was a comic book , first woman to star in play boy there

    now the major difference socially is culturally Latin America Before Catholic Christanity , had Older interpretation of sex that are still around from the Indians and the Aztecs and African . These culture typically associated sex with happiness fertility and good health opposed to Malice and evil and the downfall of woman (what we get here in the states ) so Being In playboy isn’t the evil l thing in Brazil as it is socially in america lol

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