So…Frank Cho is under some understandable fire for a sketch he did of Spider-Gwen. Spider-Gwen is a teen Gwen Stacy from the recent Spider-Verse comic series. She has had a fairly successful start to her own series. Cho decided the best way to recognize the character is to do an homage to Milo Manara’s rather infamous Spider-Woman cover. That cover was met with heavy criticism due to it’s porn heavy pose…
The thing that adds to the issue here is Gwen is a teen, which gives it an extra creepy element. Part of the problem with this art is I think artists take no account for age of characters. They just treat all females who are past puberty the same…”sexy”. Granted, I could be wrong… I am mainly giving a little benefit of doubt here that Cho was not thinking at all about how old Gwen is supposed to be, as opposed to assuming he thinks drawing teen girls in “sexy” poses is totally cool.
Invariably, this gives rise to panic from certain segments of comic-dom that feminists and other SJW are trying to “take away our toys.” Although I have never seen feminists who advocate the removal of sexy drawings from the spectrum of comics, you do hear folks decry the attempts to “take away the sexy”. What I have seen is feminists advocating for “better sexy” or appropriate places for the sexy emphasis. In other words, a Spider-Woman cover should be distinguishable from a Tarot cover. Teen characters really should not be in porn poses.
I know many feminists who are Adam Hughes fans, and I have not seen any clamor to prevent him from getting work. Feminists are behind the production of various sexually themed comic book anthologies. Escher Girls is strictly critical of embarrassingly bad artistic choices done in the name of “Sexy”. Feminists are not trying to end “sexy” in comics. They are simply trying to challenge the definition of what is “sexy”.
People who worry about the Phantom Feminists trying to steal all “sexy” from comics need to step back, reassess and understand, the woman they fear does not really exist any more than Powergirl does. Feminists are not trying to remove supposed sexy from comics. They are just asking for it to be consistently better when it appears, rather than insulting.
And that is not much to ask.
Posted in: Comic Book News & Opinion