Pornstar Superheroes

September 28th, 2011 input via mattcolville

Here’s the thing. You’re 35, you’re a successful illustrator and graphic designer in your neck of the woods. Getting by. But you’re an adult, you have adult tastes.

Someone comes up to you and says “Hey we got this thing we’re doing, you want to draw something for it? Can be whatever you want, go crazy.” And so you think it would be neat to revisit the stuff you loved when you were 13. Fantasy/SF action with half naked men and women with swords and chainmail bikinis or whatever. And it’s Metal Hurlant and it’s 1974 and it becomes a thing. A phenomenon.

But that’s not who you are. It’s just something you did. It’s a romantic version of your juvenile inspiration. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s fun. It’s not a way of life. It’s something that’s nice to have an outlet for, but you do other stuff. Sometimes contradictory stuff. You’re an artist, you explore all kinds of shit.

For the 13 year old kids who devour it in the 1980s and 1990s though, that is normal. It becomes normal because they get it before they’re adults, before they have any perspective, any framework into which to fit it or the real world. And so they grow up thinking this is what it’s about.

That’s how you get Starfire and Catwoman drawn like porn stars and with exactly as much character. It’s also why so many women in Blizzard games are strippers in high heels. The artist sees nothing wrong with this, because he grew up drawing this stuff. It’s the reason he got into illustration. So he could draw sexy women. Catwoman fucking Batman on a rooftop is nothing compared to the stuff they draw you never see. You’ve been to DeviantArt, you know what I’m talking about.

Don’t waste your time trying to get them to change. They’re not going to. Because they don’t give a shit. They draw what they like. Their bosses, their peers, their fans heap more praise on them the more degrading and exploitative the art is. The people who complain are, by and large, not the ones buying the comics, not the ones signing their paychecks.

Just go find better stuff. Plenty of it out there.