Thursday, March 29, 2007

WTF How To Draw Comic Books? (Part 2 of Remix ASBAR)

I could come to hate men. I really, sincerely could. Of all the things to make me want to live in a lesbian separatist society, who would have thought it'd be flipping through 'How to draw comic' books.

Drawing Cutting Edge Comics by Christopher Hart was available from my library system. As I've mentioned recently, I'm interested in the process so I can learn to visualize panels and placement within panels, etc. For too long I was thinking that I should stick to reading about how to write comics, because I might not really feel any connection to books on how to draw comics, since I'm not an artist.

I was apparently saving myself a world of cursing.

I don't mind the bits where in terms of how to draw faces, softening the lines on a woman's head are emphasized. I can live with that. It's when I see both a purposeful curvature of the spine in how to draw a woman's body in an upright pose and the fact that the page on how to draw men has the examples flying, punching, leaping and standing and the opposite page which has the women, shows her leaning, curled up vixen like on a surface, shows just her crotch drawn in a hi thong and then another scribble of just her ass but also shows her on her back like a fucking courtesan trying to tempt the sultan, back arches, breasts bobbing upright like flotation devices, hair spilling 'artistically'.

When I was a little girl, I was given a book on how to draw Marvel Superheroes. I kept that book with me for years. I treasured it. Even though I couldn't draw very well, that book was special to me, it was a connection to the creative process of universes I absolutely adored.

I honestly can't remember ever seeing a curved spine for a female in that book. It had to have been published in the 1970's, because some of the casual clothing for alter-egos was very much dated. If I could find that book now, I'd compare it to these newer releases on how to draw superheroes. Unfortunately my family home burnt down a few years back, and I seriously doubt that was one of the things my parents managed to salvage.

I wish I could find a copy of that book now. Not an updated version but a copy of that book. I can remember it showing the difference between a normal healthy man, and a superhero physique with the same comparison for normal women and superhero women. I remember how superheros had to be half a head to a head taller and they had to be a bit wider. The whole point was that superhero's were more and you had to be able to tell at a glance in the scene, who was a hero and who was a civilian.

I'm not sure what they said about Spiderman. THey might have said something about keeping him crouching and in impossible for humans to mimic poses in order to lessen comparisons between him and 'Peter Parker'. But don't quote me on that, cause I can't remember that bit precisely at all.

I do remember that the women weren't drawn in heels. I remember that distinctly because my wtf at modern books is always 'But why are they in heels?'. And they had pages that showed how to draw masculine body parts vs feminine body parts like feet and hands. Maybe it was because it was printed in the 1970's, but I don't recall female hands having pornstar finger nails either. The hands were just more delicate and sleek and they were shown in delicate comparison poses, how shapes for women should be round and sleek and start from ovals and shapes for men should be wide and square and start from rectangles (rectangles over the wire frame stick man outline)

It was a very basic, building book and at the time when I was about eight or nine or so, conscientious work had me able to draw a decent face. Don't ask me to draw a face now that's not a smiley face. But a whole set of years have passed between then and now. And then I was practicing my drawing for about an hour every day. My mother drew and I wanted to be just like her and this book was my stepping stone.

Considering I was given this book as a child, I'm fairly certain it did not contain pages on how to make women sexier and sultry; how to draw their clothes teeny, tiny and falling off them and how to make them stop make traffic with a single glance.

Is this something left over from the over-muscled heroes of the 90's? Is this when women in need of serious orthopedic help became the norm and men in comics were apparently fed steroids through breast milk as infants? Extreme, extreme, extreme and somewhere in there the basics of of 'how to keep the superhero body looking natural despite the need to make them slightly larger than life' somehow got forgotten?

I'm actually not quite sure I care. I'm going to go scrub all these images out of my head so I can go back to working on the remix without thinking of how to make Batman look sexy in a thong. 'Cause my brain is contrary like that and I can just see him arching for dynamic posing right at the viewer. It's very distracting, using their rules, to have him shoving his crotch through the panel...

Jim Lee was wasted in ASBAR.

If I joined a separatist cult I probably wouldn't be allowed to view his good work. Hmm maybe there could be exceptions - for the sake of real art.

No comments: