Monday, December 14, 2009

really? REALLY?

Ok, kids, sit down. Let's talk.

As you may or may not know, I am all about creative commons licenses and open source software. My best work is done when I can rely upon the informed opinions of others. I rarely do a painting or draw a picture or do ANYTHING without outside input these days. And if you like something I've done and want to modify it in some way? Generally, that's cool with me.

That being said, there's a right way to go about it, and there's a wrong way to go about it.

The right way:

Ask my permission. Technically, you don't need my permission for most stuff, but man oh man is it an unpleasant shock if something you've worked on ends up in a place you weren't expecting, let me tell you. What's more? The piece your asking about may have been done on commission, and is therefore not available. If you use one of those pieces, we are going to have Problems.

But, like I said, if you ask, we can clear all those sorts of things up.

From there, we'll probably chat a little bit about your concept, but the fact of the matter is that you've flattered me enough by finding something useful in my art and by asking me permission that I will probably grand your every wish. I will ask for credit for the original art that I provided, and to be informed when it's done and where it will be displayed so that I can plug it.

Not too stressful, right?

Here's the wrong way:

I happen upon a piece of mine that's been modded hanging in the hall.

Cute, right? No, not so much.

Besides the fact that whoever did this did not contact me, we've got several issues. First, Ryan Claytor's name has been crossed out. Why? What is the point of that, other than to be vindictive?

Second, 'comics get me hot', really? REALLY? I find this upsetting on a number of levels, not all of which I am comfortable getting into on a public forum, so what I'm going to do now is put on my feminist pants and stand on my box. Caution: the box is full of soap.

Is this really the attention you (specific, mysterious you, not general you) think is appropriate? I can't speak for the intro comics kids, but the majority of the advanced class is female. How is this not going to alienate us? And beyond that, I'm sure we can easily get into a long winded discussion about women in comics in a large context, blah blah blah, so on and so forth and all it will come down to is that this is exceptionally cliche and sexist and quite frankly I don't appreciate it.

And now I'm off my box, so let's talk about how this was done, both as a measure of craft and as art. I'm not going to try to be kind, since I don't know who did this, but I will try to be fair.

The body is what you'd expect out of, say, most mainstream superhero team comics that happen to have a female member. Small waist, slender arms, muscular thighs, and enormous breasts that defy all logic. I'm over weight, and this poor creature's boobs are at least double the size of mine. I'm guessing that her superpower is crazy strong back muscles, because otherwise: ow. Ow ow ow. Fail.

I although, I do quite like her hair.

One more thing on the drawing front: her face. What happened? Are those supposed to be seductive pout-y lips? What is going on with her eyebrows? And I am all for giving women strong jaws and squared chins, but if you were going for sexy, this was a huuuuge roadblock for you. Not hot.

Try this version on for size:

Sorry about the smallness and the low res scan ness, but I've addressed a few facial issues, as well as a few body issues. But let's talk about the face. I've softened her features, made her jaw go back to her ear, raised her eyebrows so that she doesn't look angry, given her lips volume, and given her a few distinctive features (a beauty mark and a lip ring), since you chose whitey mcwhite girl as your subject. (Disclaimer: I am white. So very very white. Still tired of seeing white people in comics. )

Craft wise? There are two posters like this, and the one I posted here is by far the superior. The way the words were traced on top of the pasted on image was a nice touch, almost made me think you had gone and had a second poster printed. But no, of course not.

The paste job, as well, was top notch. And the placement was clever. It covered up the majority of my original image as well as my name. I'm really glad you chose to cover my name, you have no idea. And I like that you went to the edge of the page with this. It's not something I could have done, since I was printing a mass of them and wasn't willing to cut them down to size.

Not too happy that you covered up the credit I gave to blambot, though...but that was probably unintentional, so that's all I'll say about it.

Good job on the colors--> those do look very nice.

End of post was rushed, because I need to go fetch my laundry--there's a signing coming up, and I am determined to have clean clothes for it!


  1. Hmm. People sure do go to great lengths nowadays. This effort sure beats the classic *ahem* "mustache and male anatomy" alterations I've seen on many other posters. Are you over-reacting? Maybe, but not really.

    Its probably done by someone related to the event, since one of the actual comics' titles is shown on top. Most likely going for the shock factor to get someone to read the poster. I agree it could've been done in a much better way.

    Wouldn't be surprized if Claytor had seen it and crossed his own name off though.

  2. I think that's just called vandalism. It happens.

    I like how you gave her Kyphosis though.