Saturday, March 30, 2019

If I Want Cheesecake I'll Buy Cheesecake

Often wondered how they got there. And why.
Ah, the scantily clad femme fatale of fantasy. Long have I viewed and dreamed of her. I fondly remember being an adolescent boy and picking up the Savage Sword of Conan each month from a local mini mart shelf. I grabbed issue #104 and spent far too long looking at the delicious Joe Jusko cover, complete with redhead chick dangling from Conan's sword belt showing all kinds of underboob.

Sexist? Oh yeah, no doubt about it. Conan stories in general are sexist as fuck. If you don't believe me, try reading Howard. Check out The Jewels of Gwahlur and note how many times the damsel breaks down in tears or faints. It's classic 1930s hard man storytelling.

Anyhow... I appreciate a good chainmail bikini. There's a rich aesthetic to it... a kind of metal-and-flesh eroticism that stirs the imagination (and loins, natch). You can do it right. You can do it without being toxic. I have preached about this before. A chainmail bikini image does not a misogynist make. Having your female characters constantly faint and cry... well, that's a different story.

So for me it's really a matter of honesty. Own what you are doing. Don't give me 60 pages of tits and ass and market it as a serious adventure story. It isn't. It's a tits and ass story. Own it.

Erotic, chainmail chick, pinup, R-rated... whatever you want to call it. Just eat the god damned cheesecake and stop calling it caviar. And if you want to do a story that is taken seriously, you need to cut way the fuck back on the cheesecake.

She can get cut and scratched, but she's gonna kick your ass.


  1. But what's the point of being taken seriously if you can't do what you want? It's not like being fake is going to help anyone win more readers. Chainmail Bikini's rock because of what they say about the character who wears one - that they are bold enough to do so - and SSoC was awesome!

    1. But if what you want to do is chainmail bikinis then just do that. You are NOT going to be taken seriously by the wider public. And you should not expect to be taken seriously.

      Here's the point: If I want to make a comic that tells an exciting action story and I am not trying to make it sexy then why on earth would I use a protagonist whose tits are hanging out all the time? By doing that I'm making the story about tits and ass where adventure is a dish on the side.

      Remember that movie Barb Wire? I never saw it, but I understand that the point was to watch Pamela Anderson, not to watch an action movie. And that's OK.

      There's a great episode of Coupling where Steve tries to defend a porn called Lesbian Spank Inferno by describing its plot and characters... all of which is about them spanking each other.


      Just own that porno and stop trying to defend it as something it isn't.

    2. Also, I need to be very clear and I'm not sure if I am. I'm not saying chainmail chick fantasy is badwrongfun in any way at all. Obviously OBVIOUSLY I love it or else I wouldn't have created so much of it. And I'm also not trying to shame myself. I have done that at times in the past, and it's not something I want to ever do again.

      All I'm really saying is that you should be aware of what you're putting out there and how it will be received. And be fucking honest about what you are doing. Know what I mean?

      Now back to drawing entirely vanilla, clean, family-friendly art.

    3. Love the Chainmail Bikini. Just bought the Black pudding pdfs. I noticed you are a Vaughn Bode fan. Sometimes your work looks like Bode's other times not. Is this on purpose? In my opinion no one drew women as sexy as Bode.

    4. Ayube, to be honest I never consciously try to draw like Bode or anyone else. But I do absorb shit like a filter and I know it comes back out. I didn't discover Vaughn Bode's work until I was in my 30s, but I was heavily influenced by other artists who came out of a similar time. When I was in my 30s my art style changed significantly. I went through a weird depression around 2000 and when I emerged from it I was drawing far more cartoony, expressive characters than ever before. Bode definitely played a role in that transformation. He was da best.

  2. FUck your moralizing.

    1. A cogent and engaging comment that will spark endless debates. The "FU" being capitalized indicates an initially firm and eager response while the trailing off lower case "ck" shows some trepidation about the whole endeavor. Fascinating.