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Why don't the bad girl comics of Dynamite deliver what they market on?

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  • Why don't the bad girl comics of Dynamite deliver what they market on?

    Why are these self described bad girl comics with the very sexualized cheesecake covers so sexless in the interior content? I sort of mentioned this in the Pantha topic, but thought I'd make it more general too.

    Typically, the tone of any of these comics isn't all that different from say The Punisher or Spawn or something, a very serious character in a violent plot-based comic. Often with little to no cheesecake or blatant sexuality in the art, despite having a cover that markets to that and tries to sell it on that. I've seen posts around the net saying if these comics were anything like the covers they'd buy them, and I agree. Plus the writing ignores sexuality as well.

    At the moment, these straightforward melodramatic and very Rated G for sexuality comics seem written for the spinner rack in 1991. The only thing adult about them is the bloodshed, but that's common in the mainstream books too.

    Take a page from say Quentin Tarantino or Joss Whedon's book, take these books to the present and make them for the audience who reads them. Maybe have some fun with them, maybe have characters acknowledge that their boobs are showing, and maybe have art that sometimes oddly enough lingers on that, and doesn't just look like standard action art begrudgingly drawn in a revealing outfit. It's like the books have an identity crisis, just take the leap, actually deliver what you're marketing.

    With the sexy covers you're not getting audiences who would be offended by such things, but with the not-so-sexy interiors you're not keeping people who did like the cover either. That right there is my thesis on Dynamite's line of bizarrely sexless comic books.
    Last edited by Psionic_Lemmy; 02-02-2013, 04:33 AM.

  • #2
    I know right? I mean what's up with the writers and artist with these bad girls, it's like they are putting the pus-- on a pedastool (i.e. g rated comment) Red Sonja has barely even kissed someone in all the 70+ issues of her series 30+ issues of her Queen Sonja run and countless one shots and mini seires. If marvel can put out some gay superheroes kissing and getting married why can't sonja put out every now and then. I mean these writers should treat these girls as tho they were hoodrats every once in a while. The covers sure do treat them that way, and the comic sell, don't they? If you have a nude cover but no nude artwork inside what's that all about? There are ways to add sex to comics without making it pornographic.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by comichero View Post
      why can't sonja put out every now and then
      Because that's precisely one of the things she doesn't do, as part of her character, with the whole origin and all?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by comichero View Post
        If marvel can put out some gay superheroes kissing and getting married why can't sonja put out every now and then.
        Oh, and on a side note, "kissing and getting married" aren't the same thing as showing characters having sex. Kissing and getting married are G-rated, for heaven's sake...

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        • #5
          well she can, BUT she choses not too. because of a vow, but vows can be broken at any time.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
            Oh, and on a side note, "kissing and getting married" aren't the same thing as showing characters having sex. Kissing and getting married are G-rated, for heaven's sake...
            well ok, maybe that was a bad example, The point was that Marvel was doing something by putting two gay characters (front and center)together that was outside of the norm for main stream comics. So why can't DE who makes all the nude covers every month, push the limit and go for some sex driven interior artwork? would that be something outside the norm for main stream comics? Becasue when I think of the Warlord of Mars Dejah Thoris series I don't think that 10 year old boys and girls asks their moms to pick up a copy of that series for them each month. It's and adult driven monthly comic, right?

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            • #7
              Very much agree with what you're saying there, comichero. Plus even just having art anything resembling the tone of the covers in the interiors would be a good start. The art is typically just very straightforward action art.

              It'd be like if a cover has funny cartoony stuff on it making you expect comedy in the book, but the inside is not at all comedic. Here we have notably sexual covers, and sexual is not even much of an element on the inside pages.

              You think somebody would bring this up at a Dynamite meeting. For example a cover to Vampirella one month was a detailed close-up of her fondling her breasts. While the interior content was straightforward action melodrama without even art or writing reflecting anything even close to that. It's disingenuous, and it's pretty obvious that actually having the book be sexy as one of it's components would make it a lot more successful.
              Last edited by Psionic_Lemmy; 02-02-2013, 09:39 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by comichero View Post
                well she can, BUT she choses not too. because of a vow, but vows can be broken at any time.
                But not without messing up the character's basic premise permanently.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by ChastMastr View Post
                  But not without messing up the character's basic premise permanently.
                  There have been topics on Red Sonja actually getting laid or at least taking her character somewhere there, we had a nice long one on that. I do think she could have sex and succeed as a character, and even if she didn't, why isn't she cuddling once in a while or something? It's okay to include some femininity and humanity in your warrior character. But, even if they didn't do any of that, they could still have art and content with some sexiness more in line with the covers.

                  Maybe a scene with close-ups of her putting on her top, some notably cheesecakey style stuff here and there in the issue etc. Typically it's just straightforward action stuff, the art not very stylized or sexy at all, very normal action framing and style etc. Even say Game of Thrones, a beloved and respected by critics show (and books) often has much more sexy imagery than Red Sonja has.

                  A book so marketed around sexuality being so lacking in it is a farce, and a mediocre product.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by comichero View Post
                    well ok, maybe that was a bad example, The point was that Marvel was doing something by putting two gay characters (front and center)together that was outside of the norm for main stream comics.
                    It was in the past. Another company beat them to the gay wedding first though:

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                    If anything, Marvel was a tad behind the curve on this issue. So as far as mainstream stuff goes, I don't really think that "same-sex characters showing displays of non-heavily-sexual affection or even marriage" is on the same level as "opposite-sex characters having overt sexual intercourse." It's just on the same level as "opposite-sex characters showing displays of non-heavily-sexual affection or even marriage."

                    So why can't DE who makes all the nude covers every month, push the limit and go for some sex driven interior artwork? would that be something outside the norm for main stream comics? Becasue when I think of the Warlord of Mars Dejah Thoris series I don't think that 10 year old boys and girls asks their moms to pick up a copy of that series for them each month. It's and adult driven monthly comic, right?
                    Maybe because they don't think it would serve the stories that they want to tell? They have a fair amount of nudity and skimpy clothing for a lot of their characters, which I think is great, but that's not the same thing as showing actual sex per se.
                    Last edited by ChastMastr; 02-02-2013, 09:49 PM.

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                    • #11
                      The point he's making there, which I agree with, is that Dynamite's comics are a lot more conservative sexually than what is mainstream in today's entertainment. Which is odd, especially again considering the covers and marketing.

                      Even in 1969 right from the beginning, oddly enough Vampirella and her artwork was a lot more sexy than the interior art of her comics right now.


                      Ideally Dynamite could not only match 1969's acceptable standards for sexiness, but exceed it. Call me crazy.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by comichero View Post
                        when I think of the Warlord of Mars Dejah Thoris series I don't think that 10 year old boys and girls asks their moms to pick up a copy of that series for them each month. It's and adult driven monthly comic, right?
                        Oh, irony. Despite the near-nudity Edgar Rice Burroughs described as the status quo of Barsoomian society, Dejah Thoris is a princess, and a very prim and proper one. She may be threatened by villains with lascivious intent, but is always rescued with her feminine virtue intact. Blame it on Burroughs' own attitudes toward sexuality, which were commonplace for the 1910s/20s/30s when the novels appeared, plus the fact that the pulps wouldn't have allowed any of that sort of thing. When they did, they fell into the "spicy" category, and were sold under the counter. Even these pulps are laughably tame in content by today's standards, although by the standards of the 1920s & 30s they suffered the same public outrage as the comic book witchhunts of the 1950s, and were banned in many cities.

                        Granted your point about who is buying the comic books today is accurate enough, but should the books deviate from Burroughs' original characterization for the sake of today's audience? Since the character is public domain, there is no overseeing licensor in this case to prevent it -- it could happen, but should it? Again, Dynamite has already altered the character somewhat by making her more of a self-sufficient heroine in her own right in her own series. Of necessity, I would say, for a character to continue as the main character of her own series... she can't be a constant victim who is only saved in the nick of time by one John Carter proxy after another. But on the other hand, if Dejah is to "get busy" with her various male companions, it sort of breaks the spell of her perfect romance with John Carter later on.

                        One wonders then, where do we draw the line when it comes to what might be more realistic and therefore more acceptable to modern audiences? Might we not be seeing the young, pre-civilized Lord of the Jungle having sex with female apes of the Mangani tribe? Or to use a less gross example, wouldn't Tarzan have "had his way" with Jane shortly after meeting her, since ape society would have no sexual mores against such natural urges?

                        On the other hand, with Vampirella, Pantha, etc. I see no such stumbling blocks, other than discerning where to draw the line of good taste in what to show and what to leave to the imagination. We can assume these characters have normal sexual needs and desires, but on the other hand, despite more relaxed attitudes of the 2000s and beyond, should we be seeing the equivalent sexual freedom of the underground comix of the 1970s or Heavy Metal of the 1980s?
                        DE pull list: Will Eisner's The Spirit: The Corpse Makers, ERB's The Greatest Adventure, Green Hornet '66 Meets The Spirit, PSP: Herokillers, KISS/Vampirella, Mighty Mouse

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                        • #13
                          I agree with you, Psionic_Lemmy. I have seen people dismiss comics like Red Sonja or Vampirella just because of the covers.

                          I think Zenescope is even worse, they hire an artist like J Scott Campbell for the cover and for the interior art they use another artist and most of the time the interior art is either average or just bad, most Zenescope comics that I've read are more horror than "sexy" anyway.
                          But I think Dynamite has some good artists, I enjoyed most of the Warlord of Mars comics.

                          In my opinion, most American comics that are marketed as cheesecake/fanservice or whatever you want to call it, tend to have the best part in the covers.

                          I've read a lot of European and Japanase comics and they are without a doubt better at being "sexy", everything I've seen in American comics is pretty tame.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by peter147 View Post
                            I've read a lot of European and Japanase comics and they are without a doubt better at being "sexy", everything I've seen in American comics is pretty tame.
                            Very much agreed. I love manga and I read 2000AD, but what are some European comics you'd recommend? I've read Blacksad but not much European so far outside of 2000AD.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Psionic_Lemmy View Post
                              Very much agreed. I love manga and I read 2000AD, but what are some European comics you'd recommend? I've read Blacksad but not much European so far outside of 2000AD.
                              Skydoll, I think it was published in the US by Marvel
                              Wake(Sillage is the original French title), its also published in the US but I think they censored it, and they only released the first 8 volumes in english with no plans to release anything else, so you might need to know french
                              Red Star
                              The Metabarons
                              Nikopol Trilogy
                              Marlysa
                              XIII

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