Sean Maher's Quality Control

Friday, June 02, 2006

Pretty Ladies

There's been some talk of sexualization of female characters in comics, and whether there's some element of sexism involved, etc., etc., and on and on - you know, the usual discussion, really.

But one thing I noticed was that most folks were pointing to artwork by notorious "cheesecake" artists - I'm not gonna name names, 'cause that's not what I'm about in general, but we all know those guys who draw the same boobs and the same big lips in the same pose all the time, and they do sometimes make you stop and raise your eyebrow and wonder if this is all in good taste.

But, then, y'see, there's the other guys. Men who draw women - beautiful women, sexy women, cute, pretty, glamorous, and so on - who really put some craft into it and, in my opinion, make comics with beautiful women look good. Both in an aesthetic and in a "your girlfriend won't slap you" sense. Today's post is a tribute to three such gentlemen, the integrity of their art, and the beautiful women of their imaginations.

Today's post is not entirely work-safe. It is, for the most part, but not completely.

*****

Tim Sale

Ah, Tim Sale. Nobody draws a pair of eyes like Sale. Here's one of my favorites, Selina Kyle (who's never looked as glamorous or sassy as she has under Sale's pencil) on the cover of Catwoman: When In Rome #1:



And something a little more sexual and alluring, here's a "China Girl" illustration he did for the ALBUM comic book store in fair Paris (prints available for $20 here!):



And for something a little more in the "cute" vein, here's a sketch Sale's recently posted on his forum for another upcoming sketchbook he's doing with Richard Starkings, of the character Vanity from Starkings' own Hip Flask:



*****

Frank Cho

Oh, please - like I even have to tell you. This guy is one of the most amazing artists on the scene today and his favorite things to draw, it seems, are monsters, violence, and absolutely gorgeous brick-shithouse women. All three of which are included in his Shanna The She-Devil series:



But I don't wanna sell the man's real baby short - I just picked up my first issue of Liberty Meadows this week (issue #37) and loved it. The series has at least two lady characters that I've seen so far, but far and away it seems Brandy is the woman Cho has always been in love with:





And, as you've probably already read about on Lying In The Gutters or the messageboards, there's Cho's recently-released art book, Frank Cho Women: Selected Drawings and Illustrations, the cover for which was censored for online solicitation and, if I remember right, dressed with a dust cover around the actual cover to allow stores to display the book lawsuit-worry-free. The "real" cover, y'see, was this:



*****

Sam Kieth

The classic. At least, in my life as a reader. I know the Frazetta influence is a big'n, but how could you do anything but love Julie the Leopard Queen from The Maxx?:



One thing I also love about the guy is his versatility; he seems just as comfortable drawing that pretty emo girl with the streak in her hair, that girl who's trying ta act all tough when she really just wants love - you know the one, yeah? She was in that Zero Girl book:



And on the stands this very week is Kieth's new book, My Inner Bimbo. I picked it up and - HOLY SHIT - that's a lotta pretty lady drawin's. The project looks to me like something about a fella getting in touch with "his inner bimbo" - natch - and one might guess this is how Kieth sees his own feminine side. I dunno, I haven't read it yet. That's just me guessing. But boy, the art is goddamn pretty.



*****

Happy Friday, everyone - hope the weekend treats you well.

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