Tag Archives: Marvel NOW!

Shame Day: Sexual Standards

asdfasdI’m double-posting today, so this week’s Shame Day is a little late [I try to update the blog before noon] but is brought to you by a topic I haven’t addressed much as of late: the wonderful world of comics.

Yesterday it was announced by various comic book news outlets that the newest title out of the Marvel NOW! line of books would be X-Men, written by Brian Wood and illustrated by Olivier Coipel. An X-Men title is certainly nothing new, but it is when the entire cast of said title is female.

Wood was interviewed in an article by USA Today, and had the following things today about the characters he’s writing:

Wood also promises to bring a lot of relationships, love and sex into the book, “in the classic X-men way — the way it used to be.”

He wants to challenge the double standards that have been in superhero books for years, where Wolverine can sleep with anybody but if a female character does it twice, she’s promiscuous, which Wood sees constantly online.

“To everybody’s credit, these people are often shot down immediately for being sexist and unfair, but that is a very common thing,” Wood says.

“We’re just going to do it. We’re not going to worry about that. If Kitty or Rogue has basic human bodily urges, tough luck (to those opposed). To me, that’s as much of the X-Men as anything else.”

It is certainly not news that this double standard exists, and I’d been thinking about this for a while due to my having watched most of Season 4 of How I Met Your Mother this past Thursday. It didn’t take more than a few minutes of watching Barney Stinson before it occurred to me that:

Barney Stinson is pretty widely known to be both a prolific and successful womanizer. He sleeps with women the way most people go to work: five times a week, maybe six to get in some overtime. He’s admittedly a painfully funny character, but also one that is congratulated for his sexual prowess.

Now take a female character and put her in Barney’s shoes. Thankfully, times are certainly a’ changin’, and I can actually point to one half of the roommates in Don’t Trust The B—- In Apartment 23, Chloe. She is a person who treats her sexual partners with just about as much respect [if not less] than Barney Stinson, and the show has for the most part done a great job not demonizing her for it.

The fact of the matter is that in most cases Chloe would be dubbed a slut. Is there a male equivalent for the term in the English language? An article I found on The Independent explores this very question, and ends up admitting that words like “roué” or “swordsman” or “playboy” all work as far as describing what I’ve mentioned, but don’t really “convey much sense of moral contempt and several of which are tinged with admiration.”

What I’m pointing an accusatory finger at this Shame Day is the fact that we hold as a culture a sickeningly obvious double standard. I’m not one who particularly praises rampant sexual promiscuity, but I certainly hope that I if I did I would be able to hold both with an equal amount of esteem.

This post is to shame those who give the Chloes of this world the finger with one hand while high-fiving the Barneys with the other. It’s also to give the bit of credit where it’s due to Brian Wood and to all others who realize how it is we view men and women, and who go out of their way to work against that.

As a parting note, it’s nice to know that even the characters within the comics have noticed this:

She-Hulk #17 (Vol. 2). Written by Dan Slott, illustrated by Rick Burchett.

Shame Day: Greg Land

As you probably know by now, comics are very important to me. It’s good art and good writing coming together as one, the creation of a medium that’s unique among all others. The ideal combination is a skilled creative writer coupled with a hard-working, attentive artist. This pairing doesn’t always happen, though. Sometimes a writer is forced to work with Greg Land.

If you type “Greg Land” into Google the second search result that comes up is the site known only as “LAAND!“, though the name of the url more than makes up for the possible vagueness. The site is a tumblr dedicated to the man’s “generally bad artwork and the sexist ethical repercussions to hiring him nowadays.”

To put it plainly, Greg Land doesn’t draw, he traces. This isn’t all the time, but the fact of the matter is that he does it so blatantly and conspicuously that it is impossible to ignore. The following gif will do more to convince you of this than a thousand pages of my writing.

There is seriously no ignoring that. Clicking the image links to the blog JIMSMASH!!! which catalogues many, many more instances of his copycatting. Another fantastic gif’d example is one where, and this is practically mindblowing, Land rips off of himself. The image on the right transitions back and forth between Jean Grey and Black Canary, both drawn by Land [and for competing companies, too].

Here’s a pretty great image. It’s “The Many Faces of Ben Grimm drawn by the talented Greg Land.” He is a man who knows how to recycle.

Now all that I’ve mentioned is pretty atrocious, but here’s where it gets unbelievably worse. Observant comic fans have noticed that a lot of his references appear to be directly taken from porn films. There isn’t an argument more convincing than this picture:

What’s most upsetting [and there is a lot to get upset about] is that Greg Land continues to get work.

Marvel NOW! is the company’s decision to take their best titles and switch around talented writers and artists, creating combinations that will take their characters in new and exciting directions. Somehow Greg Land was assigned to Iron Man with writer Kieron Gillen who had this to say about him: “That’s the thing with Greg Land: his photorealistic style really pops and it’s a glamorous book in that way.”

That’s the thing, Kieron. They look photorealistic because he has traced actual photographs.

And right away, with our first look at the book’s interiors, we can already see that Land has ripped off of photos of a cosplayer, and from actually talented artist Adi Granov.

The saddest part is, Greg Land doesn’t even really know how to draw people anymore. His knowledge of anatomy is paltry at best, as helpfully illustrated in the post “Hips Don’t Lie: Pelvis? What Pelvis?” He may have been a legitimate artist once, but he’s traced so much and so often that when he does draw something freehand he can barely recall how to.

I understand that deadlines need to be made, and that in the world of comics this is not always easy to do. That should be taken into account, but this has gone on for so long it hardly stands as a defence. Greg Land should feel bad. His work is absolutely nothing to be proud of.