Robot 6

4chan takes on J. Scott Campbell’s Mary Jane Watson

J. Scott Campbell’s never been the most realistic of comic artists, and that’s part of his charm. But the notorious pranksters at 4chan have taken issue with the way he posed Mary Jane Watson on the cover to Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man #601. You’ll need to click after the break to see 4chan members acting out the contortions.

This brings up a broader point about cartooning: Since their inception, comics have largely strayed away from realistic depictions of characters, be they humans, anthropomorphic animals or anything else. While Campbell’s poses might not be anatomically realistic, part of his style/aesthetic/appeal lies in that bending of reality. Having real people act out some of the exaggerated poses of Campbell, Rob Liefeld or Jack Kirby would show how unrealistic they are … but then again, that stylistic exageration is what makes illustration different from photography and part of the appeal.

That out of the way, seeing people act out Campbell’s poses below is engrossing.

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21 Comments

Can’t imagine why girls/women don’t read many comics, at least of this genre. I have always found such images to be offensive–reminds me of the time I saw a really stereotypical comic geek (think the Simpsons) at the Sliver Snail in Toronto, slobbering over action figures with these kinds of dimensions. He actually looked at me and then back at the figure and said, “tasty.” I don’t think I have ever felt as dirty as I did that day. Male adolescent fantasies need to be left behind in adolescence.

Or, people can just read comics and not net other people’s inappropriate behavior bug them.

I really don’t see the point of this. It’s not especially amusing or entertaining, and if they thought they were making some kind of “statement” there are, literally, an endless number of more egregious examples to go with.

Note to self: Mary Jane is so much hotter than the “notorious pranksters at 4chan.”

Newsflash – people don’t actually look like Bruce Timm drawings, either. Or Humberto Ramos drawings. Or Bill Sienkiewicz drawings. Who cares? If only “realistic” art was allowed, this world would be a very boring place.

What a shit meme.

I would say the “notorious pranksters” are hotter by default, what with the being real and all.

So a few things:

1. The people on 4chan AND Marc C need to get a life.

2. The comic in question was published over 60 issues ago (October 09), which makes it almost 2 years ago and they’re just taking issue with it now?

3. Personally I find Mary Jane in this shot incredibly hot, I don’t care what other people think, it’s my opinion I am allowed to have my own opinion. It’s a comic the Artist can draw whatever they damn well please as long as it has editorial approval. In a world where men can fly and people have an indistructable metal bonded to their bodies you’re really going to take issue with:

A) How someone is sitting.

B) they’re overall body shape.

When you reach the point in your life where this matters, its time to find something else to do. I’ve heard stamp collecting is a rather soothing experience.

@Phoenix–why is your opinion better than mine? I have a life–I think, but I don’t take your comment to heart because I think I must have hit a nerve with my comment. Feel free to think about said nerve, or not. Sure it is just art–I don’t care that it isn’t a realistic portrayal–I care that it is a overly sexualized and an unfair image that many women and at least one man (me) thinks isn’t doing anyone any favours. Furthermore, how old is she supposed to be in this? This is why when a woman walks into a LCS many of the men freeze in panic. I do hope publishers remember such images when losing out on over 50% of a potential market.

I would love to know the demographics of the posters so far–I am thinking none of you are women who are coming to the defense of this image and other’s like it.

You all just missed the point.

If you have ever been to a mosque in South Asia, that’s how a lot of people sit.

That being said, no a woman of that figure would not be able to pull it off.

Another article swiped from Bleeding Cool.

I think that we’re almost reaching a point where there’s going to be a revolt against the prevalence of the photo-realistic art in comics nowadays. Say what you will about art in the 90′s — yes, it wasn’t that great — but one of the biggest reasons people flocked so strongly to the Image style of art was because much of the stuff at Marvel and DC had become very stale and template-like, as if everything had to be a knock-off George Perez or John Byrne.

Tshirts fold like that under breasts.

My main beef with the image is that the pose is so inappropriate for the scene. A chest-forward, hip-popped, legs-…whateverthey’redoing pose just doesn’t fit the “woman worried about a man she cares about” tone. If MJ had that same pose bikini-clad on a beach, it’d just be one more in a line of occasionally eyeroll-inducing pinups, but posing her like that on a “serious” cover just reeks of shallow sexualization for shallow sexualization’s sake.

This is not to knock Campbell’s art as a whole! While he does weird things with female anatomy sometimes (dude needs to come up with an angle for lady-hips other than “45 degrees”,) his general style is one I like a lot, and wish superhero comics would feature more often – a slightly cartoonified variation on the real world.

It gave me a chuckle. People in the comments section are taking this awfully seriously and I find that intensely amusing.

Welp. This is from tumblr actually, and the people who added their pictures did it mainly for laughs.

By the time this hit my dashboard (when third from the bottom added her picture) most of the comments above the pictures (including the op’s argument against the picture) were unreadable due to nesting. It just looked like people being silly.

“It just looked like people being silly.”

As near as i can tell, that’s all it was. Which is fine, per se. It just didn’t seem to be the kind of silly that merited wider attention.

Good “prank” generation do nothing steal everything. Go away.

@Marc C

Wow, I hope it makes you feel better to post self-righteous garbage anonymously on the internet. I can’t stand seeing desperate bullshit feminist posts from men trying to score brownie points with women. Yeah, you’re so offended I’m sure. Give me a fucking break.

Guys, some of these commenters have a point. Sexism is a problem, especially with comic books. This pose is outrageous and doesn’t fit the scene at all. Drawings like these prove that the women are just there for eye candy. Comic artists need to show some respect for women at some point- until now, they’ve been for apperance, showing mostly their boobs, their ass, and how “sexy” they are. Feel free to prove me wrong. Please do, in fact. I just hope things get better for the opposite gender.

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