Robot 6

Jason Pearson and the redemptive qualities of cheesecake

Is this Jason Pearson's take on Elektra or acceptance?

Body Bags creator Jason Pearson is drawing a number of cheesecake style-commissions and discovering an emotional resonance and significance that might not be apparent to everyone. Even so, they are providing him with some solace following a suicide attempt last December.

“Maybe I’m stupid for using cheesecake to answer questions about psychiatry and quantum physics but it gets me through the fucking day,” he posted over the weekend on his Facebook page. “If I’m wrong, then at least you can be amused by the titillation.”

He has decided to discontinue any more work with Marvel and DC Comics, and instead focus on work that matters to him on some level. As he puts it, “it has to feel right.” To that effect, he is concentrating on a new story arc for his creator-owned series Body Bags (with a Kickstarter campaign possibly to follow), as well as taking on commissions. His commission work is admittedly cheesecake, but for him there are deeper messages within the sexy images that fit his new objective.

“These pieces of art should appear as nothing more than images of tits and ass, but within these requested parameters I had to ‘feel right’ about doing them. A reason for their existence had to be achieved,” he explained. “To you, Domino sits naked with Deadpool reflected in a mirror. To me, it’s a theory about the fear and hate of true love. To you, Elektra looks cool as a pin cushion for arrows and ninja stars, to me, she’s about acceptance. So is the Panda/Baby Doll piece. Scarlet Witch is about the death of family and the happiness that blossoms from it. Those are my conclusions.”

To some, he might be justifying doing commissions. After all, why do such questions and themes have to be answered with images that reinforce the victimization and/or sexualization of women? But maybe it’s the juxtaposition of such imagery with the subtext of more complicated themes that intrigues him. Or maybe there’s no intellectualizing something that has to “feel right” for the artist, and we should be grateful he’s still around so we get to contemplate such issues while looking at new work from such an exceptional talent.

To order a commission or buy original artwork by Pearson, contact Mike Alexandropoulous at MoreGreatArt.com. Here are some more examples of his work:

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Comments

16 Comments

I would most definitely kick in for a Body Bags Kickstarter. Glad to hear he’s doing better, as those messages he posted on Facebook a while back were downright scary.

He’s a fantastic artist. I cant wait to see whatever work he does next. Body Bags rocks!

really appreiate this article. that said i HATE!!! this type of thinking
“reinforce the sexualization of women?”
ok seriously WHY THE FUCK IS THIS A BAD THING? women are beautful, and attactive, men want to see attractive women WHY is this a bad thing, and a Artist should NEVER have to apologise for drawing attractive women, especialy if he does it well (rob liefield draws women sexy but does it horribly) its a compliment, its how beautful and attractive we see the female form WHY IS THIS A BAD THING?

i just cant get how seeing and illustrating them in a beautful, sexy and attractive manner demeans or offends them. its a fucking compliment

his work here is seriously fantastic, the tones of the black and white is just fantastic

I’m a gay guy and I want that Scarlet Witch piece hanging on my wall.

As for the rest of your article, like so much else on this website – more whiny cheese than cheesecake. Brian Azzarello is out-writing and outselling the last few grrrlllllzzzzz who lucked into the ‘Wonder Woman’ gig. Time to let go of your whole quota- and victim-based approach to women and comics.

Movieartman, let me see if I can explain it to you….

Suppose you were tall. Suppose you were also a talented singer, or a brilliant physicist, or a writer, or a painter, or a wood-carver, but all anybody cared about was that you were tall. No matter what you did, no matter how great your work, it all came back to how tall you were. And not just you; what if all men were judged on how tall they are? Men who aren’t tall were publicly ridiculed, with photos on Facebook mocking them and calling them “disgusting midgets” if they happen to be under 6′. What if the next man appointed to the Supreme Court were insulted in the press for not meeting public standards for height? Wouldn’t that strike you as kind of horrible?

And if you were one of the lucky ones who is tall, wouldn’t you get tired of having all your accomplishments and abilities dismissed, of being told you can’t possibly be smart or talented because you’re tall, and being tall and gifted would be just too unfair. What if being tall meant that people assumed you were obsessed with sex and looking for it all the time and wanted to be groped and fondled in public, because if you didn’t you wouldn’t go around flaunting your height? What if people were openly hostile toward you for being too tall and, and they assumed you were sneering at them for not being as tall as you? What if you got attacked by somebody who was overcome by your height and couldn’t help themselves, and when you called the police, they suggested it must be your fault, you provoked them, you shouldn’t go around being tall like that?

Are you starting to see how some beautiful women might find it insulting and dehumanizing to always have their physical appearance be the standard on which they are judged?

If you don’t get that, I don’t know what to tell you.

The thing is that men deal with gender issues as related to comic books as well. The majority of men don’t fit the archetype of the typical male power fantasy. Men aren’t all tough guys. And that is something to be addressed in cricticism. What gets tiresome is the repetitive nature of said complaints when it comes to femal gender issues.

I am not saying there is not a complaint to be made. Quite frankly, a lot of comics make me embarrased in this regard. However, these specific complaints are overreaching.

These are commissions a guy does. They aren’t even comic book stories featuring characters people might have an interest in. The vast majority of people in the world aren’t going to have their world view impacted by these commissions at all.

Holy crap, Jim, that was pretty impressive!

Never thought I would find such a classy, understandable, brilliant explanation of any topic on a internets comments section, but Jim MacQ was all that and more. Congrats, mate.

With that being said, if these Pearson’s pieces are cheesecake, Eric Basaldua’s work is full on hardcore porn.

I think this piece here:
http://sequart.org/magazine/11294/on-body-typing-in-comics-what-were-not-saying-and-why-it-matters/
does a great job of exploring both sides of the issue on sex and sexuality in comics and pop culture in general.
It’s been a while since I read it, but I remember it being fair and sensitive about both the way the women’s side of the argument and the men’s side.

I think most of vitriol from both sides comes from a lack of understanding or a lack of tact when explaining their own feelings.

But anyway, it’s great that Pearson is getting back in the comics game. I loved what I’ve read of Body Bags and hope to see more in the future.

@Jim Mac

You’re wrong. And your analogies and logic are quite flawed

The logical leaps that you make in your post are fantastic exaggerations

You also display a colossal lack of knowledge of art history

Good luck

@EwokSlayer

Asserting that somebody is wrong doesn’t make them wrong. Stating an opinion like a fact doesn’t make it a fact. Feel free to articulate why you think he’s wrong. Which by the way, he isn’t.

That Facebook post is either a brilliant put on or a master class in cognitive dissonance and self-rationalization.

Either way, that’s some gorgeous artwork.

I loved Jim MacQ’s post.

The problem is that while constant objectification of women is wrong, some peolpe (And I don’t mean anyone in this thread, just everytime this topic shows up) seem to be advocating for a total de-sexualization of female characters. That’s not the answer. Sexuality does exist, and denying it will not help stop the objectification of women at all.

While I respect Mr. Pearson’ right to do what he likes, or more to the point, justify what he likes to do…

I have to say that, without intending any kind of judgement of the quality of the art, all I see is cheesecake. I don’t see any of the subtext he’s referring to. For me, that’s because every character is sporting some form of come-hither look on her face. And no matter what kind of background you put in, or how many arrows sticking out of a leg, if the woman in the drawing looks like she wants to be ravished (Scarlet Witch, Domino) or is enjoying the situation she’s in (Elektra) then all the subtext you inject in the backgrounds or hair simply ceases to exist and you’re left with cheesecake.

I think Mr. Pearson would be much more successful in his attempts if he injected the character with the feelings he’s trying to evoke instead of relying on background images and cool hair design.

Oh, and where’s Domino’s vagina? It should be to the left of her right ankle.

Total Macceptance

September 24, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Pearson’s self-appointed “defenders” in the comments here are doing everything possible to make Pearson’s real fans look bad and prove the phantom point of the phantom criticism these creepy comments claim to answer.

How many of you knew who he was or followed his work before you decided to scramble up his back like alley cats to claw at imaginary feminazis? You gonna help him out, buy some stuff maybe?

With friends like these . . .

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