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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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Location: Bellingham, WA

PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TIAB wrote:
Or the force from her scream requires her to lean forward to maintain her balance. Given that is her superpower that seems like a pretty reasonable pose to me.

Maybe, I mean, I don't pretend to know the physics of banshee screams. Unfortunately, the position of her body decreases her ability to breathe. Arm extension (moving your arms backward from the midline of your body), shoulder adduction (rolling shoulders back), and spine extension (bending backward) stretch the intercostal muscles that expand the chest cavity during breathing. At that point breathing (contraction of the intercostals) is opposed by your entire spinalis group, your deltoids, and scalenes... so breathing is more difficult (and more shallow). Try it: try to touch your elbows behind your back and take a deep breath, then drop your arms and try again. When I do it I get about half as much air in me.
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

maybe she leaned back on the inhale and pushed the scream forward on the exhale
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fritterdonut



Joined: 24 Jul 2012
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:

I laughed too hard.
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Dogen



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heretical Rants wrote:
maybe she leaned back on the inhale and pushed the scream forward on the exhale

Maybe! It's an inefficient way to scream (leaning forward and rolling your shoulders forward as you scream works better by mechanically compressing your chest cavity; try it), but people do a lot of things inefficiently.

Basically, I think she's drawn that way because it shows off her boobs and that's how comics do.

But then maybe she doesn't need air to use her superpower, so body mechanics are out, and she just does it that way because she likes it.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 5:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

She's not drawn that way for boob reasons, she's drawn that way for dynamism and probably secondarily for composition purposes. Not everything about the way superhumans are drawn in comics has to do with boobs, but the vast majority of it has to do with making a picture look action-packed, even if the character is basically standing still.

I think the Billy Tables captcha pic is what broke the website.
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Dogen



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
She's not drawn that way for boob reasons, she's drawn that way for dynamism and probably secondarily for composition purposes. Not everything about the way superhumans are drawn in comics has to do with boobs, but the vast majority of it has to do with making a picture look action-packed, even if the character is basically standing still.

I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this.
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fritterdonut



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 6:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
I think the Billy Tables captcha pic is what broke the website.


The fact you referenced that makes it even better.

Remember folks, sanitize your user inputs, because sooner or later someone will try to fuck with them.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can agree to disagree, but I'm arguing that your interpretation comes from a position of ignorance. I'm speaking with the benefit of education, insight, and experience in comic art here as well as awareness of the sexism that's rampant in the industry. I've also got some familiarity with the artist's body of work and his general approach to these casual doodles. If he was going to draw cheesecake, he would draw some pretty blatant cheesecake.

What we have in the Canary/Bolt picture is an example of using posture to guide the eye across the page and direct the flow or rhythm in a certain way to enhance the effect of the underlying idea. Black Canary is striking a dynamic, action-packed pose that zig-zags across the frame with a strong horizontal element, throwing herself against the force of her sonic scream and telegraphing the otherwise invisible energy projection. She's exerting herself and off-balance because that's what gives you the impression of movement. The main purpose here is to impress upon the reader her incredible power being used, which is hard to do when that power isn't a laser beam or something flashy like that.
Even the blocky colors in the background enhance this insinuation of unseen motion. The sound effect is nice, but the figures should be able to tell the story without speech bubbles or other conventional 4th-wall devices. Black Canary screaming with the force of a howitzer is the main thing you're supposed to take in first, and almost everything about this picture sells that.

In contrast, Black Bolt is standing off in the distance nonchalantly, not in a way that conveys heroic energy or tension. In fact, his slouching pose effects the opposite of action or heroic intent. He doesn't even get a sound effect, just an actual silent prop. Unimpressed Black Bolt is unimpressed. And to make it work, this has to be one of the last things you notice about the picture. Thus, BB is not the center of attention otherwise the sequence of reading the picture would be all out of whack. (Not to say that his stance isn't dynamic; he's slouching and emoting instead of imitating a marble column. Even his relative inaction uses dynamism and Body English to send a message.)

Both figures are arranged in such a way that the effect of one is not minimized but actually maximized and plays off the other. Whereas BC is near to the viewer and seen in a side-on profile that would be stale if not for her dynamic pose, BB is rendered smaller and more distant so as not to have him conflict with the energy of BC's action. BB's seen in an almost entirely flat, head-on position relative to the camera which plays off his bemused expression, and shows the reader his sign in the clearest possible manner.
The fact that they are assuming opposite attitudes in the same panel really drives home their different levels of enthusiasm. BC's giving it all she's got, BB's ho-hum at her results. It's comedy in contrast. It's not actually trivial to work all of this into a single panel and make it effective. There are constraints on the camera angles that work with all of it at once, and it's a trade-off for maximizing the intention of the piece efficiently. There is a lot going on here in this deceptively simple panel. Rather than serving as a mere boob shot, this is one of the few ways you can actually make it work as well as it does here.

But sure, maybe she's just drawn that way to show off her boobs because that's how comics work. Rolling Eyes

When the only thing you have to analyze a medium is a hammer, every problem starts to look like a nail. The only lens you seem to have available is the lens of Escher Girls, that seems to be your main point of contact with the nuts-and-bolts of this kind of art beyond the simple mechanics of physiology. Let's assume that you, like me, know your shit and that BC really isn't in the most efficient pose for her physics-breaking superhuman sonic attack power. Is it really best to conclude that this is essentially because of shallow sexism, and not anything else? I think you're being too quick to whip that out and rely on that as your primary source of insight, not considering the other angles (especially not those of an illustrator). Frankly I find it to be uncharacteristically dismissive of you.
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10/10 analysis - would analyze again
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stripeypants



Joined: 24 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 9:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The eye is drawn along by the boobs toward the other character. Her boobs are the centerpiece of the picture. Boobs.

We don't have to take my or Dogen's word for it. Want my comic book group to analyse the picture? They meet in two days, and I'm sure would be glad to weigh in. (I should mention they are legit professional artists, though I think most produce comics independently on the web.)
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Samsally



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

She really does look like she's two seconds away from falling on her face. Part of me wants to try and set up a real life picture of it, but a larger part of me doesn't want to fall on my face.

I mean, I get the visual importance of dynamic poses and everything. But the only way I can imagine you'd come out of that pose is by stumbling, flat out falling, or some sort of stealthily rigged thigh harness. None of that seems particularly heroic.
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WheelsOfConfusion



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stripeypants wrote:
The eye is drawn along by the boobs toward the other character. Her boobs are the centerpiece of the picture. Boobs.

The center of the picture isn't the "center" of the picture. As in, it isn't necessarily the focal point. In fact, putting the focal point in the center is usually boring. Once the eye moves over the figures, the main focal points are the circuitous swoop of BC's body and the invisible lines of action, which frame the smaller, off-center area of BB standing there like a doof.

Yes, her boobs are being trust forward. But that's what would happen to a woman with substantial boobage if she were put in that pose. Rather than being "basically" an excuse to draw boobs, it's much more plausible that this is just an side effect of the composition, completely unrelated to the gag which is the true purpose of the image. Black Canary is there in an action-packed pose to indicate the power of her scream (here being equated with the wind-based dragon shout from Skyrim, the usage of which forces the male or female player character into this same face-forward pose), framing the unimpressed Black Bolt whose semi-sonic, quasi-energy-based Blessed With Suck powers are so great that he would level a city if he so much as yawned.

It does not matter if the pose is awkward from a realistic standpoint because it's not supposed to be realistic in the first place. It's supposed to get the joke across. That's the whole point of exaggeration in comics, cartooning, and animation. All of it is in service of conveying the underlying idea; that's the essence of visual storytelling. The picture actually does this remarkably well. But let's just throw all that out and focus on the boobs because ignoring the boobage is sexist or something.


It's all well and good to try pscyhoanalysis of the artist's intent, but do not lose sight of the fact that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. It's really kind of telling how much stuff one has to simply ignore to reach the conclusion that this is "basically" a boob shot because "that's how comics do." It shows no working knowledge of how comic art actually, you know, works, disregards everything the artist actually said about the piece, and simply reduces the whole thing to a trivial, juvenile exercise in minor sexual gratification. That speaks more to the ignorance and biases of the person making the remark than it does to the artist's.
And furthermore, ignoring the artist's own history (which I have pointed out) just broadens the pool of things you have to ignore if we're going to maintain a "hurr-hurr, it's just for da boobies!" stance. One of the things I like about Nebeziel is that his depictions of women are actually fairly realistic, relaxed, emotive, down-to-Earth, and NOT an exercise in spine-breaking mannequins with balloontits and buttcracks in the same shot. He even maintains this artistic integrity in a comic where the subject is how people deal with the centrality of sexual "deviance" in the lives of several friends, which does a lot of the work in turning what could easily have been just another poorly-drawn wankbook of pinup poses and O-faces into a thoroughly human story about relationships, prejudices, personal conflict, and internal struggles for identity.

But nope, the existence of boobies in this picture must be overriding all of that. Clearly this is just about the boobies, because boobies are all that matter to artists just like they're all that matter to readers. We can ignore all the mechanics of the picture and just note that it has boobies in it, which obviously signals the sexism permeating comics today. That's the real story here. That's why the picture is drawn the way it is, boobies. Rolling Eyes
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Yinello



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no doubt the artist tried to make it look action packed (whether the boobs are supposed to be in the centerpiece is debatable) but unless we see her whole body and thus know what she's doing, it still looks a little silly. I think the image would've been more logical if the artist had shown the whole pose. I'm sure that if you took Batman doing whatever action-y moment in a comic book and cut his body in half it would look superweird.
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Yinello



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


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stripeypants



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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WheelsOfConfusion wrote:
stripeypants wrote:
The eye is drawn along by the boobs toward the other character. Her boobs are the centerpiece of the picture. Boobs.

The center of the picture isn't the "center" of the picture. As in, it isn't necessarily the focal point.


It's funny how I said centerpiece, which is another way of saying focus. As in "Her boobs are the focus of the picture.". Centerpiece is a neat word. It can also mean anchor, as in, "The foundation of this picture is her boobs" - meaning the picture falls apart without her boobs.

Also, intent isn't everything. I hear Georgia O'keefe didn't intend to paint vaginas.
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