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Published on September 15th, 2011 | by Aaron


Emma Frost: Why It’s Awkward To Read Some Comics In Public

I buy at least one trade paper-back comic book every week. On average. I don’t usually buy single issues due to the money factor so every Wednesday I’ll pop into the comic book store on my lunch break at work and see what’s new and usually there will be one I want.

This week, two books I follow came out in trade format. They were, coincidentally the two X-Men books I read, Astonishing X-Men and Uncanny X-Men.

Because I buy these books on my lunch break, I will often read them in the office canteen. Considering I’m a creature of habit, it means for the last 4 years that I’ve been in my current job, my co-workers have seen me reading comics every week for a long time. I’m not embarrassed to be reading my comics in front of my peers and bosses. There is nothing to be embarrassed about. They often strike up conversations with me about what I’m reading too. I’ve even gotten a female co-worker addicted to The Walking Dead.

Comics. Grown-ups read them.

However, there are a few occasions when I am embarrassed to read a comic in front of other people. And those times occur because of predominantly crap like this:

The “sexy” female pose.

Now folks, there is no need for Emma Frost to be giving us the notorious “boobs and butt” pose on the cover of this. For several reasons. My main reason being it looks absolutely ridiculous and demeaning for all involved.

And you know what it says to people who see me reading it? The impression they get is “that guys is perving at cartoon ladies”. FACT. We can all dance around the subject and say that it’s expressive art and that there is a style to how and why she is posed like this but in reality the average person who looks at this will think she is posed like that for perverts who want to beat-off to a drawing.

Lets be real here.

She is not posed like this for the female readers. Nobody is being empowered by Emma Frost’s butt. Women will not protest if they stop posing Emma Frost like this. Nobody wants it other than sexually frustrated boys.

I hate to be the guy who has to say it so plainly, but I’m really getting fed up with seeing this crap in the stories I enjoy.

Take for example this panel from the same comic.

What the hell is going on with her breasts here? Seriously? And what is the point of drawing it? It has nothing to do with the conversation and isn’t spoken about in any way. There is no “what the hell are you doing with your boobs in my face, Emma?” line to follow. In fact, the conversation they end up having is about crime in Africa and the history of certain real-life political leaders. It’s a fascinating scene but will anyone ever remember that? Nope, just the boobs. They’re there, haunting us.

And don’t even try to throw the “but no guy really looks like Superman, these are super heroes, their bodies are extreme” argument. Bullshit. Nobody has big boobs as a super power. Yes, the men are steroid fueled behemoths but they also don’t have their penis being waved in my face.

I’m not even arguing about how skimpy some of the female superhero outfits are (but don’t be surprised if I come back for that fight another day) because what really bugs me is the way a lot of comic books artists find a way to sexualize them in their poses and figures.

It’s not a universal problem though. Check out the cover for the other comic I bought this week.

Two women on the front cover here and both are realistically proportioned and posed as unsexy as their male counterparts. Even Emma Frost is dressed reasonably!

Do you see the difference? I didn’t feel the need to hide this cover. However. I currently have a cup over Emma Frost on the Astonishing cover while it sits on my desk.

And this is not just my prudishness, it’s a problem with the comic book industry as a whole. Comics will never be taken seriously, or put on full view, as long as this sort of sexualisation continues because both retailers and the public will feel uncomfortable being seen with it.

So please, comic book artists, sort this out. Because nobody needs to see this:


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