All written content ©2013 Mike Pascale. Visual content ©2013 its respective owner(s).
There’s no shortage of posts griping and sniping about the portrayal of women in comics–especially in the superhero titles. Anorexic arms and legs, waists as thin as ankles, with giant, circle-template breasts, callipygian backsides, impossibly tight and/or revealing costumes, pouty lips, seductive poses and gratuitous sex (implied or actual). Funny thing is, people have been complaining about such things since the 1950s. Since most superhero comics are drawn by and for men, the complaining won’t cease for a while (if ever). But when I come across depictions of fantasy females that appeal to me as both a hetero and an artist, I’d like to point them out.
Here are a few, courtesy of the great Nick Cardy (born Nicholas Viscardi), one of DC’s best of the Silver Age., who’s also known for his early work on Will Eisner’s LADY LUCK in the ’40s. (He’s also one of the nicest men I’ve had the joy of meeting. Surprisingly humble.) I’m going to do a “Top Ten Favorite Covers” segment on the site of just Nick’s covers, but this gives me an excuse to squeeze in some extras. (This way, they won’t all be filled with gorgeous women and I don’t look like a total letch.) Nick is not only still kicking, but kicking butt with some lovely personal commissions.
Also included is the original art for one of my top ten SUPERMAN covers of all time (first series, #261). Seriously, how many times have you seen Supes so submissive to a woman before or since? Not many, that’s for sure! This is pure Italian art.
I see nothing wrong with idealizing the female form as the male one is, but I prefer those female figures that that don’t look like pencils with attached balloons. It’s possible to be curvy without being crazy–beautiful and believable. Though idealized (as most art should be), Nick drew real women.
Most of the Silver Age and even Golden Age greats drew this way. Today, it’s Adam Hughes, Frank Cho, Terry Dodson and a few others that have taken up the mantle. Who are some of your favorites?
P.S.: If you’d like an original art commission of any fabulous fantasy female or femme fatale (or magnificent, manly man) — I’m more than happy to create it for you at a very reasonable price. Just ask Craig here!