Not me, of course, but take a trip around the internet lately and you’ll find that the poor, put-upon fanboy is being subjected to higher-than-normal ammounts of cock by the unfeeling bastards in charge of the comics industry. How’s that for the antithesis of the typical complaints about homosexuality and even male sexuality in comics?
It all started with Don MacPherson, talking about the images below:
“One has to give DC Comics credit, though, for sexualizing characters of both genders in its newest solicitations. Just check out the Alex Ross-painted cover image for Justice Society of America #7, slated for release in July. It depicts the newest member of the title team, Citizen Steel, a young man carrying on his familyâ€™s heroic tradition after he was altered by liquid metal excreted by a Nazi super-villain.
“That strange steel elixir has transformed him into an invulnerable super-hero, a man of steel. And if one looks closely, itâ€™s not just his fists and flesh that are hard as a rock. Perhaps his red, white and blue costume has led him to believe heâ€™s a postal carrier, because heâ€™s looking down at a packageâ€¦ one he seems more than ready to deliver.
“Groovyâ€¦ itâ€™s a special deliveryâ€¦ for the ladies. Or perhaps this is DCâ€™s subtle attempt to test of the waters in the yaoi fanbase.”
- Don Macpherson
Oh Don, you’re right, because whyever would a dude wanna look at another dude’s package? I mean, that’s solely the domain of ladies and yaoi fans, who are also mostly ladies.
So what starts off as a pretty ignorant comment in a well-meaning article by Don about the sexification of Catwoman et al. snowballs into Brian Cronin making a jack-ass of himself over at the CBR blogs. Take it away, Brian:
“So, just when I was about to expand DC Comic cover snark this month to include a discussion of two horrible horrible horrible horrible statues that DC solicited this week, Don MacPherson had to alert me to a piece he wrote on those two statues at his neat site… Don also made a catch that, admittedly, I do not think I would have noticed, regarding the JSA cover solicited for July…
“Notice anything creepily unusual? Look closer (as Don so ably does for us).
“How freaking creepy is THAT? My pal Jake said to me, â€œI think there are two equally creepy options – 1. Ross intentionally, on his own accord, drew a big bulge in the guyâ€™s pants or 2. The model Ross had for Citizen Steel had a big bulge, and Ross decided to paint it in.â€
“Pretty darn creepy.”
- Brian Cronin
Where do I start with that? First and foremost, there’s a reason that “Comics Should Be Good” isn’t linked from my site, and the above is a good indicator of why. Second, that’s what “Queer Fear” is, in case you were wondering.Â Brian and his ‘buddy’ Jake are ‘creeped out’ by a bulge in another guy’s pants (artistic or otherwise). The idea that an artist chose to give a character an impressively-rendered package is actually frightening to these fellas, and the idea that his model might’ve had a good-sized package in real life? And Alex Ross decided NOT to neuter him for some insane reason? Equally as creepy.
The best, best part, is the comments section at Cronin’s post. Wherin a bunch of fanboys come to Brian Cronin’s defense over finding cock terrifying. My favourite bit is where “Jake” says:
“What weirded me out about it wasnâ€™t that a bulge existed, but what must have been Rossâ€™s thought process. It was his clear devotion to accurately reproducing what an erect penis would look like in a superhero costume. Either he planned on giving Citizen Steel a boner, or whoever his model that he painted from had one, and he made damn sure he captured a good likeness.”
Jake, buddy, on behalf of all of us who have made hobby out of studying the bulges in guys’ pants, let me stateâ€”for the recordâ€”that that is not what a good-sized cock looks like when it is erect, in form-fitting material. It isn’t even an artistic approximation therof. That’s just a good-sized soft cock looks like. I’m… I’m very sorry that you can’t tell the difference between the two. I’m afraid I’m going to have to recommend some remedial work for you in this subject. I recommend starting with the underwear section of InternationalMale.comÂ for an hour a day until you can tell the difference.
While Brian Cronin appears to have decided his post doesn’t need defending (I’d submit that it’s, instead, indefensible) Don Macpherson is not one to take criticism lightly, and hisÂ defence of his originalÂ column continues in the comments section at Comics Should Be Good, and even spills over into the comments section at the Newsarama Blog. In response to a critic, Don offers up “You make it sound as though Ross has no choice but to include a bulge just because thereâ€™s one apparent on the model.” Did I mention that said critic is irate homosexual Dorian Wright from PomoBarney? No? It is:
“So, Don, is it the very idea of a bulge that youâ€™re objecting to, then? Because, yes, if Ross is accurately attempting to portray the model, and say what you will about his art, he does appear to be meticulous in attempting to make it as realistic as possible, than he probably should show a bit of package if the model is. But most importantly, SO WHAT? Itâ€™s not as if Ross has lovingly detailed the outline of the shaft through the clothing. All heâ€™s done is paint the shadows and highlights in such a way as to suggest that his model wasnâ€™t a Ken doll. Honestly, from some of these reactions, youâ€™d think comic fans were uncomfortable with the suggestion that men have genitals.”
- Dorian Wright
It’s always fun to see Dorian be bitchy, and here he’s fully justified. He’s playing politic here too, and not just out and out claiming that lots and lots of comics fans are entirely uncomfortable with the suggestion that men have genitals. They are. To be fair, it’s not just comics fans, lots of dudes are completely and utterly uncomfortable with their sexuality, but Comic Fans are pretty special in that regard, and comics characters have long been so artisticly dickless as to be concave where their genitals should be it’s not surprising that they’re a little on edge. As a commenter at Newsarama points out, the artistic focus of the piece is clearly the face and chest of the character, not the cock, but certain posters just seem mesmerised by Citizen Steele’s package (that’s his real name, by the way). Why is that, do we think? I’m sure the folks who have a problem with itâ€”the commenters that find it ‘creepy’ or scaryâ€”would argue that you simply can’t avoid looking at it, it’s so prominent! I’d like to offer another theory.
Go check outÂ this out. It’s a report on a study about “eyetracking” or seeing how people interact with the internet. It uses a set of goggles to measure where the eye is fixating on a page, and then turns that into visual data. It ranges from bright red, where the eye lingers for a longer period of time, to blue, where the eye barely scans. But yeah, let’s skip to the relevant part. Here’s me quoting a big chunk from the site.
–>Quoted from http://www.ojr.org/ojr/stories/070312ruel/
When photos do contain people related to the task at hand, or the content users are exploring, they do get fixations. However, gender makes a distinct difference on what parts of the photo are stared at the longest. Take a look at the hotspot below.
Although both men and women look at the image of George Brett when directed to find out information about his sport and position, men tend to focus on private anatomy as well as the face. For the women, the face is the only place they viewed.
This image of George Brett was part of a larger page with his biographical information. All users tested looked the image, but there was a distinct difference in focus between men and women.
Coyne adds that this difference doesnâ€™t just occur with images of people. Men tend to fixate more on areas of private anatomy on animals as well, as evidenced when users were directed to browse the American Kennel Club site.
<--End Quote. (Bolded emphasis above is mine)
It’s not Alex Ross’ fault, gentlemen. You just can’t help staring at the cock. EvenÂ when you’re afraid of it.
Note: I’m sorry that this had to be my first post of substance in days.
Edited to add: Pictures of dudes with big packages, for ‘comparisson’.