I've had some acute insights lately about women, sex and porn, and this is from someone not only with an addictive personality but also who's been disconnecting from a porn addiction that goes way back to around 1970. But Porn is something we don't talk about, isn't it? For such a huge problem in our culture, the silence is deafening.
In America you're catered to at every turn with some well-marketed and potentially-addictive substance (or idea, or image) that will float your boat and help get you through the day. Or so the unspoken claim goes. Sure, have 5 teaspoons of sugar in a soda, or a cigarette, or some alcohol or drugs or porn. Even if you ain't online at this very second, just looking-over a woman in public can imitate the porn rush. And so fantasy spreads into reality.
In light of all these recent observations I've had not only deal with my own demons but also make decisions about my own work and its effects on the small society of comic art fans. That's all lower-case, of course. I've written extensively in the Orb books about the ill-health of the field, mainly its lack of ethics and derivative themes concerning sex and violence.
Getting away with brutality via trickery of human-shaped mannikens.
At any rate, after peddling thousands of titillating artworks over the years, and basically having been forced to by the marketplace in order to survive financially, I've modified my own work in terms of the sexuality in it. To some the alterations might seem slight, but apparently to others they are simply not acceptable. Recently, the following message arrived here via eBay's "ask seller a question":
I think Mike Hoffman is equally or more talented a draftsman than the
inimitable Frank Frazetta, but here his execution is indolent, and he
is obviously very bored and uninspired. I see mediocre women built like
this drawing ALL DAY LONG.
When I buy fantasy
art, (especially women) I want her body to be fantastical, waist tapered
to near impossibility, manly or at least androgynous at the shoulders
and tits reaching out to the heavens, but ALWAYS pretty!!. C'mon Mike,
get your ass out to the titty bars again, buy some shots and get some
lap dances and reconnect with what you do best, GODDESSES!!!
Hoffman is technically as good or better a draftsman than Frazetta, but
currently waaaaaaay less motivated and executes lines with a lot less
testosterone. I love your art and I own lots of it so get fired up
again Mike with effeminate, physical surreality, please. Reality is
Always, an objective fan (and collector).
And my reply?
Welcome to Reality.
This communication has reassured me that I am on the right track, as the irritation displayed by this person clearly shows that I am no longer adequately supporting his fantasy with my artwork. In fact, I'm an utter failure in doing so.
The uncooperative artwork in question.
Perhaps no one will wonder about the actual "personality" of Vampirella as depicted above, her likes/dislikes, her past relationships, her parents or her Astrological sign, but clearly the further we move toward a complete picture of any particular individual woman the less we objectify women as a whole.