Saturday, October 13, 2012

The Pledge Drive...

Lately I've been retiring a lot of my various projects, in other words, I'm no longer selling them.  You may know that most publications have a "peak" and then sales slowly decline after that.  These older books of mine like Electric Frankenstein do still sell steadily, but in spite of that I feel they no longer represent me, so I'm willing to sacrifice the income just to get them out of the way.  They are cluttering things up.

After five years, no more.

While I'm talking freely here, I have a new idea I'd like your feedback on.  Ready?  WELL... We all know that Comics and Fantasy Art have been increasingly invaded over the years by growing amounts of "T&A".  Some have explained this to me as simply being a preference of an older male audience, but I think the cause runs deeper than that.

The Cause, to me, is basically an infiltration of Porn.  Now, this is not to take the moral high ground on other artists, because I have surely contributed to it over the years. But, you may notice the shock exhibited by Comics outsiders when confronted with "standard" comics imagery these days; they tend to recoil.  Fans are accustomed to it, but it's very weird to the general public.

A Sample of the Porn invasion in Comics.

Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. has been flipping out lately because as licensors they don't understand what Porn has to do with Burroughs' writing and characters.  Sure, he may have said they're nude in the books, but that's hardly the point; the books say it, they don't show it.  Tarzan was naked for some time, too. No one's showing that.

So anyway, the mantra among comic artists these days has become one of so-called survival; "If we don't cater with sex, we'll starve".  Plenty of talented people are wasting their lives on this stuff.  I think it's gone far enough, and I'm ready to act as an example and starve if necessary.

Make no mistake, today's comic art is porn, it's just a matter of degree.  Porn relies on objectification, mainly of women, and this effects falls across a wide spectrum.

People, human beings, loaded with personality and character.

The above is a perfect example of watered-down porn. The characters pose for no other reason than to titillate, obliquely offering themselves to us for a sexual romp.  The fact that this is but one example of an Industry-wide phenomenon doesn't speak well for the health of that industry.  Like us comic artists, would Marvel and DC die by leaving out the Porn?

If they did, then it's a good time to die.

What I want to begin here is a pledge list for Comic Artists, that they will no longer pander and if necessary die by starvation rather than continue and contribute to this miserable and negative trend.  As I've said I have contributed to it in the past, but enough is enough.  Are you brave enough, and do you have enough faith in your talent to go it alone--without taking the easy way out, demeaning women and yourselves?

So who's got the guts out there?


mikehoffman said...

Remember that artists are essentially creative, so we're able to create alternatives and solutions, too.

Andre St-Amour said...

Yes, I do see it, and the infiltration of gore and sadism, etc, too. No, I'm not a prude or anything of the sort. I, too, produce my own comics. I simply choose NOT to include degrading imagery, excessive violence (as opposed to action)and sex, in my "mainstream" comics. Should I, however, decide to create a "mature theme" comic, then the rating/warning will be on the cover, yet still won't contain the porn, gore, etc. (not to be confused with nudity or action or mature themes).
Andre St-Amour

Cousin Barnabas said...

I was "reading" the most recent issue of DARK SHADOWS/VAMPIRELLA when I read this post, and quoted you in a similar editorial of my own:

mikehoffman said...

I guess every artist is gonna have to draw the line themselves, and some of this is certainly subjective, but once you're really into Porn Territory I don't think anyone's really going to deny it.

Then again, you may also have to decide whether your basic themes are uplifting people or degrading them on levels other than sexual.

Jim Coy said...

Sex predates porn; nature predates sex. Through the human experience, one captures some essence of the process of life… its history and mystery, then embraces it briefly while attempting to express it ever so well. I abhor imagery that degrades women or the feminine in any way. But I am human and I enjoy having my mind ‘screwed’ with on as frequent and as random a basis as practicable. I like being teased, tickled, and tantalized in tastefully creative ways. I am receptive to and quite fond of the erotic element that permeates all life experience. I like being reminded that I feel and think…. And, I see it done! Let’s consider addressing the bath water with more directness, but let’s keep that precious babe.

Mike Hoffman said...

Just as long as the "babe" is someone else.