- Posted by Johanna on May 25, 2008 at 10:18 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
According to Laura Hudson, this Titans #5 cover (due in August) is causing controversy.
I wish she’d linked to more examples, because I’m curious on what grounds anyone is annoyed about this. (And I don’t want to talk about the one she does link to, because she doesn’t like it when people are snarky about her comments. But then, who does?) Maybe it’s all being talked about on livejournal?
From what I’ve gathered, the main complaint is that you only see tongues in kissing if it’s porn. For one, that’s ridiculous: I have a shelf full of romance DVDs starring Pierce and the two Hughs (not together, although wouldn’t that be yummy?), and I know I’ve seen tongues in at least one of them. (Heck, in The Thomas Crown Affair, there’s a LOT more. I guess they would say that makes it porn, too.) For another, it’s drawn by Ian Churchill. The guy has a dodgy grasp of anatomy at best. We’re lucky that they only have one tongue each and that they’re in their mouths.
The cover is a ridiculous, cartoony example of sexuality, exaggerated to being laughable, but then, so are most superhero comic covers. Only usually, instead of a couple, they’re about violence or ogling women or ogling women in the midst of violence. This is kind of a pleasant change. I’m with Laura when she says
as a woman, I would much rather see a sexy picture of a male/female couple making it hot than a scantily-clad woman as the lone object of desire, and this particularly image is sexy in a much more inclusive way than most imagery in [superhero] comics.
Looks to me like Nightwing is concentrating on pleasing Starfire — although maybe I’m just reading into it — and I like that idea. Me, I’m more interested in a story called “Date Night” about superhero love lives than I am in yet another battle. I don’t think I’ll be picking up Titans just because of this, but that’s more due to little interest in the characters and less in the creative team.
Laura goes on to ask a very loaded question:
Which makes me wonder: what are people are really getting upset about in these semi-regular controversies about cheesecake: the sexual exploitation of women, or just… sex?
I think that goes a bit too far, without more specific statements from those complaining. It’s the kind of comment made by people who want to shut down discussion by women. (Edit: Not that I think Laura is doing that, but it’s uncomfortably similar.) If someone really objects to this cover (as opposed to wanting to rile people up for other reasons), then let them make their case. We can each evaluate it based on how plausible and sensible it seems. And this one, for me… not so much.
Update: Valerie has responded to Laura (link no longer available). Valerie calls it a matter of taste (ok) and says it doesn’t turn her on (fair enough). But then she goes on to condemn it in terms of its outreach outside the industry, which is making two mistakes: 1) it assumes that her tastes are more shared by “civilians” than Laura’s or mine, to take just two, and 2) it assumes that anyone who doesn’t read comics is even going to see or care about this.