Escher Girls

Float like a butterfly, Sting like a WTF!?

This is a blog to archive and showcase the prevalence of certain ways women are depicted in illustrated pop media, specifically how women are posed, drawn, distorted, and/or sexualized out of context, often in ridiculous, impossible or disturbing ways that sacrifice storytelling.

See the "About" section in the sidebar for more details.

(All art featured on this blog belongs to their respective artists)

Thoughts & Opinions from Commenters, Disqus Mods, & Submitters are their own & do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of this site.

contact: eschergirls@gmail.com

Please read submitting and commenting guidelines (sidebar) before doing either.


maplepoutine submitted:






This is not really an Escher Girl, but the LoL cinematic trailer submission on this page made me think of this screencap of an FF XV trailer.  Notice how every male character have textured, realist skin while the two female characters have perfect pale skin with makeup on.

This is referring to a previous post where somebody brought up the lack of wrinkles or facial creases of any kind on a woman character in a League of Legends trailer, and I also posted a picture of the male and female faces in Batman: Arkham City as another example where female faces must be devoid of any lines (even expression lines) while male faces can have all sorts of interesting features and details, and can be exaggerated to give more character to the faces.

This isn’t just about women having to be portrayed as eternally young, or how women’s standards for beauty are so tied with having no lines on our faces, but it’s also incredibly limiting when designing and portraying female characters.  If all your female characters always have to have smooth round faces, no wrinkles, etc (and often big eyes and pouty lips too), then it’s going to be that much harder to try to make them look different than each other.  And if they also aren’t allowed to show lines on their faces for expressions, then it’s going to limit the range of their expression too, or they’re going to end up with a weird doll look when you do have them emote.  The point is, it can end up creating a very limited box for female character visuals, and creating characters that all look very similarly, even if you really don’t mean to. And that in turn limits how much information you can convey about those characters, visually.

This is not really an Escher Girl, but the LoL cinematic trailer submission on this page made me think of this screencap of an FF XV trailer.  Notice how every male character have textured, realist skin while the two female characters have perfect pale skin with makeup on.

This is referring to a previous post where somebody brought up the lack of wrinkles or facial creases of any kind on a woman character in a League of Legends trailer, and I also posted a picture of the male and female faces in Batman: Arkham City as another example where female faces must be devoid of any lines (even expression lines) while male faces can have all sorts of interesting features and details, and can be exaggerated to give more character to the faces.

This isn’t just about women having to be portrayed as eternally young, or how women’s standards for beauty are so tied with having no lines on our faces, but it’s also incredibly limiting when designing and portraying female characters.  If all your female characters always have to have smooth round faces, no wrinkles, etc (and often big eyes and pouty lips too), then it’s going to be that much harder to try to make them look different than each other.  And if they also aren’t allowed to show lines on their faces for expressions, then it’s going to limit the range of their expression too, or they’re going to end up with a weird doll look when you do have them emote.  The point is, it can end up creating a very limited box for female character visuals, and creating characters that all look very similarly, even if you really don’t mean to. And that in turn limits how much information you can convey about those characters, visually.


waterbottleisland submitted:


Here is my quick fix for this poor gal. Hope this makes it a bit less painful to look at…

Simple and effective. 
I’d be curious to see various people’s different takes on this scene though, redrawing all 3 characters in what they think the spirit of the panel is.  Maybe that should be the next contest. o:

Here is my quick fix for this poor gal. Hope this makes it a bit less painful to look at…

Simple and effective. 

I’d be curious to see various people’s different takes on this scene though, redrawing all 3 characters in what they think the spirit of the panel is.  Maybe that should be the next contest. o:


racklestackles submitted:




Cover of The Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior #10 by Michael Golden

I think the woman at the front looks kinda cool, but the woman in the back is so oddly out of place to me.  It’s like an arena double booked a ballet performance with a gladiator contest, and just went with it.

Cover of The Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior #10 by Michael Golden

I think the woman at the front looks kinda cool, but the woman in the back is so oddly out of place to me.  It’s like an arena double booked a ballet performance with a gladiator contest, and just went with it.


happybluedashes submitted:


as a marvel comics fan, I’ve been subjected to many a greg land catastrophe. but this one may actually take the cake as the worst god damn one I’ve seen in the ten years since I’ve been aware of his art

"C’mon sugar, this is getting painful.  Are we on Escher Girls yet?"
"I don’t know, but I hope we get posted soon because I can’t keep altering our bodies with my powers like this."
(Cover of Uncanny Avengers #20, Marvel Comics)

as a marvel comics fan, I’ve been subjected to many a greg land catastrophe. but this one may actually take the cake as the worst god damn one I’ve seen in the ten years since I’ve been aware of his art

"C’mon sugar, this is getting painful.  Are we on Escher Girls yet?"

"I don’t know, but I hope we get posted soon because I can’t keep altering our bodies with my powers like this."

(Cover of Uncanny Avengers #20, Marvel Comics)


painkitty submitted:




Tristana from Mass Effect: Foundation issue #11. Artist: Tony Parker. Apparently asari have evolved past a need for a spine or ribcage…

Zero G brings new meaning to rock oldies like ‘Twist & Shout.
(caption by aesmael)

Tristana from Mass Effect: Foundation issue #11. Artist: Tony Parker. Apparently asari have evolved past a need for a spine or ribcage…

Zero G brings new meaning to rock oldies like ‘Twist & Shout.

(caption by aesmael)


solitary-serenity submitted:


Spider-Buck, Spider-Buck, poses just like Spider-Woman does
This is a quick parody painting of that recent Spider-Woman variant cover by Milo Manara, complete with painted on spandex uniform!! 

This is very good work for a parody. 
Little known fact: Mandatory sexiness is part of Hydra training.

Spider-Buck, Spider-Buck, poses just like Spider-Woman does

This is a quick parody painting of that recent Spider-Woman variant cover by Milo Manara, complete with painted on spandex uniform!! 

This is very good work for a parody. 

Little known fact: Mandatory sexiness is part of Hydra training.


xenohound submitted:


i tried to fix this post but it was a lot harder than i expected it to be?? nothing about that pose makes sense. why is she floating. is she floating? if she’s floating why doesn’t she just turn around? why is there a butt on her thigh? who put those water balloons in her vacuum latex suit?
but yeah i apologize for the scribbliness of this fix, i got kind of frustrated

Despite the unfinished scribbliness, I do like the gist of what you were going for.  She looks very confident and bold.  Focusing on the arm attack rather than showing breasts and butt adds more of a sense of conflict to the picture.

i tried to fix this post but it was a lot harder than i expected it to be?? nothing about that pose makes sense. why is she floating. is she floating? if she’s floating why doesn’t she just turn around? why is there a butt on her thigh? who put those water balloons in her vacuum latex suit?

but yeah i apologize for the scribbliness of this fix, i got kind of frustrated

Despite the unfinished scribbliness, I do like the gist of what you were going for.  She looks very confident and bold.  Focusing on the arm attack rather than showing breasts and butt adds more of a sense of conflict to the picture.


pointless-nonsense submitted:


This is from Batgirl #34. I thought this looked pretty normal until I realized that was Black Canary’s butt.

I know this is a fight scene, so it’s understandable to have a twist to show some in motion stuff, but oh my god, so many things are off about this.

This is from Batgirl #34. I thought this looked pretty normal until I realized that was Black Canary’s butt.

I know this is a fight scene, so it’s understandable to have a twist to show some in motion stuff, but oh my god, so many things are off about this.

lesstitsnass:

It’s a two-fer! Courtesy of @dcwomenkickingass, and specifically this post, I had to do an edit of these, while my storyboards wait. 

I’m not going to go into long explanations here, I hope the drawings do speak for themselves. In the first case, it’s a Land being Land, although I do have to say that he did give a butt to Silk, as opposed to his usual ablation of hips and gluteus maximi. However, he unfortunately did it wrong. 

Artistic anatomy is all about drawing structure, from the inside out. Your muscles by themselves can’t look right if they aren’t placed on top of a properly proportioned skeleton.  Boobs won’t look right if they aren’t drawn as following the curve of the ribcage, its center line, or the movement of the arms which either pull or push on the pectorals on which the breasts hang. The arms back mean the shoulders are lowered, and the angle of the hands will be different since there’s a 3/4 turn on the torso. It shows that Land is drawing by guessed shapes, copied contours and practiced repeated motions. There’s no real structure underneath his shapes.

And if we look at the legs, I can only picture Kitty Pride phasing out of a wall: the legs look like they got mangled up to look like stumps. But even structure-wise, there is no thought put into whether the pose actually works, which is why it looks so clumsy. The legs should be reversed due to the line of action that’s in the torso but not followed through into the pelvis and legs. And I’ve been using the coil technique a lot in order to make my volumes work - it should be obvious by the roughs above - which help me figure out things like foreshortening. 

Silk too was a problem of lack of structure, proportions all over the place, and lack of weight and purpose, but it felt moreso than Spiderwoman. I used the same pose Land did but worked out the skeleton first, using rotation arcs in order to properly proportion the length of the various limbs. I don’t know these characters and I might not have used these poses, but Silk here definitely looks like she’s dancing.

The variant cover by Manara looks like a pose right out of porn, pelvis up and cheeks spread, costume looking like body paint, and it makes me very uncomfortable. She doesn’t look like a superhero about to strike, she looks like she’s about to get… well, it’s a porn pose. This is sexualisation. It also reminds me of the Dog Bone sexy shape. 

So I turned the pose sideways to figure it out, and to see what would work better. The sideways pose as is, as you can see, is angled to do quite the opposite of ass-kicking. Were she to try to leap from that pose, she’d fall flat on her face. The second pose is the “coiled like a spring”, but in the camera angle of the cover, it’s an ugly, ugly pose. So I tried to do something in-between, and just by making the pelvis horizontal and lifting the torso off the ground, I’ve managed to move the center of gravity so her weight is on her feet instead of her knees, she can use her arms to maneuver in most directions, and you still get an interesting body shape to look at. I think this works better, and much more ready to spring into motion.

Wanted also to say thanks for all the reblogs, likes and recent follows! I appreciate each one of them, and it’s because you’re still sharing and commenting that I came back to do this. However I’m still really busy! I won’t be posting a lot, but I do plan on posting more than I have. Back to storyboards for me! 

Great breakdown of both Spider-Woman covers by Kanthara from Less Tits n’ Ass, More Kickin’ Ass (which I strongly recommend as a follow for people who like redlines/redraws/fixes). :D

I’ve seen a lot of battle bikinis while running this blog, but some ribbons holding up a metal crotch plate is a new one on me.

I’ve seen a lot of battle bikinis while running this blog, but some ribbons holding up a metal crotch plate is a new one on me.