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.

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le-mec:

eschergirls:

spac3crick3t submitted:

I was researching some cat-based superheroes for a friend when I found this gal. Not as bad as some of the stuff on here, but check out that swivel waist! Also I don’t know if she’s supposed to be swinging on that rope or what. Help!


The original image fails to accomplish what the artist(s) set out to do in several ways:
Problem #1: The only cat she looks like is this one:

She has none of the charm that cats have. Her mask is practically a recolour of the costume that Halle Berry wore when she played Catwoman, and I hated that costume for the same reasons. Halle Berry is a pretty good actress and very attractive, and not even SHE could save that terrible outfit.
Aside from the mask, there’s nothing evocative of cats in the entire design. It’s all just boobs n butts. impractical shoes, and a silly cape in case you forgot that you were looking at a superhero. Also, pumpkin orange all the way, with no distinctive markings anywhere like what you’d find on a cat.
2: It’s tasteless.
I’m a connoisseur of boobs and butts in the same way that I am a connoisseur of filet mignon. I mean, it’s beef wrapped in bacon! How can you screw that up!?
Easy.
Just pull out the raw meat out of the wrapper and throw it at my face.
Like any dish, the enjoyment factor is inseparable from how it is prepared and served. Throwing boobs and butts in the faces of your audience with no thought for presentation is repugnant and an insult. Even a strip club is more than a parade of nakedness, no matter how tawdry. There’s a performance, a level of tease where the performer will make the audience think she’s going to take off a crucial article of clothing but move on to remove something less revealing, leaving the “best” for last.
3: In the mad dash to boob-and-butt their way to victory, they forgot what the characters were actually trying to do.
Her pose completely disregards physics. If you swing from a rope, gravity and centrifugal inertia will pull you towards the end of the rope. If you’re holding on with one hand to counteract this tremendous force, your arm will naturally stretch out until your elbow is straight.
But because they didn’t straighten her arm, it communicates that she’s completely without mass.
The cape doesn’t even follow the direction of travel along an arc. The fact that it’s fluttering upwards shows that she’s falling downwards even though the rope is taut and she’s on the up-swing.
It’s like they reused the pose of a cowboy riding a horse trying to lasso a steer.
So here’s a redraw:

1: Foreshortening.
This is simple upward foreshortening. I could have chosen downward foreshortening, but I wanted her to feel like she was swinging from a height. So I made it so that we are looking slightly upward at her. Too much foreshortening would make her head puny and her legs massive.
I also made it seem as if the attachment point of the rope is at an area high over the viewer’s head. This is as if she’s swinging around the building that the rope is attached to and we’re viewing her from inside the building.
2: Less bonk bonk bonk in the pose. Smooth it out.
The old pose had no unity. Arms and legs bending this way and that. She’s not cactaur.
I aligned her left arm, body and left leg into a continuous flow that stemmed from the rope. Her right leg merely extends that flow while the bent knee of the left leg puts it more in line with her left arm.
3: As Edna Mode says: NO CAPES!
In addition to being dangerous liabilities, cats don’t wear capes unless their soon-to-be-scratched-to-ribbons owners attempt to put them on the cat. In character design, and ESPECIALLY with superhero design, you gotta stick with the theme of the character. It’s a creative limitation that will make your design stronger if you work with it.
So I gave her a cheshire cat grin, more cat-like ears, a haircut that changes the silhouette of her head to be more similar to a cat’s, upper eyelids with an inward slant, a collar with a bell on it, changed the cowboy rope to a big ball of yarn, and even gave her a sort of jacket with big chunky paws and a tail.
If I wanted to give her other accessories they would be things like milk bottles and maybe some knitting needles and a fluffy sheep sidekick and cat toys or at the very least, have some sort of cat-theme to it. It’s really easy to come up with this stuff once you have a theme to lock on to.

I always love your redraws so much. :)  They’re great learning tools and are both funny and informative.
Edit: I do think the “Filet Mignon” comparison is a bit problematic.  I understand the context that it was being used in (i.e. that it was about how you presented cheesecake in art), but I also get why people found the comparison clunky and were put off by it (i.e. that it’s replacing one male gaze with another male gaze).

le-mec:

eschergirls:

spac3crick3t submitted:

I was researching some cat-based superheroes for a friend when I found this gal. Not as bad as some of the stuff on here, but check out that swivel waist! Also I don’t know if she’s supposed to be swinging on that rope or what. Help!

The original image fails to accomplish what the artist(s) set out to do in several ways:

Problem #1: The only cat she looks like is this one:

She has none of the charm that cats have. Her mask is practically a recolour of the costume that Halle Berry wore when she played Catwoman, and I hated that costume for the same reasons. Halle Berry is a pretty good actress and very attractive, and not even SHE could save that terrible outfit.

Aside from the mask, there’s nothing evocative of cats in the entire design. It’s all just boobs n butts. impractical shoes, and a silly cape in case you forgot that you were looking at a superhero. Also, pumpkin orange all the way, with no distinctive markings anywhere like what you’d find on a cat.

2: It’s tasteless.

I’m a connoisseur of boobs and butts in the same way that I am a connoisseur of filet mignon. I mean, it’s beef wrapped in bacon! How can you screw that up!?

Easy.

Just pull out the raw meat out of the wrapper and throw it at my face.

Like any dish, the enjoyment factor is inseparable from how it is prepared and served. Throwing boobs and butts in the faces of your audience with no thought for presentation is repugnant and an insult. Even a strip club is more than a parade of nakedness, no matter how tawdry. There’s a performance, a level of tease where the performer will make the audience think she’s going to take off a crucial article of clothing but move on to remove something less revealing, leaving the “best” for last.

3: In the mad dash to boob-and-butt their way to victory, they forgot what the characters were actually trying to do.

Her pose completely disregards physics. If you swing from a rope, gravity and centrifugal inertia will pull you towards the end of the rope. If you’re holding on with one hand to counteract this tremendous force, your arm will naturally stretch out until your elbow is straight.

But because they didn’t straighten her arm, it communicates that she’s completely without mass.

The cape doesn’t even follow the direction of travel along an arc. The fact that it’s fluttering upwards shows that she’s falling downwards even though the rope is taut and she’s on the up-swing.

It’s like they reused the pose of a cowboy riding a horse trying to lasso a steer.

So here’s a redraw:

1: Foreshortening.

This is simple upward foreshortening. I could have chosen downward foreshortening, but I wanted her to feel like she was swinging from a height. So I made it so that we are looking slightly upward at her. Too much foreshortening would make her head puny and her legs massive.

I also made it seem as if the attachment point of the rope is at an area high over the viewer’s head. This is as if she’s swinging around the building that the rope is attached to and we’re viewing her from inside the building.

2: Less bonk bonk bonk in the pose. Smooth it out.

The old pose had no unity. Arms and legs bending this way and that. She’s not cactaur.

I aligned her left arm, body and left leg into a continuous flow that stemmed from the rope. Her right leg merely extends that flow while the bent knee of the left leg puts it more in line with her left arm.

3: As Edna Mode says: NO CAPES!

In addition to being dangerous liabilities, cats don’t wear capes unless their soon-to-be-scratched-to-ribbons owners attempt to put them on the cat. In character design, and ESPECIALLY with superhero design, you gotta stick with the theme of the character. It’s a creative limitation that will make your design stronger if you work with it.

So I gave her a cheshire cat grin, more cat-like ears, a haircut that changes the silhouette of her head to be more similar to a cat’s, upper eyelids with an inward slant, a collar with a bell on it, changed the cowboy rope to a big ball of yarn, and even gave her a sort of jacket with big chunky paws and a tail.

If I wanted to give her other accessories they would be things like milk bottles and maybe some knitting needles and a fluffy sheep sidekick and cat toys or at the very least, have some sort of cat-theme to it. It’s really easy to come up with this stuff once you have a theme to lock on to.

I always love your redraws so much. :)  They’re great learning tools and are both funny and informative.

Edit: I do think the “Filet Mignon” comparison is a bit problematic.  I understand the context that it was being used in (i.e. that it was about how you presented cheesecake in art), but I also get why people found the comparison clunky and were put off by it (i.e. that it’s replacing one male gaze with another male gaze).

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  1. yogapig reblogged this from eschergirls
  2. onemomentseen reblogged this from awesomazingblag
  3. inspiromenagerie reblogged this from le-mec and added:
    The ball of yarn is a nice touch to the redraw. And much, much, MUCH better silhouette. The redesign doesn’t go without...
  4. yugurenoryu reblogged this from le-mec
  5. mistygeek reblogged this from le-mec
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  12. futurecorridor reblogged this from eschergirls
  13. napalmnacey reblogged this from le-mec and added:
    I was never in your class, dipshit. I’ve been doing art since I first picked up a pen in 1981, and make my own friggin’...
  14. beepuke reblogged this from politemachinegun and added:
    can’t decide which...shiny red cherry...terrible...
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