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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He must be a snake charmer.  (The woman at the bottom especially… she’s bending from her boobs)

He must be a snake charmer.  (The woman at the bottom especially… she’s bending from her boobs)

She has an armpit boob, but after staring at it for a bit, I realized what else kept bugging me about her.  We’re looking up at her butt (of course) and the small of her back, but the perspective doesn’t apply to the rest of her, and so she looks really weird.

She has an armpit boob, but after staring at it for a bit, I realized what else kept bugging me about her.  We’re looking up at her butt (of course) and the small of her back, but the perspective doesn’t apply to the rest of her, and so she looks really weird.

brokenlanguage submitted:

Someone, ANYONE, please explain to me how Red Sonja’s boob that’s further away is larger than the one that’s close! PLEASE? I don’t understand. Is this how boobies work????

What I find really interesting is how this really illustrates the lack of diversity in women’s faces some comics artists have.  The cover is supposed to be a blend of Red Sonja and Sara Pezzini, but it’s clear the artist just drew a single female face and fiddled a little with the eye make up and hair. -_-

brokenlanguage submitted:

Someone, ANYONE, please explain to me how Red Sonja’s boob that’s further away is larger than the one that’s close! PLEASE? I don’t understand. Is this how boobies work????

What I find really interesting is how this really illustrates the lack of diversity in women’s faces some comics artists have.  The cover is supposed to be a blend of Red Sonja and Sara Pezzini, but it’s clear the artist just drew a single female face and fiddled a little with the eye make up and hair. -_-

ghostarin submitted:

Fixed this picture a bit. Small improvement I hope?
I unbroke Sonja’s back and gave her organs, and made her breasts more, uh, possible? Also made their legs somewhat better..
Again, I’m not the best artist out there, but I couldn’t help myself.
The thing that bothered me the most though was their faces, or can I say, THE FACE. Seriously, if they aren’t supposed to be identical twins, stop it. Now, if it’s supposed to be that they’re alike, I still made some minor changes. Like, making Sonja’s face “sharper” and Sara’s rounder. Not much, but perhaps enough to see that they’re different people. :I 
My tumblr

Nice!  I think you did a good job differentiating the two (I don’t know either character good enough to tell you if that’s what they “should” look like though) and showing that you can have 2 beautiful women and still have simple differences in the face that make them both look very different.  One of the big issues for me and others about comic art is that there doesn’t seem to be any consistent idea of what characters look like, and this is especially true with female characters where you have artists who seem to be able to draw only one female face and often, one female body type.  (I also blame a lack of internal art direction for this.)  Rather than going “okay Supergirl has a longer nose than Huntress” they seem to go “I’m going to draw a woman, so here’s what a sexy female face looks like” and that’s it, the only differences are hair, eye and skin color.  And as you just showed, it doesn’t take that much to make small changes that make a big difference.

ghostarin submitted:

Fixed this picture a bit. Small improvement I hope?

I unbroke Sonja’s back and gave her organs, and made her breasts more, uh, possible? Also made their legs somewhat better..

Again, I’m not the best artist out there, but I couldn’t help myself.

The thing that bothered me the most though was their faces, or can I say, THE FACE. Seriously, if they aren’t supposed to be identical twins, stop it. Now, if it’s supposed to be that they’re alike, I still made some minor changes. Like, making Sonja’s face “sharper” and Sara’s rounder. Not much, but perhaps enough to see that they’re different people. :I 

My tumblr

Nice!  I think you did a good job differentiating the two (I don’t know either character good enough to tell you if that’s what they “should” look like though) and showing that you can have 2 beautiful women and still have simple differences in the face that make them both look very different.  One of the big issues for me and others about comic art is that there doesn’t seem to be any consistent idea of what characters look like, and this is especially true with female characters where you have artists who seem to be able to draw only one female face and often, one female body type.  (I also blame a lack of internal art direction for this.)  Rather than going “okay Supergirl has a longer nose than Huntress” they seem to go “I’m going to draw a woman, so here’s what a sexy female face looks like” and that’s it, the only differences are hair, eye and skin color.  And as you just showed, it doesn’t take that much to make small changes that make a big difference.

heather submitted:



In her defence, she IS a Mirage …
I’ve only read your blog/ tumblr back as far as two months, so i don’t know if you’ve featured her or not. This is Madame Mirage. In this cover she has a serious case of back-arm and armpit-boob. I can’t believe I never noticed this! I am scared to look inside now. I like her gown, except for the ridiculous low neckline. She obviously has to keep her arm clamped down, or her nips will just pop out of there!

Yes.  That is really serious back-arm.  We may need to operate.
In her defence, she IS a Mirage …

I’ve only read your blog/ tumblr back as far as two months, so i don’t know if you’ve featured her or not. This is Madame Mirage. In this cover she has a serious case of back-arm and armpit-boob. I can’t believe I never noticed this! I am scared to look inside now. I like her gown, except for the ridiculous low neckline. She obviously has to keep her arm clamped down, or her nips will just pop out of there!

Yes.  That is really serious back-arm.  We may need to operate.

One leg is twice as long as the other.
On the other hand, this looks like the best prom ever.

One leg is twice as long as the other.

On the other hand, this looks like the best prom ever.

It’s like she’s a plant and if you keep going past the cover you’ll see she’s potted in soil.

It’s like she’s a plant and if you keep going past the cover you’ll see she’s potted in soil.

Uneven arms, rubber spine, and the butt attack battle pose.  The alien invasion has truly begun.

Uneven arms, rubber spine, and the butt attack battle pose.  The alien invasion has truly begun.

I’ll quote my friend: “It’s like an Id explosion.”
Also I’ll quote my other friend: “Is she trying to kill her or have sex with her?”
And then I’ll point out that something bad is happening under her waist with her legs, and that they don’t seem anywhere close to the same size (also one may be a slight crotchleg).

I’ll quote my friend: “It’s like an Id explosion.”

Also I’ll quote my other friend: “Is she trying to kill her or have sex with her?”

And then I’ll point out that something bad is happening under her waist with her legs, and that they don’t seem anywhere close to the same size (also one may be a slight crotchleg).

Insight into the Comic Book Industry

selkiesiun submitted:

This is not so much a critique post as it is a conformation of how absurd the standards of art in the comic book industry have become.

I traveled to San Diego Comic Con this year and participated in the portfolio reviews they where holding from Thursday to Sunday. Although I will admit I am not the best artist in the world, I really wanted to try and show them that comic book art could be done in a realistic manor while still keeping the superhuman aesthetics of the art form.

This Batwoman piece was the work that I gained the most flack for from all the companies because the anatomy was as they quoted ‘not industry standard.’ At one company (which I shall choose to not name) I was given a full critique on the anatomical incorrections as the following.

"Her breasts are much too small and do not have the lift that superhero women should have. Her jawline is fat and her neck much too long. The style of her hair is clunky and does not flow in a sense that a super human would. Her hips, waist and thighs are too big and she honestly looks fat. No one is going to want to read a comic with a fat female protagonist. I honestly recommend looking at issues of Sport’s Illustrated to get the right anatomy. Those women are the peak of human perfection, and that is what we want in this industry."

Peak of human perfection? I don’t know about you, but I don’t see living on salad and dietary pills as perfection.

I would like to say this was just the opinion of one editor from one company, but I found similar opinions at almost every review I went to. By the end I was pretty upset, having been following this blog for very long and trying hard to make my anatomy believable and human. But this is not something the comic book industry seems to want, and it’s something that I thought everyone deserved to be informed on.

Again, this is not to bring attention to me and my own art, but rather inform the community of just what their artistic standards are, and why so many what we deem ‘bad artists’ are able to get full careers working for these companies.

Your Batwoman pic is awesome, and it’s not like you didn’t give her curves or anything and her breasts aren’t small.  What do they think swimsuit models look like in a costume anyway?  And honestly, your piece is a lot closer to that SI cover than a lot of the “industry standard” art, but it is interesting that they consider Sports Illustrated swimsuit models as what superheroines should look like (even though they don’t end up looking like SI swimsuit models either.)

It doesn’t surprise me though, but it’s sad that that is considered the “peak of human perfection”.  I think they’re confusing “what I find attractive in women” and “a woman at the peak of athletic perfection” much less “human perfection.”

(As a note, I don’t think we should assume that professional models necessarily exist on diet pills and salads, nor that thin people are necessarily unhealthily starving themselves.  Also, SI images probably are quite touched up too.)