Looking through the latest releases it occurs to me that comics are one of the most vibrant continuations of pinup art. Not coy, kitch or retro, but serious pinup art. Yes, you can also read them for the stories and not all of the art is pure cheese/beef-cake. But honestly, I like pinup and the Lycra costume cliche was invented for a reason.
That said the female characters seem to be given the pinup treatment far more often. If I scan the covers, there are certainly exceptions, but female heroes are far more often posed in a static, near bare pose. The male characters are more often portrayes as active, dynamically foreshortened, conventionally clothed or face close-up (females typically get a face+cleavage closeup).
The male characters also display a wider range of physical types and ages. There are not very many visibly middle-aged, small-breasted or warmly dressed heroines. Yes, the males show the greatest excesses of 'roidy physique, but there also also slight, older, shorter and rather average-looking male heroes.
I like pinups, but lean towards wanting a pinup male and a hero female. So I have to wonder when the comic industry will ever offer a product equally accessible to female readers--who are the most spendthrift and voracious readers of almost every other literary format. Comics may reflect their audience but the also create it.
So isn't it about time the big boys like DC and Marvel gave us less the of Barbie comics (remember Princess bloody Amethyst?) and bouncy bondage-bitch styled Batwomen, and more heroines we can actually relate to a little... and perhaps beefcake sidekicks posed on the cover?
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