Saturday, July 07, 2007

Comic Book Guys Can Be Teh Sexy

Sean Kleefeld raised some interesting points in his article "Dudes Vs. Chicks," and I would like to counter with pictures of skinny/well-built comic book professionals who challenge the "Comic Book Guy" stereotype (commentary will follow):

Kleefeld's article raised some interesting issues:

1. Yes, there does seem to be a higher ratio of "skinny/well-built" women in the comic book industry. Why is this? Is it because women are smarter? Or because skinnier, more attractive women tend to get hired more?

2. DOES the "comic book guy" stereotype really hold water in terms of comic book fans? I have no way of knowing this outside a poll, or head count, or something. But I do wonder.

3. As way of a personal example: when I met David the G., I thought he did not fit the stereotypical fanboy profile. I thought he was a hottie, and nearly knocked down another comic fan at the convention to get to him & give him my phone number.

4. As I get to know more fans, I do not see the fanboy stereotype really bourne out in the numbers one would expect based on the way the media/entertainment industry typically portrays them.

5. When I worked with Silver Bullet Comics, one of the projects we discussed was having a "Mr. Fanboy" beauty pageant. Contestants would be judged on hotness and comic book knowledge.

6. It is far more common to see heavy dudes with skinny chicks than heavy chicks with skinny dudes. It's a societal thing. It's a "World According to Jim/King of Queens" thing. The pressure is on women to be teh sexy -- but not just teh sexy, but society's vision of teh sexy. It's ok for men to gain a few pounds and wear one of those cool oversized shirts with the dice on it. I've just gained 15 pounds because I was 15-20 pounds underweight. I've gone from a size 0 to a size 4. This is a healthy step, and it is nice having an ass again. But such a process is accompanied with fear -- fear of not being teh sexy. Why does there seem to be much more skinny women in the comics industry than men? Maybe women try harder because they are afraid of not being teh sexy.

7. I think this post needs more Paul Pope and John Cassaday:
Oh, and here is a picture of David the G.:


  1. Well, I certainly can't argue that there aren't healthy looking guys in the comic industry! Heck, for an 80+ year old, Stan Lee looks great! But -- and this is speaking strictly on an anecdotal level, of course -- I just don't see any unhealthy looking women in the industry and not many in fandom. How many come to cons dressed up, and look good, as Lara Croft or Power Girl or Princess Leia? Then compare that against the overweight Spideys and Optimus Primes and Ghostbusters.

    So to your Point 1, I think that the skinnier/more attractive women getting hired more only touches on the industry side of the issue, and doesn't address the fandom angle. (Side Note: Did you know former editor Bobbie Chase was a model for Bill Blass before she went to Marvel?)

    And to your Point 6, I still see plenty of over-weight/unhealthy looking women. At the grocery store, work, restaurants, etc. But I don't see the same proportions in comic shops and at cons. Now, obviously, I don't have any data to back this up so maybe my eyes are drawn to the attractive women in skimpy costumes and I'm seeing a discrepency that doesn't really exist, but I like to think that I'm not quite that distracted by a bare midrift. Which begs the question, are women more afraid to not be teh sexy if they like comics than women in general?

    One last thing, if you ever do get a "Mr. Fanboy" contest going, let me know. I don't quite have the washboard abs thing going yet, but I'm thinking I could make up for that in comic lore. :)

  2. 1) One can never have too many photos of John Cassiday. ;) The man is as handsome as he is talented and charming.

    2) Erik Larsen? Errr ... the man said that Power Girl's boob size was an important aspect of her characterization.

    3) What do you think of Lee Bermejo?

  3. Hi, Sean!

    "I just don't see any unhealthy looking women in the industry and not many in fandom."
    --maybe I've seen a few, but I'm not going to give examples on this blog because I want to live

    "compare that against the overweight Spideys and Optimus Primes and Ghostbusters."
    --though the Supermen with their gut hanging out does have a special charm

    "Which begs the question, are women more afraid to not be teh sexy if they like comics than women in general? "
    --from experience, I have tried to dress more feminine in order to "balance out" what I perceive (don't flame me folks, just what I *perceive*) to be a more "male" hobby (collecting mainstream superhero comics at any rate). However, now I've sort of ditched a specifically "girly" vibe for femme-and-goofy (a.k.a. geek girl chic)

    "One last thing, if you ever do get a "Mr. Fanboy" contest going, let me know. "
    --actually, I am rather seriously thinking about doing this, if I can get some backing & a venue at a Con or shop. Will keep u posted. :-)

  4. Hi, K --

    "Erik Larsen?"
    --anybody who can write and draw 130+ consecutive issues of a comic in this day-and-age is teh sexy in my book. that's coz I'm a nerd.

    "Lee Bermejo"
    heh, teh sexy!

  5. You need a pic of Dan Hipp. Yummy.

  6. Anonymous10:36 PM

    i think that obesity is a rampant problem in a society where every comic store i've ever been to has a mcdonald's in the same plaza. and i say if fan boys and men everywhere are a little overweight, you should not care and roll with it.

    and if a lot of fan girls are super hot i think there are reasons for that too, possibly because overweight fanboys are not sexually threatening, and they weild POWER by being mega hot. that's meant in a complimentary, hot girls rock way, btw.

    mr. fanboy would be funny, but only if every one had to dress as green lantern or something.

  7. I looked in the mirror the other day and realized I am bald, have gained 20 pounds since 2004 and have a room full of Ninja Turtles. I have BECOME the stereotype!

    Plus I wanted to say the "overweight Ghostbusters" comment hit a little close to home.