Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Sour Realization

I was devouring Patrick Gleason's art in Green Lantern Corps #11 (for only the third time this week) when I reached this panel and realized something awful.

Those two faces? Both belong to female characters.

Gleason draws them differently, and I was gushing over his ability to give female characters different noses, eyes, and chins.

I love this guy's artwork, but really this should be the standard, not exceptional. Its the same with body types. We should not be gushing over an artist just because they draw a women with differing bra sizes.

They should all be drawing women as individual characters. And we should be able to dismiss anyone who can't differentiate Black Canary and the Invisible Woman outside of costume as a lazy bastard or a talentless hack (or both) without running into legions of rabid fans who swear that they draw the best women in the business and should be given Wonder Woman or Birds of Prey in recognition of that.

Yeesh, that annoys me.

Love Gleason's art, though. Just found his blog today.


  1. That's why John Byrne & George Perez are two of the best in the business.

  2. Yeah, in a perfect world, all comics artists should do this. But, this isn't a perfect world as you know so for various reasons many don't. Heck some of the greatest in the history of the business- Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jim Aparo just to name a few- only drew a certain face type for females and differentiated them by hairstyle only. But that doesn't make them any less great in my book.

    It's kinda like in baseball- not all the White Sox players can hit homers like Jim Thome, but that doesn't mean I value the contributions of a Scott Podsednik or Tadahito Iguchi any less...

  3. It's a wonder more people don't notice this...

  4. I had the opposite problem in my drawing for a long time...I could draw all sorts of different female characters, but all my male faces looked the same.

  5. Pat Gleason is an AMAZING artist. I especially love his aliens, because they LOOK so alien, which I imagine is a lot harder to do than it looks.

    And yes, his women have different bodies, different hair, different bone structure and faces...which of course is as it should be. Same thing for the men.

    But his version of Guy Gardner is FABULOUS!

  6. Thanks for the link to Gleason's blog. He's a local and I've been following his career for a long time. I've got a mini-comic of his that's probably the funniest thing I've ever read.

    Didn't know he had a blog though.


  8. Ragnell,

    An excellent point. Sadly there are some artists who cannot manage to make male or female characters look truly unique without their costumes.

    I agree with George Perez as being an example of the best. But I honestly have to disagree with putting John Byrne into that class. I find his females tend to all look very similar. Look at enough of his stuff and you start to notice that he seems to have few stock female types that he alters hair, and practically nothing else.



    (Where's the love? It's at Geek Love.)

  9. I do agree with your opinion. However, to a lesser degree, the same problem exists with male characters. Can you really tell the difference between Hawkeye and Captain America? Bucky and Rick Jones? And, depending on the artist, Clark and Bruce?

  10. Anon -- Here's the thing, its to a lesser degree. When you have an artist (*cough*Kitson*cough*Benes*cough*) who draws all of his men alike, he also draws all of his women alike.

    But there are some prominent artists (Turner, Land) who make distinctions between their male characters but don't bother to come up with more than one female face.