Joe Hunter’s Strongcat!

This kick-a$$ kitty from illustrator Joe Hunter has been on our “to do” list for a while … and tonight offered the perfect opportunities. Grace likes cats. I like hammers. And, who doesn’t like a hero who borrowed Jim Morrison’s pants?

Joe has a really fun blog called Ghost Bucket and a DeviantArt gallery drenched in awesome sauce. Joe finds the playful side of pop culture figures galore, not to mention his autobiographical journal comics. Check them out here.

Joe’s on Twitter at @Joe_Hunter

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The Outsiders!

For my birthday, Grace generously offered to let me take a trip down memory lane and draw The Outsiders. I remember very clearly visiting family for Christmas when I was about 12 or so. I was immediately drawn to my cousin Sean’s copy of  36. I was familiar with Metamorpho, but not the work of Alan Davis. It was a comic style unlike anything I’d seen before and I was entranced immediately. Since that day, I’ll buy anything the man touches. Anything. He is a master. He makes the oddest character in any pantheon amazing. Just look at this cover! You wanna read it right now, don’t you? So do I. I’m going to get my copy … which I convinced my cousin to let go of in 1986.

Mystic’s Giselle with David Lopez!

David Lopez is one of our oldest and bestest friends on 5 Minute Marvels. If you haven’t seen his 5 Minute Nightcrawler … and video to demonstrate exactly he created amazingness it in just 5 minutes … GO NOW.

Not only is David one of our favorite artists, but Mystic is our favorite new books in a long, long time. And, Giselle, one of the main protagonists is a character that deserves a long history in comics. This is a tremendous book for antone and a triumph for the creative team. Excelsior!

Visit David’s blog here and follow him on Twitter at @davizlopez

On a side note, there’s a been a lot said lately about the characterization and graphic depiction of women in mainstream comics lately. Honestly, I’ve said a lot about it myself on Twitter. I feel like we’re headed in the wrong directions. It’s not just because I have little girls. It’s because I think it’s possible to write and draw women who are engaging, attractive and, dare I say it, sexy without depicting them in ridiculous poses and proportions. Our heroines often look like they’d be at the chiropractor every other day.

It’s not just art. It’s really more about writing and the marketing. Female characters in superhero comics are frequently reduced to one note. They are abused. They are sex objects. They’re victims. They’re ice queens. Those are all valid aspects of a character … when they’re PART of a larger, more complex characters.

We’ve moved past the days of comics targeted at boys with raging libidos. If the stated goal is to bring in new readers, sexing it up and dumbing it down won’t get the job done.

Comics are capable of so much more than that. Unlike any other medium, they can deal with the real and the natural while existing in a world accentuated by the unreal and supernatural. They can engage readers of all ages and interests. But, not if they’re clearly aimed at a single demographic.

I’m not calling for puritanical comics. Sexuality is a part of life. You can’t avoid it. You can’t deny it. Nor should you. But, it is ONE aspect of life and personality. It’s possible for comics to incorporate sex and gender in more subtle, mature and complex ways that are respectful of women, while engaging enough for older readers.

In the end, I want comics that don’t limit female characters to sex objects or victims. I want this for my girls (and myself) now and when they’re more mature readers capable of understanding more adult topics. But, at any age, I don’t want them to feel they’re defined by sex or their gender to the exclusion of all else.

As evidence of how superheroines can be dead sexy and proportionate at the same time, I submit David Lopez. And, there’s no better examples than his work on Catwoman, Mystic and Hawkeye and Mockingbird. His women are beautiful, imposing and a wonderful blend of the fantastic and the realistic. Kudos, “Daviz”! You’re a hero of mine. Hands down.

Mockingbird by David Lopez

Catwoman by David Lopez