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December 25 2007

(SPOILER) Urru Cover for Angel #5 Posted. Here's the Franco Urru cover for the fifth issue of IDW's Angel series. Cool as hell...

...and based on an old Justice League cover from the eighties. But who's the guy in the top left?

[ edited by TBalena on 2007-12-24 22:16 ]

Beta George has serious Elvis hair fins.
But who's the guy in the top left?


"Puff" (the Unnamed Dragon)
Yeah, who is that guy? Someone new? Maybe it's supposed to be David Nabbit. Maybe Groo. Maybe a dead someone, like Doyle or Lindsey?
Nice to see Lorne back.
That cover is made of just a touch of awesome.
Can we get a Lorne cheer! *hooray!*
Has anyone else noticed that while almost everyone vaguely reminds you of the actor that portrayed them, Illyria an Gunn bare absolutely no resemblance toward Amy Acker and Jay Richards?
Big Lorne Cheer for me, so does this mean the team are back together again fighting evil! With that smirk on Angels face his just looks like he has them supporting him again.

I love it, just has Gwen become so enarmored of Illyria she found a hairdresser in Hell to dye her hair blue.

Love that Angel and Spike with Illyria, are shoulder to shoulder in the front of everyone else.

Is that Season 5 Wes?
My very first Whedonesque post. I feel I should be witty, pithy, or wise...

Instead I think I'll just chime in on how awesome this cover is and join Vortigun in a cheer for Lorne!
Mystery guy in back seems to be the only one concerned. Apparently about something off screen behind Lorne. Or maybe he's constipated.
Everyone else just wants to scowl at us. Even the fish.
The guy in the top left looks similar to Spike- similar jaw, nose, and cheeks- but with brown hair. It's obviously James Marsters- in a reverse shattering of the fourth wall, he's been trapped in Hell-L.A.!
First time posting:

Overall, awesome cover. "After the Fall" has consistently been the best story we've gotten during this "Year of the Buffyverse."

The mystery guy looks like Wesley to me. I honestly hope it isn't Lindsey, because his long(ish) hair is what could define him in this series if he was a player. I fear that if mystery guy isn't Wesley, I won't be able to tell them apart in the comic.
The mystery guy looks like Wesley to me

I think Wesley is the guy in the suit with (sun?)glasses.
I'm gonna ask a stupid question here (haven't read the comics yet; my shop kept running out). The guy with the long hair in the middle is Connor, I'm assuming? And who's the guy wih the glasses?
Woo hoo! First posting!

Yeah, the suit with the shades is the late Mr. Windham-Pryce. That's his apres-vie look. Who the guy in the back is, I dunno.

Hmm... since "dead" hasn't slowed down Angel, Spike, Fred/Illyria, Gun, or Wesley, could Cordy or Doyle be in the future?

J.
I'd say it's most likely to be...
1) Someone completely new we haven't seen by issue #2
2) Groo
3) Lindsay
4) Doyle
5) David Nabbitt

My reasoning:
* Wesley's the only confirmed deader who's back, and he's back in a very familiar way, a la Holland Manners and Lilah Morgan. He's also an absolute fan favorite, which means he's entitled to be brought back just for the purposes of torturing him and us. This is Joss, right? Hence, less likely for Doyle or Lindsay.
* David Nabbitt was written out because he was a badly conceived deus ex machina. Sorry, but just calling it like I see it here: he had a personality incompatible with his wealth, that seemed to be a caricature of a lot of the audience, myself included. After The Fall, if he's still around, he's just another potential victim. It's certainly possible it could be him, but it doesn't look remotely like him either, other than being white and male.

ETA: And by "deader" I mean someone who died in a manner such as to NOT induce a demon directly assuming residence within the corpse, so all the Vampires and Illyria don't really count as deaders.

[ edited by jclemens on 2007-12-25 00:32 ]
OK, here's my roster:

Puff the magic dragon and George.
Unknown, VampGunn, Nina the werewolf.
Gwen Raiden, Wesley Windham-Pryce (RIP), Connor, Lorne.
Illyria, Angel, Spike.


[ edited by Bruce on 2009-05-14 19:43 ]
Christmas evening drinks, and without wanting to start a war (seriously) didn't someone say a while ago "unless they start doing that with Illyria..."

I love everything about this comic apart from that. I'm finding it too much. Brian, I'm sorry. I want to nurture your kittens because they give me joy. But grrr... arg.
Oh - it's her arm. I claim alcohol blame.
But who's the guy in the top left?


Could it be the Immortal? Now that would be interesting!

I think the guys look pretty good, but none of the girls look like the actresses. Big boobage aside, I think the guy has problems drawing their eyes. They just seem odd to me.

I'm glad they decided to utilize the concept of comic books with George. He never would have passed in the series, yet here he is made out of pure awesomeness. I'm excited to see where all of this is headed!
Wicked cover! I'll volunteer a cheer for Lorne as well. Hip hip, hooray.
I don't love the art, but damn that's a good Lorne. Glad he's still in the mix...
They need to stop with the damn fish. It makes it seem less canon.


I don't understand why some think a telepathic fish is crazier than other stuff we got during canonical Angel. We had a green demon with horns who loved Motown, a tennis-playing Devil, a doctor whose hands can operate independantly from his body... What makes the idea of a telepathic fish so much more ludicrous than those? I say just be easy and try to enjoy the comic.

Oh, and bring Cordy back


Oh God I hope not. That story--IMO--is very, very done. My biggest problem with the 'verse is the "let's just resurrect them" thing that's been going on. Some people need to stay dead. For me, those people are Jenny, Anya, Tara, Joyce, Cordy, Jonathan, Holtz, and all the other Big Bads of the past. Death won't mean anything if people keep coming back.
I LOVE the fish.

And I'm happy to see everyone together, especially Gunn. Although I don't care about Gwen.
I like that little frownie face Illyria is making. Kinda Cute.

And I immediately thought the mystery guy was Giles, but after reading the thread now I think I must be wrong.

Looks like Giles to me.
Looks like Giles to me.


Giles belongs in the Buffyverse, and since two different publishers hold rights to Angel and Buffy, I don't think that crossover is possible at the moment, as cool as it would be.
Valentyn, I don't think it's Giles either, BUT: Neither IDW nor Dark Horse own the rights to the characters. Fox does. Joss said this earlier in the year when there was rumor that he'd never be able to use Angel and Spike because they were at IDW. He said that the characters are and always will be owned by Fox, so he could put anyone he wants in either series.

The real problem with it being Giles is (1) he's not old and (2) Giles isn't in a Hell dimension.
When I said "he's not old" I meant the guy in the question doesn't look nearly as old as Giles should.
I agree with patxshand that resurrection is thin ice. While Wesley's character arc was arguably finished (I mean, they had done all they could and had given him a fair exit), his role as a W&H incorporeal agent makes sense. Yet, both Lilah and Holland had time limits, so maybe he won't be around forever.

With Cordy, I feel there's still plenty left to tell, since, essentially, her character was abandoned in the season three finale. And I don't feel she received enough closure in the season five episode. Yet how can she be brought back without it feeling contrived or shoehorned into a story where her return might not fit?

Then again, I feel like this new comic medium, while wonderful on many levels, allows too much fan service. Bringing back Amy felt like a natural progression, while returning Ethan Rayne only to immediately kill him seemed wasteful. And the whole return of Warren pissed on continuity with the First. My point being, these writers, including Joss, need to tread carefully with returning characters, especially from the dead.

In terms of the future of Angel, I would love to see Groo back, so long as Lynch can mesh him into the plot with an important role. If he returns merely as another face, he's only taking time away from other characters. Which brings me to Lorne, sweet Lorne. How good it is to have you back! I know he's (understandably) darker after Not Fade Away, but I hope he's still his chipper adorable self to some extent. This isn't a demand for Lynch by any means, I'm just speaking my hopeful mind.

One final point I would like to make is a wish for both comics to continue introducing new characters. I know both have, and Beta and GiGi and Kr'ph and the many others are wonderful, keep it up! I'm totally on board with new faces. (And I adore what I've seen of George so far, so I don't think it takes away from the canonacity. Is canonacity a word? Canonness? Oh well)

Anywho, this is my (longwinded) first post, and I would just like to gush about what a wonderful year it has been being a Buffyverse fan.
It's not Wesley, it's not Giles, but it is someone we've seen before on one of the shows. Hmmmmmm!
Just a side note, I love that you (Brian) seem to frequent this site as much as us dorks (yeah, I called us dorks). Makes me feel like the mantle of Angel was given to someone with as much love as the fans.
Hmmm not Wesley.

I'm guessing then...

Hamilton.

Groo. (Where are his trademark eyes? Nah, can't be him...)

Lindsey trying to hide by looking exactly like Wesley did in Season 4 and 5 :]

I'll go with Hamilton. He looks kinda Hamiltony.



----

And yes, it's awesome how friendly Brian is with the fans. Here and especially at the IDW Boards.
I love George
Sorry Bruce, the damn fish IS canon now (I love me my Betta-George!). It looks like a 'power walk' shot, except for that scared looking unnamed guy in the back row (couldn't be Groo, he is never scared).
Well...it looks like Xander. I know all the reasons why it's not. But it looks like him nonetheless.

5x5B, cool name!
It looks to me like the mystery guy is mad at Gunn. And that he may be in what they used on the shows as 18th century costume. Hmmm.

Welcome new people!
Great cover. Nice Xmas present:)
Oh and despite all the deaths at the end of Season 5, we now have the biggest 'regular cast list' of the whole show:)

I count 12, presuming they are all 'regulars'
It's not Wesley, it's not Giles, but it is someone we've seen before on one of the shows. Hmmmmmm!


Hm, Mr. Lynch. Your "on one the of the shows" makes me think of Buffy. But there weren't a lot of significant guys in Buffy that aren't Giles or a cool and funny dude with one eye. Unless Andrew got way older and way more resentful to the point of clenching his teeth – uh, yeah and changed how he looks, that rules out geeky. So, *frown* I REALLY hope that's not supposed to be Riley or I can't believe I'm even saying this – Parker. If I was wistful I'd say Oz but then it would just be painful all around to list the reasons why this can't be. *giggle* You know it could be Ethan way pissed that he was sent to Hell and lost his colorful shirt but again with the painful in a whole other direction. (Same reason why it can't be Doyle - sig. loud shirts people!)

So, I'm stomped. Who have we seen – in one of the shows (Not Firefly –) well, maybe not *tries to find resemblance to Adam Baldwin* not really a bad match, although he really needs to suit up better, even if he was thrown into Hell, he has a well-dressed reputation to keep!

A last "huh" to the fire-eye breathing dragon. And one large whoop for Lorne being all fashionable in red! I love my green guy. Heh, I wonder if he's shacking up with Spike.

[ edited by Mirage on 2007-12-25 02:59 ]
Mirage, now that I think about it, I remember reading that had there been a season six on TV, Oz would have returned as a recurring character. While the guy doesn't look anything like Oz, it could be that it's intentional. Since they release covers much sooner than the comics themselves, making it too obvious who it is would be a spoiler... I love the guess work :)

Thanks for the welcome, dreamlogic!
First off, I'm pumped to finally have joined the site. I've been visiting for a long while now, always wanting to chip in, and to finally be able to is surely a great feeling.

Secondly, HOORAY FOR LORNE! Lorne is one of my favourite characters (...though now that I think about it, they are all pretty much my favourite characters. Joss doesn't seem to create characters that I don't like), and I've been wanting to know how he will get reintegrated pretty much since the comics were announced. Him and Wes especially shined through for me in the show's fifth season, and to me both of their exits were equally tragic.

And lastly, the mystery man. Only person I sort of get a likeness of that's strong enough for it to possibly be them is Groo. I'm pretty sure Doyle is a bit slimmer, and he doesn't really resemble Lindsay that much to me. Though I don't really think it's Groo either, since he had those intensely dark blue eyes, and I think that's something that would be noticable.

But observe this, dear readers. He is very clearly looking in a different direction from the rest of our heroes. They all look pretty pissed off at something, or someone, but it looks like he is looking at either Gunn or maybe George, but maybe something else off-panel. Is there any character that bears that resemblance like that, but has some sort of connection to Gunn?
WOW. Wonderful composition, graphically speaking. But the people are virtually unrecognizable, especially the women. Shame.

And Connor? really? weird. I thought he was a female at first too.
And since when is Nina a real blonde? Illyria is only recognizable by the blue color, even though Gwen has a touch of the blue too. Weird. And I wouldn't have recognized Wesley either.

So to the mystery guy guessing: He looks kind of fierce, doesn't he? But since this is supposed to be the good guys (well, sort of), hmmm. And he's really focused on the fish.

Well, just to throw another name in the mix: How about Graham? Curly hair doesn't fit, but the expression does. I mean, that outfit of Riley's is still fighting, right? could be that he got diverted on a mission.
Why is Matt Lauer standing in the back? He looks so angry.
Harpy, you're going to be visited by three ghosts this evening. Pay attention to what they have to say.
Nice Christmas present indeed. Thanks Brian.

But (you knew there'd be a but)... still not loving the art. Composition-wise it's pretty classic comic power stance cover material. Art-wise... meh.

I too like the fish... but I agree that it's becoming jarring the more he appears. True that a floating telepathic fish isn't necessarily any wackier than some of the other demons and such we've seen on the series, but imagine if we were still watching this on television. How crazy would such a creature look if realized via special effects? Sure, effects budgets are greater in comics than on TV... but anything that reminds me I'm NOT still just watching my beloved television series takes me out of the story in much the same way others are jarred out of it by large chesticles. Just sayin'...

A very, very hearty cheer for Lorne. Just so long as there's some serious emotional fallout still pending from his last appearance in NFA.

And my two guesses at the mystery guy would be David Nabbitt (cliche character or not I'd love to see him return) or Groo, since the hair looks kinda-sorta like Angel's. I don't for a second think it looks anything even remotely like Oz, but it would kick all kinds of ass if it were.
Maybe it's Knox.
Why does every male have a dark lightning bolt streaking up from their right eyebrow? Stylistically seems odd.
We're not watching a tv show, Haunt. It's a comic.

I gotta go, that brings down an otherwise great day, happy holidays Whedonesquers! Thanks to everyone who liked it! To those who didn't, ah well, it's sad but maybe next time! But probably not!

Ho ho ho!
Oh - it's her arm. I claim alcohol blame.

You weren't wrong. Something bothered me about it. I went back and posed my arms the same way. My boobs came at least a couple of inches short, probably more. I'm a C cup. So Ilyria is now like a DD+ cup? And this is an artistic choice about what?
George the fish rocks!!! Love him! Very interested in who that mystery guy is. I vote for Hamilton.
Brian, I sure hope the nit-picking isn't getting you down, you know we LOVE this series so far (and we do love to nit-pick too). I personally enjoy the artwork, nothing will ever satisfy everyone. Anyway, I guess I'm assuming it is Lyndsay because Hamilton would be bigger and more intimidating (mmmm Hamilton! sigh).
I'm sorry not to see Harmony make an appearance, but I guess she'll never be standing with the good guys. And I am thrilled to see Lorne back.

[ edited by embers on 2007-12-25 16:48 ]
It's Knox! I think its Knox! And yay, Lorne!!!

*First post here. Hi
dreamlogic, that's a lot info. I'm taking a peek at the artwork and I'm not seeing, ah, any depression between a woman's breasts especially when made visible by a low-cut neckline. Wouldn't the notherly womanly artifice of such substance as you claim leave a sign of its existence?

Mr. Lynch, on such a festive occasion I hope I didn't add bitters to your sours...or sours to...your... Hell, didn't intend to add anything negative to your eggnog. Have a fine Christmas, Ser.
Hey, it's time-travelling two-eyed Xander! At last!
Before I comment on the cover I should point out that I'm not normally a comic reader. I have friends who are heavily into the comic book world but personally it's not my thing.

That said, I had absolutely no problem in working out who everyone on the cover was. It's true that the artist doesn't get every likeness exactly right but they are all close enough for me not to have to wonder who anyone is, especially after having read the first two issues. Apart from mystery guy at the back, obviously, although I've narrowed the options down to either Groo or a Wolfram and Hart resurrected Lindsey. His shorter hair style (compared to when Lorne shot him) could be explained by them having him look like an earlier version of himself, same as they have done with Wes.

Like the cover. Love the art generally. Think the story absolutely rocks. Hey, between Joss on Buffy and Brian on Angel you guys have got me reading comics for the first time in pretty much ever, so you must be doing something right.
Whoah, Santa brought us lots of shiny new Newbies! Welcome one, welcome all!
That is one very cool cover! It's nice to see Lorne.

I have no idea who that is at the top left. It could be Lindsey, the hair is a bit like the second season and he had a scowl like that...but Lindsey was blue-eyed and that doesn't resemble him much. Ditto Groo, who had very startling blue eyes (plus, he looked a lot like Angel). It's not Gavin and doesn't look like Lee.

Could be Hamilton, I suppose, although I don't recall him ever having an expression that pronounced. Riley had a scar above and below his right eye and there's not one showing. Doyle's hair was darker and the jawline is too strong for it to be David Nabbit and that doesn't look like Oz to me.

If it was someone on Btvs, I'm at a loss as to who....hmm, it's a mystery.

Guess I'll just hope it's Lindsey.

Happy holidays to everyone and welcome to the newbies!
Whoever said Knox might be on to something. Compare:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knox_(Buffyverse)
A few people said Knox.
Well the thing about Knox is that as with Holland,Lilah and Wesley he would have the contract with Wolfram and Hart for after death overtime. Guess that paves the way for Lindsey too, and Lee...remember him?:)

I wonder are all the W+H lawyers killed by the Beast in Habeus Corpses hanging around this Hell?
The original Justice League cover has been posted on the IDW forums.

The link can be found here:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/01/JL1987.jpg

Check out the tagline at the top:
"A return to greatness for the all new Justice League"

I wonder is this the reason the 'homage' was chosen. I think there will be a 'return' to greatness for the group...

The all new Angel Investigations
First Post...*does dance of Joy*

Maybe it's Xander's look-a-like, ya know like Buffy in The Chain? Knox and Hamiliton seem plausible too.
I love this cover! Even though I'm not familiar with Justice League, the composition is impressive and you can feel how they all face something terrible.
Triple hurray for Lorne, and hurray for Spike being back in black!

And come on, Illyria doesn't have big boobs on this picture, I can hardly see any boobs! Even Angel has more, if we judge by the angle of his arms. I'm more concerned with Illyria having a big nose. Which wasn't present on her previous drawings.

As for the mystery guy: Brian Lynch mentioned at some point that Lorne would be hanging out with someone we would never expect. So I think this guy is that unexpected pal of Lorne, as Lorne is also here, and so this guy should have some connection to Lorne. My guess will be either Groo or Lindsey. Groo is also from Pylea, and Lindsey could well be haunting Lorne as part of Lorne's personal hell. And they both can pass as this guy: dark hair, about the right age.
Hey Nata -welcome:)

And Runaway_988 - stranger things have happened!
Well, on the one hand I really don't want it to be Lindsey 'cause dammit SOMEBODY needs to STAY dead for crying out loud. But then again I kinda like the idea of him haunting Lorne. That would be a great way to follow up the pain of his last act in NFA.
Brian, please ignore the nitpickers. The rest of us do.
So true, TamaraC!
If it is Lindsay he looks about as unLindsayish as possible...or maybe thats the point
Wow, nice. I'm being ignored. It's just like real life then...
Well, on the one hand I really don't want it to be Lindsey 'cause dammit SOMEBODY needs to STAY dead for crying out loud.

*raises hand*

Well, I really really really don't want Lindsey to stay dead. I never wanted him dead at all.
Is it Ethan Rayne? (I never wanted HIM dead at all.)
Looking at screencaps from 3.21 "Benediction" and 3.22 "Tomorrow", it really does look like Groo -- in his normal earth clothes, but making his "he will not harm my princess" face.

Looks more like Groo than Lindsey or Knox, to me. Bringing Groo back would be closer to the rule of the day, since we've already had Gwen and Nina back (i.e. cool, super-powered characters with woefully short story arcs on TV).
I agree with the staying dead concept. The episodes where big characters die tend to be among the best in the series, but once a character is resurrected, it kinda loses its strength. As much as we all love angst, and Lindsey hunting Lorne has potential for heavy drama...
Groo would be out of place without Cordelia around. But that might be the fun part. There's probably a surprise in store for us!
And I think all the nitpicking (after learning where the phrase comes from, using it feels wrong) is kind of fun. We all obviously enjoy the series a whole lot to be able to discuss it without end :)
Hmmm...it could be Ethan, I guess. The facial features resemble him as closely as any one else.

Still....a mystery. Yep.
Valentyn, "nitpicking" (and yes. gross) has a very negative "you will never be able to please me because I know more than everyone else" vibe to it. I'm not a fan.

Being critical while admiring and being excited about something is a whole different ball of wax (I wonder where that phrase came from).
I think Urru's covers have consistently been the best each month. This one's pretty sweet!
Long time lurker, short time poster.. or uh one time poster so far.
Woot!:D

Anyway I like Urru's covers bar the pimp Spike one ;) No idea who the odd guy out is.. be happy with Groo or Lindsay.
Hmm... If we're looking for a Pylean connection, maybe it's Numfar? ;-)
Welcome, newbies!
You're right TamaraC. You'll have to excuse me, my idea of the noun was slightly off (English isn't the first language). Hehe, you learn new things every day!
This post has turned into quite the popular location!

Thank you everyone for the existence of this awesome site!
I'm going to lean against the theory that it's Ethan Rayne. (mild spoiler warnings) He already showed up in Buffy Season 8, and even though Angel: ATF is set before that appearance, I don't see him showing up here, with what was revealed about what had happened between then and his last appearance on Buffy (the TV show).

J.
Hee, my Ethan theory is spreading! *rejoices the power of "what if"*

Also, re-the nitpicking… none from what I scanned through was directed at the writing aka Monsieur Lynch it was mostly the artwork with super-feminist characters! ;)

I, myself, do not register anything negative about young fish-napped George. In fact, I'm at the edge of my seat in anticipation of the Souled Blond Vampire, the Red Eyed Singing Green Demon and the Telepathic Flying Fish being in the same room. There might not be canonizations of Asylum/Shadow Puppets resulting however I do expect some inside jokes for those in the loop. *nods firmly* In fact, if I have an atypical bold day, I will demand it.
If they do bring back Groo, I hope it's in a less ridiculous fashion. I often felt sorry for him, he was kind of a buffoon. I think he could be a real and genuine badass if portrayed that way. I'm still thinking it's Knox.

And Brian, I'm with the poster who said nobody's knocking your writing. It's the art most are complaining about.
Since the character is on the cover I am presuming he has an important role to play.
"And Brian, I'm with the poster who said nobody's knocking your writing. It's the art most are complaining about."

And to be fair to Mr Urru, most readers of the series aren't complaining about the art, either. In my experience the majority of the people buying this title are loving the artwork.

Not to dismiss the opinions of those that don't like it but I'd hate for Franco to be thinking that "most" people don't like his work. Whedonesque really doesn't want to be given the same reputation for unfairly badmouthing artists as certain comic book forums have gained.
I don't know about that, RokkRage, but I do know that in the discussion about Angel issue 2 that a large consensus of folk, myself included, would like to see a different artist. Not writer. Artist.
but I do know that in the discussion about Angel issue 2 that a large consensus of folk, myself included, would like to see a different artist.
I mostly saw a large consensus of several posters stating the same opinion in multiple posts.

Just to put the things into perspective.
I love the artist and my enjoyment of the series is due in a huge part to Mr. Urru's work. I feel we are getting a treat here, and I hope the artist remains the same, otherwise I won't be able to enjoy the series properly.
So there: we now have an equally large consensus of several people on this thread NOT wanting to see a different artist. So I guess now the creative team, including Joss, can feel comfortable in using the artist *they* feel is the best suited for the series, without being pressured either way by a fandom majority on Whedonesque. :)

Back to a mystery guy. I agree that too much resurrection is too much and we already have a ghost of Wesley, so having a ghost of Lindsey seems a tad improbable.
I lean towards Groo now. I hate the idea of him being in Hell, him being such a sweet and nice person. But it may give some juicy story too. We now have a dark parody of Angel, as in Gunn. And Groo used to be a shiny white parody of Angel. Might be interesting to see that in play.
Also what about Groo, Connor and Angel having a talk about Cordy? Compare the notes *ahem* share the feelings? Could be some drama between Groo and Connor here. Ok, too much speculation, but it's fun.
Franco is the best. Here's to Franco!
To put other things into perspective, I personally am not trying to pressure anybody, particularly not Joss; I just don't much like the artwork, and said so (although not in this thread, until now.) I wouldn't much like it if it wasn't Whedonverse related, and the boobaliciousness(?) of it is really not a factor one way or the other. I'm not even sure there's anything tangible I could point to as why, or whether I could give a clear answer as to what I don't like about it; tastes in artwork are often totally subjective, even when the speaker tries to pretend they aren't, so I'm gonna just say that this doesn't really suit my tastes. Anyhow, the artwork wouldn't necessarily be the "make or break" as to whether I followed the story - I'll leave that up to the writing.
"I mostly saw a large consensus of several posters stating the same opinion in multiple posts."

That has been my experience, as well, Nata.

Willowy, the majority of people I have seen comment on the art overall have been quite positive. Those that aren't entirely happy with Franco's work mostly have specific issues about certain pages or frames that they thought were not as good or as clear as they might have been. Very few people have called for a change in artist, as far as I am aware.

Regarding mystery guy, if it turns out to be Lindsey there is no saying that he has to be a ghost. We saw him shot and fall. Nobody confirmed that he actually died. And even if he did then there is no saying that it was W&H that brought him back or even that he had to be brought back as a spirit.

And, Brian. I very much agree. :)
I do know that in the discussion about Angel issue 2 that a large consensus of folk, myself included, would like to see a different artist. Not writer. Artist.

Just for the record, I'd like to state that my critique of the artwork on Angel: After The Fall # 2 was on the content only. I think the artwork is gorgeous and that Mr. Urru is doing a wonderful job.

Back to the mystery guy:

I agree that too much resurrection is too much and we already have a ghost of Wesley, so having a ghost of Lindsey seems a tad improbable.

My fondest wish is that they do resurrect Lindsey but not as a ghost-I'd like him to be alive. And I really hope we won't see what happened with Angel/Lindsey/Lorne swept under a rug or treated like it was nothing because I think that Angel having Lindsey killed after Lindsey helped them defeat the Circle (and Angel having Lorne do it) was a betrayal and nothing less than cold-blooded murder and that it was the worst thing that Angel ever did.
I actually really love the artwork. Like, a lot. I don't mind that the likenesses aren't spot on. It's not what I'm looking for in this comic. And when Urru is unleashing these hordes of demons, he really shines. I don't know how he manages to portray such gruesomely wonderful demons over and over, but I'm loving it.
I agree with CowboyCliche. That consensus disliking the art of Mr. Urru? I'm not seeing it.
tastes in artwork are often totally subjective, even when the speaker tries to pretend they aren't, so I'm gonna just say that this doesn't really suit my tastes.
Rowan Hawthorn, I agree, and I'm sorry the art doesn't work for you: it is indeed a subjective thing and I think for any artist (well, except Joe Chen, apparently) there will be people who won't like their work. I'm just in the luck that Franco's art is working for me, and don't want to gloat or anything. And as there's seldom a way to please everybody, the main call remains with the creative team, of course.

I don't think Franco's art is perfect either. I wish there was more likeness to Wesley. Nina and Gwen I was "meh" about on the show and so I couldn't muster much emotion over their art either way, as far as they were recognizable within the comics. But I get what people don't like about them and think a lot of it is valid.
But I'm delighted and excited on how Angel is drawn, and that's the main thing for me. And also Spike and Connor. And I thought Illyria #3 cover was beyond gorgeous: that drawing had a feel of an ancient Greek myth illustration, with Illyria resembling a goddess from Olympus. But I wish Illyria's nose on #5 isn't so big and fat... while her pose and expression is great.

But the main thing I love about Franco is that his panels looks like snapshots from a live-action movie rather than cartoon frames, with heroes being an organic part of a background. Those panels are like little pictures where very detail is important. It really gives a feeling of watching a movie.
So yeah, I'd be extremely upset if they get somebody else instead of Franco. But again, I'd just have to suck it up as that decision would be up to the creative team.
We're not getting anyone but Franco, he's a vital part of the team.

That said, ANGEL:AFTER THE FALL 6 and 7 feature a ton of artwork by all sorts of people, so you can see other people's interpretations of the story if that's your thing. I have seen a bunch of it and it is quite awesome.
Nata:
And as there's seldom a way to please everybody, the main call remains with the creative team, of course.

Of course, and I wouldn't have it any other way. One of my pet peeves in re: fandom is the crowd who immediately starts the "my way or not at all" nonsense. I want to see what the writers and artists bring to the story; just want to make it clear that I was voicing an opinion, not trying to sway anyone's choices - I'm not familiar enough with the current comics landscape to suggest another artist, even if it was my place to do so.
Nata, "But the main thing I love about Franco is that his panels looks like snapshots from a live-action movie rather than cartoon frames, with heroes being an organic part of a background. Those panels are like little pictures where very detail is important. It really gives a feeling of watching a movie."

These words are interesting to me because I like the panels very much but wouldn't have thought to describe the enjoyment in the way you've done. Thees two draw my attention most "...like snapshots from a live-action movie..." and "...where every detail is important..."

Confession: the only artwork I'd seen of Urru's was the one linked at the top of this page. On your words, Nata, I went in search of some examples, quite interested in what I'd find. What I found was different than what I thought I'd find based on my interpretation of what you wrote.

I'm a huge fan of Frank Frazetta's artwork and not a fan of Boris Vallejo's. I value movement of the art rather than detail. One of these guys' art makes me feel like I'm seeing motion, the other is frozen. One feels fluid, the other posed. Urru captures what I like best: sense of motion...over detail.

Back to the interesting part. We both like Urru's work but we describe it in nearly opposite terms. The devil is in the details (moment to muse on de-tails, tail-less...)...and t'would seem the details of 'details'. Do we both perceive the same artwork and describe it in different terms that, had we a glass of wine and a night to wile away in repose discussing the particulars, we'd find meant the same basic things, thus pointing to the frailty of words and the meaning imbued to them? Or, might we find we actually perceive different pieces of art while looking at the same piece of art?

My personal bet: we have each assigned a different meaning to "detail."
We're not getting anyone but Franco, he's a vital part of the team.



Awesome. I hope if there is ever another canonical Angel series, that you will write and Franco will pencil.

Only a select few here are hating on the art. Most of us really enjoy it. It other forums, the amount of people who don't like the art is even less. It seems like the biggest cluster of complainers is here.
Personally, I like that the artwork does not look exactly like the actors. It shows us that our favorite characters live on beyond the TV shows, and although we love the actors who portrayed Angel, Gunn, Wes, etc., they do not define or make these characters. The writers and the imaginations of the fans/readers/viewers is what has kept Angel and the gang alive past cancellation! Keep up the great work Franco, Bryan, and Joss!
I "love" it when lines are drawn in the fandom sand. :/

I dislike the art. Doesn't mean I think Urru is a bad person, or that Brian is an idiot for supporting him. It means that I've been reading comics for thirty years and have an entire pantheon of artists whose art I DO like and who I feel would work better on the series.

That's it. Plain and simple. If that makes me a "nitpicker" or in some way invalidates what I feel about the story being told... well, I guess as a sometimes controversial and unpopular member of a very opinionated fan community I've come to accept that as my lot in life.
*Puts bandaids on pitchfork wounds*

Wow, everyone sure seems to love the art now. Guess I should change my mind. Or just not buy the next comic.

Maybe I imagined the "boobgate" thread...
When I heard originally about Franco doing the art, I was like you Haunt - very much against it. I liked his early work in Asylum, but hated it towards the end.It had gotton ill defined and messy to my eyes. So was quite vocal at the beginning about my misgivings re:Franco.

But then something happened. Shadow Puppets came out...and I began to think "wait a minute...maybe this could work."

And then something happened to change my mind even more. Franco's cover for #1 came out - and I was hooked. It was huge, epic and very very cool. Then I saw the 5 page preview and that made me very happy. And 90% of the art work since then has pleased me very much.

I am only new to the comic world - The Curse #1 was my first proper 'adult' comic. So I cannot say which artists I prefer. But I know what I like.

I loved David Messina's work on the original IDW run(who I am glad to see is involved in First Night), and true, I might prefer him in the artists chair, but I am very happy with After the Fall so far...what am I saying? I am *ecstatic* about it so far. So as long as Angel is around...I am there.
Willowy, it is obvious that not "everyone" loves the artwork. I just think the ones who like it are finally speaking up after hearing it being picked apart. Some folks take a while and a little provocation to speak up. Others? Not so much.
Maybe I imagined the "boobgate" thread...

Not speaking for anyone but myself here but the opinions I've voiced on the amount of skin being shown was not me saying I hated the artwork. They are two different subjects, at least as far as I'm concerned.
Name calling. Sweeping statements. Is everybody really cranky from eating too much stuffing? Let's have a little more love and peace around here in these last week of 2007.
Urru captures what I like best: sense of motion...over detail.


This is the best part of the artwork. I was a bit disappointed with it at first, coming from Buffy Season 8, but a few pages in, I realized how well it worked. It goes well with the maturity of the show. It feels intentional. The art is not always very clear, much like the show was not. There is no true good and evil, but there is everything in between, and in a way, the art made me think of that. So, I support Franco.

And Brian, you're just awesome.
I really do love the artwork, and like Jelly I don't think that the characters have to look exactly like the actors who played them. I had felt that SMG let herself get too thin and fragile looking by BtVS S7, and that Buffy herself probably looks more like Georges Jeanty's vision. AND I feel that David was losing his lean and hungry Angel look, and that Franco Urru's art work has recaptured that beautifully.

I do think the boobs are over-done and stereotypical, but that doesn't ruin the comic for me. Urru's fight scenes, wide shots, and energy are all wonderful and in keeping with the 'Angel-verse'.

I've been reading comics for most of the last 40-50 years and I have no trouble accepting a wide variety of art work. Heck, I wouldn't mind seeing R.Crumb's take on the subject, but Franco Urru and Brian Lynch have done a lot of really exciting storytelling together and I am happy they are staying together!
My personal bet: we have each assigned a different meaning to "detail."
RhaegarTargaryen, you are right: I feel something close to what you wrote but have expressed it differently. Key words here would be that it feels like a motion picture, like a movie to me. I.e. movement and motion being a key. And by a snapshot I didn't mean it to be "frozen" but just to be literally a snapshot, as opposed to "moving pictures" in the books in "Harry Potter" which are still beyond us muggles. :)
But Franco's panels feel as close to that as it can get, in my opinion. And also they feel organic, heroes and a background being the same slice of life, so to say. Unlike cartoons where we have sharp contours of heroes drawn over static backgrounds. Which is the feel I get from the most comics I've seen (and I've seen very little). And forgot to add: Franco's great with emotions as well, not just movements.

And the #5 cover which you've seen the first here is actually not a good representation of Franco's art, as it is a homage to another comic classic. Here we have heroes drawn sharp over the blank background.
But if you look at #1-#4 you'll see the difference. Those are like slices of life with heroes in them. Arrgh, I hope I explained it better this time. And I'm glad you liked the art. :) From my (again) limited experience with comic art it's an unusual style, something which really makes it more than an illustrated book and really into a middle media between a book and a movie. And that's why I feel we are getting a treat here with "Angel".

I'm happy to know Franco is the part of the team for keeps! But I'm also glad that #6 and #7 will give people who don't like the art now a chance to enjoy the art then. Us Franco fans shouldn't be greedy. :)

Greetings Angelistat! *waving back* I guess you are not only one to be won over by #1 cover! Won me over too in that Franco can do gorgeous Angel.
I like the artwork on Angel: After the Fall. It is very different to Buffy Season 8, which I am not so keen on the magna feel to Buffy herself, but more in keeping with BtVS. While Franco's artwork is darker, and more in keeping with Ats. I really think that Franco is doing an excellent bit of work with the artwork. And it is a lot of work. These are dense panels, with lots going on.

Brian and Franco make a great team.
In the Boobgate thread I was happy to debate the rights and wrongs of comic art and it's exaggerated use of the human physical form (which I still maintain is true for both male and female characters in most superhero comics and therefore not the sexist issue people suggest it to be) but in this thread it seemed to me to be turning into an attack on Franco Urru's ability and his place on the Angel comic series. I see that as unacceptable in any forum but especially around here.

I have absolutely no problem with anyone not liking his work and I would never suggest any artist is so good that they will suit everyone. What I didn't want to see happen is either Brian or, worse yet, Franco himself read through this thread and be given the impression that the majority of the Whedonesque crowd had a problem with the artwork when that simply isn't the case.

Willowy, I'm sorry that you obviously felt under attack from some of the above comments. I doubt any of us intended that. Regarding what you said about not buying the next issue, that is your choice obviously, but I have accepted many artists that I didn't really rate taking over series featuring characters that I loved. When Dave Ross was put on Avengers West Coast I was very much unhappy with his work but stuck with the series because of a love of the story and the characters featured. Not only was that the right choice regarding the excellent stories that followed, I actually came to love Ross' style a great deal.

If you love Angel and want to enjoy the story then maybe you just have to accept the art for what it is.
BRIAN LYNCH said: Franco is the best. Here's to Franco!

Agreed! And I loved both of your work on the SPIKE Shadow Puppets story.
heh, Betta's Elvis hair struck me too. I'm loving this cover though, and very happy to see Lorne back. No thoughts about the mystery character. I'm just gonna sit back, relax and enjoy the surprise ;)
(would be cool if it was Oz though, figure some fun Oz/Nina faceoff stuff could come from it. hehe)

I'm gonna jumo on the 'I love Urro's art' train too, I think he's doing a wonderful job with the comic. Such a feel, great small details in the landscape and the characters all express great feeling and look alive and in motion. Only small complaint I have is Illyria's facial form. She seems to have been rounded out/puffed up a bit. I'd like her face to be more defined. Like I said, minor quibble.

Also, new here. Great Christmas present. yay me :D *waves to score of fans*
From http://blog.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=335358&blogID=341455235

And no, this scene does not happen in the book. At no point do all these characters huddle up and stare at you. But it IS fitting. You'll see why.

LOL
Hee. That Brian! What a tease.

Maharet83-*waves* Very nice first post and welcome!

[ edited by menomegirl on 2007-12-26 23:10 ]
I posted this on the IDW board.Which Angel characters are in place of which Justice Leagures from the Justice League #1 cover.

Angel=Green Lantern Guy Gardner.

Spike=Captain Marvel.

Illyria=Dr. Fate.

Wes=The Blue Beetle.

Connor=Batman.

Lorne=The Martian Manhunter.

Nina=Black Canary.

Gunn=Mr. Miracle.

Gwen=the female Dr. Light.

Mystery Guy=Oberon.
I'm always so amazed how people can see one thing so many different ways. People here talking about Urru's great sense of movement, when that would actually be one of my main complaints: his actions shots feel somewhat stiff and un-dynamic, if that a word be. And at times, unclear. (I mean, I think there is still debate on if George's eye got taken out in the last issue.)

But, for all my complaints, Urru is actually giving his best shot at drawing and not just tracing or copying screencaps and promo photos. For that I am grateful.

And I never think fan reaction should affect a creative team's decisions, as much as I would love things to be different. They should tell the story they want to tell, the way they want to tell it, regardless of if fans like it or not. But, of course, fans reserve the right to 'nitpick' and share their opinions, good or bad.
Buffyfantic, I've never been much of a DC reader but do I recall there being a Justice League Europe variation of this cover as well? I swear I remember a version with Booster Gold and Wonder Woman in the mix.
Unless someone has done a scientific poll of the readership, no one here is in a position to say whether "most" readers like or dislike the art.

What is clear is there is intense disagreement about it, and that a number of women and some men, have indicated that we find it objectionable to see women continuously depicted as hypersexualized caricatures. Now, one response to this might be, "Wow, a lot of intelligent, articulate women who are serious, thoughtful fans of Joss Whedon's work, are disturbed by the way women are depicted in this book. Maybe that's a clue that we should think about why this depiction might be viewed as offensive."

Instead of which, we got casual dismissal of our concerns - there aren't any surgeons in hell to do breast reductions. Ha, ha, ha. That'll teach you dumb-ass women to criticize - don't you know that in comic books women are meant to be obscene and not heard?

Well, it is the artist's right to draw characters any way he chooses, and it is the publishing company's right to accept and publish any drawings it wishes. And those of us who find the portrayal of women as comic stereotypes disturbing will decide that either the storyline is good enough to warrant overlooking it, or we will not, and won't continue to buy the product. But I do wonder why it is that a creative team working on a story-line that evolved out of a work particularly recognized and appreciated for it's respectful treatment of female characters, finds it so necessary to denigrate and dismiss women.

[ edited by barboo on 2007-12-27 00:27 ]
God, can we go five minutes without bringing up the breast thing? Can we at least try to confine that to one thread at a time, so we don't have to read about it constantly in threads where we're just trying to have a fun discussion?

Also, trying a bit harder not to insult the people who are working hard to bring us this comic might be in order, too.
No one in this thread was talking about boobs, barboo. There was one mention and then the same poster admitted that they were mistaken.

No boobs here.
Buffyfantic, I've never been much of a DC reader but do I recall there being a Justice League Europe variation of this cover as well? I swear I remember a version with Booster Gold and Wonder Woman in the mix.
RokkRage | December 26, 23:55 CET


Yes there is a Justice League Europe cover like this as well.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:JLEurope1.jpg
TamaraC: "No one in this thread was talking about boobs, barboo. There was one mention and then the same poster admitted that they were mistaken.

No boobs here."

Well, I see the poster rescinding their concern about the boob/arm (curlymynci: "Oh - it's her arm. I claim alcohol blame.") , but it's actually not accurate, Tamara, that there was no boob discussion in this thread; there was this:

dreamlogic: "So Ilyria is now like a DD+ cup? And this is an artistic choice about what?"


and this:

embers: "I do think the boobs are over-done and stereotypical, but that doesn't ruin the comic for me."


I also don't see that the validity of barboo's concerns, "...that a number of women and some men, have indicated that we find it objectionable to see women continuously depicted as hypersexualized caricatures" rests on whether or not any of these so-called "boob" statements were written in this particular thread - these concerns about women being depicted in this way have occurred on this site throughout the years of Joss' involvement in comics, and as Willowy reminds us:

Willowy: 'Maybe I imagined the "boobgate' thread...


Of course, she didn't imagine it (http://whedonesque.com/comments/15017) and of course it's not about "boobs" per se. It has been people expressing their concerns that the fairly typical comic-book hypersexualization of female - and to some extent male - characteristics detracts from what we enjoyed about Angel when it was a TV show.

I have always liked what Joss said about the depiction of Buffy in his comics:

TVGuide.com: "Does she get comic-book superheroine breast implants?"

Whedon: "She really doesn't. I've been fortunate that I've never worked with a T&A artist. I'm very specific about that."


I think that there are people who care about such issues, and those that don't - and it's clear that the ones who don't care about such issues think that the rest of us who do are either a little silly, or a pain in the ass.

Oh, well. 'Twas ever thus, really...
"http://whedonesque.com/comments/15017" is the "Boobgate" thing you guys were talking about? Heh, that's a link to MY site. I was, at least partially, responsible for a ____gate. Noyce.

I truly hope that boob comments will come to an end as of now. I mean, everyone who has a problem has voice it... over and over again. Everyone who doesn't has also voiced it. That's it.
Nicely spoken, QG.
barboo, I didn't think that the readers' concerns were ignored or dismissed. In Brian Lynch's MySpace he does say:

For instance: I was reading through issue 2 last night, and now I get the comment about the ample bosom on some of the ladies. Understand that the scene I was reading took place somewhere wherein that wouldn't be a weird thing, but your messages and quibbles made something that was going to happen a little later happen a little sooner, and, as the book goes on, you'll see a marked difference.


So I think we should give the artist, publisher, and writer a little while to catch up with fan reaction before feeling that our objections are being ignored.
"I think that there are people who care about such issues, and those that don't - and it's clear that the ones who don't care about such issues think that the rest of us who do are either a little silly, or a pain in the ass."

Not exactly, QG. At least not in my particular case. For me this just has nothing to do with the notion of sexism, for the simple reason that what is done to the women is also done to the men. The "hypersexualized caricatures" have been true from day one of superheroes, both male and female. From gods like Thor to aliens like Superman. Enhanced humans like Captain America to just guys in tights like Batman. All of them have bodies that would take the average guy half a day, every day in the gym to match up to. I work out and consider myself to be pretty healthy but I guarantee you that I wouldn't come close to matching Steve Rogers in a Captain America outfit.

Female superheroes are equally enhanced to be the ultimate in physical form for their gender. You certainly could argue that it's mostly guys doing the artwork so it's also mostly guys deciding what is the "ultimate" in female form but then again it's guys drawing the massively muscled male superheroes as well, so does it make sense to have oversized supermen and perfectly ordinary looking superwomen? Is it not more equal that both sexes are drawn in these "hypersexualized caricature" ways.

Ultimately everyone will see this debate from their own point of view but to offer mine, I have never looked to comics to offer me anything at all sexual and the way female superheroes are drawn has never influenced my idea of what the perfect female form happens to be. That, by the way, would be Amy Lee, who really is perfect. When I see the enhanced physical forms of the women in comic books I don't think hypersexual. In fact I don't think anything sexual at all because, well, they are drawings in a comic book and I happen to prefer flesh and blood girls. Call me crazy! ;) What I think is superhero fantasy and that honestly is all.

I hate sexism. I hate the idea of women being treated any differently from men. But I also hate the idea of everything in the world being in danger of things getting too politically correct and everything having to be bland and safe. Let the fantasy art of superhero comics have it's fantasy because if we start limiting superheroes to reality then pretty soon they will all be walking around, not very strong and not being able to do very much "super" at all, because that is reality too.
And thanks to Buffyfantic. Knew that I'd seen another version somewhere! :)
But RokkRage, That. Isn't. What. Joss. Is. About.

Nobody's saying there shouldn't be larger than life bodies on Superheroes in superhero comics. Talk about 'ever shall be' and that's it. I heart X-Men hugely, and wouldn't change a thing (except that they gave Beast a cat-face, not really feeling that). It is what it is.

As I said in the other thread. We've come to expect a more evolved way of telling a story (with pictures!) from Joss and the company he keeps. And that golden quote from QuoterGal above where Joss says he's never worked with a T&A artist, and really doesn't want to, drives home what I mean, even if you ignore it when I say it.

Is it because any Angel title skews more 'male'? Maybe. But there are tons of females that love Whedon work and will see/buy anything with his name attached (points to self), that keeping the integrity of his worlds means... er... the world to. Same with a lot of forward-thinking (like Joss himself) men.

At first I laughed. Like Xander's pillow fight dream, it was fluffy and funny. Then it went on and on, and was beating me over the head with Hindenburgs, and it stopped being funny. As an ample-bosomed woman myself, I was grossed out at the representation and wished very much that I could choose to remove that element so I could've enjoyed Brian's story that much more.

I still would like to see a change. If Mr. Urru is to remain - can he evolve his style? Or is this what we get?

Maybe I could get someone to read the comics to me.
Well spoken, RokkRage.

And QG, just because I Have a different opinion from you or anyone else doesn't mean I think any less of you (or them), and it certainly doesn't mean I think anyone is a pain in the ass.

(I have entirely different reasons for thinking people are pains in my ass. ;)
"I dislike the art." - Haunt

I don't think QG was meaning you, Haunt. Testy...testy... ;)
Firstly, Willowy, regarding the Beast, could not agree more. ;)

But with regard to the main topic, it keeps coming back to the same thing for me. You say "a more evolved way of telling a story" as if there is something wrong or backward about comic art and, as my previous comment says, I strongly dispute that. I'm entirely understanding how you are seeing a difference between the X-Men female cast and those in Angel who have real life counterparts but if you truly have no issue with comic art not being true to reality in X-Men then does it really make that much of a difference that Urru isn't being 100% accurate with the Angel men and women?

Bottom line, for me anyway, is that this topic only became an issue to me when I read the opinions here at Whedonesque. The reason being that I really hadn't paid any attention to the fact Nina had bigger boobs in the comic. Because it makes no difference to me. If Urru starts drawing the boobs to the exact measurements of the respective actresses the I won't care about that either. Again, they are just drawings in a comic and I spend very little time looking at comic boobs, as a rule.

What I have a problem with is art of any kind, but especially comic art as that is a particular love of mine, being told to PC up. Not because I want to see big boobs but because I want to see comic art remain comic art. That, for me, means every artist being free to draw in the style he or she chooses, in every sense. If Franco chooses to "downsize" then so be it but only if that is his choice.

Honestly, I just really wish that we could try and remove the "sexist" part of this debate and stick to the "art". If you don't like Franco's work because you don't consider it to be accurate (whether that be boobs or facial details) then fair enough but making this a gender/sexism issue is neither fair not accurate, in my opinion, and suggesting that Franco is damaging the integrity of the Whedonverse is going just a little too far.
QG, you're right I must have missed those comments. I just worry about every thing being forced to PC up like Rokkrage is talking about.

Of course the girls in issue two are ridiculous looking. I laughed out loud at Spike's harem. They are impossible constructs. That doesn't mean I don't like the art. The art to me is separate from any type of sexual (real or imagined) subtext. I can separate the two. Does that make me more or less evolved? :)
"...but if you truly have no issue with comic art not being true to reality in X-Men then does it really make that much of a difference that Urru isn't being 100% accurate with the Angel men and women?"

I don't expect 100%. I just don't want it to gross me out and distract me from the story.

"I spend very little time looking at comic boobs, as a rule."

Mmm hmmm.

"What I have a problem with is art of any kind, but especially comic art as that is a particular love of mine, being told to PC up."

Right. I agree here. But PCing isn't what I and others take issue with. See above to clarify please, I'm getting tired...

"...suggesting that Franco is damaging the integrity of the Whedonverse is going just a little too far."

Do not agree. I think you should take issue with it also. If not, that's your prerogative, but I do believe staying true to the Whedon vision has been the goal of all involved with the comics. Dirigibilic breasts are unnecessary, and anathema to the message. As someone else said, the unimaginable power emanating from Illyria, with her boyish figure which had been Fred, was always one of the stronger images and messages in AtS. Point being; in Joss' world, you don't need oversized muscles (or oversized anything else) to be mighty.
Wow, the cover went up because we thought people would get a kick out of it. Cool gift on Christmas Eve. Didn't know we'd start boobgate all over again. Certainly don't think there is a breast problem of any kind on the cover.

We heard your concerns about it the first ten, twenty times. They're even being addressed as early as issue 4, I believe.

Bottom line is, I love the book and am so honored to be partners with Franco. To all those that dig our work, thank you up and down. To those that don't, that's a shame, and maybe we'll get you next time?

Sigh.

Moving on, the art for issue 4 is completed and is wonderful. A whole new section of hell is shown, and it's...wow. Plus there's a back and forth between Angel and Wesley that is pretty powerful. A lot of revelations. But the last couple of pages...

...you'll want 5 to come out the next day, methinks.
Love your comments, Barboo and QuoterGal. I've decided not to buy this comic anymore. RokkRage, for some of us, art doesn't exist in a vacuum.
Actually, the female characters in Astonishing X-men are drawn as having reasonable female physiques and, except for the White Queen, not especially endowed. And even the White Queen (and let's not forget that Joss threw in the ironic comment about the ridiculousness of her costume), while well-built is still humanly proportioned, something that none of Urru's females are.

At the same time, none of the male characters in Angel so far have been depicted with Kazar-like musculature, not to mention running around in nothing but a loin-cloth, so the argument that male and female characters are being treated exactly the same way is false, as is the argument that ALL comic book art treats women in this fashion. Yes it is a style of comic book art, but it is one of many styles, and it is a choice on the part of the artist to use it. Unless he's simply incapable of drawing women.

I really don't think it's that impossible for men to understand why women would object to being constantly depicted as nothing but an exaggerated (hetero)male fantasy. In fact, I believe that men know exactly what is objectionable about it, because every time they are put into the same position they express exactly what bothers them about being sex objects. Every time the issue of gays in the U.S. military comes up all sorts of men start objecting, saying things like, "You might be in the shower and some man could LOOK at you." In the later seasons of Buffy, when Spike was shown constantly without a shirt, we know that James Marsters didn't like it. He wanted to be treated as a person, not just a body, however beautiful.

If Gunn were being drawn with huge, thick lips and exaggerated whites of his eyes, would that be acceptable, and objections just being PC? If any and all Asian characters were drawn with huge buck teeth, pop bottle glasses and piss-yellow skin, would that be alright? It's a style that has a long comic book history, just go back and look at some of the World War II books. How about depicting all Jews with huge, hook noses? Would those all be acceptable? And if not, if there is something objectionable in depicting others as stereotyped caricatures, why is it wrong to expect women to be treated with the same respect that is expected for men of all races and cultures?
Brian, you're so nice and diplomatic. I hope you notice that most everyone seems to love the story you are telling.
Moving on, the art for issue 4 is completed and is wonderful. A whole new section of hell is shown, and it's...wow. Plus there's a back and forth between Angel and Wesley that is pretty powerful. A lot of revelations. But the last couple of pages...

...you'll want 5 to come out the next day, methinks.


Looking forward to seeing it!!
Real sorry to hear that, Suzie, because as I said, we heard your concerns and are addressing them. But either way, hope everyone who IS staying on the ride (which seems to be the majority of you, thank goodness) enjoys THE GREATEST COMIC ABOUT A VAMPIRE IN HELL EVER CREATED.
I love that Hell has streets. And cars. And buildings, specifically apartments and hotel rooms. Makes it much more relatable to the common (wo)man, as opposed to those smelly brimstone constructs all over the place.

Are there malls?

*wink*
"If Gunn were being drawn with huge, thick lips and exaggerated whites of his eyes, would that be acceptable, and objections just being PC? If any and all Asian characters were drawn with huge buck teeth, pop bottle glasses and piss-yellow skin, would that be alright? It's a style that has a long comic book history, just go back and look at some of the World War II books. How about depicting all Jews with huge, hook noses? Would those all be acceptable? And if not, if there is something objectionable in depicting others as stereotyped caricatures, why is it wrong to expect women to be treated with the same respect that is expected for men of all races and cultures?"

Um. Buxom ladies are the same as racist caricatures. Check. Big breasts are the same as racist stereotypes. Check and check.

And with that, Franco and I stop working on our Dolly Parton tribute comic, DOLLY:ASYLUM. It's a shame, we had a winner on our hands.
Don't let the same complaints being repeated by the same people bother you, Brian. The majority of fans are loving the book and that same majority talks and debates about the actual *plot* as opposed to breast size. Keep doing what you do, because the vast majority appreciated the Christmas Eve gift that you guys gave us with the cover.
I think barboo has a point.

That said, stopping work on DOLLY:ASYLUM would be wrong. At least we'd know what we were getting, up front.

Ba dum bum.
patxshand, are you even reading this thread? Since you don't list your email in your profile, maybe you could drop me a line? We could talk about sucking up and such.
THE GREATEST COMIC ABOUT A VAMPIRE IN HELL EVER CREATED


Oh, you bet, Brian. I think for all of us here the world of Angel represents something incredibly important. I don't feel silly at all when I say I care more about these characters than some real life people. It is beautiful to see all these strong opinions, whether we agree with them or not. They show how much passion the show and the comic invoke.

Willowy, I couldn't agree with you more :) Brian and his story are very easy to love.
Brian Lynch: "Um. Buxom ladies are the same as racist caricatures. Check. Big breasts are the same as racist stereotypes. Check and check."


I wasn't gonna hop back in, but Brian, that was unfair, a tad disingenuous, and a little nasty, and I did not want the thread to end - as I thought - that way. I have been nothing but calm and polite in this discussion, as have most of us, though clearly this subject arouses deep passions in a lot of folks, for a variety of reasons.

And just for all y'alls info, I plan on buying this and any other issue of Angel comics that I care to read - the story interests me, they're well-written, and I care about the characters.

I felt compelled to jump in because of inaccuracies in the comments, and because the rhetoric gets so heated on both sides, and various points of view unstated by me and others get attributed to us. "Forced" to be PC - I never know where people get that notion or how they make the jump from reading some folks' reactions to some kind of implied "art direction by force."

Again, Brian I'm sure you know - or I hope you know - that this isn't about "buxom ladies" - that it is about stereotypical depictions of females in comics, which is, as you know, a huge issue in the comic world outside of this thread, and which certainly can be fairly described as analogous to other stereotypical depictions of races, cultures, religions, etc.

"As bad as"? "The same as?" Well, I dunno, and it's not for me or any of us to measure that. But "analogous to" - well, truly why the hell not?

Anyhoo, I'm checking out of this Heartbreak Hotel for the evening...
Willowy, Fred...boyish body? Heavens, heavens, heavens...just no. Can't disagree with this tidbit more. There's a notion to wax philosophical about Amy Acker's roiling, unfettered, hyper sexy self - but I fear I couldn't give her a Ligeian explication, so I'm not gonna try. I know there wouldn't be an ounce of "boyish" within the frame my words tried to paint to capture her beauty.

It certainly wouldn't be fair to populate comics with goddesses of Ms. Acker's physical amplitude. Going to the peak and plucking the pinnacle of awesome from the heights wouldn't be doing the average woman any service at all.

Maybe the suggestion is women in comics shouldn't look "hot". More Acker is not the way to achieve that! If that were the goal, making more Ackerian women would be a monumental failure. However, that right there, that's a straw man. I'll knock him over, if you don't mind: "Hot" should come, as it does in real life, in many forms. Isn't that what the argument really is? Isn't it about representing different notions of pinnacles of beauty? I don't read enough comics/graphic novels to know if this is done so can't comment accurately on it. Or maybe on much of anything, really.

But I know this: Acker is Ackerian. And Ackerian, for the nubish, is a word that denotes the very pinnacle of female beauty.

Boyish? Just...no. I'm not attacking you, Willowy, honest. Hope you don't feel that I am.
Question: how does one evoke the image of an attractive, alluring woman in a drawing or painting?

Question: how does one evoke the image of an attractive, alluring woman via words?

Question: of the two, writers and "artists", which is more confined when answering the above question? Which has the narrower path to tread?

Question: If it is deemed that one indeed does have a narrower path to tread, might it be easier to fall off and fail in the attempt? Might that not explain, or further the understanding of why a narrower set of attributes is used in one form versus another? (if we come to an agreement that one is, in fact, more confined).
Oh man, can Dolly at least cross over into Angel: After the Fall?
Thanks for the cover. Just because people talk about things they don't like, doesn't mean they aren't generally liking more than not liking. On the other hand, people need to be able to discuss what they don't like as much as what they like. Otherwise it starts felling like a lot of ass-kissing...which is fun for the kissees, but sometimes not as fun for the crowd. ;-)

I have not seen issue 2 yet because they were sold out at the store that was *not* in the mall, and then Christmas happened. Therefore my frame of reference is just the first issue and the covers.

I have already stated that the boob issue in those pulled me out of the story a bit, but did not bother me enough to overwhelm the writing or to make me consider not buying the comic. Generally it just made me shake my head...until I was told that I shouldn't voice my opinion about it. However, since we had been told that the boobbage issue was being addressed in future issues I really felt that it was probably a non-issue in the long run. I am pleased to get a definite issue number. I thought and think that it was/is commendable that the team was/is paying attention. Thanks Brian Lynch et al.

That said, I like this cover, but whether it is considered bad taste by some to discuss it or not, the boobbage issue struck me immediately on this one too. As someone who crosses her arms across a more than ample chest on a regular basis, I say there are some big boobs under Illyria's arms. I am hoping magic happens when she puts her arms down inside the cover. (insert sound of slow air leak) As in the past, I will be buying it for the writing and keeping my fingers crossed about the way the women are drawn.

RokkRageOne of the problems with this whole argument that objecting to the women of Angel suddenly having boob jobs is wrong because this is how superhero comics are drawn; that men are drawn as outrageously as the women and it is therefore not sexist, is that the men in Angel aren't being drawn differently. None of the male characters have bulked up or are dressing in spandex. This is clearly not Superman, Batman or one of the other classic superhero comics. This is Angel. How women in those other comics are drawn is not really the point in this case.

RhaegarTargaryen, Amy Acker's figure can be described as boyish while still being considered hot. As you say, there are many different versions of the pinnacle of beauty, I can see Amy Acker as being one of them. Within the Whedonverse Moreana Baccarine might be another n the other end of the scale...equally beautiful, but of a toatlly different shape.
while well-built is still humanly proportioned, something that none of Urru's females are.
Barboo, this is not true. Many of us here have read Lynch and Urru Spike: Shadow Puppets series, and the two most important female characters there (actually three - as Mrs.Konikoff *is* very important!) are all very flat-chested and very realistically proportioned women. Who are also very strong, powerful and fascinating characters and are drawn as such (well, don't know if Mrs.Konikoff has any powers but we should never assume anything!). Oh, and there's Fauna who is also important, powerful, fascinating and extremely flat-chested (not proportioned realistically I'm afraid, but for a good reason :)).

So I believe the anger at perceived inherent sexism of Mr.Urru is a bit misplaced, and maybe more familiarity with his work is needed before pronouncing a judgement like that.

"Forced" to be PC - I never know where people get that notion or how they make the jump from reading some folks' reactions to some kind of implied "art direction by force."
QuoterGal, thank you for these words as I was getting a very uncomfortable vibe here on this thread of a campaign to silence and/or censor the artist rather then to express disagreement and critique of his work. And silencing and/or censoring of the creative community is also as sensitive for many people as sexism, especially for those of us who grew up in countries with totalitarian regimes. I embrace the words "I violently disagree with your opinion, but I'm ready to die for your right to express it", and believe that this kind of attitude is crucial for the health of any society. And when this attitude is not maintained... believe me, it's something like air which you take for granted but you'll sure notice when it's gone.
I'm very glad to hear that "art direction by force" is not on the agenda here! I was getting the vibe of silencing the artist, and failing that, censoring him/forcing to change art direction, from words like those:

If Mr. Urru is to remain - can he evolve his style?

I'm relieved that it was not the intention of those words, then, but just an expression of a disagreement, and I'm sorry for interpreting it so unfavorably. Whew, I almost launched yet another political rant on this thread.
And anyway, Mr.Urru *can* drew great and realistic women (see above), and the concerns here on Whedonesque were heard and noted, so I believe we will see those skills proven in Asylum and Shadow Puppets to be also applied more broadly in the future issues of Angel:ATF.

Exciting news about issue #4, and also it's where we will meet our mystery guy! And there's one more person I thought about. What if he's Fred's father? A bit young, yeah, but he's drawn so vague (intentionally).
Ya'll are drunk.
Willowy,

I am reading this thread. I am reading every thread about After the Fall and Buffy: Season Eight. I find it a bit strange that you deem me a "suck up" because I'm defending a comic that I love from, what I feel, are unwarrented complaints. Some of the complaints ARE warrented, and I've stated them. In this specific cover, there are two areas that I've voiced concern over:

1. Gwen's hair
2. Illyria's nose

[Snipped].

On the last thread, you were complaining about how unclear it was that Gunn had ripped out Betta George's eye... Well that was because he DIDN'T rip out the eye. If you looked at the art and compared #1 and #2, you would see that he pocketed the Eye of Ramras and then, in #2, took it out of his pocket and gave it to the demony thing.

You can complain all you want. You can call me and any other "After the Fall" defender a suck up all you want. [Snipped] You don't know the first thing about me. When I see something I don't like, no matter who puts it out, I'll note that I don't like it. As far as "After the Fall," I've been vocal about my belief that Andrew Robinson was a HORRIBLE choice for a cover artist and that it was a mistake to choose him. [Snipped]

Where's your holiday spirit? [Snipped]

[ edited by SoddingNancyTribe on 2007-12-27 08:03 ]
I am honestly saddened at the state of this fandom that someone at IDW had to essentially tell Franco Urru, a talented and professional artist, "You have to change the way you work because some people on the internet are complaining." That is unbelievably insulting, and if it were me, I would have lost a lot of passion for the story.

[ edited by dingoes8 on 2007-12-27 08:02 ]
Ding. That's the end of the bout as far as the Willowy/patxshand fight goes. Personal insults is against all kinds of site rules. You guys want to continue, take it to e-mail. Or texting. Whatever it is you kids do these days.

And, generally, the artwork debate may benefit from a little cooling off too.
Ooops.

No continuing. I'm good. I apologize for clogging the board with that hairball of words, I was just kinda shocked to be insulted out of no where.

*holds up peace sign... unless you're British, in which case, just puts up a thumbs up*
Hee. I wish I was drunk, Willowy - sounds good right about now. (And thanks for the compliment above, I meantersay earlier.)

I want to add one more thing, SNT, but it's truly not about the artwork, nor is it heated...

I just want to say that I don't think people who are voicing opinions in disagreement need to explicitly say each time they disagree, "I am not advocating censorship of this thing I don't care for."

I think the fact of not expressing a desire to see something censored should imply not wishing to see something censored. It's never implied or "vibed" in anything I say - as I deeply object to censorship - and yet almost every time I examine or point out something from a feminist perspective, there are folks that hear some kind of ghostly "C" word floating on the air.

It's uncanny. Maybe you'all could take it as read that I, for one, am always not advocating censorship, and we can leave it at that, okay?

ET: close parens

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2007-12-27 08:16 ]
newcj, Amy Ackers figure can be described as boyish, because it's been done. I don't think its in the neighborhood of accurate, though. There's not an "either or" here. "Got boobs? Womanly. Got not boobs? Boyish." I'm not suggesting you're saying that. I'm suggesting it's suggchested.

I fail to see the features of Amy Acker that suggest a hint or a dash of boy. There's no "ish" there. Certainly not in the face, not those tantalizing lips, not her glorious eyes, not its splendid proportion. Nor in the hips. Or waist. Or legs. Does she have boyish arms, I don't recall. There be scant other place to turn than to matters of pectoral decoration that would beguile one into using "boyish" in the same sentence as Amy Acker.

Has my boat of understanding sprung a leak? Do I have a faulty bilge pump? 'Cause I'm not finding the correct tack to reach the isle of understanding where this reasoning lives.

Turn the argument around, what features does a boy have that are Ackerish? Arms, legs, heart, and all the other humanish attributes they share.

I'm willing to change my opinion if a meritorious argument leads me that way. There's a shard of me that finds it appalling to describe a beautiful woman as "boyish" because, for no other reason that I'm aware of, she's not buxom. I mean, "boyish" doesn't cull thoughts of "womanly" for me at all. And Amy Acker is ultra womanly in my estimation.

Now I know I added "womanly" to the argument but, seriously, what is the opposite of "boyish" when describing a woman?

Am I making sense here? I feel my boat has sunk and I'm flailing my arms and slipping below the surface.
I wouldn't call Amy Acker boyish at all. True, she isn't large in the breast department, but she has very... womanly (as Rhaegar said)... legs and hips. Yeah, "boyish" is one of the last words I'd use to describe Amy.

For me, she's one of the most attractive leads in the Buffyverse. SMG lost it in a major way after Season Three, and Alyson was on and off. Tara had hot moments (her outfit right before the horrible moment in Seeing Red) but also had her really, really not moments. Anya, Cordy, and (Season Seven:) Dawn were the most attractive on BtVS, but Amy Acker ALWAYS looked good. Whether she was cavegirl Fred, bookworm Fred, scientist Fred, or badass Illyria, she was always beautiful.
Thanks, SNT. I was just about to step in here and step in hard. And it's 8 am over here, not the best time to try and be fair and aloof.
RhaegarTargaryen, a lot of people have different visions attributed to certain adjectives. While reading the comment that Amy is boyish, I didn't necessarily disagree with it at first, because the association for me was that it simply meant that she had a very slender (I don't want to use the word skinny) figure, and that she doesn't have very large breasts. I guess it goes all the way back to Greek mythology, where young boys were considered extremely beautiful. So, I didn't see "boyish" as something negative. To me in meant pretty, and perhaps innocent looking.

My personal view of Amy Acker is very much the same as yours. With the "tantalizing lips, glorious eyes, and splendid proportion," to me she is one of the most beautiful women alive (or dead, since we are talking about lots of vampires here too :) )
Valentyn, a meritorious argument! Nicely done. But I'm of the same opinion still, that it's unflattering and inaccurate. But I can respect that it may hail (hale?) from a kinder homage than I seem inclined to accept. Thank you for your words.

[ edited by RhaegarTargaryen on 2007-12-27 09:01 ]
Well, as an artist, I would not describe Amy Acker's figure as "boyish". She's more the wood nymph body type.

I certainly hope that most folks' idea of what constitutes a "boyish" figure from a "girly/womanly" figure isn't mainly centered around cup size. Amy Acker's slender frame is most definitely feminine... and lovely. It appears that the objections raised over the artistic renderings of females in most comics rely too much on the exaggerated T&A body type. Although this stylistic choice is rampant in most comics, many fans of Angel like the illustrations to more closely resemble our beloved cast... and thus depict more range in feminine beauty.
RokkRage - "I spend very little time looking at comic boobs, as a rule."

Willowy - "Mmm hmmm."


No, that is absolutely true. Comic females have never been my thing. I've never had any problem in attracting members of the flesh and blood female world so the 2-D variety have kinda passed me by. ;)

barboo - "Actually, the female characters in Astonishing X-men are drawn as having reasonable female physiques and, except for the White Queen, not especially endowed. And even the White Queen (and let's not forget that Joss threw in the ironic comment about the ridiculousness of her costume), while well-built is still humanly proportioned, something that none of Urru's females are."


Which is the chosen style of John Cassady. I would never say that he should change to drawing his characters exaggerated anymore than I would tell Frank Cho to stop drawing his characters in the highly exaggerated way he happens to prefer. It's a matter of choice for them both. And for Franco Urru, as well.

barboo - "I really don't think it's that impossible for men to understand why women would object to being constantly depicted as nothing but an exaggerated (hetero)male fantasy. In fact, I believe that men know exactly what is objectionable about it, because every time they are put into the same position they express exactly what bothers them about being sex objects. Every time the issue of gays in the U.S. military comes up all sorts of men start objecting, saying things like, "You might be in the shower and some man could LOOK at you." In the later seasons of Buffy, when Spike was shown constantly without a shirt, we know that James Marsters didn't like it. He wanted to be treated as a person, not just a body, however beautiful."


Y'know what though? Even if I did consider this debate to be about sexism, I would disagree with this comment above. Some men may agree with you about not wanting to be seen as a sex object but some, myself included, have no particular problem with it. If I didn't want that then I wouldn't spend hours of my week working out and getting my body into a condition that girls find attractive. Sex is a very large part of what both genders are all about and it always has been. Hell. it's the basic reason gender exists.

The same is true for many women, certainly in my experience. I've known girls (in fact I've dated many girls) that are more than happy to be seen as sex objects. I have gay female friends who read comics that find nothing whatsoever wrong with the way women are represented. I have gay male friends who would probably argue that there should be a lot more "superheroesque" male bodies available in the world.

True enough, very few people want to be seen solely as a sex object. Having an attractive body is great for making the initial connection but you want there to be more to it once you get to know somebody. One of the reasons that I don't believe this is a problem in comic books is because, regardless of the way they are drawn, the characters have strong personalities and are much more than the way they look. She Hulk, Ms Marvel, Rogue and others may all have that stereotype female form but they are fully formed, interesting and strong personalities as well, and are all treated with the equal respect of their male team mates.

Basically, I'm saying that not all men and women want to be seen the same way or have the same opinion about what is right and wrong with how we are physically represented. Many people, such as myself, think "sex object" is quite acceptable now and again, as long as we are also seen to have other qualities about us. Your body is what gets you noticed when you are out at the weekend, after all, but your personality is what keeps the other person from walking away. ;)

All that said, I still maintain that comic art is not about making men and women into sex objects. It's about making them into superheroes and therefore the fantasy comes from a very different place.
I am honestly saddened at the state of this fandom that someone at IDW had to essentially tell Franco Urru, a talented and professional artist, "You have to change the way you work because some people on the internet are complaining." That is unbelievably insulting, and if it were me, I would have lost a lot of passion for the story.

Serious question: since Franco Urru is a commercial artist, isn't he always being asked to adjust his work according to the wishes of his clients?

I am pleased to read that people's concerns are being addressed in future issues. If this move encourages people like myself to actually buy the comics or encourages others to start buying the comic again, is that such a bad thing?

PS Thank you Barboo and QuoterGal for articulating what I think.
Hey.....great cover, huh?


*my attempt to get things back to topic....*
Good luck with that, angeliclestat. ;)

Although, having entered this debate a second time against my better judgement, I'm going to step out and leave it at that. I've made me feelings perfectly clear about this subject and can't really say anything new beyond what I've already covered.

I hope that Franco won't be too disheartened by anything he reads on here and I hope that he won't feel pressured to change his style. On the other hand, I hope that those with a problem with the artwork will be considered too, even if I personally think the wrong issues are being addressed in certain opinions.

From here on out I'm limiting my Angel: After the Fall comments directly to the story because, well, it's easier that way... ;)
"I am honestly saddened at the state of this fandom that someone at IDW had to essentially tell Franco Urru, a talented and professional artist, "You have to change the way you work because some people on the internet are complaining." That is unbelievably insulting, and if it were me, I would have lost a lot of passion for the story."

This was brought up on another thread and I was just too busy to respond. Now I am not saying this artist is doing this, because I do not know his work that well, but I find it amazing that it has been implied here that it is artistic to draw all characters with the same body or body types and that commercial art should somehow be immune from criticism.

If I wrote stories in which all the characters had the same specific group of personalities or the same voice, people would quickly stop reading...and rightfully so. It would not be not be undermining my art for people to tell me that I needed to expand my bag of tricks and start writing characters that were more diverse. In some cases it would simply be called editing.

For all we know, this artist might have been glad to be told that he is free to use more female body types; that he does not have to adhere to the T&A types that others may have asked for so often that that is what he automatically draws. ...Or not, because I know nothing about the man. I'm also guessing no one else here, except Brian Lynch, has discussed this with him. I suppose I am just suggesting that maybe Mr. Urru is being sold a little short. I almost get the feeling that his defenders are inadvertently implying that he is a one trick pony. The man is an artist, let's just see where he goes with it.

RhaegarTargaryen, Valentyndo said it pretty well. To me, and I think many, a woman having a "boyish figure" is not a negative, nor does it preclude beauty or sexual attractiveness. (...and boys do not usually have defined muscles. A pretty young boy can easily be mistaken for a girl.) Oh, and describing someone's figure has nothing to do with her facial features, so the whole eyes, lips, etc. really does not come into it.

I am a straight woman for whom the word boyish as applied to a woman would not have the same tendency to have bad ick implications as it probably would to a straight male. It only means a slender figure with small hips, butt and breasts. Someone with that figure could be called wood nymph like, waif like, or whatever. Suit yourself, but you really don't need to assume that AA is being insulted by the term...unless you really want to. In that case, knock yourself out. ;-)
What newcj said. "Boyish" means slim and without many curves. That's all. Geez.

And yep about the Graphic Artist thingy. We are constantly changing our artwork to please the client. It's called revisions and can happen many times on any given job. Sometimes the client doesn't end up liking their own ideas and asks you to go back to your very first design or interpretation. That one's a pisser, but it happens.
You know I was watching Angel Season Five last night, and it came to me with absolute clarity who the mystery guy was.

But now I can't for the life of me remember. Haven't finished my morning coffee yet though so maybe it will come back.

I am loving this series now. I loved the two Spike Series, writing as well as art, so when I was less than thrilled with the art in the first issue of After the Fall I was still hopeful.

This second issue was great.
Arrghh, Xane, you are such a tease! :) But do you remember the name of the episode at least? As there are screencaps on the web...
and it came to me with absolute clarity who the mystery guy was.


Pavayne?
Pavayne? Hmmmm, nope, doesn't really resemble him either.

Maybe it's Holtz?
Also it's not the first Jossverse comic book to have a tribute cover to the Justice League (Giffen version which like was the only decent version).
It's Sirk!

Or I could be wrong.
I know that's been mentioned, the Justice League thing. I'm assuming it's in honor of it? I really have no idea about the comic thing.

But it's a very striking cover. I love the way it was done. And I love me a mystery!!!

Hmmm...Sirk.
Nah, Holtz is dead. Pavayne? Not unless they die his hair black.
What about the bad guy from Conviction? The one on trial? He can be looked up on this page: http://www.screencap-paradise.com/caps/thumbnails.php?album=248&page=5
Pretty good likeness. Also there was that doctor from Unleashed who was given up to be eaten. Maybe he survived?
Good catch, Xane, 'cause Sirk? Zing! I think we got a winner! Out of all the people we mentioned he's the closest in looks to the mystery guy. And he's not dead, and he can be trouble and he can be used for a good story. So, I'm going with Sirk until proven otherwise.
Fries? Boy, was that guy seriously disturbed. Kinda looks like him, yes.

I'm trying to think of people who were more than a one-shot on the show, which leaves me with this short list: Lindsey, Groo and Hamilton. Maybe Holland Manners or Linwood. Sirk is a good possibilty.

Of course, it's probably someone who should be obvious and we're all overlooking the character.

It could be Sahjhan, wearing his human features. We never did find out if there was a bad history between Sahjhan and Connor, other than that prophecy stuff. He seemed to have a personal grudge against Connor and it was never fully explained.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2007-12-27 20:19 ]
This will be my last post regarding "boyish," promise.

First, when I consider body proportion, ratios, waist to hip (WHR) ratios...there's probably a large difference between a boy and a woman of Acker's shape. I have been interested in body ratios since a wonderful TLC or Discover special with John Cleese, "The Human Face" was aired. I was intrigued that genetic expression, examined through ratios, could have an impact on attractiveness. I recollect a comparison between Kate Moss's body and that of Marilyn Monroe - two people I had thought had vastly different bodies. But, if recollection serves, their body ratios were basically the same (maybe it was waist to hip ratio that was being looked at). At any rate, my guess is Amy Acker's waist-to-hip ratio is very much indicative of an attractive woman and lacking resemblance to a boy's ratio that, I would hazard, approaches 1.0.

Some interesting links on this notion of body ratios:
interesting and also interesting. These are more technical, and only PubMed citations, but still interesting: interesting medline citation and intersting citation2 and intersesting3 and interesting4.

Second, regardless of the "boyish" designation, my point would be drawing more women that had Ackerian shape wouldn't at all change the notion that comics are populated with super gorgeous women. It would simply reinforce it. Ultimately, I'm suggesting a super heroine probably has good genetics and there may not be as much variety for the depiction of "good genetics" as might seem casually plausible.

Third, I meant no disrespect to any posters opinion, at any stage of this dialogue. We merely traipsed into an eminently fascinating arena and I enjoy the thinking, sharing, and discovery of other people's opinions; thus I learn. So I'd like to extend a thanks to everyone for sharing. We're a damn fine bunch of folk; some with tales; some with tails, forked ones, but even then they tend to be polite. Such is Whedonesque.
"He seemed to have a personal grudge against Connor and it was never fully explained."

I think it was just that he read the prophecy that Connor was going to kill him. I think that is the only grudge he had against him.

A pretty fair one mind you, but I dont think there was more to it than that.

And Sirk did disappear didnt he?...Hmmm...
Isn't Sirk, like, much older than this drawing depicts?

Regardless, I imagine once it's revealed there will be the choruses of both: "What?! That looks NOTHING like him!" and "Oh God, of COURSE, why didn't I see that before, it looks just like him!" :~P

I think I'm leaning toward, 'Do we really need more characters, cuz some folks' favorites are bound to be getting short shrift already.'
"Isn't Sirk, like, much older than this drawing depicts?"

Ya just had another look at the cover.I dont think it is Sirk. Sirk was in his 60's. This guy is more like the age Lindsey or Groo.
So once again..Hmmm...
'Do we really need more characters, cuz some folks' favorites are bound to be getting short shrift already.'

I don't think that it's possible to give everyone what they'd like to see, honestly. So I'm just going to enjoy the story of Angel: After The Fall and be damn grateful that it finally came to pass. In the end, that's what I care about the most.
Xane, my sister was watching Destiny today I was like "Hmm, I always wondered what happened to Sirk. He was a good character. Had so much potential for more nasty-ness. Plus, neat name." Then I was like "Whao! The cover!" and I came here and you beat me to it!

Okay, so here it is, it could be:
1. Sirk (coolest running for me now. He had a visit to HellDoc 20210, had his face done and the hair...)
2. Groo (although the pissy face and the human eyes does not match, would love to see more of Lorne's homey)
3. Ethan (Well, maybe Buffy was wrong? *hopeful eyes* The guy needs more scenes with Giles, so much lovely tension!)
4. Lindsey (I'd hate for his death to mean nothing. Also, the longish face doesn't match. But, if he would lead to Lorne!angst –so underrated if you ask me- and Lorne/Angel betrayal/tension ala 'you made me do your dirty work' then I say W&H work your ghost-y magic!)
5. Riley or Graham (would they really mesh? Too much introductions.)
6. Doyle (too painful. And how can they bring him back without it just… sucking. *tears up*)
7. Hamilton (he would fit, looks, anger. Caleb didn't die right away too why would Hamilton. I mean that spaceship does things to you and… um, yeah. *grin*)
8. Oz (as much as we would all go, "Yay, a character we love coming back and not from a dead place", the look really doesn't fit. Maybe he's all werewolf transformed/territorial over Nina's breasts?)
9. Whistler? Just thought I'd throw that name in and cross it right out because he was rumored to appear so many times in lots of places it just seems like he lived a long life with us. Felt like reminiscing....

Are there more?

*prepares her "What?! That looks NOTHING like him!" and "Oh God, of COURSE, why didn't I see that before, it looks just like him!" just in case*

[ edited by Mirage on 2007-12-27 21:01 ]
I just really don't see Lindsey or Groo at all. Mind you, I wouldn't mind seeing Groo, but that drawing, especially the expression, are not Grooish to me at all.

And Rogue slayer, I think that every series, television or comic, needs new characters from time to time.
Not necessarily a bevy of newbies like the potential slayers in season seven, they were admittedly a bit much, but you definitely need to expand to keep a story fresh.

One of the things I thought diminished The Long Way Home was the way that the bad guys were those we already knew, Amy, Ethan and particularly Warren who Joss had to really bend his own rules to bring back.
Think about when we were watching the series, the first time we were introduced to Ethan, Warren, Rack, even Spike and Dru, the story didn't suffer because they were new. It benefited from the fresh blood.
It's kind of like life. People leave, new people come, it keeps life interesting.
"One of the things I thought diminished The Long Way Home was the way that the bad guys were those we already knew, Amy, Ethan and particularly Warren who Joss had to really bend his own rules to bring back"

I agree...that kind of spoiled it for me. Thats why I preferred the Faith arc...just a good story told well. No gimmicks.
And Rogue slayer, I think that every series, television or comic, needs new characters from time to time.
Not necessarily a bevy of newbies like the potential slayers in season seven, they were admittedly a bit much, but you definitely need to expand to keep a story fresh.


Well, that's clearly one opinion, though I have to say I think you can keep a story fresh without bringing on tons of new people. But I guess the point is, this person isn't new. This is someone we know. Hell, it may be someone I'm happy to see back, but I am starting to get that Buffy S7 feeling of 'messy'.

One of the things I thought diminished The Long Way Home was the way that the bad guys were those we already knew

And with After The Fall, this is someone we already know. And while I was personally happy with the idea of having Angel, Spike, Illyria, and even Gunn...bringing in Wesley, Gwen, Nina, Connor, and a fish....it's just a bit much for my personal tastes, but as we all know, those things tend to differ! Not that it doesn't make sense for those others to be fighting the good fight, I just don't really care much for them. (BTW, I absolutely LOVE Wesley, I'm just not happy to see him back.) So I don't see any new blood coming in, and I feel like there's already enough old blood to focus on(now if some of the old blood leaves and makes a space for new blood, I'm totally open to that, if the new blood has a point and is well written).
Argh! It's Boobgate again!

Somebody was asking me what I thought of Boobgate the other day, and I was all 'Erm, didn't Brian say that was being addressed from 4 onwards? Did nobody listen?'.
Somebody was asking me what I thought of Boobgate the other day, and I was all 'Erm, didn't Brian say that was being addressed from 4 onwards? Did nobody listen?'.

OMG, the Big Bad of the comic is an HMO that won't approve breast reductions for those poor girls. I should have seen that coming... This is pure genius. Banding all of these fans together against a common cause that ends up being the very evil of the comic!

:~P

But seriously, I mean, they're in hell. I know when I get too hot, sometimes my fingers swell, so maybe it happens to boobs too. Comic boobs. Maybe. If it happens to comic male anatomy too...well, I'm gonna need to analyze some evidence of that before I can say for sure!
Wesley's packing more than hidden Bond toys under his shirt this time. That's all I'm saying, Rogue Slayer.
Mirage, I think you missed one that floated up in the middle of the, um, intense discussion...

What if he's Fred's father?


It would have to go pretty low on the list, IMHO, and we expected him to be in Hawaii... but then we expected Nina to be gone, too, so what isn't seen might not have happened as expected.
gossi-There's been lots of posts this morning that has nothing to do with that.
Bondage toys? Yes, I always knew Wesley was my kind of fella! Oh, not bondage. Right.
jclemens, the, um, intense discussion... I was all awkward about it. Understandable I've missed Pa Burkle.

So that'd be:
10. Roger Burkle (it was Roger, wasn't it?) *hopes that she is a major Verse geek* Doubt that it is him. Unless he's REALLY angry that Gunn broke it off with his baby girl. But now that I look at it, MM (my cool shortening for Mystery Man that won't catch on before #4) is looking at George. Ya think he's allergic?
Hmmm, I got the impression that MM is looking off into the distance, not at any one within the picture.
To me, Mystery Man most closely resembles Lindsey or Doyle, which worries me quite a bit. In my very humble and inconsequential fan opinion, Angel used up its freebie resurrections with Darla and Spike. I can swallow Wesley's return because it makes sense and is only a partial resurrection anyway. But bringing back Lindsey or Doyle would be blantant contrivance of the Warren variety.

I'm officially going to go on record predicting that it's Jessie, just because it's time that poor guy at least got mentioned by someone, even if it's not by his two supposedly best friends.
*I'm officially going to go on record predicting that it's Jessie, just because it's time that poor guy at least got mentioned by someone, even if it's not by his two supposedly best friends. *

I know! I could never understand how he was never mentioned again. Never! SOme friends those guys are!


But on the topic of returning characters. I dont mind if they service the story. Thats why the return of Amy and Warren didnt work for me. What was the purpose? Im sure light will be shed on it at some stage...but for now it just kinda felt pointless.

If it is Lindsey I would be happy, cos it fits in with the whole 'Wolfram and Hart after death contract thing'. It's there, it's in the mythos, it's a good plot driver.

Groo on the other hand. What would be the point of his return? Again, I'm sure the writers would come up with a good reason...but I couldnt think of any.

[ edited by angeliclestat on 2007-12-28 01:03 ]
Um. Buxom ladies are the same as racist caricatures. Check. Big breasts are the same as racist stereotypes. Check and check.


No Brian, buxom ladies and women with big breasts are not the same as racist stereotypes. Portraying all women with highly exaggerated sexual features is. If you can't see a distinction there, then I guess it explains why you have trouble understanding why this issue is bothering some of us.

However, my comments were all made before seeing your statement that these concerns are being addressed as of Issue 4. I had only seen the comment about no breast reductions in Hell, which came across as a pretty flip dismissal. I appreciate the fact that you are respecting our complaints and taking measures to change things, all the more so if you don't fully understand why some of us have been troubled.

That said, the intent of my arguments here have been to try to clarify what it is that is troubling about this, and I do wish I could get those who are dismissing this as trivial, superficial, "PCish," or whatever, would try to see it from our viewpoint just a bit. To me this is all about whether women are seen as cartoons, or as real, live human beings, with a whole, wide range of individuality - just like men are. The discussion about Amy Acker is a case in point. Call her figure what you will, she is lean and muscular. Not surprising, anyone who watched the out-take extras on "Waiting in the Wings" could see that she has had a lot of advanced training in ballet, just like another Whedonverse actress who is indisputably muscular and lean. That tends to be the body type of women who go into professional dance - you don't carry around a lot of body fat in that world, and voluptuousness is, frankly, just a particular distribution of body fat.

Does that make her less beautiful, or not sexy? To look at the comments about her here, and in other Whedonesque threads, hardly. It's pretty clear that many, many people, of both sexes, (including myself) find Amy Acker beautiful and alluring, in fact, hot, just as she is. Someone in this thread suggested that maybe we just don't want to see hot women in the series. Actually it's exactly the opposite. My question is why is Amy Acker, as beautiful as she is in reality, not considered adequate to be depicted as she is, in the comic? Why couldn't she be seen as sexy, as beautiful, as hot, in the body she has - as her own individual self, rather than being shoe-horned into another Playboy stereotype? (And yes, I understand that this will be corrected in upcoming issues, but why it was ever thought necessary or appropriate to make her conform to this stereotype is the question).

One more thing, for those who have read this far, and I will get off the soapbox. I think this stuff matters. Obviously not everyone will agree, but I am one of those drawn to the Whedonverse because of the way women are portrayed, and I share with Joss the belief that how women - and gays, and minorities - are depicted in the culture influences how they are treated. Now one thing that hasn't been brought up so far is that exaggerated breasts on women aren't just a sexual stereotype, they are a comic stereotype. Boobs are funny, we all know that. And the bigger the funnier. Do a comedy sketch and stuff balloons into a bra, and you'll always get a laugh. Draw a cartoon with a woman with huge tits bursting out of her dress and it's hilarious. Some times it's good-natured comic. But a lot of the time it's not. Big boobs are a cultural stand-in, they signal something specific. Big boobs tell us "Bimbo". Dumb chick. Dumb blonde. That is, just like, yes, thick lips on Blacks or buck teeth on Asians, the possessor of these attributes is a legitimate cultural object of derision and scorn. And the more you can reduce women to images of big tits and big asses, the more you easily you can dismiss them as serious beings within the culture.
EDITED in hindsight

I had a huge diatribe regarding the debate going on..but I honestly dont want to add fuel to the fire.

All I can add is that for a lot of people the issues that have been raised are not an issue at all. I love the comic, and the art and thats all from me on the subject:)

[ edited by angeliclestat on 2007-12-28 03:57 ]
Or maybe the artist just likes larger breasts. It's entirely possible that there's no subversive sexist agenda at all. It could always just be as simple as the guy with the pencil fancying a more buxom figure, with no intention of objectifying or disrespecting anyone. Maybe?

I'm not an artist, thank god. But if I were I imangine that my subconscious would influence my attempts at drawing a beautiful woman and skew it towards my own personal preference... which just so happens to favor women like Amy Acker and Summer Glau over, say, a Charisma Carpenter (not to inspire any rabid CC fans to defend her beauty, mind you, she's just not my cuppa.)

At any rate, I understand the danger in casual, unintentional stereotypes. But surely sometimes issues like this just plain and simple get blown out of all proportion?
I'm officially going to go on record predicting that it's Jessie
Yeah, but Jessie was dusted, that is, died twice already. Only Darla returned from that.

I still like Sirk the best. And he wasn't 60, he was more like dried up 50. The face type on MM fits him, minus the lines.
As for having too many characters: too early to tell, we don't know where the writers will take them. And they don't have each to take a big piece of the story. Andrew on Buffy-8 was in 3 pages so far. Mrs.Konikoff in Shadow Puppets took only 2 pages out of 4 issues but she made a great impression, she's a fan favorite (for fans of that book, obviously :)). Maybe MM also will take up several pages out of the whole series. It's not the volume that matters, it's how you use it.
*It's not the volume that matters, it's how you use it. *

Nata!...that is very inappropriate!...I mean..

Oh you meant....oh right....ok....carry on then

:)
I think the conversation on sexism has lasted so long because those of us who complained were told that we were wrong, or that our complaints were silly or trivial. Not recognizing or caring about sexism has been described as male privilege.
ETA the link, which I messed up: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/the-male-privilege-checklist

[ edited by Suzie on 2007-12-28 05:06 ]
I've thought long and hard, and I've decided to go on record with my theory that Mystery Guy is Gene. From season 2 'Happy Anniversary' the smart and lonely physicist who almost (accidentally) destroys the world in his efforts to freeze one moment of happiness.... He was alive at the end of his episode, and maybe he can help pull LA out of hell.
It is just a theory however, I'm always wrong.
Nata wrote that people who grew up in totalitarian regimes are sensitive to the censorship of the creative community. But there are other ways of silencing people. In the world of comics, we are much more likely to get the viewpoints of men than women because men predominate as writers, artists and editors. This is true in many other creative endeavors, such as TV, movies, media, etc.
Waves at Suzie. I don't think I've seen you here before this thread. Welcome.

Suzie, I'm a 40 year old feminist female. I think I was the one arguing the loudest about things being blown out of proportion (pun, kind of, but not really, intended).

I'll call BS when I see it. I don't see it in this instance. YMMV obviously.
...men predominate as writers, artists and editors...and readers (of comics), right? Or no? I honestly don't know.
Embers, I completely forgot about that episode! I can't wait to start watching "Angel" over again. I finished my fourth(?) rewatch of BtVS a few months ago, so it's about time for some "Angel" action.
I think the conversation on sexism has lasted so long because those of us who complained were told that we were wrong, or that our complaints were silly or trivial.
Suzie, I think it's actually a perfect description of both sides of this debate. Those of us who complained about unfairly stigmatizing the artist as sexist, who voiced concerns over this debate seemingly taking a turn toward putting pressure on Brian, Joss or whomever to banish the artist on those grounds, were also told repeatedly that we were wrong. And also that maybe we were drunk - which, I think, more than qualified as presenting our concerns as silly or trivial.

But that's OK, I'm convinced now, by reasonable words of reasonable posters, that what we have here is an honest debate and criticism and not a witch hunt to punish/hurt the creative team. I'm really happy to be proven wrong here. And I apologize for assuming the worst.

And I believe the other side is unfair too in judging the artist as sexist. Urru's art is *not* sexist, as any person who read, say, "Spike:Shadow Puppets", would attest. It has an array of rich, diverse, powerful, realistically proportioned (including slender), fascinating female characters and it's practically bursting with the girl power. Maybe I should put up some panel scans to allay people's concerns.

And Angel:ATF has the same creative team, but with an *added guidance from Joss Whedon*. So I'd think twice before putting sexism label on this work, and think about what that addition means. And of course I'd also take into account that the concerns were already addressed.
Yes, we don't have an array of fascinating females in Angel:ATF yet, and why is that? Because all the more or less major female characters on the show were killed or left, through no fault of Mr.Urru. And it would take some time to promote those who remained to that level. And for the art to catch up with that.

There's only Illyria left as a major female character and she's not even a woman. I'm a bit puzzled, really, by presenting her as a symbol of female empowerment. She's actually an ancient, savage, male deity who killed the woman character (Fred) and used her body. And is continuing to use her body, though with more regard to the shell now. Illyria is asexual, she's alien, regal, and her grace is not in her femininity but in her pure power, her untamed nature. She's an "immaculate embodiment of rule", and there's even a fraction of the fandom insisting on calling her "he".
I think Franco captures that majesty and power of her very well on all 3 panels we've seen so far. She doesn't look anything like a playboy model to me, she looks like a Greek war goddess. And while we all agree here that Nina's assets were exaggerated (though some are bothered more with it than others), there's no such consensus with Illyria. A lot of posters here stated that no exaggeration/sexualisation is present in Illyria at all, and so for many posters here the problem with Illyria doesn't exist not because they don't care about her exaggeration, but because they don't see it. Art is a subjective thing.

So what I'm trying to say here: same thing, really. It's blown out of proportion a bit, and an anger at sexism, which is a valid anger to be applied elsewhere, is really misplaced here. The creative team is not sexist, have never been (which we can safely assume with Joss, but also, after Asylum and Shadow Puppets, with Franco and Brian). So maybe we can please, please go back to the art discussion and art criticism and voicing disagreements with art choices, but leave the labels and accusations out of it?
My only real issue with Boobgate is that it appears to be taking over every Whedonesque topic about the comics - even ones which don't have boobs. If I want to discuss the comics, I wouldn't do it here.

[ edited by gossi on 2007-12-28 11:11 ]
I know I said I was out of this topic but there was a comment I needed to respond to.

barboo - That said, the intent of my arguments here have been to try to clarify what it is that is troubling about this, and I do wish I could get those who are dismissing this as trivial, superficial, "PCish," or whatever, would try to see it from our viewpoint just a bit. To me this is all about whether women are seen as cartoons, or as real, live human beings, with a whole, wide range of individuality - just like men are.


If I thought, for even a second, that comic book art was making women into cartoons or in anyway treating them differently from the men then I would have a problem too. The truth is that all the characters in a comic book are cartoons. Male, female, animal, demon. All are drawn to the style of the given artist.

What matters is how the writing portrays them, if we are to really worry about how an individual character is being portrayed. To use Marvel as an example again, because that is my real area of expertise in comics, the female characters are drawn with the exact same style as the male. Exaggerated, superhuman bodies that in no way match real life males or females. Let's take that as a given for now, even if it's something you don't agree with.

What should really be the guiding light of how women are being treated in comics is what we see them do and how they are seen by their male counterparts. Do we see them given the same respect as the guys in the various teams of superhumans. For me that is an absolute yes. As I said before, female characters are strong willed, intelligent and powerful individuals. Many fans see Sue Richards as the most powerful member of the Fantastic Four. The Wasp, despite technically having one of the least powerful abilities on the team, has led the Avengers on several occasions because of the respect she was given by her team mates. The She Hulk, despite being probably the pinnacle of the supposed "male comic book fantasy female" works as a lawyer and is known as much for her intelligence as her strength.

Those are just three but I can give you many more examples of female superheroes who are far, far much more than the way they are drawn. As long as that is also true for the Angel female cast then I just don't care how accurate their bodies are drawn, compared to the real life actresses involved, just as it wouldn't have bothered me if the male characters were bulked up and given larger bodies than we saw on the show. I don't need absolute accuracy to know who everyone is and I don't assume that just because Franco happens to draw female characters the way he does that he is suggesting that all the women of Angel are interchangeable and pretty much the same as one another. It's not a comment on female importance (or lack of the same) it's just how the guy does his thing.

So I ask you to try and see our viewpoint, barboo. That just because we have no problem with how a character, male or female, is drawn it is in no way being dismissive of what you are saying. I simply think that many here don't see the sexist issue as being accurate. I believe we get exactly what is troubling you but, at least in my opinion, you are reading far too much into it. When Nina, Gwen and Illyria are seen as nothing more than background filling, pretty ladies with no personality beyond their ability to make the guys a nice cup of coffee, then I'll be willing to agree with you. As long as they are all represented as the strong women we have always known on the series then I have no problem with the art at all.
Rhaeger, my guess is that men do predominate as comic readers. I've never seen a woman in the comic store that I go to. But I would think they would want more female readers, if only to sell more comics.

Nata, you make a good point about both sides in this debate feeling like they have been disregarded. I'll be more sensitive to how much you love and respect the writers and artists, and how you think they are doing good work. I hope you will consider how the "critics" feel. After all, this is not a level playing field. We live in a society where men have more power, including the power to represent women.

Hey, Tamara. I've been on Whedonesque before. I'm a 49-year-old woman with a master's degree in women's studies. That taught me, among other things, that feminists disagree on a lot of things. I respect your point of view.
I hope you will consider how the "critics" feel.
Suzie, I will, and I am, absolutely (And I'm also a 40-yr old woman, seems like a lot of us here :)). Even more: I compared the freedom of expression with air which you take for granted but miss when it's gone. I can say the same about women equality. A lot was done in this field in USA, and a lot of people, feminists etc., fought hard for it. And it's easy to take it for granted, but vow how it's missed when you go to another place in the world where it's lacking - and I don't even mean extreme cases like some Muslim countries.

And being immersed in Whedonverse for about 2 years now, I also came to take powerful, in-charge, fascinating female characters for granted, came to expect it from the media. And I miss it, spot the BS as TamaraC called it, immediately now whenever it's the case. And I just don't see it here (and I've justified why). I see some dubious art choices, yes, but I don't see an agenda behind it.

There's a fine line between criticizing the work and criticizing or even stigmatizing the worker. All I hope for is for us here to try and respect this line. There are people who pour their soul into this, who try to give their best to this work - and their agenda does not include objectifying of women in the comics. So if that could just be kept in mind during the discussion, I think it would benefit both sides.

And as for the artist giving his best - I read in an interview Franco cried while drawing the death of a fish. Oh man. And the interesting thing: I can feel it, can feel the emotion behind his art. So when I read that interview, it was like - oh, that's why. I know, it's subjective, and his art is not everybody's cuppa. But it comes from the genuine place.
Nata, I don't take freedom of expression for granted. I was a journalist, and many of my friends are writers or artists. As others have expressed: Bosses and/or the marketplace dictated choices. We've also faced threats. One of my friends and colleagues was murdered while reporting in Peru.

Art and literary critics, as well as scholars, critique work, including work that has been done with great passion. People can perpetuate stereotypes, sexism, racism, whatever, without that being their agenda or their intention. That's why I posted the URL earlier explaining that it's a privilege for men not to have to see or worry about sexism.
"That's why I posted the URL earlier explaining that it's a privilege for men not to have to see or worry about sexism."

Which would suggest that my opinion that there is no sexism involved in the art we are discussing is invalid because I am a guy and so have the privilege of not seeing the sexism involved?

How does that apply to the female comic book readers I know, not to mention the female fans here at Whedonesque, who don't see the artwork as sexist either. Over the years, through school, college and in my working life, I have known more than enough female comic readers to be able to have a good idea that most don't care about the way women are drawn in comics at all and are not seeing a sexist element to it in the slightest.

The list itself, in fact the very notion of "male privilege", could well be said to have a distinct feel of sexism to it, if you choose to see it that way. Look hard enough and most things probably can. However, if female readers can look at comic art and not see it as sexist, is it not just as possible that it's not the male readers not seeing something that is there but instead certain female readers seeing something that actually isn't?

What I'm trying to say is that even though there are clearly a lot more guys reading comics, even today, it is not an interest devoid of female fans and yet this subject is very rarely raised. If it is possible that I have known as many female comic fans as I have without one of them having said to me that they consider the way women are drawn in comics to be sexist then is it not also entirely possible that those who believe that it is sexist are actually the ones who are wrong? If one woman says subject x is sexist and another woman says it is not then surely it's simply a matter of opinion? Meaning that a guy can also be capable of judging something not sexist without being guilty of just not being able to see it because of the very fact he is a guy.

I consider myself a fairly intelligent person and also somebody who can take a step back from his personal position and beliefs in order to fairly judge another opinion. I'd hate to think that you are trying to tell me that I'm simply incapable of seeing something because of my sex... ;)
I wouldn't say the issue of sexism is rarely raised when there are various websites and blogs that regularly discuss that subject including Girls Read Comics and They're Pissed or When Fangirls Attack or Girl-Wonder.org or Occasional Superheroine.
"I'm in constant motion, so I'm really not here. I'm just more likely to be here than not." - Charlie Crews.

All this semi-existentialist positing is giving me a headache. Why even draw the women at all then? If it doesn't matter what they look like, Mr. Urru could draw an entire comic of snowmen.

Of course it matters. And to some it matters that the characters be drawn at least remotely like the actors who portrayed them. It shows respect to the actor, too. If the art is too 'inflated', it sends a message that certain fans will like Gwen and Illyria much better with the bigguns, the hell with continuity. Plus when the main feature being exaggerated is of a primarily sexual nature, it changes the whole scope of how the character is interpreted.
"I wouldn't say the issue of sexism is rarely raised when there are various websites and blogs that regularly discuss that subject including Girls Read Comics and They're Pissed or When Fangirls Attack or Girl-Wonder.org or Occasional Superheroine."

Fair enough. But then the subject of the fair treatment of rabbits in Hollywood is rarely discussed but I'm sure you would attract a good few people to discuss it if you created a website called the-fair-treatment-of-rabbits-in-hollywood.com.

And in no way am I making light of your point or suggesting that your opinion on this is only as serious as how Hollywood treats it's rabbit population. All I'm saying is that when you create a blog or website that ends up concentrating on a certain issue then it clearly attracts an online community to match. Whedonesque is a thriving community of people who love Joss Whedon's work but that didn't mean that there were enough people involved to make Serenity a success.

Obviously in the comment I made above I was talking about my own experience with female comic readers, both in real life and online. That being the case I can honestly stand by my opinion that I hear very little discussion of sexism in comic art. Without a doubt, it goes on, but it is certainly not a theory that all the female fanbase agrees with.

"Why even draw the women at all then? If it doesn't matter what they look like, Mr. Urru could draw an entire comic of snowmen."

I think it's fair to say that there is a rather large difference between Gwen with larger breasts than Alexa Davalos and Frosty Gwen the Electro-Snowman. I recognised Gwen immediately and as I've said before, I only noticed the fact she had bigger boobs after reading comments made here so clearly the message that she looked better with bigguns went a little over my head.
And in no way am I making light of your point or suggesting that your opinion on this is only as serious as how Hollywood treats it's rabbit population.

With respect that's exactly what you're suggesting by hopping to that comparison. Your second example (whedonesque) makes the point perfectly well that websites are self-selecting. Your observation that comics fans you interact with are as genderblind as you feel yourself to be suggests that similar selective pressures apply to individuals.

[ edited by hayes62 on 2007-12-28 23:44 ]
Actually that couldn't be further from the truth, hayes62, on both your suggestions.

The first comparison I was made was an attempt to lighten the mood and try to keep this discussion friendly, a method that is quite common at Whedonesque, as I'm sure you know. As stated, it was in no way meant to belittle the point made by moley75 or the subject itself.

As for my social group, trust me when I say that when it comes to individuality of opinion on pretty much all topics there is no shortage in the people I know and I certainly don't choose my friends based on how they see the state of female representation in comics.

More than that, my experience extends to a much greater number of people than those I would truthfully call friends, having worked a great deal of my life in the comic book world. My personal choice of friends has very little to do with the people I would talk to as customers and so there is very little by way of selective pressure going on, at least in this particular case.

Regardless of that though, would it make any difference if every single person I had ever talked to about comics was a close, personal friend as long as the fact remained that it was a mix of both male and female individuals. The point would still be true that not all women find comic art to be sexist.
Many women also think that God has decreed that men should be in charge and women should accept subordination to them. As such you would not be as likely to hear complaints about the anti-feminist bent in our society in a fundamentalist church on Sunday as you might at a...oh...Whedon-centered site on the internet.

Gossi and others who are tired of this coming up, I do not think this whole discussion would have continued on so many threads if the people who did not care for the sudden boob jobs on all the women had not been belittled and told that they should keep their mouths shut right in the beginning. The condescension and statements that this is the way comics are and we should all accept it or stop reading them...but in either case stop talking about it, is what made me *start* talking about it. Those posts bothered me a lot more than the drawing did.

I finally got to read issue 2 and can see why Brian Lynch and others concerned noticed that there was a problem. (I mean OMG!) I look forward to seeing issue four and five, but geez Louise I am not looking forward to 3 if it is more of the same.

Earlier I said:
"RokkRage, One of the problems with this whole argument that objecting to the women of Angel suddenly having boob jobs is wrong because this is how superhero comics are drawn; that men are drawn as outrageously as the women and it is therefore not sexist, is that the men in Angel aren't being drawn differently. None of the male characters have bulked up or are dressing in spandex. This is clearly not Superman, Batman or one of the other classic superhero comics. This is Angel."

Since you have been so bold, RokkRage, to be the defender and spokesman for the status quo in superhero drawing, how do the conventions of that apply to a comic where none of the male characters have been transformed into overdone superheros but all the female characters have been "enhanced?" Just curious.
Yes, but RokkRage, you took the one jokey statement I made about the snowmen, and spun it literal. Did you not read the rest of what I said?

The contributions the actors have made in developing and deepening the characters, the overall impression of who they are physically? You, as you insist, are someone who is immune to physically representative alterations. You don't care if they look like what we have seen before or not, hence my over-exaggerative example of the snowmen. I could just as easily have said, why not make them all Ross Perot?

Did you notice that Gwen looked exactly like Nina facially and er... hairly? Even down to their outfits, the color being the only difference. They were interchangable, and they were useless. Seemingly appearing in the comic just so we could go "Oh, there's Gwen and Nina."

If they are to be in, they need to be explicitly in. If you are going to represent characters, then please, TRULY represent them.

I sure hope the future issues make me look jump-the-gun-y. I want to like this as much as I like Buffy season 8.

Art is key.
This recent article by Johanna Schneller from the Canadian Globe and Mail - "A culture saturated in sexism" quotes our Jossir's May, 2007 whedonesque post - and the summary contained therein on a multiple-study report of the American Psychological Association Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls seems particularly relevant:

"Last February, the American Psychological Association Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls issued a report that examined 'the omnipresence and damaging effects of sexualized images of girls and young women in American culture.' In study after study, the report summarized, "findings have indicated that women more often than men are portrayed in a sexual manner (e.g., dressed in revealing clothing, with bodily postures or facial expressions that imply sexual readiness) and are objectified (e.g., used as a decorative object, or as body parts rather than a whole person). In addition, a narrow (and unrealistic) standard of physical beauty is heavily emphasized... Ample evidence indicates that sexualization has negative effects in a variety of domains, including cognitive functioning, physical and mental health, sexuality, and attitudes and beliefs."

The whole article seems pretty relevant to me, especially the part where she quotes feminist writer Jessica Valenti, "The thing is, I don't think the people making these movies or blogs even consider themselves sexist. It's such a part of our culture, we're so saturated, we don't even see it."

See, that's the thing...

ET: fix typo.

[ edited by QuoterGal on 2007-12-29 03:21 ]
Willowy:I knew it was Gwen the minute I saw that panel. Nina, not so much-mostly because her style of dress was different than on the show. I doubt very much that they're being drawn exactly the same.

I don't need to see picture-perfect representations of the actors on every single page to know who these characters are (and it's a good thing because Buffy season 8 does not do that either).

Art might be key but it's not everything.
Hence me saying maybe I should get someone to read me the comics, menemogirl.

And you recognized Gwen from the first panel? Good for you, so did I and scads of others. Didn't mean I expected her to be wearing Nina's outfit.

Detail is also key.
Details? Okay. Gwen dresses exactly like she did on Angel. The clothing Nina wears may be a bit simular to Gwen's, but it's not the same. Gwen's jawline is squarish and Nina's is oval. Gwen's eyes are set higher than Nina's and she appears to be way more slender in the hip area. Their noses are shaped differently, Gwen's legs appear longer than Nina's. Also, Nina is shorter.

[ edited by menomegirl on 2007-12-29 04:33 ]
Rokkrage, I don't think that "male privilege" invalidates your opinion on sexism. But I do think that, if you wanted to ignore sexism, it would be easier for you to do so because it doesn't affect you the way that it affects women. The concept of "male privilege" doesn't imply that men are bad, only that they belong to a group that has been dominant. I don't know if you read the essay I posted, but it was written by a man.
This is the place to discuss the cover to ATF #5 right?

Anyway's, I'd just like to say how much I dig the cover, might not be the best art, but great concept. My guess for the mystery man is Xander, I mean look at those ears. It's possible Buffy finds out about LA, so she sends her best man to see what's up. Who else could be more pissed at being stuck in hell with Angel?

I guess it could also be Groo seeing as he's wearing the same shirt as Angel, could still be using Cordy's fashion tips.

By the way this is my first post.
First, I must say that I'm glad membership to this site finally became available again! I missed it be a day the last time around!

As for the AFT #5 cover - of the two issues I currently have, the artwork, and covers have been top notch. I really think Angel has been drawn very well. This cover though, doesn't seem to be up to snuff if you ask me - it's something about Angel's nose and Illyria's eyes. They're not doing it for me. But honestly...if that's the worst complain I have about this this far I'd say we're still in VERY good shape. And I agree w/ what's stated above - the concept is great! I like where this story is going.
If only we could have seen this in HD on the tube......o the sadness about this has begun again...
newcj - Many women also think that God has decreed that men should be in charge and women should accept subordination to them. As such you would not be as likely to hear complaints about the anti-feminist bent in our society in a fundamentalist church on Sunday as you might at a...oh...Whedon-centered site on the internet.


Given that I consider anything a "god" has decreed to be about as real as anything Joss wrote for Buffy, I'd probably tend to go with what Joss wrote anyway. ;)

newcj - I do not think this whole discussion would have continued on so many threads if the people who did not care for the sudden boob jobs on all the women had not been belittled and told that they should keep their mouths shut right in the beginning. The condescension and statements that this is the way comics are and we should all accept it or stop reading them...but in either case stop talking about it, is what made me *start* talking about it. Those posts bothered me a lot more than the drawing did.


I don't think anyone was telling you to keep your mouths shut. I know that I wasn't. What I did say, and this I stand by, is that your presumption of sexism in comic book art is wrong, but I've already covered my reasons for that here many times.

I absolutely believe you have the right to speak up and say what you think but I also absolutely believe that you are wrong, which is all I've been saying. I also absolutely believe that comic art should not change in any way, shape or form.

newcj - Since you have been so bold, RokkRage, to be the defender and spokesman for the status quo in superhero drawing, how do the conventions of that apply to a comic where none of the male characters have been transformed into overdone superheros but all the female characters have been "enhanced?" Just curious.


Don't know whether this makes me bold, newcj. I guess maybe I'm just equally passionate about my belief as you and others are about yours.

To your point, again it's about Urru's style. I've never seen his work on anything other than the various Angel series so I have no idea if he would use the more common super-enhanced male forms if he was to do the art for, say, Captain America. Because of that it's harder to answer your question. If Frank Cho, an artist known for his enhanced characters of both sexes, was to cover the art for an issue of Angel and he started drawing realistically proportioned men yet kept his female characters in his usual oversized style, then I'd see your point. That clearly would be a message saying that he was willing to adapt his style for guys but wanted big boobed, cartoony women.

Back to Urru. Again, until I have seen him draw a classic superhero style book then it's harder to consider his reasoning but if I was to guess, I'd say that he has trained himself in the normal comic art style and that he has now been asked to draw a book that doesn't really call for that particular body type, which has led to a variation on how he is now working. We shall see exactly how true that is once we reach issues 4 and 5 and see how he has answered his critics and adapted his style for the female characters, if that is what he chooses to do.

Still, the habits of drawing superhero art do tend to lead to a relatively standard body type for males and the same for females. The guys of Angel may not be as enhanced but I'd imagine that Urru would draw them all shirtless with pretty much the same style. The female characters aren't physically as dominating as they would be in superhero comics either. The only difference is the boob size, which for the main female characters again seems to be fairly standard in size.

I'd have to assume that it's simply a matter of habit for Urru to not have to worry about boob size when drawing characters. Normally you don't have to consider it. With superheroes, the guys all have the standard hero pecs that you can balance your beer on and the girls all have the standard large gravity defying boobs, with the obvious exception of younger characters. Urru probably never gave the boob matter a thought, anymore than he likely bothered to look and see which of the male characters had the better developed chests.

Should Urru have paid more attention to detail? Depends on your point of view and just how accurate you need the characters to represent the actors that played them. Does this make any of this a sexist issue? Still no. It's just about comic art.

Willowy - Yes, but RokkRage, you took the one jokey statement I made about the snowmen, and spun it literal. Did you not read the rest of what I said?


Again, my Snowmen comment was more about continuing your joke, rather than making it literal. But that doesn't change the fact that I read the rest of your comment, which leads on to...

The contributions the actors have made in developing and deepening the characters, the overall impression of who they are physically? You, as you insist, are someone who is immune to physically representative alterations.


I agree that the actors were a large part of making the characters what they became but that doesn't change the fact that, unlike your good self, I'm having no problem in knowing who is who. I'm not sure what more I can expect from the artist than to make me able to know which character I'm looking at. Facially, I'll grant you that Urru lacks detail, but that still doesn't prevent me from knowing that Gwen is Gwen. Many comic artists have a habit of making faces look exactly the same but in this case it is in no way effecting my ability to follow the story. So if by "immune to physically representative alterations" you mean that Urru's art is not getting in the way of my understanding or enjoying the story, then that is true.

Suzie - Rokkrage, I don't think that "male privilege" invalidates your opinion on sexism. But I do think that, if you wanted to ignore sexism, it would be easier for you to do so because it doesn't affect you the way that it affects women. The concept of "male privilege" doesn't imply that men are bad, only that they belong to a group that has been dominant. I don't know if you read the essay I posted, but it was written by a man.


I'll admit to only having had time for a very quick look at the essay (although I have to say that, in my experience, some of the points he made were entirely innaccurate but YMMV).

Even so, given that I can only speak for myself, I know that my opinion comes from somebody who never ignores sexism, or racism or any other form of discrimination against others. I absolutely believe in equal rights for all. Except clowns. I'll admit to being a little clownist. :)

Joking aside, I can honestly say that this isn't a case of me ignoring the sexism. I truly don't believe that to be the case. As said, I know people of both sexes and of varying sexualities who agree with me that comic art is not sexist. I'm not going to tell you not to think the way you think or see what you see but I also will not allow something I care about to be tarred with the brush of something I hate.
RokkRage, I think we are now in "No Exit." You say you will not allow something you love to be considered sexist. But you don't have control of that; some of us do think it's sexist and your arguments have not convinced us otherwise. If you really hate sexism, I hope you will consider reading the essay I posted or the excellent article linked by QuoterGal. I'd also recommend "The Gender Knot" by Allan Johnson, who gives a male perspective.

Just a reminder: This argument has not been about big breasts only. People have raised other issues, including who acts and who is acted upon; the use of scantily clad babes as a backdrop; the depiction of female demons as scantily clad babes; and who gets to write and draw comics.

I swear I'm backing away from the computer now and will read other threads. Welcome new people!
"newcj - Many women also think that God has decreed that men should be in charge and women should accept subordination to them. As such you would not be as likely to hear complaints about the anti-feminist bent in our society in a fundamentalist church on Sunday as you might at a...oh...Whedon-centered site on the internet.

Rokkrage - Given that I consider anything a "god" has decreed to be about as real as anything Joss wrote for Buffy, I'd probably tend to go with what Joss wrote anyway. ;)

...Joking aside, I can honestly say that this isn't a case of me ignoring the sexism. I truly don't believe that to be the case. As said, I know people of both sexes and of varying sexualities who agree with me that comic art is not sexist. I'm not going to tell you not to think the way you think or see what you see but I also will not allow something I care about to be tarred with the brush of something I hate."


My point with the first example was that there are plenty of women that do not consider being put into a subordinate role to men because of their gender to be sexist, only the will of God. That does not stop that idea from being sexist, no matter how strongly they may assert otherwise. Having women on your side does not mean you are the determiner of what is sexist any more than I am. Your assertion that you are absolutely right does not make it so either.

I have not been arguing the sexism issue per se, I just found the way the women were drawn, which was commissioned for a specific comic, inappropriate for the characters and the comic itself. I thought it cheapened it and was alienating for an undetermined proportion of us.

I have found it strange that a particular style of comic art that others find distasteful and is obviously distracting from the comic itself, you contend is absolutely necessary for this comic...because that is the style you love. Quite honestly, there is a ton of that style out there for you, why should Angel, and I would guess you would want BtVS to be drawn the same way, have to conform. These were not shows or stories about conformity. Nor were they shows about giving into the status quo, if you felt that status quo was wrong.

I don't think anyone was telling you to keep your mouths shut. I know that I wasn't. What I did say, and this I stand by, is that your presumption of sexism in comic book art is wrong, but I've already covered my reasons for that here many times.

I was not pointing a finger at you specifically Rokkrage anymore than I am assuming that the "your" in the phrase "your presumption of sexism" was meaning me personally rather than all the people that have argued that point. That, since I personally have not been talking about the inherent sexism in comic book art, only the attitudes I have seen displayed on this board towards people who don't like how the women have been portrayed, as well as my own opinion of the same. I have not been a comic book reader, and do not feel myself qualified to make general comments about comic books. Quite honestly, though, your comments have pretty well confirmed to me, that I would not be interested in them.

On the thread below, we started seeing things like, "Either ignore it or embrace it."

http://whedonesque.com/comments/14979

I am not going to go through and find the comments trivializing the concerns of those who brought it up, partly because I don't have the time, and partly because I don't want to start a firestorm. It really upset me, however, because that is the most common tact that historically has been used in the fight against women's rights. Women's concerns are always trivial compared to what is important in the world. We should put our concerns aside so more important things can be dealt with. Finding that on Whedonesque upset me more than the art in the comic book...which I still feel is inappropriate for a comic based on a Whedon show.

Thinking about it, one of the mistakes the objecting parties made was to accept and use the reference to "boobs" because it helps it sound trivial and plays into the hands of those who want to make our concerns out to be dismissible. Live and learn.

Yes, for those of you who know me, Fairness Girl started paying attention again but she stepped aside because Global Consequences Woman is being awakened...G*d help us.
It's way too late to be reactivating this thread but I didn't want either Suzie or newcj to think that I had not read or just not cared about what they had to say. I was away for New Year and haven't had chance to be checking out Whedonesque properly until today so this response is a little late in being written. :)

I'm not going to start the debate up again, other than to say that I greatly respect both your opinions and, although we clearly disagree on what we see as acceptable when it comes to these issues, I absolutely understand where you are both coming from, even if I don't entirely share your thinking.

The only thing I should directly respond to is...

Suzie - RokkRage, I think we are now in "No Exit." You say you will not allow something you love to be considered sexist. But you don't have control of that...


You are, of course, entirely correct. What I meant was "...but I also will not allow something I care about to be tarred with the brush of something I hate... without doing by best to defend it", which is what I should have said. My fault for not making my meaning more clear.
That "by instead of my" thing in the paragraph directly above isn't a typo, honest! I have a cold... ;)

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