Posted by: PScott
10:20pm / Jun 13, 2011
I read the entire story, and am still trying to understand the emphasis on the main character's body. The first few panels are all about her ass, and the throughout the comment we are repeatedly shown her naked and using her looks to get what she wants. Oddly, the one time a male is shown naked, the artists choose to cover his dick. Yet the woman's goods are always on display. This reminds me of a time in undergrad when another student painted some HR Geiger-inspired work for his assignment. The results were a lot of severed female torsos that, surpisingly, left the breasts fully intact for the viewer to enjoy. A prof tore the kid a new one for that, and her, I'm trying to find a reason for the objectification. Is it to show that she is using her looks as a disguise? Because she's really this bad-ass soldier? I can dig that. But that doesn't feel like the reason here. Hey, I'm a guy, I love women, but this some pretty peurile stuff, Man. Thanks for putting it out there, I love some of the art and ideas. I hope you do n't respopnd to negatively to my criticism. But I feel that somone needs to bring it up.


BTW--I seem to be havibg issues posting. I apologize if this ends up repeating.
Posted by: Simon Fraser
11:23am / Jun 15, 2011

None of the decisions about how Lilly is portrayed were taken lightly. She is an overtly sexual female character, which was a challenge for me to write. Comics and Bande Dessine are rife with T&A ridden space heroines, it's a very specific formula in France ( 3 nude scenes are mandatory, 2 topless, one full body ) so one of the storytelling challenges for me in this story was to work that formula , but make the nudity relevant and enlightening.

Lilly has assets and she's not ashamed to use them. Lilly's sexuality is also one of MY storytelling assets. That's why I shove it up front and center right at the beginning. I want you to be aware of what I'm doing. I want you to objectify her and be aware of doing it. I want you to underestimate her and I want you to feel slightly guilty for it. Lilly is constantly the focus of our male gaze ( even the girl readers! ) but she owns it and it's not a coincidence that the scene where Lilly is at her most vulnerable is where she is at her most powerful. Her nude scene at her brothers palace is absolutely non sexual, it's all about power and it's the naked Lilly who dominates, not her sleazebag, fully clothed captors. Contrast that with Cosmo who is utterly humiliated in his nakedness and very vulnerable. Which shows the 2 characters very different world-views, Lilly's is very personal and tactile so she loathes using machines. Whereas Cosmo is the polar opposite and finds Charybdis all the more challengine because of it. The last near nude scene is at the end where Lilly comes out of the capsule and that's all about showing how brutal the whole experience has been. Again it's completely non sexual. Nudity in itself isn't sexual, it is given meaning by it's context and that is one of the things I wanted to achieve with this story.

Thanks for taking the time to express your feelings.
Posted by: PScott
12:02am / Jun 17, 2011
Thanks for the response, Simon. Also, thanks for the additional information. If I understand, you had to meet a T&A quota? I'm not being flip, just don't know how else to ask that question.

This is such a difficult issue. And it's too easy to say "oh just don't think about it!" I'm glad that yours was a thoughtful approach. I have to admit though that I didn't pick up on that thoughtfulness in my reading. This could be that I'm just not on the same wavelength. Obviously I hope this is the case and that other people are picking up on your cues. That would be great.

Sexualizing characters is fine; I do it all the time in my work. We're sexual animals and sometimes it's nice to be adored and objectified. That has to come though with respect, meaning, hey, look, I also have a brain. And I just didn't see enough of that in Lilly. For my tastes though. And it's just my tastes.

So, thank you again for your response and thoughtfulness. And good luck on your future stories.