Through a coincidence, two of our upcoming comic books, Time Warriors #1 and Wynter #4, have short scenes of female nudity in them.
Since New Worlds Comics is about giving girls and women stories and characters that empower them (as well as about giving boys and men stories those types of characters and plots) – I thought I’d talk to you about this.
So this post, and the next few ones, will explore this subject.
Let’s start with Time Warriors #1.
Why Is There Nudity in Time Warriors #1
Without spoiling the story, many of the characters in Time Warriors #1 get a chance to do whatever they want and then reverse time and take it back. Once they take it back, no one knows it ever happened except them. They retain the memory of the event, and no one else does.
One of the characters, Allison, is super shy. You know the type. What she chooses to do in those few hours is to walk naked in the street. She then gets to take it back – it never happened, except in her memory – and see what it felt like.
For that (and for another reason I won’t spoil) she needs to be seen naked in two of the pages in a series that is not at all about nudity, but about exploring yourself and who you are.
How to Make Nudity Empowering
First of all, the story has to be truthful. It has to be about real feeling and real emotions. Check out the sketch for this situation above. You can’t help but feel what she feels, and identify with her emotions.
It’s not about being titillating, it’s about being emotionally truthful, and being with the character and about the character’s emotional state.
So many comic books today draw female bodies to titillate. They give their females huge breasts, unrealistic bodies, and make them walk around half naked, quarter naked, eighth naked, and even one-sixteenth naked.
It translates to cash, after all. Young teens (and older, sure,) will be drawn to these and it will certainly increase sales.
The bad side of this is that it raises unrealistic expectations on the boys’ sides and it raises bad feelings on the girls’ sides because they can’t live up to those standards.
Truth in story and emotion is one criteria. The second criteria is realistic bodies.
Here are the instructions I gave the artist before he drew the concept art:
“In New Worlds Comics I’m really trying to stay away from unrealistic bodies of both men and women. I’m trying to stay away from things that make teenagers, male and female, feel bad about themselves. So I don’t do the big breasts, which are very popular today, or the perfect, unrealistic women bodies. Not everyone is thin, not everyone has perfect proportions, and everyone has realistic breasts of different sizes. And in males I want to stay away from the unrealistically muscular men, the kind that you can only get if you work out many hours a day. Again, people need to be realistic, so that our audience can look at it and identify rather than feel bad. “
Here is the concept art he sent. As you can see, all the bodies are realistic. All the bodies are truthul. And Allison is naked in the concept art (something I’ve never seen before) because the artist, Juan Manuel Almirón, wanted to prove to me that he will remain true to real bodies and not draw bodies the way they are drawn.
And prove it he did.
See? Only realistic breasts, realistic bodies (for both the male and the female characters). That’s what we’re about.
Comic books should grow the hell up and talk to people honestly!
Now it’s your turn. What do you think about nudity or female bodies in comics?
Did you enjoy this article? Check out the second article in the series: Nudity as Social Commentary in Our Comics.