Reader Mark Williams linked me to a number of good posts about the somewhat implausible poses that artists sometime use to depict women in fantasy novel covers and comic books.
Young adult fantasy author Jim Hines wasn’t entirely satisfied with the way his characters were portrayed on the covers of his novels. He decided to show what bothered him about them by taking photos of himself attempting to emulate the poses. And boy, does he look uncomfortable. He then grabbed a selection of other covers and took photos of him posing. The results are hilarious and beautifully illustrate his point.
Jim links to a post by Ils who is both a martial artist and contortionist. She examines the Strong Female PoseTM found in so many pages of comics starring female heroes.
While it is possible for a contortionist such as Ils to turn her torso mostly the way around, it is physically impossible to get the ass and the boobs to pop like that in the same direction at the same time without installing some kind of swivel hinge in your spine.
Both posts are pretty great. The female form is pretty damn sexy the way it is without having to contort it in impossible or extremely uncomfortable poses. Artists sometimes need a gentle reminder that we can draw sexy without going over the top. And there’s nothing sexy about a broken spine.