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That Slow Redheaded Kid
or a Guy who's just one dry Sharpie from Unemployment
I am sick to my stomach right now... 
17th-May-2007 04:56 pm
Ewok Weed
I want to be as polite about this as I can. It was just brought to my attention that a good friend of mine is underfire by the media. I have to say I'm shocked as to how far it is going.

This is what the uproar is over:

My friend, Artist Adam Hughes designed this. Now, what I'm about to put below is Addressed to anyone offended by this... and I do this because everyone who HAS posted something about how offended they are by it either blocks people who have an opposite view or they twist their words to make it sound like we're just a bunch of rabid fanboy idiots!

Your inability to even have a sense of humor over the Sideshow/Hughes statue is ASTOUNDING! It's painfully obvious that all of you are missing the point of this playful, fun piece of art.
1. MJ has been everything from a stage Actress to a Lingerie model in the comics. You obviously don't or haven't read Spider-Man in the past 20 years or you'd know this.
2. She's not HAND WASHING the Spidey suit. She's finding it in a Laundry basket.
3. If you're upset she's not portraying MJ like Dunst in the movies... then you obviously have no idea who the MJ character really is. She's a supermodel, not some whiny waive thin tone deaf little girl. She's supposed to be stacked. 
Now I may be wrong, but ANYONE who complains about this piece obvious does NOT read Superhero comics. If you did, I'd consider you a hypocrite. I enjoy the Indie stuff (SiP and Lenore) but without Spider-man, X-Men and other comics, they wouldn't exist. Do you think Terry Moore is offended by this piece? I HIGHLY doubt it!
If you actually knew the artist and the reputation that follows him, you'd know he was a gracious man who respects women and has only been someone to show women who are strong and independent.

I can't tell you enough how disturbed I am that this "blog mess" made it on MSNBC, Fox News and Inside Edition. I also hope that anyone who feels the way I do right now will email these media outlets and voice your support for this amazing piece of art.

I hope that anyone with 1/2 a brain sees the piece for what it is, fun and playful. If you read anymore into it then that I feel very, very sorry for you.

17th-May-2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
Wait - what about this bothers them so much?

I think it's humorous - even Spidey's got laundry to do.
17th-May-2007 10:29 pm (UTC)
Here's where I first saw the first stink over it:

I'm not pointing to it so people can give her a hard time, but this is where I first saw all the fuss. I like the piece, and feel like she was reading way too much into it, and not seeing it for what it was.
17th-May-2007 10:38 pm (UTC) - What really offends me is
... that the Spider-Man costume is clearly machine washable. This hardly respects established canon.

If you're not outraged, then clearly you don't have enough free time.

17th-May-2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
I'm more impressed with the cin dimple, but seriously I was outrage to see this in the news yesterday. I have already fired off several e-mails to these agencies and told them what I think of it.
I look at this as a real life J.J. Jamason attack on a media figure.
17th-May-2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
I will admit (And I admitted to allison) that I was a little 'WTF?' over the statue, but it's gone WAY out of hand.

Now that I know the deal behind it, I laugh. I saw some of the sketches that went into making this, and the sketches captured a different type of playfulness that's lost a little on the final. I'm not HOLYCRAP offended, I never was, really. i'm more offended by the girls=disney princess and boys=toy story.

I was the target of uberfeminists once because I had a quote truncated in a newspaper article, thankfully I managed to 'WTF?' back at them before it got public because they had a mole in their midst that warned me.

18th-May-2007 01:07 am (UTC)
I saw some of the sketches that went into making this, and the sketches captured a different type of playfulness that's lost a little on the final.

Don't know if this will make your friend feel any better, but in reading comments about the statue, many people remark that the artwork is better than the final statue.
A typical example
18th-May-2007 12:19 am (UTC)
If it's not obvious to you why this is offensive, you're beyond hope. Also, you're probably one of the reasons our little hobby is so deprived of female readers.

And, before you go there, yes, I do superhero comics, and I know quite a few people who read superhero comics who were offended by this.
18th-May-2007 12:27 am (UTC)
I don't see it as offensive because I see women walking down the street in items far skimpier. I'm a man, I think it's sexy. My wife is as "Girl Power" as any woman and she LOVES the piece. I also may add as someone who frequents 7-10 Cons a year, the medium is far from hurting for female readership. Could it use more? Of course, but it could use more male readership as well.

18th-May-2007 12:19 am (UTC)
I suggest reading brown_betty's post on the matter here.

Those of us who do read comics pretty much realize that it's par for the course and despite thinking it was a little tacky, didn't really care all that much. The people who are reacting with such hardcore disdain AREN'T regular comic readers and DON'T realize that this is normal, and in the scheme of disemboweled MJs, not that big of a deal.

From brown_betty's post:
"But many of these people were outraged because they're only casual fans2; they saw the movie, watched the show, and have maybe picked up a comic or two, but they hadn't realized that the way MJ is presented in this maquette is pretty much par for the course. And they're outraged because seeing the movie and watching the show made them care and now they see how Marvel values her."
18th-May-2007 12:19 am (UTC) - You must be joking
If it's not obvious to you why this is offensive, you're beyond hope. Also, you're probably one of the reasons our little hobby is so deprived of female readers.

And, before you go there, yes, I do superhero comics, and I know quite a few people who read superhero comics who were offended by this.
18th-May-2007 12:27 am (UTC) - Re: You must be joking
I don't understand why anything is offensive. Or more accurately, I don't understand why people seem to get offended about things that are, in the most modest estimation, vanishingly trivial.

There are important issues in the world, and whinging about a stupid figurine devalues real problems.
18th-May-2007 12:23 am (UTC)

I think it's the straw that broke the camel's back for a lot of people who are tired of the excessive focus on cheesecake, or the idea that pretty much all the female heroes have to be sexy first and heroic second. I'm sure Adam Hughes is a decent person, it just all (cumulatively) gets a little old/embarrassing. For me at least.
18th-May-2007 12:25 am (UTC)
I wasn't surprised of offended by this figure at all, hardly surprising seeing her like this. My guess is that people who are offended by this probably already dislike the character of MJ and her portrayal, and this figure just drive home those bad points that been nagging them?
18th-May-2007 12:32 am (UTC) - OY-VEY!!!
Well, it REALLY doesn't surprise me with these righty-holyer-than-&%$@!%#$@^%#$^ people. I swear, I used to work in Italy and people actual had porn screen savers in the office and no one said ANYTHING!!!!! Some folks just have to loosen up a bit. For Crying-Out-Loud!!! You don't like it, you don't have to buy it!!! But, at least appreciate it for what it is....ART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
18th-May-2007 12:36 am (UTC) - Re: OY-VEY!!!
I think what also is bothering me is that is any of these artists were in trouble because they drew something controversal, I would defend them... even if I didn't know you. To me, this is a great piece of art, plain and simple. Even if I had never said two words to Adam, I'd think this was a great piece of art.

18th-May-2007 12:36 am (UTC) - Meh
Not for nothing, but anyone who goes to a comic book store will find much more titillating statues. I took a look, thought it was cute, and moved on. Really, how is this so offensive? Heck, even if she were naked, why would it be offensive? Who is putting a gun to your head and threatening that you must buy the statue or die? It's simple enough. If you don't like it, don't buy it. Economic sanctions are the best protest. If enough people truly dislike this as a form of art, it won't be made any more. I happen to like it, but not enough to buy it- no offense to the artist. It's the same with this as in anything else. If you don't like a movie, don't see it. If you don't like something on the radio, don't listen to it. Why the big fuss over some statue which will end up in a glass display case mixed with a bunch of other cheesecake to the point that it won't even be noticable? And it's true- MJ was meant to be a hot supermodel. The artist could have chosen to portray her as a handicapped, obese, hairy, or even non-white. But portraying her as any one of these would not have matched the comic. This is like complaining that Arnold Schwartzeneggar was too big to play Conan. You want my opinion, the real atrocity was getting some little skinny dude to play Eddie Brock in the movie. That's just disgusting to me.
18th-May-2007 12:42 am (UTC) - Re: Meh
That's whay kills me... I've seen things 10 times worse then this too in BORDERS and Barnes & Noble!

He created a design based on the character. Plain and simple.
18th-May-2007 12:44 am (UTC)
I, for one, am appalled at the fact that the shirt seems to be defying the laws of physics and hanging in MJ's hands without being properly held. I for one am tired of all of the 'weak physics' being tossed about in comics these days, and for all physicists I must say that it's highly offensive and I demand that something be done to address this travesty.

18th-May-2007 12:46 am (UTC)
There is a person with an agenda!

(Deleted comment)
18th-May-2007 12:48 am (UTC)
actually, if you look at other images of the piece, it's a basket full of laundry and that is his mask on the floor. There is no "puddle".
18th-May-2007 12:50 am (UTC) - Not offensive, just embarrassing
The statue's not offensive so much as it's just cringingly embarrassing. It's the kind of thing that just reinforces the stereotype of male comic readers as permanent adolescents who never develop emotionally past age 13. I mean, seriously, who else would want to prominently display something like that in their home? And FWIW, I spend $100+ on superhero comics, mostly Marvel, every month, so this isn't coming from any kind of superhero hater.
18th-May-2007 01:00 am (UTC) - Re: Not offensive, just embarrassing
I disagree because I think you're steriotyping the Comic fan into what the media THINKS a comic fan is. Do those guys exist? Yes, but isn't what you're saying just as bad and pidgeonholing this piece of art?
18th-May-2007 01:00 am (UTC) - I want one
Hope they make more. my girlfriend likes it too.

storm in a teacup
18th-May-2007 01:03 am (UTC) - Re: I want one
You either like it or don't like it. That should be the bottom line, but by it taking place of what is really wrong with the world now on the news, it's just not kosher they only looked at one side of the story.
18th-May-2007 01:14 am (UTC)
We're pissed because we DO read superhero comics and we have been reading superhero comics for the past twenty years and we are TIRED OF THIS SHIT.

...I don't know about you, but my laundry basket looks like a fucking basket and guess what? It can hold more than one article of clothing and a gallon of liquid. You're stretching, pal, and more than that, you've spectacularly missed the point.
19th-May-2007 04:10 am (UTC)
I can tell you it is not very easy/practical to sculpt a basket for mass production..so this kind of basket had to be used. Do you think the suit is just floating in mid air at the top of that basket? NO it on top of folded chothing. Get ALL of your facts before you ASSume.
18th-May-2007 01:19 am (UTC) - "Missing the point" is a double-edged sword...
I've read several of the criticisms of the statue, and I have yet to see one that criticizes Adam Hughes specifically. In fact, several bloggers and commenters have gone out of their way to say that the statue really fails to capture the charm and playfulness of the original drawing.

Most of the criticisms come from women who are more than casually acquainted with comics in general and superhero comics in particular, and the point--as devildoll makes here, one among many--is that it's not just this; this is more like the breaking point for them.
18th-May-2007 01:23 am (UTC) - Re: "Missing the point" is a double-edged sword...
as a brief aside, the original drawing (for comparison's sake)
18th-May-2007 01:25 am (UTC)
Excuse me but I happen to *be* a comic fan (I'm a regular reader of X-Men, Wolverine, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men, and The New Avengers) and this statue *does* offend me. It's the combination over sexual pose, barefeet, thong, and breasts about to burst from her shirt. The pearl necklace and laundry just help to tip the offensiveness scale.
18th-May-2007 01:32 am (UTC)
By the way, tdhartist, if you're in contact with the artist, can you ask about one of the niggly details that's been nagging at me when I look at the statue?

For all the detail that's gone into this, why was MJ's wedding ring omitted?

That's one of the aspects that gives me an ooky feeling, that she's specifically designed to look "available"
18th-May-2007 01:27 am (UTC) - Toronto Star explains it all
I agree with devildoll, this Toronto Star article does one of the better jobs I've seen at summing up the problems:
"If you were to choose one pose of Spider-Man to make into a statue, would it be him on his hands and knees under the sink cleaning the drain? I think that's unlikely. So why take Mary Jane, one of the first women in comics to keep her name after being married, the breadwinner in that relationship, and decide that the most iconic portrayal of her is doing laundry? And of course, since it's unthinkable to produce a statuette without sex appeal, naturally she's doing laundry with her thong and cleavage displayed."
18th-May-2007 01:33 am (UTC)
Well I find the statue completely sad. I'm not offended in an "OMG Marvel should be boycotted! kind of a way", but it is something that makes me shake my head and sigh about how rampantly mysogynist the American superhero comics industry is.

I also shake my head at the thought of anyone actually wanting to spend real honest-to-god money on the thing as well.
18th-May-2007 01:40 am (UTC) - Call a Spade a Spade
Come on. Let's call it for what it is . . . the perfect fantasy for millions of boys and men across the world: a drop dead sexy woman that is also submissive. It doesn't get better than that.
18th-May-2007 01:42 am (UTC) - Re: Call a Spade a Spade
I'm not sure you actually realize this but MJ is FAR from submissive and ANYONE who reads Spidey comics knows this.
18th-May-2007 01:12 pm (UTC)
I read superhero comics all the time, but I missed the part were Black Canary or Emma Frost were handwashing laundry for their boyfriends. The staue is irritating because context matters. Not only is a strong female reduced to the sum of her body parts which is annoying but par for the course, she's handwashing.
19th-May-2007 04:14 am (UTC)
well see ..there is the problem..she is NOT washing clothes..she is pickking up the suit out of a laundry BASKET..there are no suds..there is not water...there is no problem
18th-May-2007 02:07 pm (UTC)
I may be alone among female comic readers, in that I'm not offended by her body or her pose.

The only part that bothers me is the "little woman doing laundry" connotation. And if that's not what was intended, something was really lost in the translation.

I'd love to see the original sketches it was based on.
18th-May-2007 02:18 pm (UTC)
I saw the original art that this was based on. It was much better than this thing. There was a whimsy to Mary Jane's look (and an added contextual layer) with Adam's original drawing. And it gets lost and a little warped pulled into the third dimension.

I don't remember if she had a thong on in the original.

I will leave the "is it sexist?" question to be answered by people who have more time and are more articulate. But my opinion is "yeah, kinda".
18th-May-2007 03:30 pm (UTC) - Original art
There was no visible thong in Sir Adam's original art, and it was also clearly visible that the laundry basket also contained articles of MJ's clothing as well, so she wasn't just "doing her boyfriend's laundry."

The original art:
Nicely done? Yes
Pretty cool? Yup
Somewhat sexist? Not so much, unless that's what your really want to see.

The statue:
Sorta creepy looking? Yes
Tacky? Yeah, but to each his own
Sexist? I can't say definitely, but I'd lean toward yes. At least until they produce the companion statue of Black Panther filching Storm's undies out of *their* laundry basket. Certainly MJ has been sexualized beyond the original drawing.
Worthy of national media attention? Absolutely not. Not with everything else going on. I say that every morning when my wife is watching the "Today" show. That is what's truly par for the course.
18th-May-2007 03:40 pm (UTC)
I don't whether Terry Moore would approve of this or not, but saying that indie comics wouldn't exist if Marvel or DC didn't exist? That's ridiculous!

Indie is shortened from independent, as in independent from the mainstream industry. I personally know tons of indie comic authors, and I'm sure they'd still be doing comics if Marvel never existed. Several of the indie artists I know of have never read anything mainstream in their life!

The world of comics would still exist if Marvel of DC didn't, it would be different, sure, but it would still exist!
18th-May-2007 04:23 pm (UTC)
Not to mention, a lot of indie comics were influenced by newspaper strips, not superhero comics....
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