among my New Year's Resolutions....

Post more in my blog.

So I'll begin with this: http://the-isb.blogspot.com/2006/12/annotated-anita-blake-vampire-hunter.html

About half the people I know have posted cheering on this fellow in his sporking of the Anita Blake comic book. Much of his commentary seems to be based on what he's heard of the later books in the series, which take a screaming left turn from the horror-mystery tone of the first five books and into paranormal erotica.

Even so, he's dead-on about much of his complaints. I was really looking forward to this series, because I'm a big fan of Anita Blake. Okay, of the first part of the series. I do believe my interest in the series has gone far, far downward as it's become much more erotic, which is funny for someone making her living, in part, from paranormal romance. But if anything, my work is going in the opposite direction: removing highly sexualized content because it was distracting from the story.

But hey, for once, it's not all about ME.

It strikes me that there is more than a little hypocrisy in the disgust of the general comic world re: the Anita Blake comic series. True, it's a disappointment. They're drawing the male characters with lookalike faces pasted onto bodies that belong on the front cover of a Harlequin romance novel. It's annoying, particularly when they're transcribing GUILTY PLEASURES, the first book in the series and arguably the least sexual in nature. This is back when Anita was kicking ass in a sensible pair of jeans and we read more about her ordnance than underwear.

And my other complaint? "Transcribing" is the real word here. It's practically word-for-word from GUILTY PLEASURES, and I've read this before. I didn't expect them to deviate wildly from the book, but this basically is an illustrated edition of a book I already own. Not a bad thing, but... not something I'm rushing to read, either.

But.

The hypocrisy comes from the rampant complaints about the hypersexualized men surrounding Anita. Winter is a Schwarzenegger clone from his Conan days, all glistening muscle in a mesh sleeveless shirt and exercise shorts. Jean-Claude is a forlorn Anne Rice escapee in Parisian shirt with curling black hair around his brooding face.

Well, it's not like this has ever happened before, has it? After all, comic books are paragons of realistic depictions of the human figure. A female superhero has never been drawn in a glorified bathing suit while her male cohorts wear nose-to-toes body armor. She is never depicted with gargantuan breasts and hips with a tiny waist, a grotesque parody of the hourglass shape, and forced to stand with her ass sticking out in a soft-core porn stance before she breaks out the Superthingy to demolish the bad guys. A comic book character drawn as a walking sexual fantasy to appease the appetites of the sexually-repressed readers? Never!

Ahem.

Maybe Anita Blake is a bad comic book. You won't hear me argue otherwise, at least not until I see a few more issues.

Or maybe male comic readers just don't like it when the tables are turned. Just a thought.

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