Friday, July 02, 2004

"Why Are They ALL So Physical (physical)?"

TWO Comic Book related topics in a row? (I must be slippin'.)

But there IS something I've always wondered about in comics: Why are all the characters drawn so fit and trim? Now I'm not talking about the super heroes, but all of the "bit" characters. Jimmy Olsen, Lois Lane, Pieface, Iris West, Willie Lumpkin, you name 'em, they are ALL drawn very fit. Few supporting characters seem drawn otherwise (outside of Lex Luthor, The Prankster, and Perry White, who was always a bit plump and rarer still, smoked!) Even Kingpin, tho' he's fat-looking, that's all supposed to be muscle.

Fewer still were there over-weight super heroes, remembering only Fatman the Human Flying Saucer, Herbie Popnecker and Bouncing Boy, but they all had these miraculous powers to compensate for being that way. And Bouncing Boy even slimmed down for a while there (maybe still is, who know? Haven't kept up w/The Legion in years). Oddly enough when Bouncing Boy got slim it took all the flab with it as well; sure wish I had that method for my love-handles.

Not that I care to see a buncha characters running around flappin' their extra rolls of fat and floppin' their man-boobs, but it's just that everyone on this planet is different, and a very large number of people ARE overweight: men, women and children alike.

Neither are chararters drawn too thin. It's like everyone has been given a Jack LaLane course to make them physically perfect. Also, why are so many of them HAIRLESS? Does hair cut down on The Flash's ability to run fast? Chest hair slow down Aquaman in the water (his beard doesn't seem to hinder him these days). You know, it's gotta be hell on all of those super heroINES who bare their legs in skimpy costumes to look good all the time, always having to shave (wax, "whatever") their legs and other interesting parts of their female anatomy constantly just to look good in public.

As well, it seems that having super powers has a pleasant enough side-effect on super heroines enlargening certain other parts of their bodies. No wonder as a pre-teen I got hooked on comics.

I'm refering to super hero comics of course and not the NON-mainstream books and artists. Dan Clowes, Robert Crumb and others are all capable of drawing people realistically, or at least like folk you'd see every day. But none of them are "known" as super hero artists.

Well...being perfect is what hooked a lot of us on those characters. Many of us didn't want to identify WITH the characters as much as we wanted to BE them.

And, at my age, I'll get to looking like Perry White or Lex Luthor soon enough.


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