In One Ear…

"And we all say, I will change tomorrow."-Voice of the Beehive

Advice for Artists & Writers: Getting The Elusive Female Audience

Time for another installment of my advice for my fellow aspiring female audience. Comics are not just read by geeky boys who can’t get dates with girls anymore. Now those girls they can’t get dates with are reading them as well.

This advice is based on my hard work and research over the past couple of years. You want to have a large female fan base? Read on!

1. Skirts and Stilleto Heels:This is important. Nothing is more believable than a female superhero in stilletos. And how about skirts? Nothing tells people a female hero means business than a mini skirt that might let you see her girl bits or underwear. And women appreciate this attention to their fashion sense. If you are drawing a book and these do not appear in the character design? Ignore it and add them!

2. Barely There Outfits: As we all know, women always try and dress to distract us men. Super heroes are no different. A female hero knows that her super powers alone are inadequate to defeat a villain. Get into her head when designing a costume…and if she has no powers? Expose more skin. Because when fighting crime in dark alleys, you want to have as little protection from the elements and weapons as possible. If the breasts are not at risk of falling out, you are drawing the costume wrong.

3. Enormous Breasts and Small Waists: This is a given. Women really appreciate when we artists show how breasts appear in clothing. Basically, draw large round circles, that consume large portions of the torso. The costume should also look painted onto the torso. Don’t worry about observing real life, women hate if you actually understand how cothing looks on their bodies. Weird, I know. Keep the waists tiny. Remember, women like the idea that these heroines are the type of woman you would jump into bed with, not look up to. Don’t draw them like a real woman, with room for minor things like…oh, internal organs.

4. Impractical Positions:Arched backs and twisted spines. Sure, a real woman could not turn so that you can get a good shot of her breasts AND her butt…but that’s what is great. Women really appreciate fantasy.

5. Vacant Eyes: Women don’t appreciate a female hero who has…you know, personality. Keep the expressions vague and lifeless, though a slight “f***k me” expression is desirable.

6. Trace Porn: If you do decide to go for more realism, trace porn! This way, you get those rare women who want a more plausible body type. And bonus: poses. By tracing porn you can get those realistic poses and facial expressions that occur when fighting villains. You can really capture the closed eyes and wide open mouth that scream “OH YESYESYESYES! I am kicking your assssssssssssssss!” Plus, the girl is already naked, so you can draw the costume as it should be…looking like body paint.

7. Keep Her In Her Place: Always make sure that your female hero, no matter HOW powerful, is never more powerful your male heroes-even if she is the title character! And if you forget this point and make her too powerful? Have her go crazy with power and then require her to die. If you don’t want her to end too badly, instead of having other heroes kill her, have her sacrifice herself! Women appreciate when you can show both sides of womanhood. Both the crazy woman who can’t handle her strength AND the noble hero.

8. Whores!: Trying to think of a gritty and tough woman for your comic? Make her a prostitute. Women really appreciate it when you comics feature a cast of women composed primarily of strippers and prostitues. In fact, some writers fill their work with nothing BUT strippers and prostitutes. Women really appreciate this attention to their career options.

9. Screw the Real World: Seriously. When designing your female character, don’t worry about things like body mass, height and weight. Just pick random numbers under 125 lbs and make sure she is shorter than her male counterpart. Women appreciate this attention to detail.

10. Traumatic Backstory: Every super-heroine needs one. Your women readers will not be able to accept the idea that your heroine just happened to use her super powers for good for…you know, the sake of doing the right thing. She needs a motivator. The best motivators are either child molestation or raped in college. At the very least, there should be a lousy boyfriend in her past. Maybe he broke up with her unexpectedly or cheated on her and shot her parents and puppy.  And then raped her.

I need to give credit, where credit is due. I could never have compiled such a list without the kind folks at Girl Wonder as well as other female fans on the web. I know they will really appreciate me putting together this advice for artists and writers, so we can continue to get the fine portrayals of women in comic books that we have gotten for years.

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16 Comments»

  Ami Angelwings wrote @

XD

OMG I LOVE YOU XDDD

That list is teh awesome!

Sadly, I feel like the ppl that SHOULD be paying attention to this are satire-impaired. :(

  thomwade wrote @

That was my worry. On the previous to lists, I also really avoided slamming anyone outside of in fun jest (accusing real talent of not lasting and so on)…but her, while I avoided naming names, it can’t be hard to figure out the real artists and writers being addressed. I think this one was a little snarkier than the other two…but I felt the list needed to be compiled. These are things I am trying to avoid as a potential creator.

  Elizabeth McDonald wrote @

I already want to read more about this previously unexplored character type you describe!

  Timothy Liebe wrote @

ROFL!

Or – it would be funnier if it probably weren’t true….

Best,
Tim Liebe
Dreaded Spouse-Creature of Tamora Pierce
- and co-writer of Marvel’s White Tiger comic – #3 out now! :)

[...] Attack links of the day: Lisa Jonte presents the top ten ways to impress an editor. Related: Thom Wade explains to comics professionals how to develop that elusive but all-important female audience for [...]

  thomwade wrote @

Tim,

No kidding. I wish there was something on that list I really had to exagerate. But I didn’t have to reduce myself to hyperbole once. Ack!

[...] Advice for Artists & Writers: Getting The Elusive Female Audience – Thom Wade from In One Ear… writes a hilarious bunch of guidelines for artists and writers who want to write good female characters. Just a note…if you don’t know Thom, this is sarcasm at its most fun. Here’s just a brief sample of his ten “suggestions:” Trace Porn: If you do decide to go for more realism, trace porn! This way, you get those rare women who want a more plausible body type. And bonus: poses. By tracing porn you can get those realistic poses and facial expressions that occur when fighting villains. You can really capture the closed eyes and wide open mouth that scream “OH YESYESYESYES! I am kicking your assssssssssssssss!” Plus, the girl is already naked, so you can draw the costume as it should be…looking like body paint. [...]

  Rachel Edidin wrote @

I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry. On one hand, you’ve summed it up so perfectly; on the other hand, this is terrifyingly close to reality.

I’m gonna go sit in the closet with a flashlight and read Manhunter ’till it’s over.

  thomwade wrote @

Yup. I don’t think one thing I said really could be accused of being taking it to a ridiculous extreme. Reality beat me to it.

  Lisa wrote @

I enjoyed your sarcastic look at the state of today’s comic book industry.

It would be funnier if it weren’t so stinking true!

[...] start first with what I consider to be good satire: Advice for Artists & Writers: Getting The Elusive Female Audience by thomwade. Although not strictly a girlfriend list, Getting the Elusive Female Audience is [...]

  Ian wrote @

I was trying to come up with something that would disprove your rule. I’ve got nothing.

  poppyphotodesign.com » The Theory of Land wrote @

[...] Advice for Artists & Writers: Getting The Elusive Female Audience « In One Ear… By tracing porn you can get those realistic poses and facial expressions that occur when fighting villains. You can really capture the closed eyes and wide open mouth that scream “OH YESYESYESYES! I am kicking your assssssssssssssss!” [...]

  The Theory of Land « My Weblog wrote @

[...] Advice for Artists & Writers: Getting The Elusive Female Audience « In One Ear… By tracing porn you can get those realistic poses and facial expressions that occur when fighting villains. You can really capture the closed eyes and wide open mouth that scream “OH YESYESYESYES! I am kicking your assssssssssssssss!” [...]

[...] In One Ear, there is a hilarious post: Advice for Artists and Writers: Getting the Elusive Female Audience. (There’s also a follow-up: Writing Minorities: How to Approach Gay [...]

[…] In One Ear, there is a hilarious post: Advice for Artists and Writers: Getting the Elusive Female Audience. (There’s also a follow-up: Writing Minorities: How to Approach Gay […]


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