The comics edition. The comic company Zenescope Entertainment recently sent out an announcement for their Girl of the month competition. Controversy has hit. Apparently, we all kind of overlooked that they did it for all of 2009 as well. But they are promoting the contest where the winner gets to go to the SDCC this summer. Both Heidi at the Beat (where the comments include writers for Zenescope and some of the girls who have won among others) and Johanna at Comics Worth Reading suggest that this is exploitation plain and simple.
This might shock you, but I am pretty much in agreement. People have tried to accuse the Beat of hypocrisy-seriously guys…the “Men are Exploited to! What about all the heroes with big packages!” Shows you to be pretty ignorant of the world of super hero art…not many packages exist in the world of comics. And when there is a noticeable package? Some guys just flip.
Johanna is specifically addressing exploitation of young models and this is a slick way for a publisher to get promotional material for free. And this is different from a Halloween contest, since it is gender specific or fan art, both of which provide a bit of free promotional material for publishers, this has the “added” bonus of specifically exploiting the hopes of aspiring models. I realize some of the young women actually like dressing up as fantasy characters. And I am not begrudging that. And I really want this to avoid being something that even appears to be putting down the young women.
This is about some of the more skeevy ways companies promote themselves. It has the appearance of being pretty sleazy, regardless of how willing the participants are. It certainly continues to give comics the appearance of being aimed only at the Maxim crowd. Zenescope’s comics rely heavily on T&A, and this doesn’t help their case in any way.