Huh. I always thought Mature content was more in subject matter versus sexualization. Punisher Max is one of my favorite series mainly due to the stories Ennis was able to tell and how Punisher was able to let loose. There are also times where I feel a creator tries too hard to push the envelope and it misses me completely like Ennis on The Boys.
Or Millar on most of his creator-owned stuff. Lest we forget the ending to Wanted.
Millars kingsman and definitely Ennis and his preacher at times felt like they were trying to be contriversial for the sake of being contriversial. Like did that guy really need to be screwing a pig Ennis like realy preacher would of been just fine without that.
I think Millar is the perfect example of how you can use mature content in the other direction. That’s not to say he hasn’t handled mature themes in comics before; while I was not a fan of Superman: Red Son, I will say he could’ve done his usual shtick and made the mini-series gratuitous, but he didn’t. But a lot of stuff I’ve read seems like that fourteen year old inner-self takes over and tries to be “edgy” for the sake of it.
I think oversexuualization is to be expected.
There are adult comics, like Cherry Poptart, Wendy Whitebread, & The Troubles of Janice. They are explicit and only to be sold to those 18 and older.
Sex is part of life for most people. Comics are about characters on the extreme, be it body types or superpowers.
As for fetishism, go back and read golden age Wonder Woman stories that had somebody in bondage every few pages.
As for someone like Supergirl, bare midriffs seem appropriate depending on the teen fashions of the day and that was a common style of teenage fashion in the ‘90s. Just as wearing of corsets and bustiers and spandex jeans was part of teen female fashion in the 80’s. The real truth is by 16 many people are certainly sexually aware and there is power in owning that. Not to mention that proclivities, fetishes, kinks and the like will start to manifest at least psychologically within that age range. So if a comic is labeled 17+ or adult only, not including sex or sexual themes is completely unrealistic and not certainly not grounding characters in anything resembling the typical human condition.
Does a 16 year old Supergirl need to be shown giving or receiving oral sex. Certainly not and it would violate obscenity law. However, a 16 year old Supergirl having a discussion with peers or a mentor figure (Wonder Woman or Power Girl or Black Canary, for example) about sex is perfectly acceptable and actually quite normal.
So I’m perfectly ok with an age based rating system on books, like we have with film. So parents, kids, and retailers know what the content inside could be.
However, we have plenty of gratuitous violence in comics. There is no reason to not have gratuitous sex as well.
thank you everyone just nice to see an actual discussion about a somewhat sensitive subject matter and I haven’t seen anyone being rude! I am happy I’m not alone In creators not using sex for shock value. I honestly would much rather see a good fight in a comic book than sex or nudity.
In the words of your favorite taco loving little girl, Why cant we have both?
In general mature content is ok so long as it works and there is a proper label. However I do get how sexualizing female characters especially young ones is uncouth. But I also get that art is expressive and sometimes that’s how an artist wishes it to be. It can certainly be seen in multiple ways. A comment on why its seen as sexual when it’s not nudity, empowerment, ect. However it often times is for sexual purposes. So I repeat again I’m chill with it if its labeled and done right.
Back before Vertigo, my favorite titles were “suggested for mature readers”. The sex and horror felt like they were narratively important for things like Sandman, Green Arrow, and Swamp Thing. I often feel like the violence or sex doesn’t serve a purpose beyond being shocking in many modern comics.
It’s all about the execution. The mature rating can be used to explore themes that you couldn’t with more restrictive ratings; that said, some of the most puerile things I’ve ever seen have been rated “mature.”
I suppose it always raises the question in my mind. Is Boticelli’s Birth of Venus or Michelangelo’s or Donatello’s David , are they sex and nudity for the sake of shock value. I think ones answer is more telling about the individual than the artist.
Art and the nude form (male or female) have been staples of art dating back to antiquity. I’ve always found it odd there isn’t more sex/sexuality/partial nudity in comics.
It doesn’t bother me in the slightest. If anything, I laugh at the odd poses that characters have in comics that are aimed at teens, Birds of Prey Vol. 1, you know what you have done. In many ways, sex is natural in storytelling. Ranging from the Bible to modern literature or whatever the New York Times best seller is. Looking at books like Watchmen, there was sex, violence, but also a riveting story. Perhaps, the sex and violence normalized a big blue guy who could multiply himself or a guy who obviously had an obsession with mythology. I have read Jimmy Palmiotti’s Sex and Violence and it never seemed edgy, The mature content was there and it had a purpose. Granted, there are some books that go out of their way to be “edgy” but there is an audience for that kind of thing and who am I to stop them from reading what they enjoy?
Alan Moore talks about this a lot, but it’s always been weird to me how pop culture accepts horrific violence but shuns the mention of sex. There’s nothing wrong with it. I think the more open we can be with sex in storytelling (any medium), the more honest we can be in our self expression, and the more normalized sex can become. I think a book like Sex Criminals (which, admittedly, I have quite a few problems with, but that’s a whole other story) does this well. It uses its graphic sexual nature and entirely explicit discussions to help develop the characters in clever, charming, and (most importantly) relatable ways. Because that’s the thing; we relate to sex far better (and in much healthier ways) than most can relate to violence.
My point is, there’s nothing wrong with it, and perpetuating the idea that there is feels outmoded to me.
America always cracked me up. I was a little kid watching Commando and Predator, some hard R rated stuff violently, but if a booby popped up all hell broke lose. Nudity will destroy our children lmao
I laugh at the odd poses that characters have in comics that are aimed at teens, Birds of Prey Vol. 1, you know what you have done
LMAO. Listen…Benes draws some very beautiful people, men and women, but some crotch shots of Huntress had me going, “OK…are we checking for a medical condition?”
From people who have read it what is your thoughts on a title like Sex Criminals?
I have seen sex criminals at my LCS and admittedly been curious to read it; with that being said is it any good.
If accompanied by a rating to help buyers make informed choices, I think most sex and violence are fine when they make sense within a plot AND serve a purpose. If done with forethought, they reveal more about your characters, or even the world they’re inhabiting.
What bothers me more is when gratuitous, shock value content is used in place of a story. It feels cheap. Like the creators were incapable of (or didn’t care to) create a moment of substance, so they took the easy route and gave their audience the gratification of an acceptable voyeur fix instead.
What bugs me more than mature content and risqué outfits is oversexualized poses. For both the guys and the ladies. There’s nothing more distracting than a speech bubble dialoguing about the end of the world while someone’s arse fills up an entire panel or bodies contorted into something from a teenage Gumby’s wetdream.
If I was still drinking, I would have made a drinking game for every time I saw that angle drawn.
@jsmsiggy and @Wildstorm-Jeff Sex Criminals is not bad. I have read the first trade and I think I have the second one but life got in the way of me reading it. (This happens more than I want to admit) Basically, it is like that movie Jumper but instead of one person being able to jump wherever they want, 2 people have to have sex to jump places.
@Bukdiah lol. True that’s why south parks movie bigger better and uncut touched on that. Violence and gore is A OK but sex? Naww. I do think proper labeling is important and if it’s not done properly it’s just cheap. But otherwise especially in America freedom of speech is also a core value, and in the 1800s they passed a publishing act that protects published works as well under the ’ smut ’ laws.