[identity profile] bluefall.insanejournal.com posting in [community profile] scans_daily
Y'all remember Ben Caldwell, the guy doing the Wonder Woman segment for Wednesday Comics? He's been posting art teases on his blog, and a few weeks back I put some of them up here.

He's posted a bit more art, so I've put some new pics up under the cut, but I'd also like to direct anyone who commented on the last post to this thread, in which Caldwell swings by to offer a response to some of our discussion. Partly because internet shelf life dictates that otherwise no one would see it, but mostly because (highlight for spoiler) OMG CHEETAH, which elicits in me a response very similar to the one Gage just got from [insanejournal.com profile] schmevil and [insanejournal.com profile] batcookies for his Tigra comment.

I really do like this art. There's a fantastic sense of gesture and motion that's really my #1 desire from a comic, visually - I'll forgive a lot style-wise for art that's genuinely dynamic and alive, which is possibly why I appear to be the only one here who likes Scott McDaniel - and the still scenes don't even suffer for it, which sometimes happens with really fluid artists but you don't see at all here in the contemplative Poison-stares-at-her-pretty-needles images. Also, the style has a very light, airy fantasy mood to it that's very appropriate to Wonder Woman IMO (though that may just be conditioning from watching Disney's Hercules too many times).

The story, of course, we'll have to wait and see, but Irish faeries are a promising sign.

Date: 2009-04-20 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darklorelei.insanejournal.com
The colors! The colors!

I love the coloring on this to a degree that is truly ridiculous.

Date: 2009-04-20 03:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] statham1986.insanejournal.com
I continue to be impressed by Caldwell's reasoning. I like that he explained his thoughts on making Diana thin, because she's young, still, and doesn't necessarily need to be super-muscular like the Alex Ross version, rather than it just being a style choice or doing it because it's sexy or cool. There does seem to be a consistent line of thought running through his choices, here.

His reasoning behind Dr Poison's look is quite impressive, too, although I had already figured out that she was Japanese, based on the hair, her apparent associates and her build. I love the possible idea that she tests everything she creates on herself, to a degree, so that even her own body might be deadly in more ways than one - I often like the idea of self-modification in bizarre and not necessarily healthy ways, it reminds me of Bioshock and the plasmid idea...

Date: 2009-04-20 03:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sailorlibra.insanejournal.com
Ok, on top of how much I love the art, I also love that he seems like a pretty nice guy. Frankly, he's gotten me pretty excited for the story now. I'm definitely a sucker for when writers take the time to address complaints in a thoughtful way. (Especially when I'm one of the ones complaining.)

Damn you, Ben Caldwell! July's a loooong time off. And I want this story now.

Date: 2009-04-20 03:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] morgana006.insanejournal.com
His comments are really interesting. Even if you don't agree with him (I'm inclined to neither agree nor disagree until I see the final comic), at least you can tell he's put a lot of thought into it.

And the art really grows on me, and I already liked it. I just love stylized (and yes! dynamic!) stuff, and the colours are very pretty. Plus, the figures have this rounded-look, which I generally like (as opposed to Skottie Young's stuff, which is a little more pointy but very similar).

Date: 2009-04-20 03:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluejaybirdie.insanejournal.com
I have to say, I absolutely love that Ben Caldwell deliberatly avoids T&A. That is just so refresing and wonderful to see. I was a bit puzzled at Wonder Woman looking so young-ish, but now that I know it's set in her younger years, I'm happy (I admit that I do prefer my Diana with a bit more muscle, she does do Amazonian training in addition to her gifts after all).

Semi-related: I am so very, very glad to see an athletic girl actually drawn accuratley. Slightly muscled with small curves...yep, reality works that way.

Date: 2009-04-20 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] kamino_neko.insanejournal.com
Whelp, that settles it. I love Ben Caldwell. I was already looking forward to this story because the art was pretty and what had been revealed of the story looked fun but his reasoning for some of his design choices is just awesome.

Date: 2009-04-20 03:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zhinxy.insanejournal.com
...Looks absolutely lovely!

Date: 2009-04-20 04:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] long_silence.insanejournal.com
First of all it is impossible to Disney's Hercules too many times.

Second this all looks very, very good.

Date: 2009-04-20 05:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] scottyquick.insanejournal.com
Wow, Caldwell has me really excited for this. The coloring's beautiful, and so is the art. Is he doing the coloring himself?

Date: 2009-04-20 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] killermoth1.insanejournal.com
The art looks splendiforous! If this is as awesome as the artwork, then it'll definitely prove good to a reader like me who unfortunately hasn't read much Wonder Woman.

Plus Doctor Poison looks cooler than the smile version I think.

Date: 2009-04-20 06:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dustbunny105.insanejournal.com
Looks awesome, and Caldwell himself seems pretty cool.

Date: 2009-04-20 06:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] fashi0n_mistake.insanejournal.com
*grins* This is looking pretty good!

Date: 2009-04-20 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] retro_nouveau.insanejournal.com
i didn't draw her like a tank because she doesn't have that sort of personality. (after all, if i were drawing SM and BM together, i would certainly give them different builds because both their personalities and their physical approach to problems is so characteristically different.) in fact, while everyone has their own opinion, i would suggest that a bulldozer WW is antithetical -- it assumes that strength, power and heroism are directly related to the size of your deltoids. diana's athleticism and brains are as much or more a part of her overall "strength" as her weightlifting abilities.

Fair enough for Dinah or Selina, but I don't agree at all for Diana. Making women look like bulldozers has never been a problem for artists, they have to really, really try. Bruce "The Hulk" Banner looks blocky and monstrous, Jennifer "She-Hulk" Walters does not. Just as there is a strong cultural undercurrent that steers people to the expectation that an "ideal" woman should be bursting from her bustier, there is another that makes men feel threatened by taller/larger women -- "shorty" should have to reach up for a kiss and be slender. Whatever. Here's the thing to me: "Amazon" means tall, strong, aggressive woman. My "ideal" for Diana is six feet tall or even a couple inches taller, noticeably more well-muscled than generally any other woman. About the same as Kara Zor-L, who would be a little shorter. Not as tall or as huge as She-Hulk or Barda. Where Barda picks Scott up off the ground for a kiss, Diana only has to reciprocate turning her head to the side so noses don't get in the way. I also feel very strongly that personality and heroism should in no way have any relationship to size. Infinite diversity in infinite combinations and all that. So Diana smiles sweetly and all the nice things she says makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but when she strides into the room with her steel-clad forearms, she's no less an imposing presence than Clark or Bruce. I'd say all those pretty pictures up there are Cassandra Cain (although Cass would have chopped off that hair a long time ago). He says "story of her early years", so that's why he gets a pass from me.

Oh no! I wrote a tl;dr and I hate being serious. Scratch all that, and here's what I actually want to say: It took me forever to figure out what WW-SM means -- Oh! Diana/Clark, why didn't you say so. Now, BM means something entirely different in my book...

Date: 2009-04-21 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
While I understand what you're saying, I don't necessarily agree. I think the whole idea behind Wonder Woman from the earliest days is that she's a sort of everywoman - not as in she's a nebbish, but as in she's the ultimate representation of the idea that 'you women out there, whoever you are, can be just as good as men - and better - if you only try hard enough!' (I mean, and she has super strength and she's from a magical island and all that, but still - that's the icing on the cake; it's not the really important stuff.) And let's face it, most women don't tend to be all that muscular in comparison to men - there are many more female athletes these days, sure, but most of them aren't involved in, say, pro football, or any of the other 'I'VE GOT BIG MUSCLES RAAAAR!' sort of sports. Women, if they're in good shape, just generally have less muscle-mass then men - it's a different body type. There are exceptions, sure, (Power Girl is a good example), but generally speaking, you don't generally see that many women walking down the street that have great big muscular arms, even the obviously athletic ones. So if WW is supposed to represent the hopes and dreams of women in general, giving her great big muscular arms is not necessarily the best way to do it, in my opinion. Svelte and athletic-looking would communicate that better, I think.

Date: 2009-04-21 09:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] retro_nouveau.insanejournal.com
Oops. Sorry! Take two...

And let's face it, most women don't tend to be all that muscular in comparison to men...

And that's unfortunate. The reason is that western civilization dictates that a woman can never be too thin. There is the occasional exception. (http://pics.livejournal.com/retro_nouveau/pic/0001g8wc).

My problem is that everyone in comics is svelte and athletic-looking, all the same height with huge racks and straight hips. I'm not asking for three fullbacks, just to make Diana the quarterback. Otherwise, The Big Three look to me more like The Big Two And Their Generic Supermodel Associate.

So if WW is supposed to represent the hopes and dreams of women in general, ...

Yeah, I hear that a lot. A lot.

Date: 2009-04-21 03:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
You misunderstand me - I don't mean 'women don't tend to be as muscular as men because of society's ridiculous expectations as to body image' (although I'm sure that's true to some degree), I mean that generally speaking, women have less muscle mass than men. Therefore, you don't generally get the 'bulging biceps' look on women unless they're weightlifters. As an example, I would take your picture of Xena. Now, I don't know just what shape Lucy Lawless is actually in, but from what I've seen of her character (which, I'll admit, is not very much), she seems to be a reasonably fit, athletic woman who convincingly looks like an ass-kicker. And yet her forearms are not that much broader than my own, and I'm no athlete, trust me. In fact, I would describe her as, well, svelte and athletic looking - and looking like she could kick my ass into the bargain.
And she's a TV star. Look at female athletes in general. I've seen footage of female black belts, or of tennis stars like Venus Williams, or track stars, basketball players, even wrestlers. They all look svelte and athletic, not bulging with muscles. (There is, of course, the occasional exception to this - I am thinking of the wrestler Chyna, who has enough bulging muscle in her arms to make the Hulk jealous. But that's fairly rare.)
Now, I agree with you that, as the intended apex of feminine ideals, WW shouldn't have quite the same body type as all the other heroines in the DCU, but I think that could be accomplished by making her taller. Because, let's face it, there is a reason why svelte and athletic is the norm - it's attractive. Also, one of WW's main character traits is supposed to be that she is fighting for PEACE as an ultimate goal, not simply as a 'never ending battle'. As such, she should look like a peacemaker, not like someone who has trained very hard to kick your ass - it then makes it all the more satisfying when she DOES kick ass.

Date: 2009-04-21 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bluejaybirdie.insanejournal.com
...thank you. I am a sixteen year old girl who works out around three hours a day, six days a week (or more) during season. Otherwise, I get in about an hour and a half a day, five days a week (sometimes with a workout on Saturday). I say this because I know what female athletes look like, I am one! And trust me, I do about three hours of weights a week, so I know how girls build muscle. And it is definatly not the bulky variety. I can bench well over half my weight (65 lbs for a 110 lbs girl), but my arms are still quite thin. I'm strong, but my arms look like toothpicks. In females, strength can be very deceptive. Smaller women might have a lower percentage of body fat and are stronger than some larger women. I'm 5'6" and stronger than my 6'0" teammate. But her arms are a little over twice as thick as mine. My (kinda longwinded) point is, you are totally right about girls not looking real bulky. (And since I run into this sterotype often, I just wanted to thank you for speaking up about how females really look :D)

Also, your Xena example is awesome.

Date: 2009-04-21 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
You're quite welcome, although I wasn't really being chivalrous as such, just stating a fact. Still, I'm glad you liked it.

Date: 2009-04-21 09:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] retro_nouveau.insanejournal.com
But Diana has trained for many years with the best warriors of a tribe of warriors. I don't know what a peacemaker looks like, but an effective one will speak softly and carry a big stick.

I suggested Lucy Lawless because she is my dream casting for the role of Diana. I would drop ten bucks just to watch her eat crunchy peanut butter. I can't tell what you mean by svelte and athletic-looking, if Lucy Lawless is -- but she's also not, because she looks like she can kick ass? For my part, I think I know the meaning of "amazon" (http://pics.livejournal.com/retro_nouveau/pic/0001hd33).

But thanks for the discussion. :)

Date: 2009-04-21 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
You're welcome, although really, this whole thing is a matter of personal opinion - however, let me just clarify what I meant. By 'svelte and athletic-looking', I don't mean 'looks like a stick-thin supermodel who goes to the gym regularly', I mean 'looks fit and toned and muscular, but not to the point where she has cockles and muscles alive alive-o' (to borrow a phrase from Roald Dahl - sorry, I couldn't resist). And generally speaking, the 'svelte and athletic-looking' ones ARE the ones who can kick your ass.
Also, I'm not sure whether Diana HAS 'trained for many years with the best warriors of a tribe of warriors'. I mean, yes, she grew up as an Amazon, but the impression I always got was that she largely learned how to fight and be athletic and so forth through the spirit of healthy and enthusiastic competition - in short, she saw other Amazons doing cool stuff, and basically said 'COOL! Could you show me how to do that?', and they did - as opposed to a strict fitness regimen and training course. After all, before she left the island she had no idea that she was going to spend her career saving the world - she thought she was going to spend the rest of her days as an Amazon princess. So there was no particular reason for her to train vigorously in a must-learn-how-to-kick-ass program - she learned how to be athletic because Amazons are athletic; it was through cultural osmosis. The rest was largely learned during her career of fighting bad guys, and through the gifts of the gods who gave her super powers.
But anyway, like I said, you're welcome. It has been an interesting discourse. *does japanese bow*

Date: 2009-04-21 10:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
It DOES make sense for Superman to have large muscles, actually, because he was a football star in high school before his powers fully developed. And while it's true that very little is a physical CHALLENGE for him, per se, he is getting constant low-level exercise. It's like... well, let's say most things are about as heavy as an orange to him. Now, an orange isn't very heavy, right? And picking one up and putting it down is not going to make much difference to your physique. But if you pick up and put down hundreds of individual oranges a day, that's exercise, even if not very much of it, so you're probably not going to get fat. (Not the world's greatest analogy, I know, but it's all I could think of.)
And first off, I don't think Diana CAN jerk the moon out of orbit - Supes can't do that anymore, I'm fairly certain, and she isn't stronger than he is, I know that much - and second, the only arms where you can tell in an INSTANT that they can jerk around moons belong to Galactus - and I don't think Galactus's arms would look very attractive on Wonder Woman.

Date: 2009-04-22 01:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
Well, all right, it DID make sense, then. It ain't my fault if writers mess up my theories.
Muscle growth is not permanent for us, no, but he's a Kryptonian - perhaps for them, it sticks around longer. (You never see a Kryptonian exercising, do you?)
In regards to the oranges - well, it's not ALWAYS just the individual oranges. Sometimes he has to gather them up into sacks and tote them around. Let's say a car is one orange, a falling elevator is two (momentum, you know), a train speeding out of control is, oh, let's say ten, a battleship is about a half-sack, a mountain is five sacks, etc., etc. These things add up, particularly when one is doing them every day.
And I don't think that quite follows regarding the moon. If it takes three moving men to lift a grand piano, it doesn't therefore follow that any one of them could do the job all by himself. There were three people (who, by the way?) jerking the moon out of orbit because it was a job that took three people.

Date: 2009-04-22 03:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] psychop_rex.insanejournal.com
Well, all right, I'm going to chalk that down to the writers not thinking things through, then - that is far more powerful than the modern Supes should be. What's the point of trying to promote some degree of realism if you make him that strong? You're back to the old 'I am inVINcible!' Superman, whose powers were eventually toned down PRECISELY BECAUSE he was damn near invincible, and that makes it difficult to write stories for him. Way to think things out there, mister writer.
I continue to maintain, however, that when the writers are thinking clearly, my 'sacks of oranges' theory makes sense. Anyway, I might point out that back in the Silver Age, when Superman could have moved the Earth singlehandedly (and did, more than once), he still kept things like 'atomic-powered robots' and such at the Fortress of Solitude specifically for the purpose of giving him a good workout - and, according to him, they worked quite well. So if we're going by that logic, it probably takes a much lower level of exercise to keep a Kryptonian fit and muscular than it does for humans.

Date: 2009-04-20 06:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] neuhallidae.insanejournal.com
Oh, man, some of the poses in his sketches. Some of the really twisted up ones remind me of an aerialist girl I know.

Date: 2009-04-21 12:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] freeman333.insanejournal.com
I like Scott McDaniel. On Scans_Daily (or a reasonable facsimile), etc. etc.

Also, I'm hella excited for this one. Dr. Poison is a favorite of mine (rictus and all) and her self-mutilating tendencies really pique my interest.

Can't wait!


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