Off My Mind: Between The Legs Shot

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#1 Edited by Theodore (3445 posts) - - Show Bio

Nice glasses, FOUR EYES!
 
just kidding, I wear glasses.

#2 Posted by MuadDiab (331 posts) - - Show Bio

people love legs :)

#3 Posted by G-Man (35089 posts) - - Show Bio
@MuadDiab: Even Kingpin's? 

Staff Online
#4 Posted by comicbikerscott (152 posts) - - Show Bio

its makes good covers
#5 Posted by .Mistress Redhead. (27119 posts) - - Show Bio

Its a very commonly used image to display a SHOW DOWN of two characters, ala westerns. 
 


#6 Posted by MuadDiab (331 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man: especially Kingpin's :)
#7 Edited by .o0Johnny0o. (757 posts) - - Show Bio

hahaha great video, nice ending.
 
I've never really noticed this one but now you've brought it to my attention I just know it's gonna be one of those 'can't unsee' things when I look at covers at my local shop.  I suppose the positioning always gives the 'legs' a sense of power over whoever's inbetween them.  That way the reader's curiousity is piqued with the thinking of 'but who's stronger than X ?'  
 
Edit: sorry uploading images is being weird with me =[
This little iconic nugget is pretty nice

#8 Posted by darkrider (450 posts) - - Show Bio

G MAN HOW MANY COMICS YOU HAVE AND COULD YOU MAKE A COLLCTION VIDEO
#9 Posted by Supreme Marvel (11265 posts) - - Show Bio
#10 Posted by caesarsghost (559 posts) - - Show Bio
@.Mistress Redhead. said:
"Its a very commonly used image to display a SHOW DOWN of two characters, ala westerns. 
 

 

 
"


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Well seen!  
 
I was actually going to point out that this is a common cinematography device, anot not just in Westerns.  
 
Comics use cinematic framing, language, tools, devices all the time. The two media are inextricably entwined.  
 
As such, as Redhead said, that framing is used as a 'showdown' device in Westerns, and by framing the heroes in between the legs of the other person it makes the hero seem smaller and thus makes the villain more threatening.  
 
Just look at the screenshot above- poor Cooper looks so small compared to this impending threat. The same feelings (from an audience perspective) come across when we see the device in comics- we feel the heroes are small compared to the new villain, which makes the enemy seem more menacing.  
 
Its all about who has the power in the frame, in this case, its the larger object.  
 
A brilliant little framing convention modernly seen in films, used to great effect in comics.  
#11 Posted by tonis (6202 posts) - - Show Bio

lol, funny topic and good observation on it's uses throughout the years. 
My fav was actually the first one you showed with Supergirls legs. I remember picking that one up actually because of that. Plus it was the first time she had reappeared after crisis.

#12 Posted by longbowhunter (7129 posts) - - Show Bio

I cant say I've ever noticed this. Wish we could get some feedback from a professional artist.
#13 Posted by Omega Ray Jay (7841 posts) - - Show Bio

                    
 
I'd have to say this is my personal favorite.

#14 Posted by weapon154 (339 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with longbowhunter, I never noticed this before, now I'm realizing its something that's been used.

#15 Posted by EisforExtinction (1909 posts) - - Show Bio

#16 Posted by Mainline (1129 posts) - - Show Bio

In Marvel's Sneak Peeks, this struck me... 
 

 
#17 Posted by SC (13149 posts) - - Show Bio

Its a another horrible. example of the frequent phallic symbolism so prevalent in comics culture now days. 
 
No, but seriously, its the "A frame", feel free to use that, its less awkward to say than the between the legs shot lol (but not as funny, on second though, ignore using the A-Frame.) i think it was used as frequently for males, as it was for females, until Bond movie, For Your Eyes Only become so popular, and its use in that poster, was definitely intended to be sexy, as opposed to prior examples, which would vary a lot more. So subsequently it became a more female centric trope. 

Moderator
#18 Posted by GothamRed (2564 posts) - - Show Bio

keep the glasses, they work on you, just saying

#19 Posted by red_rover (98 posts) - - Show Bio
@G-Man:   You got some kinda flexibility going on there.  I didn't see that coming.  
#20 Posted by vishwasshrikhande (26 posts) - - Show Bio
@EisforExtinction: Its the Jack and the Giant Cover
#21 Posted by red_rover (98 posts) - - Show Bio

   I wonder who the mysterious character is?
#22 Posted by EdwardWindsor (14428 posts) - - Show Bio

 @G-Man: The recent Pyslocke cover for me is favorite since the art is great. The end of the video both suprised and amused me .

#23 Posted by Joe Venom (1275 posts) - - Show Bio

Hmm, I could have sworn I had a Mummymon pic just for something like this........oh well
 


Jo Chen for the Win!
#24 Posted by psyrax2k11 (42 posts) - - Show Bio

The person on the cover of that Uncanny X-Men issue you held up is Lila Cheney, she appears at the very end of the issue and teleports the X-Men away to the Shi'ar homeworld.  I remember because right before it happened, Cyclops and Jean Grey were trying to get to them but missed Lila's teleport, it's where the both of them first met Guido aka Strong Guy.
#25 Posted by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd go so far as to say the "behind the legs" shot is NOT a "behind the legs shot" in the case of the Ibuki comic, the Psylocke one above, or any time you can a) see the person's face turned back towards "camera" and/or b) there is no action to be viewed between the backs of the character's legs, like the Boris the Bear comic above. 
Obviously the goal of the shot is sometimes suspense, whose legs are they, and sometimes when you know whose legs they are (like with Supergirl) you are in suspense as to WHY they are in conflict with the person framed by the legs. But that right there is the other more OBVIOUS reason for the shot (unless there are a lot of cover artists with back-of-the-knee fetishes) the legs act as a frame. They draw your gaze in and make you focus on the reaction of the other character.  Also, I imagine the use of perspective makes it a great way to fill a cover if you're a cover artist on deadline and you just can't think of anything cool to draw. 
 
As for having little to nothing to do with the content of the issue, well how is that different from OTHER cover shots?

#26 Posted by .Mistress Redhead. (27119 posts) - - Show Bio
@caesarsghost said:
" @.Mistress Redhead. said:
"Its a very commonly used image to display a SHOW DOWN of two characters, ala westerns. 
 


"
             Well seen!   I was actually going to point out that this is a common cinematography device, anot not just in Westerns.   Comics use cinematic framing, language, tools, devices all the time. The two media are inextricably entwined.   As such, as Redhead said, that framing is used as a 'showdown' device in Westerns, and by framing the heroes in between the legs of the other person it makes the hero seem smaller and thus makes the villain more threatening.   Just look at the screenshot above- poor Cooper looks so small compared to this impending threat. The same feelings (from an audience perspective) come across when we see the device in comics- we feel the heroes are small compared to the new villain, which makes the enemy seem more menacing.   Its all about who has the power in the frame, in this case, its the larger object.   A brilliant little framing convention modernly seen in films, used to great effect in comics.   "
What is sad is its also used heavily in the actual filming of Westerns lol  
 
I love the idea of the bad guy bracing themselves, tensing their legs standing so they wont fall..
#27 Posted by Video_Martian (5645 posts) - - Show Bio

I like the Supergirl covers =D

#28 Posted by Donomark (4 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman #511 
 
 
#29 Posted by queenfrost_ (2499 posts) - - Show Bio

LOL love it!

#30 Posted by grasslover (5 posts) - - Show Bio
@Theodore said:
"
"
 
Legs are good...but that butt is awesome :).
#31 Posted by SC (13149 posts) - - Show Bio

Does Marvel or DC have any characters with no upper torsos and parts?  We so need this to happen, but on a cover, until you open it.  
http://sluggy.com/images/comics/070815c.gif     
 
Or either that or a Hulk and Wolverine comic. You see an A-Frame shot of Wolverine, open it up, and he's legs are running around kicking up a storm, apart from his upper body. 

Moderator
#32 Posted by SirSparkington (342 posts) - - Show Bio

When its done with ladies, you can almost guarantee it is for some sort of sex appeal. 

#33 Posted by MadClawMannn (52 posts) - - Show Bio

great observation G-Man

#34 Posted by Doctor!!!!! (2055 posts) - - Show Bio

It looks really,really dramatic and makes the the "standie" look super awesome.......and or rape them......

#35 Posted by Decept-O (7279 posts) - - Show Bio

Great video!  I think G-Man is emulating Clark Kent with the glasses.   
 
While not necessarily comic book related the first image that came to mind was this iconic poster from James Bond:   
 

 
#36 Posted by TheCheeseStabber (8116 posts) - - Show Bio

i think some of the ones that show a behind view are to make you question who that person is

#37 Edited by ArtisticNeedham (2259 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess its to have the reader looking up at the character, making the character seem larger and powerful, and if there are any other characters in the cover, like Superman or Superboy, making them looking up at the character as well making that character looking up seem less powerful.
and maybe its also a way to keep the secret character more secret since you can't tell much from the legs.  
They could try showing the back of the person's head and shoulders with the other characters looking shocked, but then its less dramatic.  And the back of a person's head might be a little more revealing as to who it is.
I am not saying with some of the covers there isn't the possibility of trying to be sexy or something.  I have seen many between the legs covers compared to a James Bond movie poster.
But I can imagine some reasons why it was done, with the Gog cover and X-Men cover about Professor X dying that never occurred to me.  But I am sure some of those covers had that intention.

#38 Posted by manofsteel42 (227 posts) - - Show Bio
@Theodore:
You just made my day!
#39 Posted by Mumbles (846 posts) - - Show Bio

looks defeated, and the hero(s) in trouble. you want to flip that cover, and see what is going to happen. doesn't bother me at all.

#40 Posted by Bigheart711 (2206 posts) - - Show Bio

It's also prevalent in movie covers as well, but most of us know that, right? :p

#41 Posted by SC (13149 posts) - - Show Bio

A necessary reminder as well, that peoples knees are ugly, no exceptions, and therefore should never be depicted on covers, and also that the back of the knee is like a little bridge connecting the thigh to the calf. 

Moderator
#42 Posted by leokearon (1815 posts) - - Show Bio

I think it is a way to create a sense of mystery and slso to give the character seem more powerful and imposing.
#43 Posted by fred9101 (106 posts) - - Show Bio

For me its Green Arrow here: 
 
   

 
#44 Posted by ImperiousRix (1069 posts) - - Show Bio
@SirSparkington said:
" When its done with ladies, you can almost guarantee it is for some sort of sex appeal.  "
My thoughts as well.  When done with dudes, it seems to be displaying some sort of intimidation and power factor, but ladies seem to always have a prominently detailed ass or some other sexual factor included.
#45 Posted by Cruz (35 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah is nice to see someone's butt crack once in a while.. -_-

#46 Posted by DMC (1551 posts) - - Show Bio

The covers where the legs are in the center and take up most of the image work best. As you said, they make the character seem more ominous and threatening and to complement that having the terrified hero/villain in between the legs, in that small space helps to amplify that feeling of basically, "oh crap I'm in trouble now"

#47 Posted by Ninjistic (18 posts) - - Show Bio

#1. We all come from between a pair of legs. 
#2. Women's legs and bums are attractive. 
#3. Triangles are a pleasing, popular shape. 
#4. Suspense, tension and terror can easily be shown with this device. 
#5. There are simply only so many ways to position and illustrate the human body. Show my every comic with a man flying forward with his fist out. There are many. But yeah. If we need ONE answer, I'm sticking with my #1.

#48 Posted by EGoD (1516 posts) - - Show Bio

This was so funny, like how you emphasized to keep it clean. Still laughing.
#49 Edited by comicfetish (405 posts) - - Show Bio

 
between the legs shots are nice. but a good face shot will always catch your eye  ;d

#50 Posted by .Mistress Redhead. (27119 posts) - - Show Bio
@Decept-O said:
"
Great video!  I think G-Man is emulating Clark Kent with the glasses.   
 
While not necessarily comic book related the first image that came to mind was this iconic poster from James Bond:   
 

"
Fun Fact, that poster was banned in Australia when it was first released, it was deemed to smexy

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