69

It seems like I am writing too much on comic book numbering these days, as something mostly not really relevant to the comics themselves.  A couple of months ago I went through a flourish of Grimm Fairy Tales issues then stopped when I went on a vacation, and now I am back to catching up to the series (and I am in fact caught up, just not caught up in reviews.)  The series started off in my opinion quite strongly with a series of one shots dealing strongly with morality.  The series has consistently moved away from that.  I suppose with this concept the creators decided something should be done to provide more of a sense of continuity to the series, however, it seems to have done so by sacrificing what made it so good in the first place.  And so gone is the morality tale, replaced by a not very engaging fantasy based story with some stunted dialogue.  For this series though, the story is only half of the story.  Grimm Fairy Tales is almost uniformly judged even before anyone has a concept of the interior by its cover.  I am one of the ones that thinks exploitation of women is generally a bad thing, but in the case of this series, it always seemed to be a case of exploitative cover/strong representation of women inside.  With the covers getting more exploitative though and the insides getting a lot worse for their depiction of women, issue 69 sets the low I would say for the series.  While it was only on an alternate cover, it is definitely one with some connotations which go beyond what might be in the realm of pertinent to the series.  Previously the cover artists have taken the liberty to draw the series heroines and villainesses in classic poses inspired by a wide range of pictures - pin-up, propaganda and even playing cards.  Here though the only insinuation is that of sex, with series leads Sela and Belinda (almost) depicted in a sexual pose (known as 69) in the 69th issue on a special cover of which only 69 were released.   
 
I suppose I am somewhat of a holdout on this series, I can't believe that for as good as it was to begin with that it can now be so mediocre.  This is especially true as I have just read through the Wonderland trilogy which was pretty good throughout (reviews to follow when I have time).  In the main series though, the juvenile attitude of the cover artists in my opinion can't be helping the series at this point, and with issue 75 ahead and with big changes promised, I hope that some of those changes are to go back to the beginning, as opposed to what just might be the end if they continue as it is.   

26 Comments
26 Comments
Posted by Delphic

From my understanding, Grimm Fairy tales has been this way the last several years. Almost every person you talk to that has actually read the comic sort of sneers at it, and replies with "there are better things out there."

Posted by Ms. Omega

@RazzaTazz:

Grimm isnt that bad read Tarot Witch of The Black Rose not that exploits women.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@Delphic: That really wasn't my point at all.  In fact I thought I made it clear that i thought the first twenty issues or so were quite outstanding
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Posted by Delphic

@RazzaTazz said:

@Delphic: That really wasn't my point at all. In fact I thought I made it clear that i thought the first twenty issues or so were quite outstanding

I sort of realized that a little later on. I was in a bit of a hurry to have Novocaine injected into my face :( However, I have seen similar instances in other comics. I noticed it here yesterday in the current issue of World's Finest in Power Girl's character. Originally sexuality was a joke with Power Girl, and one of the main sources of that joke were this size of her breasts. Now with the new 52 gone is the boob window and the over sized breasts of Power Girl, and it is exchanged for a much much more promiscuous Kara.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Not surprising at all really to be honest. Shallow...but not surprising.

Posted by kfhrfdu_89_76k

That is weird.

I`m gonna post something stupid, because it`s something that I want to note of this. Don`t get upset, please.

I find it pretty obvious, yet clever, that issue 69 should have a cover like that, if it has alot of sex, or something like that.

There. Sorry. I just wanted to get that out of my system.

Posted by SandMan_

...LOL....Sorry Razz.

Posted by Grey56

@Ms. Omega: You do realize that the co-writer/creator of Tarot and it's characters is in fact, a woman, correct ?

Posted by Grey56

@RazzaTazz: Razz ma'am - did you catch my rejoinder from your previous blog on the subject of Fairy Tales done in round table fashion ?

Posted by danhimself

In the main series though, the juvenile attitude of the cover artists in my opinion can't be helping the series at this point

I think you're underestimating the shear amount of pervs who read comic books and that they are probably one of the few reasons that this series still exists

Posted by Grey56

@danhimself: Dan I normally agree with you and your thoughts. Though I find it ironic that a man may be throwing fingers at folks for finding the female form attractive given his profile image - I won't say that there aren't a healthy amount of ooglers out there paying Zenescope's utilities. That said - have you ever checked out their facebook page ? Or their forums ? My wife has an entire collection of the run - and loves them. She's also no stranger to women's lib - and as a contemporary adult fiction author herself - let me tell you, a little t&a on a cover is tame by comparison to what is in the same genre of novels.

Zenescope's target audience, much like contemporary adult (read; romance) is all about the female demographic. Lock, stock - and smoking barrel. I was dumb-founded at first - but then I got beyond my initial puerile thought pattern. There are multiple reasons why Zenescope has continued to thrive as a small press venture. They have been in business for nearly a decade. Not many independent publishers last beyond the drawing board. The real discussion on here should be about answering the question of quality over the last few issues - what Razz originally mused about. Postulating or posturing in a puritanical manner over how much of the female body is splayed over the cover is missing the point.

Posted by danhimself

@Grey56: I never once said that I wasn't a perv....I tried reading Grimm Fairy Tales....they just aren't good....the reason that the quality has dropped is because all the companies focus is exploitation over quality...it's one thing to have characters like Emma Frost running around in skimpy clothing because for the most part it's not the focus of the book...with most of what Zenescope publishes the focus is just plain and simple "BOOBIES" the fact that there's any dialogue at all is amazing....if you're a small time publisher then you should be trying your best to do a book that is truly noteworthy...Image comes to mind....the main reason that they're the number 3 publisher in terms of sales isn't because they plaster women in provocative clothing and poses all over their books...it's because they hire quality writers to write quality books.....how can you claim that Zenescope's target audience is women when their covers look like this

Alice in Wonderland #1 By Stanley Lau
GFT Swimsuit Cover w/o Text
GFT: RtW Trade Paperback Cover B
GFT #50 Clean Cover Variant
Posted by RazzaTazz

@Grey56:

I did indeed, I always read the comments on my blogs :) If I didn't answer it is was probably a combination of me being busy mixed with complicity.

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Posted by Grey56

@danhimself: To quote the Gunny - I admire your honesty. All that said - you are getting in a huff my man and still ignoring the glaring idol; women comprise the larger make up of Zenescope's readership. If it were truly so effusive and slighted towards manipulating mammaries into bottom line budgeting - don't you think it would ostracize its main demographic ? I don't want to beat a dead horse - but you completely glossed over my discussion of the wife's affectation for this whole line of titles.

Lastly though Dan sir - trying to argue with me about how small print books can make quota for production value and then citing Image as the bastion of gender equity....well, do you remember the '90s ? Let's not forget that Todd et al weren't writing books which were featurettes for the ERA - and the art reflected that. I'm sure you don't need me to post those images.

Nudity, sexuality and nuanced entendre aren't avant guarde. I'm pretty damn sure that the first lacquer on rock by Ugga the cromagnon featured bosoms of serious repute for their time. It continued through Classicism, Baroque, Impressionism and beyond. Again - I'll state what I did last time; what's being blogged about here is the quality of the stories inherent to the paper. All that said Dan sir - high five for enjoying a mutual appreciation for the female form.

Posted by Grey56

@RazzaTazz: You used the word complicit to describe your accord with my thoughts. I would give you a wink were we in person. Many thanks, ma'am.

Posted by RazzaTazz

@Grey56: Anytime (I think?)

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Posted by Grey56

@RazzaTazz: No I am very sincere - many thanks ma'am.

Posted by RazzaTazz

@Grey56: I have no doubts as to your sincerity, I am just not sure I want you winking at me :O :P

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Posted by Grey56

@RazzaTazz: Touche. Still - my thanks, and the bat of the eye.

Posted by RazzaTazz

@Grey56: I guess that can be permitted :)

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Posted by danhimself

@Grey56: not getting in a huff at all...but I think that the quality of the books and the blatant sexuality of the books goes hand in hand...I do have to ask and I do understand that your wife reads Zenescope books and likes them but where are you getting the info saying that most of Zenescope's readers are women or that women are their target demo? I mean you can look at every single one of their covers and see that they definitely are not targeting female readers...with covers like that there can be only one demographic that they are targeting and that's men...they may try to say that with a majority of their characters being women that they're targeting women but when nearly all of their books feature women in skimpy clothing and sexual poses and the insides of the books being pretty much the same as the outside then I just don't see a lot of women reading them....and I do believe that goes hand and in hand with the quality of the books...these creators aren't trying to rely on the quality of their writing to sell books like the Big 2 or again I will say Image since they've grown and matured since the days of McFarlane and Liefeld...it seems more like they're relying on sexual exploitation than on anything else

Posted by RazzaTazz

@danhimself: As one of my RT regulars, I respect your opinion as always, but I think the covers are kind of a bait and switch for the male readers. Most women just look past them with a mild shrug.

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Edited by Grey56

@danhimself: Dan sir - I'll again reference you to their Facebook page, their forums (particularly when their girl of the month was really rolling) or simply by asking your local retailer whom patrons the books more so than the other. I hate to say it because I'm not trying to incite someone whom I routinely see eye to eye with - but all of your assumptions are predicated upon one fact; women don't like looking at other women. Again sir - it rolls back to the latter half of what I discussed about when noting the milieus of art form through the ages.

I'm not going to beat anyone on the head with this - but look again to what I said about the content within contemporary adult literature. Have you seen the NYT best seller list lately ? http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/overview.html . That's from this week sir. If you don't know what those top 3 are - I encourage you to find out. Again - anyone getting their knickers in a bunch over some highly sexualized covers (skillfully done at that) might want to venture outside the pew a little. Not saying you haven't Dan sir - just to prevent you from defending something that really is tame by proxy. To argue that only some comics objectify women is absurd - to argue that the ways in which they do it are separate but not equal is just as silly. I just asked the wife out of the books she reads (and there are many, more than myself even) which is her favorite - and hands down it remains Grimm month in and month out. Exploitative, objectifying or not - I promise you sir I give you the truth.

Posted by COBRAMORPH

Grey, you have to realize that Dan is one of those people that will champion & trumpet a cause into the face of the people that should be offended yet really couldnt care less. I find the covers offensive at times because it demeans men into being a bunch of knuckle-dragger ignorant cave men that only care about half-naked women. OMG, boobz, LOL.

You go to cons you see women wearing these costumes. You see them in the artist alleys drawing these. Sure, like everything some do take things a little too far. But, any & all protests & claims of controversy are taken too far as well. That Hereos for Hire tentacle cover? Wasnt that drawn by a woman? But she works in an industry dominated by men, plus she comes from a pervy nation, so she was contaminated. She couldnt possibly actually like what draws.

Dan, there are many straight women who like to see attractive women.

Now, about issue 69. Thats like saying that for issue 666 they dont have the girls be sexy devils. Or #616 they have them cosplaying as marvel characters. I bet zeno wishes they had issue 52 the girls dressed as DC characters. To be honest, that 69 cover is kinda tame. I've seen that pose millions of times, & never once did I think of THE 69. Tink & the blonde, & Sela & Red queen in the swimsuit cover, & Alice & red in the return to wonderland is much more sexual than the 69 cover. Its very tame, & as I've seen it before, now that I know what it is, I am very disappointed, so much so, I'd want my money back if I bought it. 69, pif-pof, more like minus 69.

Posted by RazzaTazz
@COBRAMORPH: Certainly it is conducive to the medium, yet it is disappointing as GFT creates such strong female characters a a rule.  
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Posted by Crimsonlord53

Is it strange that the first thing I thought of was yin and yang looking at that cover?