Women Characters Redesigned by Women SFF Artists
As I said, I’m going to be discussing this at length in my next post. For now, I’m going to give you a flood of examples of women characters in fantasy art — many infamous for being depictions unwelcoming to women — that have been redesigned by the professional artists in the Women in Fantasy Illustration group. Each woman’s point of view is different, and the redesigns reveal what is most important to that woman, whether it’s realistic body armor, or it’s making sure the woman has a narrative and agency of her own. There is no one right way to depict a woman character, and it is not as simple as "cover her up more" because, as you'll see, some of these redesigns are sexier than the original. And I have found through my own work that you CAN absolutely have a single depiction of a character that is sexy and empowering to all genders. As I said, more on that next post.[more inside]
Before Frank Frazetta, Roy Krenkel, and Michael Whelan, J. Allen St. John brought to life the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs and defined the images of Tarzan and Barsoom. St. John also illustrated a wide variety of books and magazines and produced some pulp masterpieces.
Fashion comes and goes, but art that might have come from the side of a van is forever. The cover artists from Dragon magazine, a staple of my pimply years, all have websites now, from Keith Parkinson to the ghastly Clyde Caldwell to Larry Elmore (who is putting his old Dragon comic, SnarfQuest, online). The grand master of bodacious barbarian babe art, Frank Franzetta, has a site, too. Relive your adolescence through gleaming swords, vanquished dragons, and hyperdefined musculature! (Warning: Not all pictures are work-safe.)