At the risk of seeming somehow racist (you know a statement that starts out like that almost never concludes well): One thing I really noticed when I was drawing Day 44/45 (based off Kenneth Rocafort’s rendition of Power Girl) was just how exceedingly white Power Girl looks.
I know, I know. American artist. Americans comics. “American” character. What did I expect right?
Except that, I don’t know, at the risk of beating a dead horse, or broken recording, or wheeling out, or all those other idioms that seem to excuse ignoring a cause or statement just because it’s been heard before and just because it doesn’t seem to be making much headway in stirring change: Why is there still not nearly enough diversity in mass media?
Also, like, who said blonde hair and blue eyes was the pinnacle of human beauty anyway? (Hence, my little switcheroo on Power Girl’s hair and skin. I think dark hair with blue eyes on tanned skin is way more mysterious/sexy than flaxen locks and pale sun-averse hide anyway :])
I’ve been reading a lot of Fables, which is this impressive comic book series that, yes, follows in that now-overplayed fairy-tale-archetypes-all-live-and-interact-in-the-same-world vein, but has these amazing plots that forgive it this transgression. While most of the characters end up being white, being that so many of them are drawn from the Grimms’ breed of stories, I do notice from time to time how the series tries to draw from other cultures — for example, bringing in Mowgli from Jungle Book, and the Arabian Nights, or often drawing Snow White to look Asian.
(We’ll ignore the fact that Snow White tends to be drawn Asian when it suits that particular chapter to make her look more mysterious, and also that she marries a giant wolf and has, when it comes down to it, rather monstrous half-wolf children… The website where I pulled the image above from, Letters from the Two, probably has a better discussion on the whole Snow-White-as-Asian and diversity-in-Fables conversations.)
I was sort of curious to see exactly what aspects, of facial features or artistic style, could serve to make women (I can’t really draw men very well, hah) look more or less Asian on paper. So started messing around on the same paper that I drew my Irene rendition of Power Girl on and drawing some other faces.
I’m not super happy with how the outlining for Girl 3 (on bottom) turned on, such as with the symmetry of her face and especially the inking on her hair to the right of her face (viewer’s perspective). Compare the drafts leading up to the inking.
It really shows testament to how I often lack confidence in my own sketching, resketching and resketching the same lines over and over again, even when I don’t need to. Sometimes this results in more perfect form, but too often, I lose what was originally already a strong line in its own right. (I compare this to how I’ll snap several photos of the same subject with my camera… only to find that I prefer the very first shot I took far above the others.)
Anyway, going to color up these gals today and post up the results tomorrow. Stay tuned.