Love and War
or: The Battle of the Bulges!
I got a couple of e-mails today noting that Brian Cronin's recent Comic Book Legends Revealed mentioned the great Love and War disaster of '98 (Wonder Woman, Batman, Superman-Year One) and how it all fell apart… over cleavage! Sadly, the story is as true as it is bizarre.
Brian contacted me about this months ago. That it took this long to see print suggests the unbelievable surplus of dirt Brian has on all of us… uh, Brian? How's that beer? Need a pillow? Cash? Cash is always good.
While Brian posts a shining example of what I wouldn't do (and wont post here), he neglected to include any of the examples I had provided on what I was playing with.
Let's note I made no claim to these being ideal or perfect. I was clear that these were the first images of Wonder Woman I'd ever drawn. Of course they needed corrections. Of course they needed revisions. And I offered to do so. I capitulated on the eagle immediately. I was happy to fix the boots. I even offered to raise the hem of her shorts. All I asked was to cover the cleavage both north and south. Let me use a top where she wont poke her eyes out in a fight. Let's leave the anal floss to the whores on 2nd avenue.
DC was adamant and crystal clear. Boobage and buttocks was all the character had to offer. If she wasn't spilling out both top and bottom at all times, the brand would be irrevocably damaged.
If there's one thing I've learned in life and comics it's to pick your battles and I'd been through this before with nearly every page of the Golden Age. Every time I treated a character with dignity or respect, some group editor would go postal on Archie Goodwin. Hawkman can't have the hawk cowl, Green Lantern can't use his real oath… I'd point to the page in "The Greatest Golden Age Stories Ever Told" (That DC itself had provided as my guide) to show they were wrong.
They'd cry "Ret-Con."
I'd retort, "Not for another 40 years. This is 1948 and you haven't been born yet. Shut up!"
Eventually, Archie brought out the hammer, "It's Elsewhere! Leave the kid alone!" And that put an end to that. Nobody screwed with Archie.
Unfortunately, the Archie's of this world aren't few and far between. Archie was the one-and-only and Archie was gone :( Knowing in advance that neither Diana or I (let alone women, history, comics or good taste) would find any allies made walking away both easy and mandatory.
Welcome to comics.