A few months ago, Guillem March’s cover for the CATWOMAN #0 issue was met with widespread scorn around the internet, including right here, and, sure enough, when the issue actually appeared, it was a bit different.
What I’m about to say may shock many but…I kind of liked the original one better.It was silly, yes, but it was trying to be different. If you look at the differences in all the Zero issues between solicitation and publication there were lots of changes, but how many boots to the face can you get? At least March was thinking outside the box. Maybe he got a little carried away, but he was being creative. And he took the ridicule with humor in return. He deserves a lot of credit for that.
(And yes, I did find the final panel of CATWOMAN #1 kind of icky, but more as part of the total package of “Let’s just show Batman and Catwomen ‘doing it'” juvenilia.)
When not drawing comics, March is also known as a pin-up artist. He has a book of sexy drawings out from Image, and a new book he’s trying to crowdfund. His art isn’t that sexy to my tastes—it has that kind of hard plastic look so common in the post-Internet porn era and and he’s clearly looked at a little more Milo Manara than is entirely healthy. But he’s also clearly trying to break out of the standard brokeback poses. His anatomy is often daring; the CATWOMAN cover was pushing it a little too far.
On the page for his new project, he writes:
My muses. When I draw for pure fun, almost always I end drawing the female figure. I try them to be suggestive, not in an explosive way, just natural. I´ve tried to work over several beauty standards, a wider range from what I show in my more commercial work. This book doesn´t include any kind of sex between characters or pornography, but those are tricky concepts, so please be aware of what to expect: several female nudity, maybe including a very minority of explicit poses. Obviously this is an adults-only book. All drawings are not painted from life, but based in my own style and capabilities as artist.
If you look at his art blog, it’s obvious March likes drawing women and sexy girls, but there’e some awareness about it.
And he can even draw women standing up:
(Although they’re not exactly standing on the ground in this image, but…you get my point.)
Funnily enough, when I was googling for images, I found this post from 2009 by J. Caleb Mozzocco called…In defense of Guillem March. So the controversy has raged for a while. Catwoman has always been a sexy character, and she shouldn’t always zip up her catsuit all the way to her chin. The first CATWOMAN #0 cover really got swept away by the streams of taste and other external factors, but isn’t being creative something that we should extol? I hope March keeps trying to push the boundaries of his art…there isn’t much room for that in today’s corporate comics.
Some more sketches from his blog and elsewhere:
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.