And down the rabbit hole we go…artist Mimi Yoon has defended her “grown up Powerpuff Girls” cover for the comic that was withdrawn after some complaints online. The cover—showing adult versions of the girls drawn in a very tame version of a more fetishy, girlie style that Yoon often uses—was criticized for being an inappropriate for the cover of a kids comic—Yoon posted a public piece on Facebook about the matter:
i am quite overwhelmed but will try to reply all of the supportive messages as soon as i can. and i will continue to create art embracing the beauty of women and femininity. i find all of the accusations for my Powerpuff Girls image sexualizing minors not only ridiculous but also embarrassing (for the accusers) and disturbing especially since it’s started by a person of such value as seen in the pictures below. a person argued that i’ve gained popularity from the situation, but I’VE NEVER ASKED FOR ANY OF THIS, ESPECIALLY IN THIS MANNER. and i’m curious to know why are all the arguments about trying to keep the image away from the girls? what about the boys?
The “person of such value” is retailer Dennis Barger, who is seen in some pretty well known photos hanging out with strippers after a day at the Detroit Fanfare.
While I can understand Yoon’s dismay—and as she points out the image has been seen in more places than it ever would have had the controversy not arisen—it doesn’t really change anything I said in my last post. And Yoon herself doesn’t seem to be to clear on marketing: PPG is “for girls,” not “for boys.” I mean I guess if you slapped a sexy cover on it it would be more for boys, since that is the unievrsla signal for “Boys welcome here”, but that would be…unfortunate.
I think there’s a happy ending to this—in a tweet IDW eic Chris Ryall indicated that they’ve hired Yoon for another cover, and I’m sure there are a ton of books at IDW that would be appropriate for her attractive, but more pin-up focused art.
Then there’s the matter of Dennis Barger and the strippers. I’m not a big fan of going to strip clubs after a hard day at the convention, but to be fair, just because he goes to strip clubs, doesn’t mean he can’t be concerned about off-target art on the cover of a children’s comic. The two things are actually not related. Oh these kerfuffles, they are getting more and more complicated with every passing day.
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.