As reported at Bleeding Cool, Frank Cho has stepped down as variant cover artist on Wonder Woman only 6 issues in to a 24 issue run. The reason? WW writer Greg Rucka didn’t want Cho drawing sexy times covers:
All the problem lies with Greg Rucka.
EVERYONE loves my Wonder Woman covers and wants me to stay. Greg Rucka is the ONLY one who has any problem with covers. Greg Rucka has been trying to alter and censor my artwork since day one.
Greg Rucka thought my Wonder Woman #3 cover was vulgar and showed too much skin, and has been spearheading censorship, which is baffling since my Wonder Woman image is on model and shows the same amount of skin as the interior art, and it’s a VARIANT COVER and he should have no editorial control over it. (But he does. WTF?!!!)
I tried to play nice, not rock the boat and do my best on the covers, but Greg’s weird political agenda against me and my art has made that job impossible. Wonder Woman was the ONLY reason I came over to DC Comics.
To DC’s credit, especially [Art Director] Mark Chiarello, they have been very accommodating. But they are caught between a rock and a hard place.
I just wanted to be left alone and do my Wonder Woman variant covers in peace. But Greg Rucka is in a hostile power trip and causing unnecessary friction over variant covers.
Here’s an example of a pre and post-Rucka cover, and as you can see the difference is small…but significant.
Cho’s statement is pretty petulant even for an artist known for juvenile stunts and constant clowning. He had another slam at Rucka on his FB page before he thought better of it. (I forgot to screen cap or copy it because it’s a little hectic here. No matter.)
UPDATE: Oh someone did.
When I first read this my first thought was “And I would have gotten away from it, too, if it weren’t for those meddling kids!”
Cho’s defenders on FB are invoking censorship, SJWs and “Feminazis” — a sure sign of the high moral ground.
Cho’s Wonder Woman covers are beautiful, no question, and he draws great women, no question. I’ve often thought that the outrage over Cho’s paid commissions was misplaced, as they are not controlled by Marvel or DC and it’s a free country. However, this is a PAID gig, one Rucka and his artists Nicola Scott and Liam Sharp already made a stand over, by demanding to move the book from Eddie Berganza’s office to Mark Doyle’s office. Cho’s covers obviously appeal to one faction of DC – the long standing admirers of mild, well-executed cheesecake as exemplified by DC Bombshell, Ame-Comi Girls and so on. However, Rucka seems to be aiming his Wonder Woman run at a more contemporary and diverse audience, and cheesecake is not necessarily the way to reach that audience.
And yes, yes these were variant covers. They still speak to the main purpose of the book and who it’s aimed at. Picking Cho for a variant run was a bold choice but one that was doomed to backfire almost from the git go.
Also of note, Cho quit, he was NOT fired. This was his choice to stand up for his artistic vision, and I doubt we’ll ever see any shortage of beautifully drawn cheesecake tits and ass shots from him. Those who want that material from him will be able to get it, no problem. And if you have the money you can commission a drawing of Wonder Woman doing whatever you want. He’ll never want for money, as he makes a fortune doing commissions, and I’m sure he’ll get some other, more appropriate work lined up. So please, don’t cry for Cho. Instead of trying to work within the author’s vision of the book, he insisted on doing it his own way, and stormed off when he wasn’t allowed to.
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.