During our attempts at getting Birth of Venus picked up by a publisher at the San Diego Comic Con, we were told by a nameless D-bag that our comic would NEVER sell because it simply wasn’t sexy enough. Our initial cover (see below) brought Mara’s (upcoming) baby bump front and center and, as Mr. D-Bag explained, this was no good because nobody is going to want a piece of that.
He then explained how his tactic has brought him great success on his book (which, to keep him anonymous, we will just call) “Team Awesome”, which was basically a Charlie’s Angels/Fox Force Five/Danger Girl rip-off. The secret, he explained, was all subliminal as the title itself was suggesting some good ‘ol T & A. (T = Team, A = Awesome. Get it?)
After this delightful conversation with Mr. D-Bag, we took another look at our comic through his (and several different publisher’s) eyes and decided to make some alterations to our first issue. We realized that the cover DID need to go, but not because it wasn’t hot enough, just perhaps not as accessible to a broader range of readers.
Another personal reaction I had to this conversation was to try and defy that sentiment that a pregnant woman can’t be sexy. I for one have seen the glow of an expectant mother and there is nothing quite so beautiful, for several different reasons. My goal was to make Mara as “conservatively sexy” as possible throughout the entirety of our story without getting into overt T & A territory. What that means is that I don’t mind showing a flash of panties or exposed cleavage, but only when fitting to the moment within the story. (I would say “only when necessary” but when is a peak at a gal’s derriere TRULY needed for story?) The style of cheesecake art, or Good Girl Art, that I find most appealing are when the outfits and setting themselves don’t necessarily play as sexy, but the female depicted (usually by accidental circumstances) flashes more than she ever intended to. Hopefully you will find my conservative sexiness in BoV most like that, playing it for laughs (like in Panel 4 here) but also showing the reality of that situation carried to it’s logical conclusion…
Or perhaps I’m just as delusional as Mr. D-Bag. You decide.