Did we boob?
Has anyone ever accused you of creating a soft porn magazine? Or at least a publication that peddles other people’s sexual fantasies? Before you get angry, that isn’t my view. I love the magazine and hadn’t considered this angle. But a friend picked up issue 135 and made these suggestions. I could see his point. It was an anatomy special, so perhaps it’s an unfair example, but some might interpret the image on page 55 as an underage lesbian scene. There are plenty of mammary glands on display elsewhere and even some male genitalia. But that’s defendable because it’s an anatomy issue.
However, the image on page 11 looks to me like a porn star pose. Huge bosoms, pushed towards the viewer. Is it not playing on our desires in a manipulative way? I’m just curious about your take on this issue. Katy Skelton, via email Beren replies I’m not angry, Katy! But you raise some interesting points. I guess firstly, as we’re a magazine about fantasy art, we wouldn’t want to limit anyone’s imagination. Not every single person will like where someone else’s mind has gone when they’re being creative, but if it’s helped to produce valid, high-quality and compelling art, then it’s usually a good thing. If art was truly disturbing, but high quality, would he carry it? Well, no. So there is a line somewhere, but I don’t think either of the images in question have crossed it.
The image on page 11 is painted by a female artist, who’s created some powerful – and yes, sexualised – women. To me they celebrate the female form, while the other image has to be seen in the context of its genre, anime. To me art should challenge established ideas at times and you could say both the cases you highlight do that. What do other readers think? I don’t think topic should ever be ignored or considered finished with, so I’m really interested in getting as many points of view as possible…