Gene Ha Weighs In On The Frank Cho Covers

Earlier this week we took a moment to highlight a comment about the on going debate in the comic book industry and on the internet about how women are depicted and or drawn in comic books. Here is that article:

Bill Sienkiewicz Brings A Level Head To A Comic Book Controversy

This sparked hundreds of conversation threads on Facebook, and serval members of the comic book industry weighed in on these comment threads or started their own.

Gene Ha, a Korean-American comic book artist and a four-time Eisner winner had this to say about the Frank Cho sketch covers and the continuing debate:

My two cents on the Frank Cho sketch covers. I’m a gorram social justice warrior. A bleeding heart liberal. I am proudly feminist. And I love Frank’s work. You don’t have to agree.

First, let’s leave room for everyone to have their own art. I thought it was stupid when Marvel announced a girl friendly new Spider-Woman run, and then stuck a Manara cover in press releases. This isn’t that: it was single sketches by an artist for his fans. Let young female readers have a Batgirl and Spider-Woman they (and I) can believe in, and let Cho fans (incl. me) enjoy his work too in a different space. I WANT COMICS TO BE BIG ENOUGH FOR ALL OF US. Even stuff I hate.

Cho is not mainly a superhero artist. Frank does real burlesque, which doesn’t mean stripping. It’s the same tradition as cabaret and commedia dell’arte: a theatrical mocking of the audience and our society. Outrage to provoke laughter. Playing with our hopes and fears to make us laugh at ourselves. The video at the link is REAL burlesque [NSFW if your bosses are @$$‪#‎oles‬, safe otherwise].

His work is also sexual. He draws powerful women and men, often in playful, “Oh, my towel is too small, whatever shall I do?” situations. I don’t get turned on by his work but I do think it’s hilarious, beautifully drawn and psychologically rich. His women have agency, even those who aren’t Agents of SHIELD. Again, you don’t have to agree with me but please, everyone, remember that comics is big enough to contain all of our dreams and visions.

These comments where originally post on Gene Ha’s Facebook wall and have been used with his permission.

Matthew Sardo
Matthew Sardo
As the founder of Monkeys Fighting Robots, I'm currently training for my next job as an astronaut cowboy. Reformed hockey goon, comic book store owner, video store clerk, an extra in 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon,' 'Welcome Back Freshman,' and for one special day, I was a Ghostbuster.