Poses: Round Two
We’re halfway through the month, and the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation fundraiser has brought in more than $7000 in donations. Not to mention sparking more good conversation about sexism in the way women are portrayed and objectified. Thank you all so much.
As before, if any of the pics below bleed off the screen, clicking it should open a new, easier-to-see copy.
This trio of covers included two comic books, because apparently my readers are cruel and sadistic people. As bad as the poses on some covers can be, comics tend to take it even further.
I started with Catwoman Vol. 1: The Game (The New 52).
This was more challenging than I expected, mostly I couldn’t hold the pose for very long without all the blood rushing to my head. Also, the dice kept rolling off of me. (When I was changing outfits afterward, a six-sider fell out of my shirt.) And there’s no way I was going to match the angle of her neck and head without breaking a few things.
On the other hand, I kind of like that outfit on me. There’s kind of a Dread Pirate Roberts vibe there. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.
Next up was Fear Itself: The Fearless, Volume 1 #12. Armor like this is absurd in so many ways, and if you don’t understand why, you must immediately go to Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor.
The closest thing I could find to a skintight outfit was my old Star Trek uniform that I happened to have lying around. I was thinking it would–
Yes, I own a Star Trek uniform. I’m a geek. Did anyone not already know this?
Anyway, we tried a few pictures, and my wife said it just wasn’t working without breasts. So she grabbed something from her own wardrobe, I stuffed two play balls down there, and we tried again. The result was … odd. But probably the closest I was going to get to this pose without massive Photoshop abuse.
I saved the worst for last. You see, I was foolish enough to let Sarah from Smart Bitches, Trashy Books choose a pose. NEVER AGAIN, SARAH! She emailed back to suggest Johanna Lindsey’s Man of my Dreams. Not the cover itself, which is rather tame. Oh, no. She wanted me to do the inner artwork.
After several minutes of tearful, deranged giggling, I pulled myself together and gave it my best shot. Some of you will be happy to know that this one features the return of the giant stuffed bear. Because the bear isn’t actually mine, I thought it best to wear shorts for this one. Just because, you know, I’ve traumatized my kids enough, and I didn’t want them thinking of … that … every time they saw the bear.
I’m not even going to include this one in the blog. If you want to see me and the bear, each of us attempting both parts of this image, click here.
Much as I talked about in a previous blog post, while the man here is certainly sexualized, he’s also in the dominant, powerful, and significantly less painful position.
There are more poses to come, including my rematch with John Scalzi and the epic group pose at ConFusion, with Pat Rothfuss, Charlie Stross, John Scalzi, Mary Robinette Kowal, and I.
Hm. Tell you what – when the fundraiser hits $7500, I’ll tell you what cover we’re going to do 🙂
Click. Donate. Make the world better. Guarantee my chiropractor’s job security. And my thanks again to everyone who’s donated and spread the word.
December 17, 2012 @ 9:49 am
On Saturday, when I was browsing at Mysterious Galaxy, I had to take a quick look at your covers to make sure that none of them were pose-worthy.
December 17, 2012 @ 9:56 am
3rd Pose. Chocolate Milk. Nose. Ow.
Jim C. Hines
December 17, 2012 @ 9:57 am
With Codex Born, I specifically told my editor I couldn’t have a spinebender cover because the entire internet would immediately mock it 🙂
Susan de Guardiola
December 17, 2012 @ 9:58 am
I think you’re slacking off a little on the second “Bear of My Dreams” pose. You’ve missed the expression of, um, ecstasy IF YOU GET WHAT I MEAN, presumably caused either by the excessively buff guy’s hands on her upper arms or, more likely, what her left hand is doing.
December 17, 2012 @ 10:03 am
Oh my God. That third pose…
Okay, all these pictures got me out of my bad mood just in time for work.
December 17, 2012 @ 10:09 am
LOL! You know what is the giveaway in the first pose of how hard that one is in reality? The way your top foot is arched with the strain. No way anyone’s doing that with the foot so casual and relaxed.
The second cover is ridiculous on so many levels but the fact that you came nowhere close to the angle of hip/waist she’s got going on isn’t because you’re a man and built differently, it because no one with a SPINE could do that.
Jim C. Hines
December 17, 2012 @ 10:18 am
I was going more for an expression of WTF at that point 🙂
December 17, 2012 @ 10:38 am
I’m supremely curious, do cover artists/comic artists hail from some alternate dimension where spines are optional body parts? I thought to draw human people you had to have a basic understanding of how the body moves/works/occupies space.
Oh and that third pose… I thought the upper arms was where god put the ladie’s happy spot. I mean, most romance covers show some form of orgasm based on a firm bicep grip. Or am I the one who came from a different dimension?
December 17, 2012 @ 11:03 am
Yeah, I was going to say the same thing. Hers was, “oh I surrender to you and your manly thighs,” and you’re all, “Mr. Bear, what are you DOING?”
Thanks, Jim, I needed that laugh today.
December 17, 2012 @ 11:05 am
The second one just baffles me. Starting with her impossibly small, yet really well-defined, waist. If she takes the armor off, does she collapse at the mid-point? The longer I look at it, the more anatomically impossible it seems. And then I look at where her legs and arms are and I start thinking insect… sigh. At least she’s wearing armor. When I was a kid, she would have been wearing long hair, a few strategically placed gems and not much else. Still a lot of room for improvement though.
December 17, 2012 @ 11:44 am
My thoughts precisely. And I think were I in the woman’s position, I’d be thinking “What the heck are you doing” even if the man behind me was my lover!
December 17, 2012 @ 11:51 am
Sure you could do that pose if you had a few more vertebrae in your lower back. A human spine though, no.
December 17, 2012 @ 11:51 am
If it’s any consolation in the case of Boobs and Butt vs. Fear Itself, your breasts look about as real as hers do.
Susan de Guardiola
December 17, 2012 @ 1:06 pm
I assumed he was holding her in place so she didn’t fall off the wall or whatever she’s perched on (the way her leg is hanging down, she has to be perched on something). She’s closed her eyes so she can ignore the total ludicrousness of the overall setup and go for it using one hand and her imagination.
This makes perfect sense to me in the context of reading a romance novel. 🙂
December 17, 2012 @ 1:15 pm
She does have long hair. See the braids. If those were undone, her hair would hang to her knees. I’m certain it doesn’t impede her fighting skills at all. That shape is not possible naturally for a human woman.
December 17, 2012 @ 1:24 pm
I’m a geek. Did anyone not already know this?
I think your substituting polyhedral dice for diamonds in that Catwoman pose should assuage any lingering doubts.
December 17, 2012 @ 1:29 pm
I laughed uproariously at the second one–man, those mini soccer balls are a nice touch. I’m continually dismayed, disturbed, and sometimes downright frightened by the way women’s breasts are represented in comics/western animation/anime. It’s like they’re distinct, autonomous, semi-sentient, improbably large spherical/oblong masses that are affixed to a woman’s chest by the most unholy of magics. Not to mention the dismaying, disturbing, and sometimes downright frightening clothing that’s meant to (barely) contain them. YIKES.
Thank you for these. They’re a perfect blend of humor and insightful commentary, and for a good cause to boot!
December 17, 2012 @ 1:53 pm
I clicked the link. I was then glad no one else was around, because the laughter that waned to deranged giggling would have drawn a crowd. I just kept seeing the caption: “Mr. Snuggles, no!”
December 17, 2012 @ 2:37 pm
You do have some sort of Dread Pirate Roberts quality going on there. I’m surprised that all the blood rushed to your head since you weren’t actually upside down. I sit like that often and I have no problems, even with my head hanging straight down. Don’t ask me why I sit like that, I don’t really know and all my family thinks I’m weird. Maybe because I do it so often my body is used to it and my blood goes where it’s supposed to?
and btw, this all seriously cool.
December 17, 2012 @ 3:25 pm
You’re worried about your spine for the first pics but really, shouldn’t we be freaking out about the obvious spine-boinking going on in the last? I mean, I’ve had an epidural and that was bad enough. I don’t want anybody’s penis in my spine.
Then again, she does seem to enjoy being spine-copulated. Maybe she’s an alien. “Mmmm, honey, I love when you stimulate my thoracic region. It really is the way to my heart. Literally.”
December 17, 2012 @ 4:41 pm
Is anyone else just a bit disappointed you didn’t do both poses in the last cover — at the same time? This is what Photoshop was made for!
December 17, 2012 @ 5:08 pm
If the man behind me were my lover, I’d be saying “OUCH! My HAIR!” and the tension in my face and body would be from pain, not ecstasy. That looks like a very . . . uncomfortable . . . situation.
December 17, 2012 @ 5:21 pm
And photoshop delivers (albeit rushed/poorly):
December 17, 2012 @ 5:35 pm
Just one Q… is that pink thing next to catwoman supposed to be her bra? If so, how does she get her tatas into it? That wouldn’t cover ONE of her boobs, much less her entire rack.
December 17, 2012 @ 5:41 pm
You made me wonder…especially being transparent. Like, what, areola contacts? Realized: no, goggles.
December 17, 2012 @ 5:48 pm
December 17, 2012 @ 7:00 pm
I suspect part of the point is that with these stupid poses, bras and goggles are interchangeable.
Up next: pasties and contact lenses.
December 17, 2012 @ 7:35 pm
Oh man. That’s epic. I almost fell off my chair (I should have listened to all those teachers who told me not to lean them back on two legs).
December 17, 2012 @ 7:48 pm
In the Catwoman cover, the first thing I noticed was the “alignment” of her right leg. At her hip joint, her femur is pointing a tiny bit towards her other leg. At her knee, it looks like it’s angled about 45 degrees. Her shin is pointing entirely at her left leg. But her heel is resting flat on the wall, so her foot is now pointing more or less straight up.
Between her shin and her heel, there’s a 90-degree rotation. O.o
That might be possible with the foot flexed (and a lot of loose ligaments), but to pull that off with the foot extended would require an extreme injury.
I’ve been enjoying this project a lot, but I do hope you’ll try to “pose safe”! It’s all fun and games until someone dislocates a knee….
Christine A. Hook
December 17, 2012 @ 8:01 pm
My friend turned me onto your site, and I’m so glad she did! I love the first pose…oh, my spine! The second, was…disturbing, and hilarious. And the third was…oh, my eyes! MY EYES!!! I love your cause, and really needed a laugh today. Thank you!
December 17, 2012 @ 9:00 pm
I burst out laughing at Bear of my Dreams.
I assure you, it was out of pure ridiculousness, not any quandry regarding men who shave any part of their bodies.
December 17, 2012 @ 9:32 pm
Oh my, it used to be on romance inset art like that one that the guy would be wearing pats. I guess that’s optional now. What’s really funny is that his left leg/knee is all the way over on the other side of her, but his body is twisted towards the right, which would normally put his left leg at her back. For his left leg to be clear on the other side, he has to be squatting his legs, twisting his hip back and sticking out the leg yoga stretch style in an incredibly awkward position that would imply he’s holding her to keep from pitching over. I don’t think it’s actually anatomically possible unless he has a left hip that sticks out like a broomstick. I’m not sure why they needed to show that knee — to prove he has two legs?
The Catwoman one does indeed have a problem in that the right leg has been turned at an impossible angle re the knee in order to show the curve of the butt. If they’d altered the angle of the right foot it might have worked but since it was apparently important to show her toenail polish, they didn’t. And the Fearless one just makes me remember the conversations on Scalzi’s blog about martial arts poses and laugh my head off. There was no way anyone could replicate that pose, but you did a wonderful job getting close. But I think the favorite so far has to be you as the romance heroine and looking utterly terrified of the teddy bear. Light blue is totally your color. Thank you for doing this.
December 17, 2012 @ 9:42 pm
There’s nothing quite like reading these posts, and seeing these photos ….. while working at the library this evening on the public desk. I know I shouldn’t, but I just can’t help myself. Totally worth the weird looks from patrons as I sit here trying not to laugh…
December 17, 2012 @ 10:10 pm
You and that bear. Could not stop laughing. 😀
Jim C. Hines
December 18, 2012 @ 7:32 am
We had a similar discussion at the house. Definitely goggles, though.
Jim C. Hines
December 18, 2012 @ 7:34 am
Oh dear… 🙂
Susan de Guardiola
December 18, 2012 @ 8:43 am
Goggles! I couldn’t figure it out. I was wondering how she got her bra off while still fully dressed.
December 18, 2012 @ 9:46 am
Your poses have been the source of much hilarity in our household. Over breakfast this morning when I mentioned that I had neglected thus far to contribute to the Aicardi Syndrome Foundation, my daughter insisted that I do so today. “We’ve had a lot of laughs from that, Mom,” she said. “Especially from that cute site.” Somehow I don’t think she was referring to Bear of My Dreams… 🙂
At any rate, a donation has now been made, along with our heartfelt thanks for being the kind of person who would do this. In my daughter’s words, you totally rock!
cheers and best wishes to you and yours,
December 18, 2012 @ 1:35 pm
> I don’t want anybody’s penis in my spine.
Hmm. I wonder if that’s in the director’s cut of Existenz?
December 18, 2012 @ 5:25 pm
That would be “wearing pants” I meant, not pats. Although you could wear pats too I guess.
December 18, 2012 @ 5:40 pm
For pose one, how easy was it for you to stay on the couch? I’ve seen the Catwoman cover and I always wondered how see wasn’t just slipping off the side of the building in that pose.
Jim C. Hines
December 18, 2012 @ 7:29 pm
Thank you! And please thank your daughter for me as well 😉
Jim C. Hines
December 18, 2012 @ 7:31 pm
Staying on the couch wasn’t too difficult. Originally we did it with a little stool and pillow to support my head, but that wasn’t working at all. But I think enough of my weight was on the couch, and the couch sags enough, that I wasn’t slipping off.
That said, my center of gravity is rather different than Catwoman’s would be in that illustration…
December 18, 2012 @ 8:09 pm
Oh. My. GAAAHD.
Thank you thank you thank you!
December 18, 2012 @ 8:26 pm
Thank you so much, my sibs and I were just talking about this at lunch and we sent our brother here as well! Great job and for a great cause!
December 18, 2012 @ 8:46 pm
for once, i defend something. *I* have that much hair. it hangs to my knees, it’s over 5 feet long.
ponytail or braids, so long as it’s either, no, it does NOT get in the way of fighting.
unless someone’s weird enough to try and grab it. which is harder than you’d think, in actual combat situations, and doesn’t cause near the problem people assume [sorry, you’ve grabbed the end of my hair? now you’ve anchored yourself to me…]
the rest is insane. but the hair isn’t as weird as people’d think.
Susan de Guardiola
December 20, 2012 @ 12:49 am
Congratulations, Jim, you’ve made the Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/booksblog/2012/dec/19/jim-hines-fantasy-book-covers
Jim C. Hines
December 20, 2012 @ 7:26 am
Woo hoo! 🙂
January 18, 2013 @ 11:34 pm
A friend sent me a link to a recent article on your posts and poses. Because I write both romance and fantasy, I have been recently pondering why it is considered sexist (and angers women) when women in fantasy and sci-fi are portrayed in sexual poses in fantasy while holding a sword or gun, but women readers buy the books when they are sold in the romance section. Sure, there might be a semi-naked man on the cover as well, but still . . . it raises questions. I do appreciate the Johanna Lindsey cover for this very reason.