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Much ado is being of Milo Manara’s artwork for the new Spider-Woman:

milo spider woman

 

Bootylicious isn’t she? Almost like she’s preparing for some doggy-style lovin’. I guess invariably strapless, body-clinging spandex isn’t illogical enough for female superheroes. We’re getting down to full on nudity with just a layer of body-paint separating our crimefighters from the bad guys.

I didn’t know anything about Milo Manara before this, and it turns out he’s an erotic illustrator of some note, in addition to being among the original artists to work on Conan the Barbarian and Red Sonja. After an image search, I can se why his work is so popular–it’s really beautiful and sensual. But when I stumbled upon this image, I was a little unsettled:

milo penthouse

 

It looks like he did the art for the cover of the November 1996 issue of Penthouse Comix. Also quite bootylicious, also like she’s ready for some doggy-style lovin’.

Before I go on, I want to make clear that I’m hardly a prude. I’m aware that there are plenty of artists who have done work in both the erotic world and in children’s books.  And when I was struck by the similarity of the pose to the Spider-Woman art, I couldn’t resist sharing. If I do have a problem it’s that Spider-Woman is intended to be read by people of all ages–who wants to be stuck explaining the doggy position to a nine year-old? Perhaps perched on that big building, she’s enjoying a nice breeze around her privates.

I’m probably more amused by the irony than anything. This whole thing reminds me of a joke on the Simpsons, where a character clearly based on Maurice Sendak explains that he got into writing and illustrating children’s books after Playboy kept rejecting his comics for being too dirty.

Also, I’d love to see Manara’s version of the Kama Sutra, if it exists.

Referenced by The Comics Journal and Splice Today.