Recently, popular Marvel artist J. Scott Campbell found himself in hot water with a lot of Iron Man fans for his depiction of Riri Williams, who is the new face of the series, after Twitter user @ questioned how she was drawn. Riri was originally drawn with dark brown skin, yet William chose to draw her significantly lighter and with a much more sinewy, curvy body.
While Campbell became defensive and continued to miss the point, insisting that his art was almost the same as the original, the issue in comic book culture is bigger than him. Marvel, in a bold move, decided to pull Campbell’s cover as a retail exclusive, but this isn’t the first time the representation of a comic book character started a firestorm. Often, young girls in comics are extremely over-sexualized and drawn with bodies most grown women don’t even have. This prompted fans to start using the hashtag #TeensThatLookLikeTeens, started by user @, to show that there are many artists who know how to not over-sexualize girls in their depictions, which will hopefully encourage artists to stop drawing girls as 25-year olds. See some of the awesome illustrations below:
— jordan renee (@JordanSaidSo) October 19, 2016
— anthonyharris (@anthonyharris) October 19, 2016
— Numbuh 4’s Dad @ INGRAM (@truebuggy) October 19, 2016
— Meredith McClaren (@IniquitousFish) October 19, 2016
— Adam Masterman (@Adam_Masterman) October 20, 2016
#inktober #day19 #Flight *phew* The Debate’s done & my twitter comics feed was nuts. Riri didn’t look like a 15 yr old, or the kid she was based on. Well… there was a lot of problematic bs going on, so I decided to take my hand at it. #Riri #Marvel #IronMan #Ironheart #blackgirlmagic #blackhair #blackgirlnerds #girlsinstem #blackgirl #comics #superhero #inktober2016 #scifi #tech #teensthatlookliketeens
Serena and Riri, talking about 15 year old girl stuff. #TeensThatLookLikeTeens #ririwilliams #sailormoon On facebook: https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=981995558572662&substory_index=0&id=188368581268701 On tumblr: http://skimlines.tumblr.com/post/152052294456/skimcasual-serena-and-riri-talking-about-15
You can check out more of the art on Twitter and Instagram. Hopefully, this is a step in the right direction for children to be drawn as children instead of adults. Also, kudos to Marvel for pulling Campbell’s cover.