“Goodbye, reserve JLA membership”.
Birds of Prey #2, by Gail Simone and Ed Benes.
Again, Ed Benes knows what to bring to a panel. The costume here is a little unfortunate, but especially in context, you FEEL the impact. I cannot tell you how many times I have asked for a fight to ‘look like it HURTS,’ and the artist simply doesn’t bring that kind of kapow.
I really do love working with Ed. I always know I have a wide, wide range of emotions I can ask for and he will always nail them.
Now if I can get the butt shots down to a manageable level! ;)
I remember in one of the issues you two did in your first BoP run Black Canary and Cheshire fought in a giant hotel. During the fight, Cheshire got knocked out of her window and into a pool. And then I remember that Cheshire continued to fight despite the fact that she was wearing nothing but a soaked white negligee. I had a hard time reading that fight because it was so ridiculously over-the-top. I just couldn’t stop laughing. I love Benes, too. But did it ever get to a point where you had to pull him aside and say, “Benes, no, just…no…”?
I have to take the blame for that one, I thought it would be funny to subvert that notion, a woman in her lingerie fighting another in a pool. The idea was to make the scene COMPLETELY over the top and funny, as punctuated by the young couple watching the scene. And it’s brutal enough to have a bit of an edge, too.
There are three scenes that Ed gets blamed for that were actually my idea. That one, a panel in the first issue we did that has Black Canary using her legs to hold a businessman against a car door (the theme of that issue was legs, both Oracle’s and Black Canary’s, and the figurative power they carried in them)…I don’t regret either of those, they work well, and while they skirt the line of sexy and trashy, I don’t think they really cross it except in a humorous way.
But the third, I do regret…I asked for Ed to ‘go wild’ on a Penguin sex dream with the Birds, and the idea was really funny as scripted, but drawn, it was hard to distinguish as satire, it just looked like pandering. And that was actually toned down! The first version was naughty enough that we couldn’t publish it.
But in all three cases, they were my idea, so I take the blame.
What bugs me sometimes is when that stuff shows up at inappropriate times, and Ed really is not the worst offender at ALL. I think it’s okay during a fight or an action scene to ramp up the sex a little bit, I do it with all my characters in one way or another. But during a serious dramatic moment, it’s distracting. Ed takes those scenes seriously, and I love him for that.
But with artists who draw extremely sexual characters, sometimes you get a butt shot at the wrong time, and it’s not just men, some of the worst offenders I’ve worked with were female artists.