Zenescope – Sweater Edition Part 2

Nataliya the Witch (I think)

“I think” because she looks completely different every time she’s drawn. Doing a quick Google search, I found the following:

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Cue the confused Funky Kong noises.

Based on the crown and sometimes the nose ring, let’s assume this is her. So, her backstory is that she’s a Romani witch, I guess. The comic synopsis blurb on the Zenescope website uses a different word, ~ guess which one it is. ~ 🤢 I did not know about this “backstory” when I was doing the redesign, which means it doesn’t exist anymore. Yay!

My version is a smarmy doesn’t-talk-much-unless-it’s-to-insult-you gal.

She’s got like 18 accents she switches between depending on who she’s talking to. Whenever someone asks her where she’s from (probably cause of an accent), she gives a different answer. Her motivation is to get out from her service to the Tarot, and her relationship with them has this undercurrent of bare minimum tolerance. She doesn’t even like the main character dude, but she helps him undermine the Tarot for her own reasons. She’s probably a lesbian, and her character arc involves her learning to work together with others and maybe warming to the idea of coffee dates.

Now for the actual design. I did try to fix her body as much as I could in the time we had. I decided to give her a more edgy sweater to match the face changes I did, because I just couldn’t stand that makeup and TEENY NOSE. What is this, a nose for ants?? I ended up giving her some whiskers, cause sometimes a girl has a ‘stache (I personally remove mine), and it just looked nice with her face shape.

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I also included the bra straps since the sweater wouldn’t be able to cover them, and you don’t want to chafe your nips. If this fantasy universe can have whatever the hell is the original version, it can have bras.

I really do like this bad girl look I ended up giving her, considering I have not even an iota of a clue, of what the original design was supposed to convey (besides maybe an Elektra ripoff, in the comic itself). I think Ozzie suggested the final touch of the middle finger, aimed squarely at Zenescope. 😏

-Icy

Zenescope – Sweater Edition Part 1

Right around Halloween last year we decided to fix up some poor Zenescope comic heroines with Autumn-appropriate sweaters, similarly as we did with Applibot ladies before

Wicked Witch of the West 

In case this wasn’t clear from this old bingo, we hate what Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales franchise did to Oz characters, especially the Wicked Witch of the West. Attempts at reinventing this villainess since the 1939 movie were hit and miss (mostly miss), but this one is easily the laziest and most insulting one. 

What the hell was the thought process behind the outfit is beyond human or Munchkin comprehension. I refuse to believe that evil magic is what keeps this thing on her body. It’s just too nonsensical.
Thankfully, with the sweater theme I didn’t have to reinvent the costume from scratch, just throw something comfy on top. I went with a loose turtleneck tunic, matching in color the inside of her cape and her hat’s detailing. I didn’t fix anything about her pose, but she did get pants/tights that match her gloves.

Thing I noticed rather soon was that after covering all the gratuitous flesh she became a blob in various shapes of purple, especially since her hair blended with the hat and cape. I figured that if her skin isn’t supposed to be green, then at least her hair can be, both for contrast and to match the overall image’s composition better. 

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I didn’t remember it while editing, but other images of the Witch we had on the blog actually did sport very dark green hair, along with sickly pale greyish skin. Whoever changed the color scheme for that particular cover made a mistake and stripped the character of the last bit of distinctness. 

Very casual redesign overall, and while much less detailed than the rest of the image, I’m rather happy with the improved color scheme and the shading I did to match the cape. Hope you like it too.

~Ozzie 

bikiniarmorbattledamage:

As a follow up to HBomber’s excellent video discussing how popular media (especially games) doesn’t objectify men I thought it was worth pointing out that the double standard is especially obvious if one looks at novelty superhero costumes (using the above examples or any of those featured at @fucknosexistcostumes)

Male costumes commonly come with the padding to simulate the muscular physiques, because they’re to make the “every man” feel like a superhero without having to work out or diet.

Female costumes commonly are sized with the assumption the wearer will fit within conventional beauty standards commonly assigned to superheroes.  The “every woman” is expected to diet and exercise to look like a drawing in a comic book.

On top of that: women who don’t fit within the very narrow, artificial beauty standards will find that the family pets get better costume options than they do.

It’s really amazing how much of reality you have to willfully disregard to try to support the “men are sexually objectified too!” argument.

– wincenworks

Halloween throwback time! Reminder that to wear a mass-produced superhero novelty costume, ladies need to come in conventionally sexy size and shape (and usually ready to show more skin), while guys get the outfit to compensate their everyman figure with foam abs. 

~Ozzie 

I suppose I should be grateful that the girl costumes don’t compensate with foam boobs and butts, cause we all know that’s the Woman Power Fantasy: being slim thicc. 😬

-Icy

See also: Our other post about Halloween superhero costumes, especially how womens’ and girls’ versions are always sexified or feminized beyond recognition of what the original looked like! 

Fixing Some Grim Designs 😬, Part 2

Thanks to my forgetfulness, Throwback Thursday and Wednesday redesign switched places this week. Hope you don’t mind! 

It’s the return of the bikini armor edition of Zenescope’s Baba Yaga! And she still looks like a rando shmexy lady, with no indication of being an old powerful hag from Slavic fairy tales. Because who needs knowing who a character is just from looking at her appearance? Certainly not the Grimm Fairy Tales porn comics! 🙃 

It wasn’t a very inspired stream for me, so I basically worked from a Zenescope artist’s default mindset. The difference is, my priority wasn’t “MOAR BEWB”.

Most major edit was sharperning her facial features, so that she looks like an old lady we expect Baba Yaga to be. She doesn’t need to be “sexy” to disguise her dangerous nature – looking like a grandma already did that! Also gave her greying eyebrows and got rid of those random golden rectangles (warpaint?) on her cheeks which, because of outlines, looked like adhesive bandages and added nothing to the design.

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I’m not as happy with her new, older face as I am with Arhian, but anything’s preferable to Generic Hot Lady Face #9575.

Another obvious fix was turning this bodypaint boobplate into something resembling a breastplate. Not my best edit, and I left the center of the chest kinda barren, but I did extend her pseudo-gorget to somewhat normal size for this armor piece. Now she can’t die of stabbing in the cleavage!

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The lesser edits, after those, were thickening of her noodly arms and putting a red dress under her plate armor pieces. Not exactly realistic or practical padding, but still preferable to gratuitous skin display. 

Definitely among my worse redesigns, but I hope you like it in comparison to the original anyway! 

~Ozzie

Fixing Some Grim Designs 😬, Part 1

Well, it was inevitable that we’d tackle Zenescope in a livestream, considering the kinds of terrifying art that they pump out. And I’m not even talking about their Terror comics.

I decided to fix this cover from Grimm Fairy Tales, since I promised to y’all that I was going to redraw this gal. And I discovered what her name is! It’s Skye, and this is her… combat outfit? Her mom had a similar swimsuit, maybe she stole it off her corpse. Is that spoilers?

I basically ended up doing my usual: give the poor woman a breastplate and comfortable clothes, except I noticed that her bent leg looks weird. There aren’t a lot of comic heroes with physical disabilities that I know of, and I thought, why can’t we have a fairy tale about a disabled woman kicking ass? 

I actually liked her face in this one, so all I gave her were thicker brows and a few battle scars. I also tried to make her at least a bit distinct from her mother by giving her some red hair.

 Overall, I was going for a warrior who was plunged into the fighting life after her mom died, but maybe she still also wants a life of her own. I don’t know what the actual character motivations are, if they even exist.

Maybe I should have given her a different skirt shape…

-Icy

Another Wonder Woman, Why Not

Ozzie made a great Wonder Woman redesign waaaay back, but I wanted to try my hand at something more akin to the movie design. I enjoyed the Wonder Woman movie a lot, but that outfit of hers was such an eyesore. Also had to deal with constant second-hand cringe at imagining what it was like wearing it.

Sooo…. I ended up changing almost everything, obviously. I didn’t really have a specific theme or time period I was taking inspiration from; I just knew I wanted to give her a nice breastplate, and then worked around it for everything else. I gave her chainmail in a similar shape to her uhh… skirt? And then the gambeson makes a comback for the leggies.

Since the design is pretty clear and simple, let’s instead show my first attempt at a redesign, where I was trying to make the skirt work… somehow.

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After coming back to this later, I realized that I was just doing the redesign equivalent of this gif:

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Sooooo I got rid of that tabbard and redid it all.

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I also changed her face. I gave her thicker, more natural (but still fun) eyebrows, and a stronger nose. I also cut back on her makeup, and changed her expression to look more determined, rather than “awkwardly chuckling at someone’s joke on a first meeting.”

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Overall, I think I gave it a good try. I feel like it’s missing something in some spots, but I can’t think of anything else to add besides like… some colored ribbon in her chainmail, but I don’t think that’s characteristic for her. 

Would still have preferred my design over the original for the movie.

-Icy

So, recently League of Legends decided to release this origin story for Lux, which has really helped showcase how terrible her design is in comparison to that of… well the rest of her culture.  Right off the cover makes it look like she’s the princess to be rescued, not the heroine to reach her potential. 

The best thing that can be said about this comic is that they’re depicting her within the society she supposedly came from: it’s now well illustrated how tacky and impeding that shitty boobplate would be.

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If it wasn’t for the title, you’d assume this was actually a story where Garen was the hero for baby sitting a generic damsel in distress… Which is kind of horrifying when you realize Lux has been in the game for eight years, and somehow fixing her design or evolving her default into something better has never occurred to the folks in charge. 

– wincenworks 

The design process for this definitely not sexualized, because not skimpy (🙃) “armor”: 

  1. Draw a naked chick, make sure her (obviously nipple-less) breasts have an amazingly implausible shape.
  2. Add the tiniest hint of texture (and little to no volume) on parts that you think might need to pass as armored (hence the boobplate).
  3. Loincloth/buttflap for modesty.
  4. Literally everything else: fill in with non-flesh colors!
  5. Profit?????

~Ozzie 

Leveling up with Angela

Trying to recapture lightning in the bottle that was my original Angela redesign, I decided to have a take on her upgraded armor… And it was beyond me, really. 

This thing was so bad to begin with that it should have been remade from scratch, not by modifying the unsalvagable original. I did my best, though.


Before doing anything to the costume, though, I had to take care of the ABSOLUTE GARBAGE color composition on this whole splash page. What genius thought that orange background was optimal way to present a character with big orange hair and even bigger orange wings? 
Fixing it required all the sophistication of the easiest color theory trick in the book – I recolored the background. Wow, amazing! What do you mean orange pops out from blue better than from more orange? What even is complimentary colors? 

🙃 

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Only then I could start working on the armor itself. Boobplate proved to be much less inspiring than Angela’s normal golden bikini top, as the shape language and colors in the original gave me much more to work of off. This I could only change into actual, rather boring, breastplate. 

I had no idea what was happening to the leg region, so to cover the nonsensical crotch area and to give the design some consistency with my previous one, I recreated the mail tabard (just in gold this time) and gave her an updated version of the belt I was so proud of the last time. This time not only I let her keep the butt cape, I made it bigger and recolored it to light red, for another splash of color. and also to recreate the look her gambeson tassets.

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The lesser changes include: fixing the giraffe neck, getting rid of the 90s comic hair (which also seemed to be clipping into her wings?), making her headpiece bigger and connected in the middle, giving her a bit smaller wedge heels and stockier built. 

I’m afraid this really isn’t half as good as my previous Angela redo, but I hope you guys like it anyway!

~Ozzie