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Follow-up to the Fantasy Poses

Wow. I can’t give precise numbers since I don’t have a way of tracking things like LiveJournal and RSS feed hits, but Wednesday’s post about trying to pose like fantasy cover heroines has now been viewed by more than 45,000 people, which is gratifying to say the least.

It’s been a little overwhelming. Thank you to everyone for your responses, and welcome to all of the new folks. The absolute best part of this week has been seeing so many great discussions starting up.

I did my best to keep up with comments, e-mail, Twitter, etc. I failed. At this point, I figured it would be easier to respond to some of the more frequent comments here, and also share some of the great links people have posted.

How’s your back?

I was fine after a decent night’s sleep. Thanks for asking!

Those poses would be easier if you were more flexible/a martial artist/a dancer.

I am not a dancer, but I’ve seen dancers do amazing things with their bodies, and I have no doubt that training would make it easier to match the poses.

That said, I earned a black belt in one martial art when I was younger, and last year received my promotion form for black belt in a second style. I also consider myself fairly flexible. So to the commenter who said the pics are meaningless because obviously an unfit older guy couldn’t do this stuff, I bite my thumb at thee.

Those poses would be easier if you were a woman.

I have no way of testing/verifying this directly, but I suspect there might be some truth here. Some of this might be due to anatomical differences; some is likely due to the fact that males and females are taught/encouraged to stand and move differently. That said, “easier” is not the same as “easy,” and judging from the comments, many (but not all) of the women who tried to mimic the poses found them difficult or unachievable.

This is silly. Who cares?

I do. And hey, what do you know? It’s my blog, so I get to write about whatever the heck I want. Sweet!

You have a pager!

That’s an insulin pump.

You have an insulin pump!

Go Team Diabetes!

You should do more of these/You should do [NAME OF BOOK]!

I might, ’cause it was kind of fun, but I think the original post has made its point pretty well.

My eyes, my eyes! Pass the brain bleach!

Bite me. (I know these comments were generally meant in fun, and I’m not actually upset or offended. Although I find it interesting that these “horrified” responses, even in jest, came almost universally from men…)

Hey, you’re kinda sexy!

Thank you.

The covers you’re mocking are much more interesting than the ones you posted at the end as examples of strong, capable female characters.

Not to me.

I spewed coffee/tea/prune juice all over my keyboard!

The owner of this website is not responsible for any keyboard damage incurred during the reading of this blog.


  • Escher Girls - female characters in impossible/ridiculous poses. (I’m flattered to see she’s posted a pic of me with a link to my post. Recursive internet is recursive.)
  • Dressed to Kill - a post illustrating male comic book heroes drawn and posed the way females usually are.
  • Fantasy Armor and Lady Bits - an armorer discussing the various problems with most depictions of women in fantasy “armor.” (See also Women Fighters in Reasonable Armor.)
  • Men-ups - men photographed in stereotypically female pin-up poses. (Full photoset is on Flickr here.)
  • If Male Superheroes Posed like Wonder Woman - I think the title sums this one up nicely.
  • Men’s Versus Women’s Poses - LJ user ocelott tries both male and female cover poses, and highlights the differences between the two. (I definitely recommend reading this one - she’s able to capture and point out some things I couldn’t with my photoset.)

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 13th, 2012 03:37 pm (UTC)
The blog's still a work in progress, nut I edited a post I'd done of fantasy art to include your blog posts on Art Links A Plenty, here. And thanks! ;3
Jan. 13th, 2012 03:38 pm (UTC)
Cool, thank you!
Jan. 13th, 2012 10:32 pm (UTC)
Anything to get people to think. ;3 And fun, too!
Jan. 13th, 2012 06:53 pm (UTC)
Careful - your publisher might have you pose for a new promo poster for the new book.
I think something with a bearskin and a tasteful firespider ogling....
Jan. 14th, 2012 01:28 am (UTC)
I think this is the first time I've ever seen the phrase "tasteful firespider ogling."
Jan. 16th, 2012 06:14 pm (UTC)
But now... it won't be the last.
Jan. 13th, 2012 07:34 pm (UTC)
I loved this. It made my week. And also hit on one of my pet peeves, so you get bonus points. You're welcome.

And I love the midriff one that shows off your pump :-) You are a brave, brave man.

That is an AMAZING number. Maybe I should try this... Nah, the "my eyes!" posts would just depress me...
Jan. 14th, 2012 01:22 am (UTC)
Yeah the hip cock thing from the first cover is not horribly difficult (for me) even on the off leg and considering that I'm not exactly flexible/a martial artist/or a dancer:


(It is pretty much impossible to take a picture of yourself while doing that and holding a sword, though. So the sword is absent and the angle isn't quite right.)

And the wrist bend is pretty unnatural. Normally one would stand more like this:


Also, I wouldn't want to stand that way for very long. It's hard on the lower back/right side.

The other poses are varying levels of ridiculous.

Edited at 2012-01-14 01:26 am (UTC)
Jan. 14th, 2012 01:26 am (UTC)
I generally like the covers for my princess books, and while there's definitely some posing going on, I don't think those books go anywhere near as far as some of the other covers I've seen.
Jan. 14th, 2012 01:38 am (UTC)
The princess books don't give off the "paranormal romance" with the emphasis on "romance" vibe much of modern fantasy is sporting at the moment. I think a lot of cover art really is about branding and that's not your brand.

Plus, the artist actually knows anatomy. *grin*
Jan. 17th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
We know you're suffering for us, Jim. I had a look at a few of those poses and my back ached at the mere thought of even attempting them. In fact it may be why the ubiquitous hooded man seems to be all the rage on SFF covers at the moment, wrapped in one of those voluminous garments no one can see your lack of 'moves'.
Jan. 25th, 2012 02:07 pm (UTC)
It looks like Randy Mulholland has joined in the fun.

Jan. 25th, 2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
I saw that this morning too. Apparently mocking ridiculously oversexualized poses is cool right now :-)
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines


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