Comic Talk and General Discussion

How do you handle sexy scenes or nudity in your work?
ozoneocean at 9:47AM, Jan. 29, 2016
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How do you handle sexy scenes or nudity in your work?
 
I suppose this question is more for people who aren't doing Adult rated comics… Because presumabley they have less of a problem with this?
 
I know for me it's pretty hard- You have to think about how far you can go and still be safe.
With Pinky TA I have an aversion to actually showing anything obvious and too sexy. There HAVE been hints and bits and pieces in there if you know where to look, but I don't like to show sexy scenes in it. When I have done it's always the classic trick of showing stuff from the side, or covered by convienient things.
 
In a perfect world though I think if my work was going to have a sex scene or nudity then I would just be full on about it, no obscuirng, no teasing, no clever tricks, because sexuality is a normal, natural part of life that happens and people like to see it… - unlike shitting which is normal and natural but most people do NOT like to see.
  
Drawing naked people is a lot of fun, it makes drawing worthwile, it's also much easier than drawing them with clothes and it's how most of my figures start out. It often feels a shame to dress them. BUT I keep in mind that I want a larger audience and have the possibiliy to do more comerical stuff with my work if I want to, nudity limits that.
It also limits you being able to show your work to family and friends.
 
Sex on the other hand has its own chalanges- drawing figures interacting that closesly is really hard unless you have refences, and that can be hard to come by for just exactly the right position and angle you need.
 
bravo1102 at 10:59AM, Jan. 29, 2016
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Something I discovered is that the way human bodies fit together tends to obscure specific sexual interactions.  So unless you're using graphic close ups like in most porn and hentai you're not going to see much though it will often be obvious what is happening.  See the four (?) sex scenes in Tales of SIG. 
binaryfaye at 11:44AM, Jan. 29, 2016
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Within the first few pages of prodigium you can see a character's butt. But it takes place in a hospital wearing a hospital gown and I don't really see anything sexual about it. I feel like the character wasn't concerned at the moment with being modest so it would seem awkward if I did it for her. …that doesn't make sense, does it?
 
I have noticed that I get proud of my of my figure drawing so I was shying away from covering it up. The current chapter I'm sketching I'm trying to forcus on getting better at drawing clothing! Maybe then my characters will wear more! Lol! 

KimLuster at 1:13PM, Jan. 29, 2016
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I started my comic with the full intention of it being Rated-T, and in my mind that meant keeping a fairly tight reign on nudity and cursing…  And I held on to that for quite a while, but eventually it just started to feel contrived, artificial…  Especially considering the subject matter of the Godstrain (the molestation of a young child is a central plot point).  And then, one day, a parent of a teen I was letting read the story (I know both of them personally) said something along the lines of maybe my story was too ‘adult’ for teens…  This!!  Despite the pains I'd gone  to avoid that very thing…  So… I basically said, ‘Fork It!’.  I changed my comic to Mature, and while I still don't do gratuitious nudity and language, if the situation calls for it I'm not gonna try anything like scenery censorship, or a bunch of %$#*!'s.  It's gonna be shown!
.
Like Ozone says, it's life, and while I agree some stories work better without it, some do not.  The tone of the story dicates a lot of it…  Full-on Porn Stories have their place too.  I've come to follow several of those here on DD.  Felt a little naughty about that at first, but not sure why, as I've seen Porn before.  I think it's partly because, when you comment (which I just have to do), then people KNOW you're reading it.  …Still, don't see myself every creating anything like that!  I'll leave that to the professionals!
last edited on Jan. 29, 2016 1:14PM
Genejoke at 5:25PM, Jan. 29, 2016
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It depends on the scene. I did a rape scene in Baso and it didn't seem right to make it seem sexy or erotocl in anyway so nudity was kept down as much as possible, where as other times I've not shred away from nudity. Usually it's camera positions, strategic vases or the characters covering  themselves. I wouldn't blur or black out nudity. 
El Cid at 9:12AM, Jan. 30, 2016
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I feel like I'm sort of repeating what I said on the “cheesecake and pin-ups” thread a while back, but it all depends on what your objective is: Are you aiming to arouse the audience or simply portray that your characters are aroused? If you're doing an intimate scene for a non-Adult comic, you're probably just trying to depict the passion between two characters. In that case, there's really no need to show much skin; primarily you'll be focusing on faces, eyes, expressions, and subtle things like hands interlocking and caressing, that sort of thing. And of course, you can always cover them with a blanket. An effective sex scene doesn't need to be “dirty.” Just keep your focus above the neck as much as possible.
usedbooks at 9:25AM, Jan. 31, 2016
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My comic is T rated, but themes can get serious. It's not hard to avoid nudity or graphic violence even if they are part of the story. It's actually more fun to figure out how to portray an action without showing it. I don't mean with blurring or censoring. I mean by point-of-view, framing, suggestion, etc. As El Cid pointed out, if your intention is to show intimacy between characters, their nether parts aren't even what's important. It's expression, atmosphere, etc. It is more powerful for the mood to focus on things like hand gestures or facial expressions or even going symbolic by focusing on the scene around the couple/group/person (fireplace, furniture, lighting, maybe the TV being obscured by a curled-toed foot). If it serves the same purpose, your comic could simply show before and/or after “the action” instead. Feeling the need to “show all” can be lazy storytelling in a way (although the art is more challenging, so maybe NOT showing is my way of being art-lazy).
 
While my story doesn't get “sexy,” I have had to employ similar techniques for dealing with some levels of violence Showing the befores and afters instead of the acts. A close-up of a limp hand in a pool of blood instead of showing the body, broken objects following a fight or attack, things like that.
last edited on Jan. 31, 2016 9:26AM
Gunwallace at 12:32PM, Jan. 31, 2016
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I've just had to paint a Playmobil toy flesh coloured for an upcoming scene where he is trying to act sexy and takes his clothes off. Obviously there will be no genitals showing, since he doesn't have any, but the scene will have Playmobil ‘butt’. I think that doing ‘sexy’ things with Playmobil toys allows me to be quite frank andexplicit simply because they can't show anything. Utterly Rucked had a blow job in a toilet, sex on a kitchen counter, and scenes in a brothel, but everything had to be hints and camera angles, implication and smoke and mirrors. In drawn comics I've always hidden any nudity, since I use real people as models, but I've implied a lot.
David ‘Gunwallace’ Tulloch, www.virtuallycomics.com
ozoneocean at 7:29AM, Feb. 1, 2016
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Hahaha, love the Playmobile idea of nudity ^_^
I've also seen “porn” done with nothing but stacked furitire, but then that's getting into very symbolic representations which is a long way from figures that already look sort of vaugely human as in Playmobile.
 
It can be fun to try and depict very porny sex and it's a shame that option isn't open to us in our mainstream work… buuuuut, whatcha gonna do? :)
 
Implying stuff CAN work out very well though- you can leverage the reader's imagination to make something FAR more sexy and dirty than you would ever have the ability or courage to draw, with the advantage that it can be totally “safe” for most audiences.
 
bravo1102 at 7:56AM, Feb. 1, 2016
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And all you would need to draw would be a couch and  some feet.
Jeremy Ray at 6:34PM, Feb. 2, 2016
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With all the web services declining to allow adult content or requiring an extra step like a log in to view it, there's not much choice other than to censor yourself, if you want to have any kind of readership. I'd rather do my comic full time than have to fit it in around a “real job,” and that's clearly not going to happen if I make it too hard to view or too hard to promote. If I can financially manage it though I want to put all the good stuff in again.
Kota at 8:23AM, Feb. 3, 2016
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Honestly, I don't. I'm aiming for sort of a PG crowd with my work, but I'd use something to block the naughty bits like the Austin Powers scenes.
Kota Otan
http://www.drunkduck.com/Mailbox_Rocketship/
and
http://www.drunkduck.com/The_Errant_Apprentice/
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“If Jeff Bridges is stupid enough to do this, I'M stupid enough to do this!”
bravo1102 at 8:59AM, Feb. 3, 2016
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Know what the difference is between an R and a PG-13 rating is? Half a second before the cut away and some dimmed lighting. Shadows, close ups and blurs can turn the raunchiest R into PG TV fare. Witness the butcher job done to the horror movie Vampire Lovers to show it on tv.
usedbooks at 9:07AM, Feb. 3, 2016
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They put Austin Powers on the Family channel once. I'm pretty sure it was 20 minutes long with 100 minutes of ads.
ozoneocean at 8:30PM, Feb. 3, 2016
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“Family channel”??? Sounds creepy! Like the sort of censorship they have on some channels in Turkey.
 
usedbooks at 4:03AM, Feb. 4, 2016
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ozoneocean wrote:
“Family channel”??? Sounds creepy! Like the sort of censorship they have on some channels in Turkey.

It's part of ABC, owned by Disney. So they have bland sitcoms, America's Funniest Home Movies, and classic Disney movies – All with a ridiculous number of long ad breaks.
last edited on Feb. 4, 2016 4:04AM
jay6553 at 2:28AM, Feb. 5, 2016
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I agree, with El Cid, 100%. In Xenotransient, the main character has been nude, for most of what I would consider the first issue. There was a reason, for it, but I didn't want to cover her up, all the time. I always hoped people would like the characters, for who they are, as well as how they look. I know what you mean by wanting a larger audience, and having an adult rated comic makes that difficult. I am very happy for everyone that has subscribed, liked, and continues to comment, on my work. It makes me very happy and inspires me, even more to continue on. I wish you the best of luck, and hope you find the solution you are looking for. Like I said, though, El Cid gave a great answer, in my honest opinion.
bravo1102 at 5:43AM, Feb. 5, 2016
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As someone notorious for undressed characters it is all about what you want to do. If you want the limited audience nudity brings you or if you have a satirical Subtext about the treatment of nudity go for it. That's what it's been about for me. I looked at how nudity was treated with all the little ways to avoid dreaded female nipples and purposely went in the opposite direction. But that's my shtick. We live in a media culture with certain taboos and not everyone is comfy to break them for whatever the reason. This is a hobby so I can relax a little. You want to make it a livelihood more power to you and we all have to make certain concessions to to achieve mainstream goals. It's the nature of the mainstream.


Ideally my stuff should be a low budget direct to DVD movie where nudity is part of the genre. But life has gotten in the way.
last edited on Feb. 5, 2016 5:45AM
binaryfaye at 7:52AM, Feb. 6, 2016
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I had no idea there was a nipple taboo! (Also, that is very fun to say!) That is just the weirdest. You can show boobs, but not those pink thingies on the end. That's just too far.

I guess I'm wondering if the nudity double standard is simply against digital art? Art museums have plenty of “nude figure reclining” with no PG-13 rated areas but deviantart requires you to be 18 to see the same thing.

KimLuster at 6:22PM, Feb. 6, 2016
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It's interesting that everyone talks about nudity limiting your audience, where as I've felt that, in my story, me trying so hard to keep it t-rated limited mine… Not saying I'm correct but that was the feeling I got…
bravo1102 at 6:07AM, Feb. 8, 2016
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It was not the nudity it was more thematic for your comic to become “M”.


Just for argument there is a teen version of Attack of the Robofemoids but it would have been too much work to reshoot.
KimLuster at 8:31AM, Feb. 8, 2016
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bravo1102 wrote:
It was not the nudity it was more thematic for your comic to become “M”.


Just for argument there is a teen version of Attack of the Robofemoids but it would have been too much work to reshoot.


Yeah, you're right…! Even now, Post M-Rated, I don't have nudity plastered everywhere! It was primarily theme…
El Cid at 8:51AM, Feb. 8, 2016
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I think when it comes to adding nudity and other adult themes to a comic, there's some kind of a “valley” effect involved. Adding some adult themes (gore, skin, etc.) will probably grow your audience more than it shrinks it. But if you go too far, it can lose your audience. Webcomics, unlike other forms of literature, are an interactive social phenomenon. If people aren't comfortable enough to be engaged with your comic and its community, and they're not comfortable discussing your comic with friends, then your comic will suffer.
irrevenant at 6:23PM, Feb. 8, 2016
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I just stumbled across an old, finished comic on the Duck called “Misery Depot”.

It is a really brilliant example of a comic that contains massive amounts of nudity (in the first half at least) in a non-sexual, non-exploitative way.
ozoneocean at 8:49PM, Feb. 8, 2016
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jay6553 wrote:
I always hoped people would like the characters, for who they are, as well as how they look.



Hahahaha! After reading that I had a look at your comic, at work, not realising it was A rated. Got quite a shock.

ElCid- good point about the valley.
 
last edited on Feb. 9, 2016 7:24AM
bravo1102 at 1:19AM, Feb. 9, 2016
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irrevenant wrote:
I just stumbled across an old, finished comic on the Duck called “Misery Depot”.

It is a really brilliant example of a comic that contains massive amounts of nudity (in the first half at least) in a non-sexual, non-exploitative way.



You know that comic could be easily done as a TV show with just a few subtle angle changes. See the tasteful nudity in various Holocaust TV presentations. It's a comment on inhumanity that someone would store nude people and strip people of their clothing and therefore their identity and dignity. Like what Grey Guys do in some of my titles. :-D

It's another example of nudity in the context of the story. Though I would argue that gratuitous nudity is also tasteful if applicable to the story context. It's there get over it and enjoy the ride. If this was in a museum it'd be art but as a comic it's NSFW.
last edited on Feb. 9, 2016 1:25AM
KimLuster at 11:44AM, Feb. 16, 2016
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Somewhat inspired by this thread, my next Godstrain page (pg 297) will feature a fair amount of nudity (more than I'd planned initially for it anyway…). Experimenting with how well I ‘handle it’ haha!

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