Diary of a Comic Book Goddess :: How to use Comics to PWN Social Commentary

Warning! Most of the links (and this article is very link heavy) in this article are definitely NSFW!

I chuckled when I saw the little jab taken at Barry Richardman in Uncanny X-Men #528. As the Marvel Universe’s stand-in for Terry Richardson (AKA “Uncle Terry“), it appears that the creative team is giving us their thoughts on what they think of the infamous (and often controversial) fashion photographer.

I also liked the self-referential humour in/the complete absurdity of the entire situation – that Nekra and Frenzy were offering social commentary on “cheap exploitative porn” in a medium that has been accused of sexism, objectification, and misogyny towards its female characters.

…Matt Fraction and Whilce Portacio, you’re my heroes.

From Jezebel,via Oh No They Didn’t!

I’m not a fan of most of Terry Richardson’s work. But, don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate it either. There’s a random smattering of his photos that registers higher than “indifferent” on my art appreciation scale. Everything I’ve seen of his ouevre smacks as someone trying desperately to remain relevant by being as “shocking” and “edgy” as possible.

Regardless of how I or anyone else judges his work, there have been a number of  allegations and reports indicating that his “professional inappropriateness” – which is a nice way of saying kind of exploitative, definitely manipulative, and positively sexually harassing behaviours not to mention borderline sexually predatory. Since the initial story broke, a lot of people have come forward to “object to the way he treats many of the women he works with…”. If these allegations are true, his profound lack of respect – mixed in with a healthy dose of power inequality, and the not-so-faint whiff of sexual objectification (in the sense that he sees all of the women he works with as nothing more than an object to gratify him sexually, while his assistants photograph it) – for the models he works with, their bodies, their personhood, their careers, and their choices does get my feminist knickers in a twist (and I’m not the only one).

Richardson hasn’t responded to the allegations levelled against him – other than to say he’s hurt by them – though a model has stepped up to defend him against these allegations. Jezebel posted a video early last month where “he sings a song he wrote that seems to be called, ‘Child Molester’s Coming For You.'” (Also found on the video are the details of how he gets models nude (he gets naked and gives them the “phallus”); and how, 80% of the time, he gets a happy ending out of it – though the knowledge that he messes around with his models isn’t that big of a secret, either.)

What are your thoughts on the whole situation?

Shelley Smarz
Shelley Smarz
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