no more chainmail bikinis

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Just three days after launching the Kickstarter, Chainmail Bikini has reached its funding goal! That means we’ll be able to pay all the artists involved, print the book, and ship it to you! Thank you all for your reblogs and pledges, which have brought this awesome comics anthology to life.

There’s still more that we want to achieve with Chainmail Bikini. If we get to $16,000, the book gets a gold-foil cover upgrade! (We’re super close already, only $1,800 away right now.) If we make it to $20,000, then each contributing artist gets an extra $50! From there, more artist’s bonuses, more goodness. So if you like what we’re doing, keep spreading the word!

I wanted these pieces to have a story, an implied story, but I didn’t want to be the one telling it. I wanted my viewers to be able to imagine what might be happening before, after, and within the image. I wanted my viewers to get a sense of who these women could be, but ultimately leave them to create their stories for themselves.


The fourth image in my senior thesis series, titled No More Chainmail Bikinis.

As described in my thesis speech, “Fourth is Science Fiction, which was the most straightforward for me. My favorite game series, Mass Effect, is a science fiction game I have drawn a lot of art based on. When I’m bored or don’t have any references I also like to make up armor while keeping their general art direction in mind. Therefore, I had gotten kind of comfortable faking sci-fi armor on the fly. In order to not get too firmly rooted in my comfort zone for this piece I included text and multiple characters who are overlapping, and also all meant to be looking at the central character. I also wanted their costuming to be a uniform, like they’re all part of a military unit. I wanted it to be clear that our leading lady in this situation was their commanding officer, so I added embellishments to her outfit and also made her darker and gave her more contrast. I also did this one last, for the specific reason that I knew it would be the easiest. I wanted to make sure that I would have enough time to deal with the pieces that presented more of a challenge to me, because I knew that if push came to shove and it got down to the wire, which thankfully it didn’t, I could kick this one out quickly if I had to.”

So I’m doing my research on chainmail because it’s time for me to stop being intimidated about drawing it.  The hunt for references has begun.

Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

1.  You can make some sort of weird slip on shoe out of chain mail, kinda like a boat shoe.  Lots of people are doing this.  Seems not so comfy, especially without socks, but I can’t really speak since I haven’t tried it.  Probably grips well on dirt and would last for freaking ever.

2.  Chainmail is a serious fetish item.  THERE ARE SO MANY BOOBS and a couple penises so far.  I think I kind of knew this in a peripheral sort of way, but google search results are DEFINITELY NSFW.  Terrifyingly, this trend echoes the useless chainmail bikini as “real” armor trend, which is upping my dislike for the look from “that’s kind of annoying and pisses me off that female characters are portrayed that way” to “JESUS CHRIST SHE’S JUST GOING TO DIE WTF SERIOUSLY PEOPLE I SEARCHED FOR HISTORICALLY ACCURATE STOP LYING.”  Mostly it’s shifted me into caps lock.

3.  It’s really easy to paint in photoshop if you make your own brush and are a genius.  Alternately, you can also create an awesome look by sinking unbelievable amounts of time into drawing tiny C’s by hand.

One of these things has been moderately useful. 

Review - Red Sonja Volume 2 by Gail Simone and Walter Geovani

Red Sonja is one of those love it or hate it comic books.  Either you’re excited to see a woman in a chainmail bikini kick all kinds of male ass, or you find it to be tedious eye candy. 

And Gail Simone and Walter Geovani’s run of Red Sonja is probably not going to change your mind about that.  But what does set their version apart is that this Sonja enjoys the company of any man or woman who wishes to share her bedroll… so long as they don’t make her bathe first. 

Yep this Red Sonja is not much for hygiene, certainly drinks too much, and frankly behaves just like most male barbarian/swordsell characters in other media.  She hits first and asks questions later.  But she also has a very big heart and her desire for to free a thousand slaves from a corrupt king is what drives her in this collection.  He has promised to do so as long as she finds him 6 of the most talented people in the world for his party.  That sets her on a quest which ends with her making friends, getting a bunch of gold, and blowing it all on sexytimes with men and women at a now ethically-run brothel. 

She still does wear the trademark chainmail bikini, but it is more often paired with suitable armor, traveling clothes, or just a fine layer of dirt.  She is certainly sexy and sexualized, however Geovani’s art is far less sleezy than what I’ve seen in previous runs.  Also Simone brings a light and playful tone to the series.  I laughed outloud when she propositions a cook for NSA sex and he responds with a somewhat indignant desire to be romanced, much to her befuddlement.  At one point Sonja thinks she is saving a woman from sexual exploitation only to find that Aneva likes the sex work, but its the sleezy pimp/captain of the guard who is the problem.  They joyfully stab him to death then go about their adventures! 

Like I said, it won’t win over anyone who hates barbarian stories.  But for those who enjoy barbarian action comics, it’s nice to add Red Sonja to the list of bisexual comic book characters.  

- Sarah

Triggers for: violence, blood, sex work, animal abuse/death

i’m on page 8 of this rough draft of my thesis paper and i’m starting to get stuck fuck fuck fucking fuck

also ladies who play games i still need to interview you for your experiences with sexism in the gaming community so if you could give me your email and i can do that later tonight or maybe tomorrow that’d be GRRRRR8

question mark to open for answers? i’m abusing the system?