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UPDATE: Friday August 22, 4:25pm PST — Hey guys! I actually shot Nerd Alert this morning with Kim Horcher and Tim Frisch and we did a segment about Spider-Woman. Check it out below.

I didn’t post a piece on the now famous Spider-Woman cover by erotic artist Milo Manara, merely because I wasn’t home when it broke. I did tweet about it and the response was exactly what you’d expect. Not great. Today Manara is responding to the Internet furor. He was interviewed in Fumetto Logica, which our friends over at The Mary Sue hit with Google Translate for us all. They’ve got the whole thing over there, so head over and read it. What I want to focus on here is what he said about women’s bodies.

Now, let me be clear. I get what he does for a living. No, cloth doesn’t work like that. I really don’t think butts do either. Or spines, though it’s been a while since I did yoga. He’s an erotic artist. This is what he does. I don’t have to like it, but I respect his right to do it. No, my issue here is with the decision to use him at all for a relaunch of Jessica Drew’s story. Aren’t we all aware that many women read comics? Hell, I write them! I’ve said it before: I have no issue with nudity and sexuality in comics. No one has to wear a turtle neck to make me read something. However, there is a difference between being sexual and being sexualized. It seemed that Marvel was reaching out to female fans, and then this. Well, and the #WheresGamora thing.

So, back to the interview:

Question: “The main criticism to that image – although not new, nor in the debate about comics nor in his work – is that it represents a woman who is the ‘object’ of sexual desire, through a shape and a pose provocative little ‘natural .'”

Answer: “What I wanted to do a girl who, after climbing a wall of a skyscraper, crawling on the roof. She finds herself on the edge, and his right leg still has it off the roof. So the criticism anatomical that were made, I think they are wrong: it is not to have both knees on the roof. One leg is still down, and the other is pulling up. Precisely for this reason, also, then this back arched. I tried to do this.

“After that, it’s not my fault if women are like that. I do the design only. It’s not me that I’ve done so: is an author much more ‘important,’ say, for those who believe … For evolutionists, including me, on the other hand, women’s bodies have taken this form over the millennia in order to avoid the extinction of the species, in fact. If women were made exactly as men, with the same shape, I think we would have already been extinct for a long time.

“Also, do not consider it one of the covers most erotic I’ve done. I think I have chosen out of all the poses imaginable – and the proof is if one goes on the Internet, where I documented myself, to see all the photos of Spider-Woman – at the bottom of that, even as framing, less problematic . Indeed view is a bit ‘from above. You do not see hardly anything. We see that only has an ass, drawn like this. And it’s a girl with a nice ass, that yes, from my point of view.

“The superheroes are like that: they are naked, painted anything. Superman is naked painted blue, Spider-Man is naked red and blue, and Spider-Woman is painted red. But they are things that are part of the ‘trick,’ so to speak, that publishers use to create these forms of superheroes nude – on which I do not find anything wrong – but there is no real nudity. If we see them later in the stories, going beyond the cover, are characters whose bodies are ‘in view.'”

Yeah, so women are made this way to “avoid the extinction of the species.” Yup. I’m just going to let you all run with this one. And, go.

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Jenna Busch

Jenna Busch is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Legion of Leia and has hosted and written for sites like Nerdist, ComingSoon.net, Metro, Birth. Movies. Death., IGN, AOL, Huffington Post and more. She co-hosted Cocktails With Stan with the legendary Stan Lee and has appeared on Attack of the Show, Fresh Ink, Tabletop with Wil Wheaton, in the documentary She Makes Comics, on NPR and Al Jazeera America, and has covered film/TV/gaming/comics for years. She's currently a co-host on Most Craved. She's been published in the comics anthology Womanthology, is a chapter author for Star Wars Psychology: Dark Side of the Mind, Game of Thrones Psychology and Star Trek Psychology and more, and owns a terrifying amount of swords and 20-sided dice. There are also those My Little Pony trailer voice overs that give one nightmares.

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