Sometimes I like to challenge myself to redesign an existing costume for a different purpose or gender. In the "gender reassignment" challenges, I take a very feminine superheroine costume and butch it up for a male hero, while still trying to retain as many design elements as possible from the female version. In other words, it has to obviously look like the "brother" of the original costume.
Probably one of the most infamously unattractive costumes in the last three decades belongs to the psionic-powered superheroine, Looker. Let's take a gander at her, shall we? (You may wish to don welding goggles or perhaps view the image through one of those pinhole boxes folks use to look at solar eclipses, as the sight of Looker's costume has been known to cause retinal damage.) Okay, is everyone prepared? Here we go.
How about that, huh? A bow and a chain. Give to me your leather; take from me my lace. Plus there's the massive collar, the huge white nipple pads or whatever the heck those things are, and the asymmetry, MY GOD, the asymmetry. It's also unabashedly, almost ridiculously girly. So I wondered if I could find a way of doing that same type of costume for a man. I think I figured out a way to do it. I was even able to retain the color scheme, believe it or not.
Looker, from her name onward, was meant to be a devastatingly beautiful woman. I tried to imagine what the male version might look like. I decided to make him look like something off the cover of a romance novel. The pink tights made me think of old-timey circus performers so I designed the look around what a trapeze artist in the early 19th century might wear. The cloak is of a type favored by some military men (like Napoleon), where the arms go through slits beneath the top layer. And because my guy is supposed to be from a romance novel, he's barechested. (Notice how I made sure he's covering his nipples this time. You're welcome.) That's why I gave him long gloves that cover most of his arms. When he's wearing the cloak, it gives it the feel of a complete coat, with sleeves. Looker's bow is echoed in the guy's sash. I had no use for the chain, so I didn't use it. I simplified the boots, as you can see, but they're soft-soled, like a circus acrobat might wear. And for the most part I ditched the asymmetry, because that shit had to go.
I'm just having trouble deciding what to call this guy. "Looker" sounds too girly. I was thinking of "Dreamboat" maybe. But I'm still not sure. What do you guys think I should call him? Lookie-Lou? The Crotchinator? Baron Hunkmeyer Von Prettypants? I'm up for suggestions!
Friday, March 24, 2006
Gender Reassignment Challenge: Looker to ????
Posted by Jeremy Rizza at 6:13 AM
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Over-all, I like the design, particularly the sash, but I think it's a mistake to have him actually bare-chested.
Nothing against nipples, but I think a Fabio-puffy shirt open to his navel that just happens to reveal his man-boobs and his rock-hard abs to the world give plausible deniability to him being a male-stripper.
If he's good-looking and he knows it, how about Narcissus?
Narcissus is a great name. You could also use Adonis, Handsome Dan, or Dapper-Man.
I vote for The Nippler.
Steven: I was thinking of Cornel Wilde in "The Greatest Show On Earth" as my model for trapeze artists' costumes. He usually strutted into the bigtop with nothing on above the waistline except a huge fancy cape, so I figured my guy would be right in line with that. Although I don't think my character would mind a bit if somebody thought he was a stripper! He's groomed and costumed himself to appeal to the ladies in the most blatant manner possible. Ergo, the hairless chest (in contrast to the hairy guys in my other drawings) and the long Fabio hair and so forth. I'm glad you liked the design, but I just thought I'd go a little further into my motivations re: the bare torso.
David and Anonymous: I like a lot of those names. Adonis, especially.
Cozmik: Haw! But I think "the Nippler" is a RONCO product. It's powered by two "D" batteries and it fits right in your pocket. Not available in stores!
Dreamboat/Narcissus/Beefcake looks like a genuinely nice, "aw shucks" kinda guy. Cool drawing.
As for the original Looker outfit: It looks like a non-comics-fan's idea of a superhero costume. The only thing its missing is a big "L" surrounded by a explosion icon.
Chawunky, thanks! Yeah, he has kind of a Drew Lachey thing goin' on. Only, y'know... taller.
I totally agree with you about Looker's costume. She also wouldn't look out of place in a chorus line in some low-rent Vegas casino, circa 1958.
All women drawn by Jim Aparo (the designer of Looker's costume) looked like pre-op trannies with their masculine faces.
Digging a little more, I've found that the superlative Alan Davis almost made the look work:
I still don't get the white dots on the breasts though--except, with the flare collar as "brows", they kind of look like eyes...y'know, "Looker"...eh, never mind.
Great job, and on such paltry source material, too! I think maybe Adonis/Narcissus (I like Narcissus) looks a little too aw-shucks. Maybe reducing the size of his mask's eyeholes would help? I dunno, you're the expert, BB.
Chawunky: Davis is a fantastic artist, but "almost" is right. A fugly costume beautifully delineated is still a fugly costume.
Phillip: Curses--! You caught me. The pencil sketch I scanned into Adobe Illustrator had eyes with a far cannier expression, but I was afraid they looked too "mean." I tinkered with them on the computer and wound up with the hayseed that now stands before you. I suppose he doesn't look much like the typically squinty "I'm so handsome it gives me a headache" type of male model I was aiming for. But I thought it was good enough at the time. Maybe I'll post a revision, just for the heck of it.
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