What the Hell is Frank Cho Doing?

Wonder Woman sketch cover by Frank Cho

Detail of Wonder Woman sketch cover by Frank Cho

Frank Cho draws a pretty superhero picture. And Frank Cho draws a sexy woman. Frank Cho has lately been drawing some pretty sexy superhero women and pissing people off.

This story starts with an infamous cover of Spider-Woman by Milo Manara:

Spider Woman by Milo Manara

Spider-Woman variant cover by Milo Manara

Milo Manara is a gifted Italian comics artist whose work has appeared in Heavy Metal many times. Sometimes his work is adult in nature, other times it’s not—but of course, he’s best known for the adult stuff. Manara was commissioned to do some variant covers for Marvel comic books, and the one he did of Spider-Woman really set people off. Too sexual, people said, and Marvel spiked the cover. Maybe it was a fair reaction to the cover, maybe Manara’s signature on the image is really what did it in. Whatever the case, it was considered inappropriate and Marvel didn’t use it. That was August 2014.

Enter Frank Cho. In January 2015, he offered this tribute to the rejected Manara cover:

Spider-Woman by Frank Cho

Spider-Woman sketch cover by Frank Cho

That sort of pissed people off. He followed it up with this, posted to his site on April 5, which pissed more people off:

Spider Gwen by Frank Cho

Spider Gwen sketch cover by Frank Cho

You can read a good deal of the saga in this Comics Alliance post.

On April 8, Cho wrote on his blog “Instead of me wasting my breath and precious time over this non-issue … I’ve drawn another cover sketch in response which will, hopefully, answer all the questions.”

Harley Quinn by Frank Cho

Harley Quinn sketch cover by Frank Cho

Amazingly, that Harley Quinn image didn’t answer all the questions, or any of them. People were still pissed off about Spider-Gwen. On April 15, Cho again went to the well:

Wonder Woman sketch cover Frank Cho

Wonder Woman sketch cover by Frank Cho

There’s comedy in the progression here—Spider-Man was effectively giving out a Gomer Pyle “go-o-lly!” on the first two covers and the Joker was cynically telling Harley Quinn it would advance her career on the third. Batman, who has seen it all before, is creeped out by Wonder Woman’s attempt to be edgy. She’s trying to be scandalous—pulling a Madonna, and Batman’s reaction is all Drake.

But the story didn’t end there. Yesterday, Cho announced that he was donating the $1000 generated by Spider-Gwen to House of Ruth, a charity for battered women.

But back to the question: What the hell is Frank Cho doing? The answer is: Pretty much what he’s always done.

The Spider-Gwen sketch cover was the major fiasco, but it’s not like Frank Cho doesn’t regularly adult-ify and oversexualize familiar characters. It’s one of his favorite hobbies, and while it’s not every reader’s cup of tea, he hasn’t been hiding it, as the examples below demonstrate.

Rogue X-Men by Frank Cho

Rogue sketch cover by Frank Cho

Black Cat by Frank Cho

Black Cat sketch cover by Frank Cho

Star Wars Leia by Frank Cho

Slave Leia sketch cover by Frank Cho

Wonder Woman by Frank Cho

Wonder Woman sketch cover by Frank Cho

She-Hulk by Frank Cho

She-Hulk sketch cover by Frank Cho

By the way, Frank Cho doesn’t just draw superheroes being dangerously sexy. He also draws more typical comics art, and he’s masterful. Here’s art for a Spider-Man cover that he posted on his blog:

Spider Man cover art by Frank Cho

Spider Man cover art by Frank Cho

Hmm, maybe he just needs to be publishing his work in Heavy Metal? We’re fairly sure he has a few crates of our classic issues in his collection. Let’s talk, Frank—just, you know, ixnay on the Ider-Gwenspay.

And this is interesting: A tribute to Cho’s tribute to Manara, by Thomas Mason:

Darth Vader by Thomas Mason

Darth Vader by Thomas Mason

Written by:

Published on: April 20, 2015

Filled Under: Comics, News, Popular

Views: 281868

84 Responses to What the Hell is Frank Cho Doing?

  1. Darth Vader showing off his sexy butt had me laughing out loud. I love this.

  2. I'd LOVE to see Frank Cho illustration in Heavy Metal!

  3. Mike Everest says:

    Frank Cho is a genius. Love his work and his wocked sense of humor. The Vader sketch summs it up perfectly. When I bought his 'how to draw beautiful women' the inside contents literally says 'Chapter 1: Boobs, Chapter 2: Butts'

    Purile… but I honked with laughter.

  4. You hear that? That's the sound of a thousand bitter feminists crying out in despair…and it is glorious!

    • E. Joe says:

      Feminists? More like outrage farmers. They wave the feminist flag because they because they think it puts their behavior above criticism, but they don’t believe in equality.

  5. Comish Art says:

    Funny, this article doesnt mention his drawing class from last weekend at big wow. He got cosplayer riddle to pose in the infamous position, to teach the class, lol. If your going to piss people off, might as well go all the way. Kudos frank cho

  6. Artist Jen Tucker That's the reason the word "bitter" was used. Didn't mean to generalize. Sorry. Also I am a Star Wars fan and I have no issues whatsoever with Thomas mason's art. 🙂

  7. Ryk Brink says:

    What a fucking badass.


  9. Thomas Mason says:

    glad everyone is enjoying the humor of the vader sketch… i also did one of Rafael Albuquerque's BATGIRL cover 😛

  10. Rick Man says:

    I am OUTRAGED! How DARE this artist depict Darth Vader in such a sexually demeaning manner!
    Sith Lords are ALWAYS being treated like meat! Sith Lords are PEOPLE TOO!! NOT fodder for your Jedi-Sex fantasies!
    I will cry and whine endlessly all over the inter-webs now!

  11. This article feels a little jugdamental. And it's Heavy Metal…

  12. Michael May says:

    I…I want that Vader cover almost as much as the Slave Leia cover.

    I ain't right in the head.

  13. Thomas Mason says:

    Michael May bidding ended on it last night…it's on it's way to it's new home… the other cover i did has slave leia on it…lol

  14. Michael May says:

    Thomas Mason That may well be the coolest thing I've seen since the new SW trailer, sir!

  15. Omg… SpiderMan getting bagged by Death

  16. Love it hes a genius

  17. If Americans weren't so messed-up about sex, this would be a complete non-issue.

    • Carlton says:

      Americans aren’t hung up about the sex, are you dumb? This has nothing to do with the topic of sex, but sexism, 2 different subjects.

  18. Artist Jen Tucker i am a equal rights person i am not a feminist or a mra i just think we are all equal exept the french but we are talking about human beings here ..anyway …and that could be couse you and i care about real issues of women in real life like the unjust treatment of women in the muslim world ..and not some tits in a comic

  19. Am I crazy, or is this apparently most horrendous of posses… not actually all that sexy. She (or Vader) is crawling over a roof top. If you are looking from the point of view of Spider-Man or Batman is might be sexy, from the point of view it is shown from it really isn't. Cho has a better grasp of anatomy for this pose than Milo's original. I was never offended by Milo's pic, I just thought it was a bad picture of Spider-Woman. Milo's various pics are cheeky, mostly because he is knowingly poking the bear using that pose, but are hella tame when put up against any of those other legitimaly sexy sketch covers he has done. And as always, if you don't like sexy comic art don't buy it. Voting with your wallet has a heck of a bigger impact than e-rage. Buy Squirrel Girl, or the new take on Spider-Woman (which I also support, both fun reads).

    • Joshua grant says:

      Yes. You are completely crazy if you think there’s something wrong with that pose other than her showing her ass

  20. Felipe Bende says:

    I dont know what he's doing, but I hope he keeps doing it.

  21. Artist Jen says:

    Perparim Sopjani The true meaning of feminism and feminist is equality for all and those who fight for equality for all. The Fem part usually makes people think that it has to do with putting women first. It doesn't. Women or men who claim to be feminists but do not follow this are not feminists in the same way Westboro Baptists aren't really Christians and ISIL aren't Muslims. Many Muslim countries have equality of the sexes and do not treat women "unjustly". Not sure if you are aware of that.

  22. Looks like Cho is whining again… can we stop caring about him, please?
    I know he is a great artist, and whatever… but this is getting ridiculous…

  23. Artist Jen Tucker You're a rare breed Jen =)

  24. Artist Jen no it was a movement for suffering of women in america i dont know where you get that meaning from oh that fem part is all that it is about …i will conced that not all feminists are the rad sort who consider man spreading a issue or that video games promote rape ..but the fact remains that the fem part is more then a word ..where are feminist protests to men in every part of the world enduring more jail time for the same sentence then women and that divorce for men is russian roulete to put it nicely or i mean if i were as oversensitive as rad feminists i would be pissed that men are put into unrealistic standarts and that unless your tall strong and good loking with a side order of rich your fucked

    define many and i admit i must defien equalety as that with many things is subjective and i live in am uslim country kosova to be more specific ..and yes calling it unjust would be a understatment when the vast majorety of my muslim class mates consider rape normal and that women nto only want it but deserve it somehow

    so no dear i dont speak for my country or even my region but the truth is most muslim nations have inequalety to say the least

    i really dident want to talk about this shit here

  25. Mike Besaw says:

    Frank, bring back Liberty Meadows please!

  26. The Darth Vader sketch make me laugh out loud at my computer… and that takes something, I tell you what 🙂

  27. "nice skinny ass"? Those 3 words don't go together well….. Big PHAT ass! Is more like it.

  28. Alyx Jolivet says:

    I haven't seen these bitter feminists you speak of.

  29. Well, SpiderMan has been doing that up-butt squat for decades and no one's complained yet so…

  30. I think it's awesome and hysterical

  31. Thomas Mason says:

    glad i could bring you the giggles…lol

  32. count yourself lucky then.

  33. Frank Cho is being a smart a$$. I don't mean it in a bad way. He is making fun of the sexism that is perceived in comic. Personally I love the one of She-Hulk. Her facial expression says more then the actual words on the silliness of the situation. My issue with Milo Manara's SpiderWoman is more of difference in artistic taste. I had to look at SpiderWoman for a while to figure out what it was that bother me. I will admit the issue I have with her butt is completely silly because that is not how spandex fits on a butt. To look like that, she's have to be wearing nothing but body paint. Spandex wouldn't follow that deep of valley. It would curve gently above it, more like Cho's drawing. Still Manara's SpiderWoman is gracefully drawn so she seems to flow over the edge of the roof rather then climb over it.

  34. Chance Davis says:

    The true term for equality for all and those who fight for equality for all is egalitarianism. The Fem part usually makes people think that it has to do with putting women first because, if it didn't, a word emphasizing the fem part wouldn't have been coined by a movement that has focused only on the fem part since it's inception. It is inherent. The unfortunate part is that the larger portion of the movement has indeed sought social advantages at the expense of the other half.

  35. Davey Boom says:

    Honestly, any adult with body issues because of comic books has bigger issues than their body image. They are drawings. Not people. They also fly and pick up buses.. If this is the most important issue in feminism today, then that's really really sad.

  36. Eddie Ed says:

    this is great!! take that feminaizs #gamergate

  37. Frank Cho is freaking AWESOME!

  38. If this is all a joke about the stupid controversy surrounding that Spider-Woman cover (Spider-Man has made poses like that and worse before, why are we just now picking it out on Spider-Woman?), then it's genius. If it's him just drawing sexy women to draw sexy women, that's not good, but it's his choice. It seems more like the former, since a lot of those covers seem likes jokes. He makes nice artwork, so I hope the former.

  39. Kenny Goeku says:

    Artist Jen Tucker My guess is that he's referring to the radical Tumblr Social Justice Warriors who get offended by anything and everything.
    Oh, and that's not an exaggeration, those people exist.

  40. Niko, bite me. Feminism is just the idea that women are equal. If you're against that then to hell with you. And your momma ought to disown you.

  41. Dave Clark says:

    All I can say is when I first saw it, I loved the Spider-Gwen cover but sadly it will never find its way into my collection. Oh tears, oh despair.

  42. What the hell? It's 2015, I and plenty others happen to love ass and titties lol. That's a compliment the crazy feminist whack attacks don't get. We want a Batgirl cover with Joker mocking her from The Killing Joke, we want these Frank Cho covers. Our comic covers are being killed by everyone throwing up their arms over this stuff that isn't even bad. Watch tv feminists, you will find a treasure of complaining to do and stay away from our comics.

  43. The only problem I ever had with that pose is that Spiderwoman's neck needs to be broken in at least 2 places to bend like that

  44. Dean Swiatek says:

    Frank has basically made a mockery of one rejected cover… maybe beat it to death, but rather than get mad at him, these idiotic feminists need to open their eyes and see the larger picture.

  45. I'm not a feminist. I just think it's wrong to choke women in bed, get into creepy bondage scenarios with girls a couple of years out of high school. And I would never scream at my mom at a gas station so loud that it makes her cry.

    I don't think not doing these things makes me a feminist. I think it makes me a man.

  46. Artist Jen -many of them know this, they just don't believe in equality for all, so they twist and demonize the term. It's a technique that's been perfected by the extreme Right for the past 35 years.

  47. I object to the Manara cover, but not the Cho riffs. Why? Manara drew a obviously naked woman covered in body paint and her, um, assets are posed and ready for penetration. Cho's drawings represent clothing on his damsels, therefore, his women are not ready for coitus. I would be offended by the Leia sketch, but the caption stops the drawing from being simply gratuitous.

  48. Cho's stuff is awesome. And funny. That's the difference. Well, that and his ladies are still wearing clothes & not body paint. Nobody needs to see that far up anyone's ass.

  49. Cho's stuff is awesome. And funny. That's the difference. Well, that and his ladies are still wearing clothes & not body paint. Nobody needs to see that far up anyone's ass.

  50. Shaun Narine says:

    Well, Frank Cho has always admitted to being a complete pig when it comes to women. He is just living up to his reputation. I like Cho's work. He is a good artist with a great mastery of the human body. His drawings are sexy. But, as I said, he is a sexist pig. I have the feeling that if I met him in person, I would find him to be an ignorant frat boy. But I think it's important to distinguish between the artist and the work that he does – though, in this case, Cho is deliberately trying to be offensive, but the appropriate reaction is to roll one's eyes, not get bent out of shape.

  51. I'm a feminist…and I find his work hilarious. xD But everyone's got their own opinions.

  52. I'm confused, what are you referencing here? Did the artist do these things?

  53. David Young says:

    Frank Cho is fucking based

  54. […] And then there is the other problem. The featured characters have been icons in a market that has been dominated by boys and men  for decades. They have been sexualized, objectified, tortured, and even raped in comic books. Are these the characters we want our six-year-old daughters to identify with?  Sure, these will not be the stories that will be exposed to in the “just for girls” club, but what happens when the young, new converts look across the aisle at Wonder Woman in a titillating “broke-back” pose or see Batgirl in bondage, or Harley Quinn in a maniacally bloody rage on the cover of another comic in the local comic shop How do we explain the sexy pinups of those strong female role models when our daughters want to go to a comic con? How do we prevent the stand-off when feminists and sexists clash, as they continue to, over images such as the sexy covers parodied by Frank Cho? […]

  55. Shaun Narine says:

    I don't think that too many feminists are "despairing" about this. Feminism won its battles a long time ago. 99% of young women (and most men) in the Western world are feminists by default. Just try turning back the clock. Little tempests in the teapot like this one don't really matter.

  56. You never heard anyone complain when a Spider-Man issue went out with the same pose as spider woman

  57. Feminist tears make life worth living..

  58. Rhevea Ellis says:

    Feminists are ridiculous!! Had the rather the idea of a skinny little girl be the idea of what is perfect? Or a real woman with curves? I think they are sexy. I had rather this than size zero cover models with no butts or boobs any day!!

  59. […] the disrespectful attitude and “just not getting it”-ness as pointed out in this article, What the Hell is Frank Cho Doing? that is the problem. Cho’s attitude towards women as characters and fans is important to me as a […]

  60. Robert says:

    i don’t really care what feminists claim about “true feminism”

    The fact of the matter is the word is derivative of “female”

    if feminism was truly about equality then it would have no exclusive mention of either gender.
    or it would mention both; but then it’s an issue depending on which one you place first;
    because you know: words are linear.

    it’s much simpler than all that…

    the word for equality.

    wait for it..


  61. joe bob guy says:

    Frank Cho deserves HUGE fuckin monuments in every major city (especially the dumbocrap run cities) and if any of the whiny crybaby sjw tards dont like it they should be banned from every saying anything about it to save us all from their ‘microaggressions’ and ‘bigotry’ (IOW, They can get a taste of their own medicine).

  62. […] por lo mismo que Frank Cho se dio a la tarea de crear una serie de fan arts como portadas alternativas de varias de las más bellas heroínas y villanas, no solo de Marvel, […]

  63. random says:

    holy goddess batman!
    yes robin goddess holes indeed!
    batman approves that pose!

  64. Jane says:

    From my personal point of view, as a female, I thought it was all hilarious.. No big deal

  65. mike hoffman says:

    More SWJ bullshit. When did men start wearing panties?

  66. NEWS says:

    […] now, this is just about spite, plain and simple. There’s nothing remotely altruistic about the lengths to which they’ve gone not only to insist on their right not only to draw what they want, but to express their entitlement […]

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