Spider-Gwen co-creator Robbie Rodriguez shared his thoughts on Frank Cho's Milo Manara style Spider-Gwen cover on Twitter:
Last night, he followed up on Facebook with a longer explanation and a response to those who were critical of his tweet:
Thanks for my making my feed entertaining. You kids have knocked out one more of my career goals.
Let me start by saying, for one, that wasn't a physical treat. It would have been an earful similar to this post, just with more cursing. Trust me - a good ton of the pros in the business would want to do the same.
Two, I don't take back what I said. It's my opinion and feeling on the matter, and you can take it or leave it. I didn't put it out there for discussion. I'm a prick that way. Also, it isn't something I haven't expressed before. You can find a few tweets on fan art, and I'm well aware I can't control what fans do. I know it doesn't hurt the ground swell that the industry has made so far, but it does hurt what ground has been made regarding the influx of new readers when a pro does work in that manner.
That tone has its place and its audience, and it doesn't make you wrong for liking it. Shit, I like most of Milo Manara's main work. I think they're fantastic works within their subject and context. But out of context it can come off as tasteless since this country is still not mature about sexuality and sexual expression. More importantly, it becomes trashy when we are in the midst of the biggest new reader boom in years. At ECCC I never heard so many "this is my daughter/son's first comic" or "my wife has never picked up a comic till this book" or sister/brother, or other non-reader. It's fucking fantastic that the industry broke that wall. But every time I see those 10 gratuitous variant covers I cringe as I sign while said new readers watches.
Shit son, this isn't about censorship because most of the people bringing up that argument don't even know what that word means exactly. If you, as pro, want this medium and industry to be taken seriously, like we have a chance to now, then start fucking acting like it and change with the times. The definition of body image has changed in of all entertainment in the last decade. And it's not a matter of changing the style of your work - it's a matter of thinking about your work outside of your bubble.
Really, it just took me getting over telling non-readers that that I work in comics, because it was embarrassing to have the only image associated with the medium be "big tits, big guns." We are making some great headway now. You don't know how many time I've seen Saga at the bars I draw in, and it's fucking amazing. It's fucking amazing because these are not old readers, these are fresh young minds just getting into the medium. But once they see works like the Cho sketch cover or the J.Scott covers, it puts the medium back in the basement-troll stereotype zone. Trust, you may not see it, but it's there.
So guys, (and this is the guys here) we have a chance to make this industry more legitimate than it has been in decades. Don't fuck it up by sticking to your old ways. With the new influx of fantastic female creators, you need to do your part to build the business. This may be our last great chance to do so. Growing the fuck up will help us all out in the long run.
This is just my opinion and not a discussion I have no time for. I have fucking work to do."
We'll continue to keep you updated on this story, which probably has some life left. Read about Frank Cho's part here.