Adult Powerpuff Girls art stirs ire, but is it really offensive?

Contributed by
Jan 22, 2014

ThePowerpuff Girls -- saving the world before bed time. But should they be saving us from this artwork instead?

It's been really great having one of the all-time funniest Cartoon Network shows back in the limelight. Yes, long before My Little Pony was the show targeted at girls that grown-ups seemed to flock to anyway, there was The Powerpuff Girls. It had been nearly a decade since they'd saved the day with a new episode, but just this week saw their triumphant return.

But we're not talking about that.

Sure, it could be argued that trading the bold colors and straight lines of the original for a sketchier, free-handed, washed-out feel isn't the best choice, but, aesthetically, that's all it is -- a choice. There's good and bad to it.

On the other hand, there's this alternate cover to the sixth issue of IDW's Powerpuff Girls comic.

This variant cover from artist, Mimi Yoon, portrays a decidedly more adult version of Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup. And while the anime continuation of the series, Powerpuff Girls Z, also provided a slightly more mature take on these characters, there's been some question over this particular cover.

Yes, some people are not happy. But the real shocking part of this story is the origin of the art. For those who know comics, it's not uncommon for publishing houses to release variant covers that appeal to an, ahem, more adult audience. So one might assume that IDW was responsible for this cover, but according Dirk Wood of IDW, that's not the case.

That was actually a Cartoon Network mandated cover, by an artist of their choosing. I think they were thinking of it more along the lines of “female empowerment” than the kind of thing you guys are talking about, but certainly, we’re sensitive to the issues here. We love making comics for kids, and always want them to be appropriate. For what it’s worth, CN has been a great partner in that regard… I know an 8 year old and 10 year old really well, and always look at these kinds of things through their eyes… Half of the employees have kids here, and we pride ourselves in making comics they’ll enjoy and not give them a warped view of the world (except, you know, in a good way). Anyway, I certainly see your points, and we’ll be sensitive to these things, as I think we mostly have been.

So this comes directly from Cartoon Network themselves. Color us surprised.

If I have to put my hand on my heart, my gut tells me that an all-ages comic starring five-year olds probably shouldn't have a cover portraying those kids as latex-wearing adults. But that doesn't mean Mimi Yoon shouldn't be offered more work in the future or that the cover itself is ugly.

But that's just me. What do you think?

(via Bleeding Cool)

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