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Is this a picture of:

a) 80s rapper Kool Moe Dee

b) Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan

c) Reverend Run of Run-DMC

d) The Voodoo Pope

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I’ve always known that the depiction of characters in superhero comics is highly stylized and unrealistic, with some artists, for example Todd McFarlane, guiltier than others.  Proportions are just vaguely human, skin-tight costumes hug every perfectly-formed muscle, and shoulders are improbably broad while waists are impossibly narrow.

And then there are the breasts.

Power Girl breaks the fourth wall and acknowledges the enormity of the situation.

I recently came across an illustration of the DC Comics superheroine Power Girl that was eye-popping, even to my seen-it-all comics-reading eyes.  I was more of a Marvel fan during my rabid comics-reading days so, although I was vaguely aware of Power Girl, I can’t recall ever reading any stories that featured her.  I knew that she was an alternate universe version of Supergirl, and related to Superman.  And I remembered the costume, a white one-piece bathing suit with long sleeves and an inexplicable cleavage window.  I googled Power Girl images to see if this particular artist had taken liberties with his illustration of the character.  As it turns out, no.  In fact, I discovered that Power Girl, in an industry noted for its idealization of the female form, had gained a reputation for having the biggest breasts in the DC Universe. David Campbell, on his blog Dave’s Long Box, explores the phenomenon in depth, with tons of illustrations to support his theory that Power Girl “is a tabula rasa that comic book fans and creators alike can project their conscious and unconscious desires on to.”  Comic book fans and creators, in short, love breasts.

For all of the hyper-sexualized, pornstar-esque bodies that populate superhero comics, however, it’s a decidedly juvenile sexuality.  There aren’t a lot of mature romantic or sexual relationships in comics, and when sexuality is acknowledged, as Campbell notes, it’s more likely to be in a leering, double-entendre fashion.

And that’s probably why comics never address the in-your-face issue of genitals. Strange, because these are characters who routinely traipse around in their underwear.  Look lower in the picture of Power Girl, and you’ll see that her costume is noticeably French-cut, and quite revealing.  All I’m saying is that Power Girl must have taken time off from fighting crime to fly down to Rio for a Brazilian wax. Superheroines are hyper-sexualized depictions of women, with perfect measurements and curves.  Superheroes have different challenges, the opposite of the famous Seinfeld “shrinkage” issue.  When you’re wearing skin-tight underwear and little else, there’s nowhere to hide, but comics have solved this potentially embarrassing situation by under-sexualizing the men.  Like Ken dolls, male superheroes don’t seem to possess genitalia (or, at least, not functioning genitalia).

And so while debates can rage about which superheroine has the best figure or the largest breasts, we will never be able to discuss which superhero has the biggest muscle in the DC Universe.

The Center for Poor Karma & Pain is pleased to present excerpts from the new bestseller Chicken Soup for the Zombie Soul, available at fine booksellers everywhere.

Hhrrhhnnnn… errrrghh… brains…ggrraaaa… BRAINS… kkkrreeeh… B R A I N S ! ! !

-ancient Chinese zombie proverb

Aaaahhhhnnnn… Ministry… cchhhonngkh… The Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Taste… nngghh… NOOOO!… Mind best thing to taste… schnaaah… errrrrrrr.

-Zombie Greil Marcus

The heart has its own reasons which reason knows nothing of.  Also, BRRAAAAINSSSSS!!!!

-Blaise Pascal

Brains, indeed.  Food for thought… and zombies.

"Hey Justin, how many pubes today?"

Sixteen-year old pop sensation Justin Bieber is an idol for millions of rabid fans, a teenage heart-throb, and a habitual trending topic on Twitter only months after bursting onto the music scene.  He is the first artist to have seven songs from a debut album chart on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart.  His debut single charted in the top 30 in more than ten countries, and new hit song “Baby” is an international smash.  He is also totally freaking out about the hair that has begun to grow around his genitals.

Bieber is one of the youngest musical guests to ever appear on Saturday Night Live.  After a fierce bidding war which included strong interest from Justin Timberlake, the adorable singer/dancer was signed by Usher to Island Records in late 2008.  Hard-working as well as talented, Bieber taught himself to play the piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet.  He is also wondering why these curly black hairs have suddenly appeared and if anyone else has ever had this sort of thing happen to them.

Bieber performed for U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House for Christmas in Washington, which was broadcast on December 20, 2009, and days later was also one of the performers at Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve on December 31, 2009. He was a presenter at the Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010, and was invited to be a vocalist for the remake of “We Are the World” for its 25th anniversary to benefit Haiti after the earthquake.  Seriously, this is so gross and why does he have to be such a freak with ugly hair growing down there?

Bieber will begin recording his next album in the summer of 2010 in New York City. British singer/songwriter Taio Cruz has confirmed he is writing on Bieber’s next project.  That is, until he finds out that Bieber is some kind of wolfman or something… I mean, c’mon, this is like THE WORST THING EVER!!!  EPIC FAIL!!!

Bieber’s voice is now deeper than it was when he recorded his albums because of puberty.  The singer, discussing his vocals, remarked, “It cracks. Like every teenage boy, I’m dealing with it and I have the best vocal coach in the world. […] Some of the notes I hit on “Baby” I can’t hit anymore. We have to lower the key when I sing live.”  His trademark grin fading, Bieber adds: “Plus, I have freaking hair growing all around my wiener… why isn’t anyone teaching me how to deal with that?!  Fame and crazy fans I can handle, but pubes?  Oh, baby, baby!  I can’t take it!!

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