When you die, you get a sheet of paper.
It’s not a form, it’s not an invitation or directions to heaven. In point of fact, it’s entirely blank.
When you die, you get a blank sheet of paper and a pen.
What else you get is not much. You get space. Infinite, unyielding, tar black space. Technically it’s open but you might as well be in a room. You can’t really see anything but the paper and the pen, which are plenty visible.
You have a body, sort of. You don’t need to eat anymore or to run your fingers through your hair. You don’t need to stretch your lips and feel them crack when they are chapped. You don’t need lips at all. You can’t even really see your body in the absence of a mirror, but you know it has to be there, like your ears when you can’t see them, because the job gets done.
When you die, you get a sheet of blank paper, a pen, and hands to write with.
And that’s all. That and time.
You sit for a long while—two days maybe—thinking about the time. It feels like two days, anyway, and that feels very long to you. You know you’re dead—you remember the tree trunk, or the oncoming car, or the sudden, sharp pain in your left arm and chest. So you sit and you think—what next? Is this a test?
WHY BIG SUPERHERO MUSCLES AREN’T ‘THE SAME THING’ AS SEXY CURVES
As a man who reads superhero comics, I confess that I share a commonly-held prurient interest in big-chested, long-legged heroes in skin-baring costumes that barely cover their naughty bits — or as I like to call him, Namor.
Sadly, Namor is pretty much alone in his category. Contrary to the perception that male heroes in comics are frequently sexually objectified, it’s my experience that even Namor is only rarely presented as someone to lust over. Yet I’m fortunate that my tastes run towards the Hemsworth end of the scale. Like many straight men, I admire the kind of buff dudes that are the staple of superhero comics, even though they are rarely sexualized. If I shared the tastes of most of the women I know, I think I’d find superhero comics an even more frustratingly sexless wasteland.
Big muscles are a male fantasy. That’s not to say that women aren’t ever into them, but let’s face facts; women have never been the primary target audience for superhero comics, and male heroes are drawn with big muscles anyway. Make no mistake; women are there. But those big muscles are not there for women. They’re there for men; straight men who find male power exhilarating. If women didn’t exist, superheroes would be drawn just as buff as they are today — because as far as most superhero comics are concerned, women as consumers do not exist.
Yet I’ve seen it said more times than I can count that male heroes are objectified, sexualized, idealized, just the same as the women — because they’re big and ripped and dressed in tight costumes. It’s an idea that’s completely tied up in the narcissistic notion that androphile women are attracted to the same qualities that men find appealing.
Talk to a few women, and you’ll find that’s broadly untrue.
I realized at some point in a long history of being around guys who call every attractive dude they see “gay”, an unsettling number of straight dudes feel super uncomfortable around what is clearly supposed to be a sexually appealing man. Even if there’s a complete absence of evidence that he’s even gay at all and he’s completely minding his own business and not interacting with them in any way, it’s like if someone is attractive enough that this particular subsect of straight dudes are aware that he is desirable they freak out with insecurity at the fact that he’s handsome and they noticed.
Best example of it I can think of was this one time sitting in a restaurant with some friends and this group of dudes who looked like Russian models or something in white tank tops and jeans walked past us and sat down at a table on the other side of the room. There was kind of a moment of silence while they were passing, and as soon as they got out of earshot a lot of guffawing like “Ha ha they’re SO GAY am I right?” followed. And it was just like… Why? Because they’re so hot that your brain unwittingly acknowledged them as sexually appealing people? That sounds like a personal problem dude, I dunno. But that kind of behaviour is so normalized and so totally accepted in at least North American culture that companies will bend over backwards to accommodate these guys. I have no idea what market share “straight dudes who are super squicked out by sexy men” make up, but I can’t imagine they’re as much of a driving economic force as they’re given credit for.
So like… People can argue about the physiques being equally idealistic up and down the block, catering to that audience that freaks the fuck out out like they just saw a big gross bug when they see an attractive man presented in an alluring way are always going to push this false equivalency angle instead of acknowledging that if men in comics were on average actually as sexualized as women in comics regularly are, everything at your LCS would look like a Glen Hanson pinup
ALL OF THIS.