Stanley "Artgerm" Lau Grabs Them By The Variant Cover?

Stanley "Artgerm" Lau is currently employed by DC Comics, working on the variant covers for the Supergirl comic book. Lau is what is colloquially referred to as a "good" girl" or "cheesecake" artist, and is a common sight at comic conventions selling his prints of well known mostly female superhero characters. His artwork, popular amongst both male and female fans is often interpreted as presenting the characters in a sexually available fashion. And so his hiring as cover artist on the Supergirl comics in particular has caused some concern, featuring as it does, a high school-attending version of the character…

Stanley "Artgerm" Lau Grabs Them By The Variant Cover?

His first August issue caused some concern with a return to the shorter skirt more familiar with the nineties and noughties, something that had been recently done away with in her own comics.

Stanley "Artgerm" Lau Grabs Them By The Variant Cover?

But the September cover has caused more concern. While critics acknowledge that it is utterly beautiful, there is the belief that is at odds with the contents on as thematic a level as the cancelled Killing Joke Batgirl cover from a few years ago. And it is something intentional from the artist.

Stanley "Artgerm" Lau Grabs Them By The Variant Cover?

The combination of the barely-there skirt, the "grabbing" theme, the soft focus and the crotch-adjacent hand placement reminds one critic of symbolism in Dutch paintings.

Stanley "Artgerm" Lau Grabs Them By The Variant Cover?

While the position of the fingers themselves have been interpreted as a sex act in and of themselves. And compared to the content of the comic book, this has been seen by some who have contacted Bleeding Cool as rather inappropriate.*

However, it is also worth pointing out that the bigger objection to that Batgirl #12 cover was over the concept of sexual violence, of kidnap, of abuse, very much against the overall tone of the comic at the time. This, in comparison, is far more positive. And as a result, may mute objections.

Also, it may be worth pointing out that what Artgerm has brought to the Supergirl comic book…is sales. And right now, Supergirl could really do with the sales. For those who have an issue with the covers, is it worth tolerating them if it means the title survives?

About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.