This entry may contain references/words that may offend some readers. It is best to look away if you are the sensitive type. In fact, you might want to go to a different website altogether today. Try this one (be sure to read to the end to get to the PIRATES) instead.
It is now time for me to discuss a painful issue that I never thought I would have to address in my blog. Unlike other sensitive topics I have brought up before, such as my broken coccyx bone, or my cat Henrietta's endorsement of John Kerry, this is not an issue I ever believed, in a million years, that I would be publicly discussing.
It is an issue I have often read about in some of my favorite literary websites (such as this one). But it is not something I ever, ever thought I would have to worry about with my own books.
I was wrong.
The issue I am talking about is, of course…
I am sorry if by using the word boobage I am offending anyone. However, there is no other word for it, except man-titty, which is, of course, inappropriate for a family website like this one. And well-defined pectoral muscle simply doesn't cut it.
But what else can you call it when a male figure on your book cover has bigger boobs than your heroine?
You all know what it is called. It is called Man Boobage.
Now, I will admit, my case of man-boobage is not that advanced. One might even go so far as to say mine is not technically man-boobage at all, compared to other examples, such as this one:
(Love La Lindsey, in any language. LOVE HER. So naughty.)
And okay, compared to the above, my case of man-boobage is, like, nothing.
There is still, however, definitely highly pronounced shading in the pectoral area on the male figures on my cover below, which disturbs me. Especially since none of the characters who have it (with the possible exception of the guy below in the wife-beater) would ever wear a shirt tight enough to reveal it.
What I am talking about, people, is the UK cover of my December 2005 release, Avalon High:
Laugh if you want, but it is plain to see: those boys have bigger boobs than the girls.
Don't get me wrong—I think this is a GREAT cover (although I should mention that the US cover is going to be gold—GOLD, people, so shiny, you can see your face in it. I am not saying I like the US cover better. I love all my covers just the same. But the US one is definitely going to be more expensive to produce. Because, even though it is not real gold, it is gold foil, and that, as any publisher will tell you, costs a lot. It will only cost you–the consumer–however much an average hardcover costs these days, but it's going to cost the publisher a lot more than my previous books. Because, like I said…it's GOLD).
And before anyone gets the wrong idea, I completely love my UK illustrator, who has been doing my UK covers and illustrations for more than five years now, and doing a fantastic job on them.
But I have already been asked why on the cover of Avalon High the girl who is holding a sword has a boy band standing behind her. Is the book, curious readers want to know, about a boy band? Is Avalon High the name of this boy band? Is the girl with the sword the band manager? And if so, who is that other girl? The band's stylist?
(Answers: No, it is not. No, it is not. No, she is not. No, the other girl is a cheerleader.)
What's happened is that, in an affort to “age up” my books, the male characters on my covers have undergone a makeover. The Avalon High cover is not an isolated case. I mean, check out David on the UK Ready or Not cover:
No self-respecting nerd, which David, of course, is, would ever wear a shirt this tight.
Yes, there is no denying, as eye-candy, he is fetching. But he does not look this way in real life. Or, er, in the book.
If you are a man, and you suffer from man-boobage, this does not in any way make you a bad or unattractive person. Some of my very best male friends have bigger boobs than I do, and it doesn't bother me. I don't mind seeing man-boobage on superheroes, in comic books, or even the movies (think Christian Bale in Batman Begins). The only place man-boobage bothers me is on book covers. Particularly MY book covers.
It is just that those of us who were not blessed with copious amounts of boobage of our own can't help but feel inadequate when we see men on book covers who have more boobage that we do. And I'm sure those of you with whom the boob fairy was more generous don't get anything out of seeing a guy with big ones either.
And yet there it is on book covers all the time: Man boobage.
Well, I'm just letting you know: the man boobage stops here. My publisher completely agrees with me. No more man boobage for my characters (except the ones that have already gone out–those pictured above).
Now, I am not saying that beneath my nerdy heroes' shirts there doesn't lurk a stunning set of abs and possibly well-defined pectoral muscles, as well. I can definitely understand why my publisher might have made a mistake about this, because all of my heroes are, clearly, fine specimens of the genus Guyus Nerdicus.
What I AM saying is that from now on, their shirts are going to be loose enough that you won't be able to tell for sure what is going on under there…unless you've read the descriptions INSIDE the book.
I just wanted to let you, my readers, know that I am aware of this hot-button issue, and that I'm on top of it. And so is my awesome publisher. You won't be seeing man boobage on any covers from THIS author ever again.
Now back to your regularly scheduled blog.
PS While we are on the topic of public service announcements, I feel that I should mention that this website is a JOKE, people. They are not really putting kittens (or babies) into jars. At least, not permanently.
PLEASE, for the love of GOD, stop sending me forwards about how we have to shut this site down. The next person who sends me that forward is getting one back about the girl with lung cancer from second hand smoke whose parents beat her, I swear to God. Or the poem about the girl who promised not to drink at the party but then got hit by a drunk driver on the way home anyway.
Now forward this blog to 30 people and Bill Gates will send you a free iPod.
PPS Oh my God, that was a joke, too! Bill Gates is not giving away free iPods! People! Come ON!!!!