I Can’t Fight a Girl Wearing Skimpy Chainmail

Sword Song, Volume One: Sisterhood of SteelSword Song, Volume One: Sisterhood of Steel by SQP
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Much has been written about the silliness, as it were, of dressing up beautiful fantasy women in tiny little armor and putting a weapon in their hands, as if that were all it takes to create a warrior. Invariably fantasy art of this type stresses sex and violence, not military practicality. Generally these women are voluptuous, not athletic; their armor is decorative, not functional; and most of them wouldn’t have the strength to lift a weapon of the size shown. And, let us not forget, it is always important to have one’s hair styled and make-up on before going out to slay a badass demon.

All that being said, I confess to being drawn to this art, particularly when it’s by Frank Frazetta or a similar-style illustrator. None of the artists in this slim volume were known to me. Unfortunately, many of the illustrations do not clearly show the artist’s name, and there is no list showing which artist goes with what picture. Among my favorites are the ones by Arantza, especially “Raven’s War.” Arantza’s soft tones add an air of mystery to his subjects. And I can’t end this review without mentioning the illustration on the back cover by David Dunstan, which immediately reminded me of the classic “Little Annie Fanny” comics.

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Posted March 19, 2014 by markelacy in book review

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