The Perennial Quest for the Perfect Butt

Comics added Jan 23, 2022 | Comic Cover Special Collections, Thematic Groupings

The Timeless Quest for the Perfect Ass Continues

Artists have sought to capture the perfect derriére in their preferred medium – stone, the written word, paint, wood, photography and more – since the beginning of time. Although the butts of men and women alike have been immortalized throughout the ages, women have always and continue to garner the most frequent attention.

The buttocks of women across the ages have been a symbol of beauty, desire and fertility. Primitive statues dating back to 24,000 BC feature prominent buttocks, hips and thighs. The Greeks and Romans, too, eroticized human buttocks – both male and female. Bare female buttocks in China during the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) were likewise a cultural erotic hotspot. Similarly, the West has considered the ass an erogenous zone, with spanking appearing prominently in pornography and erotica in Victorian Britain. Corsets and bustles were designed to make women more attractive – to draw attention in fact, some believe, to the wearer’s hips and, dare we say, buttocks. Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud theorized that a fixation on the ass and anus is one of three stages of psychosexual development. In short, an appreciation for a well-presented ass – whether it be the ass of a man or woman – is simply human nature.

With the trendy advent and adoption of jeans in the 20th century, the decline and near-abondonment of women’s dresses, and increasingly popular modern athletic wear (i.e. yoga pants), the human ass – particularly a woman’s ass – is emphasized and appreciated more frequently and more openly than ever before. Where a dress once cloaked a woman’s nether regions, jeans and tight/athletic fashions today famously put them on public display. Women’s jeans in fact account for nearly 70% of all denim sales worldwide while Victoria’s Secret, one of the world’s largest retailers of women’s intimate apparel such as bras, panties and other lingerie, rakes in more than $5 billion annually. As the times have changed, women from all walks of life have, like artists, sought to sculpt their butts to their cultural ideal of perfection using whatever means available: clothing, accessories, physical exercise and even plastic surgery.

Men, by the same token, are not immune to ass vanity. Like women, they choose physical exercises to shape and tone their posterior and select underwear and outerwear which best present their ass-ets to whomever may bear witness.

The quest and appreciation for the perfect ass as a timeless artistic tradition is alive and well in comic books. Women, however, continue to reign supreme. Their buttocks figure prominently in this medium, as they have across the ages. Some of the most popular female characters whose assets have been and will continue to be on prominent public display (in no particular order, except publisher) are Power Girl, Catwoman, Batgirl, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Harley Quinn, Poison Ivy, Black Canary, Starfire, Psylocke, The Black Cat (Felicia Hardy), Spider-Woman, She-Hulk, Elektra, Black Widow and Ms. Marvel. Male characters with the best backsides include Nightwing, Batman, Flash, Superman, Captain America, Spider-Man, Nightcrawler, Thor, Deadpool, Iron Man and Daredevil.

Some of today’s most popular artists are recognized  – and sometimes criticized – for their renditions of the female form, which typically accentuate a woman’s lower – some might say better! – half, while other perhaps more popular or well-rounded artists are generally lauded and revered for their occasional slip to the dark side of desire. Artists who have drawn attractive male backsides, on the other hand, have not generally faced the same cricisms. Some great covers, presenting a wonderfully attractive yet tame-by-comparison pair of well-rounded cheeks – both male and female – by a minor or unknown artist, may completely overlooked and forgotten.

Interestingly enough, professional photographers and commercial artists share common techniques which emphasize the bum, as the English might say – and other parts of the female anatomy. These poses can be struck standing, sitting or reclining, or in the case of comics, running, jumping, flying and fighting.

  1. Sculpt the spine into an ‘S’ shape, curving the lower back and cinching the abdomen to accentuate the curves of the buttocks to make them pop.
  2. Turn to the side slightly and cross the legs, bending one leg (less than 90°) to make the thighs appear narrower and butt to appear fuller, rounder; while at the same time pointing a foot or feet downard (if possible) to create fuller calves.
  3. Tilt a shoulder toward the camera/viewer, making the chest and waist appear narrower and the butt and breasts/chest rounder/larger.

If we look closely, we find these same techniques used by the most professional and appealing artists in the comic industry, as seen in the cover gallery below.

Humanity’s timeless fascination with buttocks has only increased with the hordes of users adopting social media platforms – i.e. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for example. Someone somewhere circa 2013 or 2014 coined a new term to describe our butt fixation and digital self-portraits: the “belfie,” or “bottom selfie.” The belfie, true to historical tradition, is frequently posted by female celebrities. While most belfies feature athleticwear such as the aforementioned socially acceptable yoga pants, belfies may also feature imaginative and revealing lingerie or no clothing at all. Just like the covers featured below.

We hope to showcase some of the finest derriéres in the comic industry, from lesser artists and fan favorites alike, as this gallery grows.

And we will do our best to represent both sexes.


Sources: Wikipedia (Cultural History of Buttocks); Statista (Global Denim Market Statistics; Urban Dictionary (Belfie); (Introducing the Belfie, A Parent’s Guide); Daily Mail (The “Keech Peach”); Allure (“7 Weird Tricks for Looking Great in Photos“); & Victoria’s Secret Statistics & Facts)