Former Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane artist Takeshi Miyazawa, who drew the cover for Heroes for Hire #12, comments on the controversy over the cover to the next issue, and comes to the defense of artist Sana Takeda:
I drew the previous cover to Heroes for Hire and was asked to choose at least two girls out of the cast and draw them as sexy as possible so, naturally, I did. It ended up looking more cute than sexy but herein lies my point, I guess. Cultural attitudes towards sex and nudity are, well, different. Especially between North America and Japan. J-comic readers know that there are many non-porn titles that will probably never see the light of day due to these differing tastes. Showing penises and boobies aren’t that big of a deal in Japan but often get censored or edited backhome. Even if it’s the cute Dragonball style double U for a wee-wee. Y’know what I’m talking about.
There is also the issue of what an “ideal” woman is considered to be between NA and J. Basically, dominant vs submissive. I’m not saying which is better, just that it does indeed exist and that it falls under the umbrella of sexy and attractive. And I’m speculating that what hit the biggest chord with most people had nothing to do with the tentacles or the hairband or the cleavage but the expressions on the faces of the three girls. And, y’know, I understand. Especially since I’m somewhat familiar with the characters and the fact that they are supposed to be strong kick-ass amazon woman-like. It’s rather uncharacteristic of all three of them to be acting so helpless and contrary to the purpose of the property. I’m sure Takeda-san had no idea, though, and since she recieves work through translated e-mails and notes, I’m not surprised. She drew the most attractive cover in a way only she could.
Miyazawa now lives in Japan, and has been blogging fairly regularly about his efforts to break into the comics industry there.