With the monthly numbers for March 2013 up over at Bleeding Cool, it’s time to take a closer look at the stats and see what both publishers were up to this month.
DC was down from last month overall, but by the smallest amount possible. Let’s compare their numbers to past totals in our brand new six month rolling comparison. I wasn’t happy with comparing the numbers to the 2012 averages because both publishers changed a lot over the year and the annual averages don’t necessarily reflect that, so now each month we’ll compare the current numbers to the average of the six months previous. Here’s DC:
They’re up 0.6% overall, which isn’t huge but which isn’t too bad. Cover artists and writers were each up noticeably as well, and editors had a small gain while letterers matched the recent average exactly. Colorists and assistant editors fell by small amounts, but the art is where it gets sort of ugly. Inkers were down slightly, while pencillers had the largest drop of all the categories this month despite having only 2.5% female creators to start with! The art situation at DC is in very rough shape, even just relative to the past few months.
Now to the odds and ends:
- That 0.8% for pencillers at DC represents one lady on one book: Nicola Scott on Earth 2 #10. I suppose if you’re only going to hire one female penciller, Nicola Scott is an excellent choice.
- For the second month in a row, there was at least one female writer every week at DC.
- Also, the Arrow comic is particularly good for female writers, with three of them on Arrow #5: Tiffany Williams, Mary Iacono, and Katherine Walczak.
- Two new series started in March: Ame-Comi Girls #1 at 1 of 9 (Sarah Gaydos editing) and Constantine #1 at 1 of 10 (Katie Kubert assistant editing).
- The Vertigo anthology special Time Warp #1 came in at 5 of 37 (Jordie Bellaire coloring, Karen Berger editing, Shelly Bond editing, Sara Miller assistant editing, and Gail Simone writing).
- Time Warp #1 was also the busiest book of the month, with Arrow #5 in second place with 16 creators, 4 of them women (including the writers mentioned about and Bettie Breitweister coloring the cover).
- The book with the highest percentage of female creators was Smallville Season 11 #11 at 4 of 8, with Fairest #13 close behind at 3 of 7. The best New 52 book was Birds of Prey #18 at 3 of 9.
Marvel’s in an odd spot, having dropped by not insubstantial amounts for a few months running now while still maintaining the top spot in terms of overall percentage of female creators. I suppose that’s what comes from setting a new record a few months ago; there’s a long way to fall when you’re that high. But still, the downward trend is troubling. Let’s look at the numbers:
This is where the new rolling comparison works better. This month, Marvel would have flattened their 2012 average, but they’ve been on such an upswing recently that this month they’re actually down 0.5% compared to the past six months. Writers are up nicely while colorists are about the same, and a slight gain for editors is balanced out by a slight loss for assistant editors. Art, however, is low. Not by massive amounts in and of themselves, but because we’re starting with such a low average to begin with these slight drops carry more weight. Cover artists, pencillers, and inkers are all down from recent months. This is an unpleasant trend for both publishers, particularly considering the wealth of great female artists working in comics today.
Let’s go through some specifics:
- Marvel also had at least one female writer every week in March! It was a decent month all around for female writers at the Big Two, though one dwarfed by the fact that there were at least 16 male writers every week at Marvel too.
- There were a bunch of new books in March: Age of Ultron #1 at 1 of 14 (Lauren Sankovitch editing), Monsters, Inc.: Perfect Date #1 at 4 of 10 (Anna Merli penciling, Michaela Frare inking, Antonella Donola and Jann Jones editing), Ultimate Wolverine #1 at 1 of 10 (Emily Shaw assistant editing), Wolverine #1 at 2 of 14 (Jeanine Schaefer editing, Jennifer M. Smith assistant editing), X-Termination #1 at 3 of 12 (Majorie Liu co-plotting, Jeanine Schaefer editing, Jennifer M. Smith assistant editing), and Guardians of the Galaxy #1 at 2 of 13 (Ellie Pyle and Sana Amanat assistant editing).
- Yet again, there were no female letterers at Marvel, making it 856 DAYS since Marvel has hired a female letterer.
- The busiest book of the month was a threeway tie between Age of Ultron #1 (1 of 14), Wolverine #1 (2 of 14), and Astonishing X-Men #60 (3 of 14).
- The book with the highest percentage of female creators was X-Treme X-Men #12 at 4 of 8.
- To learn more about this statistics project and its methodology click here, and to see the previous stats click here.