Posts Tagged ‘Women In Comics’

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – October 2014 Solicits

August 4, 2014

womenatmarvelOCTOBER

After several months of poor showings in the solicits, October looks somewhat better for female creators and characters at Marvel but still far from good. As much as there are a couple new female creators to celebrate, the numbers remain very low. As much as female characters are set to appear in several books, they’re vastly outnumbered by male characters and a lot of these appearances are limited engagements. Let’s look at the October 2014 solicits.

  • For writers, Kelly Sue DeConnick is on Captain Marvel #8, G. Willow Wilson pens Ms. Marvel #9, Corinna Bechko co-writes Savage Hulk #5, and Robin Furth co-writes Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Prisoner #3.
  • For artists, Ariela Kristantina is drawing Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #2 and Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #3, Stephanie Hans is doing the cover for Storm #4, and Amanda Conner is drawing the covers for Miracleman #11 and Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #3.
  • For female characters, Rogue and the Scarlet Witch look to be part of the Avengers & X-Men: AXIS event (I thought they died?), Storm of Mystique are part of AXIS Revolutions, and X-23, Lady Deathstrike, and Mystique are some of the leads in Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy. These are all limited series.
  • Meanwhile, at least three new ongoing series are launching with male leads, and the cover for the special Marvel 75th Anniversary Celebration #1 features 38 men and 13 women along with no female creators whatsoever despite a lengthy list of writers and artists.

All together, 7 different women are working on 9 different books in October, which is certainly better than September’s 5 and 6, respectively. Nonetheless, this is still a very low amount. In this day and age, if a massive publisher like Marvel can’t hit double digits for female creators, they’re obviously just not trying hard enough. There are a lot of them out there, many of them quite good. There’s no lack of talent to draw from, and yet here we are with only 7 women across upwards of 75-80 comic books.

On the plus side, there are some new names. Ariela Kristantina is an Indonesian artist that I haven’t heard of before these solicits; her art looks very cool. And while I’ve definitely heard of Corinna Bechko, I can’t recall her working on any mainline Marvel books lately, though she did co-write Marvel’s Once Upon a Time graphic novel from last year. It’s always good to see new names, though lately with Marvel they don’t stick around for very long. Hopefully that is not the case for these women.

As for female characters, there’s a bit of representation in the AXIS event books but for each pair of women attached to the titles there are about 10 or so men as well. Things are better in the Death of Wolverine books, where the female characters appear to be playing a more central role, but the mini-series will be over quickly. All of the new ongoing books for October are led by male characters, though next month we will probably see the new female Thor and perhaps more.

Overall, the numbers for female creators have improved somewhat, but they’re still a long way from good and they remain very inconsistent. Marvel needs to a) hire more women, b) get them on regular gigs, and c) stop getting white dudes to make all of their comics. Maybe then men wouldn’t dominate the character side of things as much.

Women In Comics Statistics: DC And Marvel, May 2014 In Review

July 25, 2014

bleedingcool

The May 2014 “Gendercrunching” column is up over at Bleeding Cool, and DC took the top spot for the sixth straight month, just barely edging out Marvel for the higher percentage of female creators.

DC fell to 11.8% female creators overall, and after a solid gain from April, Marvel rose to 11.7% female creators. Given recent trends, DC’s streak might get broken with the June report.

We also look at four smaller publishers: Archie, Avatar, Zenescope, and Valiant. Of the four, Zenescope is the only publisher with a decent female presence, and their representation is very uneven. The rest have very few women at all, including one publisher without a single female creator at any level of comic production.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the “Gendercrunching” fun, and check out their Comic-Con news coverage while you’re there!

The Latest Image Expo Has More Female Creators Than The Last One, But Still Room To Improve

July 24, 2014

image

January’s Image Expo announced a slew of exciting new books but had a disappointing lack of female creators. Of the 41 credited creators on these new books, only 5 were women, a paltry 12.2%. The visuals weren’t great either; when all of the creators took to the stage at the end of the show, it was a sea of white dudes with only two women in the mix. For a company that promotes itself as a bastion of diversity and celebrates its non-Big Two practices, this lack of female representation was quite a letdown.

But yesterday, Image held their second Expo of the year in San Diego as a sort of preamble to Comic-Con, which officially kicks off today. They announced 12 new titles, fewer than the previous Expo, but there were definitely some exciting announcement in the mix. In particular, I’m looking forward to Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen teaming up, and a new Warren Ellis book is always cause for celebration.

The video that ran before the announcements lauded Image’s diversity, and publisher Eric Stephenson’s keynote address chastised other publishers for “treating gender equality and cultural issues as though they’re little more than gimmicks to increase sales,” and declared “for decades, the comics industry has been viewed as a boys club, but that’s changing.” They were bold words from a publisher who only brought up two women at the last Expo, but Stephenson backed up his statements with several new books featuring female creators.

Here is the full list of announcements:

  • Tokyo Ghost by Rick Remender, Sean Murphy, and Matt Hollingsworth
  • From Under Mountains by Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson, and Sloane Leong
  • Valhalla Mad by Joe Casey and Paul Maybury
  • Rumble by John Arcudi and James Harren
  • Intersect by Ray Fawkes
  • The Humans by Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller
  • Invisible Republic by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko
  • Southern Cross by Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger, and Shari Chankhamma
  • Descender by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
  • Drifter by Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein
  • Tooth and Claw by Kurt Busiek, Ben Dewey, and Jordie Bellaire
  • Injection by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire

All together, these 12 new titles feature 27 credited creators, 7 of them women. That’s 25.9% female creators, a sizeable increase from the 12.2% we got in January. Also, 5 of the 12 books feature at least one female creator, a big step up from the 4 of 18 at the last Expo.

This is definitely better, but women remain a significant minority across the board. Obviously, progress takes time, and we should celebrate the growth of female creators at Image. It’s great to see new female creators making cool comics. However, lots of room for improvement remains, and on several levels. I haven’t run the numbers, but looking down this list I’m still seeing a heck of a lot of white people. The video they ran before the announcements, featuring many of their creators, is ridiculously white, and Kelly Sue DeConnick is the only woman who talks in it:

So there’s more work to do yet.

But ultimately, the latest Image Expo is a solid step for female creators, and kudos to Image for raising the bar. I’m looking forward to the next Image Expo, where hopefully they’ll raise the bar even further and continue to add more diversity to their comic book line.

Women At DC Comics Watch – October 2014 Solicits

July 17, 2014

womenatdcOCTOBER

This month’s DC Comics solicits report is aka. the Marguerite Bennett show. She’s got a big month lined up, along with a slew of other female creators and a few new books starring female characters as well. October should be a busy, exciting month for DC Comics, so let’s take a look at what’s coming up:

  • For New 52 writers, Ann Nocenti is on Klarion #1, Genevieve Valentine pens Catwoman #1, Becky Cloonan co-writes Gotham Academy #1, Amanda Conner co-writes Harley Quinn #11 and Harley Quinn Annual #1, and Marguerite Bennett co-writes Earth 2 #7 and Earth 2: World’s End #1-4 (it’s weekly).
  • For New 52 art, Meghan Hetrick is drawing Batman: Eternal #28, Babs Tarr is drawing Batgirl #35, Jan Duursema is doing a variant cover for Grayson #3, Becky Cloonan is doing covers for Gotham Academy #1 and Detective Comics #35, and Amanda Conner is doing covers for Harley Quinn #11 and Harley Quinn Annual #1.
  • Outside of the New 52, Marguerite Bennett co-writes Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Two Annual #1, Cat Staggs is doing the cover for Smallville Season 11: Chaos #3, Marguerite Sauvage is illustrating a story in Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #3, and Georgia Ball is writing Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #50.
  • For Vertigo, Meghan Hetrick and Tula Lotay have art in Bodies #4 while Jenny Frison is doing the cover, Caitlin Kittredge writes Coffin Hill #12, Celia Calle is doing the cover for The Names #2, Marguerite Sauvage is doing the cover for Hinterkind #12, Yuko Shimizu is the cover artist for The Unwritten: Apocalypse #10, and the Vertigo Quarterly: Yellow #1 features writing from Marguerite Bennett and art from Toril Orlesky.
  • In terms of new books, Power Girl and Huntress look to have a big role in the new Earth 2: World’s End weekly series, Arkham Manor has a woman, perhaps Poison Ivy, front and centre on the cover, Gotham Academy has a female lead, and the new Trinity of Sin co-stars Pandora.
  • There are also some cool creative shake-ups, with new takes on Batgirl and Catwoman premiering in October.

So yeah, it’s quite a month for women at DC! All together, 17 different women are working on 21 different titles in October, an impressive jump from September’s 13 and 12 as well as the highest combined total we’ve seen since this project launched nearly three years ago. These are great numbers, but as always please remember that the number of male creators in DC’s solicits is still in triple digits. Things are getting better, but female creators remain a very small minority.

What’s especially nice about this month’s solicits are all the new names. It’s always great to see old favourites, but new female creators are what is really going to change the industry. While it’s a bummer that there’s no Gail Simone this month, for perhaps the first time since this project began (she’ll be back soon with a new project, though!), growing the ranks of female creators at DC is a very positive thing. DC finally seems to be thinking outside of their dusty old rolodex and actively seeking new talent, and that is an exciting shift.

Also exciting are the new and revamped female characters debuting in October. Gotham Academy looks like an absolute blast, and the new Batgirl has already inspired a mountain of fan art. I’m excited for the new Catwoman as well; the book got off to a bad start with the New 52 and hasn’t yet found its footing in the new universe, and hopefully this will sort it out.

Overall, October looks pretty awesome for DC. The new books are garnering lots of excitement, and this explosion of new female talent is an extremely welcome change of pace for DC. Here’s hoping we get more of the same next month!

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – September 2014 Solicits

July 4, 2014

womenatmarvelSEPTEMBER

I’m still catching up on a few things, post-vacation, and one of them is the Marvel solicits for September. Yet again, they aren’t very good for female creators or new female characters, which is unfortunate. Marvel is capable of so much better. Let’s go through their September 2014 solicits:

  • For writers, Kelly Sue DeConnick is on Captain Marvel #7, G. Willow Wilson pens Ms. Marvel #8, and Robin Furth is co-writing Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Prisoner #1 and Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Prisoner #2 (the book double-ships in September).
  • For artists, Stephanie Hans is doing a variant cover for Storm #3 and Sara Pichelli is doing the cover for All-New X-Men #32.
  • And that’s it.
  • For new books, the Death of Wolverine is the big new thing, shipping weekly throughout the month. There are also some Spider-Verse tie-ins, including Edge of Spider-Verse #2 which features a universe where Gwen Stacey is the webbed superhero. There are also two new licensed properties, Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Prisoner and George Romero’s Empire of the Dead: Act Two, neither of which appear to have much in the way of female characters.

All together, the September solicits list 5 different female creators working on 6 different books, a very slight increase from August’s 5 and 5. This is pitiful. There are vast numbers of skilled female creators out there, many of whom Marvel has hired before, so only having 5 across more than 70 comics books is just inexcusable. Great women creators are out there and not difficult to find. I really don’t understand why they’re not hitting double digits with ease each month.

If we want to look on the positive side, last September Marvel had only 3 different women working on 4 different books, so I suppose they’ve gone from terrible to a little bit less terrible over the course of a year. Well done!

In terms of female characters, while an issue about Gwen Stacey as Spider-Woman sounds like a lot of fun, it’s a one-and-done story that won’t be back next month. It’s a relatively quiet month for new titles at Marvel, so technically a female-led story is decent representation, but it’s not lasting representation by any means.

Overall, these numbers are awful. The five female creators are fantastic talents, but only five is appallingly few. Marvel is capable of so much better. There are more ladies working on Lumberjanes than there are in the whole of Marvel’s September solicits. It’s ridiculous.

Women In Comics Statistics: DC And Marvel, April 2014 In Review

July 3, 2014

bleedingcool

The latest “Gendercrunching” article is up over at Bleeding Cool, and DC yet again retained the higher percentage of female creators.

Both publishers were down in April, but DC came in at 12.1% female creators overall, while Marvel trailed behind at 10.5% overall, making this the fifth month in a row that DC’s topped Marvel. Marvel really needs to get it together; there was a time when they beat DC for about a year straight.

We also check in on some other publishers: Dark Horse, Dynamite, IDW, and Boom. There are some encouraging numbers from each publisher, as well as significant growth for 3 of the 4 of them, and the highest numbers we’ve ever seen from any publisher courtesy of Boom.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the “Gendercrunching” fun!

Women At DC Comics Watch – September 2014 Solicits

June 24, 2014

womenatdcSEPTEMBER

After a stellar August, a drop in female creators isn’t a big shock, particularly with another big DC event in September. DC’s September events rarely feature many female creators and “Futures End” is no exception, but luckily the rest of the publisher’s line, particularly Vertigo, picked up some of the slack and the end result was a decent, albeit down batch of solicits. Let’s take a look:

  • For New 52 writers, Gail Simone is on Batgirl: Futures End #1, Christy Marx pens Birds of Prey: Futures End #1, and Amanda Conner co-writes Harley Quinn: Futures End #1.
  • For New 52 art, Emanuela Lupacchino is on interior art for Supergirl: Futures End #1, Rachel Dodson is inking the cover for Catwoman: Futures End #1, and Amanda Conner is drawing the cover for Harley Quinn: Futures End #1.
  • Outside of the New 52, Kelly Sue DeConnick is writing a story in Adventures of Superman #17 and Cat Staggs is doing the cover for Smallville Season 11: Chaos #2.
  • Over at Vertigo, Caitlin Kittredge writes Coffin Hill #11, Meghan Hetrick and Tula Lotay are on interior art for Bodies #3, Celia Calle is doing the cover for The Names #1, Marguerite Sauvage is doing the cover for Hinterkind #11, and Yuko Shimizu is doing the cover for The Unwritten: Apocalypse #9.
  • While all of the “Futures End” books are technically first issues, they’re all just continuations of current New 52 titles so there’s really not much in the way of new characters there, though Batgirl does appear to feature a team of Batgirls, which is very fun. The only bona fide new book is Vertigo’s The Names, a mini-series with a female lead who investigates the mysterious death of her Wall Street trader husband.

All together, there are 13 different women scheduled to appear in 12 different books in September, down 3 and 4 respectively from August. That’s a notable drop, but considering the lack of female creators in “Futures End” and it being an unusually quiet month from the non-New 52, licensed properties department, it’s not too bad. It’s well into double digits, which is always good to see, and certainly more than Marvel’s been able to muster as of late.

We’ve also got some new names at Vertigo with Celia Calle and Marguerite Sauvage doing some covers. It’s always good to see new female creators pop up in the solicits, and I look forward to more work from both of them in the future.

The only new book featuring a female lead is a nice change as well. Usually when there’s only one or two new titles in a month, they tend to be dominated by male characters; female-led books generally slip in alongside three or four male-led books. Vertigo has a solid track record launching new series with female leads lately, and is certainly topping their superhero counterparts proportionally in both female creators and characters as of late.

Overall, it’s a down month and, as always, the number of female creators is dwarfed by the hundreds of men making comics at DC, but at the same time it is a relatively solid month for women at DC. With the superhero line returning to normal in October, I’d expect some better numbers then, though there may be some shifting around as cancellations and new series come into play. I can think of one loss and one gain off the top of my head already, but hopefully the gains win out and the numbers improve.


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