Posts Tagged ‘Women In Comics’

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – November 2014 Solicits

September 3, 2014


For a while, Marvel’s female creator numbers were pretty much abysmal. Then, in the October solicits, things started to look up a bit. Now, with the November solicits, Marvel is in comparatively decent range for female creators and even has some female characters starring in some new books. Let’s take a closer look at their November 2014 solicits:

  • For writers, Marguerite Bennett is on Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #4, Kelly Sue DeConnick pens Captain Marvel #9, G. Willow Wilson is on Ms. Marvel #10, Corinna Bechko co-writes Savage Hulk #6, Katie Cook has a story in Spider-Verse #1, and Robin Furth is co-writing Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Prisoner #4.
  • On art, Katie Cook is illustrating her story in Spider-Verse #1, Elia Bonetti is doing interior art on Death of Wolverine: The Logan Legacy #5, Stephanie Hans is doing the cover for Storm #5, Stacey Lee is doing the cover for New Warriors #12, Amanda Conner is doing a variant cover for Miracleman #13, and Siya Oum is doing a variant cover for Spider-Woman #1.
  • Also, there’s a whole lot of Sara Pichelli. She’s doing variant covers for Avengers & X-Men: AXIS #5, Superior Iron Man #1, All-New Captain America #1, and All-New X-Men #35.
  • For female characters, Spider-Woman launches her own series in November (along with the much maligned Milo Manara variant cover), Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #1 features 3 female characters of the 7 shown on its cover, and Scarlet Spiders #1 is 1 of 3. There are a lot of men getting books as well, though, including relaunches for Iron Man, Captain America, and a whole load of Death of Wolverine stuff.

All together, 12 different women are set to work on 15 different books in November, a huge increase from October’s 7 and 9. Now, DC has 20 different women slated to work on their books in November, so Marvel’s 12 is considerably less impressive. But at the same time, both publishers have hundreds of men writing and drawing their books as well, so no one is really killing it when it comes to female creators. Nonetheless, this is a definite improvement for Marvel.

It’s also good to see some regular gigs. While there are several variant covers slated for November, Corinna Bechko and Stephanie Hans seem to have steady jobs, joining Kelly Sue DeConnick and G. Willow Wilson as Marvel’s handful of regular female creators. Plus there are some new faces, too; I don’t think I’ve seen Stacey Lee before.

Female characters have a decent month lined up as well. Any month with a new female-led book is a new one, and despite the PR catastrophe of the cover reveal, Spider-Woman getting her own series is an exciting development that’s long overdue. It’s also good to see women on the new team titles, though as always there are several more dudes.

Overall, Marvel is looking pretty good for November, and is much improved from their past showings. There’s still a lot of room to grow, but “some” is better than “barely any at all” any day of the week. Here’s hoping they keep it up for December, and into 2015.

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

September 1, 2014


Last Friday, my latest “Gendercrunching” column went up over at Bleeding Cool, and after a lengthy drought Marvel finally topped DC for the highest percentage of female creators.

Marvel rose to 12% female creators overall, while DC fell to 10.1%. With the departures of Kate Durre and Katie Kubert in recent months, DC’s assistant editor numbers have dropped dramatically. After six months in second place, Marvel was able to rise to the top with relatively mundane numbers.

We also took a look at the stats by nationality and ethnicity and, no surprise, white men still make up the majority of comic book creators by a considerable margin. Not much is changing in terms of the ethnic make-up of Big Two creators, which is sad to see. Any progress would be a big positive, but the numbers are absolutely stagnant.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for the full stats and analysis!

Women At DC Comics Watch – November 2014 Solicits

August 27, 2014


After years of ludicrously subpar representation, DC Comics has started to increase their number of female creators. In November, should the solicits hold true, they’ll hit a new high for combined cover artists, writers, and interior artists. DC’s progress over the past several months has been a lovely change of pace, and with lots of room still left to improve hopefully we’ll see this growth continue. Let’s take a look at their November 2014 solicits:

  • For New 52 writers, Meredith Finch starts her run on Wonder Woman #36, Ann Nocenti is on Klarion #2, Genevieve Valentine pens Catwoman #36, Kate Perkins co-writes Supergirl #36, Becky Cloonan co-writes Gotham Academy #2, Amanda Conner co-writes Harley Quinn #12, and Marguerite Bennett co-writes Earth 2 #28 and the weekly Earth 2: World’s End #5-8.
  • For New 52 art, Jan Duursema has pages in Earth 2: Worlds’ End #6-8, Sandra Hope is inking Batman/Superman #16, Babs Tarr is illustrating Batgirl #36, Amanda Conner is doing the cover for Harley Quinn #12, and Emanuela Lupacchino is doing the cover for Worlds’ Finest #28 and the cover and interiors for Supergirl #36.
  • Outside of the New 52, Joelle Jones is drawing He-Man and the Masters of the Universe #19, Cat Staggs is doing the cover for Smallville Season 11: Chaos #4, and Amy Mebberson is drawing a story in Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #4.
  • Over at Vertigo, Ming Doyle is on interior art for The Kitchen #1 while Becky Cloonan draws the cover, Caitlin Kittredge is writing Coffin Hill #13, Meghan Hetrick and Tula Lotay are drawing Bodies #5, Celia Calle is doing the cover for The Names #3, and Yuko Shimizu is doing the cover for The Unwritten: Apocalypse #11.
  • There’s not a lot in the way of new series coming in November, but Gotham by Midnight #1 has two female characters out of six on the main cover. Vertigo’s The Kitchen focuses on mob wives who take over their husbands’ racket, so that should be a very cool, female led book, especially with the fantastic creators on board.

All together, the November 2014 solicits list 20 different women working on 19 different books, marking the first time we’ve ever been above the teens for either DC or Marvel since this column began three years ago. The October solicits had 17 women on 21 books, so we’re a bit up and down comparatively, but November also marks the highest combined total for the two categories we’ve seen thus far.

What’s particularly encouraging is that most of these jobs are long-term gigs. Occasionally we’ll get bigger numbers boosted by one-shots or variant covers, but I expect to see at least 16 of these 20 women back next month, if not more. While there’s not a lot in the way of new faces this month (though Kate Perkins on Supergirl is certainly new), it’s good to see creators who’ve popped up in the past come back again, like Sandra Hope, Joelle Jones, and Ming Doyle.

It’s a slow month for female characters, but October was pretty big for new books and creative shake-ups, and Wonder Woman gets dual new directions in November with new creative teams on both Wonder Woman and Superman/Wonder Woman. And The Kitchen sounds fabulous, plus Jordie Bellaire is going to be colouring the book as well.

Overall, this is DC’s strongest month since we started keeping track of female representation there, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop and celebrate. Things are definitely improving, which is wonderful, and DC certainly deserves some credit. However, male creators still number in the triple digits and there’s tons of rooms left for female representation to improve further. Onward and upward, DC! You’re on the right track.

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – October 2014 Solicits

August 4, 2014


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, 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 8 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


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


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


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!


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