Posts Tagged ‘Women In Comics’

Marvel Makes Big Women In Comics News At New York Comic-Con

October 14, 2014

gamora

Last week, I posted my regular look at Marvel’s solicits, and found their December offerings severely lacking in terms of female creators. There are only 7 different women scheduled to work on Marvel’s comics in December; by comparison, DC has more than 20, which is still a very small minority. I ended the post by expressing hope that Marvel would make some news at New York Comic-Con. Basically, to quote my new favourite character Maps Mizoguchi, I said that Marvel better cut the crap.

Now, with NYCC wrapped up, Marvel has made a ton of announcements. The stage of their “Women of Marvel” panel was PACKED with female creators, and there were women, real and fictional, all over their new books. Here’s a rundown of what’s coming in 2015:

  • The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, drawn by Erica Henderson.
  • A new Spider-Gwen ongoing series.
  • Also spinning out of “Spider-Verse” is Silk, with a female lead and art by Stacey Lee.
  • Gamora, an ongoing series written by Nicole Perlman.
  • G. Willow Wilson is writing at least an arc of X-Men.
  • Kate Bishop will be a big part of the soon to be relaunched Hawkeye.
  • Kathryn Immonen is writing Operation S.I.N., a mini-series starring Peggy Carter.
  • Marguerite Bennett is adapting the James Patterson’ novel Maximum Ride as a mini-series called Max Ride: First Flight.
  • A series of variant covers drawn by a variety of female artists, which look like they’ll hit shops in March.

I may have missed something. It was a busy weekend and Marvel announced a lot of things involving women in some capacity. Not being able to keep up with all of it is a good problem to have.

So based on this list, what we’ve got is at least 5 new series with a female lead, 4 new books written by women, and 2 new books drawn by women. While some of these female creators are familiar faces who are already working on Marvel books, there are a lot of new names too. Erica Henderson, Stacey Lee, and Nicole Perlman are new additions entirely, and it’s great to see that two of these names are interior artists, where Marvel is often sorely lacking. Kathryn Immonen’s written a lot for Marvel before, and it’s nice to have her back on a mini-series that sounds like it’s going to be very fun.

In my December solicits report, Marvel had 7 different female creators working on 7 different books. If you add in all of these announcements, Marvel’s up to 13 different women on 13 different books, which is a big jump. Almost double, in fact. This is significant progress for a publisher that’s been fairly stagnant with female creators as of late.

At the same time, Marvel remains far behind DC, which is hardly a bastion of female representation. The NYCC announcements were a big step in the right direction, but they’re no game changer. Plus, both Marvel and DC lag behind comparatively; Boom! Studios puts out about a third of the books that either DC or Marvel do, but they’ve got more female creators scheduled in December than either publisher.

The Marvel announcements are also symptomatic of an odd phenomenon at both major superhero publishers: Female creators are working almost exclusively on female characters. None of them are writing or drawing Spider-Man or Superman. They’re working on the female versions thereof. At best, a couple female creators work on mixed team books. The numbers for women creators are growing at both DC and Marvel, but for some reason they’re being kept away from the higher profile, male heroes. True representation means women working across the board, not just being relegated to the titles with ladies in them, as awesome as so many of those books are right now.

So things are better! Hooray! But there’s still lots of work to be done for female representation at Marvel. In the industry as a whole, really, but Marvel is still comparatively lagging a bit behind among the major publishers, despite this progress. There are folks in Marvel plugging away for more, though, including some kick ass female editors, and everyone is optimistic that each new “Women of Marvel” panel will be increasingly packed with female creators.

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – December 2014 Solicits

October 8, 2014

womenatmarvelDECEMBER

After a decent (by Marvel standards) November, the solicits for December aren’t looking great for female creators at Marvel, though it should be a decent month for female characters at least. Yet another female character is launching her own series, and with female creators, but even with these additions the numbers across the board remain very low. Let’s see what’s coming from Marvel this December:

  • For female writers, Kelly Sue DeConnick is on Captain Marvel #10, Robin Furth is co-writing The Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Prisoner #5, and Marguerite Bennett is co-writing Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1.
  • Don’t worry, Ms. Marvel fans! The book, and G. Willow Wilson, is just taking a month off and will be back in January.
  • For artists, Stephanie Hans is doing the cover and some interior art for Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #1 as well as the cover for Storm #6, Afua Richardson is doing a variant cover for Captain America and the Mighty Avengers #3, Sara Pichelli is doing a variant cover for S.H.I.E.L.D. #1, and Jordie Bellaire is colouring the cover of Moon Knight #10.
  • And that is all.
  • For female characters, Angela: Asgard’s Assassin is launching with a female lead, the new S.H.I.E.L.D. book features several female characters, and Spider-Man and the X-Men #1 appears to feature some of the female students at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning.

All together, there are 7 different women scheduled to work on 7 different books in December, a big drop from November’s 12 and 15, respectively. And by “big”, I mean there will be half as many comics with at least one female creator as there were last month. That’s pretty bad.

Angela: Asgard’s Assassin is obviously one of the few good bits of news out of these solicits. Not only does it star a female character, it also has two female creators working on the comic in regular gigs. It’s especially nice to see a woman do some interior art, because Marvel has had a poor track record in that area lately.

However, as exciting as Angela: Asgard’s Assassin is, it’s absolutely ridiculous that Marvel launched a new series with two female creators and their overall total of women making comics still dropped by FIVE from the month previous. And while G. Willow Wilson will be back next month, Robin Furth will likely be gone seeing as this was the last issue of this Dark Tower mini-series. I’m hoping that Marvel will announce a bevy of new books starring and created by women at NYCC this weekend (and we’ve already got one of each out of the same book with Erica Henderson drawing Squirrel Girl) because they absolutely need a lot more of both.

So, December’s not looking great. Sorry that your future festive fun will be marred by gender inequality. Thanks for ruining Christmas, Marvel! And Hanukkah too! With such a rough looking December ahead of us, all that’s left to do is hope for a better January. And our hope might pay off, because really the numbers for female creators can’t get much worse. There’s nowhere to go but up! Hopefully I won’t have to eat those words next month.

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

September 29, 2014

bleedingcool

The new “Gendercrunching” column is up at Bleeding Cool, and while Marvel fell and DC rose from their June totals, Marvel retained the higher overall percentage of female creators for the second straight month.

Marvel came in at 11.1% female creators, with DC close behind at 10.9%. Both numbers are fairly average, and are far behind where both publishers were just a year ago.

We also take a look at female characters at the Big Two, following up on some stats I tabulated six months ago. Nothing is worse, which is good to see, but there’s a lot of the same or slightly better. DC and Marvel are slowly crawling toward more equal representation, though it looks like it’s going to be a very long road.

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

Women At DC Comics Watch – December 2014 Solicits

September 23, 2014

womenatdcDECEMBER

These articles used to be so easy to write. DC would have 4 or 5 female creators in their solicits, I’d list them all, say something snarky, and be done with it. But now, DC has a lot more women making their comics. It’s still a small minority, but it’s growing all the time and as a result it takes me way longer to write up these posts. It’s a good problem to have.

So let’s see who and what is coming up from DC in December:

  • For New 52 writers, Meredith Finch is on Wonder Woman #37, Kate Perkins is co-writing Supergirl #37, Becky Cloonan is co-writing Gotham Academy, Amanda Conner is co-writing Harley Quinn #13 and Harley Quinn Holiday Special #1, Marguerite Bennett is co-writing Earth 2 #29 and Earth 2: World’s End #9-13, Ann Nocenti is writing Klarion #3 and has a story in Secret Origins #8, Genevieve Valentine is writing Catwoman #37 and Catwoman Annual #2, and finally Gail Simone is back with Secret Six #1.
  • Wow, that’s a lot of women writing.
  • For New 52 art, Jan Duursema is drawing parts of Earth 2: World’s End #9-11 and #13, Emanuela Lupacchino is pencilling Supergirl #37, Babs Tarr is drawing Batgirl #37, Sandra Hope inks Batman/Superman #17, and Amanda Conner is on covers for Harley Quinn #13 and Harley Quinn Holiday Special #1.
  • Outside of the New 52, Corinna Bechko is co-writing Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #5, and Cat Staggs is providing the cover for Smallville: Season 11 – Continuity #1.
  • Over at Vertigo, Meghan Hetrick and Tula Lotay are drawings Bodies #6, Caitlin Kittredge writes Coffin Hill #14, Celia Calle is doing the cover for The Names #4, Ming Doyle is drawing The Kitchen #2 and Becky Cloonan is doing the cover, Marguerite Sauvage is doing the cover for Hinterkind #13, and Yuko Shimizu, after years of excellent work, is doing her final cover on Unwritten: Apocalypse #12, which is putting out its final issue.
  • There aren’t a lot of new books scheduled for December, but Gail Simone is bringing back Secret Six with a few female members, though the new Vertigo series Wolf Moon seems to have a male lead and all male creators.

All together, 21 different women are set to work on 22 different books in December, the highest total we’ve seen from either publisher since we started keeping track a few years back. Both numbers are up from November’s 20 and 19, which used to be the best combined total but is no longer. DC besting themselves two months in a row is really good to see.

It’s also nice to see so many female writers and artists in the mix, especially artists inside the book. Most publishers do quite well with female colorists, and cover artists tend to do okay relative to other categories, but writers and interiors artists can be shockingly low; there have been multiple months where either DC or Marvel don’t have a single female interior artist. All of these writers and artists in these more high profile gigs is a big change, and one I hope we see more of.

It’s a quiet month for female characters, but the return of Secret Six brings with it several women along with diversity in other ways; the old Secret Six was a bastion for LGBTQ+ characters, and it sounds like this relaunch will be the same.

So December is looking good for women at DC Comics. As always, there’s a lot of room for improvement yet, but comparatively this is really solid representation. I mean, it’s literally the best we’ve ever seen. Well done, DC. Keep it up.

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – November 2014 Solicits

September 3, 2014

womenatmarvelNOVEMBER

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

bleedingcool

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

womenatdcNOVEMBER

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.


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