Posts Tagged ‘Women In Comics’

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

March 30, 2014

bleedingcool

It’s a new year of stats, and the first numbers have gone up over at Bleeding Cool. DC edged out Marvel for the higher overall percentage of female creators, posting 12.2% women overall while Marvel was at 11.6%.

We also took a look at female characters, and saw that not only are female characters underrepresented but their numbers have been stagnant for several years now. However, there’s some cause for cautious optimism moving forward, and so we’re going to check in on female characters again in six months time.

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

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – June 2014 Solicits

March 27, 2014

womenatmarvelJUNE

After a very strong May, the June solicits were a definite step down for female creators at Marvel, and there’s not much going on for female characters either. The female creator situation is particularly frustrating; Marvel has demonstrated that there are lots of great female creators out there, yet the publisher seems incapable of hiring many of them on a consistent basis. Let’s look at the June 2014 solicits:

  • For writers, Kelly Sue DeConnick is on Captain Marvel #4 and G. Willow Wilson is on Ms. Marvel #5.
  • For interior art, Annie Wu is penciling and inking Hawkeye #21. I thought the last issue was her final Hawkeye, but good news! I was wrong, and Wu is back again with her awesome art.
  • Covers were the big category this month: We’ve got Stephanie Hans on a teaser variant (whatever that is) for Original Sin #3, Siya Oum on a variant for All-New Ultimates #3, Amy Reeder on a variant for Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #2, Amanda Conner on a variant for Elektra #3, and Jenny Frison on the regular cover for Loki: Agent of Asgard #5.
  • In terms of new characters, there’s not much going on anywhere. The only new books are Savage Hulk #1 and Figment #1, both of which have male leads.

All together, there are 8 different female creators scheduled to appear in 8 different books in June, quite a fall from May’s 12 and 10. You might recall that last month I talked about the transitory nature of Marvel’s female creators, and suggested that at least half of May’s 12 different female creators wouldn’t be back in June. Turns out, I was correct; of those 12 women, only 5 are back. Marvel seems incapable of employing more than a handful of women in any long-term capacity.

This is only exacerbated by this month’s breakdown. Half of the female credits in June are variant covers, which is the least stable category by far. The vast majority of variants are one-and-done situations where the artist isn’t back the next month. Now, I’m sure these covers will be gorgeous. They’ve lined up some spectacular artists. But the likelihood that they’ll be back in July is slim at best.

This is a second month in a row that we haven’t seen many new books from Marvel, which is to be expected after their explosion of new titles and relaunches in the first few months of 2014. Not many new books means not much in the way of an increased presence for female characters but, to be fair, the male presence is hardly growing a lot either.

Overall, June doesn’t look too great for women at Marvel. The ones who are there are fantastic talents, but there aren’t very many of them and 5 of them are just doing covers. The folks at Marvel obviously have an impressive array of female creators in their rolodex, and I remain flummoxed as to why they can’t or won’t lock them down into more long-term gigs.

Women At DC Comics Watch – June 2014 Solicits

March 21, 2014

womenatdcJUNE

DC’s had a pretty consistent year thus far, keeping their number of female creators in the double digits, and the June solicits continue this trend.  They also continue an odd trend we’ve seen recently of a lack of new titles.  Marvel’s been launching 5 or 6 books a month this year, while DC’s only been adding 1 or 2 titles a month, though I suppose that two of those titles are weekly books which means 4 or 5 new issues a month.  Anyway, let’s dig into the June 2014 solicits:

  • For New 52 writers, Gail Simone in on Batgirl #32, Christy Marx writes Birds of Prey #32, Ann Nocenti pens Catwoman #32, and Amanda Conner co-writes Harley Quinn #7.
  • For New 52 art, Emanuela Lupacchino is doing the cover and interior art for Supergirl #32, Rachel Dodson is inking the cover for Catwoman #32, and Amanda Conner is doing the cover for Harley Quinn #7 and Batwing #32.
  • Outside of the New 52, Cat Staggs is doing the cover for Smallville Season 11: Lantern #3, Sandra Hope is an inker in the Legends of the Dark Knight 100 Page Super Spectacular #3, Amy Wolfram co-writes Teen Titans Go! #4, and Colleen Doran is doing EVERYTHING, cover, writing, AND art, for The Vampire Diaries #6.
  • Over at Vertigo, Caitlin Kittredge is back writing Coffin Hill #8 after the book took a break in May, while Yuko Shimizu is doing the cover for The Unwritten: Apocalypse #6.
  • For new books, the only new title is Infinity Man and the Forever People #1, which features no female creators but does have two female characters front and center.  Also, DC’s ongoing Secret Origins includes Batwoman in June, alongside Green Lantern and Red Robin, the third straight issue with two men and one woman.  However, there are no female creators there either.

All together, in June there are 12 different female creators scheduled to work on 12 different books, a bit of an increase from May’s 11 and 10, respectively.  That’s a decent total, though do please remember that the male creators number in the hundreds so female creators are still quite a substantial minority.  Nonetheless, DC has built a solid assortment of women who work on their books each month.  We’ve not got any new names in June, which would have been nice, but it’s good to see so many female creators getting consistent work.

In terms of female characters, DC’s slow roll out of new books continues, but there’s some decent representation in Infinity Man and the Forever People.  I have a bone to pick with Secret Origins, though.  For three straight issues they’ve featured a female character, which is good, but it’s so easy to just be happy that a female character has been included that you forget, oh wait, for three straight issues male characters have outnumbered female characters 2 to 1.  We’re so used to no representation that we take whatever we get as a win instead of noticing that inequality remains.  I’d very much like to see two female characters and one male character in the next issue of Secret Origins, just to even things out a bit.  I doubt it’ll happen, but it only seems fair.

Anyway, it was another decent month for DC, albeit only in relation to the fact that they’d been rather terrible at female representation for quite a while.  The numbers for female creators remain paltry, but they’re less paltry than they were last month, so hurrah!  Things are oh so slowly getting better.

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – May 2014 Solicits

March 4, 2014

womenatmarvelMAY

Marvel looks like they’re going to have a really great month for female creators this May, but first let’s talk about covers.  I always put together a little collage of covers featuring female characters each month, and with the May solicits I was presently surprised to find that a) I had an abundance of female-starring covers to choose from, and b) I could fill the whole collage with non-conventionally superhero art.  The covers above show a wide array of art styles that break with the usual superhero mold, and I love that Marvel is making outside of the box choices for their cover art.  As a reader, a bold, unusual cover choice really grabs my attention, and Marvel is really standing out, not just compared to DC but to most other publishers as well.  Here is a rundown of the covers above, in order:

  • Ultimate FF #2 by Felix Ruiz
  • Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #1 by Sas Christian
  • Elektra #2 by Mike Del Mundo
  • All-New Ultimates #2 by David Nakayama
  • She-Hulk #4 by Kevin P. Wada
  • Black Widow #6 by Phil Noto
  • Hawkeye #20 by David Aja

Look for those covers this May. They’re gorgeous.

So onto the solicits!  There are a lot of female creators this month; let’s take a look:

  • For writers, Kelly Sue DeConnick pens Captain Marvel #3, G. Willow Wilson writes Ms. Marvel #4, Kathryn Immonen is doing a guest issue of Amazing X-Men #7, Jen Van Meter writes Savage Wolverine #18, and Gail Simone follows her on Savage Wolverine #19.
  • For art, Francesca Ciregia and Elena Casagrande are doing interior art for Giant-Size Spider-Man #1, and Annie Wu is illustrating her last Kate issue with Hawkeye #20.
  • For covers, Fiona Staples is doing a variant for Miles Morales: The Ultimate Spider-Man #1, Jenny Frison draws the regular cover for Loki: Agent of Asgard #4, and Sas Christian and Amanda Conner both have covers for Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #1.
  • In terms of new books, May looks to be a pretty quiet month.  Cyclops and Miles Morales have new series starting, and the event book Original Sin begins; the latter has Black Widow on the cover, so that’s something I suppose.  It’s not a lot of female representation, but it’s also just not a busy month, generally.

All together, there are 12 different female creators scheduled to work on 10 different books in May, a nice increase from April’s 7 on 8 and one of the best totals that Marvel has put up in some time.  It’s also good to see a lot of new names in the mix, like Francesca Ciregia and Sas Christian, as well as some names we haven’t seen in a while like Kathryn Immonen and Elena Casagrande.

The only negative thing about this array of female creators is that most of them probably won’t be back in June.  The books listed above include a lot of special issues, one-shots, and the like, and of the 12 female creators listed, I’d estimate that at least half won’t be back next month, possibly more.  Ideally, they’d be back on another book, or more female creators will show up elsewhere.  We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

The lack of female characters is a bummer, but it’s a really slow month for new characters all around.  Plus, Mile Morales is back headlining a Spider-Man book, so at least we’ve got some non-white guy representation.

Overall, May looks like a strong month for female creators at Marvel and, while there aren’t a lot of new female characters, the many existing female characters are on some fantastic covers.  Marvel’s had quite a poor run lately in terms of female creators, so let’s hope that May is a turning point and we continue to see lots of women writing and drawing Marvel books.

Women In Comics Statistics: DC And Marvel, December 2013 In Review

March 1, 2014

bleedingcool

The monthly numbers have gone up at Bleeding Cool, and it was a disappointing month for both Big Two publishers.  Marvel fell further, though, and DC posted the higher overall percentage of female creators.  DC Comics came in at 11.4% female creators in December 2013, while Marvel was slightly behind at 11%.  It was a rough end to the year for both publishers, with DC posting their worst total since April and Marvel posting their worst total of the year.

We also took a look at an entire year of stats and what trends we can see at DC and Marvel heading into 2014.  DC seems to be improving slightly, while Marvel’s hit a bit of skid and is heading downward.

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

Women At DC Comics Watch – May 2014 Solicits

February 27, 2014

womenatdcMAY

May looks to be a definite step down for female creators at DC after a few very solid months, and an uneventful month for characters of any kind, male or female, with not many new books launching.  The decline for female creators isn’t catastrophic, but it’s certainly bigger than a slight fluctuation and is doubly annoying because we know DC can do better.  Let’s go through the solicits:

  • For New 52 writers, Gail Simone pens Batgirl #31 and The Movement #12, which will be the latter’s final issue.  Ann Nocenti writes Catwoman #31, Christy Marx is on Birds of Prey #31, and Amanda Conner co-writes Harley Quinn #6.
  • For New 52 artists, Nicola Scott is penciling Earth 2 #23, Emanuela Lupacchino is doing the cover and interior art for Supergirl #31, Rachel Dodson is inking the cover of Catwoman #31, and Amanda Conner is drawing the cover for Harley Quinn #6.
  • Outside of the New 52, Cat Staggs is doing the cover for Smallville Season 11: Lantern #2, while Bobbie Chase and Leah Moore are both writing The Vampire Diaries #5.
  • Finally, over at Vertigo, Yuko Shimizu is doing the cover for The Unwritten: Apocalypse #5.  I’m not sure where Coffin Hill, and thus Caitlin Kittredge, is in May, though the first collection comes out then so maybe they’ve built in a skip month for the series around the trade’s release in May.
  • There’s not much in the way of new books.  The new weekly The New 52: Future’s End launches, but seems to feature mostly guys.  Grifter, Firestorm, and Batman Beyond appear to be the primary characters, though Lois Lane does get a mention in the solicit for the second issue.  Secret Origins continues with origin stories for Batman, Aquaman, and Starfire; Scott Lobdell is writing the Starfire origin, though, so don’t get your hopes up.

All together, 11 different women are working on 10 different books this May, a big drop from April’s 15 women on 16 books.  It’s not great to have the number of female creators drop by about a third when there are so few to begin with.  Plus next month, barring an announcement of a new series, Gail Simone will be down to just one book now that The Movement has been cancelled, so the future’s not looking terribly bright right now either.

In a busier month, the lack of new female characters would be distressing, but in such a slow month it’s more mildly annoying.  I’d have liked to see more women front and center in The New 52: Future’s End, though; there are a lot of dudes in those solicits, and only one woman.  As a positive update, though, Batman: Eternal looks to be featuring several female characters, including Harper Row and Spoiler, so that’s a plus.  At least one weekly book will have some ladies in it.  I highly recommend checking out Batman #28, which serves as a sort of preview for Batman: Eternal.  It’s a really great issue with another fun female character in the mix as well; I ruin the surprise.

Ultimately, May looks to be a pretty subpar month for women at DC.  Female creators are still in double digits, but just barely and at rates far lower than what we’ve seen lately.  Female characters in new books are few and far between, and what we do have is Starfire penned by the writer who’s written her in a rather exploitive way in the past.  Let’s hope May was a momentary dip and June will be better!

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – April 2014 Solicits

January 30, 2014

womenatmarvelAPRIL

It’s another month of Marvel having only a handful of female creators and new titles for female characters being dwarfed by new books starring men, but nonetheless there are bright moments within these low totals.  Let’s go through the solicits:

  • For writers, G. Willow Wilson writes Ms. Marvel #3, Kelly Sue DeConnick writes Captain Marvel #2, and Gail Simone has a story in Deadpool #27.
  • On art, Laura Allred is colouring All-New Doop #1, Jenny Frison is doing the cover for Loki: Agent of Asgard #3, Annie Wu is on interior art for Hawkeye #19, and Ming Doyle is doing interior art for What If? Age of Ultron #5 and variant covers for that issue and What If? Age of Ultron #3.
  • Seven characters have new solo titles in April, and one of them is a woman; Elektra #1 is set to debut.  There also some new team books with female representation: Sue Storm is in Ultimate FF #1, while Black Widow, Kitty Pryde, Bombshell, and Dagger comprise 4 of 6 team members in All-New Ultimates #1.

All told, there are 7 different female creators working on 8 different books in April, the same number of creators as March but 4 fewer books.  This is, obviously, not a lot.  For the past two month there were animal variant covers that added two female creators and several books to the total, but they’re over now.  Such is the fickle nature of female creators at Marvel right now.  Of the seven women listed above, maybe three of them will be back in the solicits next month on the same titles.  For quite a while now, the bulk of Marvel’s female writers and artists have been on short term or intermittent gigs.  But it’s still fun to see Gail Simone back at Marvel for a Deadpool story, however momentary her visit may be.

SIDENOTE: I should mention that Sara Pichelli is listed in the solicits, but on a book that reprints old Star-Lord stories.  I never count reprints of old material when I do stats, either here or in my full statistics for Bleeding Cool, and so it’s not mentioned above.  Nonetheless, the cover is new artwork from Sara Pichelli, even though the rest of the book is just old comics.

For female characters, Marvel keeps putting out new books with female leads, which is fantastic to see.  While this is tempered somewhat by the wide margin with which the number of new male-led books trumps the number of female led books each month, this is still an impressive streak Marvel has going.  Plus, not only is there a new Elektra book, but the line-up of the All-New Ultimates has a female majority, a rarity for a superhero team.  Marvel is consistently highlighting female characters, and that’s a great thing.

So ultimately, the situation for female creators remains sub-par.  DC had twice as many female creators as Marvel in their April solicits, and that Marvel’s numbers continue to languish in the single digits is just embarrassing in this age so rich with female comic talent.  Marvel’s commitment to showcasing female characters, however, remains a positive each month.  More of both would be ideal, but I suppose that more of one is better than none of either.  Still, go hire some more female creators, Marvel.  These numbers are terrible.


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