We’ve got an official name and promotional campaign for DC’s mini-relaunch this August, DCYou, but so far DC isn’t exactly living up to their supposed focus on diversity when it comes to female creators. The numbers for June and July were much lower than we saw earlier this year at DC, by half in terms of July’s solicits, and August is going to be more of the same. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what this August at DC Comics:
- Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #19 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and Power Girl #3 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn Road Trip Special #1 (co-writer, cover), Section 8 #3 (cover), Starfire #3 (co-writer, cover)
- Annie Wu: Black Canary #3 (art and cover)
- Babs Tarr: Batgirl #43 (interior art)
- Barbara Kesel: Sensation Comics #13 (writer)
- Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy #9 (co-writer)
- Caitlin Kittredge: Coffin Hill #21 (writer)
- Chrissie Zullo: Fables: The Wolf Among Us #8 (cover)
- Corin Howell: Bat-Mite #3 (art and cover)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: DC Comics Bombshells #1 (variant cover), Deathstroke #9 (variant cover), Detective Comics #43 (variant cover), Grayson #11 (variant cover), Justice League #43 (variant cover), Sinestro #14 (variant cover), Starfire #3 (penciller)
- Emma Vieceli: Sensation Comics #13 (interior art)
- Gail Simone: Secret Six #5 (writer)
- Genevieve Valentine: Catwoman #43 (writer)
- Irene Coh: Sensation Comics #13 (interior art)
- Laura Braga: Sensation Comics #13 (interior art)
- Marguerite Sauvage: DC Comics Bombshells #1 (interior art)
- Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #1 (writer)
- Meredith Finch: Wonder Woman #43 (writer)
- Ming Doyle: Constantine: The Hellblazer #3 (co-writer)
- Vanesa Del Rey: Constantine: The Hellblazer #3 (interior art)
All together, there are 19 different women scheduled to work on 22 different books in August, an increase from July’s 15 and 16 but pretty much exactly in line with the June numbers. DC had 32 different women just a few months ago, before the DCYou launch, so these sustained lower numbers are quite disappointing. DC is clearly capable of doing better, and they’re just not.
What’s more, the numbers this month went up because of just one book. There are 4 different women set to work on Sensation Comics #13, which is a) more than a fifth of all of the women in August’s solicits, and b) the only reason August isn’t worse than July. Now, all of these women are great creators and I’m really looking forward to this issue. However, it’s a one time gig. None of these women are likely to be back in September. Plus it’s a sad scene when just one book can have such an effect. Four male creators is just a drop in the bucket at DC Comics, but four women stopped August from being DC’s worst month of the year for female creators.
On the character side of things, there are some fun books coming in August, including DC Comics Bombshells, a new series based on last year’s wildly successful variant cover line. The variant cover line is back in August, by the way, which is why Emanuela Lupacchino is everywhere this month. Bombshells could be a very cool book, and it’s a got a fantastic creative team behind it. Wonder Woman, or rather a new version thereof, is also getting a spotlight in prequel comics for the upcoming Justice League: Gods and Monsters animated film, including her own solo issue.
Overall, August is looking better than July, at least, but July was DC’s lowest month of the year. I had really high hopes for DCYou after seeing how much DC’s female creator representation grew in the early part of 2015, but it’s been rough so far. It’s never good to launch a new initiative with fewer female creators than you had before, but that’s DC’s jam. See: The New 52. And while there are certainly more women involved with DCYou than the New 52, literally every month of the year before DCYou debuted had more female creators in the mix. It’s just all a big step backwards so far.