With the year in review column and its many charts up over at Bleeding Cool, I thought it might be fun to go the opposite route here and distill a year of data into one chart. Here are DC and Marvel’s percentages of female creators by category for the entire year, side by side for comparison:
DC beat Marvel overall, of course. That’s been the trend for the vast majority of the year. It’ll be interesting to see how 2012 plays out since Marvel’s been trending up lately, but for 2011 DC had the better total by a decent margin.
The categories break down sort of fascinatingly though. Throughout the year, I’ve been referring to the first four categories (cover artists, writers, pencillers, and inkers) as the big name categories, the ones that get your name on the cover. They aren’t more important than colourists, letterers, and editors, of course… comics are a team effort. But they’re the categories that get creators the most recognition. Marvel DOMINATED DC in the big name categories, while DC thumped Marvel fairly soundly behind the scenes.
Marvel had at least double the percentage of female creators as DC in 3 of the 4 big name categories!! They had a slight lead in cover artists, but pencillers and inkers were exactly twice as much as DC, while writers were more than double. Plus, Marvel puts out more comics than DC so in terms of raw numbers of women getting work Marvel whooped DC. Actually, I have the raw numbers… let’s do a chart:
As always, these are credited female creators, not different female creators. So while DC had 38 credited female writers, at least 20 or so of those were Gail Simone. Likewise, Marvel doesn’t employ 281 female assistant editors… they’d have no space in their offices!! But female assistant editors got a credit 281 times in the comics Marvel released in 2011.
So yeah, that’s even more than double by the numbers for writers, pencillers, and inkers. And more colorists too, though Marvel lost in terms of percentage. Percentage is the far better comparison, of course. It’s just that the numbers are sort of interesting too.
Speaking of colourists, DC ran the back half of the chart. They only won colourists by a smidge, but they took letterers easily since Marvel hired only ONE female letterer for ONE book in ALL of 2011. In editorial, they beat Marvel by pretty massive margins, especially in terms of full editors.
You might think, as a sort of solidarity thing, that more female editors would lead to more female creators, but that doesn’t seem to be the case, generally speaking. On an individual basis I found that female editors hire more female creators, but Marvel just seems to be better at hiring lady creators all around.
So there’s an entire year, boiled down into one chart. DC’s better in some ways, Marvel’s better in other ways, but altogether neither of them are particularly great for female creators. Hopefully things will improve in 2012!!