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.