My latest “Gendercrunching” column went up today on Bleeding Cool, and while I love all of my stats adventures, I think this one is particularly telling about the state of women in the superhero comic book industry today.
DC and Marvel’s numbers both slipped down from January, with DC falling further and landing at 13.6% female creators overall while Marvel ticked down slightly to 15.1%. Both are relatively decent totals for each publisher, though below their recent highs.
Then we look at who is writing what at DC and Marvel, and get some very striking numbers. Male writers at the Big Two are writing everyone: male characters, female characters, team books. What they write is roughly analogous to each publisher’s overall output, partly because male writers comprise the bulk of it and partly because they get to write all of the characters. Female writers, however, are mostly just writing women. It’s an odd bit of pigeonholing that’s actually gotten more pronounced over the past year. While it’s great to have women writing women, female writers are capable of writing all sorts of characters, just like men are, and I think the next big step in progress at DC and Marvel needs to be women writing everyone across the board.