August looks like it’s going to be a relatively decent month for female creators at DC Comics, with the publisher posting its highest numbers since March. It’s a welcome change after an underwhelming spring and start to the summer. However, August is also a month of transition, with some big beginnings, endings, and returns, so the sustainability of these numbers is very much up in the air. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics this August:
- Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #3 (interior art)
- Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn/Gossamer Special #1 (co-writer, cover), Supergirl #21 (variant cover)
- Babs Tarr: Teen Titans #21 (variant cover)
- Becky Cloonan: Shade, the Changing Woman #6 (cover)
- Bilquis Evely: The Sandman Universe #1 (interior art)
- Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Woman #6 (writer)
- Elena Casagrande: Batgirl Annual #2 (interior art)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Batgirl Annual #2 (cover), Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 (cover)
- Gail Simone: Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 (writer), Plastic Man #3 (writer)
- Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #52 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #53 (variant cover)
- Jill Thompson: The Sandman Universe #1 (co-writer)
- Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #6 (writer)
- Joelle Jones: Catwoman #2 (writer, art, cover)
- Julie Benson: Green Arrow #43 (co-writer)
- Kat Howard: The Sandman Universe #1 (co-writer)
- Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #6 (writer)
- Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #26 (writer), Batgirl Annual #2 (writer)
- Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #18 (writer)
- Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Woman #6 (interior art)
- Nalo Hopkinson: The Sandman Universe #1 (co-writer)
- Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #2 (variant cover), Supergirl #21 (cover)
- Sana Takeda: The Wild Storm #16 (variant cover)
- Shawna Benson: Green Arrow #43 (co-writer)
- Shea Fontana: Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 (writer, backup story)
- Yasmine Putri: Scooby Apocalypse #28 (variant cover)
All together, there are 25 female creators scheduled to work on 19 different comics in August 2018, 4 more creators than in July and 3 more books. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators set to work at DC Comics in August. Relative to the year thus far, this is a solid showing for female representation at DC. The numbers remain noticeably below the publisher’s past highs, but hitting the mid-20s is still a nice change after a consistent, lower stretch.
We’ve also got a major debut in August with The Sandman Universe #1. Not only is it more Sandman, which is always exciting, it’s also an introductory issue for four spinoff series that will begin this fall. The book has several female creators in the mix, including writers Kat Howard and Nalo Hopkinson, both new to DC, and artist Bilquis Evely, who you may remember from her excellent run on Wonder Woman. They’ll also be part of the spinoff books moving forward.
But we’ve got a lot of endings as well. Batwoman is drawing to a close after a very enjoyable run, and between that and the cancellation of Bombshells United I’ve got my fingers crossed that DC has something else lined up for Marguerite Bennett because she’s been doing fantastic work for them. August also marks the end of the “Young Animal” imprint, which will be a major blow to the numbers. “Young Animal” creators account for 5 of the 25 women listed above, and losing 20% of your female workforce in one fell swoop is not ideal. They’re all amazing creators, too, and I hope DC is wise enough to keep them in the fold with new work.
There are also a lot of oneshots and annuals in August, including a few Looney Tunes crossovers that sound amusing. These are one-off gigs, though, and combined those with a few random variant cover jobs and the cancellations I just mentioned, there are only 11 female creators in the list above that have long term jobs guaranteeing they’ll be back next month. Several of the 14 other women may return in some other capacity, but it’s no sure thing.
Overall, while August will be one of DC’s better months for representation so far this year, things are very much in flux right now. Barring a rash of one-shot gigs or major creative shake ups, reaching this level again in September could be tricky. Plus it’s not even that impressive a level to begin with. DC’s hired far more female and non-binary creators in the past. And they also hire about a couple hundred dudes each month, so women and non-binary creators remain a small minority regardless.