DC trimming back their comic line has resulted in some shifting of the numbers for female and non-binary creators over the past few months. Representation has declined more or less in line with the drop in the number of books, and we see this trend holding with the May numbers, just in the other direction. DC had 54 comics in their April solicits but that’s jumped to 62 in May, and the numbers have gone up accordingly. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC this May:
- Adriana Melo: Female Furies #1 (interior art)
- Amanda Conner: Supergirl #30 (variant cover)
- Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #9 (interior art)
- Cecil Castellucci: Female Furies #1 (writer)
- Elena Casagrande: Catwoman Annual #1 (interior art)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: The Green Lantern #7 (variant cover)
- G. Willow Wilson: Dog Days of Summer #1 (co-writer), Wonder Woman #70 (writer), Wonder Woman #71 (writer)
- Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #70 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #71 (variant cover)
- Joelle Jones: Catwoman #11 (writer, cover), Catwoman Annual #1 (writer, cover)
- Kamome Shirahama: Shazam! #6 (variant cover)
- Kat Howard: Books of Magic #8 (writer)
- Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #48 (writer)
- Lea Hernandez: Teen Titans Go! #34 (cover)
- Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #35 (writer)
- Mariko Tamaki: Dog Days of Summer #1 (co-writer)
- Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #9 (co-writer)
- Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #70 (cover), Wonder Woman #71 (cover)
- Sarah Leuver: Teen Titans Go! #34 (interior art)
- Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #8 (cover)
- Yasmine Putri: Red Hood: Outlaw #34 (variant cover)
- Zoe Quinn: Goddess Mode #6 (writer)
All together, there are 21 different female creators scheduled to work on 19 different books at DC this May, four more creators than in April and one more book. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. So a gain of four is a solid jump, but one that’s generally in line with the increase in the number of books DC is releasing. The publisher still seems to be trying to figure out what’s a good level for them, and I anticipate that the numbers will continue to fluctuate with their scheduling experimentation.
Last month, in an effort to come up with a more comparable metric, we figured out what percentage of the line had female and non-binary creators. They were on 17 of DC’s 54 books in April, resulting in a total of 31%. This month, female creators appear in 18 of DC’s 62 books, landing us at 29%, so we’ve got a slight drop there. Nothing too big, but certainly not an improvement. While one would hope that more books would lead to more opportunities, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
In terms of new names, it’s a pretty quiet month. I think we’ve seen everyone before. There are some returning favourites, though! First and foremost, Jenny Frison is back doing variant covers for Wonder Woman and I am delighted about that. She’s so dang good. Mariko Tamaki is back as well, on the Dog Days of Summer special, and I’m hoping her sporadic but still somewhat consistent appearances at DC mean that a more permanent gig is in her future.
For new books, a few have some female characters in the mix. Batman and the Outsiders has been re-solicited, and that brings us Katana and Orphan. Wonder Woman’s going to be in the Dog Days of Summer special, while Lois Lane will be part of the Superman: Leviathan Rising Special. That latter one is an exciting bit of news, because it sounds like a Lois Lane series will be happening soon, finally. Albeit one that doesn’t seem to have any female creators in the mix if this special is any indication
Overall, DC’s female and non-binary creator representation remains underwhelming. It’s been steadily subpar for some time, rising and falling with the amount of books but otherwise holding firm. It’s been a story of missed opportunities so far this year, really. The Wonder Comics imprint and the upcoming Event Leviathan have been ridiculously dude-centric, and there haven’t been many big creative changes elsewhere. Most of the creators listed above are holdovers from changes in the fall, which is great, but not many have been added since. DC’s just not stepping up when it comes to representation right now.