DC’s numbers for female and non-binary creators haven’t been high for a while, in part because they’ve trimmed back their line and fewer books means fewer creators across the board. But still, even in this new reality, DC’s representation for August is a step down from what we’ve been seeing lately. While the publisher’s Zoom and Ink lines (soon to be renamed) are much more diverse right now, the single issue line remains behind the times. Let’s dig into the solicits and see who’s doing what at DC in August:
- Amanda Conner: Wonder Woman: Come Back To Me #2 (co-writer, cover)
- Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #12 (interior art)
- Cecil Castellucci: Batgirl #38 (writer)
- Elena Casagrande: Young Justice #8 (interior art)
- G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #76 (writer), Wonder Woman #77 (writer)
- Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #76 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #77 (variant cover)
- Joelle Jones: Catwoman #14 (cover)
- Kat Howard: Books of Magic #11 (writer)
- Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #51 (writer)
- Mirka Andolfo: Catwoman #14 (interior art)
- Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #12 (co-writer)
- Rachel Dodson: Justice League #29 (variant cover)
- Sandra Hope: Superman: Up in the Sky #2 (inker)
- Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #11 (cover)
- Yasmine Putri: Lois Lane #2 (variant cover), The Flash #76 (variant cover), The Flash #77 (variant cover)
That is not a long list. Altogether, there are 15 different female creators set to work on 16 different books in August, three fewer creators than in July and four fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits. Dropping a few notches shouldn’t be too big a deal, but with so few creators to begin with these small drops are proportionally significant. Falling from 20 to 16 books, for instance, is a drop of 20%. That’s not small at all.
With the low output of the entire line, though, we need to contextualize the numbers. DC is putting out 58 new comics in August, and with female creators on 16 of them that means that women are involved in 28% of the publisher’s line. It was 32% last month, and 33% the month before that. While the numbers aren’t going off a cliff here, they’re certainly dropping after a generally steady run for the past few months. And keep in mind, steady numbers is just maintaining the total, with the same number of female and non-binary creators doing the same amount of work. Growth is preferable. Drops are disappointing.
Perhaps predictably, it’s a quiet month for new creators in the ranks. Silent, even. Every creator listed above is someone we’ve seen recently. This has been happening a lot lately at DC. With fewer books, the ranks are closed in now. A certain number of regulars get work, but the opportunity for new voices has been minimal.
August isn’t a great month for female characters either. The big news is yet another Batman/Superman book, which should be gorgeous thanks to David Marquez but I just don’t care about the Batman Who Laughs. He’s somehow both creepy and boring? I’m not into it. There is a new Wildcats book, with a few female characters on the team. And with Warren Ellis writing, it should be a good read. Otherwise, we’ve got a new Neal Adams Batman book that should be bonkers and some “Year of the Villian” specials featuring male villains.
Overall, it’s an underwhelming August for representation, real and fictional, at DC. New things might start rolling out soon with the fall solicits and maybe that will lift the numbers, but right now things are starting to trend downward. As much as it’s good to see more diversity in DC’s kids and teen graphic novels, that doesn’t mean they should just forget about doing the same in the single issue line.