Archive for the ‘Women In Comics Statistics’ Category

Female Creator Representation Remains About The Same At The Latest Image Expo

July 2, 2015

image

Today was the latest Image Expo, a semi-annual event where Image Comics brings out their many creators to announce exciting new books and projects that will debut in the year to come. It’s always cool to see what new books are going to be coming out, and this year was no exception. Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott are launching a new series, and that’s an absolutely amazing duo no matter what the book is about (it’s a magical police thriller). Gail Simone and Cat Staggs have a new comic that’s Freaky Friday except with a hitman, so that sounds interesting. And Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera are going back to the Bible for a dark, grisly take on the days before the great flood, and I’m very excited to check that out. Plus so many more!

The past couple of Image Expos have had decent female creator representation, so let’s go through the list to see how this Expo compares. Here are all of the new titles and teams, minus reissues of previously printed work, as per Image’s own page:

  • Invincible: Reboot by Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, and Jean-Francois Beaulieu.
  • Codename Baboushka: The Conclave of Death by Antony Johnston, Shari Chankhamma, and Simon Bowland
  • Camp Midnight by Steven T. Seagle and Jason Adam Katzenstein
  • Blue Monday: Thieves Like Us by Chynna Clugston Flores
  • Scooter Girl by Chynna Clugston Flores
  • Throwaways by Caitlin Kittredge and Steve Sanders
  • Sunset Park by Ron Wimberley
  • Slave Punk: White Coal by Ron Wimberley
  • Cry Havoc by Simon Spurrier, Ryan Kelly, Lee Loughridge, Matt Wilson, and Simon Bowland
  • Black Magick by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott
  • Crosswind by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs
  • The Goddamned by Jason Aaron, R.M. Guerra, and Giulia Brusco
  • Heartless by Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay
  • Huck by Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque
  • Private Eye: The Deluxe Hardcover by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente
  • Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung, Mickey Quinn, and Mare Odomo
  • Virgil by Steve Orlando and JD Faith
  • Hadrian’s Wall by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis
  • Axcend by Shane Davis, Michelle Delecki, and Morry Horrowell
  • Faster Than Light by Brian Haberlin
  • Expired by Jimmie Robinson and Richard Pace
  • The One% by Kaare Kyle Andrews
  • Ringside by Joe Keatinge, Nick Barber, Simon Gough, and Ariana Maher

All together there are 12 different female creators named in this list of 51 different creators total, so women account for 23.5% of the creators announced at this year’s Image Expo. That’s down slightly from the last two Image Expos, which had 25.9% and 26.4% female creators. It’s not a huge drop, but it’s always more pleasant to see these numbers trending upward. This Expo was a small step back.

However, things are better in terms of representation per book. Of the 23 new titles announced, 12 feature at least one female creator. That’s more than the last Image Expo’s 10 of 24. So while there are fewer female creators overall, there are more women across the board.

Ultimately, female creator representation remains about the same. A little less in one area and a little more in another evens out to no real significant change. It’d be nice to have had Image wow us with a slew of female creators and blow us away with huge numbers, but at the same time it’s great to see a lot of new names in the mix here. Creators like Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Cat Staggs, Caitlin Kittredge, and a few others have all been Big Two mainstays for a while, and good on Image for bringing them in to do their own, creator owned books. I’m still holding out hope for a huge number of female creators at the next Image Expo, though. Image likes to talk the talk when it comes to diversity, and I’d like to see a bit more of a commitment to walking the walk. Doing well with female representation doesn’t change the fact that there’s lots of room to do better.

Women In Comics Statistics: Marvel’s 45 Leaked “All-New, All-Different” October Books Have 8 Different Female Creators

June 30, 2015

allnewmarvel2

News started leaking yesterday about Marvel’s upcoming “All-New, All-Different” line-up that’s set to debut this October in the wake of Secret Wars. Marvel’s officially released information on several new titles and creative teams, but their preview book got out early and then was posted in full online. So now we’ve got a peek at the 45 new #1 issues that Marvel’s releasing this October, and I’ve run the numbers to see how feel female creators are represented. Here’s what I found:

  • In terms of all of the credited creators, ie. each individual book’s credits added all together, there are 100 men and 9 women across these 45 books. That’s 8.3% female creators overall.
  • For credited writers, there are 42 men and 5 women, or 10.6% female writers.
  • Those writers are G. Willow Wilson (twice), Marguerite Bennett, Michele Fazekas, and Tara Butters.
  • For credited artists, there are 44 men and 3 women, or 6.4% female artists.
  • Those artists are Stephanie Hans, Stacey Lee, and Sara Pichelli.
  • Covers are a little trickier because the preview book didn’t specify cover artists on several of the books, so when they went uncredited I assumed the interior artist did the cover. There were 43 men and 2 women, or 4.4% female cover artists.
  • Those cover artists are Helen Chen and Sara Pichelli.
  • Looking instead at different creators, ie. not just adding everything together but counting each creator listed only once, there are 81 different men and 8 different women working on these books. That’s 9% female writers.
  • Only 6 of the 45 new titles feature a female creator in some capacity. That’s 13.3%.
  • For characters, my count shows that there are 10 female-led titles, 19 male-led titles, and 16 mixed. The mixed titles appear to skew towards more men than women, as most team books tend to do.

These aren’t huge numbers. Having 8.3% female creators overall means that the men outnumber the women 10 to 1. That’s a MASSIVE margin. Furthermore, the female writers and artists percentage are about right where they’ve been for the past while in Marvel’s regular full stats (the overall percentage in my “Gendercrunching” columns is higher than what we’re seeing here, but that’s because that count includes colorists and editorial, which this count does not). So basically, “All-New, All-Different” looks to be more of the same from Marvel.

At the same time, this is a lot better than Marvel NOW! was. The initial wave of new Marvel NOW! books a few years back didn’t have any female creators in the #1s. A couple of books already written by women got rebranded but not relaunched. Later waves brought a relaunch of Captain Marvel with Kelly Sue DeConnick and a new Ms. Marvel with G. Willow Wilson, and the smaller Avengers NOW! line had three women in the mix, but that’s about it. While 8 different women across 45 new titles is rather paltry, it’s more than the handful of gals Marvel’s included in the past.

Also, I doubt this is the full list. Marvel’s been mentioning 60 new titles, and this is only 45. Plus we know that some other titles have been in the works, like a Gamora book by Guardians of the Galaxy screenwriter Nicole Perlman. My guess is that there’ll be 45 new books in October, and then probably a bunch more in November or soon after.

Ultimately, these numbers are underwhelming. Given the plethora of amazing women making comics today, having only 8 different women in the mix is pretty weak, and 8.3% female creators overall is not a lot. Fingers crossed that we’ll get some more books with more women soon, because this first big wave isn’t great.

Women In Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, April 2015 In Review

June 26, 2015

bleedingcool

My latest “Gendercrunching” column is up over at Bleeding Cool, and it’s a stats extravaganza with the usual DC and Marvel fun plus visits to Image, IDW, and Dark Horse.

Bolstered by the female editors behind their “Convergence” titles, DC’s overall percentage of female creators soared to 21.4%, a massive total that’s roughly double what we’re used to seeing from them. It will be fleeting, though; May will be similar, but it will most likely be back to the same old in June. Marvel rose as well, coming in at 13.9%, one of their better totals in some time, bolstered by growing female assistant editors ranks.

For our bi-annual check of non-Big Two publishers, Image was down slightly from six months ago but still posted a solid 14.7% female creators overall. IDW shot up to 16.6%, while Dark Horse did the same, also posting 16.6%. All together, it was a strong month for women making comics, though there remains lots of room to grow further.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the stats fun!

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – September 2015 Solicits: 13 Different Female Creators On 11 Different Comics

June 23, 2015

womenatmarvelSEPT

I’m not entirely sure why, but a lot of books are missing in Marvel’s September solicits. I’m guessing it’s partly due to Secret Wars running a little bit late and pushing tie-ins back, and partly due to regular series wrapping up in advance of Marvel’s big upcoming revamp. Whatever the case, the lack of several series has resulted in one of Marvel’s poorest months of the year for female representation, with women appearing in the lowest number of books since January. Let’s see who’s doing what in September:

  • Chelsea Cain: Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 (writer)
  • G. Willow Wilson: A-Force #5 (co-writer)
  • Jen Soska: Secret Wars Journal #5 (co-writer)
  • Jody Houser: The Cavalry: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Mockingbird: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 (interior art)
  • Kathryn Immonen: Agent Carter: S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th Anniversary #1 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Captain Marvel & the Carol Corps #4 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: A-Force #5 (co-writer), Years of Future Past #5 (writer)
  • Noelle Stevenson: Runaways #4 (writer)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – The Lady of Shadows #1 (co-writer)
  • Stacey Lee: Ghost Racers #4 (variant cover), Secret Wars #7 (variant cover)
  • Sylvia Soska: Secret Wars Journal #5 (co-writer)
  • Vanesa Del Rey: Secret Wars Journal #5 (cover)

All together there are 13 different female creators set to work on 11 different books in September, a big drop from August’s 18 and 15, respectively. It’s a very poor showing, even with a few series not coming out. These days, with so many talented female creators doing great work, huge publishers like Marvel and DC should be able to have at least 20 different women writing and drawing their comics with ease, but that’s not the case for either publisher in September.

Moreover, the numbers are bolstered by a series of S.H.I.E.L.D. 50th anniversary one-shots. They sound great, focusing on characters like Agent Carter, Melinda May, Mockingbird, and Quake, and it’s nice to see female characters getting the spotlight. Plus there are four different women working on these books, which is cool. But at the same time, these special one-shots added FOUR new female creators to Marvel’s ranks and their number of female creators still fell substantially. That’s not great.

It is nice to see some new names, though. I think this is Chelsea Cain’s first time working at Marvel, and it may be the first time for the Soska sisters as well. It’s also good to see people returning, like Jody Houser, Kathryn Immonen, and one of my favourite artists in the world, Joelle Jones.

On another positive note, September’s “True Believers” comics, a line that reprints key issues for $1 to bring in new fans, is dedicated to female characters. Thor, Spider-Gwen, Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Silk, Princess Leia, Spider-Woman, and Squirrel Girl are all having the first issue of their latest runs reprinted as part of this line, which is very cool. It’s well timed, too; you might want to stock up this September and pass them out to trick or treaters on Halloween.

SIDENOTE: I don’t count reprints when I do up these numbers each month, so that’s why the “True Believers” books aren’t listed above. Also, if I did count them, Marvel would still be down from last month. Oh, Marvel.

Overall, September is a pretty good month for female characters. While a lot of books are benched, the women of S.H.I.E.L.D. are getting a fun showcase, and you can catch up on all of your favourite female characters for a buck each. It’s a bad scene for female creators, though, with a big drop from last month in terms of the number of different female creators working on Marvel’s comics, as well as there being only a handful of Marvel’s books in which female creators appear. Marvel’s been very up and down with female creators this year, and it’s frustrating to watch them continually drop the ball like this. Hiring more women can’t be that hard.

Women At DC Comics Watch – September 2015 Solicits: 19 Different Female Creators On 16 Different Comics

June 22, 2015

womenatdcSEPT

Since June’s #DCYou initiative and mini-relaunch, DC Comics has certainly been consistent in its hiring, posting the same number of female creators in 3 of the 4 months we have solicit information for thus far. However, in doing so they remain consistently below the number of women they were hiring before #DCYou, and by a considerable margin. #DCYou remains a step forward compared to the launch of the New 52, but a step backwards compared to where they were just a few months ago. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what in September:

  • Amanda Conner: All Star Section 8 #4 (cover), Harley Quinn #20 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and Power Girl #4 (co-writer, cover), Starfire #4 (co-writer, cover)
  • Annie Wu: Black Canary #4 (cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Batgirl #44 (art and cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy #10 (co-writer)
  • Bilquis Evely: DC Comics Bombshells #2 (interior art)
  • Chrissie Zullo: Fables: The Wolf Among Us #9 (cover)
  • Corin Howell: Bat-Mite #4 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Catwoman #44 (variant cover), Starfire #4 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Secret Six #6 (writer)
  • Genevieve Valentine: Catwoman #44 (writer)
  • Karen Traviss: Sensation Comics #14 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #2 (writer)
  • Meredith Finch: Wonder Woman #44 (writer)
  • Ming Doyle: Constantine: The Hellblazer #4 (co-writer)
  • Nei Ruffino: Sensation Comics #14 (cover)
  • Pia Guerra: Black Canary #4 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #44 (variant cover)
  • Ricken: Teen Titans #12 (art and cover)
  • Vanesa Del Rey: Constantine: The Hellblazer #4 (interior art)

All together, there are 19 different female creators set to work on 16 different comic books at DC in September. It’s the same number of women as August and June, but ties July for the lowest number of different titles this year. Earlier in 2015, DC had 30 different female creators or more multiple times, so it’s disheartening to see them unable to escape the teens currently. Moreover, in February of this year there were women working on 35 different comics; now that’s more than halved.

On the positive side, there are some new and returning names in this month’s solicits. I think that Bilquis Evely is new to DC, and while Nei Ruffino has done a lot of jobs there as a colorist, I believe this is her first time doing line art for them. It’s also nice to have Pia Guerra back inside of a comic book; she’s done some covers here and there, and sporadic interiors, so it’ll be cool to see her do a full issue of Black Canary. She’s a great choice for the book. Ricken is back as well, after a two year absence from DC. Her art should fit very well with Teen Titans.

On the negative side, there are 6 female creators in the September solicits who weren’t there in August. That may sound like a plus, but the overall number didn’t change so that means that there were 6 women in the August solicits who didn’t return in September. New names and returning favourites are great, but not at the expense of other female creators. We want growth, not a revolving door.

There’s not much new for female characters in September, with no new titles as DC continues to settle into their mini-relaunch.

Overall, this is another disappointing month for DC Comics. Consistently underperforming compared to earlier in the year is both frustrating and nonsensical; where did all those women go? DC is hiring female writers and artists at less than 2/3 the rate they used to, and have done so for four straight months. They are capable of a lot better than this.

Women In Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, March 2015 In Review

June 9, 2015

bleedingcool

My latest “Gendercrunching” column went up on Bleeding Cool a while back, but I then promptly forgot about it and haven’t posted it here yet. Good work, me! Anyway, March was an interesting month for the Big Two.

DC had 12.1% female creators overall, a slight drop from February but nothing too significant. Marvel, on the other hand, rocketed up to 14.7% overall, a gain of more than 5% from last month, to top DC for the first time in quite a while. A lot of Marvel’s growth was due to their “Women of Marvel” variant cover line that featured many female artists, but Marvel did well across the board too, and I’m optimistic that their numbers will stay in double digits moving forward.

We also jumped in the wayback machine to take a look at some stats from 1991. DC’s doing better than their 1991 selves, though really not considerably so, while Marvel’s been lower than their 1991 overall total for 10 of the 12 months, which is just embarrassing.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the stats fun!

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – August 2015 Solicits: 18 Different Female Creators On 15 Different Books

May 26, 2015

womenatmarvelAUGUST

As Secret Wars rages on with a seemingly innumerable amount of tie-ins and mini-series, Marvel’s female creator ranks are slowly creeping up. Marvel’s still lagging behind their chief rival, DC Comics, but the numbers are growing nonetheless. Let’s talk a look at who’s doing what this August at Marvel:

  • Alti Firmansyah: Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde #3 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Hank Johnson, Agent of Hydra #1 (cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Secret Wars #6 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #8 (cover, interior art)
  • G. Willow Wilson: A-Force #4 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #18 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Secret Wars: Secret Love #1 (interior art)
  • Katie Cook: Secret Wars: Secret Love #1 (writer, interior art)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Captain Marvel & The Carol Corps #3 (co-writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel & The Carol Corps #3 (co-writer)
  • Laura Braga: Secret Wars Journal #4 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #3 (co-writer), A-Force #4 (co-writer). Secret Wars: Secret Love #1 (writer), Years of Future Past #4 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Spider-Woman #10 (interior art)
  • Nik Virella: 1872 #3 (interior art)
  • Noelle Stevenson: Runaways #3 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #3 (cover, interior art)
  • Tana Ford: Silk #7 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: Star-Lord & Kitty Pryde #3 (cover)

All together, there are 18 different women scheduled to work on 15 different books in August, a decent jump from July’s 14 and 14 as well as their second best total of the year thus far. On the one hand, Marvel’s a big enough publisher that they should have more than 20 female creators each month with ease, and the fact that they’re still languishing in the teens is very disappointing. On the other hand, things are moving up at least.

A quick note on the numbers: At first glance it looks like there are only 17 women working at Marvel in August, but Gurihiru is an art duo comprised of two women, Chifuyu Sasaki and Naoko Kawano. Whenever they come up here or in my “Gendercrunching” stats, I always count them as two overall (it’s different with the stats, because overall they count as two but since they do different jobs they count as one in the categories; Sasaki pencils and inks, Kawano colors).

Gurihiru and Katie Cook are working on a one-shot and are thus unlikely to be back in September, so while it’s great for the August numbers it’s not particularly good for continued growth. And I doubt Babs Tarr will be back next month either after her variant cover this month. So really, while Marvel is up by four women this month compared to July, there’s four women who likely won’t be back next month. However, Natacha Bustos is set to make her Marvel debut in August, which is exciting, and Tana Ford is back after participating in a couple of Marvel projects a while back. Both look to be fill-in gigs, but it’s good to see Marvel reaching out to women and building up a bigger rolodex of female creators.

It also should be noted that several issues in the solicits advertised manga variant covers, with no artists attached yet. It seems likely that a few of those covers will be drawn by women. Manga is more of an equality opportunity scene than superhero comics.

August doesn’t look like a big month for female characters in new books, though. Ant-Man and Hank Johnson are leading two new titles, but the only woman involved in a new book is Ms. Marvel on the cover of the Secret Wars: Secret Love one-shot, which is a one time deal. It should be fun, though. There are some great creators involved.

Overall, August is looking better for women at Marvel, but things are still far from good. Last week I was super down on DC for their poor female representation in August, and they had more women than Marvel does, so a bad month for DC is still better than one of Marvel’s highest months. Still, it’s good to see Marvel’s female creator ranks growing with new names in the mix. Now if Marvel could only hire a bunch at once on regular gigs, instead of intermittently on one off jobs.


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