I was very excited for the June solicits to come out, because DC has been having a great 2015 thus far. They’ve bested their previous highs for female creators on multiple occasions, and even maintained high numbers through their “Convergence” event. Events have rarely seen DC’s strongest effort when it comes to female creators, so that the numbers stayed relatively steady was very encouraging. Moreover, their June mini-relaunch looks to be an exciting new direction for the publisher in terms of the style and tone of their books. Unfortunately, June also has the fewest female creators at DC thus far this year. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what and where for DC’s June 2015 comics:
- Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #17 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and Power Girl #1 (co-writer, cover), Section 8 #1 (cover), Starfire #1 (co-writer, cover)
- Amy Wolfram: Teen Titans Go! #10 (co-writer)
- Annie Wu: Black Canary #1 (interior art, cover)
- Babs Tarr: Batgirl #41 (interior art), Black Canary #1 (variant cover)
- Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy #7 (co-writer, cover), The Kitchen #8 (cover)
- Caitlin Kittredge: Coffin Hill #19 (writer)
- Celia Calle: Strange Sports Stories #4 (cover)
- Chrissie Zullo: Fables: The Wolf Among Us #6 (cover)
- Corin Howell: Bat-Mite #1 (interior art, cover)
- Emanuela Lupacchino: Starfire #1 (interior art, variant cover)
- Gail Simone: Secret Six #3 (writer)
- Genevieve Valentine: Catwoman #41 (writer)
- Georgia Ball: Scooby-Doo, Where Are You? #58 (writer)
- Kai Yu Wu: The Flash Season Zero #9 (co-writer)
- Lauren Cento: The Flash Season Zero #9 (co-writer)
- Marley Zarcone: Effigy #6 (interior art)
- Meredith Finch: Wonder Woman #41 (writer), Wonder Woman Annual #1 (writer)
- Ming Doyle: Constantine: The Hellblazer #1 (writer, variant cover), The Kitchen #8 (interior art)
- Mingjue Helen Chen: Gotham Academy #7 (interior art)
All together, there are 19 different female creators set to work on 21 different books in June, a big drop from May’s 26 and 25 and a far cry from the 32 different female creators DC had in April, their biggest month to date. I was hoping that with this mini-relaunch, DC would make a big statement and top their best yet again, but instead June is their lowest month of the year thus far.
When DC cancelled a slew of books in March to make way for this mini-relaunch, they lost many of the female creators working on those books. Some other titles outside of the superhero line have come to an end as well. That means that female creators like Ann Nocenti, Cat Staggs, Christy Marx, K. Perkins, Marguerite Bennett, Meghan Hetrick, Tula Lotay, and Sandra Hope are not in the mix this month.
Furthermore, DC’s hit highs this year by regularly having women in one-off appearances through variant covers or anthology series, and June doesn’t have the usual assortment of female creators we expect in this regard. That bodes well for July; June just may be a randomly off month for these avenues, and the numbers could bounce back next month. However, right now the numbers are pretty poor, comparatively.
There are some new names in the mix, though. Annie Wu is fairly new to DC after a stint on Marvel’s Hawkeye, Corin Howell is drawing Bat-Mite, and Mingjue Helen Chen is drawing Gotham Academy. While these few new faces aren’t exactly compensating for the many female creators DC has lost through their mini-relaunch, it’s always great to see different names in the mix.
June also looks to be a good month for female characters. Black Canary, Power Girl (with Harley Quinn), and Starfire are all launching new series, and the lead of the new Prez series is a teenage girl. There are a few female characters sprinkled in some of the new team books as well.
But in the end, these posts are a numbers game. June not only has DC’s lowest number of female creators for the year, it’s the lowest number since October 2014. To hit a low at a time when they’re set to launch several new series and get a lot of attention and sales is particularly disheartening. The mini-relaunch is certainly better than the New 52 relaunch where there were only 2 female creators in the mix, but DC has proven they’re capable of hitting much higher numbers since then. Only 19 different women in June is a disappointment given how high DC has moved their bar this year.