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.