Archive for the ‘Women In Comics Statistics’ Category

Women In Comics Statistics: DC And Marvel, January 2015 In Review

April 8, 2015

bleedingcool

My latest “Gendercrunching” column went up over a week ago at Bleeding Cool, but I’ve been busy and then out of town so I never got to post it here. But better late than never! January wasn’t a great start to the year for either DC or Marvel, with DC returning to their past average for female creators overall and Marvel falling ever lower.

DC Comics had 11% female creators overall, a decent jump from their December total and a nice return to their past range after a very low autumn. Even better, by category DC is posting some of their best numbers for writers and artists since this stats project began in 2011. If the editorial numbers weren’t so low, DC could be setting some record highs. At Marvel, the overall percentage of female creators fell to 8.5%, one of their lowest totals since this project began. After a steady if unimpressive autumn, Marvel’s taken a real dip across the board over the past couple of months.

We also took a look at female creators, using covers as an indicator of each book’s gender representation. DC was down negligibly from July, but Marvel rose a couple percentage points. All together, there were slightly more female characters on the covers in January 2015 than we saw in January or July of last year.

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

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – June 2015 Solicits: 14 Different Female Creators On 16 Different Books

March 25, 2015

womenatmarvelJUNE

Yesterday we looked at DC’s June solicits, and I was disappointed that DC had only 19 female creators because they hit 32 female creators just a couple of months earlier. Today we turn to Marvel, and they’re just trailing way behind. June is actually a decent month for women at Marvel, relative to their recent output, but they’re still far back of DC’s lowest month of the year. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in June 2015:

  • Alti Firmansyah: Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #1 (interior art)
  • Erica Henderson: Secret Wars #4 (variant cover), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #6 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: A-Force #2 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #16 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Weirdworld #1 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Captain Marvel & the Carol Corps #1 (co-writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel & the Carol Corps #1 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #1 (co-writer), A-Force #2 (co-writer), Max Ride: First Flight #4 (writer), Years of Future Past #1 (writer), Years of Future Past #2 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #1 (interior art), Secret Wars #3 (variant cover)
  • Noelle Stevenson: Runaways #1 (writer)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – House of Cards #4 (co-writer)
  • Stacey Lee: Silk #5 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: 1602 Witch Hunter Angela #1 (interior art, cover), Max Ride: First Flight #4 (cover)
  • Vanesa Del Rey: Armor Wars #1 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Amazing Spider-Man #19.1 (cover), Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde #1 (cover)

All together, there are 14 different women set to appear in 16 different books in June, one more female creator than in May but one less book. It’s not a great number when compared to other publishers, not just DC but independent publishers with smaller outputs too. At the same time, with Secret Wars on the go and so many new tie-in series, I’m a little bit impressed that the number of female creators ticked up, however slightly. The Big Two tend to fall back on the same old for events, but both DC’s “Convergence” and Marvel’s Secret Wars have had a solid number of female creators in the mix.

There are some new names in the June solicits as well. Alti Firmansyah is making what I think is her first Marvel appearance drawing Star-Lord and Kitty Pryde, while Kelly Thompson is co-writing Captain Marvel’s Secret Wars tie-in, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps. Noelle Stevenson and Marguerite Sauvage, who recently did a story in a Thor annual, are back with bigger gigs in June as well.

In terms of female characters, there’s a lot going on with new and altered series in June. Thor is part of Thors, Runaways has several female characters including some favourites from the original run, Kitty Pryde is co-headlining a book with Star-Lord, Angela is going back in time with 1602 Witch Hunter Angela, Mary Jane Watson is back married to Peter Parker in Amazing-Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows, Shiklah the queen of the monster metropolis below Manhattan is starring in Mrs. Deadpool and the Howling Commandos, and Captain Marvel is now Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps. Plus, there are lots of women in various new team books as well. It’s a very strong month for female characters across the board.

Ultimately, Marvel is making a bit of progress in female creator representation in June, but remains far behind many other publishers. I’m anticipating a spate of new books and relaunches once Secret Wars wraps up, though, so it’ll be very interesting to see if things improve then. It’s encouraging to see some new names and women returning to Marvel for bigger gigs, and hopefully that bodes well for the future. Only time will tell.

Women At DC Comics Watch – June 2015 Solicits: A Disappointing Month For DC’s Mini-Relaunch, 19 Different Female Creators on 21 Different Books

March 24, 2015

womenatdcJUNE

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.

Jim Lee And Dan DiDio Declare That DC’s June Mini-Relaunch Is Just The Beginning Of A New Direction For The Publisher

March 10, 2015

newdc

Way back in July 2011, after the mess that was DC’s discussion of female characters and creators at that year’s Comic-Con, co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio released a joint statement promising that DC would do better on both fronts. The New 52 was about to debut with only 2 female creators in the mix, and preview pages were showing female characters in all sorts of objectified ways and sexy scenarios. It wasn’t a good scene, some fans got vocal about it, and DC promised to do better. And then they didn’t, really. Female creator numbers improved marginally, but the books stayed about the same and nothing really changed substantially for a couple of years. So that promise from July 2011 was, basically, a bunch of crap. They said all the right things, and then did very little about it.

Now Jim Lee and Dan DiDio are saying the right things again, but I’m feeling much more optimistic about where DC is heading. This is largely because we know where DC is heading: In June, they’re debuting 24 new series that feature many female creators and characters, and are diversifying their lineup generally in terms of style and tone. Here are a few highlights from their discussion about the new line-up, courtesy of Comic Book Resources.

Jim Lee acknowledged the rise in female readership in this discussion of DC’s audience:

I think a big part of the June launch was really a recognition that the audience has changed. It’s more fragmented than it was before. The original direct market was perceived as a monolithic fanbase. You see a lot more women that are into comics, at comic book shops and conventions. Our own studies have shown there’s a lot more people that are looking for a lot more flavors and diversity in our line than we’re currently doing.

Lee later trotted out the usual line about the publisher wanting to tell the best stories, which has often been used to dismiss focusing on a more representative creator base. The story is key, not who’s telling it! But while Lee said, “You want to have diversity, but you don’t want it to be prescriptive”, he then added:

I think it’s as diverse a group of creators, characters, stories and approaches to storytelling that I’ve seen in the history of DC, at least in my years that I’ve been here.

Dan DiDio then explained how DC is looking to the future after the early days of the New 52 got away from them:

When we launched, it was so pressed up against this hard-driving continuity for so long, people had a hard time recalibrating and rethinking how to approach our characters. So they started to fall back into old habits, and looking in the past, of where they were going to get their ideas from. Now I can tell you that we’ve changed it. We’re actually looking to the future for where our ideas are.

I think this “old habits” comment applies to the creators they hired as well, which were a lot of the same old in the early days on the New 52. Many of the creators at the helm of June’s mini-relaunch are relatively new faces, bringing bold new ideas to their books.

So now, three and a half years later, DC’s co-publishers are saying the right things about their changing audience and diverse creators, and this time they’re backing it up. I think this bodes well for the future of DC Comics. They’ve steadily grown their ranks of female creators and improved the depiction of their female characters. While there’s still a lot of work to be done, DC finally appears to understand that the game has changed and that they need to adapt accordingly.  Time will tell if it sticks, but they’re moving in a positive direction.

Women In Comics Statistics: DC And Marvel, December 2014 In Review

March 2, 2015

bleedingcool

My latest “Gendercrunching” column is up at Bleeding Cool, and neither Big Two publisher had a great month. This poor December capped off a generally weak year where both publishers consistently posted overall percentages for female creators far below their past highs.

DC had the higher overall percentage of female creators in December, hitting double digits for the first time in a long time with 10%. Marvel tumbled down to 8.9% overall, a surprisingly weak showing for them.

We also take a look at the year in review. Both Big Two publishers are trending downward overall, but DC has a few bright spots on the creative side of things with writers and artists trending upward over the course of the year and especially over the past few months. Editorial is the real issue for both publishers, with decimated assistant editor ranks dragging down the overall average of female creators considerably.

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

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – May 2015 Solicits: 13 Different Female Creators On 17 Different Comics

February 25, 2015

womenatmarvelMAY

Two months after their “Women of Marvel” variant cover line catapulted them to 20 different female creators for the first time in ages, Marvel remains firmly in the low teens yet again. Several other comics publishers are making big strides for female representation, but Marvel is lagging behind. While their May solicits show some growth from April, it’s not a lot. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in May 2015:

  • Amanda Conner: Secret Wars #1 (variant cover)
  • Ariela Kristantina: Wolverines #19 (interior art)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (art and cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: A-Force #1 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #15 (writer)
  • Kathryn Immonen: Operation: S.I.N. #5 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Captain Marvel #15 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: A-Force #1 (co-writer), Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #6 (co-writer), James Patterson’s Max Ride: First Flight #3 (writer)
  • Nicole Virella: Return of the Living Deadpool #4 (interior art)
  • Prudence Shen: Secret Wars Journal #1 (writer)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – House of Cards #3 (co-writer)
  • Stacey Lee: Amazing Spider-Man #18 (variant cover), Silk #4 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: A-Force #1 (variant cover), Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #6 (art and cover), Storm #11 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Amazing Spider-Man #18.1 (variant cover), Secret Wars #2 (variant cover)

All together, there are 13 different female creators scheduled for 17 different books in May, slight increases from April’s 11 and 16. There are some new names in mix, however. Both Prudence Shen and Yasmine Putri are making their debut at Marvel.

May is also a big month because A-Force debuts. Not only is it written by G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett, the lineup in all women characters, and it sounds fantastic. The cover shows pretty much every female Avenger ever, so this book should be a blast. A few other new titles boast female characters as well; Medusa is in Inhumans: Attilan Rising (they’re really trying to make the Inhumans happen, aren’t they?), Kate Bishop is on the cover of Secret Wars Journal #1, and Inferno seems to be about Magik, though they don’t mention her by name.

While the numbers aren’t growing substantially, there does seem to be a slight shift in what women are doing at Marvel over the year thus far. There’s a lot more interior art and writing than we usually see. Not that covers aren’t great, but it’s a rather isolated and rarely long term gig. The slow growth of women with regular jobs inside the comics is a definite positive step for Marvel.

Nonetheless, they still lag far behind. DC has more than double the female representation in May, and several publishers, many of them far smaller than Marvel, easily have more than 13 female creators scheduled for their May books. A-Force is great, and it’s wonderful to see Marvel continuing to focus on female characters, but their progress with female creators is painfully slow. There are a lot of them out there and Marvel have hired a great many of them sporadically over the past few years. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to hire more of them now.

Women At DC Comics Watch – May 2015 Solicits: 26 Different Female Creators On 25 Different Books

February 23, 2015

womenatdcMAY

As the second and final month of “Convergence” wraps up, DC Comics’ female representation ticks down somewhat from the numbers in the April solicits to their second lowest total of the year thus far. Nonetheless, it’s still far better than where they were at any point in 2014, or several years previous. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics in May 2015:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Convergence: Batgirl #2 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Convergence #6 (variant cover), Convergence #7 (variant cover), Convergence: Action Comics #2 (cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Convergence: Superboy #2 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Convergence: Aquaman #2 (cover), The Kitchen #7 (cover)
  • Caitlin Kittredge: Coffin Hill #18 (writer)
  • Celia Calle: The Names #9 (cover)
  • Chrissie Zullo: Fables: The Wolf Amoung Us #5 (cover)
  • Christy Marx: Convergence: Green Arrow #2 (writer)
  • Claire Wendling: Convergence: Catwoman #2 (cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Convergence: Titans #2 (cover)
  • Gail Simone: Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle #2 (writer)
  • Jan Duursema: Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle #2 (penciller)
  • Jill Thompson: Convergence #8 (variant cover), Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle #2 (cover)
  • June Brigman: Convergence: Superman – The Man of Steel #2 (penciller)
  • Kai Wu: The Flash Season Zero #8 (co-writer)
  • Keto Shimizu: Arrow Season 2.5 #8 (writer)
  • Lauren Ceto: The Flash Season Zero #8 (co-writer)
  • Louise Simonson: Convergence: Superman – The Man of Steel #2 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Hinterkind #18 (cover)
  • Marley Zarcone: Effigy #5 (interior art)
  • Ming Doyle: The Kitchen #7 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Convergence: New Teen Titans #2 (art and cover)
  • Pia Guerra: Convergence: Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #2 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Convergence #5 (inker)
  • Sara Ryan: Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #10 (writer)
  • Yishan Li: Convergence: Blue Beetle #2 (interior art)

All together, there are 26 different female creators scheduled to work on 25 different books, a drop from April’s 32 female creators but the same number of series. A big part of this drop was that the Vertigo quarterly special pumped up the April numbers, so without it the May numbers fell off a bit. Vertigo’s also got Strange Sports Stories #3 coming out, and while the second issue had two female creators listed last month, this month the only credits are “Various.” So things are about the same for the regular books.

Of course, all of these regular books will be gone next month, when “Convergence” ends and DC returns to its regular titles. June should be very interesting, seeing as DC is debuting 24 new series with some new creators in the mix. While several of the women who worked on “Convergence” probably won’t be back at DC in June, it looks like there are a lot of ladies set to take their place. I’m curious to see if DC can top their record total yet again; that would certainly be a good way to kick off a bold new direction for the publisher.

There’s not much new for female characters in May, seeing as it’s just more “Convergence”. The crossovers are starting to expand, though, so female characters from random universes will probably be showing up haphazardly across the line. I counted 5 or 6 different Wonder Womans in various titles, and she’s only headlining one book.

Overall, May isn’t a record breaking month for DC, but it’s a solid showing. I remain pleased to see so many women involved in an event like this; past events at DC, like their regular September stunts, usually result in a big drop for female creators, so it’s great that there are so many in the mix for “Convergence”. June’s going to be a whole new ball game, and I’m cautiously optimistic that DC will be up in the 30s again to launch their new direction.


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