Posts Tagged ‘Carla Speed McNeil’

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, November 2017 Solicits: 24 Creators on 22 Books

October 12, 2017

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Marvel’s been very up and down with their female and non-binary creator representation over the past several months, but after the October solicits marked the publisher’s lowest numbers for the year thus far, the November solicits saw a solid gain. While Marvel still remains well off their previous highs, a sizeable jump is a welcome sight. The question now is, can they maintain or even increase the numbers moving forward? Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this November:

  • Annapaola Martello: Marvel’s Black Panther Prelude #2 (interior art)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #14 (cover), Star Wars: Poe Dameron #21 (variant cover)
  • Carla Speed McNeil: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 (interior art)
  • Christa Faust: Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #36 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #8 (writer), Generation X #9 (writer)
  • Devin Grayson: Power Pack #63 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Daredevil #595 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 (co-writer, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #24 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #9 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #22 (cover), Not Brand Echh #14 (interior art)
  • Irene Strychalski: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #22 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: Black Panther #167 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #13 (writer)
  • June Brigman: Power Pack #63 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #12 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #126 (writer)
  • Marika Cresta: Power Pack #63 (interior art)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #159 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #25 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #3 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: Master of Kung Fu #126 (variant cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #5 (interior art, cover)

All together, there are 24 different female creators set to work on 22 different books at Marvel this November, 4 more creators and 1 more book than in October (as far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled to work at Marvel in November). This is a large jump; essentially, Marvel’s got 20% more women writing and drawing their comics than they did last month, and that’s a considerable gain. At the same time, though, the October numbers were abnormally low and a rebound was to be expected. And, as always lately, Marvel remains far behind their previous highs; there were 37 women working at Marvel just eight months ago.

There are several new names and returning favourites in the mix this month, including a new cover artist for the Star Wars line in Ashley Witter, a new writer in Christa Faust on Silver Sable and the Wild Pack, and a new artist in Marika Cresta on Power Pack. The latter issue also marks the return of Devin Grayson, who we haven’t seen at the Big Two in a little while.

The only trouble is, Silver Sable and the Wild Pack and Power Pack are both one-shot specials, and so the four different women who worked on both of those books probably won’t be back at Marvel next month. Seeing as the solicits as a whole only jumped by four women, it looks like that gain will be washed out straight away in December. In terms of new female characters, both of those books are short-lived, and She-Hulk is the only title with a female lead that’s taking on the Marvel Legacy renumbering and hype in November. Meanwhile, at least seven different books with male leads are set to jump into Marvel Legacy and, perhaps unsurprisingly, none of them feature female creators either apart from a variant cover or two.

Overall, it’s good to see Marvel rebound somewhat after the lows they hit in October, but it appears that the rebound isn’t going to last. One-shots are fun and all, and an excellent foot in the door that could lead to future work for everyone involved, but the core, ongoing Marvel Legacy books are short on women across the board thus far, both real and fictional. The creative shifts of this event/relaunch haven’t gone great for female and non-binary creators thus far, and it will be interesting to see if December brings anything new as Marvel Legacy continues to roll out.

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Women At DC Comics Watch – October 2015 Solicits: 27 Different Female Creators On 22 Different Books

July 16, 2015

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DC’s track record with female creators since their #DCYou mini-relaunch has been odd. On the one hand, they’ve topped Marvel every month thus far, but on the other hand they’ve been far below their pre-#DCYou numbers for female creators for four straight months, and by a considerable margin. It’s not been an impressive run; going backwards is never good, and hiring more women than Marvel really isn’t that hard to do. But now, finally, five months into their mini-relaunch, DC has a list of female creators that that is comparable to where they were for the first half of 2015. Let’s see who’s doing what in October:

  • Amanda Conner: All-Star Section Eight #5 (cover), Harley Quinn #21 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and Power Girl #5 (co-writer, cover), Starfire #5 (co-writer, cover)
  • Annie Wu: Black Canary #5 (cover)
  • Asher Powell: Vertigo SFX #3 (unspecified)
  • Babs Tarr: Batgirl #45 (interior art, cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy #11 (co-writer)
  • Carla Speed McNeil: Sensation Comics #15 (writer, interior art)
  • Cat Staggs: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #2 (interior art)
  • Chrissie Zullo: Fables: The Wolf Among Us #10 (cover)
  • Claire Wendling: Wonder Woman #45 (variant cover)
  • Corin Howell: Bat-Mite #5 (interior art, cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Starfire #5 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #1 (writer), Secret Six #7 (writer)
  • Genevieve Valentine: Catwoman #45 (writer)
  • Jen Wang: Vertigo SFX #3 (unspecified)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #1 (cover), Grayson #13 (variant cover), Sensation Comics #15 (cover)
  • Kate Leth: DC Comics Bombshells #3 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #3 (interior art)
  • Lauren Beukes: Survivors Club #1 (co-writer)
  • Lea Hernandez: Teen Titans Go! #12 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #3 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: DC Comics Bombshells #3 (interior art)
  • Meredith Finch: Wonder Woman #45 (writer)
  • Ming Doyle: Constantine: The Hellblazer #5 (co-writer, interior art), Vertigo SFX #3 (unspecified)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #2 (cover)
  • Pia Guerra: Black Canary #5 (interior art)
  • Ricken: Teen Titans #13 (interior art)
  • Vanesa Del Rey: Constantine: The Hellblazer #5 (interior art)

All together, there are 27 different female creators set to work on 22 different comics in October, a big jump from September’s 19 and 16 and DC’s best month for female creator representation since April. It’s a huge improvement for DC, though still below their best. As always, there remains lots of room for growth.

Plus, there are a lot of one-time gigs here. I’d estimate that at least 7 of these women aren’t likely to be back next month. It doesn’t change the fact that it’s fantastic they’re getting work in October; it just means that DC’s going to have to step it up to keep their numbers from nosediving in November.

However, there are a lot of new names, and that’s always encouraging. I don’t think I’ve seen Asher Powell or Jen Wang at DC before; they’re both on a Vertigo special. This might be Claire Wendling’s first DC gig as well. My pal Kate Leth is doing a variant cover for DC Comics Bombshells, so that’s all kinds of rad! And Jenny Frison and Nicola Scott are back at DC to drop some fun cover art.

In terms of female characters, a few are starring in new books. Cassandra Cain is coming back in Batman and Robin Eternal, there look to be a few gals in the new Titans Hunt series, and an alternate universe Lois Lane headlines Superman: Lois & Clark, though DC is still hurting for a kick ass Lois Lane solo series. I mean, seriously. Get on that, DC. There are also scores of other new books that don’t feature women at all, real or fictional, including six “Darkseid War” one-shots all starring male characters written and drawn by male creators. So that’s not great.

Ultimately, October is looking decent for female creators in what is hopefully a return to form for a slumping DC. November will tell us whether this is an aberration or a new trend, but for now it’s nice to see DC well out of the teens again with a plethora of great female creators across their titles. Things could be a bit better for female characters, but there’s something at least. Here’s hoping for continued growth next month.

Wonder Woman’s October 2015 Covers and Solicits, Plus Monster Variants

July 15, 2015

October is looking like another busy month for our favourite Amazon, with all of the usual fun plus a returning special I’m very much looking forward to. DC is also doing monster themed variants for many of their titles, just like they did in October last year. It’s good Halloween fun, and two of Wonder Woman’s titles will be part of the line. So let’s see what Wonder Woman will be up to in October!

First up, Wonder Woman #45:

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WONDER WOMAN #45
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art by DAVID FINCH and JONATHAN GLAPION
Cover by DAVID FINCH
Monsters Variant cover by CLAIRE WENDLING
On sale OCTOBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
With the Fates dead and Donna Troy still on the run, Wonder Woman must confront the sins of her past and a new, growing threat that’s closing in on the Queen of the Amazons!

I don’t imagine that the Finch cover is actually the final cover, but you never know. It just looks like a panel, and those blue bars don’t look great. I’m not sure whether Claire Wendling’s variant is the final cover or just a sketch either, but I’m super into it. I hope it is the final cover; I like the rougher aspects of it.

Anyway, the Finches carry on with their uninspired tenure on Wonder Woman. Apparently the Fates are dead. Thanks for the spoiler alert, because they haven’t even shown up in the comic yet. Also, Donna Troy hasn’t broken out of prison in the comics that have been published so far, but several solicits have told us she’s going to. You almost don’t have to read the comics, really. Just follow along with the solicits and you’ll get all the highlights.

Next up, Superman/Wonder Woman #22:

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SUPERMAN/WONDER WOMAN #22
Written by PETER J. TOMASI
Art by DOUG MAHNKE and JAIME MENDOZA
Cover by CARY NORD
Monsters variant cover by J.P. LEON
On sale OCTOBER 21 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T
Following a shocking betrayal, Kal has lost faith in justice. Now, he’s embarking on a dangerous quest to restore his powers, while Wonder Woman makes unexpected allies of Lois Lane and Lana Lang.

The insides of this series have never done anything for me, but what I do love is it’s proud tradition of excellent variant covers. This one by John Paul Leon is fantastic. It’s a great idea for the monster theme, and is just all sorts of gorgeous. I’ll be glad to put this with my collection of Superman/Wonder Woman issues I’ll never read again but I keep to enjoy the lovely covers.

Man, Superman is really out of sorts, eh? Losing his faith in justice?! That’s a third of what he stands for! In theory I’m excited for a Wonder Woman/Lois/Lana team up, but being familiar with the quality of this book I’m not overly optimistic that it will go well.

We’ve also got Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #15:

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SENSATION COMICS FEATURING WONDER WOMAN #15
Written by ADAM BEECHEN and CARLA SPEED McNEIL
Art by JOSE LUIS GARCIA-LOPEZ, KEVIN NOWLAN, SCOTT HANNA and CARLA SPEED McNEIL
Cover by JENNY FRISON
On sale OCTOBER 7 • 40 pg, FC, $3.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
In “Our Little Dance,” when the well-meaning members of Debbi Domaine’s family argue that Cheetah needs rehabilitation more than incarceration, Wonder Woman is dragged into court! And Diana teaches a young thug a lesson about how having a pet forces you to train “Both Ends of the Leash.”

To be honest with you all, I wasn’t a big fan of either of these stories when they came out digitally, but I do love this cover. It’s lovely work by Jenny Frison, and will look amazing on the stands. The stories inside are pretty average, but neither of them are bad. They’re also very different stories, so chances are you might find something you’ll like.

Finally, Lynda Carter’s Wonder Woman is back with Wonder Woman ’77 Special #2:

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WONDER WOMAN ‘77 SPECIAL #2
Written by MARC ANDREYKO
Art by CAT STAGGS, RICHARD ORTIZ, DREW JOHNSON and JASON BADOWER
Cover by NICOLA SCOTT
RETROSOLICIT • On sale SEPTEMBER 30 • 80 pg, FC, $7.99 US • RATED T • DIGITAL FIRST
Get ready for three new stories based on the classic television series starring Lynda Carter! A scientist who is intensely jealous of Wonder Woman becomes empowered by an ancient artifact and Cheetah is born! A woman with the powers of both fire and ice seeks revenge against a corrupt politician. And, Halloween finds the princess up against an undead adversary.

So many stories! Plus the Cheetah and zombies, presumably. This should be a fun book. None of the stories have been released digitally yet, though I anticipate that they’ll be out soon. That’s a great lineup of artists, and Marc Andreyko did a fine job with the first few Wonder Woman ’77 stories so I’m glad to have him back. Nicola Scott’s cover looks fantastic as well. This will actually be out at the end of September instead of October, so keep your eyes peeled for that.

There’s a lot of Wonder Woman fun to be had this fall, and a lot of great covers. Remember to ask your local comic shop ahead of time if you’re keen to get a variant cover; they can go quickly.

Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #39 Review: “Both Ends of the Leash” by Carla Speed McNeil4

June 18, 2015

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Today’s digital first edition of Sensation Comics was a bit of an odd read for me. I actually had to read it twice to try to fully understand what was happening in the story, and even then it still doesn’t make a ton of sense. There’s a lot of filling in the gaps required, but not in a cool, puzzle this out sort of way. The comic isn’t set up in a complicated way or anything, it’s just missing a few key pieces of information that would make this a much better read. A couple of tweaks to the script would have done this issue a world of good.

So here’s the story as I understand it: There’s this guy who has a lion. I’m not entirely sure why; it seems like he thinks it would be a fun pet. Also, he names the lion Rommel, who was a Nazi general, so that’s weird. Is this dude some sort of neo-Nazi? We don’t know, because the Rommel thing goes by without comment. Anyway, he raised the lion and things were going swell for a while, but then the lion started to get mean and the dude got bit and ultimately the dude decides to get rid of the lion and sells it to one of those fake safari things where they tie up the lion and let an idiot shoot him. I don’t know if this dude lives in Africa, or if they’re shipping the lion from where the dude lives, presumably America, to Africa, or even how this guy got a lion in the first place. But yeah, he’s fixing to sell the lion, and starving the lion to make him weak enough that he can take him out of the house. Wonder Woman shows up and gives him a talking to, telling him about her feline pals from Paradise Island and how she didn’t fight back when a lion bit her because he wasn’t really trying to hurt her. She teaches him a valuable lesson about being a good trainer, and stops the safari guys who were coming to buy the lion. The end.

That’s what I got out of this issue, but I’m filling in a lot of information there, and there are several things that don’t really make much sense. Frustratingly, it could all have been fixed with a few changes: A location tag at the start of the story, not calling the lion Rommel because that was weird and confusing, a quick explanation of why this dude has a lion and why the lion bit him would be handy. Even with all that, this wouldn’t have been a great story, but it would have been mildly pleasant and made some sense. As is, it’s a very confusing read.

There were certainly enjoyable elements in the mix. I’m not a big fan of Wonder Woman talking to animals, but I liked that the lion calls the dude “skinny-screamy-bald-guy.” The whole Paradise Island sequence was fun too; having Hippolyta send a young Diana off on errands so the rambunctious child wouldn’t interrupt the Amazons’ daily business was a cool idea that resulted in some nicely done scenes.

The art was strong throughout as well, particularly in the Paradise Island sequences. McNeil captured the lush beauty of the island in vibrant, lively way. Her lions were quite strong, too. I find that animals can be hit and miss for comic artists, who are so used to drawing people, but McNeil did a nice job with the animals in this story. I also liked her take on Wonder Woman all around, both the writing and art. She’s serious and on point, but not too worked up and easy to laugh and understand the situation. Plus her young Diana is just adorable. I’d love to see McNeil back on Sensation Comics again with a story about young Diana having adventures as she explores Paradise Island. That part of the book was great.

Overall, there’s a lot to like throughout this issue, but the story just didn’t make a lot of sense and it was a confusing read. The key lesson for today is don’t name a character after a Nazi and not explain why. Also, establish a setting and a clear progression of events. I’m not sure when this story will be out in print. The fantastic Jenny Frison cover is new to me, and it looks like the earliest it could come out is October, barring a change to the already solicited issues. So keep your eyes peeled for this sometime in the fall, probably.

The Latest Image Expo Has More Female Creators By Number, But Not By Percentage

January 9, 2015

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I had some big issues with last summer’s Image Expo. The show began with a self-congratulatory speech about how Image was different from other publishers that also decried the comic book industry’s “boys club.” Then Image showed a promotional video featuring their many creators, only one of which was a woman, and followed that up by introducing a series of new books with just a handful of female creators. There were some mixed messages, to be sure.

Yesterday’s Image Expo made a slew of new announcements, but how did they do in terms of representation for women? Let’s take a look at all of the books they announced, as best I could tell; there were a lot of them:

  • Savior by Brian Holgun, Todd McFarlane, and Clayton Crain
  • Injection by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire
  • No Mercy by Alex De Campi, Carla Speed McNeil, and Jenn Manley Lee
  • Island: Comics Magazine for Comics by Brandon Graham, Emma Rios, Simon Roy, Michael DeForge, Farel Dalrymple, and E.K. Weaver
  • RUNLOVEKILL by Eric Canete, Jonathan Tsuei, and Leonardo Olea
  • Starve by Brian Wood, Danijel Zezelj, and Dave Stewart
  • Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
  • A.D.: After Death by Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire
  • Sons of the Devil by Brian Buccellato, Toni Infante
  • Black Road by Brian Wood, Gary Brown, and Lauren Affe
  • 8House by Brandon Graham, Marian Churchland, and Emma Rios
  • Pretty Deadly Volume 2 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios
  • Tadaima by Emi Lenox
  • Plutona by Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, and Jordie Bellaire
  • Ludocrats by Keiron Gillen, Jim Rossignol, David Lafuente, and Ricardo Venancio
  • The Wicked + The Divine Volume 3 by Keiron Gillen and Tula Lotay, Kate Brown, and Stephanie Hans
  • Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl by Keiron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson
  • Kaptara by Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod
  • Revengeance by Darwyn Cooke
  • I Hate Fairyland by Skottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu
  • Heaven by James Robinson and Philip Tan
  • Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson
  • Spawn Resurrection by Paul Jenkins and Jonboy Meyers
  • We Stand On Guard by Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Skroce

Last summer, Image’s announcements featured 7 different female creators who accounted for 25.9% of the creators involved. Yesterday’s Image Expo doubled the number of female creators with 14 different women, but because Image announced so many more books this time around, the percentage works out to only 26.4%, a fairly paltry increase.  So there are twice as many women, but also twice as many books. While women accounting for a quarter of the creators isn’t terrible, especially compared to most other direct market comic publishers, more growth would have been nice.

In terms of representation per book, 10 of the 24 titles feature at least one female creator. That’s also exactly on par with last summer’s Image Expo, where there was at least one female creator on 5 of the 12 featured titles.

So, things are about the same! And in the world of direct market comics, any time something doesn’t get worse is almost as good as growth, really. Given the industry’s male-centrism, women accounting for 26% of all creators is much better than where we were just a couple years ago, though there’s still room for improvement. However, in the definite plus column, there are a lot of fantastic books set for 2015! Marjorie Liu is launching her first Image book, with the awesome Sana Takeda on art, and it sounds great; it’s set in the 1920s, it’s got monsters, I’m in. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios are back for more Pretty Deadly, while two of my favourite creators ever, Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, are making a new book starring young paper delivery ladies. Emi Lenox has two new titles as well, and lord knows what Chip Zdarsky is up to with Kaptara but I’m sure it will be hilarious. So while the numbers could be better, at least they’re not worse and we’ve got lots of fun comics to look forward to.


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