Posts Tagged ‘DC Comics’

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, July 2019 Solicits: 18 Creators on 20 Books

June 17, 2019

womenatdcJULY

July is a month with five Wednesdays, which usually means more comics from DC. Typically, we get annuals and other one-shot specials in that last week, since most of their ongoing books are released on a regular schedule (Wonder Woman is out on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, for example), and there’s a bit of that here. But we’ve also got a lot of new books throughout the entire month, both ongoing and mini-series. DC trimmed back their line earlier this year, and now it seems to be growing again. Does that mean we’ll see more female and non-binary creators moving forward? Well, so far, no. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC this July:

  • Adriana Melo: Female Furies #6 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Wonder Woman: Come Back To Me #1 (co-writer, cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #11 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Batgirl #37 (writer), Female Furies #6 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Wonder Twins #6 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #74 (writer), Wonder Woman #75 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Lois Lane #1 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #74 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #75 (variant cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #13 (writer, interior art, cover), Female Furies #6 (cover)
  • Kat Howard: The Books of Magic #10 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #50 (writer)
  • Lea H. Seidman: Teen Titans Go! #35 (cover)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batman Secret Files #2 (co-writer)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #11 (co-writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League #28 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #75 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Superman: Up In The Sky #1 (inker)
  • Taki Soma: Pearl #11 (variant cover)
  • Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #10 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: DCeased #3 (variant cover), Red Hood: Outlaw #36 (variant cover)

All together, there are 18 different female creators set to work on 20 different comic books at DC this July, the same number of creators as in June across three more books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. Given that DC is putting out 11 more books in July than in June, the fact that the number of creators stayed the same is disappointing. As we’ve talked about over the past few months while DC’s output decreased, it’s reasonable to see a commensurate drop in the number of female and non-binary creators as the line dwindles. But you’d expect to see the numbers go up when it grows, which hasn’t happened here.

However, DC’s jumped up to 62 new books after putting out only 51 in June, and with female creators on 20 of those books, that means women will work on 32% of the publisher’s comics in July. This percentage is very comparable to what we’ve seen over the past few months. The overall representation across the line is steady, but there aren’t more women or non-binary creators doing the work. It’s a small number of people doing more work, which is a bit of a mixed bag. Talented creators should get lots of work, for sure! But it’s good to grow the ranks as well.

And DC didn’t do a lot of that this month. Lea H. Seidman looks new but she’s actually Lea Hernandez, who we’ve seen a bunch on Teen Titans Go!, now using her married name. And while I feel like we haven’t seen Taki Soma in a little bit, she’s nonetheless a familiar face at DC now that her pal and occasional collaborator Brian Michael Bendis is there. Everyone else are our wonderfully talented usuals.

In terms of female characters, we’ve got a couple new books to look forward to. DC’s repackaging their original Walmart comic stories for the direct market, which means new mini-series for Batman, Superman, and, most important of all, Wonder Woman with Wonder Woman: Come Back to Me. And the Superman line is expanding with a Lois Lane series, FINALLY. It’s long overdue and I really wish there were more female creators working on it, but I’m happy it’s going to exist nonetheless. Doom Patrol is coming back as well, with a few female characters in the mix there.

So, another ho-hum month at DC, really. Their numbers for female and non-binary creators have been consistently underwhelming all year long, and it looks like that’s going to continue into the summer. Representation just doesn’t seem to be a big priority at DC right now.

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Women in Comics Statistics, DC and Marvel: Winter 2019 in Review

June 6, 2019

thebeat

My latest “Women in Comics, By The Numbers” article went up at The Beat a couple weeks back, and the year is not off to a great start for female creator representation at DC or Marvel. The numbers for women at both publishers are noticeably below where things ended in 2018, and even further below their recent highs.

At DC, after posting one of their highest totals in some time last December, the numbers dropped sharply through the new year. DC came in at 16% female creators overall, a loss of more than a point from the fall. The breakdown by category didn’t have much good news either. Female cover artists, writers, letterers, and editors were all on the decline, with little to counterbalance this but some gains for assistant editors.

Marvel ended 2018 on a downward swing, and opened 2019 in an even deeper hole that they were starting to slowly dig themselves out of by March. They posted 14.8% female creators overall, a point and a half drop from the last round. And by category, while there were some strong showings including gains for female cover artists and solid totals for female writers, pencilers, inkers, and editors are all languishing in single digits right now, while letterers remain a goose egg, as always.

All together, it’s an underwhelming beginning to 2019. Head on over to The Beat to check out the full stats! Then, as always, check out all of the other wonderful articles there and give the site a follow to keep up on comics news.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, June 2019 Solicits: 18 Creators on 17 Books

May 14, 2019

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DC is really committed to putting out fewer books now. When they announced that they were cutting back, I was curious to see how long it would last, but they’re sticking with it. We saw a slight uptick in the May solicits, on account of it being a month with five Wednesdays, and now with the June solicits we’re back down again. Down so low, in fact, that it might be the fewest books DC has released since we started tracking these numbers several years back. And fewer books has meant a commensurate drop in female and non-binary creators, which continues this month. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC this June:

  • Adriana Melo: Female Furies #5 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Supergirl #31 (variant cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #10 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Female Furies #5 (writer)
  • Elena Casagrande: Young Justice #6 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Justice League #26 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #72 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: The Batman Who Laughs #6 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #72 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #73 (variant cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #12 (writer, cover)
  • Kat Howard: The Books of Magic #9 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #49 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #36 (writer)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #10 (co-writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #72 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #18 (cover)
  • Stacey Lee: Wonder Twins #5 (variant cover)
  • Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #9 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Red Hood: Outlaw #35 (variant cover)

All together, there are 18 different female creators scheduled to work on 17 different comics in June, three fewer creators than in May and one fewer book. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. Given that DC’s dropped from 62 books in May to 51 in June, falling from 21 female creators to 18 seems like a reasonable result. Growth would be preferred, of course, but the publisher is maintaining the same level here.

With the new reductions to the line, we’ve been keeping track of representation on a per book basis, in part due to the fluctuations and in part to have a more accurate comparison with Marvel’s more robust line. With women working on 17 of DC’s 51 titles this month, we’ve got female creators on 33% of the line, which is a slight step up from May’s 29% and very near their 31% level from April. If nothing else, DC is consistent.

In terms of new names at the publisher in this round of solicits, we’ve got one. Stacey Lee is doing a variant cover, and she’s been a mainstay at Marvel for a little while now. Everyone else listed above is someone we’ve seen recently at DC. I think this is an unintended consequence of reducing the line so much. With fewer books, editors are likely to stick with the creators they know and rely on established talent to make sure the limited selection sells well. This means fewer opportunities for new and emerging creators, and doubly so for new and emerging female and non-binary creators, who already have a more difficult road making it into a major superhero publisher. It’s a shame that the limited number of entry points into creating superhero comic books have been reduced even further. That’s really going to hurt the development of new talent, and make it more difficult for this list to grow.

June is a quiet month for female characters as well. The blockbuster Event Leviathan is set to launch, and I understand that Lois Lane is going to be a big part of that, which is cool. The first solicit mentions Talia al Ghul as well. Apart from that, the only other new series is the prestige format Superman Year One, which looks very terrible. Frank Miller’s never written Superman well, and John Romita Jr. was an odd fit for the Man of Steel back when he was on the regular series. Lois will probably show up in that book eventually, too, though with Miller writing it all I’d honestly rather she didn’t.

So overall we’ve got another steady if underwhelming month from DC Comics. Female and non-binary creators don’t seem to be a priority for the publisher, and they’ve certainly made no moves with their June plans to expand the ranks. It looks like they’re good with the limited (albeit excellent) assortment they have now, and while the steadiness is better than losses, it’s still rather disappointing. Perhaps the summer will bring some changes? You never know.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, May 2019 Solicits: 33 Creators on 35 Books

April 22, 2019

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Marvel’s solid 2019 is set to continue in May as the publisher’s female and non-binary creator representation remains high. It’s a stability we’re not used to seeing at Marvel, but it’s a welcome change. There’s been a strong core of creators with regular gigs thus far this year, as well as a rotating group of creators who bounce from specials to minis to random ongoing issues and help keep the numbers high. And they’re even higher now. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in May:

  • Alti Firmansyah: The Unstoppable Wasp #7 (interior art), The Unstoppable Wasp #8 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Captain Marvel #5 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #32 (cover), X-23 #12 (cover)
  • Audrey Mok: Marvel Rising #3 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Captain Marvel #5 (interior art)
  • Devin Grayson: War of the Realms: War Scrolls #2 (co-writer)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #33 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #6 (writer), Marvel Team-Up #2 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino: Hotshots #3 (writer), Tony Stark: Iron Man #12 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Black Panther #12 (interior art), Marvel Tales: Avengers #1 (cover), Marvel Tales: Iron Man #1 (cover), Thanos #2 (variant cover)
  • Jen Soska: Black Widow #5 (co-writer)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Tie Fighter #2 (writer)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Age of Conan: Belit #3 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #5 (writer), Mr. and Mrs. X #11 (writer)
  • Kirbi Fagan: Shuri #8 (cover)
  • Leah Williams: Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #4 (writer), Giant-Man #1 (writer), Giant-Man #2 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #12 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #4 (cover)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #43 (cover)
  • Nilah Magruder: Marvel Rising #3 (writer)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #8 (writer)
  • Rachael Stott: Shuri #8 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Boba Fett #1 (cover), Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Han Solo #1 (cover), Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Jabba the Hutt #1 (cover), Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Lando Calrissian #1 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #21 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: Age of Conan: Belit #3 (cover)
  • Seanan McGuire: Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #4 (writer), Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #8 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: The Unstoppable Wasp #7 (cover), The Unstoppable Wasp #8 (cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Age of Conan: Belit #3 (variant cover), Marvels Annotated #4 (variant cover), Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #32 (variant cover)
  • Sujin Jo: Amazing Spider-Man #21 (variant cover), Magnificent Ms. Marvel #3 (variant cover), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #43 (variant cover), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #33 (variant cover), The Unstoppable Wasp #7 (variant cover)
  • Sylvia Soska: Black Widow #5 (co-writer)
  • Tini Howard: Age of Conan: Belit #3 (writer), Thanos #2 (writer)
  • Vita Ayala: Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #3 (writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Han Solo #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 33 female and non-binary creators set to work on 35 different books at Marvel in May, two more creators than in April across five more books. The lengthy list above is an amazing compilation of talented creators, and the publisher had done a solid job keeping a solid portion of them employed across the line for several months running now. They’re working throughout the books as well. A lot of covers, as always, but a lot of writers, too, and a growing number of interior artists.

We’re also now keeping track of the number of books as well, what with DC cutting back their line and Marvel appearing to expand theirs. They’re set to publish 99 books in May, a massive numbers of titles. With female and non-binary creators working on 35 different books, that accounts for representation on a smidge over 35% of the books, which is a drop of 4% from April. Marvel is set to publish twenty additional issues in May, and they haven’t hired women or non-binary creators at a proportional rate for all of these new books, which is somewhat disappointing to see.

For new names, we’ve got Sujin Jo on several variant covers. I should also point out that there are a slew of Asian artists working on other variant covers across the line and, while I’ve been able to track down some of them, a few remain mysteries to me and I can’t determine their gender. Most of them are based in Asia, with websites in their native languages, and I can’t glean the information I need. So there may be even more new female and non-binary creators in the mix. I’m going to keep searching, and hopefully I can track everyone down in time for my more detailed full stats count.

May isn’t a big month for new female creators, apart from team books. Elektra is in Savage Avengers, while a range of War of the Realms tie-ins have Black Widow, Captain Marvel, Freyja, Ms. Marvel, She-Hulk, Silk, and a handful more superheroines in the mix.

Overall, while Marvel’s numbers for female and non-binary creators aren’t exactly keepin up with May’s big jump in titles, representation remains high at the publisher. And across a wide range of books as well, not just ones headlined by female characters. It’s been a relatively impressive run for Marvel, and we’ll be back next month to see if it continues.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, May 2019 Solicits: 21 Creators on 18 Books

April 9, 2019

womenatdcMAY

DC trimming back their comic line has resulted in some shifting of the numbers for female and non-binary creators over the past few months. Representation has declined more or less in line with the drop in the number of books, and we see this trend holding with the May numbers, just in the other direction. DC had 54 comics in their April solicits but that’s jumped to 62 in May, and the numbers have gone up accordingly. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC this May:

  • Adriana Melo: Female Furies #1 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Supergirl #30 (variant cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #9 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Female Furies #1 (writer)
  • Elena Casagrande: Catwoman Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: The Green Lantern #7 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Dog Days of Summer #1 (co-writer), Wonder Woman #70 (writer), Wonder Woman #71 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #70 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #71 (variant cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #11 (writer, cover), Catwoman Annual #1 (writer, cover)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Shazam! #6 (variant cover)
  • Kat Howard: Books of Magic #8 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #48 (writer)
  • Lea Hernandez: Teen Titans Go! #34 (cover)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #35 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Dog Days of Summer #1 (co-writer)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #9 (co-writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #70 (cover), Wonder Woman #71 (cover)
  • Sarah Leuver: Teen Titans Go! #34 (interior art)
  • Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #8 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Red Hood: Outlaw #34 (variant cover)
  • Zoe Quinn: Goddess Mode #6 (writer)

All together, there are 21 different female creators scheduled to work on 19 different books at DC this May, four more creators than in April and one more book. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. So a gain of four is a solid jump, but one that’s generally in line with the increase in the number of books DC is releasing. The publisher still seems to be trying to figure out what’s a good level for them, and I anticipate that the numbers will continue to fluctuate with their scheduling experimentation.

Last month, in an effort to come up with a more comparable metric, we figured out what percentage of the line had female and non-binary creators. They were on 17 of DC’s 54 books in April, resulting in a total of 31%. This month, female creators appear in 18 of DC’s 62 books, landing us at 29%, so we’ve got a slight drop there. Nothing too big, but certainly not an improvement. While one would hope that more books would lead to more opportunities, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

In terms of new names, it’s a pretty quiet month. I think we’ve seen everyone before. There are some returning favourites, though! First and foremost, Jenny Frison is back doing variant covers for Wonder Woman and I am delighted about that. She’s so dang good. Mariko Tamaki is back as well, on the Dog Days of Summer special, and I’m hoping her sporadic but still somewhat consistent appearances at DC mean that a more permanent gig is in her future.

For new books, a few have some female characters in the mix. Batman and the Outsiders has been re-solicited, and that brings us Katana and Orphan. Wonder Woman’s going to be in the Dog Days of Summer special, while Lois Lane will be part of the Superman: Leviathan Rising Special. That latter one is an exciting bit of news, because it sounds like a Lois Lane series will be happening soon, finally. Albeit one that doesn’t seem to have any female creators in the mix if this special is any indication

Overall, DC’s female and non-binary creator representation remains underwhelming. It’s been steadily subpar for some time, rising and falling with the amount of books but otherwise holding firm. It’s been a story of missed opportunities so far this year, really. The Wonder Comics imprint and the upcoming Event Leviathan have been ridiculously dude-centric, and there haven’t been many big creative changes elsewhere. Most of the creators listed above are holdovers from changes in the fall, which is great, but not many have been added since. DC’s just not stepping up when it comes to representation right now.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, April 2019: 17 Creators on 17 Books

March 19, 2019

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April looks to be a quiet month all around for DC Comics. May is set to bring the dawn of yet another new event series, but April is just the same old, with no new titles or big creative shifts in the mix. And the same old means another subpar month for female and non-binary creators. Sub-subpar, in fact. Nothing’s really changed and yet the numbers have dropped from March. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics this April:

  • Abigail Larson: The Dreaming #8 (interior art)
  • Adriana Melo: Female Furies #3 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Batman #68 (interior art, cover), Second Coming #2 (cover), Supergirl #29 (variant cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Female Furies #3 (writer)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #68 (writer), Wonder Woman #69 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #10 (writer, cover)
  • Kat Howard: The Books of Magic #7 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #47 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #34 (writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Scooby Apocalypse #6 (variant cover)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #8 (writer)
  • Nicola Scott: Female Furies #3 (cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #68 (cover), Wonder Woman #69 (cover)
  • Tiffany Turrill: Lucifer #7 (cover), The Dreaming #8 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Pearl #8 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #59 (cover)
  • Zoe Quinn: Goddess Mode #5 (writer)

All together, there are 17 different female creators set to work on 17 different comic books this April, three fewer creators than in March though the same number of books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. So, three down is a noticeable drop when there are so few creators in the mix to begin with. There’s always a bit of shifting month to month, but the hope is that things about even out, not that your female workforce drops 15% in one fell swoop.

We’re also going to start keeping track of the number of each titles each month to give us more context, on account of DC is cutting back their line considerably. They’re only putting out 54 new comic books in April, which means that there is female creator representation on 31% of their titles. This will be our baseline moving forward, and we’ll do the same with Marvel to see how things stack up.

In terms of new names, there’s not much going on here. We haven’t seen Tula Lotay in a little while, maybe? I’m always glad to see her show up, even if it’s just a variant cover. Her art is amazing. Everyone else is pretty much a regular at this point.

No new books this month either, which means no news on the female character front. I suppose I should point out that while Second Coming #2 is listed above since it was in the solicits, it has since been cancelled by DC after some dumb conservative outcry. The book has since found a new home elsewhere, but if you want to get technical about it there will only be 16 books with female creators at DC in April.

Overall, it’s going to be an uneventful month for female and non-binary creators at DC Comics, yet again. As much as the contraction of DC’s line is definitely playing a factor in these lower numbers, Marvel’s got nearly twice as many female and non-binary creators across their books and not even close to twice the number of titles. DC is lagging behind, and has been for some time now.

Women in Comics Statistics, DC and Marvel: Summer and Fall 2018 in Review

March 6, 2019

thebeat

This year has been bonkers busy and I’ve been a little remiss in posting what I’ve been up to, but here’s some big news: My detailed women in comics statistics project has moved to The Beat! What used to be “Gendercrunching” at Bleeding Cool now has a new home at The Beat as “Women in Comics, By The Numbers,” and my first article went up a few weeks back.

This one is both an introduction to new readers and a bit of a catch up since leaving the old site and finding a new home took a bit of time. It’s all of the usual stats fun, just six months worth of it for this outing, covering July through December 2018 at both DC and Marvel. Future installments will return to our usual quarterly format, but it was definitely interesting to get to see a longer stretch of time in the charts.

DC had a relatively solid back half of 2018, coming in at 17.2% female creators overall in this six month span. They were trending up overall to close out the year as well, which could bode well for 2019. Or not, because as any regular reader knows, these numbers can drop off at any time. But the publisher is in a decent spot right now, and that’s good news.

Marvel came in a bit lower, posting 16.3% female creators overall, though the categorical breakdown was a bit underwhelming. Assistant editors are carrying the bulk of the load, while several categories languish in the low single digits. Their overall total was trending down a bit to end the year, too. But things are looking way up from where Marvel started the year, and hopefully their current dip will rebound quickly.

Head on over to The Beat for the full numbers and analysis! And look around the site while you’re there. There’s all sorts of fun comic book news and articles to dig into!


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