Posts Tagged ‘DC Comics’

Women + NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, August 2018 Solicits: 25 Creators on 19 Books

May 30, 2018

womenatdcAUGUST

August looks like it’s going to be a relatively decent month for female creators at DC Comics, with the publisher posting its highest numbers since March. It’s a welcome change after an underwhelming spring and start to the summer. However, August is also a month of transition, with some big beginnings, endings, and returns, so the sustainability of these numbers is very much up in the air. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics this August:

  • Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #3 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn/Gossamer Special #1 (co-writer, cover), Supergirl #21 (variant cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Teen Titans #21 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, the Changing Woman #6 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Sandman Universe #1 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Woman #6 (writer)
  • Elena Casagrande: Batgirl Annual #2 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Batgirl Annual #2 (cover), Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 (cover)
  • Gail Simone: Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 (writer), Plastic Man #3 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #52 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #53 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: The Sandman Universe #1 (co-writer)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #6 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #2 (writer, art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Green Arrow #43 (co-writer)
  • Kat Howard: The Sandman Universe #1 (co-writer)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #6 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #26 (writer), Batgirl Annual #2 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #18 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Woman #6 (interior art)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: The Sandman Universe #1 (co-writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #2 (variant cover), Supergirl #21 (cover)
  • Sana Takeda: The Wild Storm #16 (variant cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Green Arrow #43 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester Special #1 (writer, backup story)
  • Yasmine Putri: Scooby Apocalypse #28 (variant cover)

All together, there are 25 female creators scheduled to work on 19 different comics in August 2018, 4 more creators than in July and 3 more books. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators set to work at DC Comics in August. Relative to the year thus far, this is a solid showing for female representation at DC. The numbers remain noticeably below the publisher’s past highs, but hitting the mid-20s is still a nice change after a consistent, lower stretch.

We’ve also got a major debut in August with The Sandman Universe #1. Not only is it more Sandman, which is always exciting, it’s also an introductory issue for four spinoff series that will begin this fall. The book has several female creators in the mix, including writers Kat Howard and Nalo Hopkinson, both new to DC, and artist Bilquis Evely, who you may remember from her excellent run on Wonder Woman. They’ll also be part of the spinoff books moving forward.

But we’ve got a lot of endings as well. Batwoman is drawing to a close after a very enjoyable run, and between that and the cancellation of Bombshells United I’ve got my fingers crossed that DC has something else lined up for Marguerite Bennett because she’s been doing fantastic work for them. August also marks the end of the “Young Animal” imprint, which will be a major blow to the numbers. “Young Animal” creators account for 5 of the 25 women listed above, and losing 20% of your female workforce in one fell swoop is not ideal. They’re all amazing creators, too, and I hope DC is wise enough to keep them in the fold with new work.

There are also a lot of oneshots and annuals in August, including a few Looney Tunes crossovers that sound amusing. These are one-off gigs, though, and combined those with a few random variant cover jobs and the cancellations I just mentioned, there are only 11 female creators in the list above that have long term jobs guaranteeing they’ll be back next month. Several of the 14 other women may return in some other capacity, but it’s no sure thing.

Overall, while August will be one of DC’s better months for representation so far this year, things are very much in flux right now. Barring a rash of one-shot gigs or major creative shake ups, reaching this level again in September could be tricky. Plus it’s not even that impressive a level to begin with. DC’s hired far more female and non-binary creators in the past. And they also hire about a couple hundred dudes each month, so women and non-binary creators remain a small minority regardless.

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Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, July 2018 Solicits: 21 Creators on 16 Books

May 1, 2018

womenatdcJULY

After some low numbers in the June solicits, DC’s underwhelming summer is set to continue into July. The publisher has a lot going on, what with the Brian Michael Bendis era beginning in Action Comics and Superman and new Justice League books debuting. However, few of the goings on seem to involve female or non-binary creators. The only exception is the upcoming Bat-Cat wedding, which will spin off into an exciting new title in July. But elsewhere, representation remains relatively poor. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what this July:

  • Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #2 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 (cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Teen Titans #20 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Batman #50 (interior art), Shade, The Changing Woman #5 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Plastic Man #2 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #5 (writer)
  • Corinna Bechko: DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Batgirl #25 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Plastic Man #2 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #50 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #51 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #5 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #50 (interior art), Catwoman #1 (writer, interior art, cover)
  • Laura Braga: Wonder Woman #51 (interior art)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #5 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #25 (co-writer), Green Arrow #42 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batgirl #25 (co-writer), Batwoman #17 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #5 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #6 (cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #1 (variant cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Terrifics #6 (interior art)
  • Shea Fontana: DC Beach Blanket Bad Guys Special #1 (co-writer)

All together, there are 21 different female creators set to work on 16 different books in July, 2 more creators than in June though 1 fewer book. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators working at DC Comics in July. These ups and downs even out to the slightest of gains, but the numbers remain noticeably below the publisher’s spring totals and far off of their past highs. At this point, female and non-binary creator representation is at just two thirds of what DC has shown themselves to be capable of achieving.

The continuing low numbers can be attributed to a lack of new talent. While the creators listed above are fantastic, we’ve seen all of them before at DC in some capacity or another. It’s encouraging to have a group of women getting steady work here, for sure. That kind of consistency is important. But the numbers remain relatively low, and they aren’t growing.

In terms of fictional women, the big news is that we’re getting a new Catwoman book, written and drawn by the wonderful Joelle Jones. That’s going to be excellent. Apart from that, female characters will also have some decent representation in two new Justice League titles set to premiere in July. Wonder Woman and Zatanna are part of Justice League Dark, accounting for 2 of the 5 characters on the team, while Jessica Cruz and Starfire will be in Justice League Odyssey, making up 2 of the 4 characters on the team. The male majority on the flagship Justice League title is substantial, so these new additions to the line are a big step toward better representation.

Overall, there are some positive signs at DC. The female creator ranks are stable, and fictional representation has improved. However, the creator numbers remain low. There just doesn’t seem to be a commitment at the publisher to improving the ranks of female and non-binary creators. We’ve been seeing a similar lack of effort from Marvel as well, which has added up to a rather disappointing string of solicits as of late. DC has reached much higher totals in the past, and it doesn’t seem like they’ll be returning to those highs any time soon.

Women in Comics Statistics, DC and Marvel, Winter 2018 in Review

April 19, 2018

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My quarterly “Gendercrunching” column went up at Bleeding Cool this week, and the New Year has brought some notable changes to both major superhero publishers. Female creator representation appears to be on the rise at DC, while it’s dropping precipitously at Marvel.

All together, DC Comics’ average percentage of female creators came in at 17.1% for the winter months, a 1.5% gain from the fall. It’s not a huge leap, but DC’s numbers have been stagnant for a while now. The overall totals for January, February, and March were all higher than any of the fall months, which bodes well for the longevity of this shift.

Marvel, meanwhile, is tumbling. Their average percentage of female creators fell to 14.8%, more than a three point drop from the autumn. What’s more, each winter month was lower than the last, extending their current skid to four straight months of losses. Marvel’s got a brand new Editor-in-Chief in C.B. Cebulski, but so far his tenure feels like a return to the old days of Marvel being a boy’s club. Plus with a dude-centric relaunch on the way and the recent departure of several female assistant editors, these numbers could decline even further over the course of the spring.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for the full charts and analysis! It’s an intriguing start to the year, for sure, and it will be fascinating to see how the numbers change over the next quarter.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, June 2018 Solicits: 19 Creators on 17 Books

April 3, 2018

womenatdcJUNE.png

June is a huge month for DC, and the bulk of it is centered around their two superstar writers. Scott Snyder is relaunching Justice League, with Jim Cheung and Jorge Jimenez drawing the books, while Brian Michael Bendis is kickstarting his new Superman run with a Man of Steel mini-series featuring art from Ivan Reis, Evan “Doc” Shaner, Ryan Sook, Kevin Maguire, Adam Hughes, and Jason Fabok. You may have noticed that these creators have something in common, namely that they’re all men. It’s a fitting dude-fest given that DC Comics’ June solicits contain their lowest number of female and non-binary creators in nearly two years. As always at DC, when big things are happening, women and non-binary creators are few and far between. Let’s take a look at who is doing what this June:

  • Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #1 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Plastic Man #1 (variant cover)
  • Aneke: Bombshells United #19 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Woman #4 (cover)
  • Brandee Stilwell: Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #6 (co-writer)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #4 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Plastic Man #1 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #48 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #49 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #4 (writer)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #4 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Green Arrow #41 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #16 (writer), Bombshells United #19 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Bombshells United #19 (interior art, cover)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #4 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Harley Quinn #43 (interior art), Harley Quinn #44 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Future Quest Presents #11 (variant cover), Mera, Queen of Atlantis #5 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #6 (inteior art)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #6 (cover)
  • Vanesa Del Rey: The Wild Storm #14 (variant cover)

All together, there are 19 different female creators scheduled to work on 17 different books in June, 4 fewer creators than in May and 3 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators set to work at DC in June. I’ve said before that in this day and age, with so many different, amazing women and non-binary creators working in comics, that a big publisher like DC or Marvel should be able to hire 20 of them a month with ease. If a publisher can’t get out of the teens, then they’re not even trying. And now DC is in the teens. Just barely so, but still. This is an embarrassingly low total, doubly so given that it’s such an important month for the publisher, and triply so because it marks DC’s lowest total since August 2016.

Moreover, fictional men are getting all of the focus in June as well. Superman’s the star of the show for the Man of Steel mini-series, of course, while only 2 of the 9 members of the new Justice League are women. There are also 5 special issues leading up to Batman and Catwoman’s nuptials called Batman: Prelude to the Wedding, in which only 2 of the 10 named characters are women and all of the creators are men. And 4 new Hanna-Barbera crossover issues with all male characters and about 17 dudes writing and drawing them. We’ve got a new Hawkman book in June, too, again with all male creators. At least the new Plastic Man has some women in the mix behind the scenes, even if the month as a whole is sorely lacking in fictional representation.

And as bad as these numbers are, they might be about to drop further. June marks the last issue of Bombshells United, ending one of the most enjoyable runs I’ve ever read and also removing a bastion of female creators from the monthly solicits. With its double shipping, you could count on 3-5 women each month in Bombshells United, and now that’s come to an end. July might be a rough outing, barring some new books or creative changes.

As I said at the top of the piece, female and non-binary creators tend to disappear when DC does big new initiatives. In every new round of relaunches or big creative shifts, men are always at the forefront. And frankly, this isn’t going to change until these men do something about it. Creators like Scott Snyder and Brian Michael Bendis are mega-stars. They could be working with any artists they wanted to, and yet here we see them with eight different dudes. The big names at DC need to step up and fight for improved representation at the publisher, otherwise it’s just going to be the same old thing again and again. Gail Simone does it. Greg Rucka does. And others need to join in.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, May 2018 Solicits: 23 Creators on 20 Books

March 6, 2018

womenatdcMAY.png

May looks to be another pedestrian month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics. Despite a lot of big changes and new initiatives, the numbers have been sitting in the mid-20s for several months now. While it’s not the worst we’ve seen from the publisher, they’ve shown themselves to be capable of far higher totals. And unfortunately, the future isn’t looking very bright at the moment, either. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics this May:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn: Harley Loves Joker #1 (cover), Harley Quinn: Harley Loves Joker #2 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Woman #3 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Green Arrow Annual #2 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #3 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Wonder Woman #46 (cover), Wonder Woman #47 (cover)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #23 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #46 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #47 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Action Comics Special #1 (interior art)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #3 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #5 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #22 (co-writer), Green Arrow Annual #2 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #22 (variant cover)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #3 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #15 (writer), Bombshells United #17 (writer), Bombshells United #18 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #3 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #4 (cover)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Bombshells United #17 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #5 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #22 (cover), Bombshells United #18 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #5 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #22 (co-writer), Green Arrow Annual #2 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #17 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #44 (variant cover), Wonder Woman Annual #2 (cover)

All together, there are 23 different female creators set to work on 20 different books at DC Comics in May, the same number of creators as in April though on 3 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in the solicits this month. These totals are among the lowest DC has posted in a while, though they remain in the ballpark of where the publisher has been lately. A range of 23-27 women and non-binary creators has been the norm, and it’s been that way despite some big creative changes. Losses somewhere were met with gains elsewhere, keeping things about the same for a while now.

But this could change very soon. A couple of big cancellations were announced recently that are going to have a significant effect on the numbers. First, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey is shipping its final issue in May. That book has been a powerhouse for female creators. It accounts for four of the names listed above, and has done so more or less steadily for the past year and a half. On top of that, Bombshells United is set to wrap up soon. From DC Comics Bombshells through Bombshells United, the book has been a bastion of female representation at DC for years now. Not only were women working on it at all levels of production, it also double shipped frequently, adding a slew of names to the list each month. It was a showcase for female artists as well, with creators like Mirka Andolfo, Laura Braga, Carmen Carnero, and many more doing fantastic work there before moving on elsewhere in the DC universe. Without it, not only are the numbers going to take a hit, but an important pipeline for female creators will be lost.

So that’s going to be a lot for the rest of the line to have to overcome. Batgirl and the Birds of Prey will be gone in the June solicits, and Bombshells has maybe a month or two left. And we’ve yet to see any news on what female and non-binary creator-led titles could replace them. Things are ramping up for a lot of big changes at DC, with Brian Michael Bendis taking over the Superman line and Scott Snyder tackling the Justice League. But from the looks of things, they’re bringing a lot of dudes with them to draw those books. Unless DC’s got some exciting new announcements up their sleeve, and several of them, I fear the numbers are going to start to drop very soon.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, April 2018 Solicits: 23 Creators on 23 Books

February 6, 2018

womenatdcAPRIL

April looks to be another subpar month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics. Not only has the publisher posted their lowest numbers of the year thus far, the total also leaves them well below their past highs. For several months now, DC’s been operating at about 2/3 of the level they’ve shown themselves to be capable of achieving in the past, with few signs that this is going to change any time soon. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at DC Comics this April:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #41 (cover), Harley Quinn #42 (cover), The Jetsons #6 (cover)
  • Aneke: Bombshells United #15 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #15 (cover), Wonder Woman #44 (interior art), Wonder Woman #45 (interior art)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #22 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #44 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #45 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Scooby Apocalypse #24 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic: Gotham A.D. #2 (writer), Supergirl #20 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #44 (interior art)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (variant cover)
  • Louise Simonson: Action Comics #1000 (writer)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Eternity Girl #2 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #14 (writer), Bombshells United #15 (writer), Bombshells United #16 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Exit Stage Left: The Snagglepuss Chronicles #4 (variant cover)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Woman #2 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Mera, Queen of Atlantis #3 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #4 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (cover), Bombshells United #16 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #4 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #21 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #42 (variant cover), Nightwing #43 (variant cover)

All together, there are 23 different female creators scheduled to work on 23 different comic books at DC in April, 3 few creators than in March and 1 fewer book. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in DC’s solicits this month. While the drop from last month isn’t disastrous, it does leave DC with their lowest combined total of female creators and books since August 2016. That’s not encouraging news. The numbers have been flat for a while now, and DC doesn’t seem to be doing much to change that right now. What’s more, all of their recent announcements for what’s to come through the spring and into the summer have predominantly featured male creators.

Everyone listed above is someone we’ve seen before, which is part of the reason the numbers aren’t growing. Bringing in new talent is important. We haven’t seen Louise Simonson in some time, though, and it’s great that she’s going to be a part of Action Comics #1000! Less great that she’s the only female creator who’s been announced on the book thus far, however.

Also troubling is how the gigs break down this month. Of the 23 women writing or drawing DC’s books, 10 of them are solely doing covers. While covers are key, of course, the bulk of the storytelling happens inside the pages, where only 13 women have work in April. That’s 13 women across DC’s monthly line of 80+ comic books. It’s some paltry representation.

April looks to be a quiet month for new titles as well. The only flashy new thing is the thousandth issue of Action Comics, and while I’m hoping that it will turn out to be a good showcase for Lois Lane, who is celebrating this milestone alongside Superman, I’m not holding my breath. Everything else is the usual fare, though it sounds like we’ll be getting a lot of new stuff and some major creative changes across the board in May and beyond as spinoffs from DC’s “Metal” event begin and the publisher moves pieces around to adjust to Brian Michael Bendis’ prominent new role.

Overall, April is not a particularly good month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC. While the publisher’s not been as atrociously poor as Marvel lately, that doesn’t mean that their numbers are good. Both of the Big Two are underachieving right now, Marvel’s just doing especially poorly. DC appears to be stuck in a bit of a rut. Their current bench of female creators is excellent, but they’re not doing anything to expand the ranks. It’ll be interesting to see what the next few months brings as big creative upheavals hit the lineup, but given how things have been going so far in 2018, signs don’t yet point to a major female and non-binary creator renaissance on the horizon.

Women in Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, Autumn 2017 in Review

January 31, 2018

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My quarterly “Gendercrunching” column went up last week at Bleeding Cool, and it was an interesting fall for DC and Marvel. There were gains at both publishers over the course of October, November, and December, though Marvel showed much higher growth.

All together, DC Comics’ average percentage of female creators came in at 15.6% for the autumn, a minimal 0.2% gain from their summer numbers. By category, it was an unremarkable month on the creative side of the chart, with small losses across the board, but editorial saw solid gains. The publisher was pretty consistent month to month, meaning that DC is in a bit of a rut right now, posting totals well below their previous highs.

Over at Marvel, their average percentage of female creators for the fall rose two points to 18%, a relatively strong total for the publisher on the back of a sizeable gain. The monthly numbers were a bit all over the map, but the creative side of the chart is underwhelming. A significant portion of Marvel’s total comes from their massive female assistant editor numbers, which are floating around 70%. Everything else is average at best. So long as those assistant editor numbers hold, Marvel should be riding high, but they could really set some records if they put any effort into hiring more female writers and artists.

The full charts and analysis are up over at Bleeding Cool, so head over there for all of the data and statistical fun!


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