Posts Tagged ‘DC Comics’

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, January 2018 Solicits: 24 Creators on 25 Books

November 6, 2017

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I’ll say this for DC Comics: They’ve become very consistent in their female and non-binary creator representation. The numbers aren’t particularly strong, situated in the mid-20s when the publisher has been well into the 30s in the past. But relative to months previous and to Marvel’s output, DC’s not been especially low or especially high for the past several rounds of solicits. They’re right in the middle with unremarkable numbers, not bottoming out but not progressing either. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in January:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Mystik U #2 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #35 (cover), Harley Quinn #36 (cover), The Jetsons #3 (cover)
  • Colleen Doran: Gotham City Garage #8 (interior art)
  • Diana Egea: Detective Comics #972 (inker)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #9 (cover), Superwoman #18 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #38 (interior art), Wonder Woman #39 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #5 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #19 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #4 (cover), Wonder Woman #38 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #39 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Supergirl #17 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #38 (interior art), Batman #39 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Batwoman #11 (writer), Superwoman #18 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #4 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Bombshells United #10 (writer), Bombshells United #9 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: New Super-Man #19 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #27 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Bombshells United #10 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #10 (cover), Justice League of America #22 (cover), Justice League of America #23 (cover)
  • Rachael Stott: Motherlands #1 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #2 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #18 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #9 (interior art)
  • Tula Lotay: Gotham City Garage #8 (cover)

All together, there are 24 different female creators set to work on 25 different comic book in January, 1 more female creator than in December and the same number of books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in DC’s January solicits. It’s a modest gain that keeps the publisher on their middle of the road streak. It could be better, it could be worse. What’s clear is that DC isn’t committed to expanding their ranks of women and non-binary creators. While they hit about the same level each month, growth has been minimal as of late.

To this point, there aren’t very many new names in the mix this month. Rachael Stott had one short gig at DC a few months back, and now it looks like she’s got a regular job with the new Vertigo series Motherlands. She’s been doing a lot of work on the IDW Doctor Who books, and it’s good to see that DC’s brought her in. We’ve also got a couple of returning favourites, though I don’t know for how long. Colleen Doran is doing some pages for Gotham City Garage in what looks to be a one-time gig. We’ve also got Mariko Tamaki writing New Super-Man this month, and I’m not sure if she’s taking over the book or it’s just a one-off job.

In terms of female characters, we’ve got a few new books with female leads in the mix. The new team book The Terrifics includes Phantom Girl, though she’s only one woman in a team of five. The one-shot Dark Knights Rising: The Wild Hunt features Raven, but again she’s one female character in a team of men. But Raven has new showcase all to herself with the new mini-series Raven: Daughter of Darkness. While I’m glad to see Raven getting some attention, having Marv Wolfman write her yet again seems like a bit of an odd choice. He’s done several Raven mini-series over the past several years, none of which were very successful. Also, there are no female creators involved with the book, which is disappointing.

All together, it looks like nothing much is going to change in terms of female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics as the New Year begins. January’s not that different from December, which wasn’t that different from November, which wasn’t that different from October. The publisher seems committed to mediocre numbers right now, and that’s going to continue into 2018.

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

November 3, 2017

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My regular “Gendercrunching” column at Bleeding Cool has shifted to a new quarterly format, and the first installment is up now! It takes a closer look at female representation at DC and Marvel over the summer months, covering July, August, and September to see what the trends are heading into the fall.

All together, DC Comics’ average percentage of female creators over the summer barely changed from when we last saw them, rising just 0.1% to 15.4% overall. Their monthly numbers were up and down, including the publisher’s lowest total for the entire year in August. By category, female representation is trending down on the creative side of the chart, while there is growth in both editorial categories. The ups and downs cancelled each other out over the course of the summer, leading to little change overall.

Marvel’s average percentage of female creators this summer rose 0.3% to 16% overall, a very slight gain. By category, almost everything looks like it’s trending upward, but the numbers are deceptive. Everything is growing, yes, but that’s largely because the July numbers were generally terrible and so everything that followed looked good in comparison. After an average August, September did go well for Marvel and it will be interesting to see what happens this fall. But all together, the publisher’s female representation is barely marginally better than it was last June.

Head over to Bleeding Cool for the full stats and analysis, and all of the fun charts!

Women and NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, December 2017 Solicits, 23 Creators on 25 Books

October 18, 2017

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As you may recall, DC’s November 2017 solicits featured their lowest total of female and non-binary creators in some time. While things have shifted around somewhat with the December solicits, with some past creators gone and some new creators added, the numbers have turned out exactly the same. It says a lot about representation at DC Comics that after posting their smallest numbers in some time, well below their recent highs, they do the exact same thing the following month. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this December:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #33 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #34 (co-writer, cover), The Jetsons #2 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1 (interior art), Scooby Apocalypse #20 (variant cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Gotham City Garage #5 (interior art), Gotham City Garage #6 (interior art)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Suicide Squad #32 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #7 (cover), Superwoman #17 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: The Kamandi Challenge #12 (co-writer), Wonder Woman/Conan #4 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #18 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #36 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #37 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Supergirl #16 (co-writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #17 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #17 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #17 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #3 (interior art)
  • Lea Hernandez: Teen Titans Go! #25 (interior art, cover)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #10 (writer), Bombshells United #7 (writer), Bombshells United #8 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #26 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Bombshells United #8 (interior art), Harley Quinn #33 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #8 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: The Silencer #1 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #17 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: DC Universe Holiday Special 2017 #1 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #3 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Gotham City Garage #6 (cover), Nightwing #35 (cover), The Hellblazer #17 (variant cover)

All together, there are 23 different women set to work on 25 different books at DC in December, replicating the November totals precisely; as best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators on the schedule at DC this month. That DC’s held steady at these lows is a bit of a surprise. They’d been comfortably in the mid-20s for a while, even jumping into the low 30s occasionally, but now they’ve leveled out into an ongoing lull.

Part of this may be due to a lack of new faces. We’ve seen every single creator listed above at DC before, if not last month than in the past few months. It’s an amazing list of creators to be sure, but all of them are mainstays at the publisher. The numbers can only grow if more creators are brought in, and that will require new and different people. This month, DC did not seem inclined to seek them out.

In terms of fictional characters, there’s only one new book with a female lead: The Silencer. The book is part of DC’s high profile artist-centric line in which their top artists are paired with writers to create new characters. Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost every creator involved is a man. But The Silencer features Sandra Hope inking, and it stars Honor Guest, a retired assassin who retired at the top of her game but is getting dragged back into the business. Technically the book’s not out until January; it’s an advanced solicit, for some reason. But hey, it’s on the list! And while DC only has a handful of other new titles scheduled for December, they all have male leads.

Ultimately, December looks like it’s going to be another subpar month for female and non-binary creator representation at DC Comics. On the plus side, the numbers holding steady means that the publisher’s downward trend over the past few months has come to an end. On the negative side, the skid’s landed them far from the considerably higher numbers they’d been posting only a year ago, when they had 10 more women and non-binary creators in the mix! DC’s capable of far better representation than they have right now.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch – November 2017 Solicits, 23 Creators on 25 Books

October 10, 2017

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I’m not sure what’s going on at either of the Big Two superhero publishers right now, but both DC and Marvel are well off their recent highs when it comes to the representation of female and non-binary creators. At DC, the solicits for November mark their lowest total in well over a year, and this is in the midst of the launch of several new series, ongoing and mini, across their line. DC’s output has been shifting and expanding over the fall, and this current cycle of change appears to include far fewer women and non-binary creators. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC in November:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Mystik U #1 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #31 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #32 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn: Be Careful What You Wish For Special Edition #1 (co-writer, interior art, cover), The Jetsons #1 (cover)
  • Aneke: Gotham City Garage #3 (interior art), Gotham City Garage #4 (interior art)
  • DesirĂ©e Proctor: New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (co-writer)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Green Arrow Annual #1 (interior art), Suicide Squad #29 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #5 (cover), Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #2 (cover), Wonder Woman #35 (interior art)
  • Erica Harrell: New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (co-writer)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #3 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #17 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #35 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Supergirl #15 (co-writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #34 (interior art, cover), Batman #35 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #16 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #16 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #16 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #2 (interior art)
  • Lynne Yoshii: New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #9 (writer), Bombshells United #5 (writer), Bombshells United #6 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #25 (variant cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #34 (variant cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #16 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #5 (interior art), New Talent Showcase 2017 #1 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #16 (variant cover)

All together, there are 23 different female creators set to work on 25 different books at DC in November, 2 fewer creators than in October though 4 more books (as best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled to work at DC in November). A dip of 2 creators is fairly minor, though not inconsiderable given how few women there were to start with at DC, but it does take the publisher to its lowest total of female creators since August 2016.

It’s an odd month at DC all around. Some of the drop can be explained by an absence of “Young Animal” titles, a line that features an array of female creators. But DC is also set to release their New Talent Showcase, which includes a variety of women writing and drawing. Typically, an anthology issue like that with such solid representation boosts the monthly numbers considerably, but not this time. We’ve also got Mystik U, a new series with a female writer in Alisa Kwitney, plus a Harley Quinn special with Amanda Conner all over it, and still the numbers drop. The list of new names is great to see, particularly in the New Talent Showcase, but it hasn’t added up to a strong month for female representation at the publisher overall.

In terms of female characters, the aforementioned Mystik U stars a teen Zatanna, so that should be fun, and Enchantress is in the mix. Everything else has dudes in the lead, including new books for Black Lighting, The Demon, and Hawkman. And the “Metal” tie-ins continue to roll out, the bulk of which feature male leads and male creative teams.

So November is a mixed bag for DC. There are lots of new female creators in the mix, many of them making their first ever appearance at the publisher. But across the line, the numbers remain down. While I suppose we can take an optimistic angle and hope that all of these new creators become mainstays at DC moving forward, it doesn’t change the fact that DC’s female and non-binary representation has been trending downward for a while now. It’s a very noticeable slump, with no end in sight as of yet.

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

October 3, 2017

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My latest “Gendercrunching” column went up at Bleeding Cool last week, and June 2017 was yet another underwhelming month for female creator representation at the Big Two.

DC’s overall percentage of female creators ticked up slightly to 15.3%, while Marvel fell down a tad to 15.7%. As much as both publishers remain several points above where they were a few years ago, they’re also well below their recent highs. DC and Marvel have shown themselves to be capable of higher numbers than these, and this sustained lull in female representation is not a great look.

The June article also included the announcement of a new format for “Gendercrunching.” It’s become increasingly difficult to keep up the monthly pace of running the numbers plus doing additional analysis, and so the feature is shifting to a quarterly format moving forward that will focus just on DC and Marvel. Watching trends in representation within the superhero industry and serving as a record of this evolution has always been the main focus of “Gendercrunching,” and so the new format will allow us to continue to do this, without any of the other bells and whistles. I do hate to give up the bells and whistles, because I loved all of the supplementary analysis we dug into, but it became unsustainable and something had to give. I’m excited to see what a quarterly perspective will reveal about DC and Marvel’s numbers, though. Should be fascinating!

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for the full stats fun!

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, October 2017 Solicits: 25 Creators on 24 Books

August 18, 2017

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DC’s female and non-binary creator representation has been drifting downward over the last few months, sliding a bit after a relatively strong spring, and with the October solicits, DC’s numbers are set to fall to their lowest level since last March. Things are pretty quiet at DC this fall; there are a few events and a couple of new books, but not enough to make any huge changes to the line. Yet the numbers appear to be in decline. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this October:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 (cover), Harley Quinn #29 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #30 (co-writer, cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: DC House of Horror #1 (interior art)
  • Diana Conesa: Nightwing #30 (interior art), Nightwing #31 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #4 (cover), Dastardly and Muttley #2 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #33 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #2 (writer)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #24 (co-writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #16 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Gotham City Garage #2 (cover), Wonder Woman #32 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #33 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Future Quest Presents #3 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #12 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #33 (interior art, cover), Mother Panic #12 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #15 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 (interior art)
  • Lynne Yoshii: Gotham City Garage #2 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #8 (writer), Bombshells United #3 (writer), Bombshells United #4 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Bombshells United #4 (interior art)
  • Mary Sangiovanni: DC House of Horror #1 (co-writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #24 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Teen Titans #13 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #3 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #3 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #15 (cover)

All together, there are 25 female creators set to work on 24 books at DC this October, 2 fewer than in September though they’re working on 3 more books (to the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in the mix this month). While 2 fewer creators isn’t a massive change, 3 of the past 4 months have featured a drop of 2 or more, and it’s starting to add up. As mentioned at the beginning, not a whole lot has changed at DC over the past little while, so this is just an organic drift downward. A few books got cancelled, a few new books began, and that’s about it. There wasn’t another relaunch cycle or any substantial creator upheaval. So this decline is just a gradual decrease caused by small changes here and there, and little has been done to remedy this drop.

We do have a few new female creators in the mix, though, which is always nice to see. Diana Conesa is going to be working on interior art for Nightwing, and I think she’s making her DC debut there. We’ve also got Lynne Yoshii, again on interior art, on the new Gotham City Garage, which we’ll discuss momentarily. Another new book, the anthology oneshot DC House of Horror, features a story by writer Mary Sangiovanni.

The oneshot is one of just a handful of new books at DC in October, and it’s got a few female creators in the mix as well as some stories starring female characters, including unique choices like Martha Kent and an Amazon warrior. DC’s Metal event continues, still with no female creators in the mix and seemingly few female characters, but we’ve got two new books with female leads. The aforementioned Gotham City Garage is based on DC’s statue line of their heroines as bikers, and features a reimagined DC universe centered on biker ladies. I feel like this could go either way, really. It’s reminiscent of DC Comics Bombshells, another comic line based on popular merchandise, but while Marguerite Bennett helmed that book and turned it into a queer feminist masterpiece, I’m not terribly familiar with the two dudes writing this one. Fingers crossed it’s similarly cool. We’ve also got an unusual team up with Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica, a crossover with Archie that introduces these two famous duos for the first time. A lot of creators from the regular Harley Quinn book are on board, so expect a similar tone and sensibility.

All together, there are some new names and a couple of potentially fun titles on the horizon for October, but overall the numbers keep falling. If DC continues at this pace, they’ll be back in the teens again before long, and it’s getting to the point where it feels like some intentional effort needs to be made internally to buoy their dragging representation.

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

August 2, 2017

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My latest “Gendercrunching” column went up last week over at Bleeding Cool, and it featured the usual DC and Marvel fun plus visits to Dynamite, Boom, Titan, and Valiant.

The Big Two continued to struggle with female creator representation, and posted their lowest combined overall percentage of female creators over the past year in May. DC ticked up slightly to 15.1% female creators, a gain that still left them with their second lowest total over the past twelve months. Marvel dropped to 15.9% female creators, their lowest total in six months.

We also concluded our biannual tour of other direct market publishers, and it was a mixed bag. Dynamite slid down to a paltry 6.2% female creators, Boom remained a bastion of female representation at 39%, Titan ticked down slightly to a relatively strong 20.4%, and Valiant rose to 14.3%. All told, our larger tour over the past two months featured more losses than gains, and combined with low showings at DC and Marvel, female creator representation across the board in the direct market appears to have taken a bit of a dip as of late.

Head on over the Bleeding Cool for the full stats and all of the “Gendercrunching” fun!


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