Posts Tagged ‘Elisabetta Melaranci’

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – February 2013 Solicits

November 20, 2012

It’s another busy month for real and fictional women at Marvel, with several new series featuring female characters and the usual assortment of female creators.  Now that we’re in our third month of checking in on Marvel, we’re starting to see some trends, which we can discuss after we look at solicits for February 2013:

  • Things are very busy for writers, with Kelly Sue DeConnick on Avengers Assemble #12 and Captain Marvel #10, Kathryn Immonen on Journey Into Mystery #649 and A+X #5, Marjorie Liu on Astonishing X-Men #59,and Robin Furth on Dark Tower: The Gunslinger – Sheemie’s Tale #2.
  • On the artistic side of things, Sara Pichelli draws Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #20, while Jana Schirmer does the cover for Red She-Hulk #62 and Stephanie Hans does a variant cover for Young Avengers #2.
  • The Disney special Monster’s Inc.: The Humanween Party #1 features all sorts of female creators: Elisabetta Melaranci, Federica Salfo, Michela Frare, and Mirka Andolfo.
  • There are a bunch of new Marvel NOW! series beginning in February, and apart from Nova they all seem to feature female leads.  Guardians of the Galaxy co-stars Gamora, a warrior with an odd name; 3 of the 6 characters on the cover of Uncanny X-Men #1 are ladies (one of them is Emma Frost, I think… I don’t know the rest), and 2 of the 8 characters on the cover of Secret Avengers #1 are women (Black Widow and Maria Hill).
  • Also, Fearless Defenders #1!!  That’s ALL ladies, with Valkyrie and Misty Knight to start and many more to come!!

On the female creator side of things, all told there are 11 different women on 10 different books in February, which is both better and worse than January.  There were 13 different women last month, so we’re down there, but there were only 8 different books, so we’re up there, with a difference of 2 for each.  So let’s call it’s a draw.

There are actually more women on the main Marvel books this month, with Stephanie Hans back, and the drop is because the Disney book fell from 7 women in January to 4 in February.  The monthly Disney book of some variety (it’s been all Monster’s Inc. since we started looking at Marvel, but there have been other Disney properties before that) supplies a big chunk of the female creators each month, which is fine so long as it continues to come out and continues to utilize female creators, but it’s a lot of eggs in one basket.  If it doesn’t come out or changes, the numbers could plummet.

Marvel continues to be great with female writers, with 4 different women on 6 books, and there’s been some decent cover representation, but interior art has been low.  Sara Pichelli is fantastic, but this is the second month in a row with only one female interior artist on a main line Marvel book, and there were none the month before that.  Marvel’s doing well overall, but things feel slightly tenuous with the reliance on one big Disney book and the lack of female artists.

On the character side of things, though, things are going fantastically.  Every month we’ve looked at so far has brought a bounty of female leads and co-leads in the new Marvel NOW! titles.  And now we’ll have an all-female book in Fearless Defenders too.  The consistent involvement of female characters is great to see, and hopefully it keeps up in the months to come.

Overall, it was a very solid month for Marvel.  The only real problems for Marvel right now are hypothetical problems.  Each month the actual representation has been decent, and better than what we’re used to seeing at DC.  Things could always be better, of course, and some more representation in certain areas would be nice, but Marvel has done well thus far.

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – January 2013 Solicits

October 19, 2012

After checking in on DC for over a year now, we’ve expanded to cover Marvel as well and we’re in our second month.  With the December solicits as a baseline, now we can get a better sense of how Marvel rolls with female creators and characters.  They had a lot of both last month, but was that just an aberration?  Let’s take a look at the January solicits:

  • On the writing side of things, we’ve got Kelly Sue DeConnick on Avengers Assemble #11 and Captain Marvel #9, Kathryn Immonen on Journey Into Mystery #648, Marjorie Liu on Astonishing X-Men #58, AND Robin Furth on Dark Tower: The Gunslinger – Sheemie’s Tale #1.
  • For art, Sara Pichelli is on art and covers for Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #19, while we’ve got a brand new creator, Jana Schirmer, doing the cover for Red She-Hulk #61.  There’s no Stephanie Hans anywhere, though, which is odd… she’s usually on something.
  • And then there’s Monsters, Inc. #2, where Elisabetta Melaranci, Anna Merli, Sonia Matrone, Mara Damiani, and Elena M. Naggi are on art duties while Lori Tyminski and Adrienne Brown do the cover.  That’s an impressive amount of ladies on one book!!
  • There are six new Marvel Now! books in January, and none of them have any female creators, so that’s a bummer.  Also, there don’t seem to be any female leads in Super Spider-Man (apart from Mary Jane), New Avengers, or Morbius: The Living Vampire.  However, 4 of the 6 characters on the cover of Uncanny X-Force #1 are gals (it looks like Storm and a few chicks with swords), Shanna the She-Devil costars in Savage Wolverine, and Ms. America and Hawkeye (Kate Bishop) are in Young Avengers.
  • There’s also a weekly Punisher book called Punisher: Nightmare that doesn’t seem to star any women, though they don’t list the creators so maybe (ie. probably not) some women are writing or drawing the book.

Overall, in January 2013 there are 13 women writing or drawing 8 different books at Marvel, a nice step up from the 11 women on 7 books in December.  However, as we talked about last month, Monsters, Inc. is carrying the bulk of the load.  Of the 13 women overall, 7 are on Monsters, Inc. #2, and that book is done in January.  We’ll have to see whether another Disney property with a similar number of female creators replaces it in February.  If there’s not, the numbers are going to drop drastically.

Even though we’re only two months in, we’re starting to see some patterns.  Marvel has a few women with regular gigs, all of them writers, and the art side seems more fluid.  Sara Pichelli is stepping onto Ultimate Comics Spider-Man for what looks like a few issues, but I doubt it will be a regular gig for her.  Jana Schirmer is brand new to Marvel, and the question now is will she be back next month?  Apart from DeConnick, Immonen, and Liu having regular writing gigs, the rest of the female creators at Marvel are a rotating cast so far.

As for female characters, there’s some decent representation.  However, all of the Marvel Now! books in December had at least one female lead, and only half of the new titles in January do.  It still adds up to 7 female characters co-starring in 6 new books though, and that’s pretty solid.

Overall, January looks pretty good for Marvel, but with Monsters, Inc. wrapped up the big question is what will happen in February for female creators?  Also, what new Marvel Now! books will premiere, and will there continue to be a decent number of female characters?  Only time will tell.  But Marvel looks decent two months in.

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – December 2012 Solicits

September 24, 2012

Ever since DC Comics promised to include more female creators and characters in their comics, we’ve been holding them to it and checking the solicits every month to see how they’re doing.  Now, with Marvel in the midst of their Marvel Now! not-a-relaunch, I thought it would be fun to start a monthly check-in with Marvel too.  They’re not beholden to any promises like DC is, but it’s nice to have a snapshot of where each company is at and what’s coming up, and it lets me be more specific about who’s doing what and where than we get in our full women in comics stats each month.

We’ve never gone through Marvel’s solicits before, so this first month will set the benchmark for what we can expect.  Let’s take a look:

  • For writing duties, Kelly Sue DeConnick is on Captain Marvel #8 and Avengers Assemble #10, Kathryn Immonen is penning Journey Into Mystery #647, and Marjorie Liu is on Astonishing X-Men #57.
  • In terms of art on the mainline Marvel superhero books, this month it’s only the fantastic Stephanie Hans doing a cover for X-Treme X-Men #7.1.
  • In the kid’s line, Louise Simonson and Jen van Meter are writing Marvel Universe Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Avengers #9.
  • Also in the kid’s line, Monsters Inc. #1 features Italian artists Elisabetta Melaranci, Anna Merli, Sonia Matrone, Mara Damiani, and Elena M. Naggi.
  • On the female character front, several new team books have female members.  Elektra is in Thunderbolts #1; Captain Marvel, Black Widow, and Spider-Woman are part of the team in Avengers #1; Domino is in Cable and X-Force #1; and so many female characters are in Avengers Arena #1 that I can’t even name them all… there are seven ladies on Dave Johnson’s cover to the first issue.

Altogether, in December Marvel has solicited 11 female creators on 7 books.  These are better numbers than we’re used to seeing with our regular DC check-in, but at the same time we should note how these numbers break down.  Only 3 of these women have regular gigs: DeConnick, Immonen, and Liu.  Hans is usually doing covers somewhere at Marvel, but she’s only solicited on the special Point One issue for X-Treme X-Men, and isn’t on the next issue (it double ships).  The Avengers kid’s book tends to cycle through creators, so we don’t know how long Simonson and Van Meter will be around.  They’re new to the book this month, and we’ll have to see if they’re back in January.  Finally, 5 of the 11 women are on the art team for the two issue Monsters Inc. comic.  They’ll probably be back next month, but then they’re done.

Now, this is neither good nor bad.  More regular gigs would be better, I suppose, but we’ve never looked at Marvel’s solicits before.  If several of these short-term gigs disappear next month but are replaced by ladies in new short or long-term gigs, that wouldn’t be so bad.  Regularly featuring different female creators in different books could be cool.  We’ll see how it all shakes out in the next few months, but for now we’ve got a good baseline for what to expect from Marvel.

As for female characters, there seem to be a lot of them.  Just skimming the rest of the solicits and the established books I didn’t mention (because we focus on new stuff here), there were a surprising number of female characters.  And all of the new Marvel Now! books in December have one, if not several, ladies.  This is really nice to see.

Overall, since this is our first go at Marvel I don’t have any grandiose conclusions.  We’ve got a sense of how Marvel rolls, and it looks pretty decent for real and fictional women, but we’ve got nothing to compare it to yet.  Except DC, and that’s not a great bar.  Next month, we’ll have an even better sense of things, but I’m cautiously optimistic.  It feels like a reasonable start, and hopefully we’ll see some growth as the months pass!!

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