Posts Tagged ‘G. Willow Wilson’

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, December 2018 Solicits – 24 Creators on 23 Books, Sort Of

October 18, 2018

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Okay, this one is going to be a little bit weird. The fourth Wednesday in December is Boxing Day, and DC has decided not to ship any comics at all that week. Since January is a five-week month, they’re bumping all of their usual fourth week books from December into the first week of January. That leaves the December solicits a bit sparse, with a quarter of the usual books not there. This obviously makes our monthly comparisons a bit difficult, but let’s start with who’s doing what at DC this December and we’ll keep going from there:

  • Amanda Conner: Supergirl #25 (variant cover)
  • Aneke: New Talent Showcase 2018 #1 (interior art)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #4 (interior art)
  • Brandee Stilwell: Sasquatch Detective #1 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Supergirl #25 (interior art)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #60 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #60 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Supergirl #25 (interior art)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #46 (writer, interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Green Arrow #47 (co-writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #43 (writer)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: New Talent Showcase 2018 #1 (co-writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Harley Quinn #56 (interior art)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #4 (writer)
  • Nicola Scott: Justice League Dark #6 (cover)
  • Priscilla Petraites: New Talent Showcase 2018 #1 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #4 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #60 (cover)
  • Sanya Anwar: New Talent Showcase 2018 #1 (co-writer)
  • Shawna Benson: Green Arrow #47 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Nightwing #54 (variant cover), Nightwing #55 (variant cover), Red Hood: Outlaw #29 (variant cover)
  • Zoe Quinn: Goddess Mode #1 (writer)

All together, there are 21 female creators scheduled to work on 16 different comic books at DC in December, 1 more creator than in November but 5 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits. Now, we’ve already got more women working on comics than last month, so that’s a plus, but it just doesn’t feel right. Especially when the January solicits will have a lot of books double shipping that typically don’t. Everything’s all wonky. So I think for our “official” count, I’m going to borrow the entries from the first week of the January 2019 solicits (i.e. the books that should have come out December 26), and we’ll make those part of the December count. So let’s add in:

  • Amanda Conner: Old Lady Harley #3 (cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #61 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #61 (variant cover)
  • Kat Howard: Books of Magic #3 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #30 (writer)
  • Mingjue Helen Chen: Hex Wives #3 (cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Hex Wives #3 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #4 (variant cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #61 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Raven, Daughter of Darkness #11 (cover)

A bunch of these creators were in the first list above, but the net gain here is 3 more female creators and 7 more books, for a total of 24 female creators overall, working on 23 different books. It may not be the monthly numbers exactly, but it captures this publication cycle well, and I think that gives us our most accurate totals for our usual month to month comparison.

And it’s a comparison that stacks up pretty well. I mean, November kind of sucked. Only 20 female creators is terrible. But there were 15 in October, and that’s even worse. We’re seeing two big jumps in a row here that, while they haven’t lifted DC to anything resembling a strong total yet, could bode well for continued growth in the new year. Or the numbers could just fall off a cliff again. You never know with the Big Two. Regardless, 24 creators is a decent total relative to the back half of 2018 as a whole, and hopefully we’ll see the growth continue.

We’ve got a few new names as well. I think Brandee Stilwell got listed once for her work on Exit Stage Left, but her Sasquatch Detective backups from that mini are getting collected in a one-shot with a new story thrown in, too. We’ve also got Priscilla Petraites, who has gone through DC’s talent development program and will be drawing a story in this year’s New Talent Showcase. And finally, Zoe Quinn is launching Goddess Mode for Vertigo, which sounds like it could be a cool title.

In terms of female characters, it’s mostly team stuff for new books this month. Zatanna and Orphan are going to be in Batman and the Outsiders, Catwoman, Wonder Woman, and Zatanna are going to be in the New Talent Showcase 2018, and Freedom Fighters should have some ladies in the mix, though none are specified in the solicit. Also, Goddess Mode has a female lead, which is very fun.

All together, the adjusted numbers show a step up for DC in terms of female creator representation, though their non-binary ranks remain poor. It would be nice to have the new year on the horizon bring continued growth and new opportunities for women and non-binary creators, but if you’ve followed this project at all you know it’s a dang yo-yo, up and down all the time. At the very least, at this current moment in time, DC is moving in a positive direction. That’s something, I suppose

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Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, November 2018 Solicits: 29 Creators on 28 Books

September 19, 2018

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When the November solicits were released last month, it looked like Marvel was taking a big step in terms of representation and were moving toward finishing the year on a high note. Then things changed. The numbers didn’t crater by any means, but a big jump got noticeably smaller. It’s an odd set of circumstances, and we’ll dig into it all after we look at who was originally scheduled to do what at Marvel in November:

  • Afua Richardson: Shuri #2 (variant cover)
  • Amy Reeder: Ironheart #1 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #26 (cover), X-23 #6 (cover)
  • Aud Koch: The Vision #1 (interior art)
  • Chelsea Cain: The Vision #1 (co-writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Captain America #5 (variant cover), Spider-Geddon #3 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Star Wars: Han Solo – Imperial Cadet #1 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #38 (cover)
  • Eve Ewing: Ironheart #1 (writer)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #36 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #8 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: The Unstoppable Wasp #2 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: Black Panther #6 (interior art), Ironheart #1 (variant cover), Uncanny X-Men #1 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #10 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Spider-Girls #2 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Mr. and Mrs. X #5 (writer), Uncanny X-Men #1 (co-writer), Uncanny X-Men #2 (co-writer), Uncanny X-Men #3 (co-writer), West Coast Avengers #4 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life of Captain Marvel #5 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: The Life of Captain Marvel #5 (interior art)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Infinity Wars: Infinity Warps #1 (co-writer), X-23 #6 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Infinity Wars: Infinity Warps #1 (interior art), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #37 (cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #2 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #15 (writer)
  • Rosi Kampe: Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #2 (interior art)
  • Sara Pichelli: Fantastic Four #4 (interior art)
  • Seanan McGuire: Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Captain Marvel – Mealtime Mayhem #1 (co-writer), Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #2 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: The Unstoppable Wasp #2 (cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Ironheart #1 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Shatterstar #2 (cover), Spider-Girls #2 (cover)

All together, 29 female creators were scheduled to work on 28 different books at Marvel this November, 4 more creators than in October and 5 more books. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits. This is a very solid gain, and a good beginning to the end of a year that has seen some troubling lows at Marvel. But then Marvel decided to cancel The Vision, without releasing a single issue. Apparently the book didn’t fit with the publisher’s new plans for the character or some such. So while Chelsea Cain and Aud Koch are listed in the solicits, their book isn’t coming out and that 4 creator gain is now only 2. Now, 2 isn’t terrible; any gain is a plus in the superhero comic business. But wow, after an already very rough year for gender representation at Marvel, this cancellation is bizarre.

We do have a new name, though. Eve Ewing is writing the new Ironheart series, which should be rad. That’s about it, though. Everyone else we’ve seen before, last month or in the recent past. But shout out to my pal Kelly Thompson, who’s writing or co-writing FIVE books for Marvel this month. She’s blowing up and I’m loving it because she is super excellent at what she does.

In terms of female characters, we’ve got the aforementioned Ironheart series starring Riri Williams. And we’ve got some group books, too. It looks like every mutant ever is going to be in Uncanny X-Men, so look for your favourite ladies there, while Proxima Midnight is part of a new Black Order series. Everything else is dudes, though. The Vision would have featured Viv, but it is no more.

Overall, November’s looking to be kind of a weird month for Marvel. The Vision situation is just odd, and takes what looked to be some solid growth down to something a bit more humdrum. I suppose they’re not going backwards, at least. That’s good to see after the publisher’s disastrous performances earlier this year. Growth is growth, however slow. But dang, Marvel needs to learn to stop shooting themselves in the foot.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, November 2018 Solicits: 20 Creators on 21 Books

September 17, 2018

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DC is officially in a rut when it comes to female and non-binary creators. After losing mainstays on this list like Bombshells United and the “Young Animal” line, the bulk of those creators are no longer at DC while some creative changes and the debut of a new Vertigo slate have barely erased the losses. Reading the solicits every month, we see the same dudes cranking out books across the line, but retention for female and non-binary creators is pretty low. Growth requires both a stable group of creators and the addition of new voices. DC is middling at both when it comes to female and non-binary creators. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this November:

  • Adriana Melo: Plastic Man #6 (interior art)
  • Agnes Garbowska: Teen Titans Go! #31 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Old Lady Harley #2 (cover), Supergirl #24 (variant cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Raven, Daughter of Darkness #10 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #3 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Hex Wives #2 (cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #58 (writer), Wonder Woman #59 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Plastic Man #6 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #58 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #59 (variant cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #5 (writer, interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Green Arrow #46 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Nightwing #52 (variant cover)
  • Kat Howard: The Books of Magic #2 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #29 (writer), DC Nuclear Winter Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Hex Wives #2 (interior art)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #3 (writer)
  • Nicola Scott: Justice League Dark #5 (cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Justice League Odyssey #3 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #58 (cover), Wonder Woman #59 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Green Arrow #46 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: DC Nuclear Winter Special #1 (interior art), Red Hood and the Outlaws #28 (variant cover), Titans #29 (variant cover), Titans #30 (variant cover)

All together, there are 20 different female creators scheduled to work on 21 different books at DC this November, one fewer creator than in October an one more book. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. The numbers are holding steady, more or less, which would be nice if the totals were at a solid level. But they are not. DC’s shown themselves to be capable of posting much higher numbers in the recent past, and they remain well below that now.

And that’s with a big addition! G. Willow Wilson is back at DC, writing Wonder Woman in what should be an excellent run. That’s a big get for DC, and it comes with Rachel Dodson inking covers and Jenny Frison continuing on her stellar variants. Elsewhere, we’ve got another Marvel regular popping over for a cover with Ashley Witter on Raven, Daughter of Darkness. The rest we’ve all seen in months past, though several of the creators are still relatively new to DC.

There’s not a lot going on for female characters this month. Wonder Woman‘s got a new direction, of course, but in terms of new series it’s mostly dudes. There are some team books with female characters in the mix, at least, with Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn on the cover of the DC Nuclear Winter Special and Amanda Waller, Enchantress, and Katana in the mix for Suicide Squad: Black Files.

Overall, apart from the excellent Wonder Woman news, it’s a pretty humdrum month at DC. Female creator numbers remain low, and the lack of non-binary creators is disappointing. This has been an underwhelming year for women and non-binary creators at DC, and barring a remarkable turnaround in December, we’ll have to see what 2019 will bring. There’s certainly lots of room to grow, at least.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, October 2018 Solicits: 25 Creators on 23 Books

August 16, 2018

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Marvel has A LOT going on in October. A ton of new series and minis, an array of one-shots, a big “Spider-geddon” event, plus all of their usual fare. Their output is in the ballpark of 85 new comic books for the month, about 10 more than they usually release. The increase in production hasn’t come with an increase in representation, though. Female and non-binary creator numbers are set to hold steady at a level that, while better than their recent lows, remains well off their recent highs. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this October:

  • Amy Reeder: Spider-Girls #1 (variant cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #25 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #200 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #37 (cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #35 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #7 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Jen Bartel: The Life and Times of Captain Marvel #4 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #9 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Spider-Girls #1 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Mr. and Mrs. X #4 (writer), West Coast Avengers #3 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: What If? Magik #1 (writer), X-Men Black – Emma Frost #1 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life and Times of Captain Marvel #4 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #5 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #36 (interior art, cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #1 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #14 (writer)
  • Rosi Kampe: Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider #1 (interior art)
  • Sara Pichelli: Fantastic Four #3 (interior art)
  • Seanan McGuire: Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider #1 (writer), X-Men Black: Mystique #1 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Asgardians of the Galaxy #2 (variant cover)
  • The Soska Sisters: Avengers Halloween Special #1 (co-writers)
  • Yasmine Putri: Shatterstar #1 (cover), Spider-Girls #1 (cover), The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 25 different female creators scheduled to work on 23 different books at Marvel in October, 1 fewer creator than in September but 2 more books. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits. Now, holding steady in the mid-20s isn’t a terrible place for Marvel to be. We’ve seen terrible earlier this year, when the publisher’s numbers were in the low teens. But we’ve also seen them in the high 30s before, so Marvel is still pretty far behind the level they’re capable of hitting. Plus, with a slew of new books, you’d hope for a bit of a jump overall. None is a little disappointing.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some new names in the mix, though. We’ve got Seanan McGuire writing a new Spider-Gwen series and a Mystique one-shot, and the Soska Sisters (Jen and Sylvia) co-penning a story in the Avengers Halloween Special. There are some returning favourites, too: I think it’s been a couple years since we’ve seen Rosi Kampe, who’s doing interior art for the Spider-Gwen book, and Nnedi Okorafor is back with a new Shuri series that should be super cool.

Also, I should point out that the publisher is doing a bunch of Marvel Battle Lines variant covers in October, many of which feature Korean artists who seem to have little to no English web presence. While I did my best to track each of them down, I’ve still got a couple of question marks, and those folks could possibly be female or non-binary creators.

In terms of fictional characters, ladies are set to have a big month with this October bonanza. Spider-Geddon is set to feature Spider-Gwen and “every Spider-Woman ever,” plus we’ve got new minis like Spider-Force with Jessica Drew and Ashley Barton, Spider-Girls with Mayday, Spiderling, and two Spider-Girls, and the new Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider series. Elsewhere, Shuri has a new book, The Unstoppable Wasp is back, and we’ve got a What If? oneshot starring Magik and two X-Men Black oneshots that focus on Emma Frost and Mystique. It’s a busy month!

Overall, while there are some new names at Marvel and that’s always fun, the new names aren’t enough to counter the lack of holdovers from last month and the numbers are remaining relatively steady. Less than steady, frankly, when you consider how many new books there are in October, each of them an opportunity to introduce new creative teams. Marvel’s picked themselves up from their poor start to 2018, but now they’ve been treading water for a few months at a level far below what they’re capable of achieving, establishing given the breadth of talent from female and non-binary creators out there making comics right now.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, September 2018 Solicits: 26 Creators on 21 Books

July 19, 2018

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After what has been a rough year thus far for female and non-binary creator representation at Marvel, the publisher seems to have settled into a bit of a groove now. Unconventionally, too. Maybe about half of the gigs listed below are steady, ongoing jobs. The rest are variant covers, one-shots, or mini-series, positions that don’t last for long. And yet, Marvel’s keeping their numbers steady on the backs of such gigs. More long-term work would be nice to see, and the publisher does remain well below their past highs, but at least they’ve pulled themselves up from the terrible numbers they were posting earlier in the year. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this September:

  • Agnes Garbowska: Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Captain Marvel – First Day of School #1 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #24 (cover), Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #2 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #199 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: X-Men Red #8 (interior art)
  • Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising: Omega #1 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Avengers #7 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #36 (cover)
  • Eve Venture: Avengers #7 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #34 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #6 (writer), Domino Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Gurihiru: Marvel Rising: Omega #1 (cover)
  • Helen Chen: Marvel Rising: Omega #1 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #8 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #23 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: West Coast Avengers #2 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: Domino Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life of Captain Marvel #3 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #4 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Domino Annual #1 (interior art), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #35 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #13 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Avengers #7 (interior art), Fantastic Four #2 (interior art)
  • Sing Ji: Spidergeddon #0 (variant cover)
  • Tini Howard: Captain America Annual #1 (writer)
  • Vanessa Del Rey: Sentry #4 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: X-23 #4 (variant cover)

All together, there are 26 different female creators scheduled to work on 21 different comic books at Marvel in September, 1 more creator than in August and the same number of books. As far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in Marvel’s solicits. So we don’t have much of a gain here, but what we do have is some much needed stability. The publisher has had at least 20 female creators in their ranks for four months running now, and this is their highest total since last September. Of course, Marvel’s been well into the 30s before so the mid-20s is nothing to write home about. Hooray for staying out of the teens and all, but there’s still a long way to go for the publisher to reach the level they’re capable of.

We’ve got some new creators set for September. Two of them, Eve Venture and Sing Ji, are on variant covers, while Tini Howard is writing a Captain America annual. These are all one-time gigs, but who knows where they could lead in the future? I don’t think we’ve seen Agnes Garbowska at Marvel before either, and she’s on covers for a new Marvel kids’ book.

New titles are few for September, but Asgardians of the Galaxy is set to debut and it features both Angela and Valkyrie. Everything else is dudes, including returns for Wolverine and Iceman. So there aren’t a lot of female characters premiering in new books this month, but there aren’t too many new books either.

Overall, September looks decent for female creator representation at Marvel. It’s taken a while for the publisher to dig out of their hole, but now their numbers are holding strong at a reasonable level. Marvel can now be slightly less embarrassed about their lack of female creators! They should still be embarrassed to some degree, though. They’ve still got hundreds of dudes versus 26 women. But things are starting to look up.

Women + NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, August 2018 Solicits: 25 Creators on 21 Books

June 5, 2018

womenatmarvelAUGUSTThe year thus far has not been great for female and non-binary creator representation at Marvel, with the numbers dropping down to the low teens for a stretch this spring. So when I say that this is the publisher’s best month of 2018, that’s not saying much. Still, things are improving, even if Marvel’s past highs remain a long way off and sustainability continues to be an ongoing concern. August doesn’t look like it’s going to be terrible, and that’s a welcome change of pace. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in August:

  • Amanda Conner: Extermination #1 (variant cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #23 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #198 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: X-Men Red #7 (interior art)
  • Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising: Ms. Marvel/Squirrel Girl #1 (co-writer)
  • Elsa Charretier: Marvel Rising: Ms. Marvel/Squirrel Girl #1 (variant cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Fantastic Four #1 (variant cover), X-Men Gold Annual #2 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #35 (cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Marvel Rising: Ms. Marvel/Squirrel Girl #1 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #33 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #5 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Marvel Rising: Ms. Marvel/Squirrel Girl #1 (cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Marvel Rising: Ms. Marvel/Squirrel Girl #1 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #7 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #22 (writer), Star Wars: Poe Dameron Annual #2 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Infinity Wars #1 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: West Coast Avengers #1 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life of Captain Marvel #2 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #4 (writer), X-23 #3 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #34 (interior art, cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Wakanda Forever: Avengers #1 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #12 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Fantastic Four #1 (interior art, variant cover)
  • Vanesa Del Rey: Wakanda Forever: Avengers #1 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Infinity Wars #2 (variant cover), Wakanda Forever: Avengers #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 25 different female creators scheduled to work on 21 different comic books at Marvel in August, 3 more creators and 3 more books than in July. As far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators with gigs at Marvel this month. The August totals are Marvel’s highest of the year, and their best showing since last September. It’s been a bit of a free fall since then, but maybe they’re climbing out of it?

I’m cautious, because so many of the jobs above are temporary. I know I bang this drum every month, but as much as one-time gigs can be a foot in the door, dependence on them can lead to a collapse of the numbers. We’ve seen it several times over the past few years. Only about half of the women listed here are guaranteed to be back next month. Others may be be back too, but it will be elsewhere, and that shuffling can sometimes collapse. It’s been holding well for the past few months, though, and perhaps an influx of new, stable jobs will shore things up and help the numbers continue to grow.

Speaking of new, stable jobs, we’ve got a couple this month in the form of two returning favourites! Kelly Thompson is back, writing West Coast Avengers, and it looks FANTASTIC. Hawkeye is in the mix (I mean the good one, not the dude one, though he’s there, too) along with Gwenpool, America, and a few fellows. I think it’s going to be a blast. Sara Pichelli is back as well, drawing Marvel’s long-awaited relaunch of Fantastic Four. I’m not so keen on the writer there, but Pichelli will make the book look amazing, I’m sure.

These new books mean it’s a good month for fictional women as well. Hawkeye, Gwenpool, and America are front and center in West Coast Avengers, Sue Storm is back in Fantastic Four, and the Extermination event focuses on the original X-Men, which means a big role for young Jean Grey. The Wakanda Forever oneshots are continuing, too, and that brings us another rad Dora Milaje adventure. And the Marvel Rising oneshots feature more Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, and more.

Overall, Marvel’s definitely on the up right now. While they dug themselves a very deep hole and they’re still far behind their past highs, they’re in the ballpark of some relatively okay numbers this month. The big issue is whether or not the numbers will hold, and so far they seem to be doing so. After the bottom fell out in the spring, the obvious worry is that it will happen again. But hopefully Marvel continues to regain ground and grow!

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, July 2018 Solicits: 22 Creators on 18 Books

May 3, 2018

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Marvel is in an odd spot with female and non-binary creators right now. After a truly abysmal spring with some of the lowest numbers we’ve seen from them in some time, things have improved somewhat. Now, the totals are still relatively quite poor. Marvel’s been in the high 30s in the past, and their current streak has them in the low 20s. That’s not great. But it’s better than it was. The bigger issue right now is that these gains are very precarious. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this July:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #22 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #197 (cover)
  • Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (co-writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Doctor Strange #3 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #34 (cover)
  • Fiona Staples: The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #32 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #4 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: X-23 #2 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #21 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #6 (writer)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Avengers #4 (variant cover)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #3 (writer), X-23 #1 (writer), X-23 #2 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #33 (interior art, cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Wakanda Forever: X-Men #1 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #11 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (variant cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Wakanda Forever: X-Men #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 22 female creators scheduled to work on 18 different comic books at Marvel this July. That’s 2 more creators than in June and 4 more books. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. The gains are undercut to a certain degree by the low totals, but they’re gains nonetheless. Given Marvel’s track record in 2018 thus far, we’ve got to celebrate the little things here.

However, 12 of the 22 creators listed above are doing one time gigs. They’re on oneshots or variant covers, jobs that don’t come with guaranteed work next month. The June numbers were similar, and so long as Marvel can keep things rolling along with these non-permanent jobs, the numbers should hold. But there are three big problems here. First, this juggling act rarely lasts for long and things will inevitably drop off. They always do. Second, the level Marvel is at right now is comparatively poor. And third, the only way for the numbers to really grow AND to fend off this inevitable drop is to have a sizeable number of female and non-binary creators locked into long term gigs. Marvel does not have that right now, at all.

This lack is still stark even with the addition of two new series with female writers, and they also star female leads. Margaret Stohl is back with The Life of Captain Marvel mini-series, while Mariko Tamaki is launching a new X-23 (even though Laura is always the superior Wolverine to me!). A bunch of male characters are getting new books as well, but between these two titles and the ongoing Wakanda Forever oneshots, Marvel’s paltry female character representation has bumped up slightly as of late.

Overall, while representation is set to improve a bit at Marvel in July, these gains are tenuous and the publisher remains far back from the high levels they’ve set in the past. There just doesn’t seem to be much firm commitment to female and non-binary creators at Marvel right now. Things have improved from disastrous to bad over the past few months, but good is still a long way off. Hopefully we’ll see some more permanent additions to Marvel’s ranks in the future.


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