Posts Tagged ‘Image Expo’

Latest Image Expo has Lowest Percentage of Female Creators Since January 2014’s Expo

April 11, 2016


Before ECCC started in Seattle this weekend, Image Comics held another of its Image Expos, their roughly semi-annual presentation of new titles that will be debuting over the course of the coming year. There were a lot of intriguing titles in the mix, and I’m particularly looking forward to Motor Crush by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr, formerly of Batgirl, and Isola by Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl, formerly of Gotham Academy. It’s always fun to see my favourite superhero creators try something new.

The Expo also featured new books from notable creators like Brian Azzarello, Ed Brubaker, Leila del Duca, Jonathan Hickman, Jerome Opena, Sean Phillips, Jen Van Meter, and more. And, as always when given a list of names, I decided to count them up and see what the gender representation was at this Image Expo. The numbers weren’t great, comparitively. Here are all of the new books, with creator information courtesy of Image’s website:

  • AFAR by Leila del Duca & Kit Seaton
  • BLACK CLOUD by Jason Latour, Ivan Brandon, Greg Hinkle, Matt Wilson, Aditya Bidikar
  • THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS by Jonathan Hickman & Tomm Coker
  • GLITTERBOMB by Jim Zub & Djibril Morissette-Phan & K. Michael Russell & Marshall Dillon
  • HORIZON, by Brandon Thomas, Juan Gedeon & Frank Martin
  • THE HUNT by Colin Lorimer, Jim Campbell, and Joana Lafuente
  • ISOLA by Brenden Fletcher & Karl Kerschl
  • KILL OR BE KILLED by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser
  • LAKE OF FIRE by Nathan Fairbairn & Matt Smith
  • MOONSHINE by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso
  • MOTOR CRUSH by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, & Babs Tarr
  • PRIMA by Jen Van Meter, Rick Burchett
  • PRINCE OF CATS by Ron Wimberly
  • ROCKSTARS by Joe Harris & Megan Hutchison
  • ROMULUS by Bryan Hill & Nelson Blake II
  • SEVEN TO ETERNITY by Rick Remender, Jerome Opeña, & Matt Hollingsworth
  • SURGEON X by Sara Kenney & John Watkiss, James Devlin, & Jared K. Fletcher
  • VS by Ivan Brandon, Esad Ribić, Ive Svorcina, Aditya Bidikar
  • WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD by Steve Niles, Alison Sampson, Stephane Paitreau, & Clem Robins

All together, there were 40 different men and 9 different women across these 20 new titles, so women accounted for 18.4% of the creators announced at this year’s Image Expo. That’s a noticeable drop from the past three Expos, where women posted percentages of 25.9%, 26.4%, and 23.5%. This year’s total is the lowest since the January 2014 Image Expo, which only had 10.5% female creators.

In terms of representation per book, 8 of the 20 new titles have at least one female creator, another drop from the last Image Expo in July 2015 where there was a woman on more than half of the books (12 out of 23). The Image Expo before that was slightly better than this year, too; the January 2015 Expo had 10 women on 24 books, or 41.7% of the titles, while this year’s 8 of 20 is just a step behind at 40%.

So we’ve got a drop in the overall total and a drop in representation across the board. A double slide like this is rather disheartening, especially from a publisher who prides itself on being the anti-Big Two. While these numbers are somewhat better than Marvel’s recent relaunch or DC’s upcoming “Rebirth”, Image isn’t blowing anyone out of the water here. Fewer than 20% female creators is a decidedly average showing, and far below the bar that Image has set for itself in past Expos. Holding fairly steady around 25% for three shows instead of growing was a little bit disappointing, and now they have taken a step back. If Image was really as different and cutting edge as they seem to think they are, we’d be seeing an explosion of female creators. Yet we are not. Here’s hoping for a course correction with the next Image Expo.


Female Creator Representation Remains About The Same At The Latest Image Expo

July 2, 2015


Today was the latest Image Expo, a semi-annual event where Image Comics brings out their many creators to announce exciting new books and projects that will debut in the year to come. It’s always cool to see what new books are going to be coming out, and this year was no exception. Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott are launching a new series, and that’s an absolutely amazing duo no matter what the book is about (it’s a magical police thriller). Gail Simone and Cat Staggs have a new comic that’s Freaky Friday except with a hitman, so that sounds interesting. And Jason Aaron and R.M. Guera are going back to the Bible for a dark, grisly take on the days before the great flood, and I’m very excited to check that out. Plus so many more!

The past couple of Image Expos have had decent female creator representation, so let’s go through the list to see how this Expo compares. Here are all of the new titles and teams, minus reissues of previously printed work, as per Image’s own page:

  • Invincible: Reboot by Robert Kirkman, Ryan Ottley, Cliff Rathburn, and Jean-Francois Beaulieu.
  • Codename Baboushka: The Conclave of Death by Antony Johnston, Shari Chankhamma, and Simon Bowland
  • Camp Midnight by Steven T. Seagle and Jason Adam Katzenstein
  • Blue Monday: Thieves Like Us by Chynna Clugston Flores
  • Scooter Girl by Chynna Clugston Flores
  • Throwaways by Caitlin Kittredge and Steve Sanders
  • Sunset Park by Ron Wimberley
  • Slave Punk: White Coal by Ron Wimberley
  • Cry Havoc by Simon Spurrier, Ryan Kelly, Lee Loughridge, Matt Wilson, and Simon Bowland
  • Black Magick by Greg Rucka and Nicola Scott
  • Crosswind by Gail Simone and Cat Staggs
  • The Goddamned by Jason Aaron, R.M. Guerra, and Giulia Brusco
  • Heartless by Warren Ellis and Tula Lotay
  • Huck by Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque
  • Private Eye: The Deluxe Hardcover by Brian K. Vaughan, Marcos Martin, and Muntsa Vicente
  • Snotgirl by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung, Mickey Quinn, and Mare Odomo
  • Virgil by Steve Orlando and JD Faith
  • Hadrian’s Wall by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis
  • Axcend by Shane Davis, Michelle Delecki, and Morry Horrowell
  • Faster Than Light by Brian Haberlin
  • Expired by Jimmie Robinson and Richard Pace
  • The One% by Kaare Kyle Andrews
  • Ringside by Joe Keatinge, Nick Barber, Simon Gough, and Ariana Maher

All together there are 12 different female creators named in this list of 51 different creators total, so women account for 23.5% of the creators announced at this year’s Image Expo. That’s down slightly from the last two Image Expos, which had 25.9% and 26.4% female creators. It’s not a huge drop, but it’s always more pleasant to see these numbers trending upward. This Expo was a small step back.

However, things are better in terms of representation per book. Of the 23 new titles announced, 12 feature at least one female creator. That’s more than the last Image Expo’s 10 of 24. So while there are fewer female creators overall, there are more women across the board.

Ultimately, female creator representation remains about the same. A little less in one area and a little more in another evens out to no real significant change. It’d be nice to have had Image wow us with a slew of female creators and blow us away with huge numbers, but at the same time it’s great to see a lot of new names in the mix here. Creators like Gail Simone, Nicola Scott, Cat Staggs, Caitlin Kittredge, and a few others have all been Big Two mainstays for a while, and good on Image for bringing them in to do their own, creator owned books. I’m still holding out hope for a huge number of female creators at the next Image Expo, though. Image likes to talk the talk when it comes to diversity, and I’d like to see a bit more of a commitment to walking the walk. Doing well with female representation doesn’t change the fact that there’s lots of room to do better.

The Latest Image Expo Has More Female Creators By Number, But Not By Percentage

January 9, 2015


I had some big issues with last summer’s Image Expo. The show began with a self-congratulatory speech about how Image was different from other publishers that also decried the comic book industry’s “boys club.” Then Image showed a promotional video featuring their many creators, only one of which was a woman, and followed that up by introducing a series of new books with just a handful of female creators. There were some mixed messages, to be sure.

Yesterday’s Image Expo made a slew of new announcements, but how did they do in terms of representation for women? Let’s take a look at all of the books they announced, as best I could tell; there were a lot of them:

  • Savior by Brian Holgun, Todd McFarlane, and Clayton Crain
  • Injection by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire
  • No Mercy by Alex De Campi, Carla Speed McNeil, and Jenn Manley Lee
  • Island: Comics Magazine for Comics by Brandon Graham, Emma Rios, Simon Roy, Michael DeForge, Farel Dalrymple, and E.K. Weaver
  • RUNLOVEKILL by Eric Canete, Jonathan Tsuei, and Leonardo Olea
  • Starve by Brian Wood, Danijel Zezelj, and Dave Stewart
  • Monstress by Marjorie Liu and Sana Takeda
  • A.D.: After Death by Scott Snyder and Jeff Lemire
  • Sons of the Devil by Brian Buccellato, Toni Infante
  • Black Road by Brian Wood, Gary Brown, and Lauren Affe
  • 8House by Brandon Graham, Marian Churchland, and Emma Rios
  • Pretty Deadly Volume 2 by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios
  • Tadaima by Emi Lenox
  • Plutona by Jeff Lemire, Emi Lenox, and Jordie Bellaire
  • Ludocrats by Keiron Gillen, Jim Rossignol, David Lafuente, and Ricardo Venancio
  • The Wicked + The Divine Volume 3 by Keiron Gillen and Tula Lotay, Kate Brown, and Stephanie Hans
  • Phonogram: The Immaterial Girl by Keiron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Matt Wilson
  • Kaptara by Chip Zdarsky and Kagan McLeod
  • Revengeance by Darwyn Cooke
  • I Hate Fairyland by Skottie Young and Jean-Francois Beaulieu
  • Heaven by James Robinson and Philip Tan
  • Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson
  • Spawn Resurrection by Paul Jenkins and Jonboy Meyers
  • We Stand On Guard by Brian K. Vaughan and Steve Skroce

Last summer, Image’s announcements featured 7 different female creators who accounted for 25.9% of the creators involved. Yesterday’s Image Expo doubled the number of female creators with 14 different women, but because Image announced so many more books this time around, the percentage works out to only 26.4%, a fairly paltry increase.  So there are twice as many women, but also twice as many books. While women accounting for a quarter of the creators isn’t terrible, especially compared to most other direct market comic publishers, more growth would have been nice.

In terms of representation per book, 10 of the 24 titles feature at least one female creator. That’s also exactly on par with last summer’s Image Expo, where there was at least one female creator on 5 of the 12 featured titles.

So, things are about the same! And in the world of direct market comics, any time something doesn’t get worse is almost as good as growth, really. Given the industry’s male-centrism, women accounting for 26% of all creators is much better than where we were just a couple years ago, though there’s still room for improvement. However, in the definite plus column, there are a lot of fantastic books set for 2015! Marjorie Liu is launching her first Image book, with the awesome Sana Takeda on art, and it sounds great; it’s set in the 1920s, it’s got monsters, I’m in. Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios are back for more Pretty Deadly, while two of my favourite creators ever, Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang, are making a new book starring young paper delivery ladies. Emi Lenox has two new titles as well, and lord knows what Chip Zdarsky is up to with Kaptara but I’m sure it will be hilarious. So while the numbers could be better, at least they’re not worse and we’ve got lots of fun comics to look forward to.

The Latest Image Expo Has More Female Creators Than The Last One, But Still Room To Improve

July 24, 2014


January’s Image Expo announced a slew of exciting new books but had a disappointing lack of female creators. Of the 41 credited creators on these new books, only 5 were women, a paltry 12.2%. The visuals weren’t great either; when all of the creators took to the stage at the end of the show, it was a sea of white dudes with only two women in the mix. For a company that promotes itself as a bastion of diversity and celebrates its non-Big Two practices, this lack of female representation was quite a letdown.

But yesterday, Image held their second Expo of the year in San Diego as a sort of preamble to Comic-Con, which officially kicks off today. They announced 12 new titles, fewer than the previous Expo, but there were definitely some exciting announcement in the mix. In particular, I’m looking forward to Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen teaming up, and a new Warren Ellis book is always cause for celebration.

The video that ran before the announcements lauded Image’s diversity, and publisher Eric Stephenson’s keynote address chastised other publishers for “treating gender equality and cultural issues as though they’re little more than gimmicks to increase sales,” and declared “for decades, the comics industry has been viewed as a boys club, but that’s changing.” They were bold words from a publisher who only brought up two women at the last Expo, but Stephenson backed up his statements with several new books featuring female creators.

Here is the full list of announcements:

  • Tokyo Ghost by Rick Remender, Sean Murphy, and Matt Hollingsworth
  • From Under Mountains by Marian Churchland, Claire Gibson, and Sloane Leong
  • Valhalla Mad by Joe Casey and Paul Maybury
  • Rumble by John Arcudi and James Harren
  • Intersect by Ray Fawkes
  • The Humans by Tom Neely and Keenan Marshall Keller
  • Invisible Republic by Gabriel Hardman and Corinna Bechko
  • Southern Cross by Becky Cloonan, Andy Belanger, and Shari Chankhamma
  • Descender by Jeff Lemire and Dustin Nguyen
  • Drifter by Ivan Brandon and Nic Klein
  • Tooth and Claw by Kurt Busiek, Ben Dewey, and Jordie Bellaire
  • Injection by Warren Ellis, Declan Shalvey, and Jordie Bellaire

All together, these 12 new titles feature 27 credited creators, 7 of them women. That’s 25.9% female creators, a sizeable increase from the 12.2% we got in January. Also, 5 of the 12 books feature at least one female creator, a big step up from the 4 of 18 at the last Expo.

This is definitely better, but women remain a significant minority across the board. Obviously, progress takes time, and we should celebrate the growth of female creators at Image. It’s great to see new female creators making cool comics. However, lots of room for improvement remains, and on several levels. I haven’t run the numbers, but looking down this list I’m still seeing a heck of a lot of white people. The video they ran before the announcements, featuring many of their creators, is ridiculously white, and Kelly Sue DeConnick is the only woman who talks in it:

So there’s more work to do yet.

But ultimately, the latest Image Expo is a solid step for female creators, and kudos to Image for raising the bar. I’m looking forward to the next Image Expo, where hopefully they’ll raise the bar even further and continue to add more diversity to their comic book line.

Women In Comics Statistics: Image Expo 2014 OR Great Looking Books By A Lot Of White Men

January 9, 2014


Image Expo 2014 announced a slew of new titles today, a lot of which sound absolutely fantastic.  I’m particularly excited for new Casanova, Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Bitch Planet, and cool sounding books from some of my favourite teams like Gillen/McKelvie, Brubaker/Phillips, and Snyder/Jock.  These should be some enjoyable books.

However, as I followed the announcements on Twitter today, the vast majority of people I saw up on the stage at the Image Expo were white men.  Image has a reputation as a forward thinking, groundbreaking company, and they certainly are that in terms of content, but in terms of creators it seems to be a lot of the same old.  I understand that they get most of their big creators from the Big Two, and that the Big Two is a bastion of white men, but it’s a bit disappointing to see the same lack of women we see everywhere else from a publisher that is supposed to be the different, alternative company.  Let’s quickly go through the books:

  • The Fade Out by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips.
  • Airboy by James Robinson and Greg Hinkle.
  • Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine de Landro.
  • C.O.W.L. by Kyle Higgins, Alec Siegel, and Rod Reis.
  • Casanova by Matt Fraction, Gabriel Ba, and Fabio Moon, with backup stories by Michael Chabon.
  • 8House, a series of minis spearheaded by Brandon Graham. The other collaborators are purported to be numerous, but the only names I have so far are Marian Churchland and Emma Rios.
  • Low by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini.
  • Nailbiter by Joshua Williamson and Mike Henderson.
  • Nameless by Grant Morrison and Chris Burnham.
  • Change by Nick Spencer and Morgan Jeske.
  • Paradigms by Nick Spencer and Butch Guice.
  • Cerulean by Nick Spencer and Frazier Irving.
  • Restoration by Bill Willingham and Barry Kitson.
  • Shutter by Joe Keatinge and Leila Del Duca.
  • Tech Jacket by Joe Keatinge and Khary Randolph.
  • The Wicked and the Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie.
  • Wytches by Scott Snyder and Jock.

All together, there are 38 credited creators on these books, 34 men and 4 women, meaning that the overall percentage of female creators is 10.5%.

This is a small number.  It’s not a terrible number relative to what we usually see at the Big Two, but it’s not a great one.  For example, DC had 10.7% female writers in October (the latest month of full stats that are up now).  It’s great to see a new book from Kelly Sue DeConnick and artwork from Leila Del Duca, and I’m excited to see how Emma Rios and Marian Churchland are involved in 8House, but 4 women across 17 new titles is some disappointingly typical representation.

There’s also a lot of white folks.  Of the creators I recognize (which is most of them), I think that only 2 are black, Valentine de Landro and Khary Randolph.  A handful are Brazilian, so there are a few Hispanic folks there.  But the vast majority are white.  We’re used to seeing this at the Big Two as well; any time I do stats by ethnicity for Bleeding Cool, it’s sea of white people.  I’ve done it two years running, and the totals are always just below 80% white.  I get that Image is drawing from the pool of available talent, but there are places to look other than DC and Marvel.  Places that hire women and people of colour.  They’re out there.

So, the books look great.  Really great, actually.  I’m very excited for a lot of these titles, and Image appears to be continuing a fantastic track record of high quality books.  I buy a lot of Image comics now, and I’m definitely going to be buying even more soon.  But this continued perpetuation of the white male hegemony is getting old.  We expect it from the Big Two; they’re all corporate and whatnot.  But Image, free of these restraints and the old ways of doing things, can be different and they’re not.  And that’s disappointing.

EDITED TO ADD: Fred Van Lente kindly informed me that another titles, Howtoons: (Re)Ignition, an educational book for kids, was also announced at the Expo.  It’s written by Van Lente, with art by Tom Fowler and colours by Jordie Bellaire.  It wasn’t listed on the Image website list, which was the basis of my list.  That brings the numbers to 36 men and 5 women, or 12.2% female creators.  That’s a better number, but still not great; 5 female creators over 18 books remains rather paltry.  Also, all three creators are white.

%d bloggers like this: