Posts Tagged ‘Kamome Shirahama’

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, April 2019: 32 Creators on 31 Books

March 21, 2019

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Thus far, 2019 has been a strong year for female and non-binary creators at Marvel Comics. And the streak goes back further than that, too. Marvel came out of the summer with some solid gains and by November they were pretty near the level they remain at today. That’s six months of decent representation now. Are there still WAY more dudes? Of course. It’s superhero comics. Change is slow. But this kind of consistency is rare, and encouraging to see. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this April:

  • Alti Firmansyah: The Unstoppable Wasp #6 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Captain Marvel #4 (cover), War of the Realms #1 (variant cover)
  • Amy Reeder: Ironheart #5 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #1 (cover), X-23 #11 (cover)
  • Audrey Mok: Marvel Rising #2 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Captain Marvel #4 (interior art)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #43 (cover)
  • Eve L. Ewing: Ironheart #5 (writer), Marvel Team-Up #1 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Hotshots #2 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Star Wars: Age of Rebellion Special #1 (variant cover)
  • Jen Soska: Black Widow #4 (co-writer)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Tie Fighter #1 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Hotshots #2 (variant cover)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Age of Conan: Belit, Queen of the Black Coast #2 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: Captain Marvel #4 (writer), Mr. and Mrs. X #10 (writer), West Coast Avengers #10 (writer)
  • Kirbi Fagan: Shuri #7 (cover)
  • Leah Williams: Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #3 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #11 (writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #3 (cover)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #42 (cover)
  • Nilah Magruder: Marvel Rising #2 (writer)
  • Rachel Dodson: Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Grand Moff Tarkin #1 (cover), Star Wars: Age of Rebellion – Princess Leia #1 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #20 (writer)
  • Rebekah Isaacs: Age of Conan: Belit, Queen of the Black Coast #2 (variant cover)
  • Sana Takeda: Age of Conan: Belit, Queen of the Black Coast #2 (cover), War of the Realms #1 (variant cover)
  • Savanna Ganucheau: Marvel Rising #2 (varaint cover)
  • Seanan McGuire: Age of X-Man: The Amazing Nightcrawler #3 (writer), Spider-Gwen: Ghost-Spider #7 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: The Unstoppable Wasp #6 (cover)
  • Sylvia Soska: Black Widow #4 (co-writer)
  • Tini Howard: Age of Conan: Belit, Queen of the Black Coast #2 (writer), Thanos #1 (writer)
  • Vita Ayala: Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #2 (writer), Shuri #7 (writer)
  • Yasmime Putri: Avengers: No Road Home #8 (cover), Avengers: No Road Home #9 (cover), Avengers: No Road Home #10 (cover), Star Wars: Vader – Dark Visions #2 (variant cover), Uncanny X-Men #16 (variant cover)

That is a lot of names to spell correctly and books to italicize! All together there are 32 different female and non-binary creators set to work on 31 different books this April, the same number of creators as in March across four more titles. I’m not used to seeing steady numbers from Marvel in any form, much less at a relatively high level. This year has been solid for the publisher so far.

Also, we’re introducing a new element to these posts, where we look at the number of titles being released. DC’s trimmed back their line noticeably, and so an apples to apples comparison doesn’t really work so well anymore. This April, Marvel has 79 new books on their schedule, which means there are female and/or non-binary creators working on 39% of their titles. We’ll use that as a baseline for comparisons moving forward.

In terms of new names, April looks to be pretty quiet. For as far back as I’ve been keeping track, we’ve not seen Rebekah Isaacs at Marvel before. She’s got a variant cover on the new Age of Conan: Belit, Queen of the Black Coast spinoff. Savanna Ganucheau looks to be new as well, with another variant, this time on Marvel Rising. The rest of the list are regulars, I think.

It’s also a low key month for new female-led titles at the publisher, which is unfortunate because there certainly are a lot of new books. War of the Realms is kicking off, with all sorts of tie-in mini-series and the like. Few have any female or non-binary creators in the mix, and while there are a handful of female characters in a couple of the team books, it all looks a bit dude forward. I miss Lady Thor. Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is going to tie into the event, so there’s that, I suppose. And Ms. Marvel is starring alongside Spider-Man in a new Marvel Team-Up.

Overall, the numbers are steady at Marvel and female and non-binary creator representation is holding relatively strong. There remains, as always, a lot of room to grow, but this has been a decent streak for Marvel. I’m curious to see if they can keep it up or even hit higher levels in the months to come.

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Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, January 2019 Solicits: 20 Creators on 14 Books

November 26, 2018

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So remember how we adjusted the numbers for DC’s December solicits? The last Wednesday in December is Boxing Day, and DC’s not shipping any books that week. Instead, because January is a five-Wednesday month, they moved all those books to the first Wednesday in January. Thus, when we looked at the December solicits, we added in that January week to get a more accurate view of the numbers. Now it’s time for the January solicits, so we’re going to subtract that first week. Easy peasy, right?

This leaves us with the last four weeks in January, which is a full cycle of DC’s publication schedule. All of the books will come out at their regular rate in that span. The only trouble is, it seems DC forgot to hire female and non-binary creators to work on them. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what this January:

  • Agnes Garbowska: Teen Titans Go! #32 (interior art)
  • Amanda Conner: Old Lady Harley #4 (cover)
  • Amanda Deibert: Teen Titans Go! #32 (co-writer)
  • Aneke: House of Whispers #5 (interior art)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Dreaming #5 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Mysteries of Love in Space #1 (co-writer)
  • Elena Casagrande: Catwoman #7 (interior art), Mysteries of Love in Space #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Wonder Woman #63 (interior art)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Wonder Woman #62 (writer), Wonder Woman #63 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Catwoman #7 (writer, interior art, cover), Mysteries of Love in Space #1 (cover)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Wonder Woman #63 (variant cover)
  • Kat Howard: Books of Magic #4 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Aquaman #44 (writer)
  • Mairghread Scott: Batgirl #31 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: The Wild Storm #19 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Hex Wives #4 (interior art)
  • Nalo Hopkinson: House of Whispers #5 (writer)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Hex Wives #4 (cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Wonder Woman #62 (cover), Wonder Woman #63 (cover)
  • Zoe Quinn: Goddess Mode #2 (writer)

All together, there are 20 different female creators set to work on 14 different books at DC in January, 4 fewer creators than in the December adjusted numbers and a whopping 9 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. And let me re-iterate: This is the same slate of books as our adjusted December numbers. We’ve not lost titles by moving the first week of January back with the December post. Both are four week cycles of DC’s entire line. January just sort of sucks. It looked like the December numbers were a step in the right direction after a subpar autumn for the publisher, but January has DC’s female and non-binary representation on the decline again.

Reading through the solicits was an odd experience, in that so many familiar names were gone. Yasmine Putri usually does a slew of variant covers, but this month there were none. Jenny Frison’s been doing Wonder Woman variant covers for ages, but she’s wrapped up that gig. Julie and Shawna Benson have been writing one book or another at DC for a couple of years now, but they’ve been taken off Green Arrow. So several of our regulars are gone, without much in the way of new names to replace them. We’ve got a few returning favourites; I feel like it’s been a little while since we’ve seen Amanda Deibert, Elena Casagrande, or Marley Zarcone. But there’s no one brand new, nor any real commensurate rise in female or non-binary creators to make up for the losses.

In terms of fictional women, Brian Michael Bendis’ new “Wonder Comics” imprint is rolling out some titles in January that feature a few gals. Wonder Girl and Amethyst are in Young Justice, while Naomi stars an all new female lead. Unfortunately, there are no female or non-binary creators attached to ANY of the “Wonder Comics” books at this point, which is just embarrassing. There are several books, all written and drawn by dudes. Come on now. Elsewhere this month, the only new book with female characters in the mix is the Mysteries of Love in Space special, which has stories starring Hawkgirl and Crush, i.e. Lobo’s daughter.

Overall, this is not a great start to the new year. The drop in creators is certainly noticeable, and the drop in representation across the line is massive. Falling from 23 books to 14 is a huge decline. And things like “Wonder Comics” aren’t helping matters either. How, in 2019, do you launch a brand new imprint with NO women or non-binary creators in the mix? It’s just ridiculous. Especially when the last imprint, “Young Animal,” was a bastion of female creator representation. So yeah, the year’s not getting off on the best foot. Hopefully things will pick up from here.

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, 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, May 2018 Solicits: 15 Creators on 16 Books

March 8, 2018

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It’s International Women’s Day, which is perhaps not the best day to take a look at Marvel’s May solicits. The fact of the matter is, Marvel is garbage at hiring female and non-binary creators right now. While the women currently working at Marvel are amazing talents making some great books, they are few and far between. And they have been for a while. What’s more, the announcements surrounding Marvel’s umpteenth relaunch that’s coming this summer have been ridiculously male-dominated thus far. The publisher has a problem. So let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this May:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #20 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #195 (cover)
  • Elizabeth Torque: All-New Wolverine #35 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #32 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #30 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #2 (writer)
  • Jen Bartel: Mighty Thor: At The Gates Of Valhalla #1 (interior art)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #19 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #4 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Adaptation #2 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Rogue & Gambit #5 (writer), X-Men Wedding Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Marika Cresta: X-Men Wedding Special #1 (interior art)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #1 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #31 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #9 (writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: Black Panther #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 15 different female creators set to work on 16 different books at Marvel in May, 2 fewer creators than in April and the same number of books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled for Marvel’s May comics. This marks the third straight month of numbers in the teens for the publisher, a run that is, quite frankly, beyond embarrassing. Not only has Marvel shown themselves to be capable of posting totals of more than twice this amount in the past, the ranks of excellent female and non-binary creators have never been larger. There are so many in the mix these days, a publisher pretty much has to go out of their way NOT to hire them. And Marvel appears to be doing just that.

This disinterest in female creators looks like it’s going to continue into the future as well. Marvel is in the midst of unveiling their new lineup for their latest relaunch; it’s got a name, but I don’t care enough to go look it up. They’ve announced over a dozen new books so far, and only ONE has a female creator in the mix, with Margaret Stohl relaunching Captain Marvel. And here’s the kicker: It’s a mini-series. The majority of the other books are ongoing titles. So barring a sudden influx of female-led titles, I wouldn’t expect Marvel’s numbers to improve in the months to come.

There also seems to be a distinct disinterest in titles headlined by female characters, both this month and moving forward. Usually when I do the cover montage at the top, I have tons of great female characters to choose from and I get to pick the art that I like the best. This month was slim pickings. I had to go through the solicits twice to find the seven covers above.

Some new books are starting in May, too, and they are all male-led. We’ve got new solo titles for Black Panther, Quicksilver, and Venom, along with a round of mini-series centered on Wolverine. The dude Wolverine, I should say, not the new, awesome lady Wolverine who is much, much, much cooler. There’s a new Avengers book as well, and only 2 of the 8 characters on the team are women, with Captain Marvel and She-Hulk in the mix.

And just to continue the disappointing news run, of all of the relaunch titles announced so far, there are one and a half books with titular female characters. We’ve got the aforementioned Captain Marvel mini, and the Wasp sharing a new series with Ant-Man.

So yeah, Marvel’s got a definite problem with women right now. Their female and non-binary creator numbers are in the midst of the lowest run we’ve seen in years, and it doesn’t look like that’s going to improve anytime soon. Their female characters are on the decline as well, again with no change in sight. It feels like Marvel is intentionally appealing to conservative fanboys now, that irksome group who blasted the company for diversifying their line and making everyone a “social justice warrior.” And that’s just gross. Marvel needs to get it together before they embarrass themselves even further. Will they? Probably not. But we can hope.

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

March 6, 2018

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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

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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.


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