Posts Tagged ‘Louise Simonson’

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

February 6, 2018

womenatdcAPRIL

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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Women At DC Comics Watch – May 2015 Solicits: 26 Different Female Creators On 25 Different Books

February 23, 2015

womenatdcMAY

As the second and final month of “Convergence” wraps up, DC Comics’ female representation ticks down somewhat from the numbers in the April solicits to their second lowest total of the year thus far. Nonetheless, it’s still far better than where they were at any point in 2014, or several years previous. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics in May 2015:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Convergence: Batgirl #2 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Convergence #6 (variant cover), Convergence #7 (variant cover), Convergence: Action Comics #2 (cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Convergence: Superboy #2 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Convergence: Aquaman #2 (cover), The Kitchen #7 (cover)
  • Caitlin Kittredge: Coffin Hill #18 (writer)
  • Celia Calle: The Names #9 (cover)
  • Chrissie Zullo: Fables: The Wolf Amoung Us #5 (cover)
  • Christy Marx: Convergence: Green Arrow #2 (writer)
  • Claire Wendling: Convergence: Catwoman #2 (cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Convergence: Titans #2 (cover)
  • Gail Simone: Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle #2 (writer)
  • Jan Duursema: Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle #2 (penciller)
  • Jill Thompson: Convergence #8 (variant cover), Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle #2 (cover)
  • June Brigman: Convergence: Superman – The Man of Steel #2 (penciller)
  • Kai Wu: The Flash Season Zero #8 (co-writer)
  • Keto Shimizu: Arrow Season 2.5 #8 (writer)
  • Lauren Ceto: The Flash Season Zero #8 (co-writer)
  • Louise Simonson: Convergence: Superman – The Man of Steel #2 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Hinterkind #18 (cover)
  • Marley Zarcone: Effigy #5 (interior art)
  • Ming Doyle: The Kitchen #7 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Convergence: New Teen Titans #2 (art and cover)
  • Pia Guerra: Convergence: Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #2 (cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Convergence #5 (inker)
  • Sara Ryan: Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #10 (writer)
  • Yishan Li: Convergence: Blue Beetle #2 (interior art)

All together, there are 26 different female creators scheduled to work on 25 different books, a drop from April’s 32 female creators but the same number of series. A big part of this drop was that the Vertigo quarterly special pumped up the April numbers, so without it the May numbers fell off a bit. Vertigo’s also got Strange Sports Stories #3 coming out, and while the second issue had two female creators listed last month, this month the only credits are “Various.” So things are about the same for the regular books.

Of course, all of these regular books will be gone next month, when “Convergence” ends and DC returns to its regular titles. June should be very interesting, seeing as DC is debuting 24 new series with some new creators in the mix. While several of the women who worked on “Convergence” probably won’t be back at DC in June, it looks like there are a lot of ladies set to take their place. I’m curious to see if DC can top their record total yet again; that would certainly be a good way to kick off a bold new direction for the publisher.

There’s not much new for female characters in May, seeing as it’s just more “Convergence”. The crossovers are starting to expand, though, so female characters from random universes will probably be showing up haphazardly across the line. I counted 5 or 6 different Wonder Womans in various titles, and she’s only headlining one book.

Overall, May isn’t a record breaking month for DC, but it’s a solid showing. I remain pleased to see so many women involved in an event like this; past events at DC, like their regular September stunts, usually result in a big drop for female creators, so it’s great that there are so many in the mix for “Convergence”. June’s going to be a whole new ball game, and I’m cautiously optimistic that DC will be up in the 30s again to launch their new direction.

Women At DC Comics Watch – April 2015 Solicits: 32 Different Female Creators On 25 Different Comics

January 27, 2015

womenatdcAPRIL

DC’s 2015 solicits have been quite good for female creators thus far, but I’ve been worried about April. With the regular New 52 books replaced by “Convergence” event titles, a lot of regular creators would be gone and DC generally doesn’t have the best track record for bringing in female characters on event books. But it turns out that there was no need to worry. The April solicits have lots of female creators, including some new names and almost a stealth cover event with several ladies drawing “Convergence” covers. Here is who’s doing what at DC Comics in April 2015:

  • Alisa Kwitney: Convergence: Batgirl #1 (writer)
  • Amanda Conner: Convergence: Action Comics #1 (cover)
  • Amy Chu: Strange Sports Stories #2 (writer)
  • Babs Tarr: Convergence: Superboy #1 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Convergence: Aquaman #1 (cover), The Kitchen #6 (cover)
  • Caitlin Kittredge: Coffin Hill #17 (writer)
  • Celia Calle: The Names #8 (cover), Vertigo Quarterly: SFX #1 (art)
  • Chrissie Zullo: Fables: The Wolf Among Us #4 (cover)
  • Christy Marx: Convergence: Green Arrow #1 (writer)
  • Claire Wendling: Convergence: Catwoman #1 (cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Convergence: Titans #1 (cover)
  • Erica Schultz: Vertigo Quarterly: SFX #1 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle #1 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Vertigo Quarterly: SFX #1 (writer, art)
  • Jan Duursema: Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle #1 (art)
  • Jill Thompson: Convergence: Nightwing/Oracle #1 (cover)
  • June Brigman: Convergence: Superman – The Man of Steel #1 (art)
  • Kai Wu: The Flash Season Zero #7 (co-writer)
  • Keto Shimizu: Arrow Season 2.5 #7 (co-writer)
  • Lauren Beukes: Sensation Comics featuring Wonder Woman #9 (writer)
  • Lauren Certo: The Flash Season Zero #7 (co-writer)
  • Lauren Petty: Vertigo Quarterly: SFX #1 (writer)
  • Laurie Penny: Vertigo Quarterly: SFX #1 (writer)
  • Louise Simonson: Convergence: Superman – The Man of Steel #1 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Hinterkind #17 (cover), Wolf Moon #5 (cover)
  • Marley Zarcone: Effigy #4 (art)
  • Ming Doyle: The Kitchen #6 (art)
  • Nicola Scott: Convergence: New Teen Titans #1 (art, cover), Wonder Woman ’77 Special #1 (cover)
  • Pia Guerra: Convergence: Superboy and the Legion of Super-Heroes #1 (cover)
  • Robin Furth: Vertigo Quarterly: SFX #1 (writer)
  • Tana Ford: Strange Sports Stories #2 (art)
  • Yishan Li: Convergence: Blue Beetle #1 (art)

All together, there are 32 different women set to work on 25 different books in April. That’s 9 more female creators than in March, though one less book, but it looks like DC isn’t putting out as many books this month as last so having women on fewer books is to be expected. Plus, 32 different female creators breaks DC’s record yet again. DC’s broken their record three times already with their 2015 solicits, and we’ve only had four months of them! So that’s ridiculously good.

We’ve also got a lot of new names this month, especially throughout the “Convergence” titles. It’s great to see so many first time DC creators getting a shot during this event, as well as many of the usual crowd and some returning favourites. It’s a solid mix of new, current, and classic female creators.

In terms of new books, there’s a ton of them on account of “Convergence.” Like forty of them. There’s also a number of female characters in the mix, including much missed characters like Stephanie Brown as Batgirl and Renee Montoya as the Question. If you’ve got a favourite female character at DC, chances are she’s in at least one of the books. There’s definitely a lot to choose from.

Overall, April’s got female creators across the board, from “Convergence” to digital first titles to Vertigo, adding up to the highest number of different female creators that DC Comics has had since I started keeping track of them. They’re at 32 now, so hopefully they’ll hit 40 soon. Things are moving in the right direction and at a record setting pace, but there’s still lots of room to grow.

Women At Marvel Comics – November 2013 Solicits

August 21, 2013

womenatmarvelNOVEMBER

It was another very disappointing month for female creators in the Marvel solicits, made even worse by the fact that there was only one returning female creator from last month.  While the female character situation isn’t too bad, the lack of women making comics in these solicits is reaching some dire lows.  Let’s go through the November 2013 solicits:

  • Kelly Sue DeConnick is writing Avengers Assemble #21, and her usual Captain Marvel isn’t solicited, though it sounds like it will be back soon.
  • Louise Simonson is writing a story in the special one-shot X-Men: Gold #1, a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the X-Men.
  • Amanda Conner is doing the cover for Daredevil: Dark Nights #6 and Painkiller Jane: The Price of Freedom #1.
  • And that is it for female creators.
  • An Ultimate Universe event, Cataclysm, starts in November with four series.  Cataclysm: Ultimates #1 and Cataclysm: Ultimate X-Men #1 don’t feature any ladies on the cover, but I’m sure there’ll be a bunch in the books.  Cataclysm: The Ultimates’ Last Stand #1 is 3 of 8 for female characters on the cover, while Cataclysm: Ultimate Spider-Man #1 mentions Dagger and Spider-Woman in the solicit.
  • The solicit for X-Men: Gold #1 mentions Kitty Pryde and Rogue, and 2 of the 6 characters mentioned are women, while Kitty and Rogue show up again on the cover of the new mini Marvel Knights: X-Men #1 alongside Wolverine, making that book an impressive 2 of 3.
  • Jimmy Palmiotti, Juan Santacruz, and Sam Lofti are launching Painkiller Jane: The Price of Freedom #1, a mature series with a female lead.

Overall, 3 different female creators are on 4 different comics November, a reverse of October’s 4 different female creators on 3 books.  These are terrible numbers in back to back months, and September wasn’t all that good either.  I don’t know what’s up with this skid from what were some pretty solid numbers just a few months ago, but Marvel is down to ONE female creator with a regular gig right now and sporadic, rare appearances elsewhere.  I sincerely hope they’ve got some big plans coming up, because this is terrible.

On the bright side, female character representation remains decent.  It’s a good month for Kitty Pryde and Rogue, while a new series with a female lead is always nice to see.  We’ve lost a few female-led series over the past few months, but luckily new ones continue to come up.

Overall, Marvel is in the midst of a significant female creator problem.  They’re doing well with their female characters, but this lack of women creating comics has gotten beyond bad.  We’ve been looking at the Marvel solicits for a year now, so keep your eyes peeled for a post that charts how far Marvel’s fallen over the past twelve months.  It’s a frustrating situation, and one they really ought to take steps to remedy.

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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