Posts Tagged ‘Marvel Comics’

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, October 2017 Solicits: 20 Creators on 21 Books

August 22, 2017

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The numbers aren’t looking great for female and non-binary creators scheduled to work on Marvel’s comics in October. After setting a record high in March of this year, the publisher’s numbers crashed precipitously in April and have been crawling up again bit by bit since then. Until now. The October solicits are a massive step down for representation at Marvel that takes them to their lowest total of female and non-binary creators in over a year and half. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this October:

  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #17 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #7 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Falcon #1 (variant cover), Venomverse #5 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #4 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #25 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #23 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #8 (writer)
  • Irene Strychalski: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #21 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: America #8 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Black Panther #166 (variant cover)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #12 (cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #11 (writer), Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #3 (writer), Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #4 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #125 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #11 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #24 (interior art, cover)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #21 (cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #2 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #4 (interior art, cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Inhumans: Once and Future Kings #3 (variant cover), Mighty Thor #700 (variant cover)
  • Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble 2 #3 (writer, interior art)

All together, there are 20 different female creators set to work on 21 different comics books at Marvel this October, 8 fewer creators than in the September solicits and 5 fewer books. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in the October solicits. A drop of more than a quarter of the publisher’s female writers and artists in just one month is a huge step down, and one that stems not from one big change but a sequence of smaller ones. With so few women to start with, a few creative shifts here and there, a book or two wrapping up, and a couple less variant cover gigs can add up pretty quick, and that looks like what is happening here. Ultimately, it’s resulted in Marvel’s lowest total since February 2016.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given this big drop, there aren’t any new female or non-binary creators in the mix for October. Everyone involved is someone we’ve seen recently, if not last month than a couple of months back. Jenny Frison may be new-ish, I suppose; she’s been a mainstay at DC lately with her Wonder Woman variants and it’s been a little while since we’ve seen her at Marvel. Regardless, a drop in numbers without a concurrent increase in new creators is not a great recipe for representation at a publisher, as these solicits demonstrate.

On the female character front, as Marvel’s “Legacy” continues to unfold this fall, there aren’t any new books with female leads either. A few existing books are continuing with new numbering, but in terms of brand new titles, there are just a handful and they’re all led by dudes. It does look like there’s a lady in the new Spirits of Vengeance book at least, some gal in a ridiculous red outfit with white hair and horns. Apart from that, the fellows are the focus this month.

Overall, October looks to be quite a poor month for female and non-binary creator representation at Marvel. Such a massive drop is disconcerting, especially in the middle of a major publishing event that’s bringing in lots of new creative teams. It’s never a good look when there’s a relaunch/reboot and you have fewer women in the mix, and that’s exactly what’s happening here. Perhaps November will increase the numbers with some more creators on some new books, but Marvel’s certainly dug themselves into a deep hole with this showing.

 

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Women in Comics Statistics, DC and Marvel: May 2017 in Review

August 2, 2017

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My latest “Gendercrunching” column went up last week over at Bleeding Cool, and it featured the usual DC and Marvel fun plus visits to Dynamite, Boom, Titan, and Valiant.

The Big Two continued to struggle with female creator representation, and posted their lowest combined overall percentage of female creators over the past year in May. DC ticked up slightly to 15.1% female creators, a gain that still left them with their second lowest total over the past twelve months. Marvel dropped to 15.9% female creators, their lowest total in six months.

We also concluded our biannual tour of other direct market publishers, and it was a mixed bag. Dynamite slid down to a paltry 6.2% female creators, Boom remained a bastion of female representation at 39%, Titan ticked down slightly to a relatively strong 20.4%, and Valiant rose to 14.3%. All told, our larger tour over the past two months featured more losses than gains, and combined with low showings at DC and Marvel, female creator representation across the board in the direct market appears to have taken a bit of a dip as of late.

Head on over the Bleeding Cool for the full stats and all of the “Gendercrunching” fun!

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, September 2017 Solicits: 28 Creators on 26 Books

July 27, 2017

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After setting record highs in March, Marvel’s number of female and non-binary creators has been comparatively poor ever since. The September solicits show a slight improvement in representation, a jump that still leaves Marvel well off of their past highs but nonetheless marks their highest total in some time. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in September 2017:

  • Amy Reeder: Marvel Legacy #1 (variant cover)
  • Annapaola Martello: Venomverse: War Stories #1 (interior art)
  • Annie Wu: America #7 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #16 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #6 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Venomverse #1 (variant cover), Venomverse #2 (variant cover), Venomverse #3 (variant cover), Venomverse #4 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #24 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Generations: Captain Marvel & Ms. Marvel #1 (writer), Ms. Marvel #22 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #7 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #20 (interior art, cover)
  • Jen Bartel: America #7 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: Black Panther #18 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #6 (writer)
  • Joyce Chin: Black Panther #18 (variant cover)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #12 (cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #10 (writer), Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #1 (writer), Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #2 (writer)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Venomverse: War Stories #1 (co-writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Generations: Captain Marvel & Captain Mar-Vell #1 (writer), The Mighty Captain Marvel #9 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #10 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: The Mighty Captain Marvel #9 (cover)
  • Ming Doyle: Spider-Man #20 (variant cover)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #23 (interior art, cover)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Journey to Star Wars: The Last Jedi – Captain Phasma #1 (variant cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #1 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #3 (interior art, cover)
  • Tana Ford: Venomverse: War Stories #1 (interior art)
  • Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble 2 #2 (writer, interior art)

All together, there are 28 different female/non-binary creators set to work on 26 different comics at Marvel in September, 3 more creators and 2 more books than in August. It’s not a huge jump, but given that Marvel has been languishing in the low to mid-20s for the past six months, the numbers increasing in any way is a positive sign. The longevity of these gains may be questionable, though; these numbers are buoyed by a lot of one shot issues and onetime gigs like variant covers which likely won’t be around next month.

A quick note on terminology: DC had a non-binary creator in September so we changed the title of the feature to be more inclusive. We’re doing the same with the Marvel watch. To the best of my knowledge, there aren’t any non-binary creators at Marvel this month, but broadening the scope shows that they will be counted when they do appear in the solicits.

While we’ve got a lot of returning favourites scheduled for September, including some creators that we haven’t seen in a few months, the only creator who’s brand new to Marvel is Rainbow Rowell, and acclaimed novelist who is relaunching Runaways. She’s a pretty big get for Marvel, and it’ll be interesting to see how the new book goes over, especially single issues in the direct market versus the eventual collections of her run.

In terms of female characters, Runaways looks to be a solid showcase for women, plus it could have a gender fluid character in Xavin, should they return. The “Generations” one shots continue to be a strong showcase for female characters as well; Ironheart appears in one, Ms. Marvel in another, and Captain Marvel shows up in two of them. The Venomverse: War Stories special also features stories starring Gwenpool and Wolverine. AND we’ve got a new Star Wars series with a female lead, with Captain Phasma taking center stage in her own solo book.

All together, September looks to be a relatively decent month for representation at Marvel. The numbers remain well below their recent highs, but they’re trending in an upward direction. After posting their highest total in several months, it will be interesting to see if Marvel can sustain or grow those numbers in October.

Women in Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, April 2017 In Review

July 5, 2017

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My latest “Gendercrunching” column went up a little while back at Bleeding Cool, and it really wasn’t the best month for female representation across the board.

DC’s overall percentage of female creators fell for the sixth straight month to land at 14.3%, their lowest total over the past year by a sizeable margin. Marvel ticked down in April as well with 16.8% female creators, a fairly middle of the road total for the publisher.

We also began our biannual visit to other direct market publishers and looked at the numbers for Image, Dark Horse, and IDW. Image’s overall percentage of female creators was down from our last visit in the fall, coming in at a rather humdrum 16.3%. Dark Horse was up, posting 19.3% female creators, the highest total of all five publishers we visited this month. IDW slipped down, however, landing at 16.2% female creators overall. All of the drops in April, from the Big Two on down, were quite noticeable changes; a shift of less than a percentage point is commonplace, but 4 of the 5 publishers fell in the ballpark of 2%. With everyone in the teens to start with, these were significant loses.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the “Gendercrunching” stats and analysis!

Women in Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, March 2017 in Review

June 6, 2017

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My latest “Gendercrunching” column went up at Bleeding Cool a little while back, and March 2017 was an interesting month that solidified some recent trends we’ve been seeing in female representation at both DC and Marvel.

DC’s overall percentage of female creators fell slightly to 16%, marking their fifth straight drop and their lowest total in a year. Marvel rose to 18.5% female creators overall, bringing them to their highest total in nearly a year. Things are heading in opposite directions at the Big Two right now.

We also took a look at the Eisner Award nominees, and while female representation across all of the categories is down from 27.5% in 2016 to 24.7% in 2017, this year’s total is still considerably higher than every year before 2016. It’s a small step down, but women are well represented across all of the categories and are a strong presence in the nomination list, just at slightly lower levels than last year’s record breaking numbers.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for the full stats and analysis!

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – July 2017 Solicits, 24 Women on 22 Books

May 19, 2017

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Marvel has more female creators in their solicits for the second straight month, but by the smallest amount possible. They gained one with the last round, and are up one more with the July solicits, in what can only be called progress-ish. Especially since the numbers remain far, far below their recent highs; since posting 37 different female creators in their March solicits, Marvel has yet to break out of the low 20s. It’s not been a great run. So let’s see who’s doing what at Marvel in July:

  • Amy Chu: Secret Empire: Brave New World #4 (co-writer)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #14 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #4 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Captain America: Sam Wilson #24 (cover), The Mighty Captain Marvel #7 (cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: The Unstoppable Wasp #7 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #22 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #20 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #5 (co-writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #18 (interior art, cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Edge of Venomverse #2 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: America #5 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #4 (writer)
  • June Brigman: Jean Grey #4 (variant cover)
  • Kamome Kamiyama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #9 (cover), Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #10 (cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: America #5 (co-writer), Hawkeye #8 (writer)
  • Magdalene Visaggio: Secret Empire: Brave New World #3 (co-writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #7 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #8 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #21 (interior art, cover)
  • Paulina Ganucheau: Star Wars: Poe Dameron #17 (variant cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #1 (cover, interior art)
  • Veronica Fish: The Unstoppable Wasp #7 (interior art)
  • Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble #4 (writer, interior art)

All together, there are 24 different female creators scheduled to work on 22 different books in July, 1 more woman than in June but 4 fewer books. The decline in books in unfortunate; there aren’t a ton of women working at Marvel to begin with, and putting them on fewer titles is a double whammy against representation at the publisher. And the creator numbers are just flummoxing. Marvel was solidly in the 30s for some time just a few months back, and now they’re employing women at about 2/3 the rate they’ve shown they are capable of. It’s bizarre.

In terms of new names at Marvel, I think that Magdalene Visaggio is the only brand new entry set for July. She’ll be writing a story in Secret Empire: Brave New World #4, which could bode well for future work. Marvel often likes to start new folks on a shorter story as a test run to see if they might be a good fit for bigger gigs. We’ve also got the return of a few people who we haven’t seen a while, including Amy Chu, Irene Strychalski, and Veronica Fish.

There aren’t many new series set for July, but one new team book looks to have a decent female presence. The new Astonishing X-Men is set to star Mystique, Psylocke, and Rogue, alongside a bunch of dudes I’ve already forgotten. Everything else new is male-centric, including a double dose of Spider-Mans with Spider-Men II and yet another Deadpool mini-series.

All together, July looks to be yet another month of underperformance from Marvel. The publisher hasn’t had more than 24 different female creators in the mix since their record-setting March numbers, and few new permanent gigs for women have been added since then. Marvel’s capable of much higher numbers than they’ve been posting as of late, and it might be a little while until things change. Perhaps post-Secret Empire we’ll get a new run of books with some new names in the mix, but for now things are flat.

Women in Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, February 2017 in Review

May 4, 2017

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My latest “Gendercrunching” article went up earlier this week on Bleeding Cool, and February was an interesting month in terms of shifting trends at both DC and Marvel.

After setting record highs in the fall, DC has remained in the ballpark of those highs since, but their overall percentage of female creators tumbled down to 16.3% in February, their lowest total in nearly a year. Marvel’s been rather up and down lately, and well off their past highs, but they ticked up to 17.1% female creators overall, marking the first time in several months that they’ve topped DC. Moreover, while their recent data is a bit all over the map, the overall trend for the past few month appears to have them moving upward in terms of representation.

We also took a look at who is writing who at DC and Marvel, following up on a piece we did last year that found while men write male and female characters proportionally to the publisher’s line as a whole, women were predominantly writing female characters. Not much has changed in the year since; in fact, this trend is even more pronounced. Women writers worked on books with a female lead 85% of the time in February, up 15% from last year, while at Marvel women writers worked on books with a female lead 89% of the time, up 10% from last year. It’s a stark imbalance that shows that true representation remains far off. Female writers should be able to write everyone, just as male writers do.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the stats analysis fun and the full data!


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