Posts Tagged ‘Marvel Comics’

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch: January 2018 Solicits: 18 Creators on 18 Books

November 9, 2017

womenatmarvelJAN

With their last round of solicits, Marvel Comics closed out the year with only 19 different female creators writing and drawing their substantial line of comic books. And I wrote a column about it, in which I used words like “poor” and “ridiculous” and generally lambasted Marvel’s lack of effort in recruiting and maintaining female and non-binary talent. Rightly so, too. The number was just over half of Marvel’s record high of 37, posted less than a year ago. Now, with a new batch of solicits, Marvel’s dropped down to less than half of that record high. So let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel Comics this January. It won’t take long; it’s a short list:

  • Alitha E. Martinez: X-Men Gold Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #16 (cover)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #86 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: All-New Wolverine #29 (cover), Jean Grey #11 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #28 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #26 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #11 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #24 (interior art, cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #15 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Doctor Strange #384 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #14 (writer), Rogue & Gambit #1 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: X-Men Gold Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #128 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #161 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #27 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #5 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Phoenix Resurrection #3 (variant cover)

All together, there are 18 different female creators set to work on 18 different comic books at Marvel this January, 1 fewer creator than in December though 3 more books. As far as I can tell, no non-binary creators are scheduled to work at Marvel this January. A drop of 1 creator isn’t massive, but given how embarrassingly low Marvel’s numbers were last month, slipping down even further is not a good look. Maybe all this talk about “Legacy” with the publisher’s recent spate of renumbering and relaunches was about going back to the days when only men wrote and drew Marvel’s comic books? Is that the legacy they’re aiming to celebrate here? If so, they’re doing a heck of a job.

In terms of new female creators, we don’t have any. Shocking, I know. Everyone listed above is someone we’ve seen at Marvel before. We do have a couple of old pals we haven’t seen in a while though, with artist Alitha E. Martinez and writer Leah Williams. It’s nice to have past creators return. The only trouble is that they’re both back on an annual, i.e. a one-shot book, and that means that it’s unlikely we’ll see them again in February.

With female characters, we’ve got one new book I’m sure a lot of folks will be excited for: That classic pairing of Rogue & Gambit. Nice job putting Rogue first there, and it’s good to see her in the spotlight again, doubly so with the always excellent Kelly Thompson helming the book. Her Hawkeye has been a dang delight, and I’m expecting more of the same here. Also, Phoenix Resurrection is coming out weekly all through January, so get on that, Jean Grey fans. There’s only one female creator involved across all of these issues, though, with Stephanie Hans doing a variant cover, which is a downer given a) there’s so many issues, and b) there’s a female lead. Fun fact: Avengers is coming out weekly in January as well and there’s not a single female creator solicited on ANY of the issues.

Overall, Marvel still sucks at hiring women and non-binary creators. Like, a lot. Like, the editors should feel bad about themselves for doing such a terrible job at representation. Here’s some interesting news, though: Brian Michael Bendis, Marvel’s most prolific writer over the past two decades, is leaving for DC Comics, and that leaves a huge opportunity for Marvel to bring in some new voices and mix things up with their creator ranks, perhaps with some female and non-binary folks? We’ll see what happens. If their current output is any indication, don’t hold your breath. But you never know.

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

November 3, 2017

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My regular “Gendercrunching” column at Bleeding Cool has shifted to a new quarterly format, and the first installment is up now! It takes a closer look at female representation at DC and Marvel over the summer months, covering July, August, and September to see what the trends are heading into the fall.

All together, DC Comics’ average percentage of female creators over the summer barely changed from when we last saw them, rising just 0.1% to 15.4% overall. Their monthly numbers were up and down, including the publisher’s lowest total for the entire year in August. By category, female representation is trending down on the creative side of the chart, while there is growth in both editorial categories. The ups and downs cancelled each other out over the course of the summer, leading to little change overall.

Marvel’s average percentage of female creators this summer rose 0.3% to 16% overall, a very slight gain. By category, almost everything looks like it’s trending upward, but the numbers are deceptive. Everything is growing, yes, but that’s largely because the July numbers were generally terrible and so everything that followed looked good in comparison. After an average August, September did go well for Marvel and it will be interesting to see what happens this fall. But all together, the publisher’s female representation is barely marginally better than it was last June.

Head over to Bleeding Cool for the full stats and analysis, and all of the fun charts!

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, December 2017 Solicits: 19 Creators on 15 Books

October 23, 2017

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Marvel’s female and non-binary creator representation has been generally poor lately, languishing in the low to mid-20s ever since their record setting totals last March. In that month, the publisher had 37 different female creators working across their line and now, nine months later, that number has been nearly halved. Marvel Legacy has brought a lot of creative shifts this autumn, and female and non-binary creators do not appear to play a huge role in this latest round of relaunches. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this December:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #15 (cover)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #85 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Champions #15 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #25 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #10 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #23 (cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #23 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: All-New Wolverine #28 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #14 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #13 (writer)
  • Laura Allred: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 (variant cover)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #27 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #160 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #26 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #4 (writer)
  • Veronica Fish: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #27 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Spider-Gwen #27 (variant cover)

All together there are 19 different female creators scheduled to work on 15 different comic books at Marvel this December, 5 fewer creators than in November and 7 fewer books. As best I can tell, there are no non-binary creators set to work at Marvel this month. Obviously, these drops are significant. The number of women making comics at Marvel has dropped nearly a quarter in just one month, and the books they are on are down nearly a third. Moreover, 19 female creators is the lowest number Marvel’s posted in 22 months.

Perhaps unsurprisingly given these low numbers, there are no new female creators listed in the December solicits. We’ve got an excellent assortment of returning favourites, albeit a bit of a short list, but no new names. Marvel Legacy has not been great for new female talent, either up and comers or established creators new to the publisher. There just doesn’t appear to be much of an effort at Marvel right now to expand their ranks.

Speaking of Marvel Legacy, four female-led books will make their official transition into the relaunch-ish whatever this is in December. Generation X, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl will now be properly Marvel Legacy, with all of the requisite accompanying trade dress or whatever they’re doing, though Generation X is the only book whose numbering will change. December also marks the beginning of Phoenix Resurrection, with yet another return of Jean Grey. This has been done before, several times, but it’s still nice to see a female character at the forefront of a big, new event-like thing.

Overall, December looks to be a very low showing for female and non-binary creators at Marvel. The numbers are the lowest they’ve been in nearly two years, and chances are that this may continue for a while: Marvel Legacy seems about set now, with all of the major creative changes in place. This could be the publisher’s core line up for the next several months, and women and non-binary creators just aren’t much of a part of it. With so many amazing creators out there to pursue, it’s frankly ridiculous that Marvel’s numbers are so low. They are capable of so much higher numbers. Twice as high, in fact. They set that record, just nine months ago. But it’s been downhill ever since.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, November 2017 Solicits: 24 Creators on 22 Books

October 12, 2017

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Marvel’s been very up and down with their female and non-binary creator representation over the past several months, but after the October solicits marked the publisher’s lowest numbers for the year thus far, the November solicits saw a solid gain. While Marvel still remains well off their previous highs, a sizeable jump is a welcome sight. The question now is, can they maintain or even increase the numbers moving forward? Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this November:

  • Annapaola Martello: Marvel’s Black Panther Prelude #2 (interior art)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #14 (cover), Star Wars: Poe Dameron #21 (variant cover)
  • Carla Speed McNeil: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 (interior art)
  • Christa Faust: Silver Sable and the Wild Pack #36 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #8 (writer), Generation X #9 (writer)
  • Devin Grayson: Power Pack #63 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Daredevil #595 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #26 (co-writer, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #24 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #9 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #22 (cover), Not Brand Echh #14 (interior art)
  • Irene Strychalski: Gwenpool, The Unbelievable #22 (interior art)
  • Jenny Frison: Black Panther #167 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #13 (writer)
  • June Brigman: Power Pack #63 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #12 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: Captain Marvel #126 (writer)
  • Marika Cresta: Power Pack #63 (interior art)
  • Mariko Tamaki: She-Hulk #159 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #25 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #3 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: Master of Kung Fu #126 (variant cover)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #5 (interior art, cover)

All together, there are 24 different female creators set to work on 22 different books at Marvel this November, 4 more creators and 1 more book than in October (as far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators scheduled to work at Marvel in November). This is a large jump; essentially, Marvel’s got 20% more women writing and drawing their comics than they did last month, and that’s a considerable gain. At the same time, though, the October numbers were abnormally low and a rebound was to be expected. And, as always lately, Marvel remains far behind their previous highs; there were 37 women working at Marvel just eight months ago.

There are several new names and returning favourites in the mix this month, including a new cover artist for the Star Wars line in Ashley Witter, a new writer in Christa Faust on Silver Sable and the Wild Pack, and a new artist in Marika Cresta on Power Pack. The latter issue also marks the return of Devin Grayson, who we haven’t seen at the Big Two in a little while.

The only trouble is, Silver Sable and the Wild Pack and Power Pack are both one-shot specials, and so the four different women who worked on both of those books probably won’t be back at Marvel next month. Seeing as the solicits as a whole only jumped by four women, it looks like that gain will be washed out straight away in December. In terms of new female characters, both of those books are short-lived, and She-Hulk is the only title with a female lead that’s taking on the Marvel Legacy renumbering and hype in November. Meanwhile, at least seven different books with male leads are set to jump into Marvel Legacy and, perhaps unsurprisingly, none of them feature female creators either apart from a variant cover or two.

Overall, it’s good to see Marvel rebound somewhat after the lows they hit in October, but it appears that the rebound isn’t going to last. One-shots are fun and all, and an excellent foot in the door that could lead to future work for everyone involved, but the core, ongoing Marvel Legacy books are short on women across the board thus far, both real and fictional. The creative shifts of this event/relaunch haven’t gone great for female and non-binary creators thus far, and it will be interesting to see if December brings anything new as Marvel Legacy continues to roll out.

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

October 3, 2017

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My latest “Gendercrunching” column went up at Bleeding Cool last week, and June 2017 was yet another underwhelming month for female creator representation at the Big Two.

DC’s overall percentage of female creators ticked up slightly to 15.3%, while Marvel fell down a tad to 15.7%. As much as both publishers remain several points above where they were a few years ago, they’re also well below their recent highs. DC and Marvel have shown themselves to be capable of higher numbers than these, and this sustained lull in female representation is not a great look.

The June article also included the announcement of a new format for “Gendercrunching.” It’s become increasingly difficult to keep up the monthly pace of running the numbers plus doing additional analysis, and so the feature is shifting to a quarterly format moving forward that will focus just on DC and Marvel. Watching trends in representation within the superhero industry and serving as a record of this evolution has always been the main focus of “Gendercrunching,” and so the new format will allow us to continue to do this, without any of the other bells and whistles. I do hate to give up the bells and whistles, because I loved all of the supplementary analysis we dug into, but it became unsustainable and something had to give. I’m excited to see what a quarterly perspective will reveal about DC and Marvel’s numbers, though. Should be fascinating!

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for the full stats fun!

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

August 22, 2017

womenatmarvelOCTOBER

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.

 

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!


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