Posts Tagged ‘Marvel Comics’

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, November 2018 Solicits: 29 Creators on 28 Books

September 19, 2018

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When the November solicits were released last month, it looked like Marvel was taking a big step in terms of representation and were moving toward finishing the year on a high note. Then things changed. The numbers didn’t crater by any means, but a big jump got noticeably smaller. It’s an odd set of circumstances, and we’ll dig into it all after we look at who was originally scheduled to do what at Marvel in November:

  • Afua Richardson: Shuri #2 (variant cover)
  • Amy Reeder: Ironheart #1 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #26 (cover), X-23 #6 (cover)
  • Aud Koch: The Vision #1 (interior art)
  • Chelsea Cain: The Vision #1 (co-writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Captain America #5 (variant cover), Spider-Geddon #3 (variant cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: Star Wars: Han Solo – Imperial Cadet #1 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #38 (cover)
  • Eve Ewing: Ironheart #1 (writer)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #36 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #8 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: The Unstoppable Wasp #2 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: Black Panther #6 (interior art), Ironheart #1 (variant cover), Uncanny X-Men #1 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #10 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Spider-Girls #2 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Mr. and Mrs. X #5 (writer), Uncanny X-Men #1 (co-writer), Uncanny X-Men #2 (co-writer), Uncanny X-Men #3 (co-writer), West Coast Avengers #4 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life of Captain Marvel #5 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: The Life of Captain Marvel #5 (interior art)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Infinity Wars: Infinity Warps #1 (co-writer), X-23 #6 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Infinity Wars: Infinity Warps #1 (interior art), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #37 (cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #2 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #15 (writer)
  • Rosi Kampe: Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #2 (interior art)
  • Sara Pichelli: Fantastic Four #4 (interior art)
  • Seanan McGuire: Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Captain Marvel – Mealtime Mayhem #1 (co-writer), Spider-Gwen: Ghost Spider #2 (writer)
  • Stacey Lee: The Unstoppable Wasp #2 (cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Ironheart #1 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Shatterstar #2 (cover), Spider-Girls #2 (cover)

All together, 29 female creators were scheduled to work on 28 different books at Marvel this November, 4 more creators than in October and 5 more books. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits. This is a very solid gain, and a good beginning to the end of a year that has seen some troubling lows at Marvel. But then Marvel decided to cancel The Vision, without releasing a single issue. Apparently the book didn’t fit with the publisher’s new plans for the character or some such. So while Chelsea Cain and Aud Koch are listed in the solicits, their book isn’t coming out and that 4 creator gain is now only 2. Now, 2 isn’t terrible; any gain is a plus in the superhero comic business. But wow, after an already very rough year for gender representation at Marvel, this cancellation is bizarre.

We do have a new name, though. Eve Ewing is writing the new Ironheart series, which should be rad. That’s about it, though. Everyone else we’ve seen before, last month or in the recent past. But shout out to my pal Kelly Thompson, who’s writing or co-writing FIVE books for Marvel this month. She’s blowing up and I’m loving it because she is super excellent at what she does.

In terms of female characters, we’ve got the aforementioned Ironheart series starring Riri Williams. And we’ve got some group books, too. It looks like every mutant ever is going to be in Uncanny X-Men, so look for your favourite ladies there, while Proxima Midnight is part of a new Black Order series. Everything else is dudes, though. The Vision would have featured Viv, but it is no more.

Overall, November’s looking to be kind of a weird month for Marvel. The Vision situation is just odd, and takes what looked to be some solid growth down to something a bit more humdrum. I suppose they’re not going backwards, at least. That’s good to see after the publisher’s disastrous performances earlier this year. Growth is growth, however slow. But dang, Marvel needs to learn to stop shooting themselves in the foot.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, October 2018 Solicits: 25 Creators on 23 Books

August 16, 2018

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Marvel has A LOT going on in October. A ton of new series and minis, an array of one-shots, a big “Spider-geddon” event, plus all of their usual fare. Their output is in the ballpark of 85 new comic books for the month, about 10 more than they usually release. The increase in production hasn’t come with an increase in representation, though. Female and non-binary creator numbers are set to hold steady at a level that, while better than their recent lows, remains well off their recent highs. Let’s take a look at who is doing what at Marvel this October:

  • Amy Reeder: Spider-Girls #1 (variant cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #25 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #200 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #37 (cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #35 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #7 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Jen Bartel: The Life and Times of Captain Marvel #4 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #9 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Spider-Girls #1 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: Mr. and Mrs. X #4 (writer), West Coast Avengers #3 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: What If? Magik #1 (writer), X-Men Black – Emma Frost #1 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life and Times of Captain Marvel #4 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #5 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #36 (interior art, cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Shuri #1 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #14 (writer)
  • Rosi Kampe: Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider #1 (interior art)
  • Sara Pichelli: Fantastic Four #3 (interior art)
  • Seanan McGuire: Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider #1 (writer), X-Men Black: Mystique #1 (writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Asgardians of the Galaxy #2 (variant cover)
  • The Soska Sisters: Avengers Halloween Special #1 (co-writers)
  • Yasmine Putri: Shatterstar #1 (cover), Spider-Girls #1 (cover), The Unstoppable Wasp #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 25 different female creators scheduled to work on 23 different books at Marvel in October, 1 fewer creator than in September but 2 more books. To the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in this round of solicits. Now, holding steady in the mid-20s isn’t a terrible place for Marvel to be. We’ve seen terrible earlier this year, when the publisher’s numbers were in the low teens. But we’ve also seen them in the high 30s before, so Marvel is still pretty far behind the level they’re capable of hitting. Plus, with a slew of new books, you’d hope for a bit of a jump overall. None is a little disappointing.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t some new names in the mix, though. We’ve got Seanan McGuire writing a new Spider-Gwen series and a Mystique one-shot, and the Soska Sisters (Jen and Sylvia) co-penning a story in the Avengers Halloween Special. There are some returning favourites, too: I think it’s been a couple years since we’ve seen Rosi Kampe, who’s doing interior art for the Spider-Gwen book, and Nnedi Okorafor is back with a new Shuri series that should be super cool.

Also, I should point out that the publisher is doing a bunch of Marvel Battle Lines variant covers in October, many of which feature Korean artists who seem to have little to no English web presence. While I did my best to track each of them down, I’ve still got a couple of question marks, and those folks could possibly be female or non-binary creators.

In terms of fictional characters, ladies are set to have a big month with this October bonanza. Spider-Geddon is set to feature Spider-Gwen and “every Spider-Woman ever,” plus we’ve got new minis like Spider-Force with Jessica Drew and Ashley Barton, Spider-Girls with Mayday, Spiderling, and two Spider-Girls, and the new Spider-Gwen a.k.a. Ghost Spider series. Elsewhere, Shuri has a new book, The Unstoppable Wasp is back, and we’ve got a What If? oneshot starring Magik and two X-Men Black oneshots that focus on Emma Frost and Mystique. It’s a busy month!

Overall, while there are some new names at Marvel and that’s always fun, the new names aren’t enough to counter the lack of holdovers from last month and the numbers are remaining relatively steady. Less than steady, frankly, when you consider how many new books there are in October, each of them an opportunity to introduce new creative teams. Marvel’s picked themselves up from their poor start to 2018, but now they’ve been treading water for a few months at a level far below what they’re capable of achieving, establishing given the breadth of talent from female and non-binary creators out there making comics right now.

Women in Comics Statistics, DC and Marvel: Spring 2018 in Review

August 6, 2018

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My latest “Gendercrunching” article covering April through June of this year went up over at Bleeding Cool more than two weeks ago, but I have been super busy and remiss in posting it here. Until now! This is that post! And there were some interesting numbers over the course of the spring.

DC’s overall percentage of female creators slipped down slightly from their winter totals to land at 16.4%. While a drop is never ideal, it was minor shifting more than anything else and the publisher remains well within their recent levels. DC’s been pretty steady for a while now, and not a whole lot changed by category. The summer could bring some changes thanks to some notable cancellations and new launches, but for now the numbers are holding relatively steady.

Marvel, meanwhile, appears to be pulling themselves out of the deep hole they’ve dug for themselves over the past half year or so. The publisher’s overall percentage of female creators rose each month to land at a 15.5% average overall, still noticeably behind their past highs but better than we’ve seen from them in a while. Their distribution remains uneven, with big numbers in only a few categories, assistant editors specifically, and embarrassingly low numbers elsewhere. They remain firm at zero female letterers, and their female penciller and inker numbers were at a paltry 3%. If Marvel could shore up some stronger representation across the board, their numbers would skyrocket.

Head over to Bleeding Cool for the full report and all of the charts. Hooray for statistics and industry trends! There’s lots of cool info to dig into.

Women & NB Creators at Marvel Comics Watch, September 2018 Solicits: 26 Creators on 21 Books

July 19, 2018

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After what has been a rough year thus far for female and non-binary creator representation at Marvel, the publisher seems to have settled into a bit of a groove now. Unconventionally, too. Maybe about half of the gigs listed below are steady, ongoing jobs. The rest are variant covers, one-shots, or mini-series, positions that don’t last for long. And yet, Marvel’s keeping their numbers steady on the backs of such gigs. More long-term work would be nice to see, and the publisher does remain well below their past highs, but at least they’ve pulled themselves up from the terrible numbers they were posting earlier in the year. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this September:

  • Agnes Garbowska: Marvel Super Hero Adventures: Captain Marvel – First Day of School #1 (cover)
  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #24 (cover), Star Wars: Doctor Aphra Annual #2 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #199 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: X-Men Red #8 (interior art)
  • Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising: Omega #1 (writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Avengers #7 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #36 (cover)
  • Eve Venture: Avengers #7 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #34 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #6 (writer), Domino Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Gurihiru: Marvel Rising: Omega #1 (cover)
  • Helen Chen: Marvel Rising: Omega #1 (variant cover)
  • Jenny Frison: X-Men Red #8 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #23 (writer)
  • Kelly Thompson: West Coast Avengers #2 (writer)
  • Leah Williams: Domino Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life of Captain Marvel #3 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: X-23 #4 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Domino Annual #1 (interior art), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #35 (interior art, cover)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #13 (writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Avengers #7 (interior art), Fantastic Four #2 (interior art)
  • Sing Ji: Spidergeddon #0 (variant cover)
  • Tini Howard: Captain America Annual #1 (writer)
  • Vanessa Del Rey: Sentry #4 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: X-23 #4 (variant cover)

All together, there are 26 different female creators scheduled to work on 21 different comic books at Marvel in September, 1 more creator than in August and the same number of books. As far as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in Marvel’s solicits. So we don’t have much of a gain here, but what we do have is some much needed stability. The publisher has had at least 20 female creators in their ranks for four months running now, and this is their highest total since last September. Of course, Marvel’s been well into the 30s before so the mid-20s is nothing to write home about. Hooray for staying out of the teens and all, but there’s still a long way to go for the publisher to reach the level they’re capable of.

We’ve got some new creators set for September. Two of them, Eve Venture and Sing Ji, are on variant covers, while Tini Howard is writing a Captain America annual. These are all one-time gigs, but who knows where they could lead in the future? I don’t think we’ve seen Agnes Garbowska at Marvel before either, and she’s on covers for a new Marvel kids’ book.

New titles are few for September, but Asgardians of the Galaxy is set to debut and it features both Angela and Valkyrie. Everything else is dudes, including returns for Wolverine and Iceman. So there aren’t a lot of female characters premiering in new books this month, but there aren’t too many new books either.

Overall, September looks decent for female creator representation at Marvel. It’s taken a while for the publisher to dig out of their hole, but now their numbers are holding strong at a reasonable level. Marvel can now be slightly less embarrassed about their lack of female creators! They should still be embarrassed to some degree, though. They’ve still got hundreds of dudes versus 26 women. But things are starting to look up.

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, July 2018 Solicits: 22 Creators on 18 Books

May 3, 2018

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Marvel is in an odd spot with female and non-binary creators right now. After a truly abysmal spring with some of the lowest numbers we’ve seen from them in some time, things have improved somewhat. Now, the totals are still relatively quite poor. Marvel’s been in the high 30s in the past, and their current streak has them in the low 20s. That’s not great. But it’s better than it was. The bigger issue right now is that these gains are very precarious. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this July:

  • Ashley Witter: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #22 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Moon Knight #197 (cover)
  • Devin Grayson: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (co-writer)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Doctor Strange #3 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #34 (cover)
  • Fiona Staples: The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #32 (writer)
  • Gail Simone: Domino #4 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Marvel Rising: Squirrel Girl/Ms. Marvel #1 (interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: X-23 #2 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Amazing Spider-Man: Renew Your Vows #21 (writer), Star Wars: Thrawn #6 (writer)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Avengers #4 (variant cover)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hunt for Wolverine: Claws of a Killer #3 (writer), X-23 #1 (writer), X-23 #2 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #33 (interior art, cover)
  • Nnedi Okorafor: Wakanda Forever: X-Men #1 (writer)
  • Rainbow Rowell: Runaways #11 (writer)
  • Sana Takeda: The Life of Captain Marvel #1 (variant cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Cosmic Ghost Rider #1 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Wakanda Forever: X-Men #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 22 female creators scheduled to work on 18 different comic books at Marvel this July. That’s 2 more creators than in June and 4 more books. As best as I can tell, there are no non-binary creators listed in this round of solicits. The gains are undercut to a certain degree by the low totals, but they’re gains nonetheless. Given Marvel’s track record in 2018 thus far, we’ve got to celebrate the little things here.

However, 12 of the 22 creators listed above are doing one time gigs. They’re on oneshots or variant covers, jobs that don’t come with guaranteed work next month. The June numbers were similar, and so long as Marvel can keep things rolling along with these non-permanent jobs, the numbers should hold. But there are three big problems here. First, this juggling act rarely lasts for long and things will inevitably drop off. They always do. Second, the level Marvel is at right now is comparatively poor. And third, the only way for the numbers to really grow AND to fend off this inevitable drop is to have a sizeable number of female and non-binary creators locked into long term gigs. Marvel does not have that right now, at all.

This lack is still stark even with the addition of two new series with female writers, and they also star female leads. Margaret Stohl is back with The Life of Captain Marvel mini-series, while Mariko Tamaki is launching a new X-23 (even though Laura is always the superior Wolverine to me!). A bunch of male characters are getting new books as well, but between these two titles and the ongoing Wakanda Forever oneshots, Marvel’s paltry female character representation has bumped up slightly as of late.

Overall, while representation is set to improve a bit at Marvel in July, these gains are tenuous and the publisher remains far back from the high levels they’ve set in the past. There just doesn’t seem to be much firm commitment to female and non-binary creators at Marvel right now. Things have improved from disastrous to bad over the past few months, but good is still a long way off. Hopefully we’ll see some more permanent additions to Marvel’s ranks in the future.

Women in Comics Statistics, DC and Marvel, Winter 2018 in Review

April 19, 2018

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My quarterly “Gendercrunching” column went up at Bleeding Cool this week, and the New Year has brought some notable changes to both major superhero publishers. Female creator representation appears to be on the rise at DC, while it’s dropping precipitously at Marvel.

All together, DC Comics’ average percentage of female creators came in at 17.1% for the winter months, a 1.5% gain from the fall. It’s not a huge leap, but DC’s numbers have been stagnant for a while now. The overall totals for January, February, and March were all higher than any of the fall months, which bodes well for the longevity of this shift.

Marvel, meanwhile, is tumbling. Their average percentage of female creators fell to 14.8%, more than a three point drop from the autumn. What’s more, each winter month was lower than the last, extending their current skid to four straight months of losses. Marvel’s got a brand new Editor-in-Chief in C.B. Cebulski, but so far his tenure feels like a return to the old days of Marvel being a boy’s club. Plus with a dude-centric relaunch on the way and the recent departure of several female assistant editors, these numbers could decline even further over the course of the spring.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for the full charts and analysis! It’s an intriguing start to the year, for sure, and it will be fascinating to see how the numbers change over the next quarter.


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