Posts Tagged ‘Nicole Virella’

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – June 2017 Solicits, 23 Women on 26 Books

April 21, 2017

womenatmarvelJUNE.png

Continuing our catch up on the latest-ish solicits, today we turn to Marvel. After posting record breaking numbers in March, their June 2017 solicits again feature considerably fewer female creators in the mix. It’s a decline that’s got some staying power; three straight months in the low 20s is a disappointing run. Marvel’s proven quite well that they’re capable of much higher numbers than that, and they just aren’t hitting them. June did offer some cool Mary Jane themed variant covers, though, which are showcased above. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel this June:

  • Aud Koch: Ultimates 2 #8 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #12 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #3 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Captain America: Sam Wilson #23 (cover), Captain America: Steve Rogers #18 (cover), Deadpool #32 (variant cover), Elektra #5 (cover), The Mighty Captain Marvel #6 (cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: The Unstoppable Wasp #6 (interior art, cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #21 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #19 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #4 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #17 (interior art)
  • Helen Chen: Champions #9 (variant cover)
  • Jen Bartel: Star Wars #32 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #3 (writer)
  • Jordie Bellaire: Black Bolt #2 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: Hawkeye #7 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #6 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #7 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Secret Empire: Uprising #1 (cover)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #20 (interior art, cover)
  • Nicole Virella: Star Wars: Poe Dameron Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: Iron Fist #4 (variant cover)
  • Tana Ford: Iceman #2 (variant cover), Secret Empire: Brave New World #2 (interior art)
  • Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble #3 (writer, interior art)

All together, there are 23 different female creators set to work on 26 different books in June, 1 more women and 2 more books than in May, but a far cry from March’s 37 women on 31 books. I know that March was boosted considerably by variant covers, but this drop and lengthy period of lows is still quite surprisingly pronounced. Variant covers are a huge part of this month’s numbers, even, but it’s not boosted the numbers in any big way. While the obvious cause of the drop is that a few key books have ended and some creative teams have shifted, there’s usually some turnaround to even things out a little bit. Not so much this time, and the numbers continue to flounder for the third straight month.

There are a few new names in the mix, though. Aud Koch is a new one for me, and she’s debuting with some interior art in Ultimates 2. We’ve seen a lot of Meghan Hetrick at DC lately, but she’s set to do some cover work at Marvel this June.  There are some returning favourites in the mix too; it’s always great to see covers from Helen Chen, Jen Bartel, and Stephanie Hans, who don’t have steady gigs at Marvel but have been popping up here and there as of late. With all of these new and returning folks, it’s bizarre that the numbers are doing so poorly in terms of growth.

June looks to be a quiet month for new books at Marvel, apart from Secret Empire stuff and ugh, who can even bother to care about that? There’s the main series itself, plus a bunch of tie-in mini-series. There are ladies here and there, both fictional and real, but the event as a whole looks to be a male-dominated affair.

Overall, June is another disappointing month for women at Marvel. They remain off considerably from their recent highs, operating at about 2/3 of what they’ve shown they’re capable of in terms of female creator representation. The company is hurting for an influx of new books and/or creative teams to shake up the ranks, and with the line mid-event I don’t know if that will be coming any time soon. Marvel likes to do that sort of thing in the fall, so we could be in for a long summer.

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Women At Marvel Comics Watch – May 2015 Solicits: 13 Different Female Creators On 17 Different Comics

February 25, 2015

womenatmarvelMAY

Two months after their “Women of Marvel” variant cover line catapulted them to 20 different female creators for the first time in ages, Marvel remains firmly in the low teens yet again. Several other comics publishers are making big strides for female representation, but Marvel is lagging behind. While their May solicits show some growth from April, it’s not a lot. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in May 2015:

  • Amanda Conner: Secret Wars #1 (variant cover)
  • Ariela Kristantina: Wolverines #19 (interior art)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (art and cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: A-Force #1 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #15 (writer)
  • Kathryn Immonen: Operation: S.I.N. #5 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Captain Marvel #15 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: A-Force #1 (co-writer), Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #6 (co-writer), James Patterson’s Max Ride: First Flight #3 (writer)
  • Nicole Virella: Return of the Living Deadpool #4 (interior art)
  • Prudence Shen: Secret Wars Journal #1 (writer)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – House of Cards #3 (co-writer)
  • Stacey Lee: Amazing Spider-Man #18 (variant cover), Silk #4 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: A-Force #1 (variant cover), Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #6 (art and cover), Storm #11 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: Amazing Spider-Man #18.1 (variant cover), Secret Wars #2 (variant cover)

All together, there are 13 different female creators scheduled for 17 different books in May, slight increases from April’s 11 and 16. There are some new names in mix, however. Both Prudence Shen and Yasmine Putri are making their debut at Marvel.

May is also a big month because A-Force debuts. Not only is it written by G. Willow Wilson and Marguerite Bennett, the lineup in all women characters, and it sounds fantastic. The cover shows pretty much every female Avenger ever, so this book should be a blast. A few other new titles boast female characters as well; Medusa is in Inhumans: Attilan Rising (they’re really trying to make the Inhumans happen, aren’t they?), Kate Bishop is on the cover of Secret Wars Journal #1, and Inferno seems to be about Magik, though they don’t mention her by name.

While the numbers aren’t growing substantially, there does seem to be a slight shift in what women are doing at Marvel over the year thus far. There’s a lot more interior art and writing than we usually see. Not that covers aren’t great, but it’s a rather isolated and rarely long term gig. The slow growth of women with regular jobs inside the comics is a definite positive step for Marvel.

Nonetheless, they still lag far behind. DC has more than double the female representation in May, and several publishers, many of them far smaller than Marvel, easily have more than 13 female creators scheduled for their May books. A-Force is great, and it’s wonderful to see Marvel continuing to focus on female characters, but their progress with female creators is painfully slow. There are a lot of them out there and Marvel have hired a great many of them sporadically over the past few years. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult to hire more of them now.

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – April 2015 Solicits: 11 Different Female Creators On 16 Different Comics

January 28, 2015

womenatmarvelAPRIL

Not at all surprisingly, after their “Women of Marvel” variant cover event boosted their number of female creators in the March solicits, things fall back down to Earth in April. Marvel’s women-centric events all tend to go this way: They make a big deal about having female creators for a month, and then the next month things go right back to normal. It’s all very frustrating because while it’s great to see female creators spotlighted, it’s so irksome to see this spotlight rarely result in any long term change at Marvel. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in April:

  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #4 (art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #14 (writer), X-Men #26 (writer)
  • Kathryn Immonen: Operation S.I.N. #4 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Captain Marvel #14 (writer)
  • Laura Braga: Superior Iron Man #7 (art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #5 (co-writer), James Patterson’s Max Ride: First Flight #1 and #2 (writer)
  • Nicole Virella: Return of the Living Deadpool #3 (art)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – House of Cards #2 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Uncanny Inhumans #0 (variant cover)
  • Stacey Lee: Silk #3 (art), Spider-Man and the X-Men #5 and #6 (cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #5 (art, cover), James Patterson’s Max Ride: First Flight #1 and #2 (cover), Storm #10 (cover)

And now Marvel’s exactly where they were in February, before their “Women of Marvel” event, with 11 different creators. All together, there are 11 different female creators on 16 different books, and there are only so many books because a couple of series double ship in April. Marvel is down substantially from the 20 and 26 they posted in the March solicits. Not only did they nearly half their number of female creators, DC Comics is set to have THREE TIMES as many female creators in their April books. This schtick is getting old.

After a lot of new faces in March, Marvel is back to its usual core of female creators. On the one hand, having 9 women consistently working on monthly series and minis is a big step for Marvel; a short time ago, they just had 2 or 3 women with regular gigs. However, it’s 2015. A comic publisher’s number of regularly working female creators should be well into double digits by now. If it’s not, they’re not looking hard enough. There is a new name, though! Laura Braga is doing her first full issue for Marvel, on interior art for Superior Iron Man #7.

As for female characters, there’s not much new in April. Uncanny Inhumans is debuting with a #0 issue, and while there will probably be some lady Inhumans in the mix, the cover and solicit focus solely on Black Bolt. There’s also another Star Wars book with another male lead, and a bunch of Avengers books in advance of the movie, most of which feature Black Widow alongside a lot of dudes. On the positive side, the new James Patterson’s Max Ride: First Flight has female creators and a female protagonist, so hooray for that. Perhaps not surprisingly, it’s a self-contained book set outside of the Marvel universe.

Marvel could and should be doing much better than this. I’ve spent my last couple “Gendercrunching” columns at Bleeding Cool visiting other publishers, and a lot of them are WAY ahead of Marvel when it comes to female creators. Boom! could top Marvel’s total number with just two comics, easily. Marvel likes to make a big hullabaloo when they do anything with women; Lady Thor gets massive press, they announce a special “Women of Marvel” event with variant covers. Meanwhile, nothing really changes and other publishers are growing their ranks of female creators exponentially, quietly and consistently. Maybe try less talk and more action, Marvel.

Women At Marvel Comics Watch – March 2015 Solicits: 20 Different Female Creators On 26 Different Books

January 6, 2015

womenatmarvelMARCH

March looks like it’s going to be a great month for women at Marvel, largely due to their special “Women of Marvel” variant cover line-up. Their numbers are much higher overall with the addition of these many great artists, though Marvel’s numbers for women INSIDE the books remain fairly low. It’s nice to see female artists showcased like this, but at the same time it’s both in quite a limited role and very fleeting. Something is worlds better than nothing, though! Let’s take a look at who’s doing what in Marvel’s March 2015 solicits:

  • Afua Richardson: All-New Hawkeye #1 (variant cover)
  • Ariela Kristantina: Wolverines #11 (art)
  • Colleen Doran: S.H.I.E.L.D. #4 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: Guardians of the Galaxy #25 (variant cover), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3 (art, cover)
  • Faith Erin Hicks: All-New X-Men #39 (variant cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #13 (writer), X-Men #25 (writer)
  • Janet Lee: Rocket Raccoon #9 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Inhuman #13 (variant cover), The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #3 (variant cover)
  • Jordie Bellaire: Moon Knight #13 (cover colours)
  • Kathryn Immonen: Operation S.I.N. #3 (writer)
  • Kelly Sue DeConnick: Captain Marvel #13 (writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #4 (co-writer)
  • Ming Doyle: Amazing Spider-Man #16 (variant cover)
  • Nicole Virella: Return of the Living Deadpool #2 (art)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – House of Cards #1 (co-writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Howard the Duck #1 (variant cover), Ms. Marvel #13 (variant cover), Spider-Gwen #2 (variant cover)
  • Siya Oum: Spider-Woman #5 (variant cover)
  • Stacey Lee: Silk #2 (art), Spider-Man and the X-Men #4 (cover), Uncanny X-Men #33 (variant cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Angela: Asgard’s Assassin #4 (cover, art), Storm #9 (cover), Thor #6 (variant cover)
  • Vanesa Del Rey: Black Widow #16 (variant cover)

All together, there are 20 different women scheduled to work on 26 different books in March, a significant gain from February’s 11 and 12 respectively. This is great to see, but also very temporary. All of the credits above account for 29 different gigs, and 15 of those are variant covers. That means that more than half of the credits above probably won’t be back next month once the “Women of Marvel” variant line is over. While it’s nice to see so many women doing fantastic covers, including creators like Faith Erin Hicks, Jill Thompson, Colleen Doran, and others we don’t usually see at Marvel, the increase in numbers is momentary growth and not at all sustainable.

Furthermore, it’s disappointing that in a month where Marvel is making a strong effort to include more female creators, their numbers are still lower than DC’s March solicits, which was a very run of the mill, low month for DC. There are still a few more variant cover artists to be announced, so Marvel’s final numbers should be a bit higher, but here’s the grim reality: Right now, Marvel employs so few female creators on a regular basis that even during a month where they bring in tons of additional female artists to celebrate the women of Marvel they still can’t top a humdrum month from their closest competitor. You can use one hand to count the number of women writing Marvel comics right now, and then use the other hand to count the number of female interior artists, and you won’t use up all of your fingers.

There are some new additions, though. Robin Furth is back co-writing another Dark Tower mini-series, while Ariela Kristantina is doing interior art for Wolverines #11. Kristantina has been popping up here and there at Marvel lately, and hopefully they’ll soon sign her up for a regular gig. It’s also a good month for female characters. Princess Leia is launching her own series as part of Marvel’s expanding Star Wars line, and Kate Bishop is back in All New Hawkeye #1.

Overall, March looks pretty good for female creators at Marvel, but it’s not the sort of month that Marvel needs. The publisher is severely lacking strong female representation inside their comics, and the growth there has been fairly stagnant as of late. It’s wonderful to have a month celebrating the “Women of Marvel,” and I’m sure all of the variant covers will be fantastic, but it all rings a little hollow when there are so few women actually making the comics inside the covers.


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