Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Vaughn’

Women at DC Comics – February 2017 Solicits, 27 Women on 21 Books

December 1, 2016

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DC’s female creator representation is set to remain steady albeit somewhat below their recent highs as the new year unfolds. The February 2017 solicits have some fun new books and the numbers are largely in line with the January solicits. DC’s posted higher numbers, but they’ve posted far, far lower too. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this February:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #13 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #14 (co-writer, cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #6 (writer, cover), Shade, the Changing Girl #5 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Wonder Woman #16 (interior art, cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #5 (writer)
  • Chynna Clugston Flores: Shade, the Changing Girl #5 (interior art)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #7 (interior art)
  • Elena Casagrande: Vigilante: Southland #2 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #16 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #17 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #16 (writer)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #20 (co-writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #8 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #16 (cover), Shade, the Changing Girl #5 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #16 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #17 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #4 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Supergirl: Being Super #2 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #7 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #7 (variant cover)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman: Rebirth #1 (co-writer), DC Comics Bombshells #22 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Supergirl: Being Super #2 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #5 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #22 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #6 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #6 (inker)
  • Sarah Vaughn: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #3 (writer)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #7 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #3 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: All Star Batman #7 (interior art, cover, variant cover), Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #6 (cover), The Wild Storm #1 (variant cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #7 (variant cover)

All together, there are 27 different female creators set to work on 21 different books in February 2017, one more female creator than in January though 3 fewer books. Both months of 2017 have been in the high 20s, but DC’s solicits were in the low 30s at the end of 2016. It’s a light step down for the publisher, and the continuing unfolding of the second phase of “Rebirth” doesn’t seem to be growing the female creator ranks yet.

Part of the reason for the numbers not changing much is that there aren’t really any new women in the list above. It’s a lots of returning favourites and people we’ve seen recently; everyone’s a regular. There are folks in new gigs, however. Bilquis Evely is taking over as the artist on the even-numbered issues of Wonder Woman, and Marguerite Bennett is penning a Batwoman series.

Speaking of, there are a few new books with solid female character representation. Batwoman is the only female-led solo title set to debut; it premieres with a “Rebirth” issue this month, and then the regular series should launch in March. A couple of new team books have a lot of women in the mix as well, including The Wild Storm reboot, which name checks Angela Spica, Jenny Sparks, and Voodoo in the solicit, and the new Justice League of America, which counts Black Canary, Killer Frost, and Vixen as members.

Overall, is a fairly steady month for DC, with relatively decent female creator representation. The drop in the number of books is a bit disheartening; that’s the lowest number of titles since September. But the ranks as a whole are holding firm, and remain above where DC was when “Rebirth” began . DC’s previously shown that they’re capable of higher numbers, and perhaps the second wave of “Rebirth” will continue and help the publisher reach and perhaps surpass those totals.

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Women At DC Comics Watch – December 2016 Solicits, 33 Women on 23 Books

October 4, 2016

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In my report on the November solicits, I noted that it seemed unlikely that DC’s number of female creators would be in the low 30s again come December. There were a lot of one-shots and variant cover gigs, and those numbers are hard to sustain month-to-month. But DC did it, and has posted a strong lineup of female creators to end the year. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC Comics in December 2016:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #9 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #10 (co-writer, cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #4 (co-writer), Shade, The Changing Girl #3 (cover)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Girl #3 (writer)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (interior art)
  • Elena Casagrande: Vigilante: Southland #3 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #12 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #13 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #15 (written)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #19 (co-writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #13 (co-writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #6 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #15 (cover), Wonder Woman #12 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #13 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #2 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Supergirl: Being Super #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (interior art), The Flintstones #6 (variant cover)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Supergirl: Being Super #1 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Girl #3 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #20 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #4 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #12 (interior art, cover)
  • Pia Guerra: The Hellblazer #5 (interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #4 (inker)
  • Sanya Anwar: Clean Room #15 (interior art)
  • Sarah Vaughn: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #2 (writer)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #5 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #2 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #4 (cover)
  • Vita Ayala: DC Rebirth Holiday Special #1 (co-writer), Suicide Squad Most Wanted: El Diablo and Amanda Waller #5 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #5 (variant cover)

All together, there are 33 different female creators set to work on 23 different books at DC this December, the same number of women as in November and one more book. The total also ties DC’s highest number of the year, and it’s an encouraging sign for 2017 that DC is set to end 2016 with two very good months. With the second wave of “Rebirth” just around the corner, hopefully the publisher can keep these numbers going.

December looks a lot like November across the board: a core group of creators, plus a few one-shots and variant covers. One-shots aren’t sustained work, but DC’s mixing things up with their variant covers as of late. Instead of rotating in different artists each month, artists seem to be sticking with a book for an extended period of time. Emanuela Lupacchino, for example, has been doing variants for Green Lanterns since it launched in June. What used to be a one-time job has turned into steady work, and it’s helping keep DC’s female creator ranks high.

December’s not a huge month for female characters, but there are a couple of fun new books in the mix. The biggest is Supergirl: Being Super by Mariko Tamaki and Joelle Jones; it looks fantastic, and with two amazing creators in the mix it should be a lot of fun. We’ve also got the DC Rebirth Holiday Special with stories starring Batwoman and Wonder Woman, and the beginning of Justice League vs. Suicide Squad, which will feature all of the female members on both teams.

Overall, DC is set to end the year on a good note. Things were looking bad mid-way through the year; DC could barely hit 20 female creators a month in the early days of their “Rebirth” initiative. But things have picked up throughout the fall and DC is going to close 2016 with the best numbers we’ve seen from them over the past five years. There’s always still room to grow; women remain a small minority at nearly every level of production. But progress is slowly being made, and things are looking up.

Women at DC Comics Watch – October 2016 Solicits, 28 Women on 24 Books

July 29, 2016

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NOTE: This post has been substantially edited because I am a dope who missed Cecil Castellucci while doing my first count. It is now accurate and correct.

DC finally had some solid female representation in their September solicits, their first relatively decent month since “Rebirth” relaunched in June. For whatever reason, whenever DC knows they’ll be selling a lot of comics with a new initiative, they want to have as few women as possible in the mix; this has been the trend with every big move they’ve made since the New 52 relaunch. But now we’re several months in and things are beginning to improve. The number of women working on DC books in October hit the same level as September, and stayed well above their previous “Rebirth” levels. Let’s take a look at who is doing what this October at DC Comics:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #5 (cover, co-writer), Harley Quinn #6 (cover, co-writer), Harley’s Little Black Book #6 (cover, co-writer)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (co-writer), Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Astro City #40 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #1 (writer)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (interior art)
  • Elena Casagrande: The Vigilante: Southland #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #8 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #9 (variant cover), Superwoman #3 (penciller)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #13 (writer), Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #11 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #4 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #13 (cover), Wonder Woman #8 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #9 (variant cover)
  • Joelle Jones: The Lost Boys #1 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (writer)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (interior art)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #12 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #18 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (color)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #8 (art and cover), Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (variant cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: Superwoman #3 (variant cover)
  • Renae De Liz: Wonder Woman 75th Anniversary Special #1 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Sandra Hope: Cyborg #2 (inker), Cyborg #3 (inker), Gotham Academy: Second Semester #2 (inker)
  • Sarah Vaughn: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 (writer)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #3 (co-writer)
  • Stephanie Hans: Deadman: Dark Mansion of Forbidden Love #1 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #2 (cover), Shade, The Changing Girl #1 (variant cover)

All together, there are 28 different female creators set to work on 24 different comic books in October, matching September’s 28 different women and gaining on September’s 21 different books. Basically, there’s some slight growth in representation here, which is good news considering how poor the “Rebirth” solicits had been in the months previous. More female creators would always be better, of course, but not falling back to past levels is a plus. Hopefully things have stabilized and now can continue to move forward.

We’ve got a few returning, and perhaps new, names in the mix this month. Elena Casagrande is drawing a new mini-series; I’m sure if she’s worked on DC before, but she’s done a lot of Marvel stuff. Sarah Vaughn may be new to DC as well, though she’s written elsewhere, and Cecil Castellucci has done some stuff for DC is back with a new gig now on Shade, the Changing Girl (she did a story for Sensation Comics a while back, and perhaps more?). Joelle Jones and Marley Zarcone are returning to DC after brief absences, and Jones especially should be around a lot more in the future because she’s just signed an exclusive deal with DC.

In terms of new female characters, Gerard Way’s “Young Animal” imprint is continuing to unfold, and has brought with it Shade, the Changing Girl. The books also features a handful of female creators, and there should be more coming as new books debut. We’ve also got a new Teen Titans title that appears to be predominantly male, as most teams are, but Starfire and Raven are also in the mix. We’re also getting a special over-sized issue celebrating Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary with a lot of great creators in the mix. And a bunch of books starring dudes, but meh.

Overall, it looks to be an okay month for women at DC. A bit higher in total than September and better than the months previous, but still below DC’s past highs and Marvel’s current levels. DC’s penchant for dropping their numbers considerably every year or so is making long term growth a frustrating process; it’s two steps forward and one step back, over and over. So DC’s now back up to where they were a while ago. Ideally, they’ll grow and get even further ahead before the next inevitable step back.

The Fresh Romance Kickstarter is in Its Last Week; Go Back It and Get GREAT Comics, In Print!

March 9, 2016

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Fresh Romance is one of the best things to happen to the comic book industry in ages.  It’s a great time for comics all around right now, with lots of good superhero, science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all ages books available each month, but the romance genre has been very underrepresented.  Romance series used to be huge for comics back in the Silver Age, but they slowly faded away and have yet to come back in a big way.

But now we’ve got Fresh Romance, a monthly digital series that showcases several different kinds of romance genres from historical to high school to fantasy, all from a modern, female-focused, sex positive, and LGBTQ+ friendly perspective.  It’s a great book, and now it’s going to be available in print.  And you can get on board with their Kickstarter!

Fresh Romance is a one-woman operation on the production side of things at Rosy Press, helmed by editor Janelle Asselin.  But now she’s teamed with Oni Press to put the digital stories out in print form, and the Kickstarter is for a special edition of the first collection.  Backing the Kickstarter will a) get you an awesome book filled with killer stories, and b) demonstrate the viability of Fresh Romance and hopefully lead to more print collections through Oni down the road.

There are a variety of levels at which you can support the Kickstarter, with lots of fun rewards in the mix, but the print book at the core of the campaign is the biggest prize to me.  Here’s what you’re going to get in the 224 page volume:

  • School Spirit by Kate Leth, Arielle Jovellanos, Amanda Scurti, and Taylor Esposito. School Spirit is the story of four teens embroiled in keeping their love lives secret from everyone around them. It’s never quite that simple, though, and complications for this group include bigoted parents and witch-y powers!
  • Ruined is an historical romance by Sarah Vaughn, Sarah Winifred Searle, and Ryan Ferrier featuring a couple entering a loveless marriage at the prompting of society and their families. The future looks bleak for Andrew and Catherine, but there’s more to each of them than either one knows. (Just chapter 1 — 60 pages of story — will be included)
  • The Ruby Equation stars a cynical matchmaker from another dimension who has to learn to believe in love for real! But is a coffee shop the right place to learn lessons of love? Written by Sarah Kuhn, drawn by Sally Jane Thompson, colored by Savanna Ganucheau, and lettered by Steve Wands.
  • Beauties by Marguerite Bennett, Trungles, and Rachel Deering takes readers to a lush fantasy world where the beautiful are beastly and the beasts are beautiful — and true love can be either.
  • First, Last, and Always by Kieron Gillen and Christine Norrie is about the magic of a first kiss with someone.

The stories are fantastic, and there are some killer creators in the mix, including Kate Leth, who writes the AWESOME Patsy Walker, AKA Hellcat!; Marguerite Bennett from the great DC Comics Bombshells, Angela: Queen of Hel, and a bunch of other titles; and Keiron Gillen from Journey into Mystery, The Wicked & the Divine, Young Avengers, and more.  Everyone else is wonderful as well, and all of the stories are polished and enjoyable.

The Fresh Romance Kickstarter currently has six days left and is only $16,500 from its goal.  I really want this book to happen, partly because I think Fresh Romance is great and important and partly because I want to get my hands on this Kickstarter exclusive special edition with the Kevin Wada cover!  You should definitely check out the Kickstarter and get on board, and then tell your friends.  Janelle Asselin and Rosy Press are what we need in the comic book industry, a publisher that focuses on telling high quality, enjoyable stories with female characters and female creators at the forefront.  Show your support and get some amazing comics at the same time; it’s an absolute win-win!

Janelle Asselin Launches Rosy Press And It’s Debut Series, Fresh Romance, With New Kickstarter OR Give Her Your Money!

March 23, 2015

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Romance comics used to be a huge part of the comic book industry. In the 1950s and 1960s, almost every publisher had several ongoing romance titles and they were wildly popular with young female readers. Romance comics died out in the 1970s as the industry underwent some massive changes, and the industry lost a lot of its female readership as it transitioned into primarily superhero and humour titles.

But over the past decade or so, female comic readers have been making a massive comeback in the North American market (after previously playing a key role in the rise of manga). They’re a quickly rising demographic for superhero books, and are a big part of the recent successes of indie publishers with more stylistically diverse books in a variety of genres. However, romance comics have yet to stage a comeback, until now.

Janelle Asselin, formerly an editor at DC Comics and Disney and now the senior editor of Comics Alliance, has launched Rosy Press to bring back romance comics. The Kickstarter campaign for the publisher’s first series, Fresh Romance, debuted today and the book sounds fantastic. Here’s the cover for the first issue, drawn by Kevin Wada:

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The stories inside include:

  • A high school lesbian romance story written by Kate Leth (my pal! WOOHOO KATE!) with art by Arielle Jovellanos and colours by Amanda Scurti.
  • An old school Regency romance with a couple set to wed despite not being terribly fond of each other by Sarah Vaughn and Sarah Winifred Searle.
  • A tale of a supernatural barista helping others find love written by Sarah Kuhn, drawn by Sally Jane Thompson, and coloured by Savanna Ganucheau.

At least in this initial wave, Rosy Press seems committed to stories about women BY women and marketed TO women, which is all kinds of fun. Asselin created Rosy Press as a response to the massive growth in women reading comics, and I think the market is definitely set for this to be a massive success. And of course, you don’t have to be a woman to enjoy romance stories. Anyone can read the comics; they’ll just be free of the one-dimensionality and objectification that so often plagues female comic book characters.

That doesn’t mean that the books won’t be sexy, though. Rosy Press’ stories will be R-rated and have sexual content, just not in an exploitive way.  Telling great romance stories is the series’ focus, and the comic isn’t erotica, but they’re not steering away from sex either.  Because of the adult content, Asselin suggests that readers be at least 17.

The Kickstarter for Fresh Romance is up now, and you can get on board on a variety of levels. After the Kickstarter, Fresh Romance will be released monthly, with three ongoing stories in each issue, and after each individual story wraps up you’ll be able to buy it all together in an ebook as well. The plan is for Rosy Press to be completely digital, tapping into yet another growing market in the comic industry.

So yeah, all of this sounds fantastic! I’m very excited that romance comics are coming back, and with such a smart and savvy editor like Janelle Asselin at the helm. Plus the first creative teams are awesome, and the stories sound like a lot of fun. The Kickstarter will run for the next month, so get on board now, and Fresh Romance is set to debut its first issue in May. If you want to learn even more about Rosy Press and Fresh Romance, there are interviews with Asselin at the Washington Post and Comic Book Resources. You should definitely get behind this project, gang! I think it’s going to be great.


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