Posts Tagged ‘Solicits’

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.

 

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Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, October 2017 Solicits: 25 Creators on 24 Books

August 18, 2017

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DC’s female and non-binary creator representation has been drifting downward over the last few months, sliding a bit after a relatively strong spring, and with the October solicits, DC’s numbers are set to fall to their lowest level since last March. Things are pretty quiet at DC this fall; there are a few events and a couple of new books, but not enough to make any huge changes to the line. Yet the numbers appear to be in decline. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this October:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 (cover), Harley Quinn #29 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #30 (co-writer, cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: DC House of Horror #1 (interior art)
  • Diana Conesa: Nightwing #30 (interior art), Nightwing #31 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Bombshells United #4 (cover), Dastardly and Muttley #2 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #33 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #2 (writer)
  • Heather Nuhfer: Teen Titans Go! #24 (co-writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #16 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Gotham City Garage #2 (cover), Wonder Woman #32 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #33 (variant cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Future Quest Presents #3 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #12 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Batman #33 (interior art, cover), Mother Panic #12 (variant cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #15 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica #1 (interior art)
  • Lynne Yoshii: Gotham City Garage #2 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #8 (writer), Bombshells United #3 (writer), Bombshells United #4 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Bombshells United #4 (interior art)
  • Mary Sangiovanni: DC House of Horror #1 (co-writer)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #24 (variant cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Teen Titans #13 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #3 (cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #15 (co-writer)
  • Siya Oum: Bombshells United #3 (interior art)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #15 (cover)

All together, there are 25 female creators set to work on 24 books at DC this October, 2 fewer than in September though they’re working on 3 more books (to the best of my knowledge, there are no non-binary creators in the mix this month). While 2 fewer creators isn’t a massive change, 3 of the past 4 months have featured a drop of 2 or more, and it’s starting to add up. As mentioned at the beginning, not a whole lot has changed at DC over the past little while, so this is just an organic drift downward. A few books got cancelled, a few new books began, and that’s about it. There wasn’t another relaunch cycle or any substantial creator upheaval. So this decline is just a gradual decrease caused by small changes here and there, and little has been done to remedy this drop.

We do have a few new female creators in the mix, though, which is always nice to see. Diana Conesa is going to be working on interior art for Nightwing, and I think she’s making her DC debut there. We’ve also got Lynne Yoshii, again on interior art, on the new Gotham City Garage, which we’ll discuss momentarily. Another new book, the anthology oneshot DC House of Horror, features a story by writer Mary Sangiovanni.

The oneshot is one of just a handful of new books at DC in October, and it’s got a few female creators in the mix as well as some stories starring female characters, including unique choices like Martha Kent and an Amazon warrior. DC’s Metal event continues, still with no female creators in the mix and seemingly few female characters, but we’ve got two new books with female leads. The aforementioned Gotham City Garage is based on DC’s statue line of their heroines as bikers, and features a reimagined DC universe centered on biker ladies. I feel like this could go either way, really. It’s reminiscent of DC Comics Bombshells, another comic line based on popular merchandise, but while Marguerite Bennett helmed that book and turned it into a queer feminist masterpiece, I’m not terribly familiar with the two dudes writing this one. Fingers crossed it’s similarly cool. We’ve also got an unusual team up with Harley & Ivy Meet Betty & Veronica, a crossover with Archie that introduces these two famous duos for the first time. A lot of creators from the regular Harley Quinn book are on board, so expect a similar tone and sensibility.

All together, there are some new names and a couple of potentially fun titles on the horizon for October, but overall the numbers keep falling. If DC continues at this pace, they’ll be back in the teens again before long, and it’s getting to the point where it feels like some intentional effort needs to be made internally to buoy their dragging representation.

Women & NB Creators at DC Comics Watch, September 2017 Solicits: 27 Creators on 21 Books

July 21, 2017

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After a series of fairly solid rounds of solicits in terms of female and non-binary creator representation across the summer months, DC looks to be starting the fall towards the lower end of that range with their September solicits. A few new books have increased the ranks, while DC’s major autumn event seems to be entirely dude-centric thus far, and things have almost evened out. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this September:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #27 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #28 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special #1 (co-writer, interior art, cover)
  • Babs Tarr: Bombshells United #1 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Detective Comics #964 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (writer)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Suicide Squad #25 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Wonder Woman/Conan #1 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #15 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #30 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #31 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #11 (writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #14 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #14 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #14 (variant cover)
  • Katie Jones: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (backup story)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #7 (writer), Bombshells United #1 (writer), Bombshells United #2 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Bombshells United #1 (interior art), Bombshells United #2 (interior art)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, The Changing Girl #12 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: Teen Titans #12 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Bombshells United #1 (cover)
  • Rosemary Valero-O’Connell: Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #12 (variant cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #14 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: Wonder Woman #30 (writer)
  • Siya Oum: Batman Beyond #12 (interior art)
  • Stephanie Hans: Bombshells United #2 (cover)
  • Tula Lotay: Doom Patrol #9 (variant cover)
  • Vita Ayala: Batman Beyond #12 (co-writer)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #14 (variant cover)

All together, there are 27 different female and non-binary creators set to work on 21 different books in September, 2 fewer creators than in August and 1 fewer book. This is hardly a major change, and could very well just be normal shuffling around. We don’t expect the numbers to stay the same everything month, and a things going a little lower or higher is common. Small changes like this are only significant when it’s part of a larger trend. If DC lost 2 women/NB creators after posting losses in a couple of months previous, that would be disconcerting. This slight drop, though, after a decent August, is nothing too worrisome yet. Of course, we’ll see how the rest of the fall solicits unfold.

Before we dig into things more, here’s a quick note on the change in terminology. We’ve been keeping track of female creators at DC for several years now, but I recently learned that writer Vita Ayala, who I’ve categorized as female in the past, identifies as non-binary. Since the purpose of this project is to showcase creators who disrupt the typical male hegemony of the superhero industry, changing the title and the terminology to be more inclusive seemed like the right way to go. We’ve always listed women who are transgender, of course, but that didn’t necessitate a shift in nomenclature. This does, I think. If there are other creators whose identity lies outside of the male/female binary, I’d be glad to know about them and will include them on the list moving forward; let me know in the comments.

We’ve mostly got returning favourites this month, but there are a couple of new names in the mix. Katie Jones is doing a backup story in Shade, The Changing Girl #12, while Rosemary Valero-O’Connell drew a variant cover for Cave Carson Has A Cybernetic Eye #12. The “Young Animal” line has certainly been a solid outlet for representation at DC each month since it began, and these additions carry that on well.

In terms of new books, DC’s Dark Nights: Metal event and its various tie-ins continue to be male-dominated, both in terms of characters and creators. But in exciting news, the Bombshells are back! The superhero ladies will continue fighting the Second World War in Bombshells United, which will double ship with double Marguerites in September. Wonder Woman’s also got a new mini-series that teams her with Conan the Barbarian, and Harley Quinn will star in a special 25th anniversary issue.

So overall, September looks to be an average month for female and non-binary creators at DC. The numbers are firmly in the middle of the publisher’s range across 2017 thus far; DC’s stayed within a fairly narrow window. So things are relatively steady, but that also means that the numbers aren’t growing. It’d be nice to see things improve in the months to come; with ComicCon this weekend, perhaps we’ll get some exciting announcements to that effect.

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – August 2017 Solicits, 25 Women on 24 Books

June 21, 2017

womenatmarvelAUGUST

The good news for Marvel’s August releases is that they have the highest number of female creators in the mix since March. The less good news is that the publisher is still a long way off from those March highs, continuing to languish in the mid-20s after they began the year firmly in the mid-30s. Basically, the numbers are higher than last month but not nearly as high as Marvel has showed they are capable of achieving. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in August 2017:

  • Amy Reeder: Star Wars #35 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #15 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Generation X #5 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Astonishing X-Men #2 (variant cover), Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye #1 (cover), The Mighty Captain Marvel #8 (cover)
  • Elsa Charretier: The Unstoppable Wasp #8 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #23 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #21 (writer)
  • Gabby Rivera: America #6 (co-writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool, the Unbelievable #19 (interior art, cover)
  • Hannah Blumenreich: Spider-Gwen #23 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Jen Bartel: America #6 (cover)
  • Jill Thompson: Lockjaw: Dog Days #1 (co-writer, interior art)
  • Jody Houser: Star Wars: Rogue One Adaptation #5 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #11 (cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: America #6 (co-writer), Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye #1 (writer), Hawkeye #9 (writer)
  • Margaret Stohl: The Mighty Captain Marvel #8 (writer)
  • Mariko Tamaki: Hulk #9 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #22 (interior art, cover)
  • Ro Stein: The Unstoppable Wasp #8 (interior art)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Men II #2 (interior art, cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey #1 (cover)
  • Tamra Bonvillain: Secret Warriors #5 (cover)
  • Yona Harvey: Black Panther and the Crew #6 (co-writer)
  • Yusaku Komiyama: Zombies Assemble 2 #1 (writer, interior art)

All together, there are 25 different female creators set to work on 24 different comic books in August, 1 more woman and 2 more books than in July. It’s a small step up from last month, as well as Marvel’s highest combined total since March. However, March had 37 different female creators on 33 different books, so Marvel’s still running very far behind where they were earlier in the year. The numbers dropped off precipitously in April, and they haven’t recovered a whole lot since then.

There are a couple of new names in the mix for August, though. We haven’t seen Ro Stein at Marvel before, and I think she’ll be a great fit on The Unstoppable Wasp. Tamra Bonvillain is also credited on a cover, even though she’s a colorist and colorists generally don’t get credited in the solicits. But if your name is in there, you make the list! So hooray for Tamra Bonvillain, who I actually come across a lot when I do my full “Gendercrunching” stats each month. It’s nice to see a colorist make the solicits for a change.

In terms of new books, Marvel’s Generations event has several female characters involved in special oneshot issues. The event focuses on different incarnations of the same hero, so for example the current, female Mighty Thor is paired with the old Thor, who’s now known as Unworthy Thor. Women are in the mix in four of the oneshots, including Hawkeye (the cooler lady one), All New Wolverine (also the cooler lady one), and both Phoenix and the new, young Jean Grey together in their own book. Marvel’s recent penchant for replacing male heroes with women has ensured that this event will have a considerable female presence throughout, which is very fun. It’s also great to see creators associated with the characters in the mix, including Kelly Thompson, the writer of the current, fantastic Hawkeye series, penning the special Generations: Hawkeye & Hawkeye issue.

So all together, female representation looks like it will be slightly improved at Marvel this August, but behind the scenes the gains are slight and on the page the gains are cool but momentary via an assortment of oneshots. It’s bizarre that Marvel can’t seem to get out of its current mid-20s rut with female creators; they were really hitting it out of the park as the year began, but the numbers just aren’t there anymore.

New Wonder Woman Arc to Focus on her Brother OR No One Wants This

June 20, 2017

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DC Comics announced a new creative team for their Wonder Woman comic yesterday, with James Robinson coming on board to write the book alongside Carlos Pagulayan and Emanuela Lupacchino on art. They’re going to do a six-issue arc that will run bi-monthly from September through December, and it will pick up on threads first introduced in DC’s “Rebirth” special a year ago. The solicit for the first issue says:

Who is Wonder Woman’s brother? Taken away from Themyscira in the dead of night, the mysterious Jason has been hidden somewhere far from the sight of gods and men…but his life and Wonder Woman’s are about to intersect in a terrifying way, bringing them face to face with a cosmic threat they never imagined!

I am underwhelmed, to say the least. Wonder Woman has been stellar since its “Rebirth” relaunch, with Greg Rucka, Bilquis Evely, Nicola Scott, and Liam Sharp revitalizing the character and setting her on a good path after several rough years following the book’s previous relaunch in 2011. Shea Fontana and Mirka Andolfo are set to take over the book in July for five issues, and that sounds like it’s going to be a fun run. I was pleased to see a female writer take over the series, and Mirka Andolfo’s art is always a treat. But now we’ve got a male writer at the helm again (and one with a problematic writing record at that). We do have Emanuela Lupacchino on art, and she’s marvelous, but the solicit is all about “legendary writer James Robinson,” along with credits over a decade old, and doesn’t mention the art at all. Robinson is also focusing on Wonder Woman’s mysterious brother, a bizarre turn that shows DC seems to have learned nothing from the success of the Wonder Woman movie.

First, with so many amazing female writers working in comics right now, DC should be handing over the reins of Wonder Woman to one of them long term. The book has had some great male writers over the years, and Rucka’s tenure over the past year was fantastic, but it’s time for a new perspective on the book. Men have written Wonder Woman for the vast majority of her seventy-six year history. Meanwhile, giving the Wonder Woman film to Patty Jenkins gave Warner Bros. its first critically acclaimed superhero film in years because she brought something new to the table. DC should do the same with the book and bring in one of the many amazing women working in comics right now.

Second, a brother? Has DC not seen any of the responses from folks coming out of the Wonder Woman movie? No one left the theater thinking that there needed to be more men in the mix. They wanted more Diana, more Amazons, more Etta, more of all of the amazing women that made up the film. Introducing Diana’s brother is the last thing anyone wants right now. Long term fans of the comic have been loving the female-centric storyline of the “Rebirth” era thus far, while potential new fans curious about the character after the movie are going to have no interest whatsoever in some new dude.

The brother angle was a weird idea from the start. When the “Rebirth” special came out a year ago, the tease struck me as a fundamentally dumb move. Diana is a unique creation, the only child of the Amazons. To introduce a sibling is unnecessary enough (unless they brought back Nubia, which could be cool if done right), but to make it a male sibling just totally misses the point of having Amazons in your universe. They let you tell cool stories about women! DC doesn’t need to stick a man in there; they can do fun things with the amazing women that they already have.

The people inside DC Comics can be dopes sometimes. Wonder Woman has never been more popular. The movie is a smash hit! And they’re putting out a comic book that’s going to appeal to few if any of her fans, new or old. It reminds me of 1973, when DC returned Wonder Woman to her Amazon roots after she appeared on the first cover of Ms. Magazine and became a mascot of the women’s lib movement. Just like today, Wonder Woman was hugely famous outside of the comics, but DC handed the book to Robert Kanigher, an old white guy who ignored her new status and wrote a bunch of lazy, subpar issues that failed to capitalize on her popularity. Four decades later, DC is making the same mistakes.

Part of me is hoping that this is some ill-considered cleanup operation, that editorial is thinking, “Let’s deal with this seed we planted a year ago and then get on to a cool, different creative team in the New Year.” Maybe they’re just burning off three months of comics to follow up on this story that absolutely no one is clamoring for and they’ve got a great team lined up after that. That would be a dumb plan; better to just let the seed die. But at least it would be a plan with something better in the future. As is, this is just dumb and ill-timed, as well as a big missed opportunity to make the most of a huge moment for Wonder Woman. Even if this somehow turns out to be a decent story, which seems very unlikely but you never know, it’s just the wrong direction for the book right now. Put women in charge of Wonder Woman with women on the pages, please.

Women at DC Comics Watch – August 2017 Solicits, 29 Women on 22 Books

June 13, 2017

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Despite a lack of female creators in several new series, mini-series and one-shots set to premiere in August, representation for women at DC Comics remained relatively strong across their wider range of books. Growth throughout the spring has led to a solid plateau at the publisher, though some changes are on the way that may soon change that this fall. Let’s take a look at who’s doing what at DC this August:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #25 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #26 (co-writer, cover)
  • Aneke: DC Comics Bombshells #32 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #12 (co-writer), Shade, the Changing Girl #11 (cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Detective Comics #963 (interior art)
  • Cecil Castellucci: Shade, the Changing Girl #11 (writer)
  • Eleanora Carlini: Green Arrow Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Scooby Apocalypse #16 (variant cover)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #14 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Wonder Woman #28 (variant cover), Wonder Woman #29 (variant cover)
  • Jody Houser: Mother Panic #10 (writer)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #13 (co-writer)
  • K. Perkins: Superwoman #13 (writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #13 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #32 (interior art), DC Comics Bombshells #33 (interior art)
  • Lea Hernandez: Teen Titans Go! #23 (interior art)
  • Leslie Hung: Shade, the Changing Girl #11 (variant cover)
  • Lilah Sturges: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #12 (co-writer)
  • Marguerite Bennett: Batwoman #6 (co-writer), DC Comics Bombshells #32 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #33 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Shade, the Changing Girl #11 (interior art)
  • Marley Zarcone: Shade, the Changing Girl #11 (interior art)
  • Michelle Delecki: Deathstroke #22 (variant cover), The New Gods Special #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #32 (interior art, cover), DC Comics Bombshells #33 (interior art)
  • Msassyk: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #12 (interior art)
  • Sana Takeda: Mother Panic #10 (variant cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #12 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #13 (co-writer)
  • Shea Fontana: Wonder Woman #28 (writer), Wonder Woman #29 (writer)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #12 (cover)
  • Yasmine Putri: The Hellblazer #13 (variant cover)

All together, there are 29 different female creators set to work on 22 different books in August, 2 more women than in July though 1 less book. DC’s hit a decent level as of late, with the number of women on their books ranging from 27 to 31 over the past four months. In terms of both their own past performances and the numbers from their main competitor, this is a relatively good plateau.

It’s not a huge month for new names, though. Leslie Hung and Sana Takeda are the only two here, both of them on variant covers. We haven’t seen Michelle Delecki in a while either, but everyone else has been around recently. This lack of new women, and of new gigs generally, is somewhat odd given how many different series, mini-series and one-shots are scheduled for August. There are 11 new #1 issues, only one of which features a female creator, so that’s a rather dispiriting ratio.

Female characters aren’t a huge part of these new books either. Where they do appear, it’s in group settings; Wonder Woman looks to have a role in Dark Nights: Metal, and Suicide Squad Black Files seems to include Enchantress and Katana. We’ve got a new Mister Miracle book as well that should feature a lot of Big Barda, but her name’s not in the title. There’s also six one-shots that celebrate Jack Kirby, none of which star a female character.

Overall, August looks to be relatively solid for women at DC, but change may be around the corner. One key difference moving forward will be the end of Gotham Academy: Second Semester, which ships its final issue in August. That book has been a bastion for female creators at DC, and we may see its loss reflected in the numbers. The fall could bring even more new books as well, and given how few women are involved with August’s new offerings, that may not be great for the numbers either. We’ll see what the solicits bring. But for now, August is looking relatively strong for female representation at DC, at least.

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.


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