Posts Tagged ‘Women In Comics’

Women in Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, May 2016 in Review

July 11, 2016

bleedingcool

My latest “Gendercrunching” column is up over at Bleeding Cool, and May 2016 was a pretty solid month for female creators across the board. Both DC and Marvel appear to have settled into a new status quo that’s noticeably above their previous typical range.

DC Comics ticked up slightly to 16.9% female creators overall, their highest percentage in a year. Marvel dropped a bit, but still came in at 17.4% overall; Marvel’s past three months have the highest continuous run we’ve seen from either Big Two publisher since this project began a few years back.

We also continued our tour around smaller publishers and saw impressive totals from Dark Horse, Dynamite, and Titan, as well as somewhat less than impressive numbers from Valiant. All together, over the past two months, the seven smaller publishers we visited posted some pretty solid numbers.

Head on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the stats fun!

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – September 2016 Solicits, 33 Women on 23 Books

July 7, 2016

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When Marvel posted 34 different female creators in their August 2016 solicits, I thought that the number would be hard to match when next month’s batch dropped. Turns out, I was right, but in the best way; Marvel didn’t quite hit 34 different female creators again, but they did hit 33 and that’s pretty impressive. These are two of the highest months we’ve ever seen from Marvel or DC, and Marvel’s hit them back to back. Let’s take a look at who will be doing what at Marvel in September 2016:

  • Alison Sampson: Civil War II: Choosing Sides #6 (interior art)
  • Alti Firmansyah: X-Men ’92 #7 (interior art)
  • Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #11 (co-writer, cover)
  • Annie Wu: Deadpool #18 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #5 (writer)
  • Brittney L. Williams: Civil War II: X-Men #4 (variant cover), Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #10 (interior art, cover)
  • Chelsea Cain: Civil War II: Choosing Sides #6 (co-writer), Mockingbird #7 (writer)
  • Christina Strain: Civil War II: Choosing Sides #6 (co-writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Uncanny Inhumans #14 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #12 (interior art, cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #11 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool #6 (interior art)
  • Helen Chen: Silk #12 (cover)
  • Jody Houser: Max Ride: Final Flight #1 (writer)
  • Joelle Jones: Mockingbird #7 (cover)
  • Kate Leth: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #10 (writer)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Mockingbird #7 (interior art)
  • Kathryn Immonen: Doctor Strange Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Kei Zama: Scarlet Witch #10 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: A-Force #9 (writer)
  • Kirbi Fagan: Star Wars: Han Solo #4 (variant cover)
  • Marjorie Liu: Star Wars: Han Solo #4 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #11 (interior art)
  • Rosi Kampe: Extraordinary X-Men Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Ruth Gage: Captain Marvel #9 (co-writer)
  • Sana Takeda: Civil War II: Choosing Sides #6 (interior art)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Man #8 (cover)
  • Siya Oum: Max Ride: Final Flight #1 (variant cover), The Astonishing Ant-Man #12 (variant cover)
  • Stacey Lee: Gwenpool #6 (cover)
  • Stephanie Hans: Star Wars: Han Solo #4 (variant cover), The Totally Awesome Hulk #11 (variant cover)
  • Tana Ford: Silk #12 (interior art)
  • Tula Lotay: Civil War II: Choosing Sides #6 (variant cover)

All together, there are 33 different female creators scheduled to work on 23 different comic books at Marvel this September, one fewer creator than August though five fewer books. Despite these drops, this is a ridiculously good showing relative to every other set of numbers we’ve seen from Marvel. Moreover, they all but sustained their record setting total from August, even though the August numbers were heavily inflated by variant covers, i.e. onetime gigs that don’t carry over into the following month. Marvel’s on quite a run right now.

They’re doing so by regularly adding a couple of new women to the ranks each month. I believe that Alison Sampson is making her Marvel debut in September, as is Kei Zama, both of them doing interior art. The jobs look to be one time gigs again, but it’s good to see Marvel giving creators a shot at interiors; that could easily lead to future work. There are also a lot of returning names who we haven’t seen in a while. As Marvel continues to hire more and more women, their rolodex gets deeper and deeper and thus more women are likely to show up each month. Conceivably, anyway. If we’ve learned anything in these years of tracking women working at the Big Two, it’s that the numbers can drop precipitously at any time for no good reason.

There’s not much in the way of new books with female characters again, just because there aren’t any new books. We’ll start to see a slew of new titles as the fall continues and Marvel does yet another round of relaunches, but for September they’re finishing up Civil War II.

Overall, September looks to be yet another strong month for women making comics at Marvel. There’s still a bit of grouping and a tendency to have female creators working primarily on female characters, but hopefully that will start to change. It will require keeping these numbers up, though, so we’ll keep an eye on how that goes in the months ahead.

Pennsylvania Pals, Come See Me At BookFestPA on Saturday, July 16!

July 6, 2016

bookfestpa

America, I’m coming back to visit you soon! I’ve been invited to BookFestPA, which is part of the Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts in State College and Penn State, and I’ll be there for the full day of BookFestPA on Saturday, July 16. The theme for this year’s BookFestPA is comic books, and I’ll be there to chat about the history of superheroes. I’m really looking forward to the trip; it sounds like a great festival, and everyone involved has been wonderful to work with. I think it’s going to be a blast.

I’ll be there in the main tent, with copies of Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine and Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter for sale. I’ll also have lots of free things to give away, including bookmarks and fun Investigating Lois Lane notebooks. There will be lots of other great people in the tent, too, including comic book creators like Alitha Martinez (Batgirl) and Robert Hack (Chilling Adventures of Sabrina).

I’ll also be giving a talk in the Downsbrough Community Room at the Schlow Centre Region Library at 11am on Saturday; it’s right next to BookFestPA’s main tent. My talk is on “The History of Women in Comics,” and I’ll chat about Wonder Woman and Lois Lane, of course, as well as several other great female superheroes as I discuss the evolution of women in superhero comics over the best eight decades. The presentation is going to be jam packed with all of your favourite heroines and villainesses. I’m putting the PowerPoint together now, and it’s absolutely loaded with so many fantastic female characters. Catwoman? For sure. Supergirl? Of course. Black Widow? Yep. Ms. Marvel? We’ve got both of them. Batgirl? ALL OF THEM. Gwen Stacy? Like ten different versions. Patsy Walker? I’m going to have to force myself to stay on track so I can get to everyone else because I could talk about Patsy Walker ALL DAY. It’s going to be so much fun!

So if you’re in the ballpark of central Pennsylvania on Saturday, July 16, come say hi! You can hear me chat about awesome comic book ladies, check out books from a variety of awesome folks, and I’ll even give you free stuff. Plus there’s going to be a costume contest! You can dress up! It’s going to be a great day, and I think a good time will be had by all. Check out the BookFestPA page for more information, and I hope to see you there!

Women At DC Comics Watch – September 2016 Solicits, 28 Women on 21 Books

June 28, 2016

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DC’s not had the best run with female creators over the course of their past few rounds of solicits. Since their “Rebirth” relaunch began in June, the numbers have been well below their usual level, and far off from their previous highs. It looks like September might mark the end of this skid, but I’m not entirely sure that this increase in female creators is going to last. We’ll discuss more, after we look at who’s doing what at DC Comics in September 2016:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #3 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #4 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #6 (cover)
  • Amanda Deibert: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 (co-writer)
  • Amy Chu: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 (co-writer)
  • Babs Tarr: Doom Patrol #1 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #1 (co-writer)
  • Bilquis Evely: The Flintstones #3 (variant cover)
  • Carmen Carnero: Astro City #39 (interior art)
  • Cat Staggs: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 (cover)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #6 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #7 (variant cover)
  • Fiona Staples: Gotham Academy: Second Semester #1 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #12 (writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #10 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #3 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #12 (cover)
  • Joelle Jones: American Vampire Anthology #2 (interior art)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2 (variant cover)
  • Marguerite Bennett: American Vampire Anthology #2 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #17 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #11 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #17 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #6 (interior art)
  • Rachel Dodson: Superwoman #2 (variant cover)
  • Sandra Hope: Cyborg: Rebirth #1 (inker), Gotham Academy: Second Semester #1 (inker)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #2 (co-writer)
  • Tess Fowler: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 (interior art)
  • Trina Robbins: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 (co-writer)
  • Tula Lotay: Everafter: From the Pages of Fables #1 (cover)

All  together, there are 28 different female creators set to work on 21 different comic books, an impressive gain from August’s 20 and 21, respectively. September also marks DC’s best total since March, quite a lull for the publisher, though as I mentioned at the top, the numbers are still far from their past highs.

And also probably fleeting. Between a couple of anthology books (Wonder Woman ’77 Special #4 and the resolicited American Vampire Anthology #2) and variant covers, at least a third of the gigs listed above are unlikely to be back in October; they’re one-shot jobs. It’s great that these books are loaded with female creators and that so many women are getting cool variant cover gigs, but it’s not a stable position like writing or interior art tends to be. Next month could drop off quite a bit.

Though there are some new, more stable gigs in the mix. Gotham Academy: Second Semester returns with regular jobs for co-writer Becky Cloonan and inker Sandra Hope, while the new Everafter: From the Pages of Fables could prove to be a consistent cover position for Tula Lotay. Three more regulars is good news.

In terms of female characters, Supergirl is officially launching her new title in September, the return of Gotham Academy means more fun adventures for Olive and Maps, and there’s also a Raven mini-series. In new team books, Wonder Woman will be a key player in Trinity, while Raven and Starfire will be part of the new Teen Titans. So it’s a pretty solid month across the board for fictional women too, and a great month if you happen to be a Raven enthusiast.

Overall, September looks to be a strong month for women at DC, but I’m not sure that it will last. Gerard Way’s Doom Patrol is set to premiere then, though, which may mean that the rest of his line is rolling out soon; that would be good news, because several female characters have been attached to those projects. It’ll take several new books to keep these numbers up in October, and we’ll find out in a month or so if DC is up to the task.

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – August 2016 Solicits, 34 Women on 28 Books

May 27, 2016

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Marvel’s on quite a run right now, hitting some of the highest numbers of female creators they’ve ever had over the past six months. This coming August will be no exception, with Marvel besting their own record set just a couple of months back. Lots of women are working on lots of fantastic books at Marvel right now, giving readers a wide variety of options to choose from other than dumb stuff like Nazi Captain America. Go buy Ms. Marvel or Patsy Walker a.k.a. Hellcat! instead! Anyway, let’s take a look at who’s doing what at Marvel in August:

  • Afua Richardson: Amazing Spider-Man #17 (variant cover)
  • Alti Firmansyah: X-Men ’92 #6 (interior art)
  • Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #10 (co-writer, cover)
  • Annapaola Martello: Civil War II: Choosing Sides #5 (interior art)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #4 (writer)
  • Brittney L. Williams: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #9 (interior art, cover)
  • Chelsea Cain: Mockingbird #6 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Hyperion #6 (cover)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Gwenpool #5 (variant cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #11 (interior art, cover)
  • Faith Erin Hicks: All-New, All-Different Avengers Annual #1 (co-writer, interior art)
  • G. Willow Wilson: All-New, All-Different Avengers Annual #1 (co-writer), Ms. Marvel #10 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Civil War II: Choosing Sides #4 (variant cover), Marvel Tsum Tsum #1 (variant cover)
  • Helen Chen: Captain America: Steve Rogers #5 (variant cover), Silk #11 (cover)
  • Irene Strychalski: Gwenpool #5 (interior art)
  • Joelle Jones: Mockingbird #6 (cover), Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #10 (variant cover), Scarlet Witch #9 (interior art)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Star Wars: Darth Vader #25 (variant cover)
  • Kate Leth: Patsy Walker, a.k.a. Hellcat! #9 (writer)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Mockingbird #6 (interior art)
  • Kelly Thompson: A-Force #8 (writer)
  • Marjorie Liu: Star Wars: Han Solo #3 (writer)
  • Ming Doyle: Power Man and Iron Fist #7 (variant cover)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #10 (interior art), The Mighty Thor #10 (variant cover)
  • Nik Virella: Hyperion #6 (interior art)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – Bitter Medicine #5 (co-writer)
  • Rosi Kampe: Civil War II: Choosing Sides #4 (interior art)
  • Ruth Gage: Captain Marvel #8 (co-writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Black Panther #5 (variant cover), Spider-Man #7 (cover), Star Wars: Darth Vader #25 (variant cover)
  • Stacey Lee: Gwenpool #5 (cover)
  • Tana Ford: Silk #11 (interior art)
  • Tula Lotay: Captain America: Sam Wilson #12 (variant cover)
  • Vanesa R. Del Rey: Daredevil Annual #1 (interior art, cover)
  • Veronica Fish: All-New, All-Different Avengers Annual #1 (interior art)

All together, there are 34 different female creators set to work on 28 different comic books in August, big jumps from July’s 25 and 18, respectively, and the highest totals we’ve seen at Marvel since this project began. Heck, when we started this project a few years back, there were months with only FIVE women at Marvel. So this is an excellent change of pace. While female creators are still a significant minority at Marvel, things have definitely changed.

Now, there are a bunch of variant covers in the mix this month, with at least 11 of the women listed above working on one. Marvel seems to have brought in a lot of female artists for their special “Tsums Tsums” variant cover promotion. Variant covers are an enjoyable gig and all, but they are the least stable of positions so chances are that a lot of these women won’t be back next month. We’ve seen variant cover gigs eventually turn into steady, interior gigs later on though, so while in the immediate future we might lose some names, they could be back down the road.

There are some new creators in the mix for August, which is always fun. I think that August might mark the first gigs at Marvel for Irene Strychalski and Rosi Kampe, and they’ve both landed interior art jobs, which is impressive. It’s also nice to see some returning favourites, like Ming Doyle and Tula Lotay, as well as Faith Erin Hicks, who’s done the occasional variant cover for Marvel lately but here is doing a short story in the All-New, All-Different Avengers Annual #1 which should be great.

There’s not a lot of new news for female characters, what with Marvel in the midst of Civil War II and pretty focused on that. Marvel did announce a new publishing initiative for the fall called Marvel Now (again) that seems set to bring another dang round of relaunches. That’s always worrisome, because neither DC or Marvel are particularly good at featuring female creators when they do a big relaunch initiative; the numbers ALWAYS go down. Hopefully Marvel’s learned to do better. We’ll see in a couple of months.

As for right now, Marvel’s doing very well with female creators and they’re putting out some fantastic books. It’s great to have women making comics, but it’s extra fun to see all of my favourite Marvel books listed up there. More ladies are making comics at Marvel than ever before, and they’re making some of the publisher’s very best books too. Keep it up, Marvel!

Women at DC Comics Watch – August 2016 Solicits: Rebirth Still Low, 20 Women on 21 Books

May 24, 2016

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DC Comics’ big “Rebirth” initiative has not been great for women thus far. Even though they’re adding new series every month, the numbers aren’t really changing for female creators at DC, plus the current level is far below where DC was before “Rebirth.” I don’t know what it is with DC and big events, but anytime they do a new publishing initiative, they do so with considerably fewer women than they had beforehand. It’s a troubling trend. Let’s see who is doing what at DC in August:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #1 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn #2 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #5 (cover), Harley’s Little Black Book #5 (co-writer, variant cover), Suicide Squad: Rebirth #1 (variant cover), The Flintstones #2 (cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: Gotham Academy Annual #1 (co-writer)
  • Bilquis Evely: Legends of Tomorrow #6 (interior art)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (interior art)
  • Elsa Charretier: DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #4 (variant cover), Green Lanterns #5 (variant cover), Supergirl: Rebirth #1 (art and cover), The Flintstones #2 (variant cover)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #11 (writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #9 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #2 (writer)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #11 (cover)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (co-writer)
  • Kamome Shirahama: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (variant cover)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #16 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: DC Comics Bombshells #16 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #10 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #16 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #4 (art and cover)
  • Rachel Dodson: DC Comics Bombshells Annual #1 (cover), Superwoman #1 (variant cover)
  • Renae De Liz: The Legend of Wonder Woman #9 (writer, art, and cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey #1 (co-writer)

All together, there are 20 different female creators scheduled to work on 21 different books in August, more books and the same number of women as July’s 20 and 17, respectively. In the “Rebirth” era thus far, we’ve got female creator totals of 19, 20, and 20, far lower than earlier in the year when DC was consistently in the mid-20s and even topped 30 different women on occasion. These numbers aren’t great.

We’re also seeing a lot of grouping. There are two DC Comics Bombshells books in August, and they make up a full quarter of the women working at DC. I love the Bombshells comic and that it’s such a fantastic outlet for female creators, but it’s sad that DC has so few women working for them that two books can account for so much. Also, Amanda Conner makes up 6 of the 21 different issues listed above, almost a third. Amanda Conner is amazing, but it again speaks to how poor DC is at distributing work to women that one woman accounts for such a huge number of books.

On the character side of things, Batgirl and the Birds of Prey officially launches in August after their “Rebirth” special in July, and the new Superwoman, starring a superpowered Lois Lane, debuts as well. A new Harley Quinn book will be hitting shops as well, but it appears to be just a relaunch of the current series without much in the way of changes or revamps; why mess with a good thing? We’ve also got some fun annuals, including a DC Comics Bombshells Annual that introduces Barbara Gordon to this alternate universe and a Gotham Academy Annual that should be a blast because that book is always a good time.

So “Rebirth” has been rather underwhelming so far. I was hoping that the numbers would grow as more books came out, but that does not seem to be the case.  Things are steady and low, with few signs that this will change on the superhero front. The fall should tick up, with Gerard Way’s new line starting up, but that may be a couple of months off yet, and that will do little to address DC’s mainline superhero problem. Put more women on your books, DC! It’s not hard.

Women in Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, March 2016 in Review

May 11, 2016

bleedingcool

My March 2016 “Gendercrunching” column is up now on Bleeding Cool, and it was a big month for Marvel Comics as the publisher hit a new high for female creators.

DC ticked down very slightly to 13.3% female creators overall, a total noticeably below their previous highs. Meanwhile, Marvel jumped up to 18.8% female creators overall, a big jump from their February total and a record high for Marvel. Now, 18.8% women is still a rather small minority so, on the one hand, hooray for the achievement, but on the other hand, there’s still a lot of room to grow yet. Also, if I’ve learned anything compiling these stats, it’s that the numbers go two steps forward, one step back, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the next few months don’t quite measure up.

We also take a look at this year’s Eisner Award nominations, which have a record number of female creators in the mix. And we compare the Eisners to the Hugos, the big awards for science fiction and fantasy, and for the first time since I’ve been keeping track, there is a higher percentage of female Eisner nominees than female Hugo nominees, which says a lot about the direction the comic book industry is heading in. Also, we’ve got some defenders of the Sad/Rabid Puppies slate that has hijacked the Hugo Awards for two years running in the comments section, so that’s pretty hilarious.

Pop on over to Bleeding Cool for all of the “Gendercrunching” fun!


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