Posts Tagged ‘Women In Comics’

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

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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!

Women at Marvel Comics Watch – July 2016 Solicits, 25 Women on 18 Books

April 27, 2016

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Just as we missed the first month of “Rebirth” at DC because I was busy travelling and being a bad blog person, we also skipped the first month of Marvel’s Civil War II, with all of its various  mini-series and tie-ins. The June numbers were strong, with 29 different female creators on 19 different books. There was a lot of grouping therein; Marvel seems to like to keep their ladies congregated on a limited number of books. But 29 different women was big for Marvel, and their second best total of the year. So let’s see how July stacks up by looking at who’s doing what at Marvel in the July 2016 solicits:

  • Amy Reeder: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #9 (cover, co-writer)
  • Annie Wu: Gwenpool #4 (variant cover)
  • Becky Cloonan: The Punisher #3 (writer, variant cover)
  • Brittney L. Williams: Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #8 (interior art)
  • Chelsea Cain: Mockingbird #5 (writer)
  • Elizabeth Torque: Civil War II: Gods of War #2 (variant cover), Hyperion #5 (cover)
  • Erica Henderson: The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #10 (art and cover)
  • G. Willow Wilson: Ms. Marvel #9 (writer)
  • Gurihiru: Gwenpool #4 (interior art)
  • Helen Chen: Silk #10 (cover)
  • Joelle Jones: Mockingbird #5 (cover)
  • Kate Leth: Patsy Walker, A.K.A. Hellcat! #8 (writer)
  • Kate Niemczyk: Mockingbird #5 (interior art)
  • Katie Cook: Haunted Mansion #5 (variant cover)
  • Kelly Thompson: A-Force #7 (writer)
  • Marguerite Sauvage: Civil War II: Choosing Sides #2 (interior art)
  • Marjorie Liu: Star Wars: Han Solo #2 (writer)
  • Natacha Bustos: Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur #9 (interior art)
  • Robin Furth: Dark Tower: The Drawing of the Three – Bitter Medicine #4 (co-writer)
  • Ruth Gage: Captain Marvel #7 (co-writer)
  • Sara Pichelli: Spider-Man #6 (art and cover)
  • Stacey Lee: Gwenpool #4 (cover)
  • Tana Ford: Silk #10 (interior art)
  • Tula Lotay: Scarlet Witch #8 (interior art)

All together, there at 25 different female creators scheduled to work on 18 different comic books at Marvel in July, a step down on both counts from the June numbers that’s tied for their lowest showing since the February solicits. Nonetheless, Marvel spent ages stuck in the teens (or less) when it came to women working on their books, so consistently landing in the mid-20s is a decent change of pace for them. They’re capable of higher numbers, but compared to last year it’s quite good.

It doesn’t look like there’s much in the way of new names in July; Ruth Gage co-writing Captain Marvel‘s tie-in to Civil War II is about it. There are some returning favourites, though, including Annie Wu, Katie Cook, Tana Ford, and Tula Lotay, who don’t have regular gigs at Marvel right now but pop in occasionally for variant covers and drawing an issue here and there.

It’s a quiet month for female characters innew titles too, with Civil War II in full swing. A couple of mini-series connected to the event launched last month, but they don’t mention many female characters. Kate Bishop’s in Civil War II: Choosing Sides #3 and that look to be about it. I imagine we’ll see some new books spinning out of however Civil War II concludes, so we may not see many big lineup changes for a couple of months yet.

Overall, while July’s a bit of a backwards step for female creators at Marvel when compared to June, the numbers are still relatively strong. It’s not a disastrous decline by any means, and the numbers keep Marvel well within the new, higher range they’ve been in as of late. I’m not anticipating a ton of changes, bookwise, in the August solicits, so I’m curious to see how the numbers shake out then.

Women at DC Comics Watch – July 2016 Solicits: Rebirth Disappoints, 20 Women on 17 Books

April 25, 2016

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We missed the first month of “Rebirth” because I was busy travelling and some things fell by the wayside, but we’re back again for the second month of DC’s new initiative and, like with every single dang new initiative DC’s done over the past several years, there are fewer women involved than in the months before the new launch. DC’s June and July solicits posted their lowest number of female creators thus far in 2016, making “Rebirth” a big step backward for the company at first glance. In June, DC had 19 different female creators on 18 different comic books, their lowest total since last September. Let’s see how things changed in July:

  • Amanda Conner: Harley Quinn #30 (co-writer, cover), Harley Quinn and her Gang of Harleys #4 (cover)
  • Bilquis Evely: Legends of Tomorrow #5 (interior art)
  • Cat Staggs: Adventures of Supergirl #5 (art and cover), Adventures of Supergirl #6 (cover), Batman ’66 Meets Steed and Mrs. Peel #1 (variant cover)
  • Claire Roe: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 (interior art)
  • Elsa Charretier: Harley Quinn #30 (interior art)
  • Emanuela Lupacchino: Green Lanterns #2 (cover), Green Lanterns #3 (cover)
  • Emma Vieceli: Adventures of Supergirl #5 (interior art), Adventures of Supergirl #6 (interior art)
  • Gail Simone: Clean Room #10 (writer)
  • Holly Black: Lucifer #8 (writer)
  • Hope Larson: Batgirl #1 (cover)
  • Jenny Frison: Clean Room #10 (cover)
  • Joelle Jones: American Vampire Anthology #2 (interior art)
  • Julie Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 (co-writer)
  • Laura Braga: DC Comics Bombshells #15 (interior art)
  • Marguerite Bennett: American Vampire Anthology #2 (writer), DC Comics Bombshells #15 (writer)
  • Meghan Hetrick: Red Thorn #9 (interior art)
  • Mirka Andolfo: DC Comics Bombshells #15 (interior art)
  • Nicola Scott: Wonder Woman #2 (interior art)
  • Renae De Liz: The Legend of Wonder Woman #8 (writer, art, cover)
  • Shawna Benson: Batgirl and the Birds of Prey: Rebirth #1 (co-writer)

All together, there are 20 different female creators scheduled to work on 17 different books in July, a slight tick up in women but a slight tick down in the number of comics they’ll be working on. These “Rebirth” numbers are not good; DC’s solicits averaged about 25 different women in the spring months before “Rebirth.” Of course, “Rebirth” is still unfolding and there may be more women in the mix as new books premiere in August and September. But so far, it’s very underwhelming for women at DC.

We do have several new names, though, including Hope Larson writing Batgirl and writers Julie Benson and Shawna Benson along with artist Claire Roe on Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. The latter team combine to join the creative teams of the digital first series DC Comics Bombshells and The Legend of Wonder Woman as DC’s only books written and drawn primarily by women.

For new female characters, with “Rebirth” rolling out another batch of titles we’ve got some ladies across a variety of new series. Batgirl, Black Canary, and Huntress star in the aforementioned Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, and Batgirl has her solo series relaunching in July as well. Women make up 2 of the 7 teammates of the new Justice League (Wonder Woman and Green Lantern) and while that’s still a small minority, it’s better than when the last Justice League launched in 2011 with just one woman on board. We’ve also got a female lead in the “how does this still exist?” series Red Hood and the Outlaws; Artemis will be part of the team along with Red Hood and Bizarro. Finally, DC’s premiering a new Flintstones comic for some reason, and so we should be getting Wilma, Betty, and Pebbles.

So “Rebirth” is off to a slow start with female creators, and looking ahead at the rest of the lineup, I wouldn’t hold out a lot of hope for a dramatic spike in numbers any time soon. I’m also curious to see how Shelly Bond’s firing will affect the Vertigo books; Vertigo has been a bastion of female creator representation at DC for a while now, but cancellations and new titles may be forthcoming. On the plus side, Gerard Way’s weird new line seems to have a bunch of female creators in the mix, but that’s not coming until the fall. For now, the numbers are low at DC yet again as they stick to their tried and true method of two steps forward, one step back.

Women In Comics Statistics: DC and Marvel, February 2016 In Review

April 13, 2016

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My latest “Gendercrunching” column went up today on Bleeding Cool, and while I love all of my stats adventures, I think this one is particularly telling about the state of women in the superhero comic book industry today.

DC and Marvel’s numbers both slipped down from January, with DC falling further and landing at 13.6% female creators overall while Marvel ticked down slightly to 15.1%. Both are relatively decent totals for each publisher, though below their recent highs.

Then we look at who is writing what at DC and Marvel, and get some very striking numbers. Male writers at the Big Two are writing everyone: male characters, female characters, team books. What they write is roughly analogous to each publisher’s overall output, partly because male writers comprise the bulk of it and partly because they get to write all of the characters. Female writers, however, are mostly just writing women. It’s an odd bit of pigeonholing that’s actually gotten more pronounced over the past year. While it’s great to have women writing women, female writers are capable of writing all sorts of characters, just like men are, and I think the next big step in progress at DC and Marvel needs to be women writing everyone across the board.

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

Latest Image Expo has Lowest Percentage of Female Creators Since January 2014’s Expo

April 11, 2016

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Before ECCC started in Seattle this weekend, Image Comics held another of its Image Expos, their roughly semi-annual presentation of new titles that will be debuting over the course of the coming year. There were a lot of intriguing titles in the mix, and I’m particularly looking forward to Motor Crush by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, and Babs Tarr, formerly of Batgirl, and Isola by Brenden Fletcher and Karl Kerschl, formerly of Gotham Academy. It’s always fun to see my favourite superhero creators try something new.

The Expo also featured new books from notable creators like Brian Azzarello, Ed Brubaker, Leila del Duca, Jonathan Hickman, Jerome Opena, Sean Phillips, Jen Van Meter, and more. And, as always when given a list of names, I decided to count them up and see what the gender representation was at this Image Expo. The numbers weren’t great, comparitively. Here are all of the new books, with creator information courtesy of Image’s website:

  • AFAR by Leila del Duca & Kit Seaton
  • BLACK CLOUD by Jason Latour, Ivan Brandon, Greg Hinkle, Matt Wilson, Aditya Bidikar
  • THE BLACK MONDAY MURDERS by Jonathan Hickman & Tomm Coker
  • THE DIVIDED STATES OF HYSTERIA by Howard Chaykin
  • GLITTERBOMB by Jim Zub & Djibril Morissette-Phan & K. Michael Russell & Marshall Dillon
  • HORIZON, by Brandon Thomas, Juan Gedeon & Frank Martin
  • THE HUNT by Colin Lorimer, Jim Campbell, and Joana Lafuente
  • ISOLA by Brenden Fletcher & Karl Kerschl
  • KILL OR BE KILLED by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, Elizabeth Breitweiser
  • LAKE OF FIRE by Nathan Fairbairn & Matt Smith
  • MOONSHINE by Brian Azzarello & Eduardo Risso
  • MOTOR CRUSH by Brenden Fletcher, Cameron Stewart, & Babs Tarr
  • PRIMA by Jen Van Meter, Rick Burchett
  • PRINCE OF CATS by Ron Wimberly
  • ROCKSTARS by Joe Harris & Megan Hutchison
  • ROMULUS by Bryan Hill & Nelson Blake II
  • SEVEN TO ETERNITY by Rick Remender, Jerome Opeña, & Matt Hollingsworth
  • SURGEON X by Sara Kenney & John Watkiss, James Devlin, & Jared K. Fletcher
  • VS by Ivan Brandon, Esad Ribić, Ive Svorcina, Aditya Bidikar
  • WINNEBAGO GRAVEYARD by Steve Niles, Alison Sampson, Stephane Paitreau, & Clem Robins

All together, there were 40 different men and 9 different women across these 20 new titles, so women accounted for 18.4% of the creators announced at this year’s Image Expo. That’s a noticeable drop from the past three Expos, where women posted percentages of 25.9%, 26.4%, and 23.5%. This year’s total is the lowest since the January 2014 Image Expo, which only had 10.5% female creators.

In terms of representation per book, 8 of the 20 new titles have at least one female creator, another drop from the last Image Expo in July 2015 where there was a woman on more than half of the books (12 out of 23). The Image Expo before that was slightly better than this year, too; the January 2015 Expo had 10 women on 24 books, or 41.7% of the titles, while this year’s 8 of 20 is just a step behind at 40%.

So we’ve got a drop in the overall total and a drop in representation across the board. A double slide like this is rather disheartening, especially from a publisher who prides itself on being the anti-Big Two. While these numbers are somewhat better than Marvel’s recent relaunch or DC’s upcoming “Rebirth”, Image isn’t blowing anyone out of the water here. Fewer than 20% female creators is a decidedly average showing, and far below the bar that Image has set for itself in past Expos. Holding fairly steady around 25% for three shows instead of growing was a little bit disappointing, and now they have taken a step back. If Image was really as different and cutting edge as they seem to think they are, we’d be seeing an explosion of female creators. Yet we are not. Here’s hoping for a course correction with the next Image Expo.


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