With the full solicitations for DC Comics? relaunch now revealed, we have a special edition of Gendercrunching!! In terms of female characters, it looks decent. Of the 52 new number ones, 7 of the books are headlined by solo women or all-female teams, and several other team books feature female characters (most of them wearing pants, though Supergirl seems to have REALLY missed the memo and even left her skirt at home). But in terms of creators, it?s not a good situation. The 52 titles feature 160 credited creators, 157 male and 3 female. Here are the overall percentages:
That?s a very tiny slice of pie. Now, this is just based on the solicitations, so it?s only cover artists, writers, and artists? there may be copious amounts of ladies colouring and lettering and editing these books that we just don?t know about yet. But in terms of the names that get you in the solicits and on the cover of these new number ones, it?s terrible. Let?s break it down by category and chart them up:
Cover &n bsp; Arti st
Those tiny bits you can barely see are the women working on these new books. Now, let?s be upbeat: 3.3% female writers is actually better than usual for DC. However, it?s the exact same thing it?s been all year, with Gail Simone writing two books a month. I thought the relaunch might bring about some new names to go along with Simone, but not so much? though it?s rather impressive that Gail Simone accounts for two thirds of all the women making these comics!! Good work, Gail!!
One cover artist is pretty miniscule for DC. There are usually a few more, but even with a fair amount of variants it?s just the one, Jenny Frison on I, Vampire #1. SIDENOTE: Speaking of I, Vampire, you might be thinking that Andrea Sorrentino is a lady, but he?s not. He is Italian, one of many Andreas that make this stats gig occasionally confusing.
Finally, there are NO interior artists whatsoever. This is just weird? DC?s employed a few female artists this year, such as Nicola Scott, Sandra Hope, Fiona Staples, Amy Reeder (who will be on Batwoman later on, I assume), Amanda Conner, and some others, but it?s all dudes here. I?m really surprised that at least one or two of those gals aren?t on a book.
DC isn?t great at employing women in these big categories, and I?m sure the overall numbers in September will be a lot higher with all of the other categories factored in. Nonetheless, with such a big push in diversity for characters and styles of books, I thought that might translate into the talent as well. Instead, what we have is basically what we had before, just less so. I?m excited for the relaunch, and I think it?s smart for DC to make a big move and mix it up with their storytelling, but I think DC?s missed an opportunity to mix up the creative side as well.
Please contact me if you?d like to see the full stats spreadsheets. To learn more about this statistics project and its methodology click here, and to see the regular weekly and monthly stats click here.
Honestly I think that these charts only help to illustrate something that many of us already know, comic book publishing is a male dominated industry.
I think it would be worth looking into how many women pitched for these jobs compared to men before jumping to any inferences, as well it might be interesting to see the stats on how many women compared to men actually purchase and read comics.
I'm in no way implying that women don't work in the industry or that women don't read comics, they certainly do, all I'm saying is that the data is lacking in enough substance to draw any conclusions other than the ones presented by the facts.
I would love to see more women working in the industry, not because of some misguided girl power movement wherein I want more women doing everything simply because they have lady parts, but because diversity is the driving force behind all of the arts, from film to literature to sequential art and prose, and more is never a bad thing.
I hope we eventually see an equal distribution of creators, writers and artists along the gender line but until there are as many women out there as men reading comics and making an effort to break into the industry that will never happen, and that certainly isn't DC's fault.
It's probably not a huge surprise, as previous gendercrunching has had the rather poor showing for the "headline" creators (those who get on the solicits and, often, the covers) by the rest of the creative team, especially by editors. Equally when you are relying on one or two artists or writers a small fluctuation is going to have rather dramatic results. Looking at your last set of DC gendercrunching there were 2 covers artists, no writers and 1 penciller, with the bulk of the numbers being made up by colourists (3), editors (4) and particularly assistant editors (7).
If DC loses Gail Simone...that pie chart can become all blue. This is pathetic. They should have announced not only a DC relaunch of the titles...but announcing they're bringing more women in to be storyline editors for those titles. I mean, what about Kathryn Immonen?
Considering that these are all ongoing titles (no mini-series) how does Marvel stack up? Marjorie Liu on X-23 is the only one I can think of off the top of my head. So, I don't think it a big DC only issue.
Can you imagine if the media spotlights this issue? Both DC and Marvel should be ashamed of themselves. Male dominated industry is an understatement. I'd love to hear what Jill Pantozzi says about this.
If you're going to bother to relaunch the line, it might be a good business to hire creators who might have ideas of how to reach the half the population you're not connecting with. That's one way of growing your audience.
I'd love to see a similar breakdown of black and latino creators and characters with the new line. Off the top of my head I'd say three books with black leads, one black artist...and that's it. After publishing a lovely tribute to Dwayne McDuffie, no black writers at DC.
As for little to no Latino representation, I guess no one at DC has any census information.