Both DC and Marvel’s overall percentage of female creators ticked down slightly in November, though DC remained within the ballpark of their recent highs while Marvel landed several points below theirs. We also wrap up our biannual tour of other publishers with stops at Boom!, Titan, Dynamite, and Valiant.
Despite the small drop, DC posted yet another strong month for female creator representation across the board. In November 2016, DC released 82 new comics with 759 credited creators, 612 men and 147 women. Let’s look at their stats:
Their overall percentage of female creators ticked down 0.3%, a very minor drop that still kept DC at one of their highest totals ever. By category, the numbers for female cover artists, writers, and colorists all rose a bit, while everything else was down, mostly by slight amounts apart from a 7.5% drop for female assistant editors. All together, the shifts across the board brought down the overall total just a tad.
The Past Year at DC: There’s no reason to be too upset about a decline in female creators when the publisher posts their second best total of the year:
Being in the 19% range is quite good for DC relative to their past performance, and marks quite a leap from where they were a year ago.
Marvel had a small decline as well, but it marks a third straight month of losses for the publisher. In November 2016, Marvel put out 85 new books with 829 credited creators, 700 men and 129 women. Here are their numbers:
While Marvel’s overall percentage of female creators dropping 0.4% is nothing too big, over the past few months they’ve cumulatively dropped a couple of percentage points. By category, there were slight gains for female writers, pencillers, and inkers and minor losses elsewhere, apart from a 4 point drop in female assistant editors and yet another zero for female letterers. They could really boost their numbers if they didn’t completely ignore women in one level of production each month. Regardless, the losses outweighed the gains and thus the overall total dipped yet again.
The Past Year at Marvel: It doesn’t look like Marvel is going to end the year on a strong note, though there’s one month left yet:
Marvel’s doing better than they were a year ago, but not by a lot and November marks one of their lower totals of the past year. While they seem to be in a bit of a slump with female creators, some new books on the horizon might boost the numbers in the months to come.
TOURING THE DIRECT MARKET, PART 2
Last month, we popped by Image, IDW, and Dark Horse and we saw some relatively decent numbers for female creator representation there. This year, we’re going further down the sales charts to the publishers ranked 6th to 9th on Diamond’s November report by unit: Boom!, Titan, Dynamite, and Valiant. Let’s continue the tour:
When we visited Boom! last April, they had some very impressive numbers for female creators. Now the numbers are even higher. In November 2016, Boom! put out 23 new comic books featuring 203 credited creators, 120 men and 83 women. Here are their charts:
Their overall percentage of female creators is a whopping 40.9%, up almost two points from half a year ago and just a massive number all around. And the numbers across the board were all quite high as well; women wrote a quarter of their books, drew a third of them, and colored nearly half of them. What’s particularly impressive about these numbers is that Boom! isn’t defined by any one genre. They have a lot of cartoon adaptations and books aimed at young readers, but they’ve got a plethora of other fare as well including action and science fiction tales, along with varied licenses ranging from the Power Rangers to WWE. It’s an odd mix, but one with which Boom! easily maintains their status as the publisher with the highest percentage of female creators.
Titan held relatively steady overall since our last visit, but there were some disappointing numbers by category. In November 2016, Titan released 22 new comics with 199 credited creators 155 men and 44 women. Let’s look at the numbers:
Titan’s overall percentage of female creators slipped down 1% since May, not a huge drop by any means, especially over this time span. However, by category there were some substantial declines. Women pencilled and inked nearly a quarter of Titan’s books in May, and that nosedived to just over 4% in November. Their percentage of female writers was halved as well. Female representation for cover artists, colorists, and especially female assistant editors was quite strong this month, and there were some gains here and there, but the numbers in the pivotal writing and interior art categories were surprisingly poor.
This one’s just a bummer all around. In November 2016, Dynamite put out 25 new books with 187 credited creators, 170 men and 17 women. Here are their charts:
When we visited Dynamite last May, their overall percentage of female creators was a very solid 20.7%, and now that’s collapsed down to 9.1%. The only gain was for female colorists, who ticked up just 2%. Everything else was down, and substantially so. Most categories were down by several percentage points, and the percentage of female writers dropped by more than half. After such a strong showing just six months ago, these numbers are underwhelming to say the least.
While Valiant’s female representation isn’t substantially higher than it was a year ago, the publisher does appear to be moving in a positive direction. In November 2016, Valiant released 9 new comics with 119 credited creators, 107 men and 12 women. Let’s look at their stats:
Their 10.1% total overall is fairly paltry compared to most other publishers, but it’s up from May’s 9.3%. Plus Valiant showed more representation across the board this month; in May, there were a lot of empty categories where female creators were concerned, and now all but one have something. Not a lot of something in a few of them, but the interior art categories were quite strong. So strong in fact that the low overall total is a bit surprising at first glance. That’s because Valiant has a massive lineup of variant covers that adds a lot of weight to the cover artist category and, as you can clearly see above, that’s not a great one for female creators this month.
Overall, this second round of visits wasn’t quite as upbeat as our first. Boom! hit it out of the park with female creator representation as always, but there were some huge areas of concern at Titan, Dynamite, and Valiant. None were without silver linings, however, and it was nice to do a full round of nine different publisher visits and only end up in single digits overall once. Still, there remains a vast amount of room to grow at several publishers, and hopefully they’ll have expanded their rolodexes by the time we next pop by.
To learn more about this statistics project and its methodology click here, and to see the previous stats click here. You can visit Tim at Straitened Circumstances and follow him on Twitter @timhanley01. His first book Wonder Woman Unbound is available now, and his new book Investigating Lois Lane: The Turbulent History of the Daily Planet’s Ace Reporter was released in March 2016.
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