By Tim Hanley
DC Comics' overall percentage of female creators rose but remained in single digits as Marvel posted the higher total again despite no change overall. We also check in on four different publishers, with varying results.
DC is improving but is still frustratingly far from good overall despite some strong creative numbers. In November 2014, DC released 82 new books featuring 721 credited creators, 650 men and 71 women. Let's look at their stats:
DC rose 1.1% overall, which is a decent jump for one month. However, it's still well below their recent average, and several percentage points off their past highs. Nonetheless, cover artists, writers, pencillers, and inkers all rose slightly and are at their highest level in some time. Colorists fell a couple percentage points, but letterers rose the same amount, while editors and assistant editors both had slight gains as well. Creatively, DC is doing quite well and better each month, but their poor editorial situation remains an anchor on their overall total.
Compared To A Year Ago: Last November, DC was at 11.7% female creators overall, so they're down 1.9% since then.
While Marvel was up and down across the board, they landed on the same overall percentage as last month. In November 2014, Marvel put out 73 new comics with 611 credited creators, 545 men and 66 women. Here are their numbers:
No change is better than a loss, but Marvel remains well below their recent highs. Cover artists and editors rose, writers and letterers stayed the same, and pencillers, inkers, colorists, and assistant editors fell by varying degrees, with assistant editors dropping the most at nearly 4%. Marvel seems to be leveling off after some up and down months, but hopefully they don't settle at this spot. They're capable of much better numbers.
Compared To A Year Ago: In November 2013, Marvel had 12.2% female creators overall, so they've fallen 1.4% since then.
OTHER PUBLISHERS, PART TWO
Last month we began a new regular feature where we'll be popping by several smaller direct market publishers on a bi-annual basis to get a better sense of their female creator representation and how it evolves. We looked at Image, Dark Horse, and IDW in October, and this month we've got four more publishers to visit. First up is…
Boom! has been our benchmark for stellar representation since we began visiting them a couple years ago, and this month is no exception. In November 2014, Boom! released 41 comics featuring 325 credited creators, 208 men and 117 women. Let's look at the numbers:
This is a massive total overall, and across the board really. No one else is going to even come close. Boom! is actually down 0.4% overall from when we visited them last April, largely due to an increase in male assistant editors. Female writers, pencillers, and inkers are all higher than last time, though, with writers jumping an impressive 11% since then. In even better news, Boom! is maintaining this massive representation while expanding their line; they only put out 25 books in April. Adding an additional 16 books and actually increasing the number of women on the creative side of things while doing so is quite a feat.
We visited Dynamite in April as well, and they've also increased their overall percentage of female creators. In November 2014, Dynamite put out 34 new comics with 286 credited creators, 245 men and 41 women. Here are their stats:
As always with Dynamite, we start with a word about their editorial. They don't usually list editors in the credits, apart from a team of editors buried in the fine print who are the same in every issue. I only count editors listed in the main credits, so Dynamite doesn't get the big boost from editorial that DC, Marvel, or Boom! does. The editor percentages above account for only 9 credits.
Nonetheless, Dynamite is doing great across the board. Overall, they're up almost 5% from our last visit. Their number of female writers has increased massively, almost quintupling from 2.9% in April to 14.3% here. Pencillers, inkers, and colorists are up dramatically as well, and cover artists are a bit better too. Dynamite puts out a huge number of variant covers, so even slight growth in the cover category carries some weight overall. It's remarkable that Dynamite's been able to catapult past DC and Marvel, even without the added benefit of editorial numbers. It speaks to how well Dynamite has done at increasing female representation, as well as how poorly the Big Two have performed lately.
Speaking of poor performances, it's time for Avatar. We've visited Avatar a couple of times before and they haven't had any female creators in any categories. It's been a series of goose eggs, so let's see how they did this month. In November 2014, Avatar put out 6 new comics featuring 27 credited creators, 27 men and 0 women. Let's go to the numbers:
Zero again. They've got fewer books this time around, and thus a smaller number of creators, but that doesn't change the fact that we've popped by Avatar several times and they haven't yet had a single female creator. It's really quite ridiculous. If a publisher can't manage even 1 or 2 female creators in 2014, they can't be trying that hard to find any.
It was a quiet month for Archie, with only a handful of new books, and not a lot of women therein. In November 2014, Archie released 5 new comics with 37 credited creators, 36 men and 1 woman. Here are their stats:
An overall percentage of female creators at 2.9% overall is pretty weak. Moreover, it's down from the 5.9% Archie posted last time we visited, which wasn't all that great either. Archie's been doing a lot of cool and innovative stuff with their comics lately, and I know they've got some female creators lined up for the future, but this is a very poor showing. There are scads of fantastic female creators out there. Any publisher not hitting a double digit percentage for women each month is just not doing enough to find them.
So we've got a mixed bag in November. It's nice to see Boom! killing it, as always, and what a fantastic turnaround for Dynamite in just a few short months. While it's disheartening to see stagnant numbers at the Big Two and goose eggs across the board for some publishers, the publishers who are doing well with women creators are really doing enthusiastically well, and that's all kinds of encouraging.
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 book Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World's Most Famous Heroine is available now.