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the Marvel creator gender ratio imbalance

In the wake of the Brian Wood thing, I've been thinking more about the m/f ratio of comics creators. I knew it wasn't great, but when you get down to looking at numbers, well. A quick guesstimate for Marvel ongoings next year based on these tables combined with solicit data through February 2014 yields an instructive chart.

artists 371
author 373

In the face of that kind of disparity, details and caveats are basically irrelevant (though I've included them below anyway).

For the record, the artist is Sara Pichelli on Guardians of the Galaxy and the writers are G. Willow Wilson on Ms. Marvel and Kelly Sue DeConnick on Captain Marvel and Avengers Assemble (although technically she's co-writing an arc with Warren Ellis for that book for the first part of the year). Recent Marvel regulars who don't have steady gigs right now include Kathryn Immonen and Marjorie Liu, although there are probably a couple more I'm not thinking of.

(Fiddly details: these statistics don't count the number of writers, but the number of writing slots. Brian Michael Bendis, for example, is counted three times here. OTOH, a book that's co-written by two authors still only counts for one slot. Note also that artists come on and off titles all the time, so those numbers are potentially more variable over time than the writer numbers.)

I don't know Image well enough to confidently say much about it long-term, especially since I think books are produced on a much less regular schedule there. A glance over the February solicits yields only a marginally better picture (although I'm only reading Rocket Girl, Pretty Deadly, and Saga, which together have a creator ratio of 2/3 women). And I don't know DC at all, so someone else would need to crunch those numbers.

Crossposted from Dreamwidth. Comment here or there. (comment count unavailable DW replies)


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 15th, 2013 11:44 pm (UTC)
That is depressingly low. Somehow I thought there were more female artists, especially.

I haven't gone through the solicits, but I know DC has Ann Nocenti, Gail Simone, and Christy Marx writing ongoing titles (Catwoman, Batgirl, and Birds of Prey, respectively) and Marguerite Bennett has written a couple things recently. I'm not sure about their artists, though.
Nov. 16th, 2013 12:02 am (UTC)
Yeah, it's pretty terrible. I did have the impression that DC was somewhat better, but that's all I know.
Nov. 17th, 2013 06:30 am (UTC)
Hi there! verbosewrdsmith pointed me to this entry because I'm doing a sociology paper (a very short one, but still) about the gender gap in comics and I was wondering if it would be alright to use this entry as a source. I'd like to cite you and if that's okay (and if it's not, I totally get it), I'd like to know what pseudonym you'd prefer for me to use.

Let me know! :-)
Nov. 17th, 2013 04:28 pm (UTC)
Uh, you're welcome to cite me if you want to, under the name 'snickfic,' although I'm not sure your instructor is going to that sounds like a very credible source. :D Just be sure you mention that these are estimates - I literally sat at the kitchen table with a piece of paper and made hashmarks as I went down the list.
Nov. 17th, 2013 04:35 pm (UTC)
I have my main sources already (a few interviews with online friends and such) and this is just a supplemental one. Besides, she's actually exceptionally laid back and gives zero fucks. It's kind of awesome and hilarious all at once.

But I'll totally mention this is an estimate (mostly, I'm gathering things for the paper but I have to do a 12 minute presentation as well and this will be a good jumping off point. So, yeah). Thank you so much, by the way! <3
Nov. 17th, 2013 04:37 pm (UTC)
Well, cool! Good luck. :)
Nov. 18th, 2013 07:04 pm (UTC)
And what kills me is everytime something like this is brought up they always argue talent and who submits and things like that.

Never mind how much harder (and as has been shown) awful getting into comics can be for women.

Nov. 18th, 2013 07:14 pm (UTC)
Yup. Yup. How anyone can look at those numbers and still make those arguments with a straight face is beyond me.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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