- Posted by Johanna on March 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm
- Category: LinkBlogging
Back when I ran a separate blog, around 2004, I used to post “chick checks”, counts of how many women were working on DC and Marvel titles weekly. The numbers were horrible, for the most part, especially if you were looking at the big roles, writer, penciler, and inker.
Now, Tim Hanley is conducting a more rigorous count. His Women in Comics Statistics project aims to track counts more vigorously:
Women account for half of all human beings on the planet, but in terms of making comic books they are seriously under-represented. … for all of 2011, I will examine the comics released each week by the industry’s two biggest companies, Marvel and DC Comics, and chart the credits along gender lines. Each issue will be analyzed in terms of the total number of people working on the book, and then further broken down
I’m not trying to call out publishers, or suggest they go start hiring women just to look better or anything. I’m just trying to provide numbers for something that we all know is anecdotally true. Frankly, comic books have been aimed at males for decades now, and most of the people working on them today were the boys to which they were marketed. The industry hasn’t created an environment where one should expect a fair number of female creators… it’s very much a boy’s club.
Due to his methodology — he pulls credits from the Grand Comics Database — the latest posts count comics released the week of February 23 for Marvel and DC. The results are about as expected (images taken from Tim’s posts). Most women in comics are colorists or editorial assistants. And DC has a worse track record than Marvel, with no women in roles that get your name cover-featured.
I do quibble with his assumption that comics = superhero comics, since there are lots of women making careers in graphic novels, webcomics, and other areas, but I agree with his major point. It’s tough for a woman to make a career in the DC or Marvel clubhouse.
Update: If you think just one week isn’t enough to make judgments on, Tim has now posted monthly figures for Marvel and DC Comics. In that summation, DC does slightly better than Marvel, with 11% of its credits going to women.