Where are all the female creators, DC?

I woke up this morning (living on the other end of the world as I do) to another round of announcements that didn’t excite me at all.  (Why does Supergirl have knee cutouts and a red hoo-ha with a heart above it?  Can anyone explain?)

More than the loss of female characters, I’m feeling the lack of female creators with this new DC relaunch.  Already thin on the ground, DC has culled the ranks further.

My personal favourite, Nicola Scott?  Nowhere on the list.  She’s posted the following to her facebook:

Hi everyone,

Lots of exciting news coming out of DC lately. Thanks for all the interest but unfortunately I’m not on any of the 52 new books.

I’m currently finishing of my Teen Titans run with an epic, bumper sized #100 that will keep me busy until just before the relaunch starts.

After that, what would you like to see me work on?

Let DC know!

Cheers!

Personally, I baffle at Rob Liefield on a book and someone like Nicola not being on one. But then again, I also wonder why Superboy looks like he’s just had a visit to the Grid and come away TRON-ified.

Kelly Sue DeConnick has a few things to say about being approached by DC and turning them down, and later a failed pitch, so it’s great to see they did make a bit of effort, but still…  More than one creator would be great DC.  In fact, it would be fantastic.

I am going to be letting them know.  In fact, I have a series of letters I want to write them, starting with the lack of female writers and creators.

Write to DC here

About Dee

Officially a Canastralian. Longtime comic fan, and lover of the graphic medium. Grey up with the X-Men and Avengers, and moved to the world of DC and independents shortly after. Cosplayer, Costumer, and all around crafty person. Loves to travel and works her butt off for a number of conventions here in Oz.
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23 Responses to Where are all the female creators, DC?

  1. Turns out they also asked Marjorie M. Liu (who I adore), but it’s still not enough. And it even strikes me as strange to ask a NYTimes bestselling novelist, of TWO book series, alongside her two ongoing comics series… Would she really have time?

    I find it shocking that there aren’t newer writers that DC could have approached. I am trying to think of more female writers in comics, maybe at smaller houses… Is there a list somewhere of female writers working on current comics – other than Marvel and DC?

    Cheers,
    Kaz

  2. OnyxSparrow says:

    It’s a fair enough question, but maybe the answer is… there aren’t all that many? I mean, how many female comic creators are there out in the market? How many women are even interested in becoming comic creators?? Lets say that in a random sampling there are 100 male creators and only 10 female creators, and you can hire 50 to work for your company… should you HAVE to hire all 10 female creators, just to be able to say “hey we’ve got lotsa women working here” and simply ignore the ratios available in the workforce? We might as well see how many of them are Black, or how many of them are Buddists while we’re at it. Why aren’t there more Buddist comic creators?? Because there just aren’t a lot of them. The point I think is that if you want to see more female creators you don’t complain to DC for not having more, you get more women to want to do the job and flood the market with talent.

    • Dee says:

      It’s very late here in Oz, but this comment baffles me. From Stephanie Buscema to Katie Cook to Chrissie Zullo to Margerie Liu to Hope Larson to Jen van Meter to Kathryn Immonen to Amanda Conner to Lea Fernandez to Marsha and Candice Cooke and to all the women I know who are desperately trying to get more work in the comics industry. I’ve named a very few there. There are dozens if not more women who are working on web comics, and creator owned work and can’t get the break in the big 2.

      • God, I love Amanda Conner. <3

      • Also, yes! I mentioned web comics on twitter. Some REALLY good ones by women. I thought that there were ‘talent spotters’ at the big comic companies who kept tabs on online stuff – why are they not offering chances to these women?

        I know I’m asking a lot of questions, but I admit to being fairly unfamiliar with comics outside of the ‘big 2’ and then the other end of the spectrum: web comics. The stuff in between I definitely need to do more research and reading on.

        I’ve just ordered Headache from Kickstart on GRC’s recommendation (thanks, ladies!).

        Kaz

    • Onyx,

      There are a LOT of ladies that would love love LOVE to be comic book creators. I’m one of them. The fact is that many comic people have an old boy way of still thinking. Last week at Heroes Con in NC the lady creators/writers/artists were everywhere. I would say 1 in 3 at every booth was a woman. I’m not arguing that men outnumber women in the comic scene; I’m arguing with your statement that women are not as interested. If that was true then why did close to 200 women sign up to be a part of Womanthology? Why was every third person in Indie Island or Artist Alley at Heroes Con female? And it’s not like DC doesn’t have options. Why haven’t they reached out to more ladies? We have Jen Van Meter (writer/creator of Hopeless Savages), Marsha Cooke ( writer/creator on Teenage Satan), Stephanie Buscema (Artist), Danielle Corsetto (Girls with Slingshots), Rachel Dodson (artist), Karen of Planet Karen, and there are newbies that have been published once or twice (like myself, Ashley Lanni, Rhi Owens and thousands of other ladies) and have submitted pitches/portfolios to companies that do not look twice because we “aren’t somebody.” To say that there aren’t enough ladies wanting to get into creating comics is just insane and when Liefield gets picked up for book over the thousands of women who have better art who just want a chance then there is something very VERY wrong with the decision makers of ANY company.

  3. DianaH says:

    In terms of art: Superboy’s costume reminds me of the Batman Beyond suit when it gets jacked up. Then again, Harley’s new outfit looks like a Jokerz get-up…maybe someone has been watching vintage cartoons.

    I too am wondering why Lee and Liefeld get books when artists like Scott are left out.

    And where is Jen van Meter? Where is Amanda Conner? Devin Grayson? Pia Guerra? Jill Thompson? There are plenty of woman creators DC could be using.

    • Dee says:

      Harley’s new outfit seems a combo of duela dent and harley.

      So many comic creators that weren’t included in this, and many that I wonder why they were. And yes, many of those are women.

  4. Jade Carver says:

    Onyx, some reading for you:
    http://wiki.feministsf.net/index.php?title=Women_in_the_comic_book_industry
    http://www.comicbookgrrrl.com/2011/04/06/women-in-comics-an-overview/
    http://democracyguestlist.wordpress.com/2011/03/16/gender-and-comics/

    There are not a lot of women in comics not because they don’t want to be, but because like in the majority of industries in the West, men dominate. There are several women who are at the moment forging a path for women creators in comic books. I’m not going to go doing any more researching for you, if you’re genuinely interested in the matter (which from your comment I can guess you’re really not interested in gender equality at all, or you’d know better than the very worn-out “maybe women aren’t interested” argument) you can do some research yourself. Off the top of my head, not Nicola or Kelly? Gail Simone, Fiona Staples and Stephane Roux have done mainstream titles. Artists/writers who have gone straight to webcomics so they don’t have to deal with the industry include Erica Moen, Lucy Knisle, Danielle Corsetto, Megan Gedris, and Yuko Ota. Again, these are just the amazing comic book creators I can think of without looking anybody up.

  5. Jade Carver says:

    Sorry that should read Lucy Knisley, and I just remembered Hope Larson as well.

  6. Peter Whitney says:

    Why are we all assuming that DC didn’t want any female creators (except for Gail and Amy Reeder). Who knows, maybe several turned them down for whatever reason (working on something else, Marvel exclusive). Or maybe some of them just didn’t have the level of talent that DC wanted (and yes, it boggles my mind that Scott Lobdell and Rob Liefeld’s names showed up). And who knows, maybe we’ll see some female artists later, some of these artists can’t maintain a monthly series.

    But at least DC still leads other companies when it comes to strong female characters that aren’t used as love interests for the heroes, or just plot devices.

    • RachelPandich says:

      I think you made your own point when you brought up Liefield; if it was a talent issue then why his name and not someone else? And in my comment earlier I point out numerous ladies that are willing to take on more work.
      Again, two words: Rob Leifield

    • Jade Carver says:

      This is news to me. When I think of “great female characters” I don’t think of DC at all. Examples, please? Literally the only ones I can think of for DC are the ladies in Gotham City Sirens. I gave up after issue #6, since issues 1-6 failed the Bechdel test and I was extremely tired of looking at the cheesecake art.

      When I think of great female characters I think of Juliet in Kill Shakespeare (IDW), Anastasia in Mystery Society (IDW, and that series is drawn by Fiona Staples), SEVERAL characters in Artifacts (Top Cow), Y: The Last Man (IDW), Jesse from Changing Ways (Gestalt), Amelia from Chew (Image).

      I haven’t read Birds of Prey, but the fact that they’re taking Gail Simone OFF the series, when she is the reason everybody praises it, seems a little ridiculous to me.

      I would suggest you do a bit more research, Peter. If you’re just coming across this notion of the gender imbalance in companies like DC and Marvel, you won’t be able to appreciate the issue properly. I’m sure the big-hitters in the companies aren’t sitting there saying “We don’t want women creators”. It’s much more subtle and insidious than that. The mindset of the companies has not yet come out of the ’50s and this is reflected in their art (cheesecake fest in a comic directed towards women?), storylines (Women in Refrigerators anyone?), perception of their audience, and yes in their hiring practises. It’s not visible at first glance but IS IT THERE and it is keeping the gender ratio so woefully skewed.

      • Kit says:

        Yeah, I feel like they put cheesecake in comics for women in hopes of getting some extra sales from guys too, and they figure women don’t care either way.
        Marvel is hardly blameless either, but I have trouble finding female characters I have any interest in. I was disappointed with Zatanna and Sirens, which are both characters I normally like. They’ve just had a lot of bla. I’m tired of Zatanna being largely incompetent with her powers. But things like Batwoman were awesome, and I really anticipate the new series. I hope to god they don’t yank the current team off a couple issues in for not being able to meet the new deadlines.

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