Monday, October 13, 2014

Women in Comics

We do stats around here from time to time. So these statistics aren't super surprising:

Comic Books Are Still Made By Men, For Men And About Men

To say the comic book industry has a slight gender skew is like saying Superman is kind of strong. Comic books — much like the film industry they now fuel — vastly under-represent women. The people who write comic books, particularly for major publishers, are overwhelmingly men. The artists who draw them are, too. The characters within them are also disproportionately men, as are the new characters introduced each year.

The big two comic publishers, DC Comics and Marvel, have taken note of this disparity and are trying to diversify their offerings. Marvel just published the first issue of a series introducing a new, female Thor, and the science fiction blog io9 recently praised DC Comics for upgrading Batgirl’s costume to “the best damn superheroine outfit ever.”

But these recent advancements don’t make up for the fact that women have been ignored in comic books for decades. And they still don’t bring women anywhere close to parity: Females make up about one in four comic book characters.

Among comic-creators, the numbers are even more discouraging. Tim Hanley, a comics historian and researcher, analyzes who’s behind each month’s batch of releases, counting up writers, artists, editors, pencilers and more. In August, Hanley found that men outnumbered women nine-to-one behind the scenes at both DC and Marvel. He also estimated that 79 percent of people working on comics this year were white. ...

The dynamic has not been that different in the animation industry, where men vastly outnumber women, although the ratios are better (5.2-1 male to female instead of comics' 9-1).

We have talked about the men to women thing from time to time, everything from correcting bad information, to commenting on medial stories (and e-mails), to--some years back--publishing and commenting on industry demographics.

Happily, I think the participation rate of women is going up. but it's going up slowly.


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