Speaking of the NY Times, there were several women-in-comics related posting that went around over the last week or so that we thought worthy of their very own round-up. First, Gail Simone was profile in the New York Times, a prestigious achievement for anyone. However the phrase “She is the first woman to serve as “ongoing writer” (to use the industry’s term) in the character’s 66-year history.” did seem to be fudging it a bit, as Johanna pointed out: Both Trina Robbins and Mindy Newell wrote WW in the past.
For what it’s worth, the article istelf seems to read “…the first woman to serve as ‘ongoing writer’ (to use the industry’s term) in the character’s 66-year history.)”
Since the writer is a known comics fan, I like to think he put that parenthetical in there to perhaps acknowledge that there may be some dubiousness to the claim.
That said, if the claim is that Simone is the character’s first “ongoing” writer, that would explain why Trina Robbins isn’t being counted since her Wonder Woman contributions were a mini-series and an original graphic novel, not part of the ongoing series. So excluding Robbins makes sense on a technical, semantic point-of-view.
Less clear is why Mindy Newell should be overlooked. Perhaps it’s because her contributions were collaborative (at least on the post-Crisis Perez-era Wonder Woman; I’m not sure if she was the only writer credited on the pre-and-during-Crisis issues she wrote.) Which is still a bit unfair, but there you go.
Steven Rowe in The Beat‘s own comment section, makes a case for two previous writers:
Of course both Joye Murchison (1945-1947), and Dann Thomas (1983) were ongoing Wonder Woman writers even before this. You could argue that Thomas was the less famous of a writing team, but Murchison’s stories were solo…..
None of which is a knock against Gail, who is easily one of the most successful comics writers this decade. But it does tend to point out the “There can be only one!” attitude towards female scripters in the superhero biz, as well as how easily previous milestones can be forgotten.
§ Johanna is back with a look at the first year of the Minx line .
Is the line a success? I don’t pay attention to sales figures much, so I don’t know how well the books are selling either in the direct market or in the bigger bookstore field. That they’re doing a second year says to me that they still are optimistic about the idea. I’m guessing the books are most popular among schools and libraries, since they’re classically styled stories (teenage girl learns life lesson) that are easy to justify for purchase. I have yet to hear anyone really excited about them, though, in any market.
(The comment section reveals some Minx Year Two news, as well.)
David Welsh also looks back, and examines the sales patterns between direct market and bookstore sales.
This prompts another response from Johanna:
DC, as a company, may not want Minx to be too successful, anyway, because it would put the lie to many of the pieces of received wisdom that they’ve been comforting themselves with all these years. And their strong relationship with the direct market makes it difficult to be successful in the bookstore market, because it’s seen as disloyalty to their “core customers”.
As for our own viewpoint, the Minx line would have to be called at most a modest success at this point, but one that DC clearly does have belief in for another year. We’d still like to see more actual feedback from the target audience, however.