We’ve heard from some of our pals in the comics industry that they have received two anonymous postcards — both postmarked in Chicago — with various statistics on gender disparity in the comics industry. One highlights problems with the materials:
“Out of 352 titles from 12 major publishers, 829 women were depicted naked or partially nude. Compared to only 486 men.”
The other covers behind the scenes:
“Contributors by gender of 350 titles put out by 12 comic book and graphic novel publishers.
All titles: 17% female
$20+ titles: 31% female
“No matter how you slice it, women are under-represented in the industry.”
So who’s using the postal meter for this campaign? Have you received one of these postcards — or do you know who is sending them?
UPDATE: Well, Tom “Hardy” Spurgeon is the first — because his postcards actually have a web address on them. That’s kind of cheating, to be honest, but anyway, the postcards apepar to be the work of Ladydrawers, an organization based at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; frequent comics essayist Anne Elizabeth Moore is involved and reveals more of their goals and activities:
This season’s LADYDRAWERS course at SAIC investigated gender inequities among freelancers and editors at the top 12 comics publishers in the United States. We then made a series of postcards based on our findings, and if you’ve found this site, it’s probably because we sent you one.
We’ve also got some big news: We’re putting together a book based on this work at Ox-Bow this summer, and, in conjunction with comics artists like MariNaomi and Esther Pearl Watson, I’ll be doing a semimonthly column on gender and comics at Truthout starting in a couple weeks. Watch for it!
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.