A Day of Finding Women Creators: #VisibleWomen

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By Andrea Ayres

On the search for women colorists, letterers, inkers, writers or artists but aren’t sure where to look? Then the Visible Women hashtag is the place for you. The event is a project of the company Milkfed, founded by comic book writers Kelly Sue DeConnick (BitchPlanet) and Matt Fraction (SEX CRIMINALS). The hashtag hopes to bring increased visibility and awareness to women and nonbinary creators.

Since the event began Monday morning, the hashtag has been retweeted thousands of times in an effort to help showcase the work of diverse creators. The goal of the hashtag is to help dispel myths and misconceptions about women creators within the comic industry, chief among them being they either don’t exist or are difficult to find.

And the talent on display has been extraordinary.

The hashtag provides people with a quick way to learn more about women creators but it’s usefulness goes beyond awareness raising. Those in the comics industry who are in hiring positions can request access to spreadsheets with information about the creators and their area of speciality free of charge.

Despite some improvements over the past few years, the comic book industry remains a male dominated space. According to comic book historian Tim Hanley, who runs the blog Strained Circumstances, the percent of female creators at DC and Marvel for May 2017 hovered around 15%. Twice a year Hanley also looks at direct market publishers, where female creators didn’t fair much better.

“Dynamite slid down to a paltry 6.2% female creators, Boom remained a bastion of female representation at 39%, Titan ticked down slightly to a relatively strong 20.4%, and Valiant rose to 14.3%. All told, our larger tour over the past two months featured more losses than gains, and combined with low showings at DC and Marvel, female creator representation across the board in the direct market appears to have taken a bit of a dip as of late.” Tim Hanley, Strained Circumstances 8/2/2017

Hanley’s methodology involves looking at the number of female creators credited using the Grand Comics Database, a non-profit helping to catalog information on creator credits. The low percentage of women and non-binary creators currently credited helps demonstrate why awareness raising campaigns like #VisibleWomen are so useful and remain necessary.

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Art at the top by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

2 COMMENTS

  1. OMG, this is brilliant! Goes so far beyond what Friends of Lulu did in the ’90s with the “Women Doing Comics” page I curated… For anyone discouraged by how far women still have to go in the industry, please know we’re in so much better shape than we were just 20 years ago!!

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