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Old 12-29-2012, 05:08 PM   #21
Jester
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I knew I liked Bobby.

How prevalent are female creators in the industry at large?
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:10 PM   #22
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I knew I liked Bobby.

How prevalent are female creators in the industry at large?
In mainstream comics not many at all. It's a very short list.

Bobby, can you confirm or shoot down the Gail Simone thing? I've always wondered. I can't remember where I read about that... it might have even been posted by her on her Facebook.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:14 PM   #23
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Yeah, I kinda got the impression that comics were kinda a "boys club" as it were. Not that women are barred from working in the industry...but there are few who actively seek it out as employment.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:50 PM   #24
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It might have to do with sexism in the comic industry.

Look at Starfire's outfit in the comics, why would a real person wear something like that when you're in a battle?
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:08 PM   #25
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Yeah, I kinda got the impression that comics were kinda a "boys club" as it were. Not that women are barred from working in the industry...but there are few who actively seek it out as employment.
I'm actually going to agree with CyberCubed on this. I get the impression that women were de facto barred from working in the industry until very recently. Maybe not in the underground (?) but cetainly among the big companies.

And even when they don't have editorial pressure against their hiring, there's a pretty strong foundation of soft bigotry in comics that might push women away from even considering it, partly because of the industry's audience and partly because of its creators and content. Being a "boys' club," by men, for men, leads to some pretty off-putting stuff. It's something they still struggle with, particularly the big two, even if they're growing out of it. The video-game industry has the exact same problem, and I think it's one of the biggest mutual hurtles they face as far as elevating themselves above being considered a lesser media form.

Also, the response from Bobby is much appreciated. I guess this thread shifted gears a bit, but I didn't intend for it to be any kind of condemnation of IDW. The series is still young, it's been good, and it's more or less been helmed by a single writing team, which I respect. From what I've seen, IDW as a whole treats women a lot better than the larger companies as well (ignoring Arcee). More than anything, I wanted to discuss the reasons behind a trend, and, in my opinion, problem, the first two comic series present.

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Old 12-29-2012, 08:52 PM   #26
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I'm actually going to agree with CyberCubed on this. I get the impression that women were de facto barred from working in the industry until very recently.
Nonsense, but that's the impression a lot of people have by the few number of working female writers. The simple fact is... there's just not a lot of budding female comic writers who are looking to work on mainstream comics. I mean, there's a handful (Gail Simone, Ann Nocenti, Marjorie Liu)... but far and wide the active, working female comic creators gravitate toward niche independent stuff, not superheroes and tights and vigilantism.

In fact, it wasn't long ago that DC was made to look like fools a couple San Diego ComiCons ago when it was pointed out there was only like one female writing at DC. It was thrown back at the audience: "OK, fine. Give us the names of female writers who would want to work with us -- we'd love to talk to them!" And the whole crowd, you know, Room BCD or whatever it was, room full of like 2,000 people... and like two guys were the only ones who could offer up any names, and they were ones of indy-ground female comic writers who would more than likely have no interest in Batman or Superman type of fare. And after that Con they actively tried to seek out female talent (perhaps for the wrong reasons, but still, they did)... and two years later they're still right back about where they were to begin with.... not because there's some kind of imaginary "No Girls Allowed" institution in place, but just for the simple fact that there are virtually no female comic book writers interested in writing superheroes.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:11 PM   #27
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Also, Pamela Burke wrote and sketched Practical Jokes that got canceled from Tales Vol. 2.

I always wonder if April was named after Rose O'Neill of Kewpie fame if Jack Kirby was referenced. But although there is still lots of progress to close the gap, the number of female comic contributors has noticeably grown in recent years.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:13 PM   #28
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Also, Pamela Burke wrote and sketched Practical Jokes that got canceled from Tales Vol. 2.
No connection to the Will Tupper-written "Practical Jokes" cancelled short?
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:41 PM   #29
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Somebody get a binder.
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Old 12-29-2012, 09:50 PM   #30
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In fact, it wasn't long ago that DC was made to look like fools a couple San Diego ComiCons ago when it was pointed out there was only like one female writing at DC. It was thrown back at the audience: "OK, fine. Give us the names of female writers who would want to work with us -- we'd love to talk to them!" And the whole crowd, you know, Room BCD or whatever it was, room full of like 2,000 people... and like two guys were the only ones who could offer up any names, and they were ones of indy-ground female comic writers who would more than likely have no interest in Batman or Superman type of fare. And after that Con they actively tried to seek out female talent (perhaps for the wrong reasons, but still, they did)... and two years later they're still right back about where they were to begin with.... not because there's some kind of imaginary "No Girls Allowed" institution in place, but just for the simple fact that there are virtually no female comic book writers interested in writing superheroes.
That's fine, but -- And why not? We're veering off a strictly Turtles track here anyway -- I wonder how much of that is because the mainstream superhero stuff, particularly in the last few decades when women writers would be humored, has been really poor at using female characters for anything other than T&A. Again, video-games are having the same problem. It's hard to get new creators interested when the medium does so much to turn them away from it. Likewise, it's easy to claim there's a lack of interest, but that doesn't address that the problem is likely cyclical.

I think, anyway. I'm not actual a woman comic book reader, so maybe someone who is could clarify or correct me. But that's the impression I get from the blogosphere, etc. and just looking at a lot of the stuff DC, Marvel and Image have put out over the last ten years.

Again, IDW seems to be a lot better when it comes to this.

And again, this doesn't really explain the near complete lack of women on both Mirage's guest-artist run or Tales Volume 2, which I'm still kind of curious about. It probably was just that they didn't get enough pitches. Or they didn't recruit any women artists like they did some of the guys during the guest-artist days. Either way, it's kind of unfortunate.

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Somebody get a binder.
Yeah, just to be clear again, I really want to avoid the whole "binder" rhetoric of "Go find some women just to say we have women." But you can express disappointment that the franchise hasn't seen more of a balance (because, really, we probably would've gotten some better fiction for it) without advocating that.

-- EDIT -- Look at me, backin' up my posts with sources --

So, yeah, even as of their recent relaunch, DC was still engaging in pretty offensive trends with its women characters, and seems to be addressing it in part by making a concerted effort to balance creative teams, in part just by acknowledging that it's been a problem.

Oh, and here's this other piece talking about the systematic alienation thing.

A lot of it remains with audiences simply to request more balanced content and not tolerate the soft sexism, though, which is why it's cool to notice things like this in the series we read.

Last edited by Cipher; 12-29-2012 at 10:14 PM.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:48 PM   #31
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Well let's ask this, how many women actually WANT to write for TMNT comics?

A lot of female writers probably have no idea what TMNT is about outside of knowing it was a cartoon phenomenon in the late 80's.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:52 PM   #32
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It's sort of interesting to note that most TMNT fan-fiction is done be females yet there seems to be very little interest in with these folks wanting to pursue anything official. Not that I'm complaining since I think most fan fiction is terrible, but still.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:55 PM   #33
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That's fine, but -- And why not? We're veering off a strictly Turtles track here anyway
I don't think we are. A lack of female mainstream comic book writers is not a problem systemic of TMNT alone.

But the reasons you list as to why female writers would not gravitate towards mainstream comics is valid. But the problem remains... such as mainstream comics has existed since time immemorial, it's not a thing that attracts them.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:55 PM   #34
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It's sort of interesting to note that most TMNT fan-fiction is done be females yet there seems to be very little interest in with these folks wanting to pursue anything official. Not that I'm complaining since I think most fan fiction is terrible, but still.
Well, the issue with a majority of fanfic writers is that they're doing self-insertion stories that involve them/their character getting usually into some romantic situation that ends up turning into some sort of soap opera type situation...

My own stories I've written have had more to do with character development than actual fighting situations. That could be a factor as to why there's fewer women writing/drawing for the comics...
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:57 PM   #35
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It's sort of interesting to note that most TMNT fan-fiction is done be females yet there seems to be very little interest in with these folks wanting to pursue anything official. Not that I'm complaining since I think most fan fiction is terrible, but still.
95% of people who write fanfiction can never break into the industry professionally anyway.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:07 PM   #36
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I don't think we are. A lack of female mainstream comic book writers is not a problem systemic of TMNT alone.
I just meant that TMNT was a little removed from the realm of DC and Marvel, both in its talents and audiences, but I suppose it's all part of the same lack of female creaters.

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But the problem remains... such as mainstream comics has existed since time immemorial, it's not a thing that attracts them.
But they way they've existed since time immemorial has been incredibly and unnecessarily alienating to women -- first by keeping them out of the material as much as possible (see that early DC mandate to not use women), and later by using them as T&A, even when they're in leading roles. Mainstream superhero comics have catered exclusively, and harmfully, to male fantasies for most of their existence.

Only very recently have they begun to address this. Gail Simone did her whole "Women in Regrigerators" thing as late as 1999, and complaints over the overly objectified New 52 characters came just last year. If the articles I've been reading are any indication, there is a female audience for superhero comics with a balanced gender portrayal, and more creative teams to come from that.

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Old 12-29-2012, 11:13 PM   #37
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I just meant that TMNT was a little removed from the realm of DC and Marvel, both in its talents and audiences, but I suppose it's all part of the same lack of female creaters.
Perhaps, but arguably mutant Turtles in a sewer that slice up bad guys with martial arts weapons is even less attractive to the kinds of accomplished female comic creators we see out there than tights and capes sort of material.

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But they way they've existed since time immemorial has been incredibly and unnecessarily alienating to women -- first by keeping them out of the material as much as possible (see that early DC mandate to not use women), and later by using them as T&A, even when they're in leading roles. Mainstream superhero comics have catered exclusively, and harmfully, to male fantasies for most of their existence.
I know. I was agreeing with you on that point. The thing is that that perception extends, largely, to all comics, not just traditional superhero ones. When Little Suzy is growing up in those formative years and is thinking about her vocation in the years to come and comics pop into mind -- however briefly -- she's not going to be thinking, "Comics are so chauvinistic... except for a handful of them that aren't of the superhero sort," she's going to walk into a Barnes & Noble and see T&A on a bunch of covers and is going to say, "Yeah, forget it" and work toward something else. Generally speaking.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:19 PM   #38
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I know. I was agreeing with you on that point. The thing is that that perception extends, largely, to all comics, not just traditional superhero ones. When Little Suzy is growing up in those formative years and is thinking about her vocation in the years to come and comics pop into mind -- however briefly -- she's not going to be thinking, "Comics are so chauvinistic... except for a handful of them that aren't of the superhero sort," she's going to walk into a Barnes & Noble and see T&A on a bunch of covers and is going to say, "Yeah, forget it" and work toward something else.
Are you getting at why we saw no women writers even on the semi-underground TMNT runs?

Okay, that's fair. Superhero comics are the face of comics for most people, so I guess TMNT's problem is the same as the industry's problem. -- the female talent pools are thin because the medium never did much to attract them. Especially in action genres, of which TMNT was always a part and from which it always pulled its talent (that or comedy).

So I just hope that changes, and I'd argue that it can with some conscious thought from both readers and creaters.

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Old 12-29-2012, 11:22 PM   #39
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Are you getting at why we saw no women writers even on the semi-underground TMNT runs?

Okay, that's fair. Superhero comics are the face of comics for most people, so I guess TMNT's problem is the same as the industry's problem. -- the female talent pools are thin because the medium never did much to attract them. Especially in action genres.

I hope that changes.
Bingo. Exactly.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:38 PM   #40
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Steph Dumais did art on Tales Vol. 2 #41.
Steph Dumais is a guy.

this is a big topic that's very important to me that is too sprawling to get into too deeply here, but one of the big obstacles regarding this, and one of the reasons i believe it IS important to seek out female talent, is because since American comics has traditionally been a male-dominated field, many potential women creators don't know the opportunities exist in the first place, they don't feel it's accessible to them, or they feel unwelcome by the "boys' club" element happening in comics. i still hear stories from colleagues who meet girls or women who are surprised that women draw or write comics, they had no idea that it's even a thing because the common perception is that comics are for boys. it's changing, of course, the manga boom a while back helped a lot, for example, now the webcomic option is huge, i know a ton of women in comics and lots more i don't know personally, and i'd say things are better than ever but there's still an issue.

another thing similar to the Gail Simone anecdote: when i was slated to draw the new TMNT comic series for Dark Horse before that fell apart, the main writer we talked about was Jen Van Meter, who did Hopeless Savages for Oni Press (and with whom i worked with on Hopeless Savages vol. 3, my first published comic work ever back in 2002-2003) and some stuff here and there for DC and Marvel (i think she wrote a Black Cat book and some JSA stuff).

anyway, you rock, Cipher! these sorts of topics are great to discuss.

Last edited by Sophie Campbell; 12-30-2012 at 12:04 AM.
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