Tag Archives: gender

What’s at Stake: Wonder Woman and the “F” Word

wwbestofrest13It’s been less than a week and the announcement that comics writer Meredith Finch and artist-husband David Finch are taking over as Wonder Woman‘s new creative team with issue #36 is still an open sore, the constant media reminder of which continue to drive me into a fury. On the one hand, because half of the commentators hardly care or don’t see any harm in the creative change; on the other hand, because savvy writers who do get it are just as outraged.

Some might think “outrage” and “fury” are harsh, maybe even over-reactive descriptors. But consider for a moment our collective comic book fandom outrage when Orson Scott Card, homophobe extraordinaire, was slated to write 2013′s Adventures of Superman. Comics fandom won a major battle with help of media coverage, the artist Chris Sprouse, a petition by AllOut.org, and comic shop owners who refused to stock a comic written by Card. (This was not unlike the response to Gail Simone’s firing from DC’s Batgirl that got her quickly rehired.)

Recalling these moments in recent comic book history (hmm, both having to do with DC’s creative choices…), imagine now that Orson Scott Card had been asked to write a well-known gay or lesbian character, and that he had stated in interviews his desire to make the character decidedly “not that gay” or generally uninterested in the narrative purposes put to the creation of an LGBTQ comic book hero. We’d be burning down DC’s boors and firing Dan DiDio! (We should anyway after this.)julyww32

So why aren’t we now? To put my and other commentator’s frustration into context, let’s consider the facts of the Wonder Woman creative team change. On June 30th USA Today announced that Meredith and David Finch, a wife-and-husband duo, would take over Wonder Woman, signaling the end of the three-year and 36-issue-long era of Brian Azzarello, Cliff Chiang, and to a lesser extent Goran Sužuka and Tony Akins. While this team defined an entirely new Wonder Woman steeped in the mythos of a redesigned Greek pantheon of hipster gods, badass goddesses, and an as yet unbeatable First Born, all good comic book runs must come to an end.

Alone, this announcement was a disappointment: Meredith Finch is an almost unheard of writer, unless of course you’ve read Zenescope Entertainment’s Grimm Fairy Tales Presents: Tales from Oz, a series of one-shots. Bleeding Cool, who wrote several articles based on “informed sources” starting in February 2014 about the potential for David Finch to take over drawing Wonder Woman and the suspicion that his wife, Meredith, would write, decided to take a look at one M. Finch’s oeuvre, reviewing it in view of the possibility that she might write the Amazon princess’ monthly. The reviewer, who badly needed a copyeditor, concluded that despite an abundance of sexist imagery, the comic displayed “a definite awareness of feminine stereotypes,” and, ultimately, was about warriors being warriors, “which is probably what you might want for Wonder Woman.”

oz10-600x922Zenescope Entertainment is essentially the Playboy of the comics industry, a company whose income is derived solely from comics based on public domain fairy tale and fantasy narratives that are populated with scantily-clad, huge breasted women and the warriorest of warrior men. Their “warrior women” usually look something like the image to the left, with dialogue by M. Finch. All of this said, it is exciting to see a new female creator come on board at DC, though her politics seem to accord generally with the “we’re not feminists” stance of DC’s creative heads.

WonWoman

“Hey, there, stud. I’m not a man-hater, just a strong woman.”

Turning away from Meredith’s inexperience, her husband, David Finch, is not the greatest artist for female characters, and the art he supplied for the “big reveal” is atrocious, unrefined, and cookie-cutter. His is a Wonder Woman who looks like she works at a strip club in order to show how empowered women are by showing their skin. In other words, a “strong female character” made for men, like basically everything else. For a discussion of some of the problems with the strong female character trope, see Shana Mlawski’s poignant article.

These were just my thoughts from the night of June 30th. Then came July 1st and the Comic Book Resources interview with M. and D. Finch. Some highlights of the interview include David Finch’s curt “No.” to the question “Have the two of you collaborated on a creative project together, either in comics or outside of it?” and the quick follow-up by Meredith, in which she points out that, in fact, she’s helped him on plotting and layouts for years. Finch then came up with a brilliant save by pointing out that he probably ignored any advice she gave, complete with “[Laughter].” What a guy!

When asked what direction the team will take, either following Azzarello’s mythos or not, Meredith responds that, “we’re definitely going to steer the book a little more into a more mainstream — I guess I’d say there will be some superhero stuff in it. It really will still be a very character-driven book, though.” The desire not to tread on Azzarello’s heels in understandable, especially for a complete newcomer to superhero comics writing. But, for me and many other readers, Wonder Woman of the New 52 has been defined by Azzarello’s reluctance to bring the book into the larger DCU, especially his resistance to incorporating Superman as a love interest. As noted in their interview, M. and D. Finch fully intend to bring in Superman.

WonderWomanV5

“I’m not a feminist! Just strong! And sexy…”

Thus far in the interview we’ve seen variations on viewpoints regarding the type of character Wonder Woman is and should be, the genre of narratives she should be engaged in, and her level of involvement in the DCU. Azzarello’s reluctance to bring Wonder Woman into the DCU is, of course, a point of frustration for many readers, and though I highly admire his Wonder Woman run and would love to see it continue for a hundred issues, the character’s critical presence is lacking from the DCU in a major way that Superman and Batman, who have multiple books to themselves, are not. Eric Diaz at Nerdist has some solid thoughts about Wonder Woman and her current place in the New 52 line-up.

The interview ends with a question about what aspects of Wonder Woman the team hopes to play out in their opening issues of their run. M. Finch wants to write a Wonder Woman of the 1970s, a female icon of power and strength. D. Finch wants to draw “a strong — I don’t want to say feminist, but a strong character. Beautiful, but strong.” With these closing words, D. Finch articulates the central concern of this creative team change. With his final lines he highlights the greatest challenges for female characters across all media today:

  1. Strong women aren’t by default feminist because
  2. Feminist isn’t something we want to label female figures of authority
  3. There is an inherent and contradictory relationship between attractiveness and strength
  4. Superheroines must be overcome this contradictory relationship by being beautiful and strong, resulting all too often in hypersexualizations like Power Girl

I’m not the first to voice my objections: Susana Polo at The Mary Sue offers a summary of the issue, Janelle Asselin at Comics Alliance gives a short background to Wonder Woman’s entirely obvious feminist legacy, and Jenna McLaughlin at Mother Jones provides some insight from the director of the documentary Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines.

Whether commentators and Internet trolls like it or not, Wonder Woman has had obvious feminist deployments by comics writers and in the feminist movement in general, and her origin in William Moulton Marston’s bondage and male-dominance stories of the 1940s hearkens to a history of radical writers, mostly female, suggesting that the patriarchy get a taste of their own medicine. Wonder Woman’s Themyscira was an updated, superheroic version of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s feminist utopian Herland (1915). Utopian visions of female-only worlds abound in the history of science fiction and fantasy literature.

9780415966320_p0_v1_s260x420I do not mean to suggest that feminism advocates for a replacement of the patriarchy by a matriarchy, one in which women rule over and enslave men. Rather, these examples serve the point that, like it or not, Wonder Woman is a feminist icon. However, as Lillian S. Robinson warns in Wonder Women: Feminisms and Superheroes, we should not confuse her iconic status in the history of women’s rights and the feminist movement for feminism in general. As Shana Mlawski points out, strong female characters on their own, can harm the fight for equality for women by using scantily-clad, sexy, but strong kick-ass women to cover up the lack of social equality or justice outside of the comics, movies, and films populated by Xenas, Buffys, and Wonder Womans.

Moreover, “feminism” is a continuously evolving, often overlapping, and sometimes contradictory set of individualized, group-specific, and differently-theorized feminisms. Feminism is not a monolith, but a nexus of ideas about social justice and equality. Characters like Wonder Woman may stand as an icon, but they are far from descriptive of feminism as a whole; they describe particular feminisms. Janelle Asselin at Comics Alliance, for example, offers a critique of the current Azzarello and Chiang run, arguing that the retconning of Wonder Woman’s born-of-clay origin and the revelation that she has a father, namely Zeus, was a negative change for the character. Her biological attachment to Zeus undermined her self-made status.

Sensation-WW-1-537676042a9e82-07339885-3496f

Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman #1

What’s at stake, then, in denying Wonder Woman the feminist title is not necessarily denying that she can be analyzed as a feminist character or, even, that she will cease to be used as a feminist icon in the ways that she has been for 74 years. It is instead a misogynist attempt to rein in positive social change in the mainstream comics industry, to deny readers’ desire for characters that bring about social and ideological change not just in the DCU or the Marvel Universe, but in our world as well. It’s also a slap in the face to common sense: there’s just no humane reason not to be feminist.

We want heroes who make change, and heroes cannot make change if they are denied identities that advocate for social justice. We want a Wonder Woman who’s not afraid of the “F” word and a creative team who understands that.

At the very least, come August we’ll have a new Wonder Woman comic to turn to: Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman.

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Facebook Fandom Spotlight: Who are the US Comic Fans?

It’s the first of the month and that means a new Facebook Fandom Spotlight looking at the general comic book fan population on Facebook. We wrap up the first half of the year, looking at where things stand.

For this report, I looked at the terms we used in previous reports, over 100 “likes” on Facebook, primarily focused on terms like “comics” or “graphic novels” or publishers. I stay away from specific characters, creators or series, because this does not indicate they are a comic book fan.

Facebook Population: Over 26,000,000 fans in the US

The overall amount has dropped since last month, returning to 26 million, which the population was a few months ago. Since we’ve been tracking many publishers weekly, and haven’t seen a dip, I have to assume that the dip came from generic terms like “comics” and “manga” of which we know that “manga’ has seen a serious drop every week.

Spanish speakers account for 3,400,000 fans, 13.08%. That’s a dip in the overall number, but an increase in the percentage, since the decrease of individuals was much less than the overall population.

Gender and Age

Last month men accounted for 55.71% and women for 40.71%. The percentages have shifted a bit since last month, but no major changes. Now, men make up 56.15% of the population and women 40.77%.

gender 7.1.14We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age.

gender age 7.1.14Below is the above’s raw data. Nearly every age grouping has decreased since last week, but interestingly, 50+ less so with some groups remaining the same.

age gender raw 7.1.14

Relationship Status

We’re continuing to look at the expanded data of relationships which debuted two months ago. Overall, things have remained relatively steady compared to last month. I’d expect as more people notice the expanded options over time, we’ll see some movement.

relationship 7.1.14And for those that like pie charts.

relationship pie chart 7.1.14Education

We have much greater detail as to where individuals are when it comes to their education. There’s now even more options for education. We’ll see how this changes over time.

education 7.1.14Gender Interest

We’re continuing to track the expanded results for this statistic. Like education, and relationships, gender interest has expanded with much greater detail. Compared to last month, the results have not shifted much.

gender interest 7.1.14And that wraps up this month’s Facebook Fandom Update of comic fans in the US. Join us next Monday for a brand new report!

Facebook Fandom Spotlight: Snowpiercer and Transformers: Age of Extinction Part 2

Today is the release of part two of my study, using Facebook likes, to see what the impact pre and post opening of a movie is.This past weekend saw the opening of two films of interest to comic fans. Snowpiercer is based on the graphic novel of the same name, and was in limited release, while Transformers dominated the box office with Transformers: Age of Extinction.

The study looks at the various terms in Facebook in the United States. Compared to last week Snowpiercer saw growth mostly in the United States, and particularly among women who increased four points.

Transformers: Age of Extinction opened number one at the box office and according to reports with 64% of the audience as men. The term for the movie is 61.29% male, the same as last week, and Transformers is around 58%. Pretty close to what came out opening weekend, and keeping up the record of the two statistics being pretty close for what we’ve looked at. The biggest change for the stats in general is a gain of about 1 million people for Age of Extinction, most of which were outside the United States.

Below is the statistics from the previous week, and this week’s statistics as well.

snowpiercer transformers 6.29.14 stats

 

Facebook Fandom Spotlight: Snowpiercer and Transformers: Age of Extinction

This coming weekend sees the opening of two films of interest to comic fans. Snowpiercer is based on the graphic novel of the same name while Transformers gets a new movie entry with Transformers: Age of Extinction.

This week I thought it’d be interesting to see how the opening week impacts the Facebook page growth and stats for each. We’ll then return next week and see how these pages changed and how they compare to the opening weekend audience breakdown. In this case, I’ve included every major term for Transformers movies.

snowpiercer and transformers

Interview: Women of BOOM! – Stephanie Hocutt

Stephanie_Hocutt_picIt’s Thursday which brings us a new interview and our 32nd “Women of BOOM!” feature, spotlighting the many kick-ass women that work at BOOM!, Archaia and KaBOOM! We’re focusing on everyone, editors, designers, writers, artists, you name it! We’re making sure to include the hard-working folks whose contributions are often overlooked in the process.

BOOM! (and KaBOOM! and Archaia) has given us unprecedented access and the chance to ask questions to their staff, and creative teams, to find out why the publisher is so successful in hiring women and their experiences in the comic industry as women.

Stephanie Hocutt helps with the company’s marketing as the PR Assistant, that means she gets to work on ALL of the comics!

Graphic Policy: How did you get involved in the comic book industry?

Stephanie Hocutt: I studied animation in school, but during that time I realized that my real passion was for comics. I was a freelance artist for a while, and when I heard about the internship at Archaia, I packed my bags and moved across the country in one epic road trip. After the internship, I started working at a comic shop, and now I’m here at BOOM! It’s been a wacky, winding road!

GP: Did you read comics growing up? Do you read them now?

SH: I was a voracious reader growing up, but I was kind of a late bloomer when it came to comics. My parents didn’t read them, and I grew up on military bases that didn’t really have comic shops. Instead, I was watching Batman: The Animated Series, The Adventures of Tin-Tin, Justice League Unlimited, Batman Beyond, and the 90s X-Men all the time. I started reading manga late in high school, and in college my friends started inviting me to conventions, which is where I picked up American comics. Around that same time, I studied abroad in France, where I fell in love with bande dessinées. I got hooked on European and American comics around the same time, so now my pull list consists of a wide variety of comics, and I have a library that is quickly outgrowing my apartment!

GP: How did you come to work with BOOM! or one of its imprints?

SH: I interned at Archaia a while back, and once it was over I just sort of dug my claws in and refused to go back to Virginia. I got a job at a comic shop, kept in contact with the Archaia crew, and when I found out that BOOM! was looking for a marketing assistant, I jumped at the opportunity.

GP: How would you describe your job for people?

SH: I pretty much get to talk about how awesome comics are all day! It’s incredibly exciting and I always have to think outside of the box, because there are a lot of awesome comics out there that all want to be noticed. I set up interviews with creators, work closely with press sites, host the Buzz on BOOM! YouTube show, and do everything I can to get people excited about BOOM!

GP: For people who want to pursue a career in what you do, what advice would you give them?

SH: A big part of working in this industry is knowing the right people, so get out there and mingle! Go to conventions and talk to people face-to-face, and snap up internships if you can. The most important part of an internship is the connections you make, so keep in contact with them. You’re not gonna get your dream job if you’re hiding in the shadows! It is a balancing act, though, because you also don’t want to be harassing industry professionals and come off as overbearing. Just remember to be friendly!

GP: Did you have a mentor to help you break into the industry? Do you mentor anyone yourself?

SH: I’ve had a lot of people in my life who have been incredibly supportive and helpful! One in particular is Mel Caylo, who was the Marketing Manager at Archaia when I was an intern. He taught me a lot about marketing and helped me realize that it’s a pretty rad job! Now, several years later, he’s the Marketing Manager at BOOM! and I get to work with him. Full circle!

GP: Do you think women have a more difficult time breaking in and making it in the comic industry? If so, why? And if yes, how do you think that can be overcome?

SH: Comics have been a male-dominated field for so long that it really can be difficult for women to get involved. There’s this archaic idea that inviting the girls into that treehouse is just gonna ruin it for everybody, and there are a lot of people out there who are just so afraid of change that they don’t even want to recognize it’s already happening. Women are all up in that comics biz!

So that being said, I’m going to look on the bright side and say I think it’s getting a little easier every day. It’s an awesome time to be a woman in the comics industry. Yes, there are a ton of problems that still need to be fixed, but we’re actually talking about them. People are speaking up and recognizing the problems, comic forums and conventions are creating safer spaces for women, and we’ve got awesome campaigns like “We Are Comics” that support equality and diversity in the industry. It’s an open conversation, which is the only way things will actually change.

GP: We notice that when it comes to women in the comic industry, BOOM! and its imprints have a lot of diversity present. Why do you think they have succeeded when so many other publishers struggle with this?

SH: This is actually a really difficult question to answer, because I don’t know why it’s harder for other publishers! BOOM! just works with awesome people, and those awesome people come from all walks of life, so our comics tell a wide variety of stories. It’s a great big world out there, so why would you limit yourself to working with only a specific group of people? Broaden those horizons!

GP: We’ve heard horror stories concerning women in the industry. Have you ever seen or been discriminated/harassed and if so, how did you handle it?

SH: I’ve been pretty lucky in that I haven’t been the target of a lot of harassment. When I worked in a comic shop, I would occasionally get a guy who didn’t think I actually read comics, or was really surprised when I asked if I could help him find something, but that was pretty rare because my LCS is open and inviting. Conventions have traditionally been the worst places for women, so I’m really glad people are stepping up and changing that. If I’m ever bothered by something a guy or gal says, I just call them out on it. They’re either being jerks or they didn’t even realize what they said was offensive, and now they’re learning.

I know there are a lot of women out there who haven’t been so lucky, so the most important thing is to stand together and shut that mess down. Silence kills progress, so speak up and don’t let it slide!

GP: What advice do you have for women looking to break into the comic book industry?

SH: Figure out what you want to do in comics, and do everything you can to be the best person for that position. Be persistent, friendly, and positive!

Related:

Facebook Fandom Spotlight: Comic Fans and Politics

Work is underway for the 2014 elections for the Senate, House and more. We’ll be tracking how comic fans break down in the political spectrum throughout this election year. It’s around the first of the month so I again dove into Facebook to figure out how it all shakes out and what has changed since last month’s statistics.

For these stats, I used the terms I’d normally use to determine other demographic breakdowns of comic fans. Facebook also provides the ability to break down those stats into convenient groups as far as politics which I have used. However, Facebook is now providing even more data including voter registration and donation habits.

According to Facebook 9.6 million “comic fans” are “active” politically in the United States, that’s 400,000 more than the previous report. This breaks down further into 5.4 million men (56.25%), and 4 million women (41.67%). Men have made all the gains. That also makes political active “comic fans” 19.50% of the individuals active politically which account for a little over 49 million of the 180 million individuals in the United States.

gender 6.2.14

Party affiliation is pretty clear as folks can indicate a party or none (which I assume is what the non-partisan stat is). The non-partisans make up the majority of comic fans with 48.53%, liberals are 26.47% of comic fans and 25% of comic fans or conservative. Both conservatives and liberals gained percentage wise from the previous report.

party afilliation 6.2.14

Further breakdown of gender when it comes to party affiliation:

  • Conservative: 55.88% men, 44.12% women
  • Liberal: 55.56% men, 44.44% women
  • Non-Partisan: 59.09% men, 39.39% women

According to Facebook, just under 1 million comic fans  have donated to a liberal or conservative cause and there even is some overlap of about 80,000 individuals. For “comic fans” the conservative are a bit more likely to donate than those interested in liberal causes.

donations 6.2.14

Next up is voter registration. Not shockingly Democrats have a slight edge (voter registration is a strong point of the party) and make up 49.38% of those registered, only a few percentage points more than Republicans who account for 47.20%. Below is the raw data for these stats.

registration 6.2.14

We’ll keep watching to see how the political winds might be reflected through this.

Facebook Fandom Spotlight: Who are the US Comic Fans?

It’s the first of the month and that means a new Facebook Fandom Spotlight looking at the general comic book fan population on Facebook. We wrap up the first third of the year looking at where things stand.

For this report, I looked at the terms we used in previous reports, 103 “likes” on Facebook, primarily focused on terms like “comics” or “graphic novels” or publishers. I stay away from specific characters, creators or series, because this does not indicate they are a comic book fan.

Facebook Population: Over 28,000,000 fans in the US

The overall amount has remained the same compared to last month. The amount of men and women have shifted, both decreasing while those not providing their gender increased.

Spanish speakers account for 3,6000,000 fans, 12.86%. That is the same as last month.

Gender and Age

Last month men accounted for 57.14% and women for 42.14%. This is the second month women have slipped in percents, though the population count of women hasn’t decreased. Now, men make up 55.71% of the population and women 40.71%.

US Comic Fans

gender 6.1.14

We’ll next look at how the percentage of women and men break down through age.

US Comic Fans

gender age 6.1.14

Below is the above’s raw data. You can see the older part of the population has increased a bit compared to the previous month, while those middle-aged decreased.

US Comic Fans

gender age raw 6.1.14

Relationship Status

We’re continuing to look at the expanded data of relationships which debuted two months ago. Overall, things have remained relatively steady compared to last month. I’d expect as more people notice the expanded options over time, we’ll see some movement.

US Comic Fans

relationship 6.1.14

And for those that like pie charts.

US Comic Fans

relationship pie chart 6.1.14

Education

We have much greater detail as to where individuals are when it comes to their education. There’s now even more options for education. We’ll see how this changes over time.

US Comic Fans

education 6.1.14

Gender Interest

We’re continuing to track the expanded results for this statistic. Like education, and relationships, gender interest has expanded with much greater detail. Compared to last month, the results have not shifted much.

US Comic Fans

gender interest 6.1.14

And that wraps up this month’s Facebook Fandom Update of comic fans in the US. Join us next Monday for a brand new report!

Interview: Women of BOOM! – Kris Mukai

kris mukai bleeding cool adventure time coverIt’s Thursday which brings us a new interview and our 31st “Women of BOOM!” feature, spotlighting the many kick-ass women that work at BOOM!, Archaia and KaBOOM! We’re focusing on everyone, editors, designers, writers, artists, you name it! We’re making sure to include the hard-working folks whose contributions are often overlooked in the process.

BOOM! (and KaBOOM! and Archaia) has given us unprecedented access and the chance to ask questions to their staff, and creative teams, to find out why the publisher is so successful in hiring women and their experiences in the comic industry as women.

Kris Mukai is an artist who has contributed a short story to Spera Vol. 2 as well as a cover for KaBOOM!’a popular Adventure Time.

Graphic Policy: How did you get involved in the comic book industry?

Kris Mukai: I have been self-publishing comics for about 6 years.

GP: Did you read comics growing up? Do you read them now?

KM: I read a lot of manga scanlations as a kid, mostly shounen stuff that I don’t read so much anymore. My hometown public library had a great selection of journalistic comics, I read a lot of Joe Sacco, Peter Kuper, and Seth Tobocman’s comics. Becky Cloonan’s early works were also hugely inspirational.

GP: How did you come to work with BOOM!/Archaia?

KM: Yuko Ota and Ananth Panagariya started writing a comic for BOOM! (Candy Capers), and they suggested me to their art director as someone to draw a cover. Since it was for their book, I was excited to do the piece, although BOOM! ended up printing the image on a different book.

GP: How would you describe your job for people?

KM: Clients pay me to draw anything.

GP: For people who want to pursue a career in what you do, what advice would you give them?

KM: Draw what you want to draw and clients will seek you out to draw that thing. Be kind to your peers, they are the art directors and editors of the future.

GP: Did you have a mentor to help you break into the industry? Do you mentor anyone yourself?

KM: The ladies of the Love Love Hill collective were my mentors, I was penpals with Kim and Saicoink and everyone drew on the same oekaki board and encouraged each other. They introduced me to self publishing and to getting shit done yourself. Joshua Ray Stephens and my classmate Jane Wu (art direction at LAUNCH) mentored me in college. I got my first big breaks in illustration from Max Bode and Jordan Awan.

GP: Do you think women have a more difficult time breaking in and making it in the comic industry, if so why? And if yes, how do you think that can be overcome?

KM: I work largely in the illustration industry, and there is a huge amount of women creators working in illustration. Many of the illustrators I know also create comics, so they are coming at it from a different direction. There is no one path that leads to your goal.

There are also many women comic artists publishing their work through small press publishers, art book and children’s imprints, and through web publishing. Their work shouldn’t be dismissed simply because they aren’t making work for Marvel or DC.

GP: We notice that when it comes to women in the comic industry, BOOM!/Archaia has a lot of diversity present. Why do you think have they succeeded when so many other publishers struggle with this?

KM: It seems like BOOM! and Archaia are making an effort to hire creators to make new content, whereas other companies are hiring artists to re-hash old content.

GP: We’ve heard horror stories concerning women in the industry, have you ever seen or been discriminated/harassed and if so, how did you handle it?

KM: I was offered a job that wanted to pay me $3000 for a years worth of work, basically $20 per page from sketches to color. The client assumed that I would be jumping for joy at the “opportunity” to create a “real” comic book, even if it meant working for far less than minimum wage.

I have the luxury to decline job offers from rude or inconsiderate clients, but unfortunately many artists don’t have this option.

GP: What advice do you have for women looking to break into the comic book industry?

KM: Don’t do free work for those that have the ability to pay you

Related:

Facebook Fandom Spotlight: X-Men

With X-Men: Days of Future Past debuting in theaters, it felt appropriate to look at how the film stacks up as far as demographics and popularity to other X-Men films and even the various cartoon series.

For this report, I dive into Facebook’s data using key terms and analyzing the “likes” as reported by the system in the United States.

What’s interesting in how this marketing has gone is, Fox for their movie series has focused on an individual page, driving as many folks to that one page as possible. There’s also pages for each individual movie, but you can see they are nowhere near the same amount of likes, the exception being The Wolverine. That movie along with the overall movie page is the most diverse, but still about 2/3 men, 1/3 women. When you take all of the data together, including the movies, generic term, and the cartoons, this 2/3 and 1/3 breakdown is about the average for all of the terms together.

x-men facebook 5.26.14

Interview: Women of BOOM! – Moro Rogers

Moro RogersIt’s Thursday which brings us a new interview and our 30th “Women of BOOM!” feature, spotlighting the many kick-ass women that work at BOOM!, Archaia and KaBOOM! We’re focusing on everyone, editors, designers, writers, artists, you name it! We’re making sure to include the hard-working folks whose contributions are often overlooked in the process.

BOOM! (and KaBOOM! and Archaia) has given us unprecedented access and the chance to ask questions to their staff, and creative teams, to find out why the publisher is so successful in hiring women and their experiences in the comic industry as women.

Moro Rogers is the writer and artist of the Archaia original graphic novel, City in the Desert, which is now available in two volumes which you can purchase here and here.

Graphic Policy: How did you get involved in the comic book industry?

Moro Rogers: I was in animation, but I was between jobs and I decided that would be a good time to do something independent, and if I wrote a graphic novel I would have the kind of control I wanted. In animation it’s tough to tell a story with a big scope, especially if you like working alone.

City_in_the_Desert_v2_CoverGP: Did you read comics growing up? Do you read them now?

MR: I didn’t actually read a lot of comics growing up, I was more into movies. Before the internet, I wasn’t really aware of comics outside of the funny papers and superheroes. My parents had a book of B. Kliban stuff, which I memorized, and I read a lot of The Far Side, but when I wanted a story I’d watch a movie or read a book. I read a lot more comics now. They’re slowly taking over our bookshelf.

GP: How did you come to work with BOOM!/Archaia?

MR: I submitted my graphic novel to several comics publishers and it got picked up by Archaia. Woo!

GP: How would you describe your job for people?

MR: I draw and write City in the Desert. (I usually work digitally so I spend a lot of time looking at a screen.)

GP: For people who want to pursue a career in what you do, what advice would you give them?

MR: If you think you have a story to tell, don’t wait for someone to give you a chance, just find a way to do it. It’s not anyone else’s responsibility. (Also, um, check out your local parks and hiking trails! This advice is for everyone, I guess.)

GP: Do you think women have a more difficult time breaking in and making it in the comic industry, if so why? And if yes, how do you think that can be overcome?

MR: Everyone has a different experience. I’ve been lucky as far as that goes. My parents, teachers and peers have always been very encouraging.Women have more freedom to make comics than ever, and more tools at our disposal, so we just need to keep at it.

GP: We notice that when it comes to women in the comic industry, BOOM!/Archaia has a lot of diversity present. Why do you think have they succeeded when so many other publishers struggle with this?

MR: BOOM!/Archaia seem to be pretty cool about trying new things and giving new people a shot. Sometimes, I think, publishers and producers decide they want to try a story from a different point of view, but then they get cold feet and decide it won’t sell, so it ends up very similar to everything else. BOOM!/Archaia embraces weirdness, so that’s good.

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